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Colt Trooper Mark III .22 LR

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by s2mason, Mar 14, 2009.

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  1. s2mason

    s2mason Member

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    Does anyone have any experience/info on this particular revolver? I paid $200.00 for this. It looks brand new.
     

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  2. Confederate

    Confederate Member

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    It's trash. I'll be happy to take it off your hands for the same price because I haven't done my "good deed" for this week.

    (I'm just kidding. You STOLE the thing!)
     
  3. s2mason

    s2mason Member

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    I can't seem to find much info on-line about it. There seems to be some info on the model, but referencing it chambered for rounds other than .22LR
     
  4. Gunfighter123

    Gunfighter123 Member

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    Hiya S2,
    Did you try here ;
    http://smith-wessonforum.com/eve




    Edit --- I had 2 or 3 Colt Troopers , all of them .357s ------ My "guessdament" is that for every .22 Trooper made , there would be 500 .357 Troopers made.

    Someone at the above link would know production/year numbers.
     
  5. s2mason

    s2mason Member

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    No luck with that....
     
  6. COK

    COK Member

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    I looks like you got a very, very good deal.
     
  7. DRYHUMOR

    DRYHUMOR Member

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    heckava deal.

    I've come close to buying one a couple of times, but wouldn't come off more than $450.00 to do so.

    Guy has had one at the last 2 shows I went to. The first time he had $650 on it, the last time he had $750 on it.
     
  8. pmeisel

    pmeisel Member

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    Fine weapon. Well cared for, will never wear out. Wish I had it.
     
  9. earlthegoat2

    earlthegoat2 Member

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    Hey, why dont you tell me where you found the clearance sale on Colt Revolvers.
     
  10. s2mason

    s2mason Member

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    I got it from some one who needed some quick cash. Apparantly he didn't know much more about it than I have been able to find out. He claims to have shot a 50 round box through it back circa 1980 and that was it. In the box until now.
     
  11. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    I am soooo jealous. Congrats. :)
     
  12. s2mason

    s2mason Member

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    Anyone got any suggestions how I can find out some more info on this specific gun?
     
  13. dogpopper

    dogpopper Member

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    You mean it came with the original box too?:)
     
  14. Confederate

    Confederate Member

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    The gun is one I remember very well. At the time, people found fault with it saying that it was too big, too heavy and cumbersome to carry, but once it was gone, it was in far greater demand.

    Honestly, if I owned it, I wouldn't shoot it, but keep it in the safe; still, if you decide to shoot it you'll enjoy it. Unlike regular centerfire revolvers, you don't want to dry snap it without caps as the firing pin sometimes will peen the recessed chamber and cause unsightly marks that may also keep you from fully seating the rounds. The bluing is wonderful on the gun and that's why I'd keep it in pristine shape.

    The gun is heavy enough to almost completely dampen .22LR recoil. That's another reason a lot of people didn't like actually shooting it. There was a nickel version of the gun that was especially nice. I had a big Llama revolver that was about as big and about as heavy, and it was somewhat boring to shoot. Unlike the Trooper, however, it also was an eyesore and was junk.

    Enjoy your gun, whatever you do. If you do shoot it, I'd like to hear how accurate it was, etc.
     
  15. dfariswheel

    dfariswheel Member

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    From an old post I wrote on another forum:

    A brief history of the Trooper Mark III line.

    In 1969 Colt finally admitted that they could no longer compete with their old model revolvers.
    The old guns like the Trooper, Official Police, Python and Officer's Model Match, simply required too much hand fitting.
    Even the "budget" Official Police required a significant amount of highly skilled hand fitting simply to work.

    The big cost in gun making is labor charges.
    ANY hand work costs money, and the kind of people capable of fitting an old style Colt revolver don't work cheap.
    The amount of fitting required ran the cost up above what the market was willing to pay, so something had to change.
    So, in '69 Colt discontinued all the mid-frame revolvers except the Python, and introduced a totally new design.

    The new series was based on a new "J" frame, and named the Mark III line.
    The "J" frame was, as usual for Colt, an industry "first" in many ways.
    The new gun was the world's first revolver designed to be "machine fitted" and would require very little expensive hand fitting.

