Colt Detective Special

This is a discussion on Colt Detective Special within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I rescued an old Colt Detective Special from my favorite pawn shop a few weeks ago. I shouldn't say it was old; as the Dick ...

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Thread: Colt Detective Special

  1. #1
    Distinguished Member Array randytulsa2's Avatar
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    Colt Detective Special

    I rescued an old Colt Detective Special from my favorite pawn shop a few weeks ago.

    I shouldn't say it was old; as the Dick Specials go, it was fairly new- it had a shrouded ejector rod, so I'm thinking it's a "third generation", and some website somewhere said its serial number placed it as being of 1979 vintage.

    OTOH, Colt doesn't make them anymore, and no one ever did this gun any favors in the upkeep department.

    I got rid of the grips it came with. I think they were original, but someone had put some sort of shellac or shiny, slick goop on them a while back. Prior to that they had been scratched quite a bit. Like the rest of this abused treasure, they had been rode hard and put up wet. Replaced with Pachmayrs (which I think make the best after-market grips for folks with smallish hands, like me).

    I don't know if you guys can see it in the pic or not, but some misguided fool had absolutely ruined the beautiful Colt blueing job. The gun had the snot scratched out of it, then this anonymous nitwit had done some sort of a "replacement" blueing job on it. I don't know if it's spray paint, some sort of "cold blueing" concoction, or what. Whatever it is, I forsee many hours of steel wool getting rid of it. The good part is that it isn't too hard to get off. The crap flakes right off, even with your fingernails. Amazing.

    I'll keep the board posted as to the ongoing status of my reclamation project.

    The gun is probably too big, compared to my J-Frames and Charters for regular CCW, but it deserves at least on honored place in the safe once properly restored to some semblance of its rightful dignity.
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    Last edited by Captain Crunch; February 2nd, 2008 at 01:07 AM. Reason: Deleted 2 language workarounds
    "...bad decisions that turn out well often make heroes."


    Gary D. Mitchell, A Sniper's Journey: The Truth About the Man and the Rifle, P. 103, NAL Caliber books, 2006, 1st Ed.

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  3. #2
    Distinguished Member Array LenS's Avatar
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    Looks like someone bit off part of the hammer spur too!

    You might contact Colt and ask them if they will refinish and go over the gun. No idea if they will or not, but never hurts to ask.

    I have one of these in Nickel and it was a great gun (now a safe-queen). I used to carry it on duty on occasion and the officer I bought it from would always ask if I'd sell it back to him (NO!) every time he saw me with it.

    Good luck on the restoration.

  4. #3
    Member Array Lawrence Keeney's Avatar
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    If colt wont do it, that gun is good enough to be a candidate for a finish job from birdsong or one of those companies.

    I think it would look fantastic with one of those corrosion resistant finishes that looks like Nickel. A flashier BBQ gun you'de never see.

    Why cant I find those old colt detective specials used for decent prices? There seem to be a lot of them out there lately. A friend just bought one for 225 the other day in almost perfect condition.
    "I Don't Want To Socialize With A Pinko Liberal Democrat Commie. Say What You Like About Republicans. We Stick To Our Convictions. Even When We Know We're Dead Wrong." Denny Crane:

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    VIP Member Array pogo2's Avatar
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    Candidate for rework

    It is always interesting to find a banged up older gun and restore it. Your Colt Detective Special looks like a good candidate for that. In their original condition these guns generally have a very nice blued finish and an excellent trigger pull. You could either go with a quality reblue job from a competent vendor, or the hard chrome or Robar route. New grips would also make sense, from Hogue or Badger.

    I have a Detective Special that I bought new in 1993 for about $280. I have shot it quite often and carried it some. I wish I had bought more than one.

    Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the Peoples' Liberty's Teeth." - George Washington

  6. #5
    Ex Member Array DOGOFWAR01's Avatar
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    Colt Det 38 Spec is BUG.

    Always there within hand reach.

    Ankle Rig = Renegade from AZ

    or

    Pocket Holster = Deep Cover Pocket Rocket

    SCABBARDS


    +++++


    Colt Det 38 Spec

    nice to have - is safe storage then never or hardly ever shoot and/or carry

    essential - practice, practice, carry, and carry - 24 / 7

    I much prefer the Colt Det over the S&W J Frame or other revolvers, the action/trigger, the feel in the hand, and yes - I most definitely want a hammer for use if needed to make that one precision shot or if needed making long distance shots

    If "want" a "safe queen" then "need" another for practice and carry

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    Hey Randy: You did it. Thanks for showing us your Detective Special. How does it shoot? Seems to me that most Detective Specials group very well. I'd enjoy keeping up with you progress. Detective Specials are...well, special.

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    VIP Member Array friesepferd's Avatar
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    i love that you used your cat as a backdrop for your pic
    Wo die Notwehr aufhört, fängt der Mord an
    (Murder begins where self-defense ends)
    Georg Büchner

  9. #8
    Distinguished Member Array randytulsa2's Avatar
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    I try to use the cat as a backdrop as often as possible. He is very, very laid-back.

