Colt Trooper and Python Barrel


March 14, 2007, 10:45 PM
I have a Colt Trooper dated to 1965 from the serial #. Can I change out the 4" barrel for a 6" Colt Python barrel fairly easy???

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Jim Watson
March 14, 2007, 11:14 PM
The thread is the same, assuming you have an older Python barrel to work with, but the Python rib will not match up with the Trooper topstrap. There have been counterfeit Pythons made out of Troopers welded up and machined to match. Seems like a lot of work for a small gain, but it has been done.

Then there are the usual revolver barrel fitting requirements of making the barrel screw in tight with the sight at top dead center, and getting the flash gap right.

March 15, 2007, 12:05 AM
The Colt Trooper with a Python barrel is known as a "Troop-on" or a "Pooper".

Back in the late 1960's the Vietnam was hot and Colt was putting most of it's effort into weapons for the military.
It was near impossible to buy a Python, but for some strange reason, Python barrels were easy to get.

Several enterprising gunsmiths took new Troopers, which had just been discontinued and were plentiful, and welded up the top strap to match the Python barrel rib.
They tuned the action and gave it a Python quality blue job.

One of the gun magazines printed an article about this, and their orders went through the roof.
To this day, people think they have an early Python but a serial number check shows they have one of these re-barreled Troopers.

About the only way to tell is by a serial check, or by a close look at the top strap, where you can just detect the weld job.

So, while you could have this done, by the time you buy a good Python barrel, and pay a GOOD pistolsmith to weld the frame, fit the barrel, and re-blue it, you're going to be putting quite a bit of money into what's basically a "Frankengun".
Doing this level of work is beyond the average local gunsmith, and is something best left to the higher end custom gunsmiths, who cost big money.

I'd suggest either selling the Trooper, (which are bringing good money now days) or saving the money to buy a real Python.

March 15, 2007, 11:09 AM
Thanks D I thought that was probably the case. I picked up the barrel off Ebay from what is supposed to be a liquidation of gun store from death of owner. But who knows? I may just resell it at my LGS. I like the accuracy of the Trooper I was just wanting a full lug barrel on it.

March 15, 2007, 08:54 PM
dfariswheel, the Trooper and Python had different actions. I'm sure they could be tuned up real nice by a good gunsmith. Besides the serial # or a close look at the top strap, the easeist way to tell would be to look at the location of the fireing pin. The Python had a frame mounted fireing pin and the Trooper had the fireing pin mounted on the hammer.:)

March 16, 2007, 12:01 AM
That's not quite true.

The Python always had the firing pin mounted in the frame.
The Trooper was originally available in .38 Special and .22LR ONLY, and both had the firing pin on the hammer.
These early Troopers were essentially not much more than the Officer's Model Match with a different barrel.

In those days, Colt's premium holster revolver was the Colt 357 model. This had the firing pin in the frame, and this model was the basis for the Super-premium Python.

In 1961, sales of the 357 were down, so Colt discontinued it, and started making the Trooper in .357 Magnum.
At the same time, the firing pin on the .38 Special Trooper and the new .357 model was moved into the frame.

These later guns have a firing pin in the fame and other than the barrel and higher polished finish, they are indistinguishable from the Python.
That's why the "Pooper" isn't easy to detect.

March 16, 2007, 01:54 PM
dariswheel, I have a COLT model 357 made in '54, first year of production and was aware that was the basis for the Python but was unaware that there was a time that both the Trooper & Python had the fireing pin mounted in the frame. I learned something new today, thanks.:)

March 16, 2007, 03:34 PM
Mine had the fireing pin in the frame. But as of yesterday I sold the Trooper and a couple of other revolvers I had and purchased a Royal Blue Python w/6"bbl. This is the gun with the K30XXX serial # that Dfariswheel told me was mfg'd in 1981. I really love the smoothness of the Python action I don't thing anything else compares IMHO. :D

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