    The new series was the first revolver to make use of "sintered steel". This is a process similar to the current "MIM" molded steel process.
    In this process, powdered steel mixed with a binder is injected into a mold, and heated until the steel melts and fills the mold.
    When the part is removed, you have a nearly finished part.
    The sintered parts are given a thin case hardened coating, with the hammer being color case hardened.

    The "J" guns were the first revolver in which worn parts could not be re-fitted. Worn parts would simply be replaced with new parts.
    The case hardened coating is very thin, and any attempt at stoning or even heavy polishing will break through the coating, ruining the part.

    The "J" series were the first modern revolver to use the transfer bar safety/ignition system. This was so effective, every revolver designed since uses Colt's design virtually unchanged.

    The first in the series was the Trooper Mark III, followed by a range of revolvers using the same action.
    The other guns in this series were:

    The Lawman, a fixed sight .357 with a non-shrouded 4" barrel. It was also available in a 2" round butt version, in which the later versions had a shrouded Detective Special-type barrel.

    The Metropolitan Police, basically a Lawman but in .38 Special only, and 4" only.

    The Official Police Mark III, basically the Metro Police, only with the "skinny" Official Police-type barrel, in 4" 5" and 6".

    The Officer's Model Match Mark III, basically a Trooper Mark III in .38 Special, and sold as a target model. Only 500 were made.

    Customer complaints about the DA trigger of the "J" guns led Colt to redesign the gun, and the new gun was the "V" frame.
    This series was limited to the Trooper Mark V, the Lawman V, and a "budget" flat black version known as The Peacekeeper.

    To improve the trigger action, Colt altered the Mark V gun to Colt's first "short action", redesigned the mainspring assembly, and altered the frame's butt to a round butt design.
    Other, cosmetic changes, included a vented barrel.

    Later, Colt again changed the revolver to a new "AA" frame. This gun was known as The King Cobra. This was nothing more than the "V" frame made in stainless steel, and fitted with a heavy shrouded barrel. Later the KC was also available in blue.

    The "J" frame Mark III is a deceptively simple design, with large, sturdy parts.
    Master gunsmith Jerry Kuhnhausen believed the Colt "J", "V", and "AA" frame guns are the strongest mid-frame revolvers ever built, due to Colt's forged frames and cylinders, and Colt's superior heat treating.

    About the only "weakness" in this series, is the possibility of a firing pin with too hard a heat treat. If dry fired, there's a possibility a hard firing pin could break, in which case the gun MUST be sent back to Colt for a replacement.
    This breakage is not that common, but possible.
    Factory-only replacement is due to the fact that replacement requires special factory jigs and support fixtures to remove and re-install the pin, without damaging the frame.
    So, to prevent any possible problem, the gun should be dry fired with snap caps in place.

    The Trooper Mark III, was available in bright blue, bright nickel, and satin electroless nickel, also known for a time as "ColtGuard".

    Calibers were .357/.38, 22LR, and 22 Magnum.

    Barrel lengths were 4" 6", and later 8".

    Early grips were square butt checkered walnut.
    Later grips had a rounded design with a large round shape to the front of the grip.

    Later in production, "hardwood" grips appeared, which were supposed to be used only on the Lawman/Metro guns, but which were also put on the Trooper. These grips have an odd, light "orange" color with no figure.

    The Mark III series was made from 1969 to 1983.
    To determine when yours was made, check the serial number data base here:

    http://proofhouse.com/colt/

    To correct the stiff DA trigger pull, Brownell's sell a lighter spring kit. This includes a lighter mainspring, and a reduced power trigger return spring. Since reduced springs can produce ignition problems, test fire carefully to verify reliability.

    The older Colt guns, like the Python, use an action renowned for accuracy. This is due to the design that forces the cylinder into a tightly locked, perfect alignment with the bore, at the instant of firing. This design depends on a action in perfect adjustment to work.
    The "J" series uses a system similar to all other revolver designs, in which the cylinder is allowed a slight amount of freedom to rotate at firing. This allows the cylinder to align itself with the bore.
    While not as accurate as the Python, the Trooper III is almost always a very accurate revolver, due in part to the quality and rifling twist of Colt's barrels.

