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Discussion Starter #1
I found a nice little Colt Agent in .38 Special at my LGS. Looks like a early 80’s or so due to its underlug.

The grips are a little worn but overall, it looks like it is in good shape.

Weird thing is that it is parkerized. I didn’t know Colt made a parkerized revolver other than the MkV Peacekeeper or something like that.

I was a little turned off by the finish but a quick search shows that some indeed are.
I do like it because for one, it is a Colt but not sure if the price is ok. He is asking $435 and it seems like a fair price but just not sure about that for these snubbies.

So my questions are
Are they good, is the cost about right and did they indeed all come parkerized. The web has skoosh info on them so I’m having a few challenges finding out about them.

A lot of info on the Lawman, very little on the parkerized Agent.

Any help or info would be great! Figured I’d ask the experts!!!!😊
 

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Look up 'Colt Commando' - that was the 1980's low-cost variant of the Detective Special and while the innards were fine, the exterior finish was challenged and wasn't up to earlier standards.

They did this same treatment to the 'Agent' of that era.
 

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Parkerized guns were made for about three years in the 80s. They were cheaper alternatives of the high polish guns - Agent for Cobra with alloy frame and Commando Special for Detective Special with steel frame. Agent came with smooth wood grips versus checkered on the Cobra. At the asking price you are paying about retail if it’s a shooter without box. They get about $600 for new in box.
 

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Above two posts about covered it. I always suspected they also parkerized some guns because this was the period when fit and finishing quality was sometimes horrible. But of course with the snubs it was to compete price wise with others on the market. I always liked these very plain guns, but see them priced too high now just because they have “Colt” stamped on them.
 

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Two things were happening at that time - the union's strike, and the fact that no one ever saw the lesser-finished Charter Arms heave to on the horizon of the economy-minded potential buyer.

I remember seeing the first 'Commando Special' and immediately thought that Colt had sub-contracted to Charter Arms for new construction - as many did when the new 'Cobra' showed up recently.
 

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Some of these parkerized guns are among the worst finished Colts I've ever seen...there seemed to be no attempt to polish out flaws in the metal and some looked like the metal was cracked. Any parts that would normally be considered blems were used. I've also seen some that looked excellent...very fine finish with a smooth parkerized coat. None of this takes anything away the utility of these revolvers...they were fully as functional and accurate and reliable as any.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
It is definitely a little on the utilitarian side but a Colt none the less. This thing would look like an ugly step sister to my other Colts. I truly like the Colt “LE named” revolvers such Lawman, Border Patrol, Trooper, etc but Im just on the fence with this one. Especially at the price point.
 

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I remember looking at one of those Commando Parkerized guns at a gun shop when they were newly released. The sideplate stood proud of the frame by about 2mm. It was at a time that the Detective Special was out of production.
I suppose for the right price it would make a fine truck gun and in today's market $400 or so isn't totally out of line.

I seem to recall reading a review in one of the gun rags at the time and it stated that the interior of the barrel was also Parkerized but had brightened up after they fired a couple hundred rounds out of it during testing.
 

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I remember that article; I think it was in Gun Digest, and I remember the title: "Ugly Little Bastard That Shoots!" The reviewer wasn't thrilled with the look of the gun, but felt that it shot as well as any snub out there at the time.
 

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This is right up there with the worst I have ever seen. I put a Tyler grip and Colt shroud on it to distract from the horrible finish. Look at the frame below the cylinder. Mfg. 1983. Shoots great.
20201016_112829.jpg 20201016_112859.jpg 20201016_112942.jpg
 

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From the introduction in 1962 to 1972 the Agent had the standard Colt bright blue/anodized finish.
From 1973 to the end of production the Agent had a matte black finish. During the Colt strike it was a rougher job, but earlier and later it was a better matte black finish.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
This is right up there with the worst I have ever seen. I put a Tyler grip and Colt shroud on it to distract from the horrible finish. Look at the frame below the cylinder. Mfg. 1983. Shoots great.
View attachment 713738 View attachment 713739 View attachment 713741
That finish!!! Jeez it kills me! Most Colts, especially if you shoot, there is usually a score line around the cylinder but haven’t really noticed it on these parkerized ones. Is it noticeable? Kind of hard to tell if it was abuse do to the finish!!!
 

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I know this gun and it's original owner. It was hardly shot -if at all. None of what you see on the gun is from use. That is how it came from the factory. There is no wear on the muzzle or "high points" on cylinder, etc. from holstering. Hard to believe it left the factory for a retailer that way but it did.
 

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Also, the gold medallion seemed so inappropriate on the grips. If ever you would put a metallic colored medallion in the grips it would be for this gun. Or rubber grips? They were just purging the excess parts, obviously.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
As crummy as the finish is, The utilitarian look is kind of growing on me, but it does look Charter Armish. Going to see if he will come down some on price and I may just taking it home since it is a Colt!
 
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