Which to get? S&W 19-4 or Colt Trooper mk III?


April 8, 2009, 01:12 PM
i'm lookin to get another revolver and these are what I can get a decent deal on ftf.

They're both the same price, they're both in "immaculate" condition, both are 6" barrels, the s&w is nickel with hogue combat grips and the trooper has flawless blued finish with I what believe are factory grips.

Which do you figure would be the better deal? is there any problems assosciated with either of these pistols?

heres the pictures that were given to me

heres the Colt


and the S&W


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April 8, 2009, 01:14 PM
I prefer the S&W action and the Colts finish.

April 8, 2009, 02:23 PM
Assuming no real preference between nickel and blue, the Colt will be slightly sturdier if you plan a lot of Magnum shooting. Most folks prefer the S&W trigger system and in general I think the 19 is a bit classier.

Either will work.

April 8, 2009, 03:43 PM
Before buying a used revolver, check out this thread. It tells you what to look for.


Also, be advised, there were problems with some 19s where owners used light bullets ahead of slow burning powders. It sometimes produced cracks in the forcing cone.

The 125 grain bullets driven to maximum velocities used large charges of relatively slow-burning powders. Handloaders know the powder types as WW296 and H-110, among others. The combination of slow ball-type powders and the short bearing surface of the 125 bullets allows prolonged gas cutting of the forcing cone and top strap area, accelerating erosion and wear.

Borescope studies of rifle, machine gun, and auto cannon chamber throats shows a lizzard-skin-like texture due to this gas cutting damage, called "brinelling". The results of brinelling are fine microcracks that weaken the surface of the steel, and further promote erosion. In machine guns and auto cannons, barrel life is measured in terms of "useable accuracy", and round counts that determine this are based on group sizes at engagement ranges.

In the K-frame magnums, the forcing cone dimensions combined with the barrel shank dimensions results in a relatively thin shank at the 6 o'clock position, where a machine cut is made to clear the crane. This is usually where the forcing cone cracks. The L and N frames use much beefier barrel shanks and do not have this cut. S&W intended the K frame magnums to be "carried much and fired seldom" service arms, designed to fire .38 Specials indefinitely, with light to moderate use of .357 Magnums. You notice that S&W has discontinued production of K frame .357 magnums, no doubt due to product liability issues and a couple generations of K frame magnum experience.


I own a 19-4 with 6 inch barrel and it's one of my absolute favorite guns to shoot. Only, I handload to 38 special velocities.

I've never owned the Trooper but, if the price is right, would have no problem with owning one.

The deciding factor for me, if you have to have one or the other right now, would be the finish. I've read that Hoppes will discolor nickel, so I stick with blue.

April 8, 2009, 04:18 PM
Thank you gentlemen!

I believe I'm gonna go with the Colt since i'll also be acquiring a S&W 581 soon.

So the problems with that S&W arose from trying to get incredibly high velocities from light bullets?

April 8, 2009, 04:54 PM
I have a Trooper MKIII like your picture and like it a lot. The bluing is flawless and it's extremely accurate. That said, the S&W trigger is smoother, especially double action.

One thing with Colt revolvers is that they require more finicky gunsmithing to keep in top shape and Colt 'smiths are at a premium compared to guys who work on S&W revolvers. I still like my Trooper and will hang onto it because it's accurate and fun to shoot.

April 8, 2009, 07:59 PM
They are both great guns. hard to go wrong here. I baby the 19, but this 6" Trooper is a real work horse. Shoots like a dream too. :)


April 8, 2009, 08:17 PM
Thank you for your input, gentlemen!

I'm headin to the police station shortly to meet with the guy and transfer/register the Colt.

I can't wait!

Ala Dan
April 8, 2009, 08:50 PM
Well, I'm a S&W kind'a guy; even though I do own several Colt D-frames~!
Both are great weapons, so I will leave the choice up too you, my friend. ;)

April 8, 2009, 10:40 PM

You can't go wrong with either one, provided everything checks out okay with them. My first .357 Magnum was a Colt Trooper Mk.III and I just liked how sturdy and well built the gun was. Not to take anything away from the S&W Model 19, but I think over the long run, the Colt will hold up better with a steady diet of full house loads than the S&W will.

April 10, 2009, 12:55 AM
Thanks for the help choosing guys.

I ended up getting the Colt Trooper MkIII. It's a sweeeet gun. Very sturdy, very well built. I'm going to try my best to shoot it this weekend.

I also bought a S&W 58-1 4" .357 this evening. You guys were right about the trigger. The S&W is incredibly smooth. I just got to find a decent holster for OC.

Thank you again to Harmonic, the Colt (and the S&W 19 he had) showed absolutely no wear.


Thomas Garrett
April 10, 2009, 08:29 AM
Sweet choice. I'm a Colt revolver guy myself. (nothing bad about s&w's).

