Colt Detective Special .38


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Todesengel
December 30, 2006, 11:20 PM
I'd like some info from when to when they where made...what the going price is and whatever you would like to throw in...

.....got one today for my Mother in Law & paid $325 in excellent condition.

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Dr.Who
December 30, 2006, 11:42 PM
Give us all but the last two digits of your serial number. Then someone can look it up. What length is the barrell? 1, 2, 3, or 4????

Croyance
December 31, 2006, 01:48 AM
You got a deal, they go for about double.

dfariswheel
December 31, 2006, 02:07 AM
The Detective Special was made from 1927 to 1986 when it was discontinued the first time.
Production started again in 1993 and was discontinued for the last time in 1996.

There were several different versions, all basically the same with fairly minor cosmetic changes.
Value depends entirely on which version, when made, and the actual condition.

Todesengel
December 31, 2006, 10:43 AM
It's got a 2" Barrel, a "sight tunnel", wooden Grips, regular style hammer....it's blued with 100% Blueing remaining and only 2-3 slight rust pits (most ppl wouldn't even notice)...bore looks unfired. Serial #: P3957_

Thanks for all the info! I wish i could have taken a pic to post it but my wife wanted to give it to her Mom right away. She'll come out to our place soon to practice with it...i'll take a few pics then.

Dr.Who
December 31, 2006, 04:07 PM
Looks like it was built after 1978.... My book does not go far enough. Maybe someone elses does.....

Robo_Railer
December 31, 2006, 05:32 PM
Serial #: P3957_I checked the Proofhouse.com list (http://proofhouse.com/colt) (Police Positive and DS), and didn't see any series beginning or ending with 'P'. Their list also ends at 1978, with S01001.

Haywood
December 31, 2006, 06:39 PM
You did good. Look at www.gunsamerica.com they are selling for that and more.

SlamFire1
December 31, 2006, 08:01 PM
The DS was an excellent pistol, in my opinion the older the Colt the better it was built. I have a couple with letter prefixes and you can see by examining the lockworks that they were totally file to fit. Almost looks like the parts were carved from soap. The older pistols, which are 60's to 1927, must have taken only a few swipes of the file to fit the parts.

Even so the DS was a six shot revolver, was the best of its class until it was discontinued. If your pistol goes bang each and every time, I think you have a good pistol. I purchased all of my DS's before Colt went under so I look at what you paid and thank God that I am not on the market looking for one. Just don't let your pistol rust and it will keep its value.

By the way all my DS's shoot to point of aim with 158 grain bullets. I do not recommend shooting +P ammo in them except for defense. Even though the DS was one of the stronger pocket pistols, +P rounds are hard on them. Better shoot standard loads for practice. If the gun ever gets out of time due to heavy loads, expect to pay big big bucks to get it fixed. Colt will not work on those anymore, they sold all their parts and have lost the people who could work on them.

Todesengel
December 31, 2006, 08:31 PM
I checked the Proofhouse.com list (Police Positive and DS), and didn't see any series beginning or ending with 'P'. Their list also ends at 1978, with S01001.

I wonder if it is an 839500 (1964) with a light #8 stamp that kinda looks like a P. They didn't use P - prefix in the 90's?

lawson
December 31, 2006, 08:43 PM
nice price. around here, Colt double action revolvers go for considerably more than that, if you can find them. i saw a Colt Cobra selling for $300 the other day, and it had chunks of nickel plating missing.

dfariswheel
December 31, 2006, 09:13 PM
P3957 was made in 1982.
The year started at P36850, and ended at P62990.

While competent, qualified Colt repairmen are getting scarce, Colt still has parts and still works on the post-War "D framed revolvers.

The Colt Detective Special has a well-earned reputation as being the Cadillac of the "snubby" revolvers, and is noted as the highest quality, most accurate small frame revolver ever built.

From 1927 to the mid-1970's it was THE detective, undercover, and off-duty revolver.
S&W didn't even attempt a competitor until their Chief's Special of 1950.
The Colt has a frame and cylinder closer to S&W's medium "K" frame, and holds a life-saving sixth shot.
It's about the perfect size, being small enough to conceal well, but large enough to offer a good grip and more control.

While the basic design dates to the 1890's the small Colt's still deliver the goods, and do it with a fair amount of style and class.

Desk Jockey
December 31, 2006, 09:38 PM
Was just reading up on these guns today.

Google is your friend...:D

http://www.thearmedcitizen.com/gunpages/colt_d_s.htm
http://www.gunsandammomag.com/classics/ct0507/
http://www.snubnose.info/docs/detective_special.htm

The Real Hawkeye
December 31, 2006, 10:10 PM
I've got a couple of Detective Specials. Love them. Of all the Colt double action revolvers, these are the only ones I like. For anything larger, I go with classic Smith & Wesson revolvers. Here's one of my Detective Specials with an S&W Model 10.
http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=49619&d=1166660128

Robo_Railer
January 1, 2007, 03:30 AM
While competent, qualified Colt repairmen are getting scarce, Colt still has parts and still works on the post-War "D framed revolvers.Was I relieved to read that! My 1976 DS needs refinishing, and it should probably get the "3,000-round inspection." I could only guess how many rounds I've put through it, and have no idea how much it was fired before I got it.
Trying out the ol' bifocals with it the other night, I noticed just how miserable the front sight is to acquire against any dark-colored background. It had an orange insert at one time, but that fell out long ago. I've been in touch with Grant Cunningham (http://www.grantcunningham.com/index.html) about the mod he does to the post-1972 "long ramp" front sights. I have to try and send him a clear picture of the existing sight so he can see if there's enough there to do anything with.
The "bank vault lockup" still seems to be there on it (Jim March's Checkout Checklist), so that's a Very Good Thing. I will try not to feed it too much +P in the future. ;)

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