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Old November 15th, 2010, 01:42 AM
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Default Colt Detective Special v. S&W Chief's Special

I want to know your opinions on these two snubbies. Which would you buy, would you carry it, how many rounds can it safely take in it's lifetime etc. I realize the Colt is out of production, and the only one I would ever want is one made in the 60's. What is your oppinion on shooting a 50+ year old Colt?
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Old November 15th, 2010, 07:09 AM
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Default Re: Colt Detective Special v. S&W Chief's Special

The Smith is a little smaller and holds 5, the Colt a little larger and holds 6. Pick your poison. I went with small.

Guns are for shooting. I'd carry a 50 year old Dick Special in a heartbeat.
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Old November 15th, 2010, 07:37 AM
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Default Re: Colt Detective Special v. S&W Chief's Special

I have a Cobra from the 70's and a model 36 from the 60's. Both are nice guns. It's a bit harder to find a gunsmith to work on the colt. They both get carried. If you can get both!
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Old November 15th, 2010, 08:46 AM
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Default Re: Colt Detective Special v. S&W Chief's Special

The Colt cylinder latches only at the rear. The ejector rod is out in the open and a snag waiting to happen.

The S&W's cylinder latches front and rear, and tends to help keep the cylinder aligned with the bore over the long haul.

Colt made good revolvers, no question. As the saying goes, "Colt made the best automatics, S&W made the best revolvers." What amounts to fine-point details made my personal choice S&W -- I have a Model 36 and a Model 60LS in J-Frame 38s.

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Old November 15th, 2010, 01:05 PM
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Default Re: Colt Detective Special v. S&W Chief's Special

Quote:
Originally Posted by FCRPhila View Post
I want to know your opinions on these two snubbies. Which would you buy, would you carry it, how many rounds can it safely take in it's lifetime etc. I realize the Colt is out of production, and the only one I would ever want is one made in the 60's. What is your oppinion on shooting a 50+ year old Colt?
thanks
I'd buy both. lol

Lifetime round count - only God knows. Like any manufacturer's guns, it all depends on the individual gun, what kind of ammo it was fed, and the maintenance it was given.

As for shooting 50yo Colts - if they operate, and are in safe condition - shoot them. I shoot my dad's (was my granddad's) Colt 32-20 Police Positive when I have a chance. And it was made in the 1920's or 30's.
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Old November 15th, 2010, 01:22 PM
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Default Re: Colt Detective Special v. S&W Chief's Special

Copllector value no doubt the Colt Dick. For home protection or carry piece the Colt would od well if a shooter.

The S&W J frame is a great carry weapon and home protector. Its only 5 shots compared to the Dicks 6 shots but the Smith is smaller and slightly easier to carry. But the Dick has that 6 shot that if the assailant is counting can be a surprise. Big what IF.
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Old November 16th, 2010, 08:28 PM
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Default Re: Colt Detective Special v. S&W Chief's Special

For carry I would lean toward the Smith. Even in steel it is smaller and slightly lighter. The Smith is also easier to get parts and service for. They are also cheaper, so regular carry will cost less in depreciation. They are available with shrouded hammers so are better for pocket carry. Colt Detective Specials can be beautiful firearms and are rather collectible. However, for everyday carry the Smith is simply somewhat more practical.
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Old November 16th, 2010, 08:39 PM
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Default Re: Colt Detective Special v. S&W Chief's Special

Is there an option for neither???

I have owned both in question back in the days when a gen 3 dick special was police surplus

Since a dick special today is in cost the same as a upper level springfield and parts are becoming an issue those two reasons would rule it out.

Carrying a Smith 36 that hammer has a habit of snagging at the worst possible moment.

So I would vote Smith 649. Hammer is shrouded, moderate weight to better absorb recoil of +p rounds, and parts are easy to find and its still in production.
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Old November 16th, 2010, 09:23 PM
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Default Re: Colt Detective Special v. S&W Chief's Special

Have both, and love both.
My 60's vintage DS has a great action. Perhaps it had been worked sometime before I got it.
My 36 was my Fathers, also 60's vintage. I do not put much use on it for sentimental reasons.
I do have a 442 that gets carried a lot, more than the DS, because it is snag free in a pocket.
The DS gets carried more in the cold weather, as it's a bit bigger and I tend to carry it OWB, often crossdraw in an old Buchiemer holster.
I have no problem at all with using a 50+ year old gun, so long as I check it out and am sure that it is in good condition. I have Colts that are almost twice that age that work just fine.
For that matter I have several revolvers from the 1870's that I shoot on occasion. They always go bang.
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Last edited by gf45acp; November 16th, 2010 at 09:25 PM.
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