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Discussion Starter #1
Hello.

Just got it! It is just such a pain to get modern firearms in France; months of paperwork... So it had to be a Colt of course. This Trooper is awesome. Timing is perfect and it looks almost like new. I also got a Lyman 358439 155gr mold, the HP version of the famous 173gr 358429, which will be my next mold. I shot it for the first time today with .38 SWCs from the club. The results were far from stellar but I am way out of practice and it wasn't my ammo.

Trooper_MkIII.jpg

I am thinking of saving the original grips and installing nice Hogue wooden grips with slight finger grooves. It's a shooter so... The gun feels very rugged, yet refined. I used to be a semi-auto kind of guy, but I guess I grew tired of picking up cases on the floor. Being a reloader a revolver makes more sense too; so many combinations to try. I will load these bullets in .38 special cases since from my calculations the OAL would be too long for the MkIII cylinder. One load around 975fps and another one hopefully around 1300, if that sounds reasonable. We don't have American powders here but we do have Vectan SP3, very close to 2400, and Vectan Ba9, very close to Unique. They are so close in fact that I think the loads are interchangeable. Don't take my word for it though, do your own research. This would be of interest only to European reloaders anyway...

Ya'll (I used to live in FL) have a great week-end!

Gil.
 

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A very nice Colt you have there. I have a Lawman MKIII and love it. Thanks for sharing your nice Trooper with us all.
 
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Hello.

Just got it! It is just such a pain to get modern firearms in France; months of paperwork... So it had to be a Colt of course. This Trooper is awesome. Timing is perfect and it looks almost like new. I also got a Lyman 358439 155gr mold, the HP version of the famous 173gr 358429, which will be my next mold. I shot it for the first time today with .38 SWCs from the club. The results were far from stellar but I am way out of practice and it wasn't my ammo.

View attachment 674329

I am thinking of saving the original grips and installing nice Hogue wooden grips with slight finger grooves. It's a shooter so... The gun feels very rugged, yet refined. I used to be a semi-auto kind of guy, but I guess I grew tired of picking up cases on the floor. Being a reloader a revolver makes more sense too; so many combinations to try. I will load these bullets in .38 special cases since from my calculations the OAL would be too long for the MkIII cylinder. One load around 975fps and another one hopefully around 1300, if that sounds reasonable. We don't have American powders here but we do have Vectan SP3, very close to 2400, and Vectan Ba9, very close to Unique. They are so close in fact that I think the loads are interchangeable. Don't take my word for it though, do your own research. This would be of interest only to European reloaders anyway...

Ya'll (I used to live in FL) have a great week-end!

Gil.
Congrats! It鈥檚 great that you stuck with it and I know the reward of enjoying your Trooper will make it worthwhile...
 

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I carried an EN Colt Trooper MKIII for 11yrs as a LEO. Accurate and a great revolver. I used to call it a "Poor Man's Python....!!!"
 

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Very nice gun!
I had a 4" nickel Trooper I carried for quite a while. It was smooth and accurate. It did hate HBWC's though.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Mine doesn't seem to like the .38sp cast SWC 158gr club reloads. Maybe they are sized too small. I am curious as to what size bullets is everyone shooting in the MkIII? I have a .358 sizing die on order.

Gil

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I have an opportunity to purchase a very nice Mark III Trooper in 38 SPC. that is about 95%. I have not had a Trooper before and I am more familiar with S&W pistols. I know the Trooper is a good pistol, it's a COLT. Can anyone tell me if there is a downside to this pistol or anything to look for. I researched other places and it looks like $525 is a reasonable price for a Mark III in this condition. Thank you for any thoughts or guidance on this pistol.
 

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Check for endshake....I don鈥檛 know why but I鈥檝e seen s number of MKIII Colts with excessive endshake. Which never makes sense because I鈥檓 told they are of a very robust design....
 

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Gil, Those are good guns. I bought a new 6" MK III in the early '70s. It had a more massive feel than my 6" Pre MK III Trooper, and I think it did weigh a few ounces more. Anyway, it was a very good gun other than the very heavy DA trigger pull. Been so long, I can't remember specifically what diameter cast bullets I might have used, but .358" would seem a good place to start. The Colts and S&W Model 27 and 28 have shorter cylinders, so I understand about loading in .38 cases. You might also be able to achieve an acceptable OAL with .357 cases by seating deeper and crimping over the forward shoulder of the bullet. After a few months of paperwork, I have no doubt you'll enjoy that Trooper.

