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Colt Lawman/Detective Sp DA trigger pull

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by absolute0, Dec 3, 2004.

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  1. absolute0

    absolute0 Member

    May 10, 2004
    Zimmerman, MN
    Hey guys,

    How would those of you in the know compare the DA trigger on the average Colt Lawman Mk III or Detective Spl against a nice Smith & Wesson of similar vintage?

    I'm thinking about a colt snubbie complement or replace my 4" security six. One of my main gripes about this gun is its mediocre DA trigger, it's also a little lacking in the style department as a carry piece :p

  2. FPrice

    FPrice Member

    Dec 22, 2002
    People's Commonwealth of Massachusetts
    I have a 1949 S&W M&P and a 1950 Colt DS, both with 2" barrels. I test-fired both and, IIRC, both trigger pulls were pretty good, in fact the DS was a tiny bit smoother, but not by much. The S&W fired slightly better groups but the DS was closer to POA.
  3. dfariswheel

    dfariswheel Member

    Dec 26, 2002
    When you compare a S&W, a Colt Lawman, and a Colt Detective Special you're comparing three totally different "feels".

    The S&W and Lawman are "similar" in feel since neither "stack" or get heavier as the trigger is pulled. The big difference between comparable S&W mid-frame revolvers and the Lawman is, the Lawman has a coil spring action, and the S&W uses a leaf spring action.
    These do have a different feel, but neither stack.
    If you compare a small frame, coil spring action S&W to the coil spring Lawman, I give the edge to the Colt.

    Like all of the old Colt actions, the DS does stack. As the trigger is pulled, the tension gets progressively harder, BUT the Colt is famously smooth.

    All this comes down to a matter of preference. Some people just prefer one or the other.

    Today, many people who try an older Colt revolver complain about the "terrible trigger" pull. This is usually because they've never experienced anything but designs that do not tend to stack and the older Colt's have a radically different feel.

    Among older shooters who used both S&W and Colt revolvers, it comes down to simple preference. Some people like the straight through pull of the S&W and most modern designs, and some like the Colt action since you can "stage" the trigger for a smooth let-off.

    Bottom line is, it comes down to personal preference of what each feels like to you.

    A bigger consideration is in smoothness of action, and accuracy.
    The Colt DS is famous for being the most accurate of all small frame revolvers with a smooth action and a six shot cylinder.

    The small frame S&W's are not as accurate, have a coil spring action that is difficult to get as smooth as the Colt, and have a 5 shot cylinder. In addition, some people find the small S&W's TOO small to offer a good shooting grip, while the Colt DS is about perfect in size.

    The Lawman is a bigger gun, more comparable to a S&W 686. The Lawman is a tank, and possibly the strongest snub revolver ever built.

    Another consideration is holsters and accessories.
    Anything made for revolvers is offered for S&W. You will have no trouble finding a huge selection of grips and holsters.

    Grips and holsters for the Colt DS are also plentiful, but not as much so as the S&W.

    There are few holsters and grips offered for the Colt Lawman.

    Best suggestion: Try examples of each to see which "feels Right" to you.
  4. Standing Wolf

    Standing Wolf Member in memoriam

    Dec 24, 2002
    Idahohoho, the jolliest state
    It's hard to find a more stylish compact revolver than the Detective Special, but it was never made in a caliber hotter than .38 special. You might want to think about a Colt Magnum Carry, although they're premium-priced.
  5. Dr.Rob

    Dr.Rob Moderator Staff Member

    Dec 23, 2002
    Centennial, CO
    The Magnum Carry has a pretty cruddy triggter that sometimes fails to re-set when you empty it FAST.

    This can be solved with a trigger job... but it's not something that endears me to the little flame thrower.

    Still... it's way cool to have one.
  6. prezzz

    prezzz Member

    May 18, 2003
    Just checked out a Colt DS at my local gunshop last weekend. Had one of the nicest DA triggers I've tried. So nice, I bought one off Gunbroker last week.
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