The Colt Detective Special

Twenty years before Smith and Wesson gave the world their Chief’s Special, Colt pioneered the snub-nosed revolver. A handy six-shooter with a 2-inch barrel, the Colt gun was revolutionary for its day and is still viable nearly a century later. Colt called it the Detective Special.

In the 1920s, a new wave of Prohibition criminals such as John Dillinger, Machinegun Kelly, and Clyde Barrow captured the public’s imagination. They also scared the crap out of law enforcement. With these criminals being equipped with high-powered Thompson subguns bought over the counter, coupled with weapons stolen from National Guard armories, law enforcement needed to upgrade their sidearms. Plainclothes detectives either had to carry full sized revolvers or pistols, or were forced to tote small and ineffective European revolvers in tiny calibers such as the Velo Dog. What they needed was a handgun capable of being carried concealed, yet still chambered in an effective caliber.

Enter the Colt Detective…

Read the rest in my column at Firearms Talk

colt detective

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