Colt Detective Special .38

This is a discussion on Colt Detective Special .38 within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; I've got my eye on a Nickel Colt Detective Special in .38. Problem is the guy wants $795 for it. I'm not sure I want ...

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    VIP Member Array BugDude's Avatar
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    Colt Detective Special .38

    I've got my eye on a Nickel Colt Detective Special in .38. Problem is the guy wants $795 for it. I'm not sure I want it quite that bad. Is this way overpriced?

    I'd prefer to have a blued one in .357, but this one did catch my eye given the nickel finish. Any thoughts? Should I hold out for the blued in .357? Thanks.
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    Ex Member Array azchevy's Avatar
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    That is nice. I like it a lot. But I loved my blued cobra.

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    Great looking gun, but I'd wait for what you REALLY want in .357.
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    VIP Member Array wmhawth's Avatar
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    I'd prefer the blue too but I'd be inclined to pick up the one pictured anyway if an agreeable price could be reached. Get a blue one later when one comes along and add it to the collection. You're never going to have too many Detective Specials.

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    OD*
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    Is the nickel plating as "fogged" as it appears in the picture?
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    Ex Member Array azchevy's Avatar
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    I was unaware that the ds came in 357. I thought they were 38 only.

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    Around here if you can find a Detective Special they typically go for $450-$550 for the blued, haven’t seen any nickeled ones so I do not know a price on one. Also the only calibers offered were .32 New Police, .38 New Police, and .38 Special only, never .357.

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    OD*
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    The Colt Magnum Carry, chambered in .357, was essentially a beefed up Dick Special.

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    As others have said dont know that they make a .357 DS but anything is possible.

    You dont see a lot of the Nickeled guns around in good shape price goes up and down by area and demand however gunbroker did have some listed a little cheaper than what you quoted.

    I picked this one up a few months ago.

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    That's the one, in 357. Knew I had seen one that essentially looked like the DS. I've seen some blued ones around for under $500. I'm not really wanting the nickel finish bad enough to spend $300+ on it. Thanks to all for the info.

    Quote Originally Posted by OD* View Post
    The Colt Magnum Carry, chambered in .357, was essentially a beefed up Dick Special.

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    Sorry to have mention this but you won't be finding a Colt Magnum Carry for any $795. The revolver was made in small quantities and is uncommonly found. When one is offered, lines form trying to buy it unless it is way overpriced.

    There is exactly one example currently found on GunBroker that's been on there since yesterday with no bids. The $1875 starting price is probably the reason for the lack of bids that but they are never cheap. I don't think I've seen one for less than 10 bills for some time.

    A quick look at nickel Detective Special revolvers on GunBroker finds several in the $475-$550 range. A couple more starting at $699 and $800 are simply priced too high. A couple more listed have non-original nickel finishes or other problems so their lower prices are not attractive.

    Your guy is about $300 too high. A nickel Detective Special may be had for less. Don't fret a bit about the .38 Special limitation. The revolver is so good for carry purposes and for shooting that it's worth pursuing despite being discontinued by Colt and despite being chambered for .38 Special.
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    In my old age I've gone "back to my childhood" and am again liking a nice bright nickel finish after loathing the look for most of my adult life. Still prefer blued finish best.

    Here's the Detective Special kept around here. It has seen an increase in use since I retired. This one left the factory in 1966. Still sports the old style stocks and unshrouded ejector rod for that "Dick Tracy" look. I use to love the later Detective Specials with their shrouded barrels and more hand-filling stocks when I was young. I thought to older ones looked antiquated and too "Barney Fife." Later I came to appreciate the more classic Detective Special appearance and that's what I ended up with. Both have the same basic dimensions except for perhaps the larger stocks on the shrouded models. Both handle +P .38 Special ammunition. They're plucky little revolvers with their steel frames. Colt used to say they were good for 3000 rounds of +P and then ought to be returned to the factory for a service check. There ain't no way I'll ever shoot more than a couple hundred +Ps through mine so am not concerned with it. It may have had a hundred fired through it during its time with me and is tight and properly timed. I'm happy to use any "Fedingchester" +P 158 grain semi-wadcutter factory load or its handloaded equivalent for carry purposes.



    To see the similarities and differences here it is a few years back before the installation of the Tyler T-Grip, visiting a good friend's later vintage blued Detective Special.
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    Senior Member Array jem102's Avatar
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    Folks I have a chance to buy a DS blued with shrouded barrel in what I would consider NRA excellent. In fact it looks unfired and never holstered. They have the original box and asking $750.00. I really want the gun and "can" afford it but just seems like too much... Would $550.00 be more realistic?
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    $550.00 would be reasonable for a Detective Special in the condition you describe. If flawless without even a turn line, perhaps the $750.00 would be appropriate.
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    I paid under 500 for mine. Spent a few hours polishing it up. You can clean up the oxidation with Flitz or Mothers mag and alum. polish. Use a microfiber cloth and have at it. I had to pay 75 more bucks for a set of correct grips, but I am satisfied with this one. 1975 model.



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