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Discussion Starter #1
Have an opportunity to purchase a Colt Detective Special (Nickel) in pristine condition. Came out of a private collection, with box, hang tag. This gun glistens. Could not see a single mark or blemish. Wants $650.00 for it. Will hold the gun until Monday for me to think about it. Another question I have is about nickel. Never owned a nickel plated gun. Any special care, problems, etc that I need to know about. My only background is with blued and stainless Colts. Am comfortable with care of these metals, but the nickel has me concerned. Maybe not an issue. I knew you guys could help me out on both asking price and nickel care. Thanks !!
 

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Nickel is a very tough finish, much tougher than blue. All you need to do to keep it looking pristine is polish it with Renaissance wax. I also like to handle my guns a lot, so I keep white cotton gloves handy. Sounds like this is more a safe queen than a shooter, so it should work for you too. If you do shoot it, just be careful what you clean the bore and cylinders with. Use nothing containing ammonia, as it just isn't that great for nickel. There is argument about whether they still use copper under nickel or not( ammonia attacks the copper) but just don't and things work out fine. I use CLP break free, it works.
 

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Nickel was preferred to blue (before stainless was available) by several agencies like the Detroit Police and Florida Highway Patrol for its resistance to environment. It has its foibles, but if it is currently unblemished, you should have little trouble maintaining it. :)

 

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Sounds like a solid deal to me. You didn't mention what year or issue it is but I think any of them are worth the asking price in that condition.

I wouldn't be afraid of a Nickel finish. It is very beautiful and when properly taken care of will last a lifetime. There are many threads on this forum about Nickel care, a quick search and you will see we all agree Nickel is able to be kept in the same condition as the day you received it (Or Better)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Merwin2: Thanks for the quick response. Good information. Have been using Hoppes #9,Eezox and Rem oil on my blued guns. If I buy this nickel gun, should I stay away from using any of these products. It will become a safe queen, so like the recommendation of Renaissance wax. Also, any thought on the asking price of $650.00?? Thanks again.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
A1A: Thanks for the info. If LE felt comfortable with the material, that says a lot. Gun will simply be a collector piece, so your post has really helped my comfort level.

keystonearms: Thanks for the price confirmation. As for the care, thanks also for the tip on the threads on nickel care on this forum. Will get busy doing my research.
 

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FWIW, I think $650 is a reasonable and low price for any pristine nickel plated DS, with box, papers and original stocks, and well under Blue Book, Vol. 33 (it came out this month) for any "issue" Detective Special. Also, the prices of pristine DS revolvers have been increasing rapidly over the last several years. Since they have not been in production for quite a few years, I suspect the values will continue to increase.

I use Eezox and Renaissance Wax (and white cotton gloves) to great effect on my nickel plated Cobra, which I carry.

In addition to these products protecting the revolver, they also make cleanup after firing fast and easy.

Detective Specials are good shooters and terrific carry pieces, in addition to fine investments, IMHO, but they are harder to shoot accurately than longer-barrel guns, at least for me.
 

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I think the price is very good for a pristine DS with all the goodies. Nickel is quite durable but like any finish can get scratched. Minor scratches can be addressed using Flitz or Mothers Mag but remember the more one uses an abrasive the thinner the finish becomes so tread lightly ;) . Make sure you post some pictures when ya get her home.
 

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650 for a D.S. that is Nickel in pristine condition is a good price.To give it a good polish use Mothers Mag polish and apply using finger pressure only,then buff with a good cotton cloth.Then apply reniasance wax and buff to a nice shine I have a 1971 Version 2 Nickel D.S that I call "My Sunday Gun" pics to follow.....Mike http://entertainment.webshots.com/photo/2653171120047709249hYNGJT
 

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The earlier posts totally sum up the nickel DS. All I can do is show a 1964 I got for $650 also
 

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I think I read somewhere, concerning nickle's toughness, that the U.S. Army issued nickel Colt SAAs to Indian Scouts during the Indian wars. They reasoned that the Scouts wouldn't take as good of care of their guns as Regular Army would & nickle withstood abuse better than Blue & CCH.
Sounds like the U.S. Army thought nickle was tough?

Besides that it's pretty. The price sounds good, I think you should buy it.
Frank
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Looked at the pic that Primer88 put up. Beautiful DS. The one that I am looking at has a shrouded ejector rod and no metal colt logo on the stocks. Great looking stocks, but no Colt medallion. Would these perhaps be aftermarket stocks, or just something colt did with a later model?
 

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You never mention which generation Colt you are talking about. I would think that would deserve some consideration regarding pricing.
 

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Merwin2: Thanks for the quick response. Good information. Have been using Hoppes #9,Eezox and Rem oil on my blued guns. If I buy this nickel gun, should I stay away from using any of these products. It will become a safe queen, so like the recommendation of Renaissance wax. Also, any thought on the asking price of $650.00?? Thanks again.
The price is right considering condition. I would not use Hoppes #9 on nickel although they may have taken the ammonia out of it, it was part of what made it work on leading and fouling.
Pics below are my 1963 Colt OP and a 1920 Smith & Wesson MP, which looks pretty good for over ninty. Flitz and Ren wax.
 

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Don't wait -- Grab it at that price. I don't think you'll go wrong. I don't have a shrouded nickel Det. Spec. but I do have this one from "59" - I inherited it from my Uncle.

 
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Discussion Starter #17
Frank V: Like the info about the Indian scouts. Great bit of history. The pic the seller sent me is beautiful. Think I will probably take your advice.

Armyphotog: Believe it must be a "3rd issue" according to MtnSpur. Pics received from seller show a shrouded ejector rod and stocks with no medallions. Does the $650.00 price sound reasonable to You. Again, from the pics and talking with the seller, gun is pristine with box, hang tag. Lives nearby, so I am going to meet him next week for a 1st hand look-see.

Merwin2: Thanks again for the good advice on the care of nickel. Also, appreciate your validation of price.

broknaxl: Thank for the post and appreciate your "strong" validation of the price. Hope to post some pics once I can figure out the "photobucket" procedure. Your "59" is beautiful. Love those stag stocks.
 

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I personally know of a gentleman who used Hoppe's #9 and found to his dismay it started removing the nickel finish from the action of his Benelli SuperSport semi-automatic shotgun. He was mainly using it for his barrel but I presume he used it while the barrel was attached to the action and some of the Hoppe's got into the action.

It makes sense to me, anything that will remove copper from jackets will also take nickel off.
 

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The ammonia (the real culprit) in Hoppe's and many other bore cleaners doesn't harm the nickel per se, but it can indeed attack the copper underplating through a break in the nickel or even perhaps porosity. That is why the recommendation is to make sure any ammonia based bore cleaner is thoroughly removed before storage. :cool:
 

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While on the nickel subject :) We all know that a blued weapon can be "touched up" using a variety of cold blue products but can a nickel weapon that has a small dot or scratch blemish that went to the copper be fixed in any fashion? I'm perpetually curious ;)
 
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