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Been asked to appraise a Colt Detecive Special serial number is P99532. Need some help with this one. Has gold plated cylinder assembly. No box. Blue looks factory. Any ideas appreciated. Stocks are smooth with gold medallions.
 

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I am going to assume it’s not factory. In that case I would appraise it at nominal $500. The reason I am fairly certain it’s not factory is because I have a fully gold-plated Detective engraved by Ken Hurst that he made in 1982. When I called Ken about five years ago after purchasing that gun, he told me that Colt at that time did not allow gold plating, and he had to do it outside of Colt. It was a special gun for a close friend, but he said it was the only gold Detective he ever did.

Check the gun for any familiar signatures, but just a random aftermarket gold plating, in my opinion, does not add value, and possibly even lowers it.
 

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It is indeed a factory gun and might have been sold through Lew Horton Distributing. They shipped in two separate batches, 5 units in 1986 and 14 units in 1991. I'm guessing yours might be one of the 5 units shipped in 1986. I know because I own a NIB example from the first batch that is serial number P99549. I have letters from both Colt and Lew Horton. These were "over-run" guns from the cancelled "Bijan" contract.
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Estimating a value of your gun is difficult because of the relative "rarity" of that particular model. Based on the prices I paid for my NIB examples, I'd ballpark your's somewhere between $1500 and $2,000. I'd suggest requesting an archive letter from both Colt and Lew Horton.
 

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It is quite possible its not a Lew Horton gun. I have 3 of them myself some of which are within 30 serial numbers of the OP and only my LTD serial numbered gun went thru Lew Horton but I am also quite confident it is a factory gun. Only thing I wonder is if the grips are original but either way the grips are inexpensive and not numbered to the gun. All 3 of mine have archive letters as well. You don't really need a Lew Horton letter. If the gun went to him the Colt letter will tell you that although there is certainly no harm in requesting the letter. I think they are free from LH but not sure.
 

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True, I don't know the serial numbers of the other Lew Horton guns and whether or not they were sequential. It might just be one of the other over-run "Bijan" guns...
 

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Old age is getting to me. I need to correct myself. I only have 2 of those guns. One did go thru Lew Horton and the other did not. The one that did is in the LTD serial number set. The other I have is 24 serial numbers away from the OP's gun....
 

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Yeah, Earl is a great guy who has helped me out on several occasions...
 

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Looks to me to be one of the Bijan contract cleanups, as described by G27 and Snakeman above. An unknown quantity of these in varying configurations were sold after the Bijan contract was no more. I've seen a few of these over the years. With the late serial number I would believe it also to be factory.
 

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I had one of the California commemorative gold plated 22 Scouts at one time that came with some other guns. The plating was very worn and I never did find an economical way of re-doing it so I sold it off.
Jim
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks everyone for the great information and fast response. The owner was very pleased.
 
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