Colt Forum banner

1 - 20 of 36 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi just came on board. I've been wanting to buy a snub nosed revolver and have gotten down to either a Colt Detective Special or Smith and Wesson Model 36 or 32 Terrier. Can someone give me a reason to buy one or the other in terms of quality, finish and function. The Colt DS I'm attrached to is made in 1952 the Smith and Wesson I haven't gotten down to a specific pistol. In general which has deeper blueing in the early fifties production in terms of each company. I am more drawn to the Colt.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,971 Posts
Tis a quandry, is it not?
I own a couple of each and they are unquestionably both excellent revolvers, as you know. I prefer the Colt DS, but then again I won't be shooting it for you, will I? That is just one man's preference.
That said, what I would do before you leap is try out a couple local gun ranges, which I am sure they have in Port St. Lucie, and rent one of each and put a few boxes of shells through each one and then you'll find out for yourself which one fits your had best, shoots best and just seems to feel like "the right gun for you". Maybe someone can lend you a holster and try some dryfire draws from concealed and see which comes out and points best for you. Remember there may come a time when your life depends on it. Got the general idea? No one on this forum can make up your mind for you, but you. All we can do is make suggestions and give you some good pointers.

By the way, Welcome! to the forum and don't go away, hang around here and you will learn a lot and may even become a "gun nut" like us.

Though I prefer the Colt I think the 50's Smiths have the nicer bluing unless you wanna talk Royal Blue for Colt.

------------------
Dick

IN GOD WE TRUST,
BUT KEEP YOUR
SIDEARM HANDY!

[This message has been edited by diamonback68 (edited 12-23-2003).]
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
666 Posts
I have both. A 1952 Colt DT and a 1960 S&W Chief Special.
I prefer the S&W for carrying in my pocket and in the car.


<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by bluesteelnwood:
Hi just came on board. I've been wanting to buy a snub nosed revolver and have gotten down to either a Colt Detective Special or Smith and Wesson Model 36 or 32 Terrier. Can someone give me a reason to buy one or the other in terms of quality, finish and function. The Colt DS I'm attrached to is made in 1952 the Smith and Wesson I haven't gotten down to a specific pistol. In general which has deeper blueing in the early fifties production in terms of each company. I am more drawn to the Colt.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
162 Posts
The biggest difference I find in the grip on the DS simply gives me more control than the J frames. makes a big difference in accuracy.

------------------
Fore Warned is Fore Armed... Pogo
Unless it's four worned out guns... Albert
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Depends. Are you buying for carry/defense or collecting/shooting? For carry/defense you probably would want to try each out to see which one fits you best. No one else can help you with that decision. For collecting/shooting you absolutely, positively must have one of each. Be cautioned that once you get the snubbie bug it's hard to get rid of
.

Glenn
 

·
*** ColtForum MVP ***
Joined
·
14,895 Posts
On the AVERAGE, the Colt will be more accurate.

The Colt is a generally stronger gun, with a heavier frame, and thicker cylinder.

The Colt is just big enough to offer a good shooting grip, and small enough to conceal well.

The sixth shot CAN be literally a life saver.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
80 Posts
Either will meet all your needs very well.

I own both.

The S&W outsold the Colt by more than 3 to 1, with cops voting via their billfolds. It is smaller and was slightly less expensive.

Unlikely that any of us will ever need the 6th shot to resolve a problem. I think jeff Cooper said something to the effect that "if 5 shots doesn't resolve the social difficulty, it is unlikely that even 20 will do so..."

Having said all that, I like the Colt better, but actually carry the Chief more often.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Thank you all for your advice. I think I'll go with the Colt DS due to the six round and more comfortable for me grip. I just know however I'll wind up with a Model 36 after a while also.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
573 Posts
Yeah, you are gonna end up with both eventually. That is the problem with this "gun sickness", as a female friend once delicately put it. Both have their virtues and trying to select one over the other is like trying to decide if you want the chocolate ice cream cone, or the vanilla. Finally, from one Floridian to another, welcome to the Forum. It is indeed a good place to hang around and exchange info. Lots of knowledgeable guys here (and a surprising number of guys from the Sunshine State!) Merry Christmas. Charlie Flick
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,064 Posts
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>The S&W outsold the Colt by more than 3 to 1, with cops voting via their billfolds. It is smaller and was slightly less expensive.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Most of that came from the LEOs having S&Ws in the holsters as Smith had the contracts for duty weapons. Not alot of thought was placed in choosing back-ups, they just selected approved firearms.

[This message has been edited by Majic (edited 12-24-2003).]
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
81 Posts
I do like the DS a lot and think it is a little more substantial than the S&W (with the infamamous extra shot), but face it, neither is a comfortable concealed-carry weapon. They're both way too heavy for all-day concealed carry. I really think the argument should be whether to carry a Cobra or a S&W model 638 Bodyguard. Snag-free drawing of the weapon is critical when the gun is concealed. Although you can buy a hammer shroud for the Colt, the S&W is a more compact package with smaller grips. You especially notice the Smith's advantage in the summer. Even with with Spegel grips, my 638 will still keep all 5 rounds in a 3" circle at 15 yards. The Cobra will too, but it is physically a little larger. If you decide to go with a DS, put it on and wear it loaded all day. You'll get the picture then.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
46 Posts
Now that you got the DS, put the Smith on layaway. You'll love these little guns. The DS will probably be more accurate, the old school Smith will be more compact and will have a better trigger (or at least lend itself easier to trigger work).

Don't forget to buy some Bianchi Speed Strips for carry.

I have a DS and a 442. I love em both. My DS is actually one of my game guns. The 442 all but disappears in the kinds of garments that we wear in Kali.

