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I would like the opinion of this forum on the best 38spec Colt ever made and why.I know the Python Target is probably on the top because it is a Python but what about the other guns?
 

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Officers Model Special Target Revolver. It had to put five shots in a bull the size of a 50 cent piece from an arm rest, or Colt would not ship it. We have one in 38 special, and have never touched the sights. Its right on. Picked it up at a gun show three or four months ago. Robba
 

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I guess I'd have to ask,best .38 Special for WHAT purpose?

Target,sorry Robba,while I love the older (and post war) Officers,I gotta choice the "Shooting Master". It's heavier,too big for some,but it was their "top of the line gun" in the 30's,and received the best fitting,finish,like the Python.

Duty use-I will take an Official Police made in the 30's. Smooth,heavier than the M&P Smith,I have a Heavy Barrel version(6") that will shoot the 38/44s better than my heavier .38 Special New Service.

"CCW"-gotta go with the earliest Detective Specials. Even some of the die hard S&W J Frame fans,once they shoot one,admit,that while a little heavier than the steel framed Chiefs,the D.S. is more user friendly,plus the extra shot!

Bud
 

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I wanted to try and give a reply to your interesting question, really! Hard to do ... Pre-war quality is obvious in anything from Colt and anyone else, from guns to cars to toys, musical instruments, ad infinitum. And the Shooting Master was the Cadillac of the line - or Packard or Duesenberg! Ha! I had an Officer's Model Match once I thought was close to magic for bullseye shooting ... never have shot an Officer's Model Special but I'd sure like to! But, if you make a list and check off points for A. Accuracy B. Ease of carry C. Sights D. Trigger pull E. Availability of after-purchase accessories, like holsters, speed loaders, stocks, etc., I'd have to nominate the Diamondback. The only one it loses to is the Python, which isn't in the running. (Although my nephew who's more into guns than I am, swears they made 38 special Pythons OTHER than the 8" target version.) If there is such a thing as a 6" stainless Python in 38 only, I'd vote for it. But, short of that, there's only the D gun. Besides that, it's the only 38 double action used by John Wayne in a movie - and that just settles everything, don't it!? This was fun!
 

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We actually have a copy of a magazine ad from the net that touts "Puts 5 shots in a bull the size of a 50 cent piece, or it's not good enough for Colt!" that was run about the Officers Model Special Target Revolver. Knowing what I know about gun companies today, it amazes me that in those days they put that much time, and effort in testing a revolver before it was shipped. How things have changed. No wonder we scour the shops looking for older guns.

Robba
 

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For target shooting I would say the Shooting Master, if you had hands large enough for it, or the Officers Model Target for average size hand shooters. I think neither model (on average) could outshoot the other. I would imagine the Python Target will rank up there with those 2 models, but the long barrel may be a detriment to some shooters. I know it's too muzzle heavy for me.

Robba,
Here's one if you have the pockets for it. It's way out my league, but nice to look at besides I really want one chambered in .44spl. When I dream I dream big.
http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewItem.asp?Item=33262618
 

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Hey Majic: Thanks for the lead on the Shooting Master, but me thinkith he is trying to retire on the sale of one gun. Although it may be worth what he is asking, I think I'll try to bump into one someday.
We have used up a lot of our luck lately. Found two 2.5 Pythons in one week, one SS, and one blued. Also a very rare Ruger, one of about 20 that exist, and also a Ruger flattop.

Regards, Robba--had not heard from you lately on the forum.
 

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I have to go with Lonewolf's categories and nominations, with one addition:

Most Intimidating .38:
Colt's 2" Official Police/Marshal/Commando.

From the wrong end it looks like "whoop ass in a can".

B.W.
 

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Yes,Bushwacker,that 2" O.P.(1956) is what the wife carries it in her purse(but she lets me borrow it,when an "ocassion" comes up.) Took me years to find one,I even hoped to find a 2" Commando(many 4" Commando were rebarrelled,with new 2" bbls. for C.I.D, from Colt in the 50's,patent dates are different,but the dead give away if you are searching for an "original 2",is that the originals have the rounded 1/2 moon sight vs. the "ramp" on the post war barrels). Never found one,or saw one in my Air National Guard/Air Force Security career,but they were "listed". Passed on a Nickle 2" Marshall,mint in the box,for $550 around 10 years ago;should borrowed the $$$ from household $$!

