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Colt D Frame snubs

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by Maia007, Feb 12, 2011.

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  1. Maia007

    Maia007 Member

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    Guillermo's post and that discussion about older Colts got me to thinking.

    I know that there were various "series" of these D frames within each model.

    Can someone direct me to a site(s), or, better yet, a published reference book that discusses these variations in detail and which establishes a definitive and accepted standard for what "series" is what.

    I am thinking of something similar to what Jim Supica has done for the S&W's or what Bob Rayburn has done for the Colt Woodsman or what the late Bill Gorforth has done for the Iver Johnson.
     
  2. bayouboy

    bayouboy Member

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    I collect Colt snubbies.

    Unfortunately, the is no "definitive and accepted" standard as to what is meant by the different "issues" or "generations". These terms have come to mean so many different things to so many different people that they are basically useless. Additionally, Colt did not use the designation "D frame" until later in production.

    If someone were to tell me "I have a second generation" or "I have a first generation" I would inevitably have to ask them to describe the gun because I don' know this person's definition of the terms. For this reason, Colt collectors tend to avoid the "issue" and "generation" thing and instead refer to the guns by their age and characteristics.

    With that in mind, the snubbie Colts will fall under these basic model descriptions with a large number of variations within each model:
    -pre war square butt
    -pre war round butt
    -post war long butt
    -post war short butt

    One also has to remember that Colt did not make abrupt changes from one model to another. It is not uncommon to see "transition" guns which have characteristics from different models.

    With that said, heres a pic where I tried to include one of every issue... I mean generation... I mean....

    [​IMG]
     
  3. Guillermo

    Guillermo member

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    BayouBoy is certainly right that the changes between the 1st and second series of Detective Specials were ANYTHING but abrupt. And many variations occurred.

    Basically the Colt Police Positive Special had a barrel cut down and thus, eventually, became known as the Detective Special.

    It is generally accepted that their were 3 series.

    The 1st and 2nd had the "pencil barrel".

    One difference is that ejector rod was a cool little knurled thing in gen-1 and it became a checkered knob with a groove in the second.

    The early ones had the grooved cylinder release and the next ones were smooth.

    The biggest difference were that the grip of the 1st series were square or round, depending if they used old Police Positive Special frames or newer production...by the second generation they were all round.

    Of course the 3rd generation had the full underlug enclosing the ejection rod.

    Please note that as BayouBoy says, there were MANY variations...although by the time the 3rd generation came around it had pretty much settled down. In my opinion it was not as interesting at the end.
     
  4. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Member

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    I believe the "issue" or "series" language was started by Fjestad in the Blue Book of Gun Values except for the Woodsman's. I would suggest you pick up a copy. The 32nd or 2011 Edition will be published in April.

    I don't know where the "generation" terminology started, but it has certainly been incorportated into the gun world.

    Yes to transitional models mentioned above. Seems to be somthing that only Colt collectors pay much attention to as they are looking for odd factory variations for their collections.

    The standard Colt reference book is "The Book of Colt Firearms" by Sutherland and Wilson. Later editions after Sutherland's death listed only R.L. Wilson's name as the author.
     
  5. Guillermo

    Guillermo member

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    BayouBoy,

    That is an impressive pile of D-Frames.

    How do you keep them from rusting down there in the swamp?

    Next time you are in Lafayette pop into Charlie G's and have a cup of smoked duck andouille gumbo and let me know if it is still tasty.
     
  6. Guillermo

    Guillermo member

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    Damn...I forgot the main identifying difference between 1st and 2nd generation. The front sight. :banghead:

    It was a 1/2 moon Gen-1
    it was tapered on the back Gen-2
     
  7. Guillermo

    Guillermo member

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    generally speaking, these are examples of the 3 generations of Detective Specials

    generation one

    [​IMG]

    generation two

    [​IMG]

    generation three

    [​IMG]
     
  8. savit260

    savit260 Member

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    Keeping in mind that there is a "short butt" version (appears around 1966) of what you're calling generation two.
     
  9. LKB3rd

    LKB3rd Member

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  10. 38snapcaps

    38snapcaps Member

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    I have a question for you DS experts: how does the recoil compare to a J frame, aluminum or steel? I find the 642 to be a bit of a hand pounder, would a change to a Detective Special be less of a smack?
     
  11. gvf

    gvf Member

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    Slightly bigger gun, very well balanced and highly accurate. Try one and see. Depends too on what ammo you're using I expect.
     
  12. Oyeboten

    Oyeboten Member

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    The Detective Special, being a Short Barrel Police Positive in form, is about the same size as an S & W 'J-frame', only, it holds six Rounds instead of five.