Harmonic, Cudo's to ya. People like you here on THR makes this what it is. A good place for information to fellow shooters. Again great write-up!

April 10, 2009, 08:57 AM
That S&W .357 must be a M-28, not 58. 58 is .41 Mag.......:)

Another very good choice in revolvers...... Wish I had a 58.

April 10, 2009, 11:09 AM
Sorry, the revolver picture I posted is of the Colt, not the S&W 58-1.

I haven't taken a picture of the S&W yet, but I will.... right..... NOW!

April 10, 2009, 11:24 AM
HERE'S the S&W 58-1 .357.


New nightstand and soon to be OC gun. I can't believe how comfortable, smooth, and light it is. It's nice to finally have, after 3 years, not one .357, but 2 in 2 days.

April 10, 2009, 11:34 AM
I also bought a S&W 58-1 4" .357

Somebody posted what you had must have been a model 28 since they didn't make the 58 in 357. But looking at your picture, it's a fixed sight gun. I never saw a fixed sight 28.

Plus, (and, from the picture, it's hard to tell), it looks like you've got a full length barrel underlug.

Could you look inside the crane and confirm what model Smith you bought, cause if you bought a model 58 in 357 magnum, you might have something there. What, I don't know. But, something,

April 10, 2009, 11:55 AM
"mod 58-1"

Yes sir, full underlug.

I believe it a S&W 581, but there's a dash in there for some reason.

April 10, 2009, 01:14 PM
Good choice. I could tell little practical difference shooting my Python and Trooper Mark III. Sold off the Python (my last) and used the funds to acquire some safe queens. But the Trooper Mark III... I love. Wonderful trigger. The Model 58 Smith is chambered in 41 mag. But you know that.

Thomas Garrett
April 10, 2009, 01:14 PM
We need Old Fuff for clarification. As he knows pistol "model" configurations.

April 10, 2009, 01:33 PM
Since all Colts are entering the realm of collector status you might as well get the 19 so you can shoot it and bear the accasional scratch

April 10, 2009, 01:40 PM
To clarify for everyone, I already bought the Colt Trooper MK III and the S&W 58-1.

The Colt Trooper MK III


The S&W 58-1


April 10, 2009, 01:54 PM
I think you'll love the Trooper Mark III if it functions anywhere close to mine. As far as the 58-1/581 thing.... Model 58 IS a 41 mag and the 581 IS a 357 mag revolver. :D

Smith has recently introduced the Model 58 again (with the lock of course) as part of their classic line. I want one!

April 10, 2009, 02:07 PM
I'm lovin the Colt action. Very tight and consistent, no grinding or anything. Very smooth. The SA is even better. I love it so far.

I'm just sayin... the model on this thing, clear as day, says "MOD 58-1".

April 10, 2009, 04:22 PM
Walkalong is correct that the 58 is a .41 magnum N frame. What you have is a S&W model 581 L frame .357 magnum revolver that was evidently mismarked at the factory. The 581 and 681 were fixed sight versions of the more common 586 and 686 revolvers. They are very nice guns, and while not exactly rare, can be difficult to find when you are looking for one.


April 10, 2009, 08:02 PM
My Trooper Mark III is as smooth as butter. I had always thought someone did a trigger job on it, but after reading here and elsewhere, I doubt it. I totally ignored them when they were available retail. Don't get me wrong, I have several since.

April 10, 2009, 09:41 PM
I thought they were smooth before... I just oiled both of them. Man o' man. These babies are sweet. I can't wait to actually shoot them!

April 10, 2009, 10:58 PM
sorry for the crappy pic, but i took it about 500 times and this camera just does not want to take pictures under 5 or 6 inches.

Hard to see, but it says mod 58-1.

April 10, 2009, 11:09 PM
Or maybe this will work.

Btw, if it helps stop any confusion, it says "B19" and "7x684" on the crane and "ADE4663" on the bottom of the grip.

gary vale
April 10, 2009, 11:19 PM
I have the Smith....but I think you made a good choice....
Shoot straight and safely...Hey I do believe this post makes me a member...

April 11, 2009, 12:32 AM
Thank you and congrats, Gary.

Btw guys, my trade mark stamp seems to be on the wrong side of the frame compared to the other 581's I've seen. Mine is on the left side.


April 11, 2009, 01:12 AM
I'd take the Colt just because I think it will hold up better to sustained firing of .357 mags. I'm also a sucker for the Colt finish. That said, the Trooper III was not a popular gun because it was not as accurate as other magnums.

With a 6-inch barrel, the S&W will give you better accuracy (probably) and it will last a good long while if you shoot a lot of .38s and heavier bullet .357s.

April 11, 2009, 01:22 AM
Again, to clarify, I already purchased the Colt.

I buy my guns to shoot, i'm not a collector. I will be shooting alot of magnum loads, so it looks like I made the right choice in gettin the Colt


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