Colt .357 Magnum


May 12, 2007, 03:44 AM
I was at a friend's house this evening, and he brought out a few rifles and handguns to look at. One was a pretty nice Colt AR-15 SP1, A1 complete with a pencil barrel and 3 prong flash suppressor. Pretty interesting, but the eyebrow raiser for me was a Colt double action revolver with a 6 inch barrel in .357 Magnum. There is no ejector shroud. Well worn, but the action felt good and the cylinder seemed to lock up pretty tight. He was wanting to use that one for trading material.

Any thoughts on the revolver?

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May 12, 2007, 05:16 AM
You will get lots of comments on the Colt 357 Magnum model; maybe not here, but especially over on the Colt Forum. The old Trooper Model preceeded the introduction of the Python. The 357 Mag model was the premium version of the Trooper with was offered in 22LR and 38spl. Both have the hand tuned actions of the Python. You want a shooter, this one sounds like a very good one.

In prior years (like 20 years ago), I pretty much shyed away from Colt revolvers without the ejector rod shroud thinking that guns with the shroud were a better design and new guns at the time were better. I turned up my nose to models with the exposed ejector rod. Boy was I wrong. The only big difference is that if you drop a Colt with the exposed ejector rod, you might bend it. But, I've never dropped one on any hard surface..... I've made up for my ignorant bias of my youth since then. The 357 Mag Model is a fine premium revolver.

May 12, 2007, 05:21 AM
I would think it will shoot out of time well before you can end up bending the rod.

Vern Humphrey
May 12, 2007, 11:25 AM
I carried a Colt Model 357 my first tour in Viet Nam -- it's a fine revolver, and mine still gives gilt-edge accuracy after all these years.

May 12, 2007, 01:33 PM
I wish I had noticed the serial number on this one. I may take another look. I'm fixing the friend's Olympic Arms AR (cam pin and firing pin were both broken), so I'll get another chance. From what I can tell, the revolver was probably made in the 50's. It appears they were last made in 1961.

May 12, 2007, 03:17 PM
The Colt 357 was a revolver first, in that it was the first production double action ever built on a medium frame.
Before it, all .357 revolvers were built on larger frames like Colt's New Service, and S&W's "N" frame.

It was the first 357 revolver to have the firing pin mounted in the frame instead of on the hammer, and it was the first production 357 to have factory Target grips as standard.

It was available in a 4" or 6" barrel, with Target grips and hammer, or Service grips and hammer.
Finish was bright blue.
It was produced from 1954 to 1961, with "about" 15,000 total made.

The 357 was intended to be Colt's premium holster gun, with the similar Trooper models being "budget" models in .38 Special.
Things went off track, when Colt introduced the Super-premium Python in 1955.

This left the 357 as odd-man out, since law enforcement and people wanting a cheaper gun bought the Trooper, and people wanting the best buying the Python.
Due to low sales Colt discontinued the 357 in 1961, and started offering the .357 Magnum in the Trooper line.

The 357 is often called a "pre-Python" or a "poor man's Python" since it is basically the same gun as a Python only without the heavy shrouded and lugged barrel and the brighter polished finish.
Since most people have never heard of the 357, they tend to pass over it thinking it's just a Trooper, so the 357 is a "sleeper".

Vern Humphrey
May 12, 2007, 03:42 PM
Since most people have never heard of the 357, they tend to pass over it thinking it's just a Trooper, so the 357 is a "sleeper".

And that's the way I like it -- so people who know Colts get a bargain oin a top-quality revolver.

guy sajer
May 12, 2007, 05:36 PM
I like'm ;)
Solid built . Smooooth DA pull . Very accurate .

May 12, 2007, 06:42 PM
Yup, just like that one!


May 12, 2007, 09:29 PM
I like 'em, too. I have a pristine 4" and a grungy 6". Bank-vault tight lockup on both guns.

May 14, 2007, 12:49 PM
A 4 incher...

May 14, 2007, 04:10 PM
Well, Grampa, I've been looking for a six-inch .357 to go with the four-incher right here, so if your friend is indeed looking for a trade for it, I am open to discussion.
It would go to a very good home.

