More on Fitz Specials
Hello all. I'm brand new to this forum. I'm interested in pricing and maybe selling my 1931 Colt 38 "Fitzgerald Special" Detective Special. Any ideas? I know a little about guns but I'm no expert. I do know that this is a pretty rare gun. It's in pretty good shape. Only problem is that my dad engraved his drivers license in the metal in two places.
Due to the great rarity of genuine Fitz Colts, the value can be high today. However, also due to the rarity and value, the Fitz Colts have been counterfeited, INCLUDING to the extent of having a fake Colt letter.
Such is the case, that today, without a Colt factory letter ALL Fitz guns are suspect to potential buyers, no matter what the history.
In your case, since the value could be significant. You will almost have to have a recent Colt letter in hand before anyone will pay the true value.
Due to the few Fitz Colts that come up for sale, it's almost impossible to give any kind of close estimation of value. I'd guess that the best price would probably come in an online gun auction on Gun Broker, and that would HAVE to have the Colt letter as a estimate to it's authenticity.
The Fitz Special, named after John Fitzgerald who worked for Colt, was conceived as a revolver to be carried in a gentleman’s side pants pocket. The purpose of cutting away the front of the trigger guard was so that the trigger finger could wrap around the trigger while the gun was still confined within the pocket.View the entire thread here at The High Road.
Today of course the whole idea is condemned as being dangerous. I once ask Charlie Askins about that. His personal body count was supposedly double-digit, and he not only cut away the guard on his pocket guns, but holstered sidearms as well. He unquestionably spoke from a position of unequaled knowledge and experience.
He looked at me for a moment and then said, "Well there are a lot of things more dangerous that happen in a fight then a cut-away trigger guard."
In my experience the amputated guard will buy you a split second when the revolver (or pistol for that matter) is carried in a pocket. Split seconds often make the difference between life and... whatever. Askins never felt obligated to give the other guy an even break, and eventually he died of old age. Somewhere in there, there is a message.
As has been mentioned, all of the Fitz Specials that were made at the Colt factory were custom ordered, as they were never cataloged. Most of them were channeled through Mr. Fitzgerald himself, and the individuals that got them read like a who's who of legendary gunmen of the middle 20th century. They were neither incompetent or stupid, and like Askins took any advantage they could get.
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