Colt Forum banner

441 - 455 of 455 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
635 Posts
I guess I have more research to do on this one! My serial number is in the 3343XX range..maybe a colt letter on this one. Thanks for the info.
They're an interesting Colt to research. You should definitely get a letter for yours if you don't have one! The 1928 serial number sounds correct. As Bill mentioned above, these pre-Detectives were made in 1926-1927, however, since they were a special run of guns, Colt used a future serial number range, and so they all come back as saying 1928 even though they are earlier than that. I had Frank Glenn look mine over too, and it was in surprisingly good condition. Glad yours didn't need much either.

Since we're showing off our pre-detectives, below is mine with its Colt letter. You'll notice it says Colt Detective Special, but it is actually a 2" Police Positive Special, and Paul since then sent me a new letter to fix the naming error. Yours should come back as a Police Positive Special, too.

Later today when I get the chance, I may create a new post in the revolvers section to continue this topic. Been meaning show mine off and see what new information people have to share, as it's been a while since the last time we had a good thread about these unique revolvers.
722090
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
62 Posts
They're an interesting Colt to research. You should definitely get a letter for yours if you don't have one! The 1928 serial number sounds correct. As Bill mentioned above, these pre-Detectives were made in 1926-1927, however, since they were a special run of guns, Colt used a future serial number range, and so they all come back as saying 1928 even though they are earlier than that. I had Frank Glenn look mine over too, and it was in surprisingly good condition. Glad yours didn't need much either.

Since we're showing off our pre-detectives, below is mine with its Colt letter. You'll notice it says Colt Detective Special, but it is actually a 2" Police Positive Special, and Paul since then sent me a new letter to fix the naming error. Yours should come back as a Police Positive Special, too.

Later today when I get the chance, I may create a new post in the revolvers section to continue this topic. Been meaning show mine off and see what new information people have to share, as it's been a while since the last time we had a good thread about these unique revolvers.
View attachment 722090
Beautiful. Thanks for sharing, Keith. And I like the idea of a new thread dealing with these historic arms.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
63 Posts
They're an interesting Colt to research. You should definitely get a letter for yours if you don't have one! The 1928 serial number sounds correct. As Bill mentioned above, these pre-Detectives were made in 1926-1927, however, since they were a special run of guns, Colt used a future serial number range, and so they all come back as saying 1928 even though they are earlier than that. I had Frank Glenn look mine over too, and it was in surprisingly good condition. Glad yours didn't need much either.

Since we're showing off our pre-detectives, below is mine with its Colt letter. You'll notice it says Colt Detective Special, but it is actually a 2" Police Positive Special, and Paul since then sent me a new letter to fix the naming error. Yours should come back as a Police Positive Special, too.

Later today when I get the chance, I may create a new post in the revolvers section to continue this topic. Been meaning show mine off and see what new information people have to share, as it's been a while since the last time we had a good thread about these unique revolvers.
View attachment 722090
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
63 Posts
Keith, just did the on-line order for a letter. In double checking the serial number it appears that it was double stamped. The one that partially appears under the readable one had the number 4 stamped sidways so I guess that was an issue. Also, I noticed the letter D stamped below both numbers, its not as heavily stamped at the rest though. Any thoughts on this?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
62 Posts
I guess I have more research to do on this one! My serial number is in the 3343XX range..maybe a colt letter on this one. Thanks for the info.
Another thing to bear in mind is that true “skinny butt” 2-inch Police Positive Specials are extremely rare. Gary Peer roughly estimates only about 100-150 were ever manufactured. He told me in correspondence in 2014 that he had seen only 2 (and he said he had "looked hard and long” for them) and bought both. One of them is the one pictured in his book that I purchased from him and posted above. True “skinny butt” PPSs like that one have a grip measuring 1 9/16 inches front to back, whereas the butts of the later, but not skinny-butt, guns measure 1 7/8 inches front to back. See photo below from page 53 of Gary’s book.
722133
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
635 Posts
Keith, wish mine looked that good!! I will get a letter request out this week and see what happens.
Haha, thanks! It's just the lighting that makes it looks so good. 😛 Yours is great too. And nifty. That's odd the serial was double stamped! Regarding the D you see below the number would be the assembler's mark, denoting who put the gun together, I believe. Mine also has a D below the serial number.

