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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I have the opportunity to buy a 1969 Detective special. Guy says it's got just a little high spot wear, few spots on the side of the hammer, not much of a turn line. No box or paperwork, gun only. Asking $600.00. Is this a good price for this gun?



 

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$600 would be the high end price for this gun.

I think you should request better pictures or make sure you have the right of return after a 3 or 5 day non shooting inspection after you get the gun.
The picture makes the gun look refinished, but you really can't tell without better photos. A refinish would affect the value greatly.
 

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I agree that the pictures make it look like a re-finish. However, if the finish is original and not a re-finish, the $600 price would be a pretty good deal around here. The DS is about extinct in the LGS. Apparently, those that have them are keeping them -- and who can blame them.
 

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How can I tell if it's been refinished? I will have an opportunity to see the gun in person.
We can type out explanations for detecting refinished guns, but the best bet is to use the advanced search feature typing the key words refinished gun, or something similar. If you do so, not only will you get the written descriptions of what to look for and questions about refinishing, you will get some great pictures of refinished guns, guns that were debated as refinshed but finally agreed to be original finish, etc. The pictures in these threads will be invaluable for your learning curve.

Good luck!
 

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I purchased a 1969 Detective Special about 6 months ago for $500 out the door.
Condition maybe carried but not fired very much,if at all--no turn ring--very clean.
Not a reblue
Small town-north west Pa. gun store
Nice to shoot--I am happy--not seen very often
The best to you
J.W.
 

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Where's the rampant Colt on that gun? I think that answers the refinished question. Although the picture is a little blurry, it doesn't look like it's there at all.
 

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600 is about right for this part of "The Kingdom of Cuomo".Is it worth it would depend on refinish and most importantly the expectations of the buyer.If it were a good reblue and you wanted a good looking shooter, if the mechanics are good,500 to 600 would be a bit high but wouldn't put it out of the realm of contention.If you are looking as a collector the reblue would kill the value for you. Show more pics so the experts can give you thier learned opinion.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Firearm Gun Revolver Trigger Gun accessory

This is only other pic I have of the gun. Seller told me that it has very light high wear marks , not much of a turn line. I have asked for better pics. I would have to travel an hour and a half to see the gun in person. I can't tell from the pics I have if it's been reblued. I may not be able to tell looking at it in person. I have not had much luck searching for how to tell a reblue on the board. The threads I have seen don't have pics showing what they are talking about.
 

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Like I said before it is a matter of what you want it for. When you look thru the threads read the characteristic tips to point to a reblue.With knowlege it has been you can have the seller reduce the price a bit.I am a member of the "If it is a good looking shooter who cares club." If you do buy this one remember it is NOT rated for +P cartridges as it has the exposed ejector rod.Colt said you can fire a cylinder of +P's and use them for carry but I do not.My carry loads are non +P Nyclad hollow points.I have a Blue 68 D.S.,a 71 Nickle D.S.,and a 1960 Cobra. Good Luck in your search....Mike
 

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I have not had much luck searching for how to tell a reblue on the board.
Since you are having trouble, and may be on a time crunch, Ill see what I can do to help, if just a bit. The markings should be crisp. If you want to know what I mean by crisp, look for posts on the forum of NIB, or new in box examples that are posted all the time on this forum. If the edges of the markings are soft, its a danger sign.

For me one of the most obvious ways is to look at how the sideplate matches up with the frame. If that mating of sideplate and frame looks like a "valley" then its almost certainly a refinish in my book. Its from when the refinisher takes the side-plate off and rounds the edges in the polishing process. If you are unsure of what a side-plate is, its the flat piece that is on the same side of the frame that the cylinder latch is on. It keeps all the parts from falling out! If that still doesn't make sense, go to Numrich website and look at the schematics and you will see what I mean by side-plate. Another thing that some guys are good at seeing are dished screw holes. If it looks like the screw is sinking into the metal, take caution.

Like others said, the Rampant Colt on the side-plate side is a good starting point. If should be crisp.

Sometimes the color is off. Colt handguns do not all have the same finish color. So you will need to learn what the bluing looked like from that period to compare properly. I am no expert, but if I see an 80 year old Colt, and it looks like someone painted it with high gloss black nail polish, Im going to think its a refinish.

Im not an expert, just trying to pass on my own observations from my limited experience.

I would not pay 600 for a refinished DS. I would pay 600 for an original condition one in high condition if I was wanting a DS. For a high condition, ALL-ORIGINAL, I do not consider 600 to be too far out of line. In my neck of the woods, you dont see many Detective Specials.
 

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What the market price for that D.S. would be, really depends on if it is refinished or original. With that said, I have seen in CT, refinished D.S. go for as low as $350 and as high as $500. My D.S. went for $450 a few years ago. I belong to two gun clubs, and the opinion is that if it has been fired slightly, has papers and box, the price would go up even higher. If you really like and want a D.S., jump in and purchase it, shoot the hell out of it and enjoy the beautiful snubbie that it is, and say to hell with what everyone else thinks. Its whats best for you. Enjoy your new pony!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thank you everyone for all the information. I had not even considered it might be refinished until it was brought up on the forum. This gun is a 1969, my birth year, and I got myself pretty excited about buying it, but didn't want to pay too much. I contacted the seller and talked to him a good bit before I started this thread, but since then I have been unable to reach him. He may just be busy or sold it to someone closer to him. I did , however learn a good deal from everyones comments .
 

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I paid $279 for mine, good looking shooter, from early 60s 4, 5 years ago, goes to show you how Colts are a good value at an average price, $279 being about right at the time for one like that. (and of course I use it)

For $600 I'd want better resolution pics, too hard to tell the actual condition of the exterior, finish etc and it's just one shot. I'd want some close-ups and especially to see the other side (I almost got ripped off but good for an expensive camera by missing views of back and side - they were missing standard parts!) What saved me from that was a Credit Card dispute I won. After spending $600 extra dollars to have the camera repaired and missing parts put on, (the seller disappeared), he suddenly popped up demanding his now properly out-footed and fixed camera to be sent back because the original buy price had been refunded to me by my C.C. - and as well overnight FedExed to England! I said his camera was his but now IS a different camera, this one is complete and works, and this one cost $600 more and me $100 in extra effort. So, hand $700 over and he'd get his different camera (and REGULAR Air). He disappeared again. Upshot, what I asked for was fine with my C.C., I had no address for him, he was MIA, so I ended up with the camera AND my money back minus the $600. The value of the item was near $3000.

Why am I telling you all this? So IF the Detective looks very fine in new photos that show all viewpoints, only pay with a C.C.; if it's PayPal or some other such org. fund the purchase price with a C.C. My advice anyway. (If you wait you likely will find a less expensive and similar Detective on some auction or in some local gun store. They're not rare.)
 

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Helluva deal.

I purchased a 1969 Detective Special about 6 months ago for $500 out the door.
Condition maybe carried but not fired very much,if at all--no turn ring--very clean.
Not a reblue
Small town-north west Pa. gun store
Nice to shoot--I am happy--not seen very often
The best to you
J.W.
 
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