A lot of people collect firearms. Some people are military collectors that are looking for hard to find surplus guns. Others gravitate toward high-end custom models that have been hand built to their specific requirements. Some shooters like to collect law enforcement service guns.
The New York City Police Department (NYPD) is said to be the largest city police department in the United States. It has been on the front pages for heroism and villainy at various points in its history. It is understandable why many people would want to collect former NYPD service guns.
While there are probably thousands of service guns that can be found from the NYPD that are now in private hands, some of the best known are the NY-1 revolvers from Smith & Wesson.
In the late 1980s, Smith & Wesson made a number of Model 60 and Model 64 revolvers to meet the updated NYPD firearms requirements. These guns were sold through the NYPD to its officers, but were never owned by the city. They were personally owned guns that were for use on- and off-duty. The guns were marked NY-1, signifying that they were specially made for this program.
The M60 NY-1 was a 2″ round but gun that was in service for a very short period of time: from 1987 – late 1988. Some of the guns developed a problem and were pulled from duty use. Many were returned to Smith & Wesson (which were retooled and sold through commercial channels) while many were kept by the officers.
The M64 NY-1 had multiple variations, and were authorized for on-duty use from 1987 through 1993. I was fortunate enough to purchase one of these from a retired auto theft detective after he moved to my corner of the world. It is this gun that you see in the photos here. This version is not in pristine condition – it was carried in the waistband of an undercover cop for years. The left side shows more wear, but it does not hinder the gun’s functioning at all.
I’ve handled several examples of NY-1 guns, and all of them have been well made guns. My gun has a smooth double action trigger with a crisp single action pull that is very sweet. The K-frame gives the gun a little extra heft to absorb .38 Special +P loads, plus a larger cylinder to hold a full six rounds.
These guns can still be found for a fairly reasonable price. While the collectors might want them for display, they are great shooting guns. It would seem a shame that all of them would be locked away instead of making some joyful noise at the range every so often.
If you have an interest in these or other Smith & Wesson guns, I highly recommend buying the Standard Catalog of Smith & Wesson. This extremely well-researched book is in its fourth edition and has a lot of great information about the guns (and other gear) S&W made throughout the years. There is even a special section of the NY-1 revolvers.