Keep Colt DSII or use it for trade for new semi-auto??


December 25, 2002, 11:44 PM
I have a LNIB Colt DSII in .38 special. I like the piece, but it has a horrible trigger pull, and could benefit from a hammer shroud. To have a competent shop do this would easily run $200 or more. It seems to me that I would be better off using this for trade material for something such as a Kahr MK9 or something similar, which has a great out of the box trigger, fast reloads (at least for me), etc. While I like snub revolvers, I've only shot this revolver about 2-3 times. I have a Kahr K9 at this time, which is just great. I can afford to keep the DSII, but am not sure that it would make sense to do this. Any thoughts on this?


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Big Mike
December 26, 2002, 03:34 AM
I say keep it and shoot it a whole lot more before looking at a trigger job or trading it. I missed the chance to purchase a DSII when they came out, then disappeared not to long ago. I thought it was a very nice revolver. Mike

December 26, 2002, 08:48 AM
Shooting it more will likely improve the trigger. Unless you hate it, keep it.
trade it and you will someday regret it.

December 26, 2002, 09:29 AM
When either dry-firing the revolver, or actually shooting it, the trigger pull is such that it gets heavier towards the point of release. I checked with Bill at Cylinder and Slide, and he explained that for many of the Colt revolvers that use v-shaped leaf springs, the two leaves will touch part way through the movement of the trigger, which increases the effective pull weight. To fix this, an action job will be necessary.

Hope this helps a bit.


Swamp Yankee
December 26, 2002, 11:49 AM
Definately a keeper.

If you trade it you'll see 60% of what the gun will bring at the shop or private sale. The other thing to consider, while not rare the DS is a Colt and they are still appreciating.
If you like the gun, but not the trigger pull suggest squirrelling it away until you can get an action job performed.
Take Care

December 26, 2002, 04:37 PM
sell it outright for market value in your area. Trade will maybe bring 50%(unless the dealer is really gracious). It is an excellent .38, and action work should be able to be found for under $100, I think $200 is outrageous!

December 26, 2002, 07:30 PM
It's a Colt; keep it.

December 30, 2002, 08:07 PM
I spent a couple of years looking for a good Colt Detective Special because one gets 6 rds, they look great, have a strong place in American history, and I had heard stories of how smooth the action was. Found one in Sacramento last yr and paid $400 as a private party transfer; (in kalif dealers cannot sell non-approved by Kalif firearms.) At the range it was very accurate, but I did not like the stacking of the trigger.
At any rate I took it to a reputable gunsmith in Montana last summer and paid $125 for the action job. I did not notice any difference. (They did not see my Calif license plates, and I made sure they knew I also have a Montana residence).
So, I am sending it off to Cylinder and Slide ($236) for a super action job which was recommended by C&S; they know how to fix the problem. They do excellent work I hear, and because of that there is a several month waiting list. First, send 1/2 of the cost; they return to you a ticket; months later they'll ask you to send the Colt and in two weeks it'll be back.
I expect to be sending mine in in a month or so, and hope to have it on my ccw permit next spring.
I also have many other revolvers always trying to find the perfect double action shooting pistol (including a PC S&W model 13), but I would suggest keeping and enhancing properly your Colt.

December 30, 2002, 09:03 PM
Without exception, I have regretted getting rid of every gun I have sold. Keep the DSII. I would love to have found one at a reasonable price a few months back before I got my '80s vintage DS. You might find that you notice the trigger less and less as you shoot it more.

January 1, 2003, 09:21 PM
I know it's a bit different gun than the last few models produced, but I stumbled into a used like new Dick Special from the 1980's at the retail store of one of our outdoor ranges here in Sacramento a few years ago and snatched it up right then. This family of little six shot .38's is great.

Colt needs to bring it back, in blue, and .357.

I'd keep it.

January 1, 2003, 10:49 PM
The new Detective Special is not at all like the orginial Detective Special. It is a totally different lock work. I have a Magnum Carry, just like a detective Special, but a 357. I carry it because of the size and fire power. The trigger is not as near as good as the orginial Detective Special, either is the the quality. The lock work on the orginial Det Special was pushing the 100 year mark and required many hours og hand fitting. The new style is similiar to S&W in assembly but not lockwork.
However, knowing that, and that Colt no longer makes the Det. Spec. and probably will not anytime soon, if at all again, I would hang on to it.
I got a trigger job from Colt on my Old style Det. Spec. It is smooth as glass.
Now, all this is purely subjective you know. The Det. Special is my favorite gun.