------------------
Peaceful Responsible Owner of GUNS
NRA Life Mbr

[This message has been edited by SnWnMe (edited 12-24-2003).]
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
You guys are the best. I use to live in N.Y. where you had to prove a need to get a permit to just buy a pistol let alone carry one. The county where I lived (Nassau) charged $250 just for a permit and took six months to process. Consequently I really got into rifles. Now I'm free to buy every pistol I always wanted but I'm overwhelmed by making a first choice. I really like vintage revolvers and I feel like a kid in the candy store. I know I'll wind up with a dozen or so it's just the first choice is so hard to make. Thanks again.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
535 Posts
Welcome, bluesteelnwood! I think the DS Colt ranks with the .45 single action army, the .45 auto, the Luger and the Tommy Gun as art! The shoot really well, too! So does the Smith - but, then ... it isn't a Colt, is it?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
tipoc,

I own a couple of S&W bodyguard models (638 & 649) and think that you are dead wrong about your comments regarding them. I have never had to take off the sideplates to clean them. Also, I have never had a single malfunction with one of them and they get carried daily. To keep them clean, I just use the usual method anyone would use to clean a revolver. I may add a drop of oil/cleaner near the shrouded hammer by the gun's action from time to time. But, that is all. People say that these bodyguards can jam from debris, but I think it's all just imaginary opinion that's not based on fact.

Do you own S&W bodygurds? Have you carried them daily for at least fifteen years? If so, do you keep yours clean the way I described? Then, have you personally encountered malfunctions DIRECTLY due to the fact that debris got into the action and caused the revolver to jam or malfunction? I mean a problem that is 100% the fault of debris (not a bad spring, worn out part, lack of cleaning, or some other reason).

I always carry mine in a holster and never allow it to roam around freely just like I do with any other gun I carry. For those of you that may prefer pocket carry, I think it's obvious that you never place a gun in a pants pocket that also has change or other small items in it. If so, one is asking for an accidental discharge to happen.

I know a guy that had a .380 semi-automatic that he always carried in a front pants pocket without a holster. On one occasion, he slipped the gun in his front pants pocket and he forgot that he also had a small pocket knife in there. Well, somehow the knife got under the trigger and caused an accidental discharge. He was not hit by the bullet, but he did get a rather uncomfortable burn on his leg. Needless to say, he now uses a pocket holster and never has any other objects in that pocket but his carry piece.

Unless someone can tell me from a FIRST HAND account that a bodyguard that they were carrying got jammed from debris, I will not believe these fairy tale/hypothetical viewpoints. Like I said above, in over fifteen years of carrying bodyguards mine have NEVER malfunctioned - period. They are great carry guns and give you the option of a single-action shot if one needs that for extra accuracy at a longer distance. They are snag free from a draw because of their shrouded hammers, and are more versatile than the centennials which are limited to double-action only.

I agree that most self-defense situations will probably be double-action shooting. But, what if you need that extra little precision that only a single-action shot can give? You do not have that option with a centennial. Besides, with a bodyguard it is very easy to check the timing and function of one while thumbing back the hammer and looking for proper lockup etc. How do you do that with a centennial? I am not attacking tipoc or anyone else and apologize if my strong words come across offensively to anyone. It's just that I keep hearing about bodyguards and the debris argument, but I have never personally encountered this problem and do not know anyone else that ever has. If there's a FIRST HAND account of someone out there, please reply back. I don't mean you read it in a gun magazine or seen it on some internet site. But, that it happened to you YOURSELF.

By the way, I also think that Colt Detective Specials are wonderful snubbies and own a few of them also. I like the extra round they give, but find them a little too large for all day carrying compared to the S&W J-frames.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
265 Posts
bluesteelnwood,

I've had both Colts & Smiths over the last 40+ years. The most accurate snub I've ever fired is my .357 649. My Colt Magnum Carry is a close second. I carried a Cobra as a BUG for years and it never failed me. Either gun you are looking at would suit your needs.

tipoc,

I've heard the same story about Bodyguards but I've had one for 5 or 6 years and never had a problem with debris causing a jam. I always carry it in a holster, either pocket, OTW, IWB, or ankle. I also have a 340SC and it is also 100% reliable.

I carried a Charter Arms Bulldog in .44 Special in the late `70's to early `80's.
It was always in an ankle holster. One day a buddy wanted to examine it. It would only fire SA but no matter how hard we tried the trigger, it would not fire in DA. I immediately took it to the armourer who stripped and cleaned it. He told me he had never seen so much crud, skin, hair, etc. in a gun. I always thought that I kept my guns clean but this one was a pain because it's held in place by pins. The armourer told me he'd never work on a Charter again.
Fortunately, the problem was caught before I really needed it. I eventually traded it for some other gun.


John
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
JCM298A/John,

I have also heard of revolvers by Charter Arms that would not fire in DA mode, but would fire in SA mode when very dirty. I guess that's another possible benefit of the Bodyguards over the Centennials because they can be shot in either DA or SA unlike the DAO of the Centennials.

Also, I have a friend who reloads and he told me that a few times because of a high primer, certain cartridges would not go off in his 638 when shooting in DA mode. But, those same cartridges ignited just fine when he tried them in SA mode. Maybe this is a benefit that is more related to using handloads. All I know is that I want any and every advantage possible in my carry piece that will be used for self-defense. Hence, why I chose Bodyguards over Centennials.

By the way, I know what you mean about the accuracy of the model 649. In my opinion as well, it is the most accurate snubbie I own and have shot. It is a real tack driver; especially at 15 yards or less.

[This message has been edited by domino (edited 01-05-2004).]
 
1 - 20 of 36 Posts
Top