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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been looking for a Colt Detective special for several years. I always like the 60's and 70's models used in The Rockford Files or Bullitt. Now I realize, the older they are and especially in good shape, bring more money. I shoot my revolvers so I am not looking for a safe queen, may even carry it.

For a shooter that I could shoot several hundred rounds through in a year, I have been looking at a series 3 (I think it is a series 3, 1981 model with shrouded ejector rod). The bluing on it is what I would consider very good if not bordering on excellent. I didn't really see much in the way of wear on the bluing, has the Pachmayr grips, blued frame, and it was exceptionally clean.

I have heard if you want to shoot it a lot a series 3 or 4 will probably last longer with the shrouded ejector, and are a little beefier like a Ruger sp101.

Then I keep going around thinking maybe I should be looking for a Smith and wesson model 10 snubby or 3" barrel over the Colt, but the colt is like a bucket list, even though I really wanted an older one.

I have seen prices all over the place online- older models in Gun Broker are from about $450 and up, but under $800 or so they are all rusty. Have seen some around $750, some around $900, some over $1000...

While I realize it is probably the worst time to look for something like this, the one I found locally is $899, and it looks to be very lightly used... No rings from rounds on the frame, bore looked great, barely any cylinder wear line, bluing looked great...

so my thoughts are:
1) Is the Colt detective special I mentioned worth getting or should I wait longer?
2) Is it better than something else like a Security Six, or Model 10 Smith?
3) The last few deals I waited on that I really liked, were gone within days...
4) Is the third generation a good candidate for a few hundred rounds a year? Will the older models be fine as well?

I hate my thoughts some times...
 

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I got one much later than yours, Series 5 like the series 3 but with all the parts left they made as many as they could.. I paid 600.00 for it 4 years ago and have turned down 950.00 just recently. I carry it and will not part with it. That price may be a little high but then they are not often seen less than 1000.00 and in nice shape. They are very nice shooters and did check with Colt, the Series 3 will shoot +P on limited basis.
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I had a gunsmith I used to use frequently (when he was still alive) offer me a Det Spl stainless in the late 90's for $300 and I whiffed and passed. One of my firearm regrets is not getting it.

OP I would try to move them off the price but with the condition you have stated I don't believe you will ever lose money on it.
 

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I only paid 100 for mine as some body came in the shop needing money. Been more than 30 years since that day.
 

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Just picked up a well worn but few rounds through a 1970 Cobra. No show stopper but a sleeper. 17oz 6 shot snubby. $425.00 Cosmetically challanged but a good shooter. Front pants pocket summer carry.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
Well, I checked online this morning, and the shop still had it... Among a few other things that interested me...

I checked out a Taurus Judge which has been on my short list for a while, and never seem to show up locally because Taurus revolvers aren't Mass Approved so they have to be older ones transferred in years ago... I have held Judge's before, and this one had "Public defender" laser engraved on the top of the frame... It was very dirty, like shot quite a bit and rarely cleaned (which usually for me is a red flag), and the cylinder lockup was pretty bad- had about 3x as much play when the hammer was back as I thought a revolver should, and more than any I have owned... They also had a Governor... for $1200 :O Pass...

So after debating it for a few minutes, I jumped on the Colt.

Yes it is not a 2nd gen like I originally wanted, but I have two Charter Arms gen 1 Undercovers that fit the bill of snubbies with exposed ejector rods, and I figured the Colt will be a little more durable with the shrouded ejector. It was in nicer condition than I remembered from last week. I would say it's 95% condition, you can barely see a faint line of wear on the muzzle, otherwise, its immaculate. It has been shot a little but you can tell the owner took care to clean it well. Pics will follow at some point.

They had a gen 2 used in stock as well, with holsters, and extra grips, quite a bit of bluing wear, but it was $1200, and honestly this Gen 3 is way nicer. It fits the hand so well, balance is good, and the 6 shot sold me. I was debating a Smith model 10 snubby, but this feels like suck a better gun to me.

crosses one more off the list... Still looking for a good 3" Snubby, a blued .22lr revolver, and a Governor or Judge eventually. Just not the one I looked at today...
 
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Well here come some pics -
99D99911-646C-47D1-8B0E-F728A3184EEA.jpeg
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ED603E43-F4BD-4149-A283-258F3331F4F5.jpeg
49B57253-9F7C-4205-A8AA-D51F661BAF25.jpeg
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
3146FC98-6894-4F67-9041-A47AA6A23CE1.jpeg
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Few more pics

maybe it’s not 95% like I thought, but it’s very nice. Probably the nicest one I own. I love it- perfect size IMO. If the SP101 was a 6 shot, it would be a contender for this, but I haven’t found any other 6 shootersthis size. Maybe a security six would be close, but I’ve only held one of those.
 
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