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You'd be hard pressed to find a better carry gun than the Agent.
It offers about the perfect size frame and grip, and the sixth shot is invaluable.

While these pre-1972 Colt's weren't rated for +P ammo, you'd be OK in shooting a small amount.
Most aluminum framed Colt owners shoot standard .38 Special for practice and load with +P for "business".

My personal opinion is, the only thing the .38 Special S&W Model 36 really offered was, it was the smallest .38 made.

True, some people like the trigger pull better, and some just preferred S&W guns, but MOST people carried it for the simple reason that it was tiny.
If someone had made an even tinier .38 with equal quality, they would have bought them.

The older model 36's shot loose much faster with +P ammo, and S&W ABSOLUTELY said NO +P in the older models.

Given a choice between an Agent and a Model 36, I'd take the Colt every time.

I personally consider the Colt Detective Special/Cobra/Agent the absolute top of the heap in .38 snubby revolvers.
 

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Saw a late model agent(parkerized with the barrel shroud) at a small local gunshow today. Dealer,who has as much personality as a cadaver,wanted $325(no box etc.) but in great shape. Interestingly,it wore the wood checkered Colt stocks,no medallions,that look like Herrets. Thought price was fair. Yesterday,an early Cobra, 2" .38 special,98%,no box etc. was in a gun shop for $250. It was early,with the full grip frame. Next to it,was an early pre-shroud,Detective Special,probably 85%-90% finish for $195. Good prices for a couple of great carry Colts,but I got enough of these. This shop tends to overprice(a tad) S&Ws IMO and undervalue Colts! So,the D frames are still ou there,at decent prices, if you get lucky. Bud
 

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Thanks for the replies. I'm going to get out and find a Detective Special and a Cobra and weigh my options (no pun intended). I think I'm going to like the alloy frame and the longer grip offered by the Cobra. How do the light guns wear using std. .38 for practice? As for the model 36, my Smith 19 has been collecting dust since I got the Trooper (my "poor man's Python"). I think I'm sold on the older Colts. Oh...One more question. How is the quality on the newer guns? Should I stick to the pre-'69s, or would a newer Det. Spl. be alright? Thanks! Tyler
 

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1. Good afternoon. I quized you folks about a trooper a few weeks ago. I finally got it here to North Carolina (all the way from the West coast)and I'm tickled with it. It's a 1964 gun with factory target hammer. My gunsmith and I stripped the whole thing down to the frame and washed it good in the parts washer, oiled it and put it back together. It's been carried quite a bit, but the mechanics and barrel are like new. It's a great shooter!!! Thanks for the advice. Very accurate, very smooth.

2. An agent with the serial number A36XXX has surfaced in a gunshop in central North Carolina. I'm dating that gun to 1969 (first issue??)...Is that correct? The dealer says it's about a 95% gun with some slight holster wear in the ussual places, mint barrel, and some pearlite grips (those will have to go). He wants $300 for the thing. I'm looking for a good carry gun. What do you guys think? I know ya'll are partial to the Colts, but does anyone who has carried both have an opinion about how the Agent stacks up against the S&W 36?

I hope you all have a great afternoon. Anybody in the South East should be shooting today!!! It's beautiful.
 

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tlrray, I happen to like the newer version Detective Specials better than the older ones. I believe the newer ones are made stronger. I also find the shrouded barrel much more attractive then the un-shrouded barrel.

I also like that the ejector rod is protected and won't snag on anything. I like the fact that the newer version has more metal on the barrel.

Yes the older style DS is timeless and will live on in countless cop & robber movies. But newer ones are made pretty darn good.
 

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Thanks for the input WS23. I think I'll just have to get one of each and decide for myself
Lonewolf...Where is this shop and how can I get in touch with them??? I'd love to talk with them about that Cobra.
 
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