Due to spammers, the registration have been temporarily disabled. I will reopen them as soon as possible. In the meantime, if you want to create an account, please contact me.

A simpler and more elegant era of police duty guns. Colt vs S&W

If it doesn't fit in any of the other forums, post it here!
Miami_JBT
Posts: 275
Joined: Wed Jul 18, 2018 4:17 pm

A simpler and more elegant era of police duty guns. Colt vs S&W

Post by Miami_JBT » Tue Jul 16, 2019 8:47 pm

Not my photos, but I have a 1977 production 6" Colt Trooper MkIII and a 1978 production 6" S&W Model 19-4 in .357 Magnum in very similar condition. Problem is.... I'm five hundred miles away from them at the moment. So these pics will have to represent what I currently have to give you an idea of what I'm talking about.

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

I can say that both are best of their lines. My 19-4 is a pre '82 gun so it still has the pinned barrel and recessed cylinder unlike the one shown here. Both are smooth, accurate, and capable guns. Six inch guns are especially classy since they were the cat's meow for cops back in the day. Motor Cops and Highway Troopers had a hankering for the six inchers since there was improved ballistics and a longer sight radius. They also just balance and handle better.

Anyways, the Trooper MkIII was a complete departure from the original Trooper/.357 Magnum line. Originally introduced in the early 1950s as a Medium Frame .357 Duty Gun, by the late 60s, the original Trooper was showing its age. So Colt completely redesigned the line. Stainless coil springs, shrouded ejector rod, better trigger, and that still classic deep royal blue finish. Adjustable sights of course are standard.

S&W also introduced their medium frame .357 duty gun at the behest of Bill Jordan's wishes. S&W took the venerable K Frame .38 Special and strengthened it for the .357 Magnum. As the decades roled by, S&W also had to change things. But unlike Colt, it was gradual. The Model 19 by 1978 was on it's fourth revision. But things were still good. And with S&W, things were exceptionally good.

They cornered the market. For every Colt Revolver, S&W sold five to ten to Law Enforcement. But Colt still fought it out with their main rival. And in the late 1970s, it was guns like this duking it out. Not the Python or the Model 27. It was the two mainstays of the medium frame duty gun.

The best modern comparison would be the GLOCK versus everyone else. There are just so many competitors in the field now. But back then it was pretty much three. Colt and S&W were the two established rivals with Ruger as the outlier with their Service/Police/Speed Six line. But Ruger was going after S&W, not Colt. Why? Because S&W was the main player. Ruger didn't want to be second place. But that battle heated up in the 1980s.

These two guns represent the classic post war era of police duty guns and my God, am I blessed for having to fine examples of that era. They honestly are equally matched and a fine example of the quality and performance that both were able to produce.

Alas, Colt and S&W are shadows of their former selves and could never reproduce such quality ever again. Those two guns shown and my two in my collection are examples of the bygone era.

The photos are a screen capture from a YouTube video.

TC6969
Posts: 375
Joined: Wed Jul 18, 2018 2:40 pm
Location: Wimauma

Post by TC6969 » Tue Jul 16, 2019 9:06 pm

I have a 6" 19.

The action feels like its gold plated and packed with butter.

What a sweet gun.

Wakko
Posts: 125
Joined: Thu Jul 19, 2018 7:11 pm
Location: South Florida

Post by Wakko » Tue Jul 16, 2019 11:39 pm

SW definitely has better trigger than Colt, IMO.

User avatar
SteyrAUG
Posts: 192
Joined: Fri Jul 20, 2018 2:17 am

Post by SteyrAUG » Wed Jul 17, 2019 1:49 am

Wakko wrote:
Tue Jul 16, 2019 11:39 pm
SW definitely has better trigger than Colt, IMO.
Yes, but those old Colts weren't bad.

I still have memories of 95% of LEO's with a wheelgun in a basket weave holster. Maybe even a couple speed loaders on the belt. I still remember the first time I saw somebody with a C&L 1911 on their duty belt, there was a time it was very rare.

patw
Posts: 98
Joined: Thu Jul 19, 2018 1:10 pm
Location: Saint Lucie County

Post by patw » Wed Jul 17, 2019 9:48 am

Those are some beautifully blued guns. I find myself wanting and liking revolvers more and more now as they are not only classic but quite useful in this day and age.

rug357
Posts: 149
Joined: Wed Jul 18, 2018 3:03 pm
Location: P. Pines, FL

Post by rug357 » Wed Jul 17, 2019 10:42 am

When I think of police duty guns from my youth the only thing that comes to mind is S&W model 10 in 38 special caliber with 4" pencil or heavy barrel. I saw very few 6" barrel versions in the city...maybe 1 out 10 but there seemed more common in rural areas LEOs. I was told that longer barrels were not as comfortable to carry while seated in car and that is the reason 4" were more common.

