Colt Forum banner

1 - 13 of 13 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
139 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hello to everyone. I am trying to figure out the age of my new purchase. The serial numbers start with a 5 and end with an M. This seems to date my gun to about 1977. However, this gun does not have an ejector rod shroud on it. The ejector rod is exposed as the second issues were prior to 1973. It there anyone here that can help me to understand what is up with this gun. I bought it from the original owner. It is in excellent condition. I love the size of this gun and am just curious as to it's age. I have attached this picture to help. Any insight would be greatly appreciated.
Rock 036.jpg
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,374 Posts
If SN is six-digit starting with 5, and no leading letter, it is probably from the late 1940s-early 50s. Other features seem to confirm this (no shroud, long ejector rod with grooved tip, grooved hammer spur, smooth cylinder latch). Before 1956, it should originally have Coltwood plastic grips. My guess is that it is of late 1940s-early 50s manufacture with non-original grips. I am sure there are others who know more than I do about dating your revolver, especially if you provide more of the SN digits (e.g., 535xxx).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,380 Posts
It is easy go to Proofhouse.com and you can put in the SN and get the exact date of manufacture.Just remember that these D.S are not rated for + P ammunition and target practice should be with 38 special only.I called Colt and they had said you could carry with 38+ P self defense ammo and run a cylinder of it @ the range for shooting characteristics but not more than that.I use Federal Nyclad hollow point in 38 special for carry
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,257 Posts
The late wood stocks on this gun would not fit a Detective Special from the 1940s-1966. This gun has a post 1966 universal shortened D frame grip area and the stocks on this gun would not fit a frame from that period. Since the gun has a thin barrel with an exposed ejector rod that also gives a clue. The gun has to be made from approx. 1966-1972.
If you want a more specific mfg. date I'd suggest you provide more serial number details.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,257 Posts
Your gun was made in 1977 according to R.L. Wilson's The Book of Colt Firearms, 3rd. Edition.
It shows on page 598 that an M suffix serial number that begins with the number five will be in the range of #19201M - #59999M, and is made in 1977. Proofhouse is missing a line of serial number information that is included in the original book.

The barrel is a puzzle because it should be a post 1972 heavy ejector rod shrouded barrel and your gun dates to 1977.
Some members may say that the thin barrel is a left over part used at a later date. I think 5 years from the inception of the heavy ejector rod shrouded barrel with the ramp sight (1972) is too long a period for a pre 1972 barrel to find it's way into the assembly chain, excepting the small run of .32 New Police caliber Detective Specials Colt made approx. 1973-1975 with thin, left over .32 caliber barrels. I checked the barrel markings on your gun and verified it's a 38 Special so that wouldn't have applied to your gun. IMHO the most probable explanation would be the owner of this gun wanted a classic pre 1972 profile barrel, or had a damaged post 1972 barrel and had either a local gunsmith, or a gunsmith working at a Colt regional repair center of the era, replace the original shrouded barrel. It's possible the earlier type barrel was a special order or a late used up part but I think it's unlikely for either scenario.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
139 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
594xxM would be the S/N's. It is quite puzzling. I have a S&W Model 10-5 and just love having this gun as it is a bit smaller, but very simular. : )
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
139 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
To TheDS. I have been able to find only one picture of a "69" model that had the same grips as mine. So I figure it is a pre 73 model. But, I have a hard time not believing the S/N's. I am going to contact the original owner who purchased the gun new way back when. He will probably be able to clarify the situation. He happens to be a WWII veteran who was an avid Colt collector of rare western guns. I will be very interested to get the low down on this model.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,794 Posts
Rock, Welcome to the forum.
Congratulations on your new gun. The DS is special.
Frank
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
139 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Just talked with the original owner of the Colt. And it was purchased in the late 70,s and never had any work done to it. This gentleman is very knowledgable on the historical single action revolvers only. So he could explain the arrangement of the barrel on this model. But was very familiar of the practice that colt used as far as using up stock that may have surfaces during the production of it's models. So he wasn't surprised that it doesn't match the literature as it is discribed. He even offered to buy it back if I wasn't 100 percent happy with the pistol. I told him that he would have to pry it from my dead fingers as I really like the gun and was just curious. As a matter of fact. I think I like it even more now.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,380 Posts
Hi and welcome to our Merry Band.My first Detective Special was my instructor's off duty and back up gun a 1968 non shrouded ejector rod blued model.Because of his cleaning with gasoline I had it refinished by Colt.Next came the 1971 Nickel Detective Special.Being I had to have the trio a 1960 Cobra found it's way to my gun safe.They are like Lays Potato Chips can't only have just one LOL.......Mike.
 
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
Top