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What year (or generation) did Colt introduce the shrouded Detective Special? I thought I had it worked out, but now I'm confused. /forums/images/graemlins/confused.gif

I thought that the shrouded models only had the short stubby grip frame. I recently saw a shrouded model with the older, long style grips. Of course, this particular one could have had old style grips put on a stubby frame (but would they fit?) Would this be a "late" 2nd generation Detective Special? Are there any mechanical differences / advantages to these and the newer, stubby frame shrouded models?

I guess I need a history lesson as to the different Detective Special generations.

Thanks.
 

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The shrouded Detective Special was introduced in 1972. The "short stubby" frame was introduced in 1966.

You question about seeing a shrouded Detective Special with "old style" stocks is confusing. (By the way, Colt calls them "stocks," not "grips", except for a mistake or two in the 1970s catalogs.) After the "stubby" butt frame was introduced in 1966, the usable length of the butt frame was adjusted by installing stocks that created the length desired. On the DS, the stocks extended below the butt frame to the long-frame length that existed before the butt frame was shortened. On the Agent, the extension was just a little, thus creating a length equal to that on the original Agent.

If one looks at the bottom of the butt and sees wood, that is a Post-1965 frame. If one looks at the butt and can see the metal frame, it is a Pre-1966 frame. There is no particular advantaage or disadvantage in regard to the "stubby" frame, except perhaps a slight, meaningless difference in strength.

It seems highly unlikely that Colt ever installed a shrouded barrel on a full-frame DS, but a subsequent owner certainly could have.

As far as a history lesson on DS generations, I will give you my version.

The DS was introduced in 1927 as a variation of the Police Positive Special. These early guns had a square butt. I would call these guns "First Generation." In 1933, the butt was changed to what Colt calls "round butt," which would be Second Generation. After World War II, the front sight was changed from round to ramped, which I would call Third Generation. These early Post-War guns had plastic stocks, which were changed back to wood in the mid-1950s. I do not consider the stock material as another generation, but some might. In 1966, the butt frame was shortened, which is Fourth Generation. In 1972, the shrouded barrel was introduced, which I count as Fifth Generation. In 1984, Colt introduced a "discount" version of the DS with matte finish called the Commando. Some might consider that another generation of the DS. I do not because the DS remained in production during that time. Colt redesigned the lockwork in 1995 and introduced the SF-IV, which could be called the Sixth Generation. It was replaced by the DS-II in 1997, which could be called the Seventh Generation, but differed in name only. The Magnum Carry was introduced in 1999 and could be called the Eighth Generation.

There was a recent forum discussion of these later versions in regard to the Magnum Carry that might be helpful to review.
 

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Do you count the 1986 discontinuation and the 1993 reintroduction? /forums/images/graemlins/crazy.gif
 

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Good job JudgeColt! I could not have put it anywhere nearly as clearly.
 

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Judge, I agree with your definition of generations, with one suggestion: the post-war duo tone finish (and Coltwood) being one generation and the following full blue/walnut being the next. Then the shortened frame, etc.

I can't remember seeing a duo tone nickel DS; but I assume the polishing was the same for both models before they went into the tank. Any thoughts?
 

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In my opinion, finish does not make another "generation" or "issue," but anyone is free to differ. Would nickel be another generation? I think not, so why would "Dual-Tone" be another generation?

I base the "generations" on physical and mechanical variations. Others are free to use different criteria.

I have never seen a nickel gun from the Dual-Tone era, but I would expect the same variation in finish texture as on the blue guns.
 

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Judge, I am certainly no expert - I only consider it as a separate generation because it is immediately recognizable as being produced during a specific time frame. Show me a 1949 DS and a 1959 DS, in any finish, and I can ID the earlier gun without checking the serial. In my mind, a physical variation. So we agree to disagree /forums/images/graemlins/confused.gif.

Since I have always preferred blued models, I've never closely examined any nickle Dual-Tone era but I'll try to locate one to see if they were prepped like a blued model.
 

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I have a "long frame" Detective Special made in 1949, I believe. It is just a shooter, having been refinished. It did not come with the original grips, and I am trying to find some on ebay, but there appears to be a lot of confusion about them. The above discussions have cleared a lot up for me.

Would a set of round butt grips for a Police Positive fit?

Thanks
 
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