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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Good morning.

I am searching for a quality revolver in 357, one without the silly Internal Locking System that is being put on most modern revolvers these days. I just dont want a hole in the side of the frame that shouldnt be there.

My budget is a max of say $1500, without selling something.

Originally I was seeking out an older S&W, like a 686-2 or something. Now I am leaning toward a Python or a Trooper, but I have some questions if you guys dont mind?

#1: Ive heard a few vague rumors about 'the trigger breaking at the pivot pin' on a couple forums, talking about the Colt Trooper.

#2: Ive also heard a few things said about the firing pin not being able to be replaced without sending in to the factory? Is this standard for all Colts?

#3: This may be a dumb question but are the frames on the Colt Trooper (III and V), Python, King Cobra and others solid enough to handle reasonable 357 rounds and take a bit of punishment? Ive heard the J frame 357s are pretty light in the frame, so wanted to check on the colts.

Im not sure a Python is in the budget, certainly not one above 1700 or so... but a trooper seems much more doable. Im looking in the 4 to 6 inch barrel range.

I own a first series colt woodsman, and it is my favorite gun to shoot.

Thank you for your time.
 

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IMO the Colt revolvers in .357 are about perfect in size because they are based on a revolver that was originally built as a .41 caliber handgun. So they were a bit smaller then the Smith & Wesson "N" frame but larger than the S & W M19.

And because the Colt 357s are a mid-sized revolver they can handle the 357 adequately.

I think there might be some issues with the MKIII triggers. But the MKIIIs are a very robust design IMO, and designed to handle even the hottest 357 loads.

Now if I had the budget you have set aside I be looking for a COLT 3-5-7, or a Trooper. But you might even find a nice Python.
 

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Welcome to the forum.I'll try to address your concerns to the best of my knowledge.(1)The broken trigger issue has occurred with some of the Trooper MKIII's.It's rarer than reported.
(2)Breaking or wearing out a firing pin is rare and should be replaced by a competent gunsmith that knows how to work on Colt's.(3)The Python frame is as strong as the Smith "L" frame of not stronger..357 magnum factory loads are not an issue.As with any handgun it's an issue with handloads when reaching maximum working pressures.Hope this helps.D*
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I like the idea of an internal firing pin, as opposed to one on the hammer. But its not a big deal to me, I mostly want an heirloom quality revolver that can safely shoot modern factory loads.

The exposed extractor rod seems odd to me on the 3 5 7 though.

There is a LARGE gun show in Tulsa in April If I end up looking at a Python, 3 5 7, Trooper III or Trooper V... what should I keep an eye out for other than a damaged cylinder stop?

This would be my first revolver.
 

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In order:

1. There were three Colt Troopers.
The original Trooper used the same action and frame as the Python.
The Trooper Mark III and the Trooper Mark V are totally different models. When discussing "Troopers" you need to use the full name including the Mark III and Mark V designations to insure you're on the same page.

The Trooper Mark III used a sintered steel hammer and trigger made by an early form of MIM, Metal Injection Molding.
There is some history of the triggers breaking, but this was rare and like much on the internet, vastly over stated.
The Trooper Mark V and the King Cobra used cast steel hammers and triggers and had no trigger issues.
The Trooper Mark V was also made in a flat black finish as the Peacekeeper, and the King Cobra was simply the Mark V with a different barrel and offered in stainless steel and blue.

2. The later Colt's like the Mark III, Mark V, King Cobra etc, do require a trip back to Colt to have a broken firing pin replaced.
DO NOT allow a local gunsmith to attempt a change out. Changing it requires a special press machine and contoured support dies to do it. Most locals have no idea that there's a lot more to the Colt firing pin system and will attempt to drive the pin out, possibly ruining the frame.

Any issues with broken firing pins are again, vastly over stated, and all you have to do to avoid any problem is to use snap caps when dry firing and you'll never have a problem.

The Python firing pin can be changed easily, and you can even do it yourself. The Python does not have much history of broken firing pins.

3. The Colt medium frame revolvers like the Python, Mark III, Mark V, King Cobra are actually stronger guns then the equivalent S&W's.
They have more massive frames and cylinders with the locking notches off-set from the chambers.
The Mark III, Mark V, and king Cobra were specifically designed for unlimited use of full power Magnum ammo without any possible problems of getting out of time like the older model Colt's.
Master gunsmith Jerry Kuhnhausen considered the later Colt's to be the strongest medium framed DA revolvers ever made, including the S&W "L" frames and the Ruger's.
These later Colt's have a well deserved reputation for being real tanks.

If you're concerned about pure strength and no problems, I'd look for a King Cobra and buy a set of snap caps.
You may find that the Mark III and Mark V available at lower prices then the King Cobra.

If you want the absolute best there is and can find one in your price range, the Python is the Ferrari of DA revolvers.
Like an expensive sports car, the Python may need more maintenance than a Mark III, Mark V, or King Cobra, but for that you get higher performance (accuracy) and the prestige of owning the best there is.
Shooter grade Python's can be found within your price range if you shop around, and you'll usually get one cheaper in a local gun store then in an online gun auction.

Another option is an original Colt Trooper. This has the same action and frame as the Python and was made in both .38 Special and .357 Magnum.
It has a heavy, unshrouded barrel with exposed ejector rod.
These are available at lower prices then any of the other Colt .357 Magnum revolvers.
Last, while prices are going up and they are hard to find, there's the Colt 3-5-7. That was both the caliber and the model name.
These look just like the original Trooper, but were a premium model.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
You guys are a wealth of information, thank you very much for your help and guidance on this.

The gun show isn't till April, I just wanted to go into it with as much knowledge as possible so I know what Im doing.
 

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Hang around the forum and read then ask questions.Everyone is very helpful and would like nothing more than for you to make your Colt purchase based on the knowledge that you gain here and not from every two bit expert that never owned a Colt in his life.JMO D*
 

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The exposed extractor rod seems odd to me on the 3 5 7 though.
The original Trooper .357 will also have the exposed ejector rod. It is the same exact gun as the M357 other than rollmarks and some chronological differences.

The 'old' Colt action such as found on these guns does not need the ejector rod to be supported or locked like a Smith & Wesson, so the exposed rod is really of no consequence. The Python uses the same action and the ejector rod doesn't lock into anything.
 
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