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Old 02-13-2020, 05:31 AM
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Default New to me - Colt Detective Special

Hi Everyone

I just picked up this Colt Detective Special for the equivalent of $437 USD. The serial number is H49137. I don't know very much about Colts. Any idea when this would have been made or am I better heading over to the Colt Forum.

Cheers
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Last edited by Moo Moo; 02-13-2020 at 05:36 AM.
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Old 02-13-2020, 05:39 AM
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Based on your serial number 1975 date of manufacture.
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Old 02-13-2020, 10:41 AM
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Coltfever is your best source for basic Colt information about all models, sort of the Colt Wikipedia. And the price you paid would be reasonable in the USA. The earlier DSs bring more, and those from pre-WWII in high condition can sell for serious money.
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Old 02-13-2020, 12:22 PM
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That is a great looking Colt. I love the older ones, but to me the later versions like yours with the shrouded barrel and larger original grips (or stocks, in Coltspeak) are perfect.

I suspect that is a great price, too, though I’m not sure how Oz dollars translate.
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Old 02-13-2020, 12:35 PM
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My first carry gun was a 3rd Issue Detective Special just like your's. Wonderful revolver and I think the best snubby ever made. You did well on the price too.
Don't make the same mistake I did. I let my wife shoot it and didn't get it back for 20 years.
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Old 02-13-2020, 04:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grayfox View Post
My first carry gun was a 3rd Issue Detective Special just like your's. Wonderful revolver and I think the best snubby ever made.
Many would agree with that assessment. My personal preference would be a Second Issue as it has several real improvements over the First Issue - plus they are more reasonably priced. I can't warm up to the Third Issue or the Agent and Cobra with the alloy frames.

I have wondered why S&W provided no significant competition to the DS prior to the post-WWII period. I don't consider the Terrier as being significant competition.

Last edited by DWalt; 02-13-2020 at 05:03 PM.
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Old 02-13-2020, 11:22 PM
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First gun I ever fired. I think I was eleven or maybe twelve. Early 3rd Model like yours. Made a impression on me that I never shook off, thank goodness.
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Old 02-13-2020, 11:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moo Moo View Post
[...] or am I better heading over to the Colt Forum.

Cheers
No! Here there is more appreciation for the 3rd model's S&Wish extractor rod shroud and modified S&W Target Stocks. Those features tend to offend Colt revolver collectors. I'm not sure about 2nd model sights but 3rd model sights are a lot easier to see than the 1st model's small U notch and round cornered front. The sights are bigger than comparable vintage S&W sights. That is good. So is blending a in a little bit of S&W looks. Here anyway.
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Old 02-14-2020, 12:55 AM
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Quote:
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I'm not sure about 2nd model sights but 3rd model sights are a lot easier to see than the 1st model's small U notch and round cornered front. The sights are bigger than comparable vintage S&W sights.
The two major improvements of the 2nd Issue DS over the 1st Issue are much improved sights (including a ramp front sight), and a longer extractor rod for better case extraction. Some serious collectors break the DS into six "Issues". But that it probably being too picky. The earliest 1st Issues had a square butt. Maybe that should be called the 0th Issue.

Regarding positive case extraction, I use .38 Short Colt reloads in mine.

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Old 02-14-2020, 01:17 AM
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Just for reference, Colt serial numbers can be looked up here: Colt's Manufacturing LLC
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Old 02-19-2020, 06:27 PM
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Always wanted a 3rd gen DS and 75 being my birth year Id love that one!
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Old 02-19-2020, 06:40 PM
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Had a square butt DS a long time back. Wish I'd kept it. Don't think I ever shot it. Av elegant looking revolver.
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Old 02-19-2020, 07:10 PM
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My agency had the older model Colt in inventory and we received a batch of the newer models. As I was the firearms custodian, I issued myself the newer model. Both were excellent guns and I regret not owning one. I also carried a J frame S&W for a time followed by the 3" Model 10, round butt. This was our last revolver before switching too autoloaders.
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Old 02-19-2020, 08:12 PM
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Third model Detective special is so much better looking than it's earlier brothers.
The sleek beveled front end is sheer design genius.
I have one in nickel and would spend good money to have it's lightweight twin in the same finish.
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Old 02-19-2020, 08:59 PM
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Sweet looking Colt,i'm jealous congrats.
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Old 02-19-2020, 09:28 PM
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"Those features tend to offend Colt revolver collectors."

Not the one's I know, I see many favorable comments about them on the Colt Forum. Maybe I don't get out enough.

Someone mentioned ColtFever, here's a link to the part of that site that has information about the Detective Special:

Detective Special
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Old 02-19-2020, 09:44 PM
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I bought my third issue nickel Colt Detective Special in 1974 and carried it off-duty for three decades. I still have it and take it out of the safe at least once a year to bring back fond memories at the range.
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