SOLD FOR: $1000
Model: Detective Special 2nd Issue
Serial Number: 757590
Year of Manufacture: 1960 (https://www.colt.com/serial-lookup)
Caliber: .38 Special
Action Type: Single Action/Double Action Revolver with Swing Out Cylinder
Markings: The left side of the barrel is marked “DETECTIVE SPEC. / .38 SPECIAL CTG.”. The sideplate is marked with the “Rampant Colt” logo. The crane flat is marked with the serial number and “H”. The crane is marked with the serial number. The right side of the barrel is marked “COLT’S PT. F.A. MFG. CO. / HARTFORD CONN. U.S.A.”. The left front of the trigger guard is marked with a “VP” in a triangle and the rear with “P”. The inside of the each grip panel is marked “904” in white pencil.
Barrel Length: 2”
Sights / Optics: The revolver is mounted with a square groove in the top strap for a rear sight. The edges of the groove in the top strap are serrated to reduce glare. The front sight is a semi-rounded blade with a serrated ramp facing the user fixed to the top of the barrel.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The grips are two-piece checkered walnut panels with silver Colt medallions at their tops. The grips have light handling wear with a few scattered light marks and some areas showing discoloration from oil and handling. There are a few marks to some of the peaks of the checkers. There are no chips or cracks. The checkering is well defined. Overall, the grips are in about Fine Plus condition as not original to the gun.
Type of Finish: Blue
Finish Originality: Original
Bore Condition: The bore is bright with sharp rifling. There is no erosion in the bore.
Overall Condition: This revolver retains about 97% of its metal finish. There is some light handling wear. There is a scratch on the right side of the frame below the cylinder. There are a few little scuffs through the finish, most noticeable behind one of the cylinder flutes. The cylinder has a faint turn line not through the finish. There are a few little spots of discoloration on the sides of the hammer. The screw heads range from sharp to lightly used with strong slots. The markings are clear. Overall, this revolver is in about Fine Plus condition.
Mechanics: The cylinder lockup on this revolver is SOLID on all six chambers with the trigger depressed. The double-action trigger is smooth and the single-action trigger is crisp. The action functions correctly. We did not fire this revolver. As with all previously owned firearms, a thorough cleaning may be necessary to meet your maintenance standards.
Box, Paperwork & Accessories: This revolver comes in a two-piece faux-wood cardboard box with dark green interior, model-matching label. The bottom of the box has the serial number hand-written. The box has scattered light storage wear, most at edges and corners, in about Very Good condition.
Our Assessment: The Colt Detective Special was basically the same revolver as the Police Positive Special, except it was limited to a 1 15/16” barrel with a few made in 3”. The Colt Detective Special and its aluminum framed cousin, the Colt Cobra, were very popular with police detectives because they held 6 cartridges vs. the 5 cartridges of the S&W Model 36. The Detective Special had a long production run, from 1927 to 1995. This revolver is a post-war 2nd Issue revolver, made in 1960, and in Fine Plus condition. The bore is bright, the rifling is sharp, and the cylinder lockup is SOLID. The post-war 2nd Issue revolvers were made with blue and nickel finishes, in three different calibers and with 2” and 3” barrels. There were also different versions based on guns made with pre-war frames, round vs. square grip frames and the types of grips used. This creates lots of variations for the collectors, making it somewhat hard to complete a collection with all of the combinations, and adding to the collectability of this model. This is a great example in good enough condition to be collectible and with just enough wear that you could carry it without kicking yourself later. Please see our photos and good luck!