    My 10-year old can hold him upside down, by the back legs, and the darned feline will go to sleep. No kidding.
    Last edited by randytulsa2; February 2nd, 2008 at 04:52 PM.
    "...bad decisions that turn out well often make heroes."


    Gary D. Mitchell, A Sniper's Journey: The Truth About the Man and the Rifle, P. 103, NAL Caliber books, 2006, 1st Ed.

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    Member Array Desperado's Avatar
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    I purchased a used nickel Detective Special several months ago. It probably is the same vintage as it also has the shrouded ejector. The gun reportedly saw little use from it's original owner. Condition was quite good with just a few minor scratches.
    When I took it to the range, I found that it was 'out of time'. The gunshop where I purchased it sent it to a local gunsmith several times and he could not get the timing right. It would be alright on DA but wouldn't lock up on single action. I finally sent it off to Colt with a request that they replace any/all internal parts necessary to correct the situation. It's still there. They've advised the cost of $55 plus $30 shipping and I should see it again by the end of February.
    I'm a real Colt fan and this little treasure will get some 'carry' use..... to be certain!!
    "Courage is being scared to death ...... but saddling up anyway" John Wayne

  11. #10
    VIP Member Array frankmako's Avatar
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    nice,,nice,,nice. wish i could find one. also, your cat,,i never seen a cat that would set still for anything.
    An armed man is a citizen. An unarmed man is a subject.

    Red State State of Mind

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    Nice purchase. Call me greedy but I have two Det Specials, one I bought many years ago from a sheriff's deputy that needed alimony money $150 out the door, the other I bought from a local pawn shop for $189 a few years ago (never pass up a good deal). The little Colt's have fantastic accuracy many years ago (much younger, better eyes and a bit on the cocky side) I took the local range "know it all" for a case of beer, I shot a 7 inch 6 shot group at 100 yards off a sand bag rest after he stated a snub-nose is useless past 10 yards.

  13. #12
    Member Array Catalina's Avatar
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    I picked up a 1973 vintage for $300 around 2001 and the bluing on it it so nice I can't bring myself to put it in a holster.

    Trigger is incredible, too.
    Go Glock - until you can afford H&K

  14. #13
    Member Array Laserlips's Avatar
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    Desperado:

    Here's my DS..


    I bought this nickle DS a couple of years ago and it was advertised "as new", but when it came it didn't appear to ever had been fired.. In order to remedy that problem (I don't "do" safe queens) I took it out and shot it "head to head" with 5 other snubby's I have.. The DS was wayyyy off... It was high/right, low/left or something (I forget which), but it wasn't nearly as accurate as the other 5.

    I called Colt Customer Service and they told me to send it to them and they would evaluate it and let me know BEFORE fixing the problems what the estimated repair bill would be.

    I sent the DS to Colt and a few days later got a short written letter saying the revolver had been evaluated, it was decided it was "out of time" and the problem would be corrected.. Free..

    Two weeks later the DS was returned. The letter with the DS said the timing (index) had been fixed, and the DA trigger pull was smoothed out and improved as a courtesy. All no charge, incld return shipping.

    The DS is a fine shooter now, and my Son has asked could he have it "one day", so I've put it away for him. Guess it turned into a "safe queen" after all..

    I have nothing but good things to say about Colt and their exceptional Customer Service.

    I don't know why they did the repairs free, unless because it was obvious the DS was almost new and the problem obviously must have been present when it was sold new.

    Can't say enough good things about Colt CS, and I'll bet they'll fix your DS as good as new..

    Best Wishes,

    J.Pomeroy

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    Member Array taggart's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DOGOFWAR01 View Post
    Colt Det 38 Spec is BUG.

    Always there within hand reach.

    Ankle Rig = Renegade from AZ

    or

    Pocket Holster = Deep Cover Pocket Rocket

    SCABBARDS




    +++++


    Colt Det 38 Spec

    nice to have - is safe storage then never or hardly ever shoot and/or carry

    essential - practice, practice, carry, and carry - 24 / 7

    I much prefer the Colt Det over the S&W J Frame or other revolvers, the action/trigger, the feel in the hand, and yes - I most definitely want a hammer for use if needed to make that one precision shot or if needed making long distance shots

    If "want" a "safe queen" then "need" another for practice and carry
    Hey, Dogofwar01
    I appreciate the link to the holsters! That will come in handy when I finally get my Colt Lawman Mk.III snubbie which I have on layaway.
    Taggart Snyder
    Man about town...

  16. #15
    VIP Member Array rodc13's Avatar
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    Great that you rescued this one, Randy! The Colt D-frame revolvers are great for shooting and for carrying. I have a Detective Special and I gave my young bride a Cobra for her birthday last year. When I broke my right arm, my Dick Special became my EDC. I carry IWB in a Bianchi Model 100 most of the time, sometimes pocket-carry in a DeSantis Nemisis.

    I really like the size/weight/balance. It's a great-handling firearm. The Pachmayr grips are also very comfortable and afford a full grip.



    And the wife's Cobra:
    Cheers,
    Rod
    "We're paratroopers. We're supposed to be surrounded!" Dick Winters

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