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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Sunday, during a lucky web-surf, I came across an article about an ex-cop named Karl Lewis. From what I read, I gather he designed the Mk III guns for Colt and the Dan Wesson guns for D.W. But, I've STILL never seen a new, used, 4,5 nor 6" blue nor nickel Official Police Mk III. Has anyone out there ever had one of these? Shot it? Like it? Hate it? A 4" .38 special that shoots to point of aim and doesn't go out of time every time I want coffee would please me now just as much as it would have then. I know the Mk. III Troopers are a bargain and very good guns, but the Disloyalty Dervish would get me if I'd buy a Trooper when an OP was available. If SOMEBODY doesn't write to me soon and post at least one, bad picture, I'm going to conclude Case Closed and rule the OP MkIII off as a Communist plot left over from the 70's! You watch - tonight, 17 Mk III OP's will appear on Guns America in all barrel lengths and nickel and blue and one with a testiminial from Audie Murphy!)Seriously, guys, if you've got one of these, I'd like very much to hear about it.
 

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I'm not sure how many Colt Official Police Mark III's Colt made, but they never seem to turn up.

As for appearance, imagine a Lawman fitted with an old Official Police "skinny" barrel, and the longer ramp front sight of the Lawman.

If you're dying for a 4" .38 Colt "J" frame, watch for a Metropolitan Police. These aren't too common either, but they look like a Lawman, only in .38 Special.

As for Karl Lewis "inventing" the "J" frame Mark III, I'm sure this is BIG news to the design team at Colt that spent a considerable number of man-hours working on the design.

[This message has been edited by dfariswheel (edited 01-19-2004).]
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Well, thanks, again, dfaris. The article certainly gave one the impression Lewis did the job - solo. But, it's not a Pulitzer piece, just a blurb that I enjoyed. Talked about a grenade launcher he designed, too ... but .45's are about as, "heavy artillery," as I ever get. Oh, yes ... before I forget, a little later on in that Sunday surf, I read an article about the history of the magnum pistols by John Taffin. And he stated that everyone knew Dick Tracy used a Colt .357! W'all, Blow Me Down! I would've sworn the writer gave Tracy first, a .380 auto and later, a 2 1/2" Python!? Now, I know, what, "he-man," gives a Royal Rip about Dick Tracy's guns ... (sheepishly, from the back row - I guess I do!?)
 

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RC. Saw a nickle,MKIII Official Police,with 4 or 5 inch barrel,less than a month ago up here in Maine. Price tag in the shop was around $225-250, I think. Ugly than sin,with that front slanted trigger guard. Had one Mk.III,a 4 inch Trooper in .22lr. Figured it would be a good "understudy for my New Services & Big S&Ws. One of worse guns Ive ever owned! Coil spring never could match the action of the leaf,and quality control was lousy. The spring(?)that controlled the cylinder latch,was a zig zag affair,looking like a paperclip I once riggrd up to keep a car running. Maybe its because Ive had such good luck with the "original Colt action",that the Mks. dont do a thing for me. Bud
 

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I'm going to risk the wrath of those who love the Mark III's and agree with lonewolf: the Mark III's are just not up to the old Colt standard in fit, finish, looks, or reliablity. I've had several (Troopers, not OP's) and traded 'em all. I also think the action feels very clunky. Just my opinion. . .

Bill A
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Well, thank you, Gentlemen!, dafaris, lonewolf, ButchG17, Bill A. Nice picture of this mysterious gun - thanks, ButchG17! I guess if Colt figured the Mk III Trooper would replace the Python, they figured wrong. And for the Mk III OP to take over for the original OP - well, that certainly didn't happen, either. I HAVE handled a Trooper or 2 that really did have a nice action and I've seen results of other guys shooting them - terrific! A few beat my scores - me using a fixed sight 4 or 6" orignal OP. (Not that that's all THAT hard to do!)
 

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Bill (& wolf), here come the wrath!


Actually I'm not going to hammer you just because your opinion is different from mine.

However, I believe that for the money, the MKIII is a much better value than a Python hands down. I have some MKIII's & they can pretty much hold their own in accuracy against a Python. I know this to be a fact as I also have a few Python shooters.

The MKIII locks up more like a Smith. It is more durable than a Python & will provide longer service free life. It's a whole lot cheaper too. I agree that the finish on the Lawman MKIII's was not great. Remember the MKIII's were not pretty-boy guns. They were work horses. Some of them looked that way. But the Trooper MKIII's have very nice finishes in either blue, e-nickel or polished nickel.

The Trooper was never designed to replace the Python. If you search back in the forum, I believe that dfaris gave a pretty good account of the MKII's in a prior thread.

I am glad that many people underestimate the MKIII's and that they haven't been "discovered." This allows guys like me to stock up on them.
 

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I have a few of the Metropolitan MIII's. All letter to NYCPD, which is great, since I have most of the NYCPD Metropolitan serial number records!

I've always suspected that the Metropolitan was spcifically designed with an eye towards getting back into the NYC police market.

Best,
RMV
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
WOW! No Communist plot here, I reckon! Many thanks to you, each and every one of you for the info and replies and PICTURES! Lonewolf, I don't know what you mean about the forward slanted trigger guard? I looked at the Metropolitan site - thanks, Coult D! I really like the looks the OP better. Thanks, ButchG17! RM Vivas, ... OK. Do YOU ever come across one of these MK III OP's? I'm still putting money by to order one of your DS's! (If you come up with a really, really nice NICKEL DS, ... I'd kick over the poor box!) I like that old model OP with the round butt, too. And chance of getting that and a NYC issue JP swivel to go with it?
 

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I have a Mark III 5" OP. It is nckle with Detroit PD markings. It is a .38spec, It is an pretty good shooter, dead-on with standard velocity 158 grain ammo.
 
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