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These are a short series of stories I wrote a few years ago about Colt firearms, and the people who use them.

The stories are true...The name are changed to protect the innocent, AND guilty.
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Tex puts a Colt 357 to good use in 1950's Berlin.
I have an old friend named Jack that I've known all my life come over the other day, and ask if I would do a detail strip and clean of his Colt Model 357 revolver. He intends to pass it on to his grandson, and wanted it checked.
I don't mind him watching as I work, because he's been around and has some good stories, so we talked awhile, and he told me why he bought the 357.

Jack is a W.W.II vet who saw action in North Africa, Sicily, Italy, and Europe. After the war he stayed on as an MP with the Berlin Constabulary until the later 50's.

He told me about a shooting involving a San Antonio businessman armed with a new Colt 357 Model revolver, and some Eastern Sector "bad guys" in the early 1950's.

The Texan businessman was really a businessman, not a "spook", and was there to see a machine tool company that was just starting back up.

One night just before he was to leave Berlin, he had dinner in a restaurant in one of the largely bombed out neighborhoods, which still comprised much of Berlin. Pretty dark, and nobody around.

Apparently SOMEBODY didn't like him.
Maybe he saw or heard something he shouldn't have, or saw somebody he shouldn't have, but somebody decided to have him killed.

The hitters were tentatively ID'd as a Russian Officer dressed in civvies, probably KGB or GRU and two former SIPO Nazi Security Police, who had basically just changed employers, after the war.
It could have been official, or maybe something "on the side".

The Russian had a PPS submachine gun, and the SIPO's had pistols. They were waiting in the shadows of the dark street when Tex came out to get in his car.

The two Nazi secret police thugs were supposed to actually make the hit, but failed to get close enough before opening fire. They missed, which was an elephantine mistake.

The Texan took cover in a pile of rubble as the two SIPO gunmen attempted to flank him.
The Russian kept him pinned down with short bursts of the SMG.

Under shouted orders from the Russian, the SIPO's moved forward to finish the job. Unfortunately, one of them got too far ahead of the other, and the Texan suddenly leaned around the pile of brick rubble and put a 158 grain slug into his chest, blowing a large hole in him and killing him on the spot.

Jack and his partner were on patrol few blocks away and heard the SMG firing, when as Jack put it, "We heard this God awful CRACK".
They zoomed the jeep around the corner, just in time to see the end.

The remaining SIPO was dancing back and forth, trying to decide what to do. The Russian was screaming at him to get on with it, but he had just seen his partner blown apart.
Jack said that they all considered the Nazi ex-secret police, scum that were really tough and brave when facing unarmed Jews, but weren't so hot when facing somebody with a gun.

As Jack got his M3 grease gun ready and got set to jump out of the jeep, he saw the Russian run his magazine out and start to reload as he backed up.
The Texan popped up again and fired two shots into the Russian's chest from about 20 yards.
Jack said he heard the loud CRACK, and saw what looked like flashbulbs flashing, since the .357 Magnum ammo of the day didn't use low flash powder.
He said "That Russian BOUNCED when he hit".

The last SIPO man turned and literally ran for his life, hunched over and arms pumping. Jack said the Texan jumped up on top of the rubble into a kneeling position and fired two more rounds. Since the SIPO man was bending over as he sprinted away, one round hit him in the small of the back, and the other hit him at the base of the skull and blew the top of his head off.

Jack said it was all over but the shouting by the time he jumped out of the jeep.
The Texan got chewed out by the MP Colonel for illegally bringing a gun into Berlin, then got a good slap on the back for dusting off the Russian and the SIPO's.

Jack examined the Texan's Colt 357, and told me: "I got home from the Army on a Monday night at 6:00 p.m. and was at the hardware store at 9:00 a.m. Tuesday morning having them order me a 4 inch blue, target hammer, target stocked Colt 357. I figured any gun that could make a man bounce when he hit was OK".

His 357 is in about 92-95% condition in spite of nearly 50 years of use. You couldn't buy it for any amount of money.
He said the next time he comes over; he will show me the second SIPO man's Mauser HSc.
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Written a few weeks later:

This time I went to Jack's. I wanted to get a look at the Mauser HSc.

Jack pulled it out of the gun safe, and let me look it over. It is a more or less standard pre-war commercial marked and blued HSc; with some light blue wear from being carried. It doesn't look like it had been fired much. There is a slight amount of scuffing on the right side of the slide and grip.