May 14, 2007, 04:18 PM
I'll pass the information along. He was ready to part with it, and is looking for a Remington 700BDL or Ruger M77 in left hand, 30 06. Or, may take cash. :)

I'll try to get a couple of pictures up.

May 14, 2007, 04:25 PM
Well, I have no rifles to trade, but it's true trading cash can have some value.

Bear Fighter
May 24, 2007, 02:10 PM
These are indeed fine weapons. I too have a pristine 4 inch made in 1959 and a 6 inch with just a bit of holster wear. It was first year manufacter, made in 1954 with a low serial number ( 4xxx ) The actions are smooth as glass and both are tack drivers with bright bores and tight lockups. You can spend a lot of money and get a Python, or get a real bargin with a Colt 357 model. I just aquired the 6 incher and fired a 3 shot 1 1/8 " group from a rest at 25 yards.

May 24, 2007, 02:13 PM
I had one briefly, but it was very badly out of time and I could not find a gunsmith able or willing to fix it.

Vern Humphrey
May 24, 2007, 02:24 PM
I had one briefly, but it was very badly out of time and I could not find a gunsmith able or willing to fix it.

I'll give you $50 for it.

May 24, 2007, 02:26 PM
LOL I already sold it, long ago. It was a fine handling revolver, apart from being out of time.

Vern Humphrey
May 24, 2007, 02:34 PM
You shoulda come to me first. A silver-tongued devil like you could have got me up to $55, easy.

May 20, 2008, 05:54 PM
Wow I have one too. My dad left me this one serno. 13289, it doesn't have the grip like the one in the photo. The wood ends about a 1/2" behind the trigger guard. This is a true gem, as it looks unfired. I know he never showed it to me before he died and was found in a pachmayer box including a few others.

May 20, 2008, 07:29 PM

Buy it if he is not too proud of it. It is an outstanding revolver and if you care about that sort of thing, will go up in value.

There are two colt revolvers in my safe and I love them both (Python and Detective Special)

May 20, 2008, 09:41 PM
If anyone is interested in selling a set of target stocks for this Colt 357 LEMENO

May 20, 2008, 11:50 PM
An AR15 with a "pencil barrel?"

Oh Lord, that awful term is spilling over from S&W revolvers to other guns.

Vern Humphrey
May 21, 2008, 11:03 AM
I carried a Colt M357 my first tour in Viet Nam. Served two customers and neither one asked for his money back.

May 21, 2008, 11:25 AM
as dfariswheel said the 357 model is the pre Python. It has the same works, smooth action, frame and accuracy as the Python. It does not have the high polish and vent rib barrel.

Good revolver, not well known and usually undervalued.

I would also like to find a set of grips like in post #8.

May 21, 2008, 06:53 PM
Unfortunately, genuine Colt factory Target grips for the older Colt's are EXPENSIVE.
They usually sell for at least $150 on Ebay.
The First Type fully checkered Colt Target grips sell for OVER $200.

May 21, 2008, 11:04 PM
I agree with dfariswheel

I won two Colt 357 revolvers having 4 and 6 inch length barrels. They are remarkable revolvers. I wonder if they will ever become in high demand.

May 22, 2008, 08:33 AM
They will certainly appreciate in value. Fine revolvers, from a company that (for all intentional purposes) is out of business.

Supply is static or dwindling and demand is going up due to scarcity. No, it is not as showy or as famous as a Python so it will never be as valuable, but demand will increase.

May 22, 2008, 10:16 AM
dfariswheel, isn't that the truth about prices for genuine grips?

That is too much for me. I will try to find some after market that resemble the factory grips.

May 22, 2008, 07:26 PM
While these are plastic, they are exact "look-alikes" for the factory grips:

There are a fake Colt "type" grip available on Ebay, but these are crappy, and to any real Colt "person" look like crap.
These are foreign made grips. Note the odd S&W-like checkering. The shape is wrong too./
These are often sold as real Colt factory....... they AIN'T.

Same grip only without the medallions and made of a hardwood. At one time CDNN sold these for as little as $9.95:

Here's the RIGHT genuine factory grips for the 357.
The early fully checkered version.....EXPENSIVE when you can find them:

The Second Type factory grip....... Still expensive.

The Colt 357 model would have come from the factory with SILVER Colt medallions.
In that era, only the Python had Gold medallions.

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