    The best source of mechanical info on the Trooper Mark series, including how to disassemble for spring replacement, is Jerry Kuhnhausen's book, "The Colt Double Action Revolvers, A Shop Manual: Vol Two".
    This should be a part of every Colt Mark series owner's gear.

    By the standards of 1969 the Trooper Mark III was a "budget" gun, but by todays standard it would be considered a top of the line deluxe model with a blued finish that puts newer guns to shame.
     
  16. Ruggles

    Ruggles member

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    "The Metropolitan Police, basically a Lawman but in .38 Special only, and 4" only."

    I've sold around 35 handguns over the years and that one (a Met) was the one I regret the most. Mine had a 5" barrel and the smoothest action God ever saw fit to bestow upon a revolver.
     
  17. pmeisel

    pmeisel Member

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    Thanks, wheel, I had seen bits and pieces of that info but never a complete rundown. Now I need a Mark III to keep the wear off my Python.
     
  18. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    I have developed a great fondness for Trooper Mk III's. Great guns. I do so want one in .22 LR. Some day. :)
     
  19. Confederate

    Confederate Member

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    I liked the successor of the Mark III a lot better in .357. It was reviewed as being a bit more accurate than the III. Looking at the wonderful bluing on the III .22LR (above), I wouldn't shoot the thing for any amount of money. The beauty is history and can not be duplicated in our day.

    The Trooper III suffered mostly from its Python-like grip, which was not designed for the human hand. The Pachmayrs really made them livable. Ruger was making a better gun at a much better price and S&W was a constant overhanging shadow.

    BTW, does anyone have a copy of the famous magazine hamburger ad that either Colt or S&W used against Ruger? The dispute was over the investment cast stainless that Ruger used in its guns. Anyone remember that?
     
  20. s2mason

    s2mason Member

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    Wow. Thank you all for the lesson. I greatly appreciate that bit of insight and history. It is an incredibly beautiful gun. I guess I will keep it in the safe and have a nice piece of American history to hand down to my grandson. Thank you all.
     
  21. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    I like the Python/Mk III grips myself. I am sure that differs from person to person. I also like the Mk III overall better than the Mk V. That's just me.
     
  22. s2mason

    s2mason Member

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    What is the difference between the the III & the V?
     
  23. dfariswheel

    dfariswheel Member

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    BTW, does anyone have a copy of the famous magazine hamburger ad that either Colt or S&W used against Ruger? The dispute was over the investment cast stainless that Ruger used in its guns. Anyone remember that?


    That was the infamous "Burger War" ads from the mid-1980's,
    Ruger started it with an ad that claimed that since their revolver was "beefier" it was stronger than other revolvers, meaning S&W.

    Some absolute genius at S&W's advertising department came up with a response that featured a hamburger shaped like a Ruger GP-100, complete with bun and pickles.
    They made the point that Ruger's gun HAD to be beefier since castings weren't as strong as forgings, ounce for ounce.
    The ad was devastating, and Ruger immediately dropped their ad.
     
  24. dfariswheel

    dfariswheel Member

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    What is the difference between the the III & the V?

    The Mark V is simply an improved version of the Mark III guns.

    The Mark III had "sintered steel" hammer and triggers, the Mark V switched to cast steel, with a grooved hammer.

    The Mark V had Colt's first "short action" in which the hammer had a shorter throw.
    It had a longer, repositioned mainspring.
    The short action and different mainspring was intended to improve the double action trigger.

    The Mark V had a vented barrel, and the grip frame was changed to a rounded shape.
    The grips wrapped completely around the grip frame, where the Mark III left the back of the grip frame exposed.

    The King Cobra is nothing more than the Mark V with a different barrel, and first made in stainless steel, later blued.
     
  25. tommygm

    tommygm Member

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    I realize these posts are almost 10 months old but I need to comment. I went to a local gun and knife show today and took my satin finish Trooper MKIII 22LR with me . I was thinking if I could get close to my asking price I would sell it .Several looked at it and commented how nice it is , but thought I was out of line on my asking price , One guy looked in a book and it was about 100$ below my price . I've seen these go a lot higher on online auctions , told them it doesn't eat much that I would put back in the closet .
     
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