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Colt 38 Detective Special - Age Question

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by CTGunner, Dec 22, 2012.

  1. CTGunner

    CTGunner Well-Known Member

    I just acquired a Colt 38 Detective Special. I'm pretty excited about it. The trigger feels great, though I haven't fired it yet. A few questions?

    1. Can you guys help me pin point an approximate date of manufacture? The SN is 4287XX. The shop that sold it to me looked it up in their book and told me 1970. When I look online I'm coming up with 1934.

    2. If this was made in 1934 should I have any concerns with shooting it extensively and/or not shooting some types of ammo through it?

    3. Is the gun 'safe to carry'. I can't tell if there is a firing pin block etc....Should I have any concerns.

    4. What would an approximate value on this be?

    Thanks revolver guys!

    Attached Files:

  2. Guillermo

    Guillermo member

  3. bikemutt

    bikemutt Well-Known Member

    Until the S&W model 19 came along :D
  4. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    No, it has a hammer block safety.

    Look inside the frame with the hammer cocked and you can see it..

  5. CTGunner

    CTGunner Well-Known Member

    Thanks guys. The kid who looked it up in the book didn't seem like he had much experience.

    Any idea of a ball park price for something like this. I paid 400 out the door but feel like it was probably more than I should have because of the extreme demand for all guns in my state right now.

    I asked someone about refinishing it and he said not to do it and to keep it original.
  6. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    You didn't get hurt at $400.

    A little nicer one might bring $600+ now days.

    +1 on not refinishing it.

  7. CTGunner

    CTGunner Well-Known Member

    Thanks RC. Appreciate your quick responses. Now I'm off to find a holster :D
  8. bikemutt

    bikemutt Well-Known Member

    A DS found at a gun store around here for $400 would mean the shopkeep lost his mind. $500 minimum IMO. I know of a very, very nice nickel one at a LGS asking $1100 firm.
  9. CTGunner

    CTGunner Well-Known Member

    That's pretty funny. The shop I bought it from told me it was a police trade in from a local department, I don't know. Maybe there are just more Colts floating around in central CT because of the proximity to the Colt plant. Again, not sure.
  10. KC&97TA

    KC&97TA Well-Known Member

    I paid $440, mine has less blue.

    GunsAmerica seems to keep them selling in the $400-$800 range dependent on condition.

    I carry it almost daily, IWB... no issues, ever.

    Finest 6 shooter snub ever made, IMHO.

    Very Iconic pistol; Bonnie Parker had one taped to her leg when she was mowed down by the feds, Naked Gun Movie, ect, ect.
  11. CTGunner

    CTGunner Well-Known Member

    I would really like to carry it though it's a bit weird to think about holstering something that is 79 years old!

    I showed my father and he said 'old school'.

    I just read this:

    Bonnie’s Colt .38 Detective Special, retrieved by Hamer from her inner thigh where she kept it taped with white medical tape, sold for $264,000. They were both purchased by the same person, a Texas collector who wishes to remain anonymous.
  12. bikemutt

    bikemutt Well-Known Member

    Shhh, it was Guillermo, he tries to keep it quiet :)
  13. highpower

    highpower Well-Known Member

    I bought this 1977 DS a couple of months ago for $500 OTD. I feel that I got a fair deal. I would have paid what you did for yours in a heartbeat.

  14. CTGunner

    CTGunner Well-Known Member

    Do you guys have any idea where I can get an IWB holster for one of these. I'm looking online but not seeing much in the way of in stock. I would buy a custom holster for it but I'm not sure who makes them. Advise?
  15. bikemutt

    bikemutt Well-Known Member

  16. DPris

    DPris Well-Known Member

    I wouldn't fire it extensively, parts & service are all but gone.
  17. cochise

    cochise Active Member

  18. DPris

    DPris Well-Known Member

    Bianchi & Galco do great quality stuff.
  19. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Well-Known Member

    Try a PM to one of our members, robbt. He has an extensive supply of older-but new holsters for Colt Detective Special's of every description.
  20. Guillermo

    Guillermo member

    I am trying to hide it from Old Fuff and his bench grinder. He would Fitz it if it was not in an "undisclosed location" ala Dick Cheney.

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