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Old January 24, 2013, 10:00 PM   #1
TennJed
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First Colt...couple of questions...UPDATED PICS

I picked up my first colt today in a trade. It was sort of a whim trade, which is unusual for me. Honestly I am happy with the trade regardless of money. I traded a CZ Rami that was in great condition I just never shot it much. Never quite warmed up to it. I always wanted a colt revolver, but I am more familiar with their Single Action.

First thing I want to ask is how do I tell if the grips are real mother of pearl? When I saw the picture of the gun I assumed they were fake, but after meeting the guy (he wasn't sure) they don't look "plastic" to me. They have a rainbow like sheen when held just right.

Second question is, how good of a gun is this? It is a detective special in 38 sp. I am familiar with the name, but do not really know much about them. Gunbroker shows the values running from $400 to $1200 on detective specials, so i really don't know where to begin. It is in what I would consider good shape. one big scratch on the front of the trigger guard that runs onto the right side. Another small mark under the barrel. The rest of it seems to be good. The nickel is in good shape everywhere else. Most importantly the lockup is tight and the bore is good.

So what do I have and how did I do? Here are some crappy cellphone pics. I paid $540 for the CZ new a couple of years ago. I am not really sure what they bring used. ETA the serial # is 41xxxx
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Old January 26, 2013, 12:42 AM   #2
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Ok maybe this pics will turn out better. Any help in determining if the finish is original would be apprciated. The frist two are the best representation of the color hue. It has a bronze like sheen to it. The 3rd pic shows the big bad spot in the finish











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Old January 26, 2013, 12:43 AM   #3
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Old January 27, 2013, 07:15 PM   #4
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Hard to go wrong with a Detective. One of, if not THE, best snub nosed revolvers EVER made. Hard to tell if your stocks are real MOP or not from the pix. Real MOP will feel gritty if you rub it across your teeth. Most plastic knockoffs will feel smooth. If they ARE real MOPs you should be aware that MOP stocks tend to be a bit fragile and are easily broken. For shooting purposes I'd pick up a cheap pair of rubber stocks and put the mops away for safe keeping, then I'd shoot the heck out of that FINE revolver.
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Old August 1, 2013, 11:35 PM   #5
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First Colt...couple of questions

I apologize if bumping a 7 month old thread of mine is inappropriate, but a question came up about this gun and I am looking for some help.

Since these are original real MOP grips, it Looks like I will be taking the pearl grips off before I shoot it. Are all Detective grips interchangeable? What is the best way to make sure I get grips that fit to replace these?
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Old August 2, 2013, 09:25 AM   #6
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Quote:
Since these are original real MOP grips, it Looks like I will be taking the pearl grips off before I shoot it. Are all Detective grips interchangeable? What is the best way to make sure I get grips that fit to replace these?
No, not all Detective Specials use the same grip. Earlier ones had longer grip frames with simple panels while later ones had shorter grip frames with panels that wrapped around the bottom of the grip. From your pictures, it appears that you have an earlier "first issue" Detective Special and thus would need grips for the older, longer grip frame. Eagle Grips lists their Secret Service grips for Pre-1966 D-Frames with the "long round butt" grip frame.

http://www.eaglegrips.com/guns/Secre...ame-Grips.html

Also, if you want to double check your serial number for year of manufacture, you can do so here:

http://www.proofhouse.com
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Old August 2, 2013, 08:38 PM   #7
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Seeing as how these few sweet hours are all we have of this world, live high. Leave the pearlies on and shoot with style.
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Old August 3, 2013, 08:00 AM   #8
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That's a great deal! The grips alone are worth almost as much as you paid for the pistol.
But remember it's a Colt,so if you shoot it, it's going to break, and Colt can't fix their double action revolvers anymore! lol
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Old August 5, 2013, 12:40 PM   #9
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I am not sure about the grips but the nickel plating does not appear to be original. Some of the photos show a dimpling that would not be there in a factory nickel finish. That is usually a sign of nickel plating over areas where rust has been removed chemically; the right side appears smooth, possibly because the gun had been rusted on only one side. Note that a refinish likely will not affect the safety or function of the gun in any way; it will affect the value on resale.

