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Discussion Starter #1
I have acquired a Colt 357, 1954 ed. and have a couple of questions:
1) the muzzle is not blued, left in the white. Was this normal for this model?
2) the frame has a matte finish on all but the sides which are polished. Is this also the norm for this model?
Any information on this model will be greatly appreciated.
 

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The bright muzzle and the "two-tone" finish are features of Colt's early 1950's revolvers, so this is correct for your 357.

For a lot of info and history of the 357, do a search on this forum using 357 as the search criteria.

[This message has been edited by dfariswheel (edited 04-05-2005).]
 

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The bright muzzle and the "two-tone" finish are features of Colt's early 1950's revolvers, so this is correct for your 357.

For a lot of info an history of the 357, do a search on this forum.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the info dfarris...
Colt38: this example is not mint but did come with its box. It has some finish deterioration on about 1/3 of the cylinder where it aparently laid on something it had a negative reaction to and a small amount of muzzle wear. Otherwise everything else speaks of very little use. The matte edges are in perfect shape as is the rest of the frame. I was surprised it was not polished like the Python or even like OPs, DSs,PPSs, etc. of later years. The machining and fit are flawless but it is not a beauty. Almost looks like a budget gun. Funny thing, I also have several S&Ws from the late 40s, early 50s and they have a rather lusterless finish too. Must be something about the post-war period and its impact on the finishes. Maybe they lost a lot of talented polishers in the war. Perhaps someone can shed some light on this. Ben
 

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ColtCobra:

1)Well, you have a "Fantastic" Colt there! I guess that you probably already know that the Colt .357, was the "Granddaddy" of the Python? It was Colt's "Premium" .357 revolver-until the Python came out and Colt subsequently dropped this model and rolled it into the Colt Trooper line(In 1961)!

2)My understanding, is that the early to mid-production Colt .357's were of the duo-tone finish(Like your Colt .357)with the unblued barrel tip! Then, the later Colt .357's had the single-tone(Fully polished blue finish!)all over the gun(Including the barrel tip, also being blued!)!

3)I own a Colt .357(4" barrel)that was made(Circa, 1960)and it was completely polished blue(Not duo-toned)! In equal condition, your Colt .357 would be more valuable, since it is one of the very early production Colt .357's!

[This message has been edited by Colt38 (edited 04-05-2005).]
 

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Funny thing you mentioned the lack of high luster finishes in the post war years. I was talking about this to another collector over the weekend at a small show. From reading the lamentations and complaints of a few gun writers in the late 40's and early 50's,they seemed to "blame it" on that era being a "sellers market",with a pent up demand for guns,during the war years when new handguns were all but unavailable to civilians.I might add that this was true in most consumer products that had been "rationed" during the war. In part,this is why automobiles have stickers listing their prices;there was literally "auctioning off" to the highest bidder in the 46-48 period.(my late dad,never earned as much money,inflation figured in,as he did selling appliances in that time period!)

Is this the only reason for the finishes,(and what a couple of the previously mentioned writers said was less hand fitting of actions)probably not,but there was a "rush" on. Not all makers lowered the polishing,at least not Winchester,according to a collector friend. The duo tone blue as on the .357 O.P. and other Colts saved time,but it also wore better,and probably did "match the dulled top strap for sighting.

S&W did have "an extra cost option" for the hi luster blue on their 1950 series of target models;they are rare and command a premium today. I agree,the satin like finish on my 1950 .45 acp Target,is nice,but is not as classy as my pre war N Frames.

Anyway,just my thoughts on this lack of polished finished and what seems to be a "faster" bluing process on some makes. Bud
 

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What a nice revolver, Cobra! There's much info on these pages from dfarris and others about these famous guns. If you shoot yours and don't just love the issue/factory target stocks, you might try the new finger-groove Python stocks ... I have some on my .357 and really like them. If rememebr dfarris and others correctly, the 357 was the first medium-frame .357; it came out later than what became the S&W #27 and just before the S&W #19. I like the .357 and old Troopers very much ... they shoot darn near as well as the OMM or OMS and you can use magnums when you want or need to. It's hard to beat a Colt 357 for any kind of use we could want a handgun for and these type save us a few bucks compared to the Pythons. (Which I still love, but don't own one at the moment.) OP type grips fit and Python holsters and speed loaders as well. How's your double action? Mine prefers single-only. One of these days, I'll send it to Colt and have it made 100% but my single is so good, I'm not in a big hurry!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Hey wambold! Glad to see you posting again. Missed you and your quaint postings, especially about the Colts in movies. I love the 357, great balance and not to be a contrarian, I especially like the early target grips. A real handful and thicker at the top to better handle recoil. Sorry to see Colt get away from them as the last version seemed kinda 'blocky'(IMO) like the S&W grips. While this gun is not pristeen cosmetically, it is in perfect mechanical condition with timing that is right-on. The trigger is darned close to my Python so its good enough for this dude. It sure feels great in the hand and not as muzzle heavy as the Python. I love Colts and this is one of my favorites. Now if it just had a finish like the Python. Again, great to see you back in action. Ben
 

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Discussion Starter #10
FYI
Forgot to mention, I got this gun as a C&R through AA for $511.00 plus postage. They are just now becoming eligible and it sure is great having it delivered to your front door. I recommend getting the license if you are seriously acquiring older Colts and live in a firearm frendly state.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Colt38
Georgeous! Not just a great firearm but a work of art. I'm green with envy. Well, at least one of them came with a beautiful finish. Did it come with the standard hammer and service grips? Thanks for sharing it with us. Ben
 

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Ben:

1)Thanks!

2)Yes, my Colt .357 came with the exact service grips that are shown on this gun in my first two pictures and, with the service hammer & trigger! As you can see, the service grips were absolutely "Mint" and, were original to this gun!

3)Although I have still kept the original service stocks, I wanted to try the other fancy target stocks on it!

4)I have recently, acquired my very first Python, to display with this Colt .357!
 
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