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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Which company has traditionally made the finest double action revolvers, Colt or Smith & Wesson?

What are some of your favorite models from each company?

I'll admit that I prefer the S&W revolver over all others. They have provided excellent service for me with no failures ever to be attributed to the gun. I have fired more rounds from a Smith & Wesson product than any other single brand of firearm. They give me top accuracy and dependable service. Just shoot them and clean them and they are happy.

Some favorite S&W's:

"Triplelock"
Pre-war Registered Magnum
Pre-war Military & Police
Model 29
Model 17 K-22
Model 36 Chief's Special

I really enjoy owning and shooting classic Colt DA revolvers. I've fired far fewer rounds through them than I have through S&W guns. Still, I've owned and shot some of my Colt revolvers for many years and they perform great. Only a Model 1901 US Army once broke a trigger return spring. It seems a more primative design than later Colt DA developments. I have heard for years that the Colt mechanism is more delicate but my experience hasn't born this out. I read recently in a link provided within a topic on this forum that a Colt requires more frequent adjustment and it's part of the design. All my trash and treasures Colt DA's seem tight. The more frequent timing adjustment issue would seem to be a design flaw to me, if it in fact exists. I'm not sure there is any firearm in existance that has a superior blue finish to an early 20th century Colt revolver.

Some favorite Colt DA's:

New Service (my favorite Colt)
Officer's Model
1st and 2nd model Detective Special
Python

I'm not trying to be a "rotten little stirrer". It would be instructive and fun to gain the insight of the Colt aficianados on this forum. What do y'all say?
 

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Quality-wise, I always felt the Colt was just a half a step above S&W.

S&W always seemed to spend their dollar on the outside of the gun.
They always had a brilliant blue job, but internally, I found a lot of burrs and machine marks.

Colt seemed to spread their dollar around better.
They had a good blue job, but were smoother internally with fewer burrs or machine marks.

Pretty much everything else is a matter of personal preference and whether you like Colt or S&W.
 

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I tend to agree with the above quote.

I see it at that level of quality, it depends on your "specimen". My Registered is a work of art, yet my Python needed a trigger job. So, should I say that S&W's are better then Colts? I could but I don't. Just recognize that you need to see a broad sample of both guns to assess quality overall.

I think a more accurate question would be during which periods of time were the best guns made? Then I would say that my experience is that the inter-war years (wwI to wwII) were the best for overall quality.
 

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well in my opinion the colt revolver{1905-1969} is best,they are more expensive to make. the colt was first to adopt the positive lock in 1905. s&w adopted a simular design yrs later.the colt hammer and trigger pins are finely machined as is the frame and press in place, there for they are serviceable. s&w pins are brazed in place and factory serviceable only.the lock up of the s&w rivials the best of iver johnson and simular loose revolvers and relies on the forcing cone to catch the bullet as it enters the bbl.the properly timed colt has ZERO movement, the price of which is MORE FREQUENT TIMING.the s&w`s must pin their bbl to keep it from unscrewing. colt turns the bullet left to apply any torque from the bullet to tighten the bbl.s&w extractor rods are famous for unscrewing and locking up the revolver, colt does not rely on the rod for lock and WILL function without one,they are staked and will not loosen.every critical part from the colt is forged, machined, hardened and tempered there are no skin hardened sintered parts.the colt with it`s superior lockup is the more accurate.i own several s&w revolvers ie. mod 27,17,34,40,42 and they are GOOD revolvers, the BEST revolver is the colt in my opinion.
 

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I have had one bad experience with a Smith, but I hold a little grudge and will never completely trust them. Drew back the hammer on a Model 34 (which I bought new) and the action froze - wouldn't budge. Fortunately, my adversary was a snowshoe hare. Gave away the 34. Gave away a 27. Down to a 36, 19 and 686. Great protection from porcupines, but for anything else, give me a COLT!
 

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Hi bmcgilvray, We've got a S&W Model 19 .357 Combat Magnum that's got your name all over it for sale. It's got a heavy ported match grade barrel, bobbed hammer, highly worked over action with the most incredible trigger pull I've ever felt, a Tasco scope, lugs for competition use, etc., etc. Total cost with the gun and professional gunsmith work was $1400 but we are selling her for $500, she's gotta go !!! Send me an e-mail if you might be interested. Thanks, Shoodaddy
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
icdux1;

Colts lock up tight, I'll give you that. Both brands seem to be very accurate. Perhaps I don't shoot well enough to discern the difference in the two brands. The Smith & Wesson revolvers I have are very gratifying to shoot in the accuracy department. I don't own any target grade Colt revolvers. All of mine are classic fixed sight models. I have fired others' Officer's Models and Pythons and found them to be pleasingly accurate.

I don't know about the brazed pins and sintered parts. None of my S&W's seem to be manufactured in that fashion and I have one from just about every decade in the 20th century. I've heard about the famous S&W ejector rod backing out but it hasn't plagued me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Hey icdux1, did you see any ducks during the past duck season? Just wondering. Duck hunting is my favorite hunting sport.
 

