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Relief Engraving
1950 Colt Detective Special
One of my favorites
1950 Colt Detective Special mother-of-pearl grips

Detective Special .32

The Colt Detective Special was first produced in 1927 and last produced in 1995. A derivative of the old Colt Police Positive, it was produced to meet the market demand for a gun that was easily concealed. The guns were produced in .32 and .38 caliber. My gun pictured here, was made in 1950. It's caliber is .32 New Police.

1950 Colt Detective Special close-up of mother of pearl grips

Close up of the right side cylinder.

To the collector, factory engraving and special grips have the most value. However I believe in time many of the after-market add-ons and additions to guns will hold their own value.

1950 Colt Detective Special

The Rampant Colt Logo

Gun Collecting: .32 Colt Detective Special, Nickel, fully engraved, real mother-of pearl grips. The .32 New Police cartridge (Colt's name for the S&W .32 Long) was and is popular for its accuracy, even in a short barrel gun as the one pictured on this page. I paid $1,750 for this gun in 2005. I was infatuated with the gun because of the caliber, the year 1950, the engraving and the mother-of-pearl grips.

1950 Colt Detective Special

Right side view of the .32 New Police Detective Special with full coverage engraving.

When I purchased this Colt Detective Special .32 Caliber handgun for $1,750, I had no expectations that it would double in value in ten years. I just knew that I wanted to own it for the next ever how many years I could, and leave it to my children.

1950 Colt Detective Special

Frontal view of the barrel and cylinder of the .32 caliber Detective Special.

The .32 caliber has gone the way of the 16 gauge shotgun, it is almost non-existant. I hate that, but understand that market demand decides the fate of any product. My rationale in buying this gun was that it would cost $1,300 in 2005 dollars to have it engraved in such a manner. It would also cost $300 to have it nickel plated in 2005 dollars. A 1950 gun would surely cost $150. I easily convinced myself.

1950 Colt Detective Special

Right side view of the barrel showing the Colt's Mfg. Co.

I did not call the Colt Archive at 1-800-962-COLT and assumed that the engraving was after-market. The engraving had the appearance of that of a Texas engraver I had seen before. I love everything about this gun; size, weight, cartridge, accuracy and on top of all that, it's just a thing of beauty.

1950 DS .32

1950 Colt Detective Special

Shoulder Holster

1950 Colt Detective Special in shoulder holster

Dating Your Colt Detective Special

Prefix means the letter is at the beginning. Suffix means the letter is at the end.

If your gun has a letter... Go to
A (prefix) 1969-1970
B (prefix) 1970-1972
C (prefix) 1972-1973
D (prefix) 1966-1969
F (prefix) 1973-1974
H (prefix) 1974-1975
M (prefix) 1975-1976
M (suffix) 1976-1977
R (suffix) 1977-1978
S (prefix) 1978

Serial Number Table

These serial numbers are for the Police Positive and Detective Special. The table covers 1,430,512 guns over 70 years.

Year of
DOM
Begin Serial
Number
End Serial
Number
Yearly Prod.
Totals
1908 1 12999 12,999
1909 13000 22499 9,500
1910 22500 35499 13,000
1911 35500 50999 15,500
1912 51000 64999 14,000
1913 65000 89999 25,000
1914 90000 109999 20,000
1915 110000 124999 15,000
1916 125000 142999 18,000
1917 143000 144999 2,000
1918 145000 161999 17,000
1919 162000 189999 28,000
1920 190000 224999 35,000
1921 225000 241999 17,000
1922 242000 269999 28,000
1923 270000 282999 13,000
1924 283000 308999 26,000
1925 309000 324999 16,000
1926 325000 330999 6,000
1927 331000 C332999 2,000
1928 333000 372999 40,000
1929 373000 382999 10,000
1930 383000 399999 17,000
1931 400000 404999 5,000
1932 405000 411999 7,000
1933 412000 422999 11,000
1934 423000 434999 12,000
1935 435000 443999 9,000
1936 444000 451999 8,000
1937 452000 456999 5,000
1938 457000 466999 10,000
1939 467000 470999 4,000
1940 471000 473999 3,000
1941 474000 476999 3,000
1942 477000 478999 2,000
1943 479000 479999- 500
1944 479500 479999 500
1945 480000 480999 1,000
1946 481000 490000 9,001
1947 490001 493999 3,999
1948 494000 515050 21,051
1949 515051 542399 27,349
1950 542400 571499 29,100
1951 571500 607399 35,900
1952 607400 624889 24,050
1953 624850 648899 24,050
1954 648900 662649 13,750
1955 662650 672049 9,400
1956 672050 695399 23,350
1957 695400 710599 15,200
1958 710600 725599 15,000
1959 725600 749999 24,400
1960 750000 776399 26,400
1961 776400 797499 21,100
1962 797500 819499 22,000
1963 819500 839499 20,000
1964 839500 861499 22,000
1965 861500 890799 29,300
1966 890800 900100 9,301
1966 D900101 D925999 25,899
1967 D890800 900100 9,301
1968 D958500 D994999 36,500
1969 D995000 D998715 3,716
1969 A10000 A43499 33,500
1970 A43500 A59999 16,500
1970 B01001 B23000 22,000
1971 B23001 B49000 26,000
1972 B49001 B59999 10,999
1972 C01001 C22000 21,000
1973 C22001 C60000 38,000
1973 F01001 F08800 7,800
1974 F08801 F60000 51,200
1974 H01001 H18100 17,100
1975 H18101 H60000 41,900
1975 M01001 M29600 28,600
1976 M29601 M51999 22,399
1976 01001M 19200M 18,200
1977 19201M 59999M 40,799
1977 01001R 11700R 10,700
1978 11701R 59999R 48,299
1978 S01001 ?


Use the Colt Serial Number Database Lookup Tool.


  Colt Database Search



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