A good friend of mine has a Colt Colt DA .357 Serial no : "26". From a distance one would think it was Trooper. However it does not say that, it's just Colt .357 CTG. Could it be that this gun is a pre trooper, and made in the Late 40s early 50s.
Looks like a Colt 357 to me. That is the name of this model and the caliber. Great Colt that was made from about 1953 to 1961. It was available in 4" and 6" barrels (maybe some 5" guns also). Options included Nickel finiish, target hammer, and target stocks. This is Colt's first Post-War .357 Magnum revolver.
It's a Colt Model Three-Fifty-Seven made apparently in 1954, first year production. When Colt originally came out with the Trooper, it was chambered in .38 Special, more or less, as I understand it at least, an updated Officer's Model, as a basic revolver for police officers and shooters on a budget. The same year, they released the Model .357 as a high end version of the Trooper. Then, in 1955, Colt unveiled the Python as an ultra-premium .357 revolver and most shooters preferred to either just get the Trooper .38 or go all out and get the Python. Sales of the .357 lagged significantly and Colt decided to mix the Trooper .38 and the Three-Fifty-Seven together, creating what, IMHO, is the finest all-purpose service revolver ever designed: the Trooper .357.
BTW Although Wilson's serial number charts show #1 in 1954 and therefore 1954 is often considered the first year, your friend's may well have been made in 1953. It would be intereting to obtain a Colt archive letter for the gun and request both manufacture and ship dates. JMO
Hey Gents , thanks for your all your help . As far as I know he purchased 30 years ago from a guy that was in fact a state trooper and wanted to sell it on consignment. My friend just took it out of his hands and said sold, they both laughed. I shot it last week , and man they just do not make DA guns like that anymore, it was a real beauty. I shot it double action at 50 meters and wow how does one describe such craftsmanship, you cannot.