    I would not expect any less Hand-Pounding from a DS than I would from a .38 Special J-Frame S & W., when both are still fitted with their original Stocks.
     
  13. savit260

    savit260 Member

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    Detective Special is heavier than a 642 as it's steel vs. aluminum. The Cobra or Agent is more comparable.

    I find the reach to the trigger on the Colt's to be a bit longer, and therefore more comfy. With either a 642 or Cobra, well shaped grips that fit your hand well can make all the difference in the world.

    Personally, I find I shoot the Colts a little better myself, just because the ergonomics are better for me. Not quite as good ergonomics as a K frame S&W or Python, but about as good as it gets for a compact pocket revolver IMO.
     
  14. LKB3rd

    LKB3rd Member

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    My detective special has a healthy kick. It isn't bad, but it also isn't something I shoot for fun :p It's accurate also, as long as I don't flinch :/
    I actually like it better with 158 grain bullets, which is counter intuitive to me, so I didn't figure it out at first.
     
  15. 38snapcaps

    38snapcaps Member

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    LKB, I too was amazed at the difference in going from 130gr. to 158gr. lswc. I thought, like you, that a lighter bullet would kick less. I found a bigger bullet at less velocity is much more comfortable. I tried +P once, gave half the box away, never again!! Shooting 158's in my M10 snub is truly enjoyable, like a 9mm, and even my Airweight is almost fun. I use 158's in the M10 for home protection. The reduced recoil makes the gun much easier to handle. My Airweight has Hydra-Shoks in it now. The next range trip I'm going to shoot them up and replace them with 158's or 148 wad cutters.
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2011
  16. gvf

    gvf Member

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    Wonder of they have any 158 gr Hollow-Points..?

    It is a very comfortable load. Maybe just use HP for ccw ? - don't know how the speed would be for SD and danger of shot passing through a body.

    Anyone know about either question?
     
  17. Guillermo

    Guillermo member

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    The DS has noticeably less recoil than a steel J frame.

    A steel J frame has less than a Cobra (the alloy frame Colt)

    The alloy J frame is a handful.

    Of course recoil is a personal thing.

    I can get back on target noticeably quicker with a D Frame Colt over a J frame.
    While I can "feel" a difference between a Cobra and a J frame (steel frame) my shooting is equal according to the timer.

    YMMV
     
  18. doc540

    doc540 Member

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    Thanks to original photographer

    [​IMG]
     
  19. PRM

    PRM Member

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    I've got both and as far as recoil, I would make a couple of points.

    1. How recoil is felt will vary from person to person.
    2. The type or style of grips will also affect it.

    I like the low profile factory grips because for me they conceal easier. With my Model 60, if I am not careful the cylinder release will cut my thumb in recoil. Got some sharp edges. The Colt gives me a little more to hold on to. All mine are steel, the lighter guns are favored by some for carry, but their recoil is a little harder.

    Either are good choices.
     
  20. Guillermo

    Guillermo member

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    the comparison that Doc made is perfect but note that the factory grips extended below the bottom, extending the height by about a 1/2 inch.
     
  21. tekarra

    tekarra Member

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    I clean and lube an Agent for an old chap about every second month. It is a pleasure just to handle this revolver, and he is a nice old gentleman.
     
  22. Thaddeus Jones

    Thaddeus Jones Member

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    The Colt Cobra is the reason I've never needed a J-frame.

    I can get a faster follow up, and I have an extra round on tap. A great revolver the Colt Cobra. Mine is an early long grip frame version. Last revolver I would part with. TJ
     
  23. Guillermo

    Guillermo member

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    I too have a Cobra.

    Perhaps the perfect carry gun. Mine is from the 50's, great trigger but has been around the block more than a couple of times. The blue is totally gone in many places.

    I do not have to worry about "messing it up" and as I only gave 225 for it, out the door. While I would hate to lose it, it would not be like losing one of the Diamondback Snubs. :what:

    The recoil makes me slightly less accurate than with the DB when shooting fast.

    I have owned J-Frames and perhaps will again. But like Thaddeus, Colt is taking care of my carry needs quite nicely.
     
  24. SwampWolf

    SwampWolf Member

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    The Cobra is my favorite hot weather carry gun. I'll never understand how it is that a Cobra that is bigger than a Smith Airweight and holds one more round, weighs a half an ounce less. Sanforized? :)
     
  25. TrakHack

    TrakHack Member

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    I have three Cobras. So far I haven't been able to justify a fourth, but I suspect it will only be a matter of time.
     
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