And I'm glad to hear you say so. I followed through and made that new thread dealing with these historic arms: The Pre-Detective Special | 2" Police Positive Special

Please pop in and post the photos of yours and we can continue the conversation there rather than fogging up what's meant to be a photo thread. =P
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
635 Posts
Another thing to bear in mind is that true “skinny butt” 2-inch Police Positive Specials are extremely rare. Gary Peer roughly estimates only about 100-150 were ever manufactured. He told me in correspondence in 2014 that he had seen only 2 (and he said he had "looked hard and long” for them) and bought both. One of them is the one pictured in his book that I purchased from him and posted above. True “skinny butt” PPSs like that one have a grip measuring 1 9/16 inches front to back, whereas the butts of the later, but not skinny-butt, guns measure 1 7/8 inches front to back. See photo below from page 53 of Gary’s book.
View attachment 722133
Yup! The skinny butt is one of the trademarks of the 2" PPS/Pre-Detective. It's hard to say how rare they are, but they definitely don't show up often. If there are actually only 100-150 manufactured, then I feel lucky to have one! To muddy the situation though, I do believe I've heard of genuine Pre-Detectives also having the wider square butt you mention, which only affirms these are definitely some oddball guns.

Like I mentioned in the post above, I started a new thread for this topic: The Pre-Detective Special | 2" Police Positive Special

If you could, I'd love for you to copy & paste the photos and information you shared here there to add to the conversation and for others to see. You have some great stuff.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
37 Posts
Looking for Holster suggestions for this Detective Special. I also own....I think...a Detective Special 1st Issue (presently in the hands of the ATF awaiting engraving and return to me. Since the sight on the 1st Issue is larger/taller, will the same holster accommodate both?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
37 Posts
Looking for Holster suggestions for this Detective Special. I also own....I think...a Detective Special 1st Issue (presently in the hands of the ATF awaiting engraving and return to me. Since the sight on the 1st Issue is larger/taller, will the same holster accommodate both?
Sorry, when I attempted to load the photo it was not successful
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
635 Posts
Looking for Holster suggestions for this Detective Special. I also own....I think...a Detective Special 1st Issue (presently in the hands of the ATF awaiting engraving and return to me. Since the sight on the 1st Issue is larger/taller, will the same holster accommodate both?
No worries about the picture. Feel free to try to load it up again.

And the easiest way to know if your Detective Special is a first issue is if the front sight is a half moon shape rather than ramped like the later versions. Even if the sight is a little taller, the same holster should accommodate both anyhow. Pretty much any 2" revolver holster will fit a Detective, regardless of year of manufacture. (third gens might be an exception due to barrel shroud) I hope you get yours back soon! I'm excited to see your engraving. I'm waiting for my engraved Detective to be sent back to me too.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
37 Posts
Keith, thanks..I am sure about the 1st Issue because it has the half moon shaped front sight and also has the "double-screws" as I'll call them on the right side of the frame...crane lock screw? Anyway, that gun is currently not in my possession. Newer DS, late 70's era has the ramped front sight. Will mention the differences when/if I order a new holster, otherwise take chances with a used, older holster that claims it is for the DS.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
37 Posts
I should clarify...the ATF is sending the gun off to an engraver to put serial numbers back on after hopeful confirmation from Colt historian. That's the story the ATF agent told me. I feel somewhat helpless waiting on them. When I receive the gun I will post photos and the story behind it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
143 Posts
Picked up this Detective last week. A little wear and minor imperfection on the frame by the trigger but other than that pretty nice. A couple of things I'm not so sure about. Serial # B51xxx comes up as 1972, actually early part of '72 best as I can tell but 4th issue started in '73. Leftover numbers or early release on the 4th issue??
Also the grips don't look original from the pictures I've seen. Looks like they also fit the earlier D S with the full frame round butt. Any ideas what they are. Regardless, they feel good in the hand and I like how they look so that's what counts.

723487
723488
723489

Here's my D frame family- '65 Detective Special and "75 Agent.
723490
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
Sad day today. We found out this 74 Colt Detective Special was not able to be fixed. We are assuming the gun was fired with a +P load and the cylinder was cracked. We talked with Colt and there is no hope. The owner doesn't want it. I'm thinking this could be parted out? It's in excellent shape beside the crack in the cylinder. This gun will never be fired again. But before we cut the firing pin and smash everything are there parts needed to be had?
 

Attachments

441 - 455 of 455 Posts
Top