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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I bought this sweetheart used, like new, a few years back and took it out today to look at the grips (Fitz Gunfighters, cherrywood)

Here is a pic of the grips it came with

48 Posts
I also was able to find one a few months ago that was LNIB. It is a great shooter. The only druther that I have is it seems that the trigger is a little thin. During extended range sessions it can get unpleasant. Otherwise it is a great CCW pistol. It definately soaks up the recoil well with +p ammo.

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BIG subject, here's a "short version".

In 1927 Colt added a 2" barrel on their Police Positive Special and named it the "Detective Special".
It was made in various versions until the late 1990's.

The gun was largely unchanged up until the 1960's when the butt was shortened to a "stubby" shape.
It was again changed in 1972 by the addition of a heavy, shrouded barrel.

The same basic gun was made with an aluminum frame as the "Cobra", and a short-grip version in aluminum as the "Agent".
Both were introduced in the early 50's.

From 1927, the Detective Special was THE off-duty, undercover, and detective's revolver.
It was so popular, S&W didn't even bother to make a competitor until the S&W Chief's Special of 1950.

Even then, the Detective Special was still the cop's choice into the late 1960's.

The DS had, and STILL has a lot to offer:
A frame size that's just big enough to give a good grip and allow control, but small enough to conceal well.

The six shot cylinder offers an additional shot over the S&W.

Due to Colt's high grade barrels, and the old-style "bank vault" lock up action design, the DS has the reputation of being the most accurate "snubby" ever built.

Due to the larger frame, and the off-set cylinder locking notches, the DS was stronger than the contemporary S&W Model 36 Chief's Special, and the DS, although not rated in those days, could handle the hotter +P ammo.
Later, when the change was made to the heavy, shrouded barrel, the DS was factory rated for "limited amounts" of +P.

Pricing on the DS depends on the version, actual condition, and on where it's being sold.

Early pre-war versions bring higher prices, and in some parts of the country DS's may sell for higher or lower prices.

What you look for depends on what you want. The aluminum framed Cobra and Agent are great carry guns, but may not stand up to extensive shooting.

Probably the best combination of carry gun and shooter would be a later post-1972 heavy barrel model.

The DS was available in blue, bright nickel, and in the mid-1980's in Electroless Nickel, (also known as Coltguard) and for a short time in an unpolished black finish.

In the late 1990's the Detective Special was discontinued by Colt and for a brief time replaced by a stainless steel gun made as the SF-VI, The DS-II, and a .357 Magnum model known as the Magnum Carry.

These later stainless guns look similar to the DS but are entirely different guns.

As a carry gun or personal defense gun, the Detective Special is "old technology", but still delivers the goods with six shots.
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