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Colt Detective Spl birtdate and advise needed...

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by J.M., Oct 17, 2004.

  1. J.M.

    J.M. New Member

    Dec 26, 2003
    West Michigan
    Let me preface this by saying that I'm only interested in shooters, not collectables.

    I've got a 1st Edition Colt Detective Spl that I picked up a few years ago - SN# 83978X.

    I don't believe that the gun has any collector value as the gun was both carried and neglected by a pervious owner, and now wears only approx 60% of it's finish with some minor pitting.

    I DO LIKE the way the gun fits in my hand - the grip portion of the frame is PERFECT for a snubby (I could easily handle .357 recoil with it). I also like the fact that it is a 6 shot gun.

    I DON'T LIKE the fact that the gun isn't recommended for +P loads - I'd prefer a .357. I also don't like the way the gun looks in it's current condition.

    So do I:

    A) Refinish the gun to look more orginal, and enjoy it with standard pressure loads (would also include polishing the grooves from the trigger face).

    B) Trade / Sell the gun off towards a S&W that I can enjoy shooting with warmer loads.

    Please include your reasoning, and if anybody has the Born On date, I'd appreciate that too.

    Thanks - JM.
  2. dfariswheel

    dfariswheel Mentor

    Dec 26, 2002
    83978X was made in 1964.

    The numbers that year ran from 839500 to about 861499.

    Since this is actually a later make Colt DS, and is in abused condition, I say do what you want with it.

    These Colt's with pitted areas look good when given a flat black bead blasted finish, either standard blue or black parkerizing.
    The matt finish tends to conceal the pitting.

    Another excellent look for these is a hard chrome finish, which makes them a nice no-wear, no-rust defense gun.

    Other options are to convert it to a "hammerless" gun by cutting off the hammer spur.

    The standard .38 Special can be quite effective, especially when you have six of them in such an accurate, easy to shoot package like the DS.
  3. Standing Wolf

    Standing Wolf Member in memoriam

    Dec 24, 2002
    Idahohoho, the jolliest state
    If it's been rode hard and put up wet, I'd have it refinished. I definitely wouldn't sell it: it's probably a better shooter than anything in its class you could buy new today.

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