Strength of Original Trooper .38
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Thread: Strength of Original Trooper .38

  1. #1
    JWP
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    DFaris was discussing the strength of the Trooper in another post, and not wanting to hi jack that thread I’d figured I’d start another one...
    DFaris said that the original Trooper .357 could handle an almost unlimited amount of +P .38 ammo. I have several Troopers that are .38 only. Is that also the case with them? Also, currently they carry up and lock up perfectly. If I only shoot regular 158 grain round nose ammo, what would you think the round count would be before the hand needs to be stretched? Would it ever get to that point?

    Also, another more random question...after Troopers were chambered for .357, did they also make .38 Troopers alongside them?
    I have a couple that were made in the 50’s, but also one that I suspect was made in the 60’s, after they were chambered for .357.
    Thanks!

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    I have a .38 nickle Trooper myself. It will be interesting to see if anyone here claims to know if the .357 cylinders were heat treated different. I carried a .357 on the job many years. I suppose the standard answer will be "no" for safety sake but it`s hard for me to believe a 357 and a 38 made at the same time were heat treated different. Hell, they made a .38 special python too! For the few made it`s hard for me to believe they heat treated those different! I suppose they got orders from some police and guard departments insisting their guns be .38 special, not 357. Thinking on reaming the cylinder to .357?
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    Quote Originally Posted by JWP View Post
    DFaris was discussing the strength of the Trooper in another post, and not wanting to hi jack that thread I’d figured I’d start another one...
    DFaris said that the original Trooper .357 could handle an almost unlimited amount of +P .38 ammo. I have several Troopers that are .38 only. Is that also the case with them? Also, currently they carry up and lock up perfectly. If I only shoot regular 158 grain round nose ammo, what would you think the round count would be before the hand needs to be stretched? Would it ever get to that point?

    Also, another more random question...after Troopers were chambered for .357, did they also make .38 Troopers alongside them?
    I have a couple that were made in the 50’s, but also one that I suspect was made in the 60’s, after they were chambered for .357.
    Thanks!
    The original Troopers were originally built on the E-frame in .38 Special...the Three Fifty Seven model was on the I-frame in the magnum caliber. Eventually the Trooper was put on the I-frame and called the Trooper .357 and when the Python was released the Three Fifty Seven was kind of lost in the mix and eventually dropped.

    There were the occasional runs of .38 Special Troopers back on the E-frame whenever a police agency wanted an adjustable sighted .Colt .38 Special revolver.

    While I'm not an authority on this at all, but I believe Colt heat treated frames and cylinders appropriately for the calibers they were designed for. Modifying a .38 Special cylinder to accept a .357 Magnum is an invasion to disaster.
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  5. #4
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    The .38 Special Trooper, whether the original "E" frame with the firing pin on the hammer, or the "I" frame version with the firing pin in the frame are perfectly good for any amount of +P ammo.
    Also, other then the Buffalo Bore +P ammo, most of today's +P ammo is not loaded as hot as the original.
    This is probably due to people shooting the original hotter +P in small frame revolvers that weren't made to handle it, so the ammo makers are downloading it.

    The first Trooper as made from 1953 to 1961 was the "E" frame and was only available in .22LR and .38 Special.
    The second model as made from 1961 to 1969 was the "I" frame was was only available in .38 Special or .357 Magnum.
    The "I" frame .38 Special version was stamped "Colt Trooper .38 Special" and ".38 Special Ctg" under that.

    It's not possible to even estimate how many rounds of .38 Special or .38 Special +P ammo a Trooper can shoot before needing maintenance.
    All that depends on HOW it's shot. If you fire fast double action by jerking the trigger hard, or cocking it in single action by yanking the hammer back hard, the gun will wear faster.
    As I stated in the other thread, if you drive a car gently to the store and around town it's going to last a long time before needing some major repairs.
    Drive it off road or at high speeds it'll need work sooner.

    Truth is, if you just shoot a Trooper normally, like any revolver, it's going to last a very long time.
    The old NYPD issued Colt Official Police revolvers to new cops in the academy, and these often went a 20 or even 30 year career with no repairs needed. The Trooper is just the Official Police with a heavier barrel and adjustable sights.

    Shoot your Trooper as it was intended and enjoy it. If it ever needs maintenance THEN worry about it.
    Last edited by dfariswheel; 01-20-2020 at 01:24 PM.
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