January 2, 2003, 01:23 AM
Keep it

January 2, 2003, 06:58 AM
Keep it.

4v50 Gary
January 2, 2003, 04:08 PM
Unlike the older Detective Specials, the newer Detective Specials II featured a Mark III Trooper action and works just like a S&W action. So, much easier for most folks to service themselves than the older guns. Suggest you keep it and find a smith. Unlike the Pythons, these are easy guns.

November 23, 2007, 01:44 PM
keep it

November 23, 2007, 02:46 PM
Well, let me first say thanks for all of the kind replies. Unfortunately, I did decide to pass it along to a local shop as trade-in material.

My thinking was that this revolver would be worth more in untouched (testfired only) condition in the years to come. From a value standpoint, to shoot it to any degree would detract from value. Further, to use it to any degree would not be possible due to the awful trigger, requiring that I invest in some rework by a good 'smith. Since I don't believe in keeping guns I can't shoot, I wanted to find it a better home.

As a replacement, I picked up a nice Smith 640, which will work nicely, and out of the box offers a much better trigger pull unfired than the DSII ever did. I'll do some minor cleaning and lubrication internally, but some breaking in should make a real difference in how the 640 functions.



November 23, 2007, 03:43 PM
Many will give it a good home. If a collector buys it, it won't see the light of day for many years. I would have kept it, but I'm a collector/accumulator. You did what you felt was right for your circumstances. Hope you enjoy the Smith.

Jim Watson
November 23, 2007, 04:35 PM
Strange, the SF VI, first of that family of Colts leading up the DS II and Magnum Carry, generally had very good DA trigger pulls. So much so that the company offered a trigger pull INCREASE kit for people or PDs used to heavier triggers. Lockwork is unlike either the original Detective Special or the Trooper Mk III.

November 25, 2007, 01:54 AM
I have the DS-II serial number 3838 :)
I only shoot Rugers now these past 8 years. The Rugers just last longer and are more stout. But, I would never sell or trade the DS-II. They were only out on the market for like 2 years before Colt came out with the Magnum Carry for about 1 year.
Sorry to hear yours does not have a good trigger. Mine is like butter compared to the rugers but, the Rugers are built to last.

Then again. If you really do not like it then sell it privately and so not lose the money through trade. Checkout for some current prices for this model. I'd say keep it. But if you really can't stand it? Heck, sell it to someone with an appreciation for Colts. You'll make their day and have money for your preference.

Rover 'n Rugers
November 25, 2007, 11:07 AM
As noted the lockwork on the DS II, SF VI and Mag Carry is a bit different. It does have a V mainspring but a seperate trigger return spring. I believe the hammer and trigger and other parts are MIM, too, based upon a conversation with Jim Stroh. As noted above when introduced some (I believe one oriented to the ladies) had a trigger pull reduction and if I recall double action was around 8.25 pounds. I recall seeing a writeup in Shooting Times. The kit offered to increase the pull may have been due to FTFs. I had a Mag Carry which I had tuned by a former employee, Bob ??, of Cylinder & Slide that opened a shop in Florida. It had a double action of about 9.5 pounds after tuning and worked quite well. I managed to get the double action down to about 8.5 pounds but any lighter and one got FTFs. It still had the traditional Colt stacking. Although part of this is due to the mainspring touching, part is due also to the geometry of contact surface on the rear of the trigger that contacts the double action sear aka hammer dog or hammer strut. On earlier guns with the forged parts there were a number of ways to address the issue which I am not sure could be done with the MIM parts.

November 25, 2007, 11:42 AM
If you traded it in on a M640 then I bet you got had big time. The DSII is rather scarce since it was only made 2 or 3 years. I can bet the dealer didn't give you a heads up even swap for the Smith either. Give it a few days and go back to that dealer and see what he's selling that DSII for.

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