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Old January 22, 2013, 10:51 PM   #26
pete2
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Should I get a Dick Special ?

Of course, silly question.
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Old January 22, 2013, 10:53 PM   #27
EliteGeek91
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Gotta decide what is your "wants", and "needs".

Obviously they're just "wants" in a woman's point of view.
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Old January 23, 2013, 12:06 AM   #28
Ralph G. Briscoe
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A Detective Special is a Rolex...everything else is a Timex--functional but no work of art. Get one...it's a practical investment. The rap about them being "delicate" originated with gunsmiths who don't know how to work on them...which is most gunsmiths these days. If you have a problem, and that's huge "if" unless you buy one that has been abused, you will have to send it to an expert but IMO that is worth the inconvenience. With hundred of thousands of D frame Colts in circulation, the notion that parts will be impossible to find any time soon is far-fetched. So is the notion that a good DS will require replacement parts in your lifetime.
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Old January 23, 2013, 08:16 AM   #29
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I have a question about the Colt DS.

I have the ability to get a Colt decetive special .38 that was made in 1977, third generation. (Don't know what the 3rd generation means). The seller claims
It has only 100 rounds through it and is in excellent condition.

If I where to get such a revolver, how reliable would it be considering its 35+ years old? I'd keep it as a "truck gun" and fire it MAYBE 100 times grand total ever. It'd sit in my car as my self defense gun. Therefore it'd never be fired, lubed or maintained because it simply would just sit in my car as a defense weapon. It'd only be fired in the rare case I needed it for self defense.

Does the colt DS seem like a good choice for a "truck gun" like I described above? Or should I pass?
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Old January 23, 2013, 08:32 AM   #30
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I've had two,traded both,wish I had them back.
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Old January 23, 2013, 09:27 AM   #31
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Josh, THAT sounds like a job for a stainless steel Ruger...
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Old January 23, 2013, 01:22 PM   #32
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Or a Hi-Point...
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Old January 23, 2013, 01:36 PM   #33
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Ralph,
You've not been paying attention.
The parts situation is very real.
Colt has few left & apparently no interest in ordering more. Once their stocks are used up, as is already the case with hands for the Python, there will be no more parts replacements at the factory.

As it is, Colt will not sell what new parts they do have for those guns to outsiders.
One of the reasons two of my Colts sat with Cunningham for two years was that it took him quite a while to find acceptable parts to replace the hands in both that were causing timing issues.

As it sits now, the only source for genuine Colt parts is the occasional NOS stuff that may show up now & then on Gunbroker & Ebay as people liquidate old retired or dead gunsmith stocks.
Those are slowing down & prices are going up.

Jack First is producing replacement parts for Colt actions, but they are not identical.

Even if you can find an acceptable "new" part (and used parts are already fitted to existing guns & NOT mere drop-ins), finding somebody competent enough to do the work is problematic.

This is not a rumor, this is not a scare tactic, this is not dumping on Colt, this is not knocking the gun, this is simply a matter of informing the potential buyer of what comes with a Colt Detective Special purchase nowdays.

The gun is nice, but it's obsolete, service options on worn actions are dwindling rapidly, and regular use will simply wear them out faster than other designs.
Denis

Last edited by DPris; January 23, 2013 at 03:36 PM.
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Old January 23, 2013, 04:07 PM   #34
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Denis, I understand that, though I'd call it "obsolescent," rather than "obsolete," but that's quibbling.

I understand also that if I have a catastrophic breakage of some sort years from now I'll have difficulty finding parts and labor. I also understand some parts on the Colt are wear items and normal usage will wear them over time.

But, excluding unexpected breakage, I don't expect to shoot it much more than you did when you carried it, so I expect decades of useful life. I'll extend that as much as possible by shooting standard pressure SD ammunition, stockpiling it when necessary. In the meantime I'll have an effective six-shot revolver that fits me better than the other options I've tried.

I have enough semi-auto pistols; this DS is something I will be able to load with hands that are old and weak, assuming I get there, and that's something my autos may not offer me. It also offers me a package that's more concealable than a six-shot Ruger or Smith in a package that fits my hand more effectively. So, in that regard, the DS is a better buy and any repair issues are much more theoretical than its real, immediate advantages.

I understand the disadvantages, but they just aren't as important as the advantages.
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Old January 23, 2013, 04:42 PM   #35
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Jaywalker, I don't think anyone could say it better than what you just did. Your sentiments mirror mine exactly and for all the same reasons. I have a 1968 Colt Cobra in like-new condition that I carry concealed on occasion. I shoot only "regular" .38 Special ammunition through it and then only occasionally. If it should require gun-smithing attention some day in the future, well, I'll cross that bridge when I get to it. Until then, I'm not losing any sleep over this unlikely prospect.
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Old January 23, 2013, 06:30 PM   #36
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Jay,
Wasn't directing my commentary at you.
It's directed at others who may be looking at this thread & thinking of putting several hundred rounds a year & running a bunch of hotter +P stuff through a DS regularly without understanding what the situation with the gun is.
You're over & done, I'm beyond you.

For those who make an informed choice, get the gun & enjoy.
For those looking for a gun they can fire thousands of +P rounds through indefinitely & figure it can be easily repaired, there are better choices.

My concern with Ralph's statement is that those unfamiliar with the action limitations, decreasing service options, and parts situation may see & believe what he said. I've talked to Colt, Cunningham, my local Colt certified guy, and Cylinder & Slide. I've run into parts problems myself. I own Dick Specials, I've had a Python with a timing issue, I've owned three Official Polices, I own a Trooper .357 (all with the same basic action), and I have a foundation for what I say.

