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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
In looking through some of my snub-nosed Colts, I found my Detective Special Serial Number 633266 that is parkerized. I purchased the gun about four years ago and assumed at the time that it may not be original, but at $400, it makes a great carry gun. Did Colt make DS's with this finish during the time frame when this gun was manufactured?
 

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Colt had advertised at various times that a parkerized finish could be specially ordered. But the odds are strong that a 1953 DS with parkerizing is a refinish. If it were mine I probably wouldn't spend the $75.00 for a letter.
As long as you enjoy it for the tool it is and a carry gun, that's all that really matters.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Elliotf: I will try to post a picture on Friday.
Malysh: I just spent $375 on 5 letters for other guns that will most likely letter correctly. On this one, I did not want to spend another $75 unless you fellows who are experts thought the odds might be in my favor. When you get a chance to view the pictures I post, maybe something will show up in them that will give you a better feeling for the gun being factory original or a fake.
 

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I have a Third Issue that was parkerized before I got it, but not by Colt & I've never encountered one that was.
Doesn't mean it could never have happened.
Denis
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Pictures of Parkerized DS: The grips that came on the DS when I purchased it were not factory, so I put a pair of factory grips on that I had stored.






 

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Looks like a refinish job to me.
Aesthetics aside, that's a very practical carry DS.

The original stocks would have been 2nd pattern Coltwoods. The walnut stocks are more attractive and more durable.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Malysh, Thanks for the analysis on this one. I have always thought 'refinish' myself, so it is good to have some expert advice.
It is certainly a great carry gun since the weather doesn't affect it as much as it does a blued version. I will save the $75 for a letter on
this one and apply that money to another Colt which has a better chance of lettering.
I actually have a DS that was purchased by a Secret Service Agent back in 1967. I even have the paperwork where he purchased
it through a Colt Dealer in Maryland. My issue with that one is a factory letter will only show it going to the Maryland dealer.
I think the official registration form signed by the SS agent and the dealer is good enough provenance on that one.
 

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I would be in the court of a refinish.It looks good,the grips make it look even better,and it is a nice carry gun,a win,win 2 me.Enjoy it.
 

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Definite refinish. I'm not really enthusiastic about the matte job. It looks like it was done with sandblast, not bead blast. Sand cuts better and is better for removing old finish, but it's very aggressive and doesn't leave as nice a surface as glass beads.

Still, for your prospective use, it's a good deal. It looks pretty good, and if it gets a few nicks and dings as a carry gun, who cares.

Buck
 

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Definite refinish. I'm not really enthusiastic about the matte job. It looks like it was done with sandblast, not bead blast. Sand cuts better and is better for removing old finish, but it's very aggressive and doesn't leave as nice a surface as glass beads.<br>
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Still, for your prospective use, it's a good deal. It looks pretty good, and if it gets a few nicks and dings as a carry gun, who cares.<br>
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Buck
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Maybe the sand blast was a simple way to cover a multitude of issues. Looks a little like my Agent from the 80's, but a little rougher. The muzzle and sideplate show the most coarseness and that's what makes me think a cover job. I love it as a carry piece...literally a no sweat finish.
PS What is the dark area above the crane on frame? Looks painted or something more than shadow?
Jim.
 

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It looks sandblasted and refinished. The polishing is very rough, with lots of pitting. No way it left the Colt factory in that condition.

Still, if mechanically fine, it should be a great carry and/or range piece, with no worries about damaging the original (but now nonexistent) finish.

Carry it, shoot it, be safe.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Merwin2: The dark are above the crane is just a shadow. I was shooting the picture while holding it in the sun to get a good shot of the SN. Also, there was much oil in the area that combined with the shadow to make it look 'glossy' like paint.

To all, I appreciate your comments. My closeup lens makes the roughness of the finish look worse than it does 'in person,' but there seems to be a unanimous agreement that the gun is non-factory finished. I concur. I do think that the closeup shots show that sand/grit was used instead of glass beads or some mild abrasive.
I will use the gun as a carry weapon although I like my lighter weight Cobra much more for that application.

I do have an Agent that is NIB with a parkerized finished. That seems strange for a gun with an aluminum frame. I haven't looked at it in a while, but I think it is the shrouded bbl. model. The end label on the box has a "P" on it under the word FINISH.
 

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The lack of detail in the Rampant Colt leads me to believe it is refinished Saintclair. Regarding your secret service DS, check the date again.
 

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My mom has a Commando Special from abut 1986. It was Parkerized from the factory, but that's a whole 'nother story.
Sumtin 'bout da yoonyun goin' on strike, or so I've heard.

Even though yours isn't original, I'd love to have one like that for carry, since Parkerizing holds oil and prevents rust.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Hootch56: The SS Detective Special was purchased by the Agent in 1967, but its serial number places it as a 1957 manufacture. Thanks for having me check that out.
The agent evidently purchased and registered a 10 year old gun from the dealer in Rockville , MD. I guess he did not make enough to buy a new one. The document I have is the registration form that was evidently required by Maryland in 1967. It has more data on it than today's NIC forms. It has all of the personal data that was required at that time along with his place of employment (White House) with signature.
 

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With the person with the "Commando Special" I have a strike baby also a 1986 Peacekeeper 4 inch 357 Magnum which is a Parkerized Trooper Mark 5. It is my first Colt the I affectionately call my "Ugly Gun" and my "Poor Man's Python.They are a cool piece of Colt history.
 
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