I've looked at two 2" Lawman Mk.IIIs in past year,for $350-$375,but while more "powerful",the O.P. carries 2 swaged hollow points,followed by 2 hard cast swcs,another hp,and finally a hard cast swc-all fueled by a handload I won't list,as velocity is pushing 950 fps in 2" bbl. Old "Yankee hunting trick" I learned; 1st couple of bullets were soft lead to expand on deer in the 38 and 44 wcfs,then some hard cast to partially clean out soft lead,and get better penetration if deer was still upright! Bud
 

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For the price of the above listed Shooting Master, I would take the Colt OMM. I'm sure that the Shooting Master is a better gun, but the question os how much better and for what price. The OMM is the same frame and action as a Python and that is good enough for me. Besides it will shoot better that I do anyway.
 

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For the price of the above listed Shooting Master, I would take the Colt OMM. I'm sure that the Shooting Master is a better gun, but the question os how much better and for what price. The OMM is the same frame and action as a Python and that is good enough for me. Besides it will shoot better that I do anyway.
 

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What other revolver had to put 5 shots in a 50 cent piece space before it was allowed to leave the factory. The Officers Model Target Special was the only one. Yeah I'd like a Shooting Master, but few around, expensive, and to big for most hands. I rest my case your honor. Robba
 

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Robba,IMO,that Shooting Master is priced too high. .38 Special is by far the most common caliber,and you should be able to get a "shooter" for around $1000. Only in the "rarer"calibers,as Majic mentions,like the .44 Special,should the S.M.s command that price.

Majic,I have a circa 1907 New Service Target.with the old styled stepped frame, 7 1/2" bbl. a nice old reblue,with perfect non medallion fleur de leis walnuts,that I gave $275 for 15 years ago. Got seller to lower the price,as it had been lengthened(by factory,I found out later) to take the .44 Special sometime in the 30's. So,they are out there.

A shoot off between it and my 7 1/2" T.L. Target.at 40 yds. with 240 gr. and a mild ration of Red Dot,produced no clear winner(except me!). Got the T.L. at another private sale,an auction,for $170- a couple of years after the N.S.T. Not collector quality,as far as finish,they were made for shooting pleasure!

These 2 are "small rifles" at 50 yds. or less.

I have seen refinished N.S.T.s and S.M.s for well under a thousand,shooter grade. Keep looking! Good Luck. Bud
 

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robba:

1)Although I have never shot mine, I have a NIB Colt OMS-and, I appreciate knowing about that Colt Ad, about placing the five shots into the Bull, the size of a 50 cent piece! Very interesting!

2)If you won't mind, I'd like to know what specific Model of a "Rare" Ruger, that you said that you had recently found, that only about 20 of them were known to exist? Thanks!
 

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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by bighornhunter:
I would like the opinion of this forum on the best 38spec Colt ever made and why.I know the Python Target is probably on the top because it is a Python but what about the other guns?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Ummmm. isn't a python (as fine a gun as it is if not the best overall revolvers) considered a .357 instead of a .38 special?

Anyway, as far as .38 specials go, I would say the Colt Official Police .38 the predecessor of the Python. Same interior and action as a Python. Has a sturdy frame that can handle relatively hot rounds for defense if nothing else. Has a 4 inch barrel (some even 6 inch) that gives you the full blast effect of the .38 special round over the 2 inch Detective Special. The gun's history (From the Army Special to Official Police name) goes from 1884-1969 (or 1979 if you count the OP MK III) and you still find a number of them still out there.
So it's a fine piece with a good story to tell from it's long history
 

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I thought this started off about the best 38 special, which to me would be the most accurate, which would mean it would need adjustable sights. I stand by the OMS. For Colt 38 the Ruger you asked about is the model S47B brass frame Super Blackhawk. Out of about 1,500 brass frames, only about 20 are confirmed, and lettered as being shipped with a brass frame. We found one in a pawn shop. It is a 44 mag. Just lucky. You never know what you'll find in a pawn shop! Robba
 

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The Shooting Master is an excellent choice and probably has the best fit and finsh along with being the best Colt 38 special during the years of 1932 to 1940. However, the sights, hammer and grips are clearly better of the OMM. I would also have to conclude that the steel used in 1953-1969 was probably better than the depression era steel. For collectability I would say the "shooting Master". For shootability it goes to the OMM.
 

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I always liked the look and feel of the Diamondback. The 3 I have had were as accurate as any 38 or 357 from the lesser manufacturers. But I wish I had kept just one of them--but some people just wanted to give me too much money!
 
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