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New shoes for my 4" .357

1580 Views 11 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  Colt38
New shoes for my 4\" .357

I bought this 1954 4" ".357" model several years ago. Finish is at least 95%, but the only thing wrong with it was someone had replaced the target stocks with Pachmeyers. This has bugged me since I've owned it, and I have been searching for an original set of fully checkered targets (that I could afford) for it ever since. I know it had target stocks because it has the target hammer, and above the Pacs, there was a small line in the side plate where the wood stocks once were. Also, the side plate screw that is covered by the grips is of the flat-headed type. Yesterday, I found this set of smooth targets in the grip drawer of a local dealer. I am pretty certain that they are of proper vintage for a 1954 gun because there is no cartridge ejection relief cut in the top. My question is, have you guys ever heard of Colt smooth targets during this time period? I had never seen a pair until yesterday until yesterday. Am I correct about the vintage? I paid $38 for them, which I thought was a good deal. Here's a pic, it appears my search is over!
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Re: New shoes for my 4\" .357

N Frame; The 4" "357" IS the gun that should HAVE been THE "Carry .357" for LEOs in the mid 1950's-NOT the S&W M-19 "Combat Magnum". But with Bill Jordan "touting" it on the old TV show,"You Asked For It",upon its introduction, "racier lines" and a much better marketing job by S&W,the M-19(after 1957 called that) became the hot seller.

Very rarely do I "flame" S&Ws here(and vice versa on the S&W Forum),but the "357" was/IS clearly a better gun!! Weight is within an ounce,and it took 10-20 years,but the M-19 and other K frame "magnums" began shooting themselves "loose". Hence,the L Frame!-and it just wasn't the introduction of 125 jhps,Super Vels etc.

Anyway,sorry for the rant! I have a 4" like yours,3 digit serial,a former P.I.s gun. He had a King Cockeyed hammer installed,and the gun has seen a lotta use/carry-BUT still as tight as the day it left Hartford in 1954!

As far as the stocks,I don't recall Colt making these a factory option,and they probably were via the "Custom Shop",later on,

IF they are Colt MADE,the escutcheon and screw should be blued and a very small diameter screw. I say this,because,it is not that hard for someone with patience to hand sand the checkering off factory Colt stocks,then restain them. Ironically,a prewar pair that had this done to them came with that 4" #357",as well as the factory full checkered target stocks(that were numbered to the gun!),but the P.I had "carved" a relief for his speed loader in these-so I sold them to a guy,along with instructions on how to adapt them to a Colt New Service.

The wood DOES NOT look like Colt with that nice "pattern",and there are plenty of aftermarkets out there-but IF it has the Colt screw/escutcheons,then it could be "factory made" later on-or checkering removed(some guys with "tender palms"-can't deal with the "rasping effect" of checkering under stout recoil!)

Nice gun,as was the .357 old model Trooper. Too bad they never sold in the amounts they deserved to,but I also give Colt a share of the blame for naturally pushing the more expensive Python!

Even though I own just as many S&Ws,and love them equally as Colts-I will never buy a K frame .357. Just wasn't strong enough for sustained .357 Magnum firing. Sort of like D frames,including the steel frames,using an exclusive diet of +Ps.

Bud /forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif /forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif /forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif
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Re: New shoes for my 4\" .357

My 3 digit 4" has the two tone or "duo tone" as you described,which is correct-but my 6" 1957 "357",as close as I have to a safe queen!,is all blue.

Traded an almost new S&W M-586,4" that my wife had bought me in 1984-dead even for the 30 year old "357" in 1986!! Wife never knew(I think). Always wanted a "357" as a teenager. Don't have to tell you which of the 2 is worth more today!!!--and the "357" never got recalled either /forums/images/graemlins/tongue.gif /forums/images/graemlins/smirk.gif

Seems as if Colt got more than a few "complaints" about the "duo tone",and went back to full blue around 1954 ish,as my Marshall is all blue.

Just checked to see if I had any longer stock screws,to help you out,but I don't,as few of my revolvers have the full target grips;unless they are the "kickers"! /forums/images/graemlins/shocked.gif

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