Coltautos.com Gun of the Month - December 2019
Colt 1903 Pocket Hammerless .32 ACP serial number 108 - This pistol was carried as a backup weapon by Officer Daniel Shinners, who was a police officer in Brooklyn, NY (NYPD) and later in Corning, NY during the early 1900ís when the Colt was manufactured. He was brother to Robert J. Shinners Sr. The family believes this Colt was passed down to Robert J. Shinners Sr. upon Danielís death and then passed down to his son Robert J. Shinners Jr. in 1976 when Robert Sr. passed. Colt 1903 Pocket Hammerless .32 ACP serial number 108 was shipped with a blue finish and standard hard rubber stocks to Farwell, Ozmun, Kirk & Company in St. Paul, Minnesota on July 30, 1903 in a five gun shipment.
THE OLD AND THE NEW - In true Keystone Kop garb, former Corning Captain Daniel Shinners (left) stands in sharp contrast to Patrolman James Nelson and the law enforcement ways of the present. Shinners, whose tenure predates 1890, was one of Corning's early officers. Nelson, along with Patrolman Thomas Greven is collecting mementoes from the force's past. Source: Star-Gazette (Elmira, New York) - 9 Jan 1978, Mon - Page 7)
Colt 1903 Pocket Hammerless .32 ACP serial number 108 - This pistol was returned to Colt with a rusty swelled "spoiled" barrel, was fitted with a new barrel and cleaned and then returned to William Spencer on April 25, 1906. This information is from the original Colt factory repair records.
Colt 1903 Pocket Hammerless .32 ACP serial number 108 - right side view.
Colt 1903 Pocket Hammerless .32 ACP serial number 108 - pictured with early Gaskill patent pocket holster.
Source: Star-Gazette (Elmira, New York) - 4 Jan 1909, Mon, p.5
Source: Star-Gazette (Elmira, New York) - 27 Dec 1910, Tues, p.3
Source: The Buffalo Enquirer (Buffalo, New York) - 10 Jul 1922, Mon. p.7
Heart Attack Ends Popular Copper's Life -- Unexpected Seizure Claims Capt. Daniel Shinners Who Retired Mar. 1 From Corning Department - One of Old Guard
Corning -- Capt. Daniel Shinners, 70, who retired form the Corning police department five months ago, died in the garage at the rear of his Park Avenue home Monday at 4 p.m.
A man of rugged physique, Captain Shinners had been vigorously active since his retirement from the police department, despite his advanced age. He cultivated a beautiful garden near his home and operated a large farm on Spencer Hill.
Daniel Shinners became a member of the police department in 1898 while M.S. McGeorge was mayor of the city. He served as extra patrolman and special officer before becoming a "regular" on the force. He pounded a beat for 24 years, until 1922, when he was elevated to the captaincy as the successor to the late Thomas Ryan. He had completed 35 years of service at the time of his retirement.
The captain was the last of 10 "old time" officers to leave the force. Included in the group of blue-coats who worked with him were: Chief James Ryan, Captain Thomas Ryan, Officers Robert Seyter, Fred Lipps, Chauncey Knowlton, Melvin Bump, Thomas Curtain, Fred Dimick and Walter Bond. Chief Ryan and Captain Ryan have passed away, Robert Seyter is on the retired list, Thomas Curtain resides in Buffalo, Fred Dimick is the present supervisor in the Third District and Fred Lipps is a local business man. Residence of the others is not known.
Ont eh night of Feb. 28, 1933, Captain Shinners came to headquarters to report for duty as usual and he was surprised to find a large group of his friends congregated there. They had come to congratulate him upon the completion of 35 years of service during which he was never once "called on the carpet" or reprimanded by a superior officer. Included in the group were: Mayor Alfred G. Hood, Police Commissioners Joseph Reagan, Frank E. Wydman and H. Doxsey Jones and a number of other officials.
Acting for the department, Chief A.W. Eckess presented the captain with a beautiful lounging chair and foot-stool to which was attached a card bearing the advice, "Take it easy, captain."
Daniel Shinners was born on a Spencer Hill farm, Feb. 16, 1863, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Patrick Shinners, pioneer settlers. He spent his entire life in the immediate vicinity of this city engaging in farming and other lines before becoming an officer. He was united in marriage with Miss Myra Burr and for 35 years they have resided at the Park Avenue address where the captain died.
Mr. Shinners was a member of the First Baptist Church, Corning Masonic Lodge and a local lodge of Odd Fellows.
Besides his wife, he is survived by one son, George, 116 Pine Street, and a number of grandchildren, nephews and nieces.
The body was taken to the Stover Funeral Home on East Second Street and will later be removed to the late residence.
Colt 1903 Pocket Hammerless .32 ACP serial number 108 - close-up of early style barrel bushing.