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Colt Viper

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by magsnubby, Aug 25, 2007.

  1. magsnubby

    magsnubby Active Member

    Apr 20, 2004
    I have a Colt Viper (4" blued) that i inherited from my dad. He bought it nib in 1978. It was his fishing gun for a lot of years. Carried a whole bunch and shot a lot. Mostly his light 148 gr wc reloads. It's in perfect mechanical shape but the blueing is worn a bit. I think it's an aluminum frame? Just wondering about using +p's in it. Not a steady diet just a few now and then.
  2. The Lone Haranguer

    The Lone Haranguer Elder

    Jul 30, 2006
    Johnson City, TN
    I don't think this model had an aluminum frame, but am not sure. It is as simple as seeing if a magnet sticks to it.

    "A few +Ps every now and then" is not going to hurt it.
  3. Snake Eyes

    Snake Eyes Active Member

    Jun 30, 2003
    Spokane, WA
    The Viper had an Alloy frame, not aluminum. It is essentially a lightweight Police Positive. I'm with The Lone Haranguer on +Ps--a few probably wont hurt.

    But Dfariswheel will probably be along shortly to tell us for sure.
  4. Jim March

    Jim March Mentor

    Dec 24, 2002
    SF Bay Area
    Whenever you have a gun that's questionable on +P but you want to press it into defensive service, consider the Buffalo Bore standard pressure defensive loads. Bullet energy is on par with a lot of +Ps but it's standard pressure.


    ALL early aluminum frame guns are marginal on strength - S&W and Colt. It doesn't take that much to shake 'em apart. Given the availability of these Buffbores I'd personally not run ANY +P fodder in it. That's a conservative stance, true, but...BuffBore has removed any necessity for +P, the only downside is cost but you don't need a lot of defense fodder.
  5. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Senior Elder

    Dec 24, 2002
    Alloy = Aluminum

    Yes, the Viper had an aluminum frame. It amounts to a long-barreled Cobra or Agent, and loads used in those revolvers are fine in a Viper. It is by the way a relatively rare model. Colt didn't make a whole lot of them, as it was only made for one year (1977).

    Do keep one thing in mind. Hotter loads, by whatever name, will in time loosen the revolver up. It will likely take years, but "occasional use" adds up. Parts for these guns are in short supply, and getting shorter. People who are qualified to work on them are becoming fewer and fewer, and their services are becoming (justifiably) more expensive.

    On today's market there are a number of alloy framed snubbies and short-barreled revolvers that are rated to use +P .38 and even .357 Magnum ammunition. The Old Fuff, from long experience, suggests that those who can't leave home without their +P ammunition arm themselves with one of these newer guns. :scrutiny:

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