Property of Starsky & Hutch

An inventory of stuff belonging to Dave Starsky and Ken Hutchinson

Starsky’s Smith & Wesson 59 — September 21, 1975

Starsky’s Smith & Wesson 59

After the Colt M1911A1 seen in the pilot episode, Starsky carried a Smith & Wesson 59. I think this was the gun he used most in the series (in fact, I haven’t spotted the M1911A1 at all since the pilot – let me know if you have). Originally designed for the US Navy, this automatic pistol was on the market only from 1971 to 1982.  With its 14-round magazine, it was the highest capacity double action 9mm pistol then in production. More specifications can be found e.g. on Wikipedia.


Hutch’s Colt Python(s) — September 10, 1975

Hutch’s Colt Python(s)

Hutch’s black Colt Python .357 magnum revolver (left) is probably the gun that most people remember from Starsky & Hutch. Introduced in 1955, the Python soon became a popular gun in law enforcement until automatic 9 mm pistols (such as Starsky’s Smith & Wesson, also in the screenshot above) overtook revolvers in general in that area. Colt discontinued the production of Pythons completely in 2005.

Apparently, the Python’s 6-inch model was more popular with uniformed officers, while the plain-clothes detectives preferred the 4-inch model. Incidentally, Hutch carries both in the show, but the 6-inch model is probably seen more often (according to Barb’s site, he only uses the 4-inch model in the first few episodes of Season 1 – I haven’t checked). Here he’s reloading the 4-inch Python (with a brown handle) in 01-01 Savage Sunday. (In the pilot, he carried a snub-nosed Smith & Wesson Model 10.)

Both of Hutch’s Magnums came with royal blue finish, but here’s a good photo of a Python with nickel finish, complete with the package and the manual, from 1978 (I think, the print on the manual is borderline readable). Specifications of the gun can be found e.g. on Wikipedia.

Yes, it’s big… and it’s loaded. Surely you’re not supposed to point it at your partner, with your finger on the trigger?


Starsky’s Colt M1911A1 — April 30, 1975

Starsky’s Colt M1911A1

In the pilot episode, when Starsky and Hutch go through their check list, they refer to Starsky’s pistol as his Beretta, but what he actually carries in the episode is in fact a Colt M1911A1. I take various fan sites’ word for it – above is the clearest screenshot of the gun that I could quickly get. This pistol was designed in 1911 and has been changed very little over the decades. Starsky might know this gun already from his time in the army, as this was the US army standard-issue sidearm until 1986. Outside military use, it is sold under the name Colt Government. Specifications can be found e.g on Wikipedia.

I’m not sure if Starsky ever used this gun again in the series. Some fan sites claim this is the pistol he uses the most in the entire series, but all I’ve seen him carry after the pilot is the Smith & Wesson 59.

Because of the canon mention, Beretta is what many writers make Starsky carry in fan fiction. It’s a matter of taste whether one follows the dialogue or the visual evidence. Frankly, to non-enthusiasts, they all look pretty much the same… If one goes with Beretta, Beretta 92 might be a good, period-accurate choice.



Hutch’s Smith & Wesson Model 10 —

Hutch’s Smith & Wesson Model 10

No, you can’t fit a 6-inch Python into that tiny holster – instead, I’m told that the gun Hutch carries in the pilot episode is a Smith & Wesson Model 10 snub nose, a short-barreled variant of the classic .38 revolver that has been in production since 1899. So, while they refer to Starsky’s Colt pistol as a Beretta when they go through their check list, they get the reference to Hutch’s gun right, as they only mention his “.38”.

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