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Learning this stuff as I go... Colt vs S&W

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by BCRider, Mar 5, 2009.

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  1. BCRider

    BCRider Member

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    No this is not a "which is better" thread. Just a grin story for you old timers about a newbie's moment the other day.

    Revolvers are pretty rare at the range I've done all my shooting at so far. I've only been shooting since last October and only finally got my first two revovlers a couple of weeks back. Up to that point all my revovler shooting was done using the range's various S&W's.

    So... I notice the guy in the alley next to me is shooting .357's and we get to chatting over the banging from the other alleys. He's got a really nice Colt and I'm showing him my used but clean S&W Highway Patrolman that I had just got. As I'm holding and checking out his Colt he says "well you won't know what it's like until you shoot it". So we swap guns for a cylinder's worth.

    I load up some of my .38 Spl and shoot off 6. Nice. Certainly comparable but slightly different feeling in small ways. Then he reaches around the barrier and lays 3 Magnum's on the table with a smile. I load up the rounds and, being a good S&W owner, click the cylinder into place with the rounds in the 1 to 4 o'clock positions (as in on the right hand side of the gun).

    Well you Colt owners know what comes next... :D "click" Hmmmm... No BANG.... I cock the hammer by hand and notice it's going the other way. So "click", "click" , BANG!

    So now I know that Colt revolvers rotate the other way. Now that I think about it the direction the reliefs for the notches in the cylinder would indicate which way the cylinder turns. A nice bit of knowledge to have. Should come in very handy for impressing the ladies at parties.... :D

    Now I've got this extra bit of gun lore to tuck into my cartridge belt.

    Oh, and I liked the Colt. Maybe even enough to get one at some point if I can trip over a deal. In the meantime I'm really, really enjoying my super clean Model 19 6inch and my almost super clean Model 28.

    I'll see if I can take a family portrait a bit later this evening.
     
  2. BunnyPuncher

    BunnyPuncher Member

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    I'm also one of the lonely revolver users at the range. In fact, in the league at the range I will be the only one competing in the revolver division. I just want to beat a few autos though lol. The only real reason I am posting in this thread is to chime in that I also have a 4" Model 28 and love the dang thing. A long barreled colt is second on my "must buy list" after a 4" S&W 625 for competition shooting. The model 28 with speed loaders just does not cut it for USPSA :)

    I've handled a lot of colts at shows and in shops and I'm still trying to wrap my tiny mind around those grips.
     
  3. SaxonPig

    SaxonPig Member

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    Colts and Smiths use different internal systems and the triggers tend to feel very different. S&W lovers maintain their guns are best while Colt fanciers insist the Colt system is better. I like both and own both.

    The Python is the top of the line Colt while the Model 27 is the premiere S&W as far as fit, finish, features and options go.

    Colts were traditionally bored slightly tighter so with lead bullets they often shoot a bit better than the S&W products.

    The early Officers Models, Troopers (before the MK III came out in 1969) and 1950s "357 Magnums" shared internal parts with the Pythons and will swap stocks.

    The old Colt mechanism isn't as sturdy as the modern S&W. Older Colts can go slightly "out of time" meaning the cylinder will stop a hair short of locking when the hammer is cocked very slowly. These guns usually still shoot fine as the cylinder will lock as the hammer falls but it's aggravating.

    Here are some of my Colts:

    standard.jpg

    And a couple of my 27s:

    standard.jpg
     
  4. rswartsell

    rswartsell Member

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    Daggone Saxon! This is about the 20th time you have made me jealous with porn from your collection. I just fell in love with the 27 with orange front sight insert, how old is it?

    P.S. Do you like that Trooper? I think mine is actually the best value I ever got in a .357 purchase.
     
  5. Duke of Doubt

    Duke of Doubt member

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    BC Rider: "So "click", "click" , BANG!"

    I think it inspired a song.
     
  6. SaxonPig

    SaxonPig Member

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    R- The 27-2 was made about 1978. Not sure which Trooper you mean. I own two early Troopers but neither is pictured above. All three of those Colts are Pythons.

    Here's another shot of the 27-2 seen above.

    standard.jpg
     
  7. rswartsell

    rswartsell Member

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    Beautiful. Didn't look closely enough and the 4" blue Python on the bottom looked like a Trooper Mk III to me.

    If you had a Mk III I was interested in hearing your opinion. I have never had the privilege of shooting an early (pre Mk III) Colt Trooper and some aficionados of fine Colts don't care much for the Mk III's. I like mine though.
     
  8. SaxonPig

    SaxonPig Member

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    Way back in the day I had a 22 Trooper Mk III and another in 357 Magnum. They are good, sturdy guns but to an old traditionalist like myself the original Colts will have more appeal.

    The early Troopers and 357 Magnums were essentially Pythons with slightly less care in finish and different barrels.
     
  9. rswartsell

    rswartsell Member

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    I would have expected no less. Any experience with the Colt Three Five Seven? That was simply the predecessor of the early Trooper?
     
  10. SaxonPig

    SaxonPig Member

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    The "357 Magnum" (that's what Colt called it just as S&W did when they introduced their first 357 back in 1935) was the top of the line model. The Trooper was in 38 Special and when they started chambering it in 357 the original Magnum became a duplicate and it wasn't selling as well as the Trooper so it was dropped.
     
