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Selling my Colt Government 380 stainless for a J-frame: to do or not to do?

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by 5-SHOTS, Sep 17, 2014.

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  1. 5-SHOTS

    5-SHOTS Member

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    Hi THR members, I'd like to listen your opinion about the idea to sell my used Colt Government 380 stainless to purchase one of these J-frames (new in box from my local gun shop):
    S&W 317 2" .22L.R.;
    S&W 317 3" .22L.R.;
    S&W 63 3" .22L.R.;
    S&W 442 .38SPL+P;
    S&W 642 or 642 Pro-Series .38SPL+P.
    The fact is that I love snubs and I miss the ones I had (please, see my signature). I also love to practice DA.
    The 317 2" snub would be for alot of practice and DA fun at low cost and some carry in my front pocket around my home;
    the 317 3" kit gun just for fun;
    the 63 3" for fun and because I like stainless pistols;
    the 442 or the 642 for fun and carry but certainly I'll practice less than the .22L.R. revolvers I mentioned due to ammo cost and kick.

    So, I'm crazy to sell a nice little out-of-production Colt or what? Please, let me know.
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2014
  2. David E

    David E Member

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    It's a matter of selling something you don't really need or want for something you do. Go for it.
     
  3. 5-SHOTS

    5-SHOTS Member

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    You are 100% right Dave E. It's stupid to say but I can't decide because it seems to me it's a shame to sell the Colt. I don't need it but since I have it and I know its current value, these things always stop me to sell it and make a free decision.
     
  4. Salmoneye

    Salmoneye Member

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    I sold a blued Colt Government .380 Auto about 10 years ago in a fit of stupidity...

    I have regretted it since about a year after the sale...

    You have to do what you can live with, but I would not do it again if I still owned it...

    Good luck in your decision...
     
  5. mdauben

    mdauben Member

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    First off, do you need the money from the sale of the Colt to afford the revolver? If so, and you think you will get more use out of the revolver, I would say go ahead.

    Personally, I make it a rule not to sell any guns, since I have never done so and not ended up regretting the choice. If you can afford to pay for the J-frame without selling the Colt, I would go for that option. But its really personal choice. If you will use the revolver and won't use the Colt, it makes a certain amount of sense to sell.
     
  6. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    I have sold guns in the past and almost always regretted it.

    As for your choices, I'm a revolver guy so I see no reason not to buy a revolver. I carry a S&W M442 daily but if you like silver guns better get the M642 instead. I think a Airweight J frame revolver is a great carry gun.
    Buona fortuna e scegliere bene.
     
  7. ColtPythonElite

    ColtPythonElite Member

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    I sold a blue Government .380 about 3 years ago and am glad it is gone. That gun is the only one I have ever taken a loss on. I gladly took a $50 hit to get rid of it. It was very unreliable. ....Sell if you want something else and need to raise cash to get it.
     
  8. GEM

    GEM Moderator Staff Member

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    I hated the trigger on the 317. I would go for any of the others.
     
  9. Confederate

    Confederate Member

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    I have a Smith 317 and love it.

    But...it took me several years to learn the lesson not to sell guns I liked...under any circumstances. It's better to buy the new gun outright. When my brother's friend was thinking about selling his Colt Python to buy a car years ago, my brother jokingly (I think) told him, "If you have a car, you can't really get a gun. But if you have a gun, you can always get a car." The guy sold not only the brand new Python, but his brand new Colt Gold Cup. It was embarrassingly stupid as the car was very forgettable. Of course he's had long, painful bouts of regret since then. The car's now in an old junkyard or it's been squashed, but where the guns are now is a mystery.

    I've always regretted selling my guns and I now no longer sell them as a matter of principle, but I have made some decent trades. Even then I've had a few regrets, but I've come out okay. But in your case, get rid of something else, but keep the Colt. A stainless steel J-frame .357 would be nice. A Ruger LCR .357 might also be worth a gander.
     
  10. 5-SHOTS

    5-SHOTS Member

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    Thank you guys for your opinions.
    I'll add some more info that are involved in the process: I'm forced to sell a "defensive" handgun to buy another gun of the same type because of italian laws (if you don't have a collector license you can only have 3 "defensive" guns (in my case the SIG, the Walther and the Colt) and 6 "sport" guns (in my case the Norinco and the Weihrauch at the moment); all the J-frames I put in the possible purchase list are in the "defensive" class) and I need cash to afford a new purchase.
    I already have the Weihrauch as a .22L.R. revolver but it is a very big, long and heavy gun and it is designed to fire SA more than DA (it has a very wide trigger and a light spring which makes it very picky about ammo when shooting DA).
    I haven't regret selling a gun before (and, as I told before, I was forced anyway every time to sell a gun to buy another) and I don't want to start now.
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2014
  11. bannockburn

    bannockburn Member

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    5-SHOTS

    I would say if it's a J frame you want then you would do very well with either a Model 442 or 642. Since you are restricted to how many guns you can own in the "Defensive Pistol" category, it would seem that it would have to come down to one of your 9mm. pistols (both very nice guns), or the Colt Government .380. Tough one to call because I would hate to have to give up my Colt Mustang for my S&W Model 649 or Model 638. Let us know what you decide to do.
     
  12. CZ223

    CZ223 Member

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    I have sold lots of guns

    as my wants and needs change. I regret selling only a few and one was my blued Colt Mustang. If you really must have a snubbie I would take a look at the 640 Pro.
     
  13. RustyShackelford

    RustyShackelford member

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    Colt .380acp value; new 442-642 no lock J frame....

