Thursday, January 18, 2024

Something Of Interest For The Colt Detective Special Owner

 If you have been reading my blog for a good amount of time, you probably noticed a post or two about my two Colt Detective Special revolvers - one current and one that I sold. I love the one I have now; I kind of sort of, definitely liked them a lot during my time in the Border Patrol. Wanted one badly but never got around to buying one until I bid on one at a live in person auction at the Hessney Auction Co.'s auction-house in Geneva, NY back in February 2018. That one burned just a couple of dollars less than $385.00 out of my pocket. It happened to be the first issue (version) as later authenticated by the Colt Archives and I think from the very first year of production as I recall. Great price you'd think. The thing is it was nice in every regard excepting one. Someone had ground down the front sight thus making it nearly useless for aimed shots at much passed 10 yards or 15 yards. Well, there was one other thing about it that was no so grand, actually something that was more about me than it. I had been the boob to buy it at an auction after examining it but never noticing the front sight issue! So, once I realized my blunder, I sold it and luckily it sold for only a fairly minor loss; well I lost out totally when getting that archive letter from Colt - that added $75.00 or so to the cost of it on the whole. Anyway I informed the buyer about the front sight and she did not give a hoot because it was still a great price for her and was supposedly going to be a gift for her son. She by the way was a dealer at a gun show wherein I sold it. Sadly, later that night, it turned out that - Once upon a midnight dreary, as I pondered weak and weary over many quaint and curious sale of guns of lore (my apologies to one of the greatest writers of all time Edgar Allan Poe) - I suffered seller's remorse. That was regardless of me doing okay by getting rid of it at only a small loss. Things wound up, as they often do, resulting in me  not seeing another nice one at a decent price for quite a while after selling that one.Thus the seller's remorse got worse as time went on but the fire was still burning in my psyche and I knew I'd someday have another. Let me add, with more apologies to Edgar Allan Poe, I had no fear that: On the morrow my desire will leave me, as my Hopes have flown before; and lucky for me there was no Raven to quoth who told me Nevermore. Believe me, I am at the age now at which I have missed lots of things in life wherein the Raven has or would have spoken the word Nevermore - opportunities lost mostly and dear friends gone to whatever comes, if anything, after life.

Then, in September 2023, I picked up another Detective Special from the same auction house, that time via an online auction. The second one looked really fine in the auction photos but they are sometimes not that clear. So, as I usually do, I also inquired of Joe Hessney, the auctioneer, as to the condition. He told me it looked like new and maybe was unfired. (At Hessney they only list a gun as unfired when they know it is new, as I understand; so, even though not listed as unfired, Joe told me it looked to be possible.) When I ran the serial number through the Colt serial number lookup, I was delighted to find out it was the 2nd issue and was manufactured in 1955. 

So, it coincidentally was a second issue of the original one I had had (which was a first issue & first year gun) and it had been manufactured in 1955. Therein those numbers though,  "2nd" issue and "1955" was/is a greater coincidence than my 2nd one being a 2nd version. You see, I am the 2nd son/child in my family and I was born in 1955. You could have safely bet, back when I first saw it up for auction, that I'd bid more than it was worth to get it if necessary. I wanted to kill that seller's remorse over the first one and snuff out the desire to get another. That was especially true after hat Joe had told me about its condition. So I bid on it and when bidding was over I paid for it. 

It cost me a $650 bid, a 13% buyer's premium on top of the bid and about $60.00 to have it shipped and get an FFL holder to transfer it my hands as mine. It felt like this, and again my apologies again to Poe who is one of my favorite authors and the creator of the modern detective story. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes stories came about 4.5 decades later and I think definitely were spawned & strongly influenced by Poe's detective C. Auguste Dupin who first appeared in The Murders in theMorgue, The Mystery of Marie Roget and The Purloined Letter. If you like mysteries, detective stories and especially Shelock Holmes stories but have never read any of these by EAP - all I can say is read them. There are many works of Edgar Allan Poe that are great works of literature but I consider his detective stories among his very best works of prose if not his very best among all of his literary works.

I have digressed so, allow me to continue with the Colt Detective Special.The total was just under $800.00 - quite a lot more than the first one I had bought. Still it was not a bad price and I'd bet C. Auguste Dupin would have carried one at any price. Out of a total of five 2nd issue Detective Specials, that have sold on GunBroker over the past year (I checked as writing this), the low price was $545.00 for a nickel model that looked really nice and the high price was $1,425.00 for a blued version, one that probably had been fired judging by a slight cylinder ring evident in its photos and I do mean slight but it definitely was present. The average sales price of all five was $812.80 - very close to the total I paid at just under $800 shipped and including FFL transfer. Those sold on GunBroker would also add shipping and an FFL fee unless the buyer as an FFL holder and did not have to pay the transfer fee. Either way the average price probably went up around $40 when you add shipping. While my deal was not great, it was very close to average sales price or so it seems.

With it and me both being 2nd sons & having been born in the same year (so to speak), can you fault me for paying as much as I did! I certainly cannot fault myself. I have zero buyer's remorse, in fact, I am quite happy with it. I have taken it to the range and it shoots liked it is enchanted - it could be a real zombie, orangutan (read those Poe detective mysteries to see why I included an ape) or  criminal dirtbag  (of course only in legal self-defense or legal defense of another situations). It's a blast at the range to say the least.  

Liking it as I do, I still will readily admit, I only know a little about Colt Detective Specials but I do know they were the spawn of the Police Positive Special and with their barrel cut down to 2" from the 4" barrel, the shortest of the Police Positive models,  Colt decided to give them the new & innovative name of Detective Special. They were a huge hit immediately once they became available and were referred to as "the cop gun" because so many officers & detectives had them. They have gone through several changes over the years; mostly all I know about the changes is that decades ago there were some major changes with a larger grip longer and ramped front sight, shrouded ejector and so on and there were also earlier changes to it when evolving from the 1st issue to the 2nd issue. I kind of like those older ones better than the latest issue, maybe because I am old and nostalgic about them but also because there is an aura, a mystique, about them after seeing them used in films noir and in TV detective series of my childhood like Mannix. Damn, just seeing them for sale and wanting one but never at a price I was willing or able to pay drove me crazy. Well except for the great deal like I'd gotten on my first one but then again, now we all know why that one was such a deal

Speaking of what we now know, do you know a lot about the Colt Detective Special? That is if you already own one or more or otherwise have an interest in them even if you don't own one. If you do own one or are possibly interested in finding one to purchase or barter with for yourself, or are simply interested in the history of revolvers - you may want to read the article that can be found via this link. The article quite aptly is simply named Detective Special and the site on which it appears is Colt Fever. com. I'd never heard of the article or the site until this evening when reading a post in Texas Gun Talk (an online firearms forum). I am happy that I read the relative post because now I know about the article. I read a bit of the article so far and must say it looked interesting & informative enough to make me realize I should pass on information about it so others could gain from the knowledge it seemingly has to share. Just in case the above link does not work for you, here is the web address in case you need to copy & paste it: 

Enjoy the article: Detective Special and enjoy the works of Edgar Allan Poe, especially those three detective stories. Sadly he wrote no more of them before he was Nevermore.

All the best,
Glenn B