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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Recently purchased/traded for a 1957 Detective Special in very nice condition (tight, excellent timing, vg blue, vg walnut grips). Over the years I always wanted a DS but usually settled for a S&W J frame. But when this one became available @ $350 I had to get it. Anyway, my question is about the plastic /Coltwood grip panels that were factory issued on the early 1950's DS. Is there a way to clean the white residue that most of them seem to have without damaging the grip panels. I've tried several methods but hesitate using too strong cleaning fluids. Ideas are appreciated.
 

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Recently purchased/traded for a 1957 Detective Special in very nice condition (tight, excellent timing, vg blue, vg walnut grips). Over the years I always wanted a DS but usually settled for a S&W J frame. But when this one became available @ $350 I had to get it. Anyway, my question is about the plastic /Coltwood grip panels that were factory issued on the early 1950's DS. Is there a way to clean the white residue that most of them seem to have without damaging the grip panels. I've tried several methods but hesitate using too strong cleaning fluids. Ideas are appreciated.
Sounds like you got what currently tends to be at least a $500 gun for $350. Nice coup.

But you've got to tell me what that has to do with cleaning early 50s Coltwood grips, since you say it has walnut grips. Or was that just a random non-sequitur? :)
 

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Murphy's Oil Soap is the BEST product I have ever used in cleaning up soiled grips, wood or plastic. The grips on this gun had some of the nastiest oil-soaked stained grips I've ever seen. 15 minutes of scrubbing them using Murphy's on an old toothbrush cleaned them up like new. Let them dry, use some diluted Birchwood Casey Walnut Gun Stain on them, add a couple coats of Birchwood Casey Gun Stock Wax and you're done. (the streak on the bottom photo is a shadow....the grip panel is perfectly clean).



 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Absalom: The early 50's Colt Detective Specials (and other Colt revolvers) had what was called Coltwood grips, a kind of plastic? Colt Woodsman autos had the same. Somewhere in the mid 50's Colt changed the grips to walnut. Although my DS was made in 1957 with walnut grips, the grips I want to clean up came from the early 50's (purchased on EBAY for $20 shipped). Wanted to use them for everyday on my woods walking trips and save the nice walnut ones. All in all I am very happy with my DS. A great quality revolver at what I think was a good price. Thanks to all for the cleaning assistance. I'll give it a try tomorrow.
 
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