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Discussion Starter #1
Hey Y’all,

A friend of mine has a Colt Detective Special Dating to 1947 and is wondering about the caliber. There is a stamping on barrel that says “.38 Detective Special” onay. There is nothing else about caliber on the either side. I checked my Detective Specials, and they all have an additional line saying “.38 Special CTG.”

701960


Hopting to get an answer ASAP.

Thanks!
Tom
 

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The barrel is a pre-1947 Barrel as .38 Special was the only caliber the Detective Special was available in before 1947. 1947 and later is when the DS was available in other calibers, so the need to mark the barrel appropriately. So now the question is your frame 1927-1946 manufacturing? There were a lot of Police Positive Specials which had the barrel changed to 2" Detective Specials. I know.. I have a 1921 Police Positive Special which had a barrel change sometime in the 30's. These conversions were done by Colt and a host of other gunsmiths.
 

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That gun looks like it has a rivet firing pin retainer rather than the solid pin...maybe it's the angle of the photo. If it does have a hollow rivet firing pin the gun is either from the mid-1960s or has had a hammer replacement from a later gun or the firing pin replaced and a hollow rivet used.

There's something wrong about it...maybe I'm just mistaking something in the photo.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Hey Y'all,

Snidely, I too noticed the hammer, but had not planned to bring up potential originality issues.

Lidserra, my guess is that since the frame serial number dates to 1947 (both on the Colt look up as well as Proofhouse) the barrel may be original to the pistol. My gut from looking at the one photograph I have of it is that it may have been refinished at some point in its history and a newer hammer installed.

I have not seen the pistol in person for several years. I just really wanted to ask about the caliber for my friend who inherited the Colt as he is considering a trip to the range with it.

Best,
Tom
 

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Without further photos and information...based strictly what I see I would look at that revolver as a shooter...maybe a fine shooter. But any collectibility is long gone.
 
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The hammer spur is checkered or knurled, not serrated like later hammers. Probably had the firing pin replaced at some point and a hollow pin was used.
 

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It has a pre war frame barrel and grips. It is not unusual to find mixed parts in a 47-48 gun. The only thing that looks out of place is the hammer.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Hey Y’all,

Thanks to everyone for replying. I learned some new things about the Detective Special and have passed the education along to my friend. Best to everyone!

Take Care!
Tom
 
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