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my dad has a first model detective special that is in fantastic shape that he bought used in around 1955. it has had only a box or two of ammy through it. the serial number is 7957XX any idea? thanks
 

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What is the last patent date on the barrel?

According to the Colt book I have it lists that serial number date to 1961-62. Doesn't match with what you were told. The barrel patent date will help.
 

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The serial number you provided is from 1961 . It would be a second model I believe .
 

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Sorry to repeat your info Pointman . I didn't read carefully .
I'm fairly sure that it will not have a patent date . The dates were omitted after WWII .
 

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I guess I blame the Blue Book for this "First Model" and "First Issue" business. What are supposed to be the characteristics of each "model" or "issue?" The Blue Book ignores those issues.

One could say the DS introduced in 1927 with a square butt was the "First Model". Would the round butt introduced in 1933 be a "Second Model?" Would the Post-War revolvers with the ramp front sight (replacing the Pre-War half-moon front sight) be a "Third Model?" Would the change in 1966 to the short frame be a "Fourth Model?" Would the shrouded barrel introduced in 1972 be a "Fifth Model?"

Although I think the category too large with too many significant variations, many consideer that the 1927 through 1965 are the "First Model" because the frames are the same length. The short frame 1966 through 1972 unshrouded guns are the "Second Model," while the shrouded barrel guns are the "Third Model."
 
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