Jim
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Old August 5, 2013, 01:29 PM   #10
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You are probably correct on the refinish but what I thought when I saw it was, "that one was carried a lot in a pocket with keys, change, etc. and no holster".
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Old August 5, 2013, 01:29 PM   #11
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First Colt...couple of questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by James K View Post
I am not sure about the grips but the nickel plating does not appear to be original. Some of the photos show a dimpling that would not be there in a factory nickel finish. That is usually a sign of nickel plating over areas where rust has been removed chemically; the right side appears smooth, possibly because the gun had been rusted on only one side. Note that a refinish likely will not affect the safety or function of the gun in any way; it will affect the value on resale.

Jim
Which photos show the dimpling? Do you mind describing where on the gun so I can take a closer look in person?
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Old August 5, 2013, 08:45 PM   #12
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All the pictures show some of it; the only area where it is not visible is the smooth right side of the frame in picture #3. Even in that picture, the cylinder shows the markings, and they even extend to the sides of the hammer and trigger. I can't say that it is plating over a rusted area as opposed to something else (like the keys mentioned) without looking at the gun itself, but it does show quite clearly in the pictures and indicates that the gun is not as it came from the factory.

Jim
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Old August 5, 2013, 09:18 PM   #13
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Thanks Jim. I am going to try and maybe post some better pics. My wife has a decent camera. To my untrained eye, in person, it seems that they are more of scratches than dimples. I did have someone comment that the Horse emblem did not seem to be refinished and the screws/pins don't either, but I honestly don't know and respect opinions like yours

As far as the Grips go, I have had them looked at by a number of people and after doing some of my own homework, I have no doubt they are real MOP
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Old August 5, 2013, 09:54 PM   #14
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Better pics











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Old August 5, 2013, 10:00 PM   #15
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Old August 6, 2013, 08:13 PM   #16
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Look at #14, third picture. See how the crane is rounded at the front and how the bottom of the frame window toward the front is rounded and does not continue the line of the sideplate? Both are signs of buffing and would NOT be present on a factory nickel gun.

If you were to get a Colt letter, I would make a small wager that that gun left the factory with a blue finish. Somewhere along the way it was rusted, then polished down, with maybe a chemical used, and nickel plated.

The gun may be pretty, but if you consider you paid over $500 for it (in trade), IMHO it is worth considerably less.

Jim
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Old August 6, 2013, 09:20 PM   #17
TennJed
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First Colt...couple of questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by James K View Post
Look at #14, third picture. See how the crane is rounded at the front and how the bottom of the frame window toward the front is rounded and does not continue the line of the sideplate? Both are signs of buffing and would NOT be present on a factory nickel gun.

If you were to get a Colt letter, I would make a small wager that that gun left the factory with a blue finish. Somewhere along the way it was rusted, then polished down, with maybe a chemical used, and nickel plated.

The gun may be pretty, but if you consider you paid over $500 for it (in trade), IMHO it is worth considerably less.

Jim
What would you value the grips at? I have been told factory Colt Mother of Pearl grips can be worth a few hundred on their own
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Old August 9, 2013, 01:59 PM   #18
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Great pics.
I wish I owned that Colt.
I see them at shows and pawn shops. The price is always sky high.
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Old August 9, 2013, 02:26 PM   #19
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I wish I owned that Colt.
Fortunately for the longevity of the gun, you do not.
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Old August 9, 2013, 03:42 PM   #20
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Spacecoast,
I have bought 20 Colts this year, 8 semi auto and 12 revolvers. They are all doing well, slathered in Balistol.
You are thinking of the half dozen Police Pos 38 sp revolvers I got for $80 ea as police surplus from AIM over 10 years ago for destructive test.
I was forced to take engineering ethics in 1976 from an old ME prof that said if the rocket blows up on the launch pad we don't learn much. When I do a test I have some idea of what it will cost and what can be learned.
I have shared some of that information on the internet, for free.
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Old August 9, 2013, 07:00 PM   #21
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I don't feel qualified to evaluate MOP grips; I think some others may do so, though.

Jim
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