Lotta people continued to drive Ford Pintos after learning about the potential for an exploding gas tank, but somebody felt the need back then to inform potential buyers about the reality of the car & buyers and owners were able to make informed decisions, and some people today feel the need to inform potential DS buyers what they're facing if they choose to buy.

It's education, not discouragement. I dislike seeing the unknowing spend money based on bad info & find themselves stuck with a gun problem that could have been avoided with accurate info up front.

I wouldn't have three Dick Specials myself if I didn't think they were neat guns.
I wouldn't have spent the extra for a DS over a Smith snub for professional use when I was a starving young cop with two kids if I diden't appreciate what the DS has to offer.

I just know its limitations & don't like to see people mis-represent them as being something they're not.
Denis
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Old January 23, 2013, 07:20 PM   #37
Jaywalker
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Thanks, dgludwig - I meant it.

Denis,

Thanks. I know your comments weren't aimed at me, and I know all of your comments were supremely accurate - all in all, you're pretty credible. I also think it's a good idea to let people know there are long-term logistics and maintenance issues.

I suppose my point is one for posterity - those who read this later. There are reasons to buy one for use in spite of the clear disadvantages.

I don't disagree with your disadvantages. If you hadn't been so good at making your point I wouldn't have bothered to rebut it.

Last edited by Jaywalker; January 23, 2013 at 07:49 PM.
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Old January 24, 2013, 11:43 AM   #38
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I dunno, maybe it's me- but I've been shooting my revolvers like there was no tomorrow for longer than I care to discuss, and I have never needed to buy a single part- if you discount one I managed to lose. I have never worn a hand in my Colts, and a couple of them certainly have several thousand rounds under the belt.

I have had to deal with worn pawls in Colt (and other) revolvers from other people. Mostly extremely worn and old police issue guns. They all could be stretched to specs. No biggie.
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Old January 26, 2013, 02:01 AM   #39
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I was in the same boat as you. I have never owned a Colt and wanted one. I have plenty of "robust" revolvers. Ruger, Redhawk, Blackhawks, Secuirty Six, Vaqueros, Single Six, SP101, S&W 617. I WANTED a Colt for the history and coolness factor.

Yesterday, I traded one of my many double stack 9mms and gor me a a 1930s Colt Detective Special. It has real Mother of Pearl factory grips. I am more than happy with it

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Old January 26, 2013, 02:37 PM   #40
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Absolutely beautiful. If you're planning on shooting it much, you might consider some other stocks. Those MOPs are beautiful but a bit fragile
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Old January 27, 2013, 03:56 PM   #41
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I have one of the Agents (alloy frame DS), one of the later guns with a shrouded ejector rod. IT is rated as being able to handle +p, but not recommended as a steady diet.

The DA pull is not particulary light, nor particularly smooth, but I can easily live with it, considering what the gun is for. The rear sight opening is wide (looks to me big enough to drive a truck through), but that can be an advantage sometimes. I have fired a few cylinders full (standard velocity ammo), its accurate enough in my hands, even without extensive practice.

Quote:
Ten years from now, you won't be able to get that work done
This is a problem with all the Colt revolvers. In ten years, I do believe you will still be able to get any needed work done, BUT, it won't be easy. OR cheap. Or quick. But I'm sure somebody in the country will still be able to do the work and do it first class. Might be only ONE somebody, though....

Get and keep that DS. Shoot it once in a while, all will be fine. Let it sit for a decade, and as long as it isn't rusted solid, it will work when you need it to (recommend if you ARE going to do that, that you remove any lube before storage, as dried out lube is the one thing that will gum it up)

Never was much of a fan of snub noses, but I do like my Agent, and have full confidence in it. I won't be shooting it enough to wear it out, I have lots of other guns to do that with. But when I need something to drop in my pocket (or inside holster) that little Agent is a really nice thing to have.
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Old January 28, 2013, 04:15 PM   #42
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Old January 28, 2013, 04:39 PM   #43
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I'd like to thank Mr Cunningham for putting the myth of "Colts are FRAGILE" to rest. But, as the narrative says, there are STILL supposedly knowledgable people out there championing the supposed superiority of S&W, Ruger, Taurus, take your pick!
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Old January 28, 2013, 09:47 PM   #44
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Now, if only Mr.Cunningham (or anyone else) could just tell me where I can drop my Ferrari-like, Colt revolver off for "routine" maintenance performed in a timely manner and who I can trust to replace the hand (pawl) for a fair price which, at least, according to Mr. Cunningham, apparently needs to be done on a regular basis.
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Old January 28, 2013, 11:06 PM   #45
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Dpris makes a good point

I own many S&W and a few Colt revolvers. The Colts are a Detective Special, .38 Spl Trooper (mfd. 1960), Colt Lawman Mk III snubbie and a Colt Officers Model Target - Pre WWII. I really like the Colt revolvers. Even the Mk III. But Dpris makes a good point. Parts are scare even rare now and it isn't advisable to inflict the same amount of usage that you would to your S&W 686 or Ruger SP-101. Those models are still being made and parts are plentiful.

It's the same principal that applies to folks who own and drive vintage automobiles. They take very good care of the cars and drive them once in awhile, but are aware of the fact that parts are hard to find and can be expensive to replace. Consequently the 1937 Buick gets pulled out of the garage for carshows in the summertime and the 2004 Buick Century gets driven everyday 365 days out of the year.

When I do take my Colts to the range I fire maybe 24 or 30 mild 38 Spl 158 grain LRN loads through it. Yes the Colts are strong, but why should I do that? I collect them. My real world "utility" pistols are a couple 9mm Glocks and a S&W Model 49. Now those I guns I shoot and shoot alot.

The Colts are my collector pieces and I treat them accordingly.

I believe that is all Dpris is saying.
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