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Colt Trooper MK-III

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by Jake H, Nov 19, 2006.

  1. Jake H

    Jake H New Member

    Oct 10, 2006
    I found a good condition Colt Trooper MK-III at a sporting goods store yesterday. Everything checks out nicely except there is about .010" of end-shake (without the trigger depressed). It does not seem to have been shot much. How difficult is this end-shake to fix on a Colt Trooper?

    I forgot to check the end-shake with the trigger depressed (full lock-up). But I would guess there is less end-shake in full lock-up. I believe it was priced at about $560. Any other information about the revolver would be appreciated.

    Jake H
  2. dfariswheel

    dfariswheel Mentor

    Dec 26, 2002
    Check end shake with the gun un-cocked and the action at rest.
    Checking with the trigger back tells you nothing, and will actually give you a false reading.

    Unfortunately, correcting end shake in the Colt revolvers is much more difficult than in S&W and most other brands.
    On those, you can stretch the crane shaft or use washers to correct excess end shake.

    All these brands establish end shake at the REAR of the cylinder by the fit of the cylinder shaft against the inside-rear of the cylinder.
    The Colt establishes cylinder end shake at the FRONT, by the fit of the cylinder collar against the crane shoulder on older revolvers, and by the fit of the collar against the frame in newer guns like your Trooper Mark III.

    In the Colt's, end shake correction is a factory ONLY job, or one of the VERY few service centers who have the highly specialized equipment to do the job.
    In the Colt, the cylinder collar is stretched to correct end shake.
    This is done by putting a hardened steel support inside the cylinder, and using a special custom-made hydraulic "pincher" tool to squeeze a ring into the collar.
    This is very "ticklish" work, can only be done ONE time, and can only be used to correct a limited amount of end shake. There's a chance the collar can crack.
    If the collar can't be stretched for any reason, the cylinder has to be replaced.

    Since this is NOT something any local gunsmith is going to have, you should trust ONLY the Colt factory, Pittsburgh Handgun Headquarters, or Cylinder & Slide to do it.

    In general info on the Colt Trooper Mark III, this is an extremely tough, strong, high quality revolver. Quality-wise, the finish, fit, and accuracy is better than most anything made today.
    The only "watch-out" is to use snap caps if you dry fire.
    Some firing pins may break, and replacement is another factory ONLY job, since replacement takes a special press with support jigs to protect the frame from being damaged.

    The Trooper Mark III was introduced in 1969 as a replacement for the older Colt revolvers like the original Trooper and Official Police models.
    These older guns had to be hand fitted by having each part stoned and filed to a fit.
    This extensive hand labor cost a lot of money, so the Mark III series was introduced as a replacement for them.
    The Mark III had parts that were made from an early version of MIM (Metal Injection Molding).
    In this process, parts were made from powdered steel injected into a mold and heated until the metal fused.
    These guns were assembled by test fitting parts from a bin until a fit was achieved.

    The Trooper Mark III was replaced by the Mark V in the early 1980's, which was simply the Mark III with a short action for a better trigger pull, and the Mark V was replaced in the mid-80's by the King Cobra, which was simply the Mark V made in stainless steel with a new lugged barrel.
  3. Jake H

    Jake H New Member

    Oct 10, 2006
    Thanks for the reply. I have not purchased the revolver, but I was considering it. I think I will pass on this one.

    Jake H
  4. Lou22

    Lou22 Member

    May 21, 2005
    Oakland County, Michigan
    I can't comment on the end-shake issue, though I own 2 MKIII's in very good to excellent shape. I think the price you quoted is way too high, except for a specimen in LNIC condition. I payed $400 for one and about $360 for the other. And I believe they are worth it.

  5. Standing Wolf

    Standing Wolf Member in memoriam

    Dec 24, 2002
    Idahohoho, the jolliest state
    I concur. The Mark III Trooper was a great gun, and Colt is no longer in the double action revolver line of work, but $560 has to be the sucker price.

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