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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Howdy guys,

I'm more of a S&W man myself, but I appreciate a good Pony as well. well suffice to say I traded a S&W CS9 away for this 95-98% 1st gen Dick special with custom grips;




Serial Number 319948 and with "rare" long grips. I say "rare" lightly cause I surely don't know. Anyone with a year of ship/mfg for this girl?


Story that got down to me was this was an ole lawmans gun up in CT. How it ended up in TX I'll never know.

Thanks!

 

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Per the Colt website and Proofhouse it dates to 1925 and the DS was not introduced until 1927, I believe. Still a great looking shooter.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Huh, I must be misreading the Serial Number then (is it not in the crane?) I looked at the butt for a serial (like on a S&W) and there is nothing. in fact the number inside the crane is the only number I could find. and the barrel says 38 Detective Special on it.

After viewing with a magnifying glass the number is 319948, so maybe someone mated a dick special barrel to a PP frame? I don't know, all I know is that it's quite nice to hold. :D

The Grip Adapter says; YR Gun WKS Geles,Calif Made in USA on them.
 

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Once again, the Colt serial-number-lookup is almost worthless. The Wilson charts place it in late 1929. The gun deserves a set of original stocks.
JudgeColt, you may be looking at the Police Positive chart. Snakeshift's gun is obviously a Police Positive Special frame. As Eliot stated, the 31 prefix would make it too early to be a Detective Special. As we have seen, the first "Detective Specials" were the 2 inch Police Positive Specials. The earliest of those guns fell in the 33, 34 and 35 serial number range. Additionally, they were simply marked with the "38 Special" barrel marking.

Absent any other explanation, I would vote that the gun is a re-barreled Police Positive Special. As mentioned, it is still a nice piece.
 

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TBOCF and Proofhouse are consistant with this look up. It is a 1925 Police Positive Special narrow square butt that has been rebarreled. Barrel lengths of 4-6 inches were standard. Other barrel lengths were available on request. Wilson does state that the 2" barrel length was available in the section for Police Positive Specials. I think this should have been left out because the barrel on Snakeshift's 1925 frame wasn't in production until 1927.

Snakeshift, the Detective Special marked barrel on your gun wasn't introduced for 2 production years after this frame was made. You have a factory Detective Special barrel from the 1927-1945 period on a 1925 gun. In 1926 Colt decided to make factory 2 inch barrel Police Positive Specials. The left side barrel marking was 38 Special, without referrence to Detective. The right side of the barrel and the top of the barrel were unmarked. If I remember correctly, it may have been advertised in the last 1926 brochure. In 1927 the two inch barrel PPS got it's own name, the Detective Special. It had the barrel stampings the same as on your gun. In 1927, Colt also changed from that narrow square butt to a wider square butt configuration.

There are very few factory 1926 2 inch barrel Police Positive Specials with the narrow square butt. I know of a couple that have been verified with Colt letters. Their frames could possibly be from before 1926, but the odds are not the greatest that this is what you have. Only a letter would help.

The stocks are definitely not factory even though they have factory Colt medallions. Finding a Colt set of original narrow square butt stocks could be a challenge, too.
 

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Now I am confused.

Looks like a .38 special size cylinder......therefore a PPS. Possibly an unassembled frame but likely a rebarreled improvement.

Am I missing something Malysh?

In any case, a fine SB two inch any way you cut it.............great trade:cool:
Gaucho, I corrected my first sentence, in which I omitted Special by mistake. I rechecked all other referrences in the post. The rest said Police Positive Special.
Thanks for pointing this out. When discussing the PP and the PPS it is very important to have the correct name :)
 

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JudgeColt, you may be looking at the Police Positive chart.
You are right! When going from one page to the next on my photocopy of the Wilson charts from "The Colt Heritage," I got off a line. Sorry for such a careless mistake.

The gun is obviously a re-barreled Police Positive Special. Bummer!

Obviously, my criticism of the Colt serial number lookup is not justified in this case. (I would like some salt as I eat a big helping of crow for my worthless - harmful even - contributions to this thread!)

I will delete my first thread so as not to mislead anyone only reading that far.
 

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I would like to see a picture of the backstrap to understand how much larger than normal the grips are.

The grips look very close to factory in execution.

Never have seen any like them.

I think they look great.:cool:
 

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I like it. Nice gun. Would be interesting to know who or what WHF is. The grip adapter is interesting, too. Wonder how old it is.
 

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I like it. Nice gun. Would be interesting to know who or what WHF is. The grip adapter is interesting, too. Wonder how old it is.
The grip adaptor is a common Mershon or the successor company, Pachmaier. I cannot see the printing on it well enough to tell which brand it is. It is post WWII. You can see where somebody cut off the front end to fit the pre war "C" frame. The post war change of frame occured around 1948. One of the changes was of the mainspring and it's anchor in the grip frame (another change was eliminating the cap detent for holding the crane assembly and separate lock screw and tapped hole that held it, instead using a single hole with the spring and a screw cap over it) that brought us the "D" frame. It has less arc and a little more length of the arc in the area behind the trigger guard. The change of mainspring and grip frame anchor affected the general contour and some of the dimensions of the lower frame and upper grip frame.

Mershon and Pachmaier made both the older type and the newer type frame adaptors in the post war era. Even Tyler still makes both size grip adaptors for these Colts.
One of the owners of this gun must have been pretty cheap not to just order the correct fitting grip adaptor instead of the sloppy cutting he did with the pre war type adaptor :cool:
 

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Looks like a nice high condition gun to me. Barrel finish matches the gun as well. Stocks are kick ass.

So my question is,

Is there any chance that Colt had this frame laying around for a few years before building it and selling it in this configuration?

I know nothing about the earliest snubbies, but I know Colt never threw anything away.

Might be worth a factory letter.
 

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Rick, I agree it's possible that Colt used a 1925 Police Positive Special narrow square butt frame to assemble this gun into a 1926 2" bbl. "pre DS", and that only a letter would tell us. If so it is a rare gun.

If the barrel was swapped many decades ago (as a lot of them were), the wear patterns would eventually appear to be the same between the barrel and the frame. The one line barrel markings on the right side trouble me, as does the date of the frame. Some close up pictures of the front sight would be helpful to determine if it was a factory installation or a private gunsmith job. No real proof, but my gut feeling is this is a modified gun.

It's not just Colt. No firearms mfg. throws away good parts that have been superceded unless the parts were deemed to be dangerous or unsafe. It's the same with S&Ws, Walthers, etal.
Even the Russians had learned cost accounting after WWII. There are many Soviet AKs that have "transitional" parts or sub assemblies that were replaced, yet have earlier or later receivers that some of the parts would indicate for dating.

Everybdody likes something different. I really don't like the stocks myself.
 
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