Colt Detective Special 3rd Issue 2″ Nickel .38 Special Revolver, 1972 C&R
SOLD FOR: $1126
Model: Detective Special 3rd Issue
Serial Number: C05061
Year of Manufacture: 1972 (https://colt.com/serial-lookup)
Caliber: .38 Special
Action Type: 6-Shot, Double / Single Action, Swing-Out Fluted Cylinder Revolver
Markings: The left of the barrel is marked “DETECTIVE SPEC. / .38 SPECIAL CTG.”, the right is marked “COLT’S PT. F.A. MFG. CO. / HARTFORD, CONN. U.S.A.” The side plate has a Rampant Colt logo, the left of the trigger guard has a “VP” in triangle at the front, the rear has “4”. The crane and cut are marked with the serial number. The inside of each grip panel has “559” hand-written.
Barrel Length: 2”
Sights / Optics: The front sight is a ramped blade integral to the barrel. The rear sight is a square notch in a “U” channel on top of the frame. The edges of the rear sight channel are serrated for glare reduction.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The grips are Altamont two-piece checkered faux-ivory panels with silver-colored Colt medallions at their tops. The grips have minor handling wear with only a few scattered minor marks. The checkering is well defined. There are no chips or cracks. Overall, the grips are in Fine-plus condition as not original to the gun.
Type of Finish: Nickel
Finish Originality: Original
Bore Condition: The bore is bright and the rifling is sharp. There is no erosion in the bore.
Overall Condition: This handgun retains about 97% of its metal finish. There are some scattered minor nicks and scratches, most not through the finish. There is minor wear on the sides of the frame from previously installed grips. The action shows minor operational wear with a thin turn-line on the cylinder. The screw heads range from sharp to tool marked with strong slots. The markings are clear. Overall, this revolver is in Fine condition.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly. The cylinder produces solid full lockup of all 6 chambers when the trigger is depressed. The double action trigger pull is smooth, the single action pull is crisp. We did not fire this handgun. As with all used firearms, a thorough cleaning may be necessary to meet your maintenance requirements.
Box, Paperwork & Accessories: This revolver comes with a Colt Archives letter which indicates that it shipped June 26, 1972 to Bells Gun & Sport Shop Inc. in Franklin Park, Illinois as one of 35 guns of the same type in the shipment.
Our Assessment: The Detective Special has been very popular with law enforcement and civilians who carried 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 3rd Issue made in 1972 with a shrouded ejector rod in Fine condition with minor wear consistent with infrequent carry and use. While this Detective Special would still make a great carry revolver, it would also make a neat piece for a Colt collector, especially with its attractive nickel finish and the included Colt letter. Please see our photos and good luck!