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Old January 3, 2013, 12:26 PM   #1
Jaywalker
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New (to Me) Colt Detective Special

I haven't been looking for a Colt Detective Special long, but finally realized I had been missing something by not having them back when they were new. Well, no time like the present...

I went down to my local gun store in hopes of finding a Colt D-frame to try out my list of timing checks (courtesy of DFarisWheel). I found a couple of Police Positives, an alloy-framed Cobra, and this, which I bought. It looks like it's been shot a little, but not much, and seemed to pass my amateurish timing checks. I can't find any indications that it's been carried - I'd have been okay with it as New - Old Stock. (Any imperfections you note are a comment on my photography, not the Colt.)





Now I have to find a source of standard pressure 38 Special ammunition, a harder task than I thought it would be when I wrote the check yesterday...

Last edited by Jaywalker; January 3, 2013 at 12:38 PM.
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Old January 3, 2013, 12:33 PM   #2
LockedBreech
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Your shrouded ejector indicates a 1972 or later gun. It's rated for about 3,000 rounds of +p, unlike my 1968 unshrouded which is not. I'd still stick with standard pressure, but your gun should be okay with +p as a carry load.

As for me, I practice with 130-grain Winchester White Box standard pressure, and I carry standard pressure 158-grain Buffalo Bore LSWCHPs, as well as only dry firing with A-Zoom snap caps.

Welcome to the club, it's a pretty great one I'm very new to myself.


Last edited by LockedBreech; January 3, 2013 at 03:05 PM.
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Old January 3, 2013, 12:35 PM   #3
Isk
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That's one nice looking gun! I love those third generation Detective Specials with the ejector rod shroud. Try the Buffalo Bore standard pressure 158 gr. .38 Special LSWCHP. Runs nice out of my Ruger LCR at about 850 fps.
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Old January 3, 2013, 12:40 PM   #4
Jaywalker
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Thanks. I changed the first pic to one less blurry.

It really is a nice piece. The Colt site estimated 1976, and told me to go to Customer Service for more details, but that's close enough, I think.
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Old January 4, 2013, 12:23 AM   #5
bamaranger
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sleek

Yeah, I always liked the shrouded models too. I have not done a lot of serious searching, but a Det. Spec. seems a scarce revolver in my area.
congrats.
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Old January 4, 2013, 12:25 AM   #6
Budda
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Best looking snubbie ever made......period.
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Old January 4, 2013, 06:26 AM   #7
Baba Louie
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Gee whilakers Jay,
Does that little DS even have a turn line showing? Almost too pretty to take out and play. Almost.

Nice score. Have those hit the $750 plateau yet? When I got mine they were $300ish and I hesitated for about a second. Mine sports the Pachmayr compacs. Always loved/hated the look of those wood grips yours sports. (Love shape, hated shiny finish for some reason)

Very nice little Pony. Very.
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Old January 4, 2013, 06:45 AM   #8
Jaywalker
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They haven't hit $750 yet, but they'll get there. There isn't much of a line, but you can imagine there's something there. I expect I'll shoot it some, but not carry it in a holster for awhile until I get used to it; it has a different trigger pull from the Smiths I used in the past.

I can't sell it, my wife says - she wants it.
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Old January 4, 2013, 09:39 AM   #9
Baba Louie
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I can't sell it, my wife says - she wants it
Then you've got TWO keepers, doncha? Good on her and you.
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Old January 4, 2013, 05:12 PM   #10
DFrame
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What Buddah said above. The best snubbie ever made. I've been shooting and collecting them for years. Unlike many in the colt fraternity I prefer the later models with the shrouded barrels.
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Old January 5, 2013, 01:53 PM   #11
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I guess I'm one of those "many in the Colt fraternity" in that I much prefer the looks of the older Colt revolvers. In my mind, there's nothing more "classic" looking than the unshrouded Colt Detective Special/Cobra/Agent iterations. An entirely subjective opinion of course.
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Old January 5, 2013, 10:21 PM   #12
Jaywalker
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The old ones were in a lot of movies, but I like the shroud.

The stiff trigger pull has loosened up and it's now a good pull. I like this piece a lot.
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Old January 5, 2013, 10:43 PM   #13
therealtwitch
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That gun is stunning. Why can't I ever find any of the colts I've been searching for
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Old January 7, 2013, 12:08 AM   #14
cdbeagle
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Bought my first two Colt's last month, a nickle Cobra made in 75 and a DS made in 76. Got them on GunBroker, the Cobra for $600.00 and the DS for $500.00. It is hard to believe how accurate they are. I like the shrouded ejectors also, don't care for the older ones. The first thing I did was buy Hogue grips for both of them. Don't care for the wood either.