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bmcgilvray, no i dont hunt much anymore.i used to live on the ohio and did enjoy hunting them.i still enjoy a good dove hunt once in awhile and dont have to get cold and wet /forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I did get wet on the last weekend of duck season here in Texas but it was warm. I'll bet it gets much colder in Ohio.

On a duck hunt earlier last month it warmed up into the low 80's. It's wierd to hunt ducks in a T-shirt in January.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I was cleaning some firearms this afternoon after a shoot. I completely disassembled a S&W Model of 1926 .44 Special and a Colt Commando .38 Special since I was cleaning them anyway. The S&W lockwork makes sense to me but the Colt's innards appear to have been designed by a committee. Yet they do work.
 

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[ QUOTE ]
I did get wet on the last weekend of duck season here in Texas but it was warm. I'll bet it gets much colder in Ohio.


[/ QUOTE ]just for the record i lived on the ohio river, ie. near it in the large riverbottoms bordering it. i did not live in ohio,that would make me a yankee.{no offense to our northern brothern} do you have sloughs there in tx?? i have been baptised in several sloughs duck hunting, it`s hard to keep up with your gear/gun and wade thru a submerged log jumble in chest waders while watching [email protected] for ducks and FEELING with your toes for beaver runs. /forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
My favorite ducking haunt is a slough on Lake Leon in Eastland County, Texas. I've hunted there all my life. Both my favorite old S&W Model 10 and I have been dunked in that slough several times, as has my Winchester Model 12 shotgun. We've always survived it. I've always had a bad habit of wading the depths of Lake Leon up to the top half inch of my chest waders. That way tripping on a snag is guaranteed to send a torrent of cold water down the front of one's waders. After that one can stop fretting over one's leaky waders.

Sorry about pegging you in Ohio. I did read that you were in Kentucky.

To return to the topic at hand. Isn't sintered metal made up of metal granules that are heated until they agglomerate? I'm not particularly mechanically inclined so may not be defining sintered correctly. In all my digging around inside the lockwork of S&W revolvers I've never seen material of this description. The hammer and trigger pins don't appear to be brazed in place, rather they appear to be retained by something that takes a small spanner to remove. I've never had to tighten or remove one. Someone with more knowledge that I have would have to give the proper terminology and the proper method of removing and installing the pins.
 

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[ QUOTE ]
. The hammer and trigger pins don't appear to be brazed in place, rather they appear to be retained by something that takes a small spanner to remove. I've never had to tighten or remove one. Someone with more knowledge that I have would have to give the proper terminology and the proper method of removing and installing the pins.

[/ QUOTE ] i think s&w calls them studs, i cant say on all vintage`s but all I have dissasembled have been silver brazed in place. do you have kuhnhausen`s book on s&w revolvers?? i reccomend it. now back to duck hunting. i used to wade hunt with a win. mod 50, it was 12 ga. and ws1 choked, i used handicap trap factory loads{lead back then} 7 1/2 shot. that combo was posion on them fast flying woodies. /forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
An open choke and small shot would work in my slough too. What about that Winchester Model 50? I never saw one of those in use. Is it a reliable performer? I guess I should open up a topic on duck hunting in the "lounge".

If one was building a case for the superiority of Colt to Smith & Wesson which years' production feature Colt to its best advantage.
 

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OK, out of the river bottems, and back on the revolvers.

We have both, Smiths, and Colt's, and like both, however, I have never picked up a Smith, that didn't have a crisp, no creep, 3 lb. or less SA trigger pull. I don't know how they did it, but that is a fact.

Colts are about as good I guess, but of course the locking systems are different, so the triggers do not feel the same to me.

Both in their own way are fine. I suppose that's why we buy both. Although we have a lot more Colt's than Smiths, just because of all the different Officers Models made over the past century.
 

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Okay, I guess I'll chime in. I own both a S&W Registered Magnum (1937) as well as a Mid-60's Colt Python. I brought both to the range a about a month ago to see what they could do. I used handloads consisting of 158gr Hornady XTP's on top of 11.5gr of 2400. I fired from a rest at 15 yards. I could consistently shoot 1-1.25" groups in single action with the Python, I never could get that tight of a group with the Registered Magnum. The Registered Magnum groups were a little larger, usually around 2" in SA. In double action the groups were a little larger than the SA groups. Now let me mention, the S&W's trigger pull in DA is superior to the Pythons, by FAR. When you start pulling the trigger the cylinder starts turning like it's rolling on bearings, it starts with little effort then gets lighter until the revolver fires. The Python seems to be the opposite, it starts relatively light and then gets progressively heavier. I would have to say that SA trigger pull on both is about the same, I cannot say one is better than the other. So even with the vastly superior trigger pull in DA on the S&W, I could still shoot better groups with the Python, I'm not sure why. It could be that the load I was using was not optimal for the S&W, every revolver likes a different load as a rule. Or maybe....that mysterious silver ball process does do something.

Jared
 
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