  11. Hawk

    Hawk Member

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    Vive le difference, enh?

    One I recalled from Tamara's blog:
    http://booksbikesboomsticks.blogspot.com/2007/11/yes-we-have-no-bananas.html

    Which, I gather, should serve to comfort the OP in re: cylinder rotation gotchas. A thread discussing "differences" without stepping into the "better" quicksand? My faith in humanity is restored, partially.
    ;)
     
  12. JohnBT

    JohnBT Member

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    In the beginning...

    ...S&W's rotated like Colts. IIRC, S&W changed direction in or about 1870. Something about the Schofield model and the government comes to mind, but that's about it.

    John
     
  13. Kind of Blued

    Kind of Blued Member

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    This is especially useful if you're ever on a game show and they tell you to go into a dark closet and identify the manufacturer of the revolver sitting on the table without turning on the lights. :)
     
  14. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    I like the rotation of Colts better, but I don't dislike the rotation of Smiths. The clockwise rotation just makes sense. You see what round is coming up next better.

    I really like the Trooper Mk III guns for an all around solid performer at the range. I need a 4" and a .22LR....Oh, and a better red dot scope on the 8 incher. That Simmons works fine, but is way to big. It fit the 3/8 mount on the pistol. ;)

    [​IMG]

    Nothing wrong with Smiths at all.

    [​IMG]
     

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  15. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

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    just to add to your bag-a wheelgun-trivia:

    1. their rifling is also different
    2. their cylinder release move the opposite ways
    3. the colt has one fewer sping in it's action
    4. the S&W has a sigle leaf spring powering the hammer, while the Colt has a "V" shaped leaf spring
     
  16. MCM

    MCM Member

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    Perhaps The world is not Right handed

    If you think about it,the opposite direction rotation is a mirror image of a normal rotation,if, of course you are LEFT HANDED!
     
  17. BCRider

    BCRider Member

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    It's nice to see the wheel gun brotherhood comparing rather than disputing... "We" are definetly a cut above that lowly semi only fraternity.... :D

    I don't really see the rotation direction as better one way or the other but just different. Likely it comes down to which revolver we owned first. As the first I think we tend to bond tighter to it much like a chick imprinting on a dog that happens to be sitting and watching the hatching of the egg.... now there's a comparison, eh? :D

    Walkalong, that's a nice stable you have there. As for the red dot may I recomend one of the smaller open styles? I've seen some that are not much more of a footprint than the regular rear sight and only about the height of a quarter. I think they would look a lot more in place on a handgun of any sort. Something like the Burris fastfire series.

    And since this seems to be turning into a picture thread I guess I'll show off my pair (so far) of S&W's. A model 19 in the Hogue grips and a Model 28 Highway Patrolman sporting a set of S&W target grips.
     

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  18. Master Blaster

    Master Blaster Member

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    Actually the Trooper MKIII, LawmanMKIII, Metropolitan etc are different mechanically from the python. They were designed to be modern actions with a coil spring instead of a leaf spring, and they use MIM parts. They do not require the hand fitting of the python.
     
  19. Hostile Amish

    Hostile Amish member

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    S&W has just as much quality as Colt. I just wish they wouldn't make that piece of metal below the barrel curve up... it's not aesthetic enough.
     
  20. Iggy

    Iggy Member

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    I am just the opposite. I don't own any guns with a full lug under the barrel.

    I started out with Smiths and got use to the profile.

    Full lugs remind me of a double chin.:evil::D
     
  21. BCRider

    BCRider Member

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    Double chins.... LOL :D

    I'm not a fan of the big full lugs. Although some of the big barrels that are sectioned so that they don't look so figure 8'ish are pretty nice looking. Still, my heart is with the look of the short lugged barrels other than on a snubby. And up here with me being a new permit holder I can't own a snubby since they are prohibited and limited to those that were grandfathered in at the time of the new law.
     
  22. Brian Dale

    Brian Dale Member

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    Where's that 'rolling on the ground, banging a fist on the floor while gasping for breath, with tears streaming from the eyes' smiley? :D

    I'm only teasing; prices on Colts tend to be high these days. I'm glad that you had fun.

    So, since you've found out that the cylinders turn in opposite directions, do you now shoot a Colt in your right hand with a Smith in your left, or the other way 'round?
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2009
  23. SaxonPig

    SaxonPig Member

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    MB- Note the post you quoted stated EARLY Troopers shared parts with Pythons, not the Mk IIIs.
     
  24. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    Yep, Mk III's are different, but I sure like them. :)

    I may own an old Trooper here in the very near future. I'll know soon.
     
  25. BCRider

    BCRider Member

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    Shooting any sort of quality is always fun... :D

    Up this way the odd Colt comes around priced at the high end of the Smith range or just a hair higher. So yeah, they are generally more than the Smith options but not outragiously so. They just don't turn up as often. I guess we're luckier than you folks south of the line in this way...... it doesn't make up for the other stuff though... :D

    Left and right hands? I thought it was for North and South hemispheres! You know, like if the water in the toilet goes one way you're in Colt land and if it swirls the other you're in Smith land? No? :D
     
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