Colt Forum banner

1 - 14 of 14 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I'm new around here and I am also new to Colt revolvers.This looks like a very info-filled place and I look forward to hanging out here a bit and learning a thing or two!

I just "won" an auction on AA for an old DS. This is my first Colt revolver(I currently own alot of 'Smiths and one Colt 1908 .25acp) I am wondering if this revolver is a first or second edition and if the ejector rod is correct. I've seen only one other Detective Special with an ejector rod like it.Any input is greatly appreciated.



The link to the auction is here; http://www.auctionarms.com/Closed/DisplayItem.cfm?ItemNum=7050837.0
 

·
The Searcher
Joined
·
11,101 Posts
Welcome to the forum. Don't let 17 views and no responses bother you. Your question requires someone with a piece from that era, personal knowledge or vintage catalogs. /forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif
There are members like that and I'm sure you will get answers. /forums/images/graemlins/cool.gif
 

·
*** ColtForum MVP ***
Joined
·
14,906 Posts
Your Colt is a "probably" Second model.
This a post-War Colt DS recognizable by the ramped rear face of the front sight.

A lot of this depends on what you consider a second model.
For most people the Second model is the model with the short, "stubby" grip frame and with the grips overlapping on the bottom.

A serial number check will tell for sure.
See: http://proofhouse.com/colt/

I'm NOT sure, but the ejector rod head doesn't look like a factory rod head.
Looks like a non-factory addition.
 

·
The Searcher
Joined
·
11,101 Posts
If it serials as a first issue (Blue Book definition,pre 1947) it appears that the rod end could be original. At least I see another first issue with one like that. Then again, it could have been a common replacement. A catalog collector would still be handy. /forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif
To possibly further complicate, everyone says Colt used what they had, so it could possibly even be correct on early second issues based on that thinking. /forums/images/graemlins/crazy.gif
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
9,477 Posts
The first thing you need to do is forget this awful "Issue" business! It means means almost nothing, since there are many more "Issues" than the Blue Book mentions. (I blame the Blue Book for creating this worthless system.) I shall explain my reasoning for abandoning the "Issue" nomenclature.

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

I cannot tell for the picture if the butt on the pictured DS is the Post-1965 short butt or the Pre-1966 long butt. The serial number would give a better indiction of the age of this revolver.

The ejector rod knob does not look correct to me, and is not the same as any of my D-frame revolvers. (Later D-frames have a two-section knob with a groove about a third of the way for the back end.) On Page 391 of TBOCF is pictured a DS with the same style of knob, but the caption states the knob is "not as issued." Except for that picture, NO Colt in TBOCF has that style of knob.
 

·
The Searcher
Joined
·
11,101 Posts
I have come to understand "issue speak." You notice I parenthetically note it as Blue Book definition. Unfortunately, that is how guns are represented at auction and how questions are often framed. Your analysis is a great addition to topics that reference "issues" because it increases especially the newer participants' knowledge of and appreciation for the many variations. Strangely, there is one other DS at auction with the same end, but based on your TBOCF research it may indeed be a popular or at least not uncommon replacement of the day. I haven't sprung for a TBOCF yet, but I guess I'll have to and spend more time with it and less with the BB. Thanks for rescuing the topic from my speculation. /forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for the input.I'm more a shooter than collector and was actually looking fo a 2" K-frame when I saw this old Colt and was blown away by just how stylish it looks with the hammer shroud in comparison with a similar S&W. When this revolver arrives, would you guys recommend changing out the ejector button to the correct model(if it's absolutely unoriginal) or would you guys leave it as and shoot it? Is the ejector rod likely the correct one or would you hedge bets and order a rod and button? Where can they be readily bought? Also, what are the odds that the shroud is factory installed or was that exclusively a Colt in-house install? Thanks for enduring my questions gentlemen /forums/images/graemlins/cool.gif
 

·
The Searcher
Joined
·
11,101 Posts
I'll try again. /forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif I suspect the rod is the original and the older style rods are not especially easy to change. You must remove the ratchet and a crane bushing which requires a special tool. I would say why not shoot it as is. If you get comments and decide to change the end, they are available from Numrich / Gun Parts (e-gunparts.com).
Oh, and the shrouds were apparently available both as factory installed and separately for after market install. You see one in its own little box at auction every now and then.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,130 Posts
well i dont know on the e/rod head but it does not appear correct. the seller in the a/a auction list dom as 1949. i dont know when the shroud appeared but would assume it would be close to s&w bodyguard { a d/s competitor} intro which would be mid 50`s. the shroud was sold as a seperate kit or was installed at the factory if requested. my 1965 gun digest list retail price at 6$ for the kit or factory installed at $7.50, shroud was available in blue finish only.personally i would leave the rod head alone if i intended to use the gun as a shooter.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
909 Posts
Here's another 2 cents: I believe you are all original; from what I have observed Colt's used this style ejector rod head on some of their earliest post-war models ('49-'50) with the dual tone finish. I have a pre-post war OM with the same type, and asking some more advanced collectors, they thought it was also used for a short run and that the BOCF was in error /forums/images/graemlins/frown.gif. I would leave it "as is".
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
9,477 Posts
BW makes a good point. It will shoot just fine the way it is. I will have to check my Colt catalogs from the early Post-War period to see if the style of knob appears anywhere.

Part of me says it has to be an original Colt item because who else would make such a part and WHY? With Colt selling parts for its guns, why would anyone else make such a part? It could be a knob off another brand that happens to use the same thread size and pitch, but that seems a stretch.

I continue to search for the small "single hump" knob with the tapered tail for my 1935 DS. Maybe I could cut down this knob!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
I have now seen pics of three other detective specials on the net with the same rod button. It seems to me that while they are rarely seen in this configuration, it may be original as some of you suggest. What are the odds that three different guys had DS's apart from my own and they found the same after-market button to install on guns of the same model and roughly, the same vintage? I have ordered the more common form of button from numrich but I think I will hold off installing it until I research this a bit more.I t would be neat to have a gun that has a bit more "character" than most if it's a factory part. /forums/images/graemlins/cool.gif
 

·
The Searcher
Joined
·
11,101 Posts
You're right! Obviously, they were all owned by the SAME guy. Now that's some provenence. /forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
9,477 Posts
I have finally had time to check my Colt catalogs of the period and find the Detective Specials pictured have an unusually long knob/head that appears to be the same length as that on the pictured subject DS. However, all the pictured guns in the catalogs have a groove about one-third to one-half (depending on the model) of the way from the front. I speculate that the drawings in catalogs do not actually represent the style that was produced, at least for a while. Since all other Colt revolvers of that era do have the grooved knobs/heads, it is easy to speculate that the illustrator added the feature to the DS as well.

Having said that, I have an announcement flyer for the new Cobra (which would be about 1950) with a photograph of the gun, and its knob/head is grooved. Who knows?

Considering the anecdotal evidence presented above, and the picture in TBOCF (ignoring the caption), I am about to conclude that there were probably Colt revolvers shipped with the style of knob/head shown for a certain period of time.

Again I say, who would have made the knob/head pictured and WHY? It is not logical to think there would be "aftermarket" knobs/heads, especially back then, and the only other answer would be another brand that fits. That could explain one revolver, but not several.

I am ready to get on the "original" bandwagon. I have generally ignored DS revolvers of that era so I have not paid enough attention to enough guns to have it register on my weak mind what style knob/head the guns have, but I shall be more observant from now on.

Cast my vote for original.
 
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
Top