Thebolt, I would generally look at timing, endshake, B/C gap, trigger push off in single action, evidence on face of forcing cone of use of many hot loads, excessive flame cutting of top strap, etc. I would want as close to a stock, well maintained gun as possible, since these are long out of production, repair parts may not be easily available, and I doubt Colt supports the MK IIIs anymore. As I mentioned, I had a MK III, but I admit I didn't know the MK III version was chambered in .38 Spcl. In good condition,such a gun should be a durable shooter.

BTW,The Kuhnhausen Double Action Colt shop manual, Volume II, has all most could ever want as to the mechanical workings, what to check for, and proper repair of the MK III series Colts.
 

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Gil, Those are good guns. I bought a new 6" MK III in the early '70s. It had a more massive feel than my 6" Pre MK III Trooper, and I think it did weigh a few ounces more. Anyway, it was a very good gun other than the very heavy DA trigger pull. Been so long, I can't remember specifically what diameter cast bullets I might have used, but .358" would seem a good place to start. The Colts and S&W Model 27 and 28 have shorter cylinders, so I understand about loading in .38 cases. You might also be able to achieve an acceptable OAL with .357 cases by seating deeper and crimping over the forward shoulder of the bullet. After a few months of paperwork, I have no doubt you'll enjoy that Trooper.

Thebolt, I would generally look at timing, endshake, B/C gap, trigger push off in single action, evidence on face of forcing cone of use of many hot loads, excessive flame cutting of top strap, etc. I would want as close to a stock, well maintained gun as possible, since these are long out of production, repair parts may not be easily available, and I doubt Colt supports the MK IIIs anymore. As I mentioned, I had a MK III, but I admit I didn't know the MK III version was chambered in .38 Spcl. In good condition,such a gun should be a durable shooter.

BTW,The Kuhnhausen Double Action Colt shop manual, Volume II, has all most could ever want as to the mechanical workings, what to check for, and proper repair of the MK III series Colts.
This forum has incredible knowledge and I personally thank you for taking the time to answer my questions. Very thorough reply and I truly appreciate you sharing your knowledge.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Hello. Well, I reloaded the above mentioned bullets in 38 cases using SP3 powder, which is very close to 2400. 11 grains produced sticky extractions even though reloading data showed loads up to 15gr in 357 cases. I know a shorter case produces more pressure and saw 2400 loads up to 13.5gr (Skeeter Skelton) in 38 cases. The primers looked normal. Unfortunately my Chrony was too close and not enough light so the readings were all over the place, even one at 4500fps, LOL. One was 1300... Which seems a bit much for a 4" barrel and this seemingly light load. I had prepared cartridges up to 13gr but decided not to shoot them and stopped after five of my 11gr starting load.
Gil.

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If you're getting signs of over-pressure like sticky extraction, even thought the Mark III is a very strong revolver, I'd back off the loads.
There's no sense over stressing a fine revolver that's no longer made.
 

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Hello. Well, I reloaded the above mentioned bullets in 38 cases using SP3 powder, which is very close to 2400. 11 grains produced sticky extractions even though reloading data showed loads up to 15gr in 357 cases. I know a shorter case produces more pressure and saw 2400 loads up to 13.5gr (Skeeter Skelton) in 38 cases. The primers looked normal. Unfortunately my Chrony was too close and not enough light so the readings were all over the place, even one at 4500fps, LOL. One was 1300... Which seems a bit much for a 4" barrel and this seemingly light load. I had prepared cartridges up to 13gr but decided not to shoot them and stopped after five of my 11gr starting load.
Gil.

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"Sticky" extractions indicate that you are over-loading, you may want to back off a bit because you also damage the casings. Albeit, you are shooting a Colt, most likely you would have already expanded a cylinder in a Smith & Wesson!
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Maybe, LOL. I was wondering if my heavy crimping could be the cause..
Gil.

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Possible.

Are you shooting lead or jacketed bullets?
In general, you'd have to put a super heavy crimp in a jacketed bullet to make that much difference.
I'd just back off the load and see what happens.

When shooting hotter loads in a revolver you have to use a good crimp or the bullets can pull out of the cases under recoil.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Hi, it's lead bullets...
Thanks.
Gil.

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have had various MkIII Troopers over the years, and all have been very good. The one I have now is a 6 inch, and I hate to say it, but the trigger is as good as my Python. Have fun !
 
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