Dossier… Detective Special

One of my handguns that recaptures a bygone era is my 1961 Colt Detective Special. From a time when detectives were universally armed with snubnose .38 Special revolvers. The main rival to the Colt “Dick” Special was the five shot Smith & Wesson Model 36 Chiefs Special.

The first thing a Colt aficionado notices is the optional factory hammer shroud to prevent the hammer spur from snagging on clothing when carried in a pocket.


Naturally, the shroud carries the rampant colt logo.



Despite there being enough room, the name is abbreviated on the barrel.


When I got the revolver in my youth, the grips were cracked and splintered. Soon after, I had found a set of used Herrett grips. The previous owner had relieved the left grip for the use of speed loaders.


The grips obscure most of the Colt logo and you can see numerous scratches on the grips from untold number of speed loader reloads put through the vintage belly gun.


The classic HKS speed loaders work perfectly with my wheelgun.





Clearance for the speed loader is evident here. The milled rear sight is also visible here.



A long time ago I had acquired a 3″ barrel for a post 1972 Detective Special for a song.



Last century, I spoke with the service center at Colt. They sadly reported that the barrel threads were changed in 1972 when the shrouded barrels were introduced. So a unique personal hybrid is out of the cards for this old roscoe. The only thing I have to do is procure a replacement ejector rod cap. The original was lost during one of the many snubnose revolver matches that this wheelgun has placed well in.


Now to just find a used 2″ post ’72!


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2 Responses to Dossier… Detective Special

  1. A very interesting lesson! Thank you!

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