Up until late 80's or even early 90's I bet there were more S&W model 10 revolvers in duty holsters of LEO in this country than all other handguns combined. It's very basic utilitarian weapon but a very effective one even today. I learned to shoot centerfire handgun on a model 10 with 4" skinny barrel that belong to my dad. It's still one of my personal favorite handguns to shoot. Between me and my father and siblings I bet there are over 30 various model 10 revolvers in the family right now.

It may be a regional preference thing but I don't remember seeing any Colt revolvers in South Florida LEO while growing up except few FHP officer carrying Colt Python and a North Miami PD detective who carried a Colt Detective Special. My local city PD carried Colt Government model and Commander model pistols in 45ACP as standard issue duty weapon until around 1999...now Glock 22 and 23.

Clyde621
Posts: 121
Joined: Sat Jul 21, 2018 11:15 am
Location: St. Cloud

Post by Clyde621 » Wed Jul 17, 2019 11:20 am

When I was sworn in as an police officer in 1972 I was issued a 4” mod 10 s&w . A couple of weeks later I was given , in the box no less a beautiful Trooper mk3. I carried that gun for about 10 years where we switched to model 66 s&w. The trigger on the Smith is much better than the colt but the colt had the looks and is strong. I was able to purchase both of the guns due to department transitions to different firearms. BTW after the 66 we went to mod 1076 in 10 mm.

rug357
Posts: 149
Joined: Wed Jul 18, 2018 3:03 pm
Location: P. Pines, FL

Post by rug357 » Wed Jul 17, 2019 11:40 am

Wakko wrote:
Tue Jul 16, 2019 11:39 pm
SW definitely has better trigger than Colt, IMO.
Just MHO but in single action both Colt and S&W usually have sweet trigger and just depends on the individual revolver.
When shooting double action I won't say one is better than other as they are different. S&W mostly has consistent DA trigger pull all the way through until hammer falls while the Colt in DA has staged trigger pull where at the end of the pull increased pressure is needed to finally drop the hammer. I was originally taught to shoot S&W DA trigger pull and got pretty good at it and then later I was taught to shoot Colt DA trigger by a gunsmith friend who shot Colt revolvers competitively (this was back in early 80's). That last little extra pressure needed to drop the hammer on Colt actions allows the final adjustment of sights just before firing. Again, one is not better or worse...just different. Today I prefer the S&W DA trigger action where speed is more important than accuracy like in most IDPA matches and prefer Colt DA trigger action where accuracy is more important than speed like in bowling pin matches.

n0rlf
Posts: 122
Joined: Fri Jul 20, 2018 11:20 am
Location: Oveido

Post by n0rlf » Wed Jul 17, 2019 12:36 pm

rug357 wrote:
Wed Jul 17, 2019 11:40 am
Wakko wrote:
Tue Jul 16, 2019 11:39 pm
SW definitely has better trigger than Colt, IMO.
Just MHO but in single action both Colt and S&W usually have sweet trigger and just depends on the individual revolver.
When shooting double action I won't say one is better than other as they are different. S&W mostly has consistent DA trigger pull all the way through until hammer falls while the Colt in DA has staged trigger pull where at the end of the pull increased pressure is needed to finally drop the hammer. I was originally taught to shoot S&W DA trigger pull and got pretty good at it and then later I was taught to shoot Colt DA trigger by a gunsmith friend who shot Colt revolvers competitively (this was back in early 80's). That last little extra pressure needed to drop the hammer on Colt actions allows the final adjustment of sights just before firing. Again, one is not better or worse...just different. Today I prefer the S&W DA trigger action where speed is more important than accuracy like in most IDPA matches and prefer Colt DA trigger action where accuracy is more important than speed like in bowling pin matches.
This sums it up very well for me as wwell. I prefer the S&W myself s I shot it in USPSA style matches. But both are great examples of fine workmanship!

User avatar
photohause
Posts: 559
Joined: Thu Jul 19, 2018 5:11 pm

Post by photohause » Wed Jul 17, 2019 5:43 pm

Once again, great thread.

One of Dad's bullseye guns.ought somewhere in the mid to late 50"s



Image

Image
If you drink, don't drive. Don't even putt.The trouble with jogging is that the ice falls out of your glass.

Post Reply