Jack told me more about the shootings aftermath.
He told me they were in no doubt the Texan was not a bad guy, because other than some German Police, nobody carried revolvers. According to Jack, we gave large quantities of new S&W model 10 revolvers to the French and German police after the war.
They just didn't care for revolvers so they got rid of them as soon as they could.
Jack said the French actually traded these fine Smith's for some really crappy Spanish Ruby .32 autos.

He said that when the excitement was over, he checked the three "Easties".
The first SIPO man's chest was shattered, with a large hole blown out his back. The Russian's chest was, quote "Just blown apart", unquote. Jack said that when he rolled him over, he could see the guy's lungs.

He said he approached the second SIPO man who was laying face down in a rain puddle that was now red. He had a hole low in his back, and the top of his head was just gone.
He found the Mauser HSc a few feet away, scuffed by the fall, so he stuck it in his pocket.
He noticed something laying about 8 feet farther on, so he took a look at it. It was a blood soaked man's felt hat, with most of the SIPO man's head still in it.

Jack said they called it in on the jeep's radio, and half of the US military in Berlin responded.
The possible ID of the shooter's was made by the intelligence people.
The SIPO men were "made" from wanted lists of Nazi secret police personnel, and the Russian was obvious, from the crappy civilian clothes, the haircut and dental work, and the lack of any papers or ID. Plus, there weren't too many PPS Russian submachine guns just floating around.

The Texan let Jack see his Colt .357, and Jack said after looking at the Colt, and taking another long look at "the left overs", he decided right then and there that he would get a Colt just like it. He said that he had never seen people wrecked by pistol fire that way in his entire combat career.
When he got home, he bought one FIRST thing, and carried it for 30 years as a Deputy Sheriff.

The Mauser is in the case along with a Walther PPK, a Sauer 38-H, a Walther P-38, a beautiful Luger, and a US Mark 1, 1918 brass knuckle trench knife. These are Jack's souvenirs of a rather eventful military career.
His grandson is going to have a really nice inheritance.
 

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WOW! The good guy WINS and with a Colt .357, too! Did I mention that the same dealer where I bought the .357 now has a original Trooper? But 4", this time. It's got the internal firing pin so it must be a later model. The grips aren't the full-checked jobs but the scalped about two-thirds-of-the-way-up kind like Pythons. And they're a dark, red, maybe mahogany (?) color. It wasn't in nearly as nice shape as the .357 but it's tagged about $300. If it's still there after Christmas, I'm gonna' get it! (Grandson's toys come first, THEN Grandpa's!) And, guess what? That metal finger that was fouling up the rotation on the .357 has dissapeared! I've fired the gun about three-boxes worth and cleaned it alot and now it's GONE and SMOOTH! And life is GOOD, again. Now, for some more stories!! Keep 'em coming, Pal!
 

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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR> went to the Hardware Store and...<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

My, have times changed. I can still remember when the paperwork needed to by a 1911, Garand, M&P or any other firearm was the coupon in the back of the magazine and the $25.00 check you mailed in with it.


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I'm so worried about what's hapenin' today, in the middle east, you know.
And I'm worried about the baggage retrieval system they've got at Heathrow.
I'm so worried about the fashions today, I don't think they're good for your feet.
And I'm so worried about the shows on TV that sometimes they want to repeat.
 
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DFaris: Just got through reading this thread having not seen it up until now. Very interesting, and nice to read of the effectiveness of the Colt .357. Thanks for the post. How about some more stories of Colts in action? Charlie Flick
 

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I have read your account somewhere before . However , it's such a great read , I "couldn't put it down" . Thanks .

I've never been too interested in post-war Colts . I've owned a few , but pre-war New Service and New Army / New Navy 38LC/41LC revolvers is where my primary interest lies . But ... , after reading dfariswheel's account , we took in a 6" M357 full target . Needless to say , it's mine now ! Thanks dfw ! ;>)

Sorry for the pic quality . I was in a hurry .
 

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Good move, Guy. I don't think you will regret that buy. I like the full checkered target stocks on your new gun as well. Charlie Flick
 

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Thanks Charlie . It handles well . I've put around 400 38's and 100 357's through it so far . It handles better than any 38/357 I've owned (which is quite a few). I'm waiting on a 4" to come in so I can add it to my collection .
I just bought a 4" S&W M28 , but i like the M357 much better !
 
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