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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Son, and I went roaming out in the Florida countryside this afternoon, and found a 99% first issue Detective Special serial 410,xxx made in 1932. The capper was seeing the square butt on the gun. Stocks are perfect, silver medallion, checkered with a border. Pat'd Aug. 5, 1884, July 4 1905, Oct. 5, 1926.

It appears to be almost unfired. No cylinder ring, and ejector rod has all its finish. How this D.S. remained in this pristine condition for 74 years is almost unreal. No box or papers unfortunately.

Anyway it pays to occasionally stray off the beaten path. You never know what you'll find.

Bob
 

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Congrats Bob . Sounds like a great find . /forums/images/graemlins/cool.gif
 

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Bob, sure hope you ain'ta strayin' over into ma territory there pawdna!

Don't ya just love it when you find something like that. It's like striking gunlovers gold.

Enjoy.
 

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Oh, and you didn't happen to spot any nice Smiths out there in the Florida countryside, did you?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I would catagorize this Detective Special find as dumb luck. This particular gun shop has more garbage guns than most, and weeding through them looking for a gem is a chore.

My eagle eye son spotted this one, and we had to go out of the store to discuss it, so as not to alarm the owner as to what it was. He had a 1960's DS also, and thought this was just was just another one of those. I am constantly amazed as to how gun shop owners miss the rare ones, or should I say scarce should Addicted be around to correct me??

We mostly collect OM's, and Diamondbacks, and a few Phythons, so this was a welcome fit to a niche we did not have.
 

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Robba,I have a similiar square butt D.S. made in 1932. It has the "T" in the crane recess,showing it was targeted at the factory,not just lined up by eyeballing the front/ rear sight relationship. This has an "L" in same area(plus the inspector's mark or letter). Colt began this practice in the early 30's.

While you probably won't shoot the 99% gun,I do feel that the square butt(along with a grip adapter) helps control the D.S. better than the more common(later on!) rounded butt.You don't loos that much concealibility,although square edges,do give more of a "carrying" profile under light clothing.

This was a cops gun,and after his retitrement,as his vision began to weaken,he had the rear sight widened and a wider,square cut patridge front blade installed by the local gunsmith,who I bought the piece from,about 15 years ago. Original stocks too,and the smoothness and quality,puts the later D.S.s to shame,especially the shrouded ejector models. Has been able to handle +P handloads on occassion,such as 5.0 Unique under a 158 gr lswchp,the load it carries while resting in my desk drawer, but practice ammo is 4.5 of Unique with a regular cast 158 gr. swc.

Enjoy!

Bud /forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Bud, there is a T in the crane of this DS also. Thanks much for pointing that out. It is these little things that Colt did in the good old days that set them apart from their contemporaries.

I continue to marvel at the skills that were evident in the manufacturing of the early Colts. Nothing much after the second world war could compare with their level of quality.

We are going to down grade this one to 98%. After cleaning it up at home, we found some minor freckling in the bluing, and some marks in the rifling, perhaps caused by corrosive ammo.

Anyway its a great find, and thanks to all of you for the kind comments.

May you all find a similar goody tomorrow.

Bob
 

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[ QUOTE ]


We are going to down grade this one to 98%.

[/ QUOTE ] ok, i`ll ask. how about a few photo`s for us poor souls still seeking an early d/s to drool at. /forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif
 

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robba, congrats on your early D/S...
I'm learning a lot on these Detective Special threads.
I just picked up a square butt earlier in the week.
Mine has a "T" above the serial number in the crane recess. It also has an "E" below the serial number. This type of grip certainly feels better in the hand than the later guns. As soon as I can get the camera hooked up I'm going to post a pic.
shel49
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
This must be ths square butt D.S. week. Great find, what is the serial # range, that will tell us the year it was made.

I intend to post a bunch of pics in a week or so on some of our finds. The business has been keeping us hopping lately.

Best to you all, Bob
 

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Nice Detective Specials!

What do you think I have here? I bought a set of smooth ivories for my 357 Magnum, advertised for Python or Officers Model, at auction last fall, and picked these up, smaller ivories, largely as an afterthought, as price was right. I am guessing they are for a D frame, and hoping they’ll fit a Detective Special like those in this thread, but am not sure. All I know is that they’re smaller. You think they’d fit on the model discussed in this thread? I don’t have DS yet, but hope to buy an older, 1930s model, such as discussed here.



I can’t measure them because they’re in the US and I am in Japan until this summer. Don’t want to try to have them sent to me abroad as I worry about ivory import bans, so they’re with my FFL in the US.

