View Full Version : Vintage COLT detective special wheelies, info needed.
08-21-2010, 06:50 AM
I want toi add to my colt collection, so far I have a few old colt wheel guns and lots of 1911s (my long lost love!) NOW I want to get a colt "detective special" SNUBBIE~
A few questions, can the old ones handle + ammo AND did they make these that can shoot BOTH 38 AND 357?
Second are they even safe to shoot if they are old 1950s made?
LAST and most important anyone know where to find one, been looking around and not seeing many, any of you see them commonly at gun shops, pawn shops etc, I suppose a gun show here in Arizona would probably have several, will have to check at the next one.
Any comments and knowledge offered on this firearm would be greatly appreciated like HOW MUCH SHOULD I EXPECT TO PAY FOR A USED ONE IN DECENT CONDITION doesnt have to be mint or anything just solid working condition and not all trashed.
Hit me up with that knowledge ladies and gents!
08-22-2010, 12:51 AM
Colt detective special is a 6 shot not a 5 shot like most snubbies made today. The detective special has a hammer, many new snubbies have no hammers. Hammers snag on clothing when carrying concealed. The Colt detective special is very much sought after by collectors today. I believe the gun is no longer made. Don't know about +P ammo in that gun. Just ask a gunsmith they will know.
08-22-2010, 01:29 AM
gonzo, there's some good info about the Colt Detective at http://www.snubnose.info/docs/detective_special.htm. There they discuss that they were never rated by Colt for use with +P ammo, so I suggest you don't use +P ammo in them. A shattered Colt snubbie is a terrible sight... probably won't do your hand all that much good either.
A quick search isn't showing that the Detective was ever issued in .357 Mag, but I wouldn't swear to it.
The gun show is indeed your best bet for tracking one down. If that fails, you can almost assuredly find one on one of the gun auction internet sites, but that involves getting a local gun/pawn store owner (or at least a local with an FFL [Federal Firearms License]) to handle the transfer through. Unless you're lucky enough to find someone auctioning one who lives down the street, I suppose.
08-22-2010, 02:07 AM
Best Colt Man alive IMHO.
No personal experience with him but his waiting list is insane. Searching his websight will add clarity to the Colt questions.
08-22-2010, 04:14 AM
can only burn so much powder. use proper slug. your in bizz. and yea 357 colt snubbie available. :cheers:
08-23-2010, 06:52 AM
First, the older Colt Detective Specials were not chambered in .357 Magnum; these guns were chambered only in .38 Special. The DS-II family, which only looks like a Detective Special, was later chambered in .357 as the Colt Magnum Carry. The latter is a rare revolver as it came out right before Colt stopped all of its revolver production in the 1990s.
The guns with shrouded ejector rods are suitable for use with +P ammo, but Colt recommends that after 2,500 rounds for a steel frame and 1,000 guns for an alloy frame the gun be returned to Hartford for inspection and/or rebuild. That would not be too bad except that Colt no longer works on the D-frame guns. The older non-shrouded ejector guns were never rated for +P. That being said the standard 158-grain RN .38 Special load from the 1930s was more powerful than +P loads made today.
Since there are few gunsmiths that can really work on the D-frame and parts are harder to find, I recommend buying something else as they do go out of time, especially when used by people not aware of the manual of arms. I have an older Detective Special, complete with the Tyler T-grip, that is retired. While it works fine, I use an S&W M640 in its place. Just about anyone can smith an S&W -- even me.
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