SOLD FOR: $1634
Model: Detective Special
Serial Number: F56151
Year of Manufacture: 1974 (COLT Serial Number Lookup)
Caliber: .38 Special
Action Type: 6-Shot DA/SA Double Action Revolver with Swing Out Cylinder
Markings: The left side of the barrel is marked “DETECTIVE SPEC. / .38 SPECIAL CTG.”. The right side of the barrel is marked “COLT’S PT. F.A. MFG. CO. / HARTFORD CONN. U.S.A.”. The left side plate is marked with the rampant colt. The crane flat is marked with serial number, “F56151” and “B”. The crane is marked, too, with the serial number, “F56151”. The left front of the trigger guard bow is marked with a “VP” in an inverted triangle and the rear is marked “B”. The left side of the grip frame is marked with several letters, “3”, “VP” in an inverted triangle, and “N”, denoting the nickel finish.
Barrel Length: 2 1/8”
Sights/Optics: The front sight is a blade running the length of the barrel that is integral to it. The rear sight is a square-notch integral to the top strap. There is a groove along the length of the top strap with serrated edges for glare reduction.
Stock Configuration and Condition: The grips are two-piece checkered walnut with smooth edges. The smooth areas of the grips show only a few light marks and a few minor compressions. The checkering is well-defined. Overall, the grips rate in Fine condition.
Type of Finish: Nickel
Finish Originality: Original
Bore Condition: The bore is bright with sharp rifling. There is no erosion.
Overall Condition: This revolver retains about 99% of its nickel finish. There are very minor handling marks. The cylinder has a very faint turn line. Screws have minor tool marks with strong slots. Please note, the grip screw slot is very shallow and can easily be stripped! Markings are clear. Overall, this revolver rates in Fine-to-Excellent condition.
Mechanics: The action function correctly. The double action is smooth, a little on the spongy side, and the single action is light and crisp. We did not fire this revolver. As with all previously owned firearms, thorough and consistent cleaning may be necessary to meet your maintenance standards.
Box, Paperwork, and Accessories: None.
Our Assessment: The Detective Special had been very popular with law enforcement and civilians who carry a concealed revolver as it allowed for a 6-shot revolver in the same frame size as other revolvers which only offered a 5-round capacity. This example is a short-barreled version with a handsome and less common nickel finish. This revolver is in Fine-to-Excellent condition with only a few small imperfections in the metal, mostly on the cylinder. Otherwise this revolver has few signs of use. While it will make for a great defensive carry, it is ever so pretty, so perhaps it should be a showcase piece for your collection. Good luck and happy bidding!