Also, I wonder if they are aftermarket or factory? I’d guess aftermarket, but I suppose they might be factory. Anyone hazard a guess?
 

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appear to be for the e-i frame, that checkering pattern is colt. can you provide a close up of medallions, back side also??
 

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Okay, here’s the backs of the stocks above, that I think are smaller than an I frame, and that I hope will fit a DS:



Here is a close up (sorry about the rez – it’s just blown up) of the medallions on the above stocks.



Here’s different stocks, smooth ivories, that I bought for my 357 Magnum and were advertised as fitting an Official Police or Officers Model. These stocks are larger than the stocks above.



Then here’s the back of the smooth stocks:



Here’s the medallions on the smooth stocks set:

 

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Onomea, the checkered set look smaller and look like they were made for the Dick Special. Only fitting will tell for sure.
Nice stocks, by the way.
 

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here`s a photo of the e-d frame stocks side by side, also shown is prewar vs post war medallions and how they were attached.i will stick with my original guess on the checked stocks as e-frame.



 

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Icdux1, thanks for the photos. I appreciate it. I don’t have my books with me just now to look this up, but if you are correct that my checkered set are E-frame, what guns would they fit then?

I also now think that the D-frame is for later Detective Specials, and that the earlier ones, from the ‘30s, as discussed in this thread, are a different frame. So even if mine, the checkered ones, were D frame, they would not fit the early DS anyway. Is that correct?

Further, if I understand your post and pix correctly, in the top photo you are showing an E-frame (on the left) next to an D frame (on the right). If so, the back of your D-frame looks to me to be the same as the back on the grips/stocks of my smooth ivories, that were advertised as fitting Official Police and Officers Model, leading me to believe that they were I-frame and would fit my Colt 357. Now I’m confused.

This summer when I reunite with my guns I can try both stocks/grips on my Colts, the 1959 357 Mag, the ~ 2000 Python Elite , the 1939 OMT. I was thinking I might try to buy an early, first issue, DS prior to that and have it waiting for me when I return to the US and just pop the ivories on, but now I am thinking I am not sure what guns either of my stocks will fit¬Ö.

Ain’t easy matching unknown stocks with guns long distance…. /forums/images/graemlins/confused.gif

(And congratulations to anyone who actually understood what I just wrote. Not sure if I do¬Ö)
 

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onomea, sorry but i got the photo`s switched around. they are as follows TOP PHOTO left shows single post{mounting stud} post war type medallion RIGHT shows pre war type with 3 holes both stocks are d-frame
MIDDLE PHOTO shows the frt of prewar{left} and post war{right}medallions
BOTTOM PHOTO top left shows a e-i frame stock top right is a early d-frame sq butt. : bottom left is d-frame rnd butt. bottom right is an e-i frame. look closely at the shape of the e-i frame stocks at the medallion area, now compare to the sharp taper and narrower d-frame at the same area.. the e and i frame stocks will fit all medium frame guns:army special, officers mod,offical police, early trooper, .357, and python
 

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onomea; your making it to hard on yourself!!

Around 1926,Colt went to a wider grip frame on the D Frames,so ANY SQUARE BUTT grip will fit the D.S. Frame-even Police Positives,and Police Positive Specials.

These are FULL LENGTH grips,NOT those made after around 1966,with a wooden filler at the bottom to make the grips full length to fit on the shorter frame. This frame originated in the early 50's with the Agent/Courier.

Best bet "fitting grips" is to either bring the gun,or old grips to a gun show or a shop(I don't think you will find many of these where you are currently!). OR a tracing on a 3x5 card.

When buying by mail or the internet -get accurate MEASUREMENTS,as photos can be deceiving.

A few things I learned----- the hard way!

Bud
 

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Thanks, guys. I am gettin' an education here!

Well, if I understand you fellas correctly now, both my ivories should fit my 357 Magnum, and per Bud, if I buy an early DS, either of my ivories will fit that, too, being square butts. If so, that’s great!

Do I understand correctly?

Re fitting stocks/grips to guns at gunshows – which ain’t gonna happen with me for a while – can I interpret that to imply that even if my two sets of ivories fit my 357 and my other Colts, and would fit a first model DS if were to buy one, it is likely that I’ll need to do some adjusting (sanding or whatever?) as they won’t fit perfectly as stocks must be matched to individual guns? Now if that’s right, and my ivories are too small for my guns, I‘ll just have to keep looking for a gun/guns that’ll fit, I s’pose…. Well, it is always nice to have an excuse to buy more of the rascals! /forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif
 
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