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Discussion Starter #1
Greetings, Gents! A new thought - for me, anyway ... Want to get and start using a new gun as primary self-defense piece. Right now, my, "mini-arsenal," is all 6" I/E frames and I want something I can hide under a sports coat - if I want to. I don't use a gun for any sort of duty anymore, so I'm not limited to the Chief's permission or anyone's policy but my own. I'm thinking in terms of a .45 auto - probably in steel and certainly a Colt! Or a 2X revolver. These are my questions for us ... I've been a Python fan forever but I'm getting scared of the timing and advancing age of these guns and just don't know enough about the new ones - even if there ARE new ones!? I just don't subscribe to the 38 special anymore ... not enough horse power. That leaves the Colt Lawman from the 70's. I've read many times that these were created to NOT have the timing problems of the Python and they're certainly large and stout enough to live with 357 loads. How hard is it to find a first-model Lawman in 2"? Does anyone out there use one of these guns? Accuracy? IS the action as strong as they say? Isn't the cylinder counter-bored for magnum rims? These are fixed sights - so where do they actually zero? Information/thoughts, please? Over?
 

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A dealer near me has a Lawman shorty that he's been trying to sell for several months @$375. Just a plain "ugly ass" gun,to quote O.J. about the Bruno Mali shoes at his trial! No,seriously,I have all the "snub I need",with a 1956 vintage 2 inch Official Police, Loaded with 38/44 level 158 gr. cast SWCHP,it is close to 1000 fps,with a handload I won't list,and I use it sparingly. Weight is also a a factor in concealment,and the Lawman feels too heavy. I also have a very early Colt "357" 4 incher that is accurate,smooth and very easy to carry. "Large Frame and Snub",has always been an oxy moron to me,and I can't see what the "rush" guys get over the 3" or so N frames. With correct leather,a more user friendly 4",or longer bbl. will also conceal.

I like the 125 gr. jhp .357 magnum load,but it needs velocity to be destructive. Will it get it in a short barrel??? Something to think about! Bud
 

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rcwambold, I have one of the Lawman shorties. It is the MKIII with the shrouded barrel. Bud and I differ on the aesthetics of this gun. To me they are beautiful. Kind of like a Detective Special on steroids. Very stocky and powerfully built. To me they are bad to the bone. They shoot nicely as dferriswheel mentioned. Although some folks have had a bad experience with the MKIII's (no names
lonewolf), I have never had any trouble with them. I am a big fan of the MKIII.

Bud has a good point about the oxymoron large frame snub. But is it really any different than an OP or Python shorty?

To answer your questions about timing on the Lawman. You need not worry about timing issues on the Lawman. Like all of the MKIII's, the lockwork is different than their predecessors. The timing of the MKIII is more like that of a Smith, in that the cylinder locks up well in advance of the hammer falling. Mr. Wheel wrote up a pretty good explanation on the MKIII timing/lockwork a number of months back. Perhaps during your absence from the board.

The Lawman MKV shorty also has a noticeably smaller grip-frame than does the MKIII shorty.

Regarding your chances of finding a Lawman MKIII shorty, I'd say they are surprisingly good. I have seen several run across the gun auction sites that sold for cheap prices ($350 and below) in high condition. I have also seen more than just a few in gun stores and gun shows the past couple of years. They may continue to be readily available as long as folks think they are ugly ducklings. My personal opinion is that the MKIII's of all kinds are the Rodney Dangerfield of Colt revolvers.
 

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To answer your more basic questions:

Like almost all Colt revolvers, the 2" Lawman is usually very accurate.

The case rims are not countersunk.
Colt never bought into the countersunk rim deal, and the only Colt's to ever use it, was the VERY early Trooper Mark III, and only for a brief time.

Since the countersunk chamber really doesn't serve any legit purpose, Colt went to a "fence" rim around the outer edge of the cylinder.

If you look at the rear of the Mark III and later Colt's, there's a raised rim around the outer edge of the cylinder. This performs the same function as the countersunk chambers, without the possible problems associated with them.

Zero can vary, like any fixed sighted gun.

As for strength, the later Colt revolvers like the Mark III, Mark V, and King Cobra are possibly the strongest mid-frame revolvers ever built.

Master Gunsmith Jerry Kuhnhausen wrote that they were stronger than ANY other mid-frame due to Colt's superior forged and heat treated frames and cylinders.

These ARE tanks, and although quite a holster full for a "snubby" they also shoot quite well, and will take any reasonable treatment without problems.

The only "weakness" of these revolvers, is a "possibliity" that a overly-hardened firing pin "might" break if the revolver is dry fired too much.

A broken firing pin is a factory replacement ONLY.
It CANNOT be replaced without special support jigs, a press, and special punches to press out the firing pin bushing.

Aa long as you use snap caps for dry fire practice, this isn't an issue.

Given a choice, I'd like to have a later version of the Lawman Mark III, which has a barrel that looks just like a shrouded Detective Special, instead of the early model with the un-shrouded barrel.

There is a somewhat rarer version, and that's the later Lawman Mark V, which has an improved trigger action.

In any event, while the Lawman has a larger frame and a larger diameter cylinder, it does make an excellent snubby holster revolver.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the replies, guys. The Mk V? H-m-m-m. I've only ever seen pictures of these - neevr a real one! They made this in shorty? Red ramp front sight? Smaller grip frame you say ... h-m-m-m. I think I may have a new quest. Thanks, again.
 

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rc no one said the MKV had a red ramp front sight. They did not have a red or orange front sight insert.

Yes the Lawman MKV did come in a shorty. Blued and nickel, if I recall.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I guess not - sorry. Wishful thinking? Always wanted one of those ... even painted the ramp on an original Trooper, once. Fortunately, I did such a lousy job, it was easy to remove ... thanks, again.
 
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