Cobra


DS
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Old January 8, 2013, 08:21 PM   #15
Baba Louie
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cdbeagle
A very fine pair sir. Day and Night or salt/pepper twins (almost). The pair should serve you well. Hogue replacement? Rubber or wood? Photo w/ your twins in combat boots when ya get em?

Can I vote that I kinda like the factory wood?
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Old January 9, 2013, 12:11 AM   #16
therealtwitch
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I love the gun in the op. so much so that I found one locally that I am contemplating buying. But the owner is asking $700 for it. Is that to steep or about the norm?
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Old January 9, 2013, 12:31 AM   #17
DFrame
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Beautiful set of D frames Cdbeagle. I have ones like them. Great shooting guns
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Old January 9, 2013, 01:04 AM   #18
cdbeagle
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Rubber. Am out of town, will post pics when I get back.

Nothing wrong with liking wood grips better, it is just a matter of taste. If my pinkie finger did not hang off the bottom of the wood grips I might not have made the switch.
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Old January 9, 2013, 08:45 AM   #19
Jaywalker
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Quote:
therealtwitch: I love the gun in the op. so much so that I found one locally that I am contemplating buying. But the owner is asking $700 for it. Is that to steep or about the norm?
Sounds high to me, but there is another way to look at this. If you want something that's basically new-in-box, it will cost you more than the average specimen, so that price might either work for you or be a starting point for negotiations.

I've learned that the timing of the older Colts is important. Before starting to haggle over price, I'd read Dfariswheel's post in the following thread: http://thefiringline.com/forums/show...09#post5345409
I printed it out and took it with me and checked the timing before I bought it. Timing was dead on, and had a stiff trigger to boot, which suggested to me it hadn't been shot much. That made it worth more than an average price to me. YMMV. (By the way, while the stiff (though smooth) trigger was a concern at first, it has worked in and is now very good - I no longer think it needs a trip to Colt for work.)
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Old January 9, 2013, 09:42 AM   #20
therealtwitch
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Thanks! I will certainly insp the gun throughly. What you you say is a good price? I don't want to get taken to the cleaners, but don't want to lowball him either.
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Old January 9, 2013, 01:20 PM   #21
Jaywalker
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Sorry, but I'm not comfortable suggesting the value of someone else's revolver, or what it might be worth to you - I might have overpaid, myself. Look on Gunbroker and see what people are asking or selling for. I tracked item number 322115576 (still viewable today), and it sold for $510. The picture shows some holster wear and some imperfections (IMO) on the grip frame, and it doesn't mention timing.

Cosmetics aside, for me the DS's timing is the great part of its value. If the timing is off and you want it put right, it can cost you some bucks. Cylinder and Slide will fix it for $200, +/-, and they're backlogged out about nine months. So, what would a cosmetically perfect DS with timing problems be worth? I dunno. Cosmetically perfect with no timing problems would be worth more, though. To me a slight degradation in cosmetics would be preferable to a timing issue, especially if you plan on degrading it further by carrying it in a holster, as I plan to. Sorry I can't be more help.
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Old January 9, 2013, 05:16 PM   #22
therealtwitch
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not at all. you've been a big help thank you!
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Old January 11, 2013, 04:58 PM   #23
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A comment was made about how accurate they are and I'll second that. I have just about every brand of sub-nose made and none compare to the DS. It shoots far better than I am able. Always wondered if their rifling was different. You got a great gun in my opinion.You won't be sorry. + I like the trigger better than Smith's.
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Old January 12, 2013, 02:30 AM   #24
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cdbeagle
A very fine pair sir. Day and Night or salt/pepper twins (almost). The pair should serve you well. Hogue replacement? Rubber or wood? Photo w/ your twins in combat boots when ya get em?
Here they are:
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Old January 12, 2013, 08:36 AM   #25
Baba Louie
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Beauty and the Beast, true love or the Stockholm Syndrome?
Here they are:

Your quote says it all about those two, methinks, (Stockholm Syndrome... But they roll the wrong direction! )

They look oh so serious now. Beauty and the Beast.
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