NRA Gun of the Week: Colt’s Detective Special

In The American Rifleman, July 1926, Colt’s Detective Special (DS) made its first appearance, and had a production life that continued into the 21st century. The carbon-steel, double-action revolver features a swing-out cylinder designed around the .38 Spl. cartridge. Its size, as the moniker suggests, quickly led to the gun finding its way into the pockets of police detectives around the county, providing a concealable option for undercover, or plain-clothes, officers where duty-size revolvers, such as the Police Positive, were not appropriate. As the DS revolver’s production evolved, Colt made running changes, including alterations to the frame, ejector rod, cylinder latch, trigger shoe, hammer spur and stocks. The Detective Special began to be available in nickel- and chrome-plated finishes, along with various barrel lengths and models that shrouded the hammer spur to lessen the potential for snagging clothes when it was withdrawn from concealment. Colt filed for bankruptcy protection in 1992, and in 1995 the Detective Special was phased out. To learn more about Colt’s Detective Special, check out our latest NRA Gun of the Week video hosted by American Rifleman's Mark Keefe.

Additional Reading:
Sheriff's Tips: The Fitz Special--A Defense Gun From Yesteryear  
Editors' Picks: 2018 Colt Night Cobra Revolver  
A Look Back at the Colt Python   
Colt's D Frame  
Wiley Clapp: this Colt Python Business  

  















  


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