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Old October 14, 2012, 02:18 AM   #1
DadsColt38
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1983 Colt Detective

Hi, I bought this gun new for my father in 1983 for home protection. He kept it in a sock by his bed. I got the gun back after he passed away. It has never been fired. We had it cleaned as it hadn't been touched in all those years. My sister took it there and said the were quite taken with the gun because of it's condition.

They didn't mention a value but in checking the internet it seems to be in the 650 vicinity for a 'used' one. My question to you is does this gun have any appreciable additional value due to it's condition. Unfortunately, the box is long gone.


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Old October 14, 2012, 02:31 AM   #2
silvermane_1
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looks nice from the pics, i say keep it as a heirloom, it's real value is that it was your dads.
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Old October 14, 2012, 07:12 AM   #3
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$650, sounds like a reasonable estimate, if it's in new condition. Keeping it in a sock over the years can attract moisture, the arch enemy of all guns (along with politicians of a certain party). If the gun is freckled with minute spots of rust (can't see from your photo), then its resale value would be much less, maybe half of that in new condition.

That said, I agree with Silvermane; it was your dad's gun, and while never used, it will serve you in the same role even if you are not a gun enthusiast. Keep it, and pass it along to your kids. Keep it oiled, once each six months should do it, and don't get finger prints on it, they'll rust that lovely old Colt finish.

Best Regards, Rod
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Old October 14, 2012, 07:17 AM   #4
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Colt DS are somewhat sought after by collectors. They also make for a very good carry guns. I carry the exact same Colt as my CCW. Its worth between $550-$650 depending on its condition. I would comfortably pay $650 for it if it was unfired and in its original box.
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Old October 14, 2012, 11:45 AM   #5
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I agree with the others on value. Perhaps as much as a hundred more for unfired. Unfortunately without the box or docs, thats about it. The prices for Colt DA revolvers have been going up a LOT lately though. A trend I don't think is going to stop.
The detective is one of, if not THE finest snub ever made and yours is a family heirloom. As such I'd consider it priceless.
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Old October 14, 2012, 05:09 PM   #6
DadsColt38
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Thank you all for your responses. I have no intention of selling it, it will stay in the family. It's far too beautiful to put back in a sock though.
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Old October 14, 2012, 08:10 PM   #7
Dfariswheel
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The only down check I'd give it is that while the grips are Colt factory, they aren't the correct grips for the gun.

Those grips were used on the aluminum frames Colt Agent. Since all the Colt "D" frame guns grips interchanged, it's not unusual to see grips from one model on another.

The "correct" grips would be the Colt "combat" type grips Colt used on these heavy, shrouded barrel guns:

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Old October 14, 2012, 08:44 PM   #8
DadsColt38
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Those are nice! I know the small grips are the ones that came on it but I've always thought they looked a little 'delicate' for that gun. How hard would it be to get NOS combat grips for that gun?
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Old October 14, 2012, 10:13 PM   #9
DFrame
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The stocks (Colt calls them stocks) in dfariswheels picture are not uncommon and (so far) not too expensive. You should be able to easily find them at a gun show or on a gun auction site.
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Old October 14, 2012, 11:16 PM   #10
DadsColt38
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Just a little bit more direction and I'll leave you guys alone. How important is originality in the gun world? I found a very nice set of Rosewood reproduction combat stocks for 100 bucks, is that the sort of thing that drives purists to drink?

My main interests are vintage watches and originality is everything, bracelet, dial, movement, papers, boxes all are important and doing something like adding aftermarket stocks to this gun would result in me being defrocked and drummed out of the brotherhood.

Hopefully you gun guys aren't as insane as watch guys. I really want those Rosewood stocks.
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Old October 15, 2012, 01:41 AM   #11
Jeff #111
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Get them and put them one. Just hold onto the original stocks. That's the main thing. Many years ago I would throw the original stocks away I don't do that anymore. But I usually take them off and put on aftermarket grips of some sort.
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Old October 15, 2012, 10:29 AM   #12
DFrame
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Originality is much the same in the "collector" world of guns.
For the people who shoot and use them, not so much. I've known people to agonise over whether to shoot their new purchases. Personally I'm not going to buy a gun I can't use, but I also understand the appeal of collectors.
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Old October 15, 2012, 11:42 AM   #13
DadsColt38
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Well, thanks again. There isn't really that much difference in collectors I guess, we have guys with fantastic collections who never wear them (safe queens) and people who won't own a watch they can't wear.

We also do exactly what Jeff suggests; rather than trusting a valuable watch to it's 60 year old bracelet we put a new one on it and keep the original in a drawer somewhere.

I'm going to get out of here now, I can't afford another obsession and these guns are so pretty...so pretty.
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Old October 15, 2012, 05:47 PM   #14
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You might also want to go to the Colt website and get the info for how to get a factory letter. 1983 isn't that old, but it might be interesting to see where it went from the factory, if your dad didn't buy it from the original dealer.
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Old October 15, 2012, 06:40 PM   #15
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LOVE this gun: probably my favorite snubby of all time. I hope to pick one up one day.
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Old October 15, 2012, 11:34 PM   #16
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That is certainly an heirloom.
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Old October 16, 2012, 12:32 AM   #17
DadsColt38
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Are theses the correct stocks for my gun? The extra length looks great, my little finger curls under the butt on the factory stocks.

"COLT DETECTIVE, D FRAME SHORT SQUARE BUTT"




Last edited by DadsColt38; October 16, 2012 at 01:16 AM.
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Old October 16, 2012, 10:45 AM   #18
DadsColt38
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Well, I ordered them, I'll post pics when they arrive.
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Old October 16, 2012, 11:36 AM   #19
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Those grips are really nice. I'm not an expert, but I'm pretty sure those will work.
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Old October 16, 2012, 11:46 PM   #20
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Are you sure those grips are wrong, dfariswheel? I hesitate to challenge you, as you are the recognized Colt expert on the board, but I have a similar vintage DS that has the same ones, I've had them off, and they have the same serial number as the gun, if I recall correctly.
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Old October 17, 2012, 12:27 AM   #21
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memories of a different time. I like the revolver
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Old October 26, 2012, 09:44 PM   #22
DadsColt38
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New stocks

These are carved in Thailand from native rosewood. The finish is beautiful but I did have to take a knife to the interior cuts to trim off excess to get a perfect fit to the butt. The feel is night and day from the original stocks. It now has has perfect control and a place for that pinky that was waving around under the gun.

There are a bunch of different styles available on eBay for around 43 bucks.






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Old October 26, 2012, 11:09 PM   #23
Aguila Blanca
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DadsColt38
Are theses the correct stocks for my gun?
See post #7.

Those in your photo are not Colt stocks, those are aftermarket.
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Old October 26, 2012, 11:17 PM   #24
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I wouldn't dought for a second that those are the orginal stocks Colt put on from the factory in 1983. 1975, No. 1978, No. '83...better than a good chance. But then I thought that the word, 'patato', had an 'e' at the end so what do I know?
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Old October 26, 2012, 11:53 PM   #25
DadsColt38
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Quote:
See post #7.

Those in your photo are not Colt stocks, those are aftermarket.
Just to clarify, the stocks in post one are original to the gun. My question as to "correct stocks" referred only to fit to the short D frame of the pictured AM rosewood stocks.
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