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Discussion Starter #1
LWCmdr45, I may have made a mistake on the serial number for my Detective Special. The #450xxx was hand engraved on the frame. The number #455xxx is stamped. What does Wilson say is the year for #455xxx? Since it's stamped, I'm assuming the 455 is the actual serial number, right? (Obviously, I'm new to this.)
 

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LWCmdr45 must be at a barbeque. If that is the correct serial number, it only moves it up one year to 1937. Dick
 

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As you probably know guns are like cars or anything else, their values all depend on condition. Blue Book values run something like this. You have to determine condition.
100% (as new in box)---$795

95%--------------------$550

80%--------------------$375
An so forth.
May be worth a little more if it's square butt, maybe a little more if nickle and so on. You have to accurately descibed the exact condition in order to put an exact price on it. These are just ballpark figures and only relevent if you are buying or selling......right now. Hope this gives some insight on value, and again value is in the eyes of the beholder and what a given buyer is willing to pay on a good day. Everything is negotiable, Dick
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Hmmm, not nickle, definitely not mint, some external pitting but shoots like a charm. That brings the value down considerably but still a nice little gun.-- What is this blue book and where can I get a copy? Gibby
 

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It's the "Blue Book of Gun Values by S.P.Fjestad" and is pretty much the bible for guidelines of gun values as nothing is absolute. The current edition is the 24TH.
You can get them at gunshows or online at http://www.bluebookinc.com or probably even at Amazon.com. Cost is usually around $30-35. I only buy one every two years as the values don't all change that much. IMHO, the BB is pretty good on Colt and Winchester's but the guys over on the Smith & Wesson side are not too happy with them. I think everybody aught to have one for reference though, as there is other good info in there on grading, condition, evaluating etc,(with example pictures) which is valuable when browsing the classified sections of this forum and others or at gunshops and gunshows. Hope this has been some help and GOOD LUCK! Dick

In fact if you go to that website above there is a lot of good info on there! Browse it a little. Dick

[This message has been edited by diamonback68 (edited 08-31-2003).]
 

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colt owner

As far as your shooter goes, don't get rid of it no matter what the condition. It's value will only increase, cause they don't make em anymore! What I would do is get me a tube of Flitz and using it very gently, clean up the finish on the gun. Rub this stuff on very gently, as it will remove bluing if you get gorilla handed with it. The prettier the gun the more you like them and they just seem to shoot better. You have a first issue gun there, condition aside, and the value will only go up. I'd still shoot it occasionally though.
I'll give you a good example of value. Seven years ago, I bought my first Diamondback. It was a 2 1/2" blue 38SPL in 99% condition, and I paid $310 for it, today I wouldn't take less than $700 for it.
Some people bemoan that Colts are overpriced, but if they don't have any of them now (and the reason they probably moan is because they don't have any now) that condition will only get worse...not better. Nobody is going to suddenly find a couple boxcars full of them for sale.
So "not nickle,definately not mint,some external pitting"........ it's all irrevelent now. Sorry for the rant. Dick
 

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Amen brother Majic! You and I are preaching the same gospel. They never want to hear the Python, 686 debate and when you asked where were all the Smith affianados when Smith was in clandestine alignment with the Clintonista, and they were all dumping their guns, they all shut up like a clam. Sure, I got Smiths too but I will put up my Colts against some their best anyday. What about the hell-for-stout King Cobra or TrooperIII? My Diamondbacks ain't too shabby either!

colt owner
Glad we could help. Hang around and you will learn a bunch. The cost is free. Better than some of the dope you get in the gun mags. Any opinion is welcome, even if we all may not agree. Free country, free forum, free opinions, you can't beat it "mit a schtick".
 

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Hey Dick,
Alot of Smith owners complain loudly of the price of Colts, but just check the prices they put on some of their Smiths. I notice they never mention a Trooper or Lawman because they fall right in line with their value priced Smiths. The Detective Special must be taboo as it's also never mentioned.
I got tired of the Python vs the 686 affair and posted that the Python was built during the Model 19 era and the Python won those battles. The fur really started flying then. Just the thought of a MkIII Trooper or King Cobra must never cross their minds.
Every quality manufactor has built good guns, but to most Smith owners:
If it ain't a Smith, it ain't worth it.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
diamonback68, not to worry. I'm not planning to get rid of the little puppy. Far from it. I'm just scratching that curiousity itch. Thanks to this forum, I have a wealth of knowledge I didn't have 2 days ago. I now know when my special was born and that it's a first edition, ordered a copy of the Blue Book, and found some valuable info via the Blue Book websiste. All-in-all, it's been a great weekend.
 

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First of all, a 1937 Detective Special will not have a square butt. The round butt appeared in about 1933. If a 1937 DS were found ANIB, I do not think $795 would be enough. Of course, the Blue Book is only a guide, and the relative values are close in my opinion. As condition falls off, so does value, and the decline is quite sharp. Pitting is very hard on value, depending on how bad and where. I am curious what is meant by "hand engraved on the frame." Does that mean scratched? Where is this "hand engraving?" I wonder why would someone do that for a different number?
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Looks like the best way to discuss this Detective Special is with a photo. Trying to include one.

JudgeColt- Just found out the engraved number is a tracking number that a previous owner put there.

 

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Discussion Starter #14
Well that didn't work. One more try:
[img}http://arctic.photoisland.com/sessions/06847813708/20538787lg.jpg[/img]
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Think I've caught the coding error...last try. BTW, grip shown is the one that replaced the original which I still have somewhere. Original is smaller and uncomfortable for shooting...hard, white, lumpy texture.

 
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