Pre-war Colt OM Target w. 6" Heavy Barrel. Background please.


January 8, 2013, 12:30 AM
So just how common were the Officer Model Targets's with the heavy barrel? I can't seem to find all that much info about them. The heavy barrel versions that is. I can tell you the action on this revolver is astounding (mfd. 1941). Both in DA and SA. It's also a very accurate revolver. I have no trouble taking down steel plates at fifty yards. None. I know that I've come across info in the past that the actions on the pre-war OM's are the equal of the early Pythons. Well I've never handled an early Python, but the action is better tahn any of the newer Colts that I've fired.

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January 8, 2013, 10:44 AM
Old Fuff are you out there? I know that the Heavy Barrel was introduced in 1935. Some info claims that the heavy barrel started on the Colt Shooting Master and was so popular that Colt brought it over to the OMT. But I can't seem to find out if the heavy barrel configuration became the standard configuration or if it was a special order item. Also is it correct that the heavy barrel was also offered for the OP?

Old Fuff
January 8, 2013, 12:39 PM
Well I just wrote a long detailed answer, and then it crashed when I tried to post it :cuss: I'll do it again and be back later.

January 9, 2013, 07:15 AM

I'll look forward to Old Fuff's comments as well.

My observations on Colts.
I do not recall seeing either a .38 OMT or OP from 1937 or so and on without a heavy barrel. I would imagine that light barrel 6" OPs were made after that, but would bet they are not as common.
Like you said, I also believe it gave the gun a better 'hang' in the hand with all of the added weight forward of the hand.

Also figured the change was made so that the heavy barrel on the .38 more closely matched the .22 caliber versions for weight.
S&W seemed to catch on by adding the heavier top ribs on their post war .38 and .32 6" K-guns to get an exact weight match with the K-22.

Of course that theory, for Colt anyway, is sort of exploded with the 1950 introduction (when revolvers still ruled the line on the centerfire stage) of the Officers Model Special and later OMM that both used heavy barrels of similar contour which are not weight compensated for caliber.


January 9, 2013, 10:43 AM
I've wanted an Officers' Model for several years. However I don't buy my firearms through the Internet so I'm limited to what I can find in the stores and the occasional personal buy. When I came across my OMT I knew it was an opportunity, a rare opportunity, to own one of these great target revolvers.

I was a little cash poor at the time so I sold one of my Winchesters to Cabelas. That transaction gave me enough cash to purchase two Colt 38 DA revolvers. I've never regretted letting go of the rifle (Winchester 1895, 30-06) in order to own a couple Colts. I collect S&W, but I don't sneer at Colt. Back in the day they made very nice wheel-guns.

January 9, 2013, 11:27 AM
Mine is a heavy barrel... yours looks waaaaaaay nicer, though. :cool:

January 10, 2013, 12:58 AM
Thanks. It was a lucky find.

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