    I don't own any .380acp guns at this time, but if I were looking to get a new J frame Smith & Wesson snub, Id sell or trade it.
    I like the S&W model 642/442 no lock version. I saw a 642 .38spl no lock model on sale for only $365.00 at the beginning of the summer. That would have been a good back up or deep carry handgun, :D .
    I didn't buy it because I saw later that S&W rolled out the new "no thumb safety" version of the Shield models(9x19mm, .40S&W). I would get the 9mm Shield first then buy a new no-lock J frame.
     
  14. Haywood

    Haywood Member

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    I vote sell the Colt get a 442 no lock.
     
  15. gbw

    gbw Member

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    My 3" 317 is a disappointment, especially considering the price.

    Smith has had to replace the cylinder - it locked up so tight I had to use a hammer on it to unload it - which they did under warranty but still a big bother.

    Accuracy is mediocre even for a light snub, and considering the price fit and finish are below average.

    Could be I just got a not-too-good example.
     
  16. KenW.

    KenW. Member

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    Every gun collector needs specific guns in the collection.
    IE: quality 1911, nice bolt action in a deer caliber (243, 6mm, 308, etc), classic shotgun like a model 12, 101, or 870, at least one good J-Frame, a Glock or two, and any family hierloom for a good start: But no .380 is nowhere to be found on my list. These are just the "working" guns for use; not the " hands off-don't touch" guns like my Nazi P-35.

    Novelty guns? Sure. Mine are Bond and Davis derringers.

    To shorten the suggestion, trade for a good J-Frame.
     
  17. Radagast
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    Radagast Contributing Member

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    The 317 family of .22 J frames has always had a poorer reputation that the steel Model 63/34. Heavy springs / trigger, erratic ignition, easily damaged clear coat finish are among the various complaints I've read over the years.
    So if the .22 snub is your first choice, then the Model 63 would be the one I would recommend.
    Of the .38 J frames, which ever is cheapest will do. I don't see any benefit to a .38 J frame with moon clips, so if the pro series goes for a premium I would not pay that.
    Not on your list, but if your gun shop can source a 640 then the extra weight will certainly help tame recoil in what will be mainly a range toy.

    If you don't shoot the colt very often then there is no point in hanging on to it. Experiencing a new gun is always a joy, letting go of a little used toy to have that new experience is a worth while trade off in my mind.
     
  18. Coltdriver

    Coltdriver Member

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    Here is my view. It does not matter how many guns you own, only how many you have owned. You can only shoot one at a time.

    If your limited to the number you can own and you want a snub nose I'd say go for it. The little Colts are nice, I have owned one. But they are really heavy for their caliber. You can get a .38 that will weigh under a pound loaded and that is easy carry.
     
  19. 5-SHOTS

    5-SHOTS Member

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    Thanks guys for you opinions.
    Yes, Radagast, everything considered I'm starting to convince me that the S&W 63 3" is could be the best choice for a fun and nice little .22L.R. revolver.
    I'm also considering the idea of a steel J-frame like the .357Mag 640 or 649. Heck, even a S&W 36 Classic would be nice.
    Just for information I'm only considering new S&W J-frames available now at the italian importer which has a 30 years warranty policy with S&W products.
    The jury is still out.
     
  20. Radagast
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    Radagast Contributing Member

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    I used to own .357 Models 60 & a 640 in stainless, before short barreled guns were banned here in OZ. I've also shot a Model 63.
    My take is the Model 60 was the most fun to shoot, especially with boot grips. The 640 was easier to shoot (higher grip) and the DAO trigger is much smoother. Thew Model 63 had a heavier trigger than the Model 60 or 640, so it would require some work to master.

    Unless you reload I would go with the 63. If you reload then that opens up the option of cheaper hand loads at lower velocities for range use, but I would still stick with an all steel gun.

    Now if this was my wish list, I would see if the distributor has one of the 640 Pro series with fluted barrel, melded barrel lug and Trijicon night sights. That's a gun I would like to experience.
     
  21. 5-SHOTS

    5-SHOTS Member

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    This is the revolver list of the italian distributor I'm referring: http://www.bignami.it/it/difesa-sicurezza/prodotti-it/?cat0=101&cat1=153.
    Unfortunately no 640 Pro available.
    Please note the crazy prices of the guns here in Italy.
    And I'll be lucky if I can get 650 euros (which is about the recommend price of a brand new S&W 642 here) selling the full set Colt I have...
    I don't reload so a .22L.R. little revolver (like the model 63) I think is a good choice for me. But I'm still considering the idea of a snubbie that I can occasionally pocket carry in and around my house.
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2014
  22. Radagast
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    Radagast Contributing Member

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    There is no price given for the Model 63 on that page.
    I see the difference between the aluminum and stainless guns is quite high, so if you need to stick to your trade in value, then yeah, a Model 60 or 640 is out. Just expect the Airweight guns to buck when you shoot them. Not that this is a bad thing. I loved shooting magnums out of my Model 60, but the accuracy was way down on what I could manage with .38s.
     
  23. 5-SHOTS

    5-SHOTS Member

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    Yeah, the 63 has no price because it's a new arrival here and it isn't in stock yet. I'm expecting a price between 900 and 1000 euros. I'm prepared anyhow to add at least 300 euros over the value of the Colt to have something nice.

    I'm aware about the .357Mag recoil in a snubbie because I had a Ruger Sp101 DAO and I had the opportunity to try the 637 Airweight which kicked but was still tolerable for me.
     
  24. ravenn

    ravenn Member

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    Wife has the Colt Govt. .380. She bought it the year before they quit making it. Would trade me before she would that Colt! (don't blame her)

    Rich In Ky
     
  25. razorback2003

    razorback2003 Member

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    If you are carrying this out in public, then one of the aluminum framed revolvers are nice, especially if it is hammerless like the 642. If you are just buying to shoot at the range, I would consider the steel framed revolver, like the Model 63 22 LR or a 60 38 Special.
     
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