One of the sexiest and slickest Colts of the era was the Colt Trooper, introduced in 1953 along with the Officer’s Model, two years prior to the introduction of the super-premium Python.
Like its no-frills service stablemate, the Official Police (introduced in 1907), it was also a medium-frame gun. However, the Trooper was a heavy barreled take on the Officer’s Model Match and featured fully adjustable sights.
In 1961 the .38 only version was ditched — along with the hammer-mounted firing pin — for a .357 version. Ultimately, in 1969, a seriously revamped Mark III version was introduced that lasted until 1985.
When the Mark III was introduced, it cost $128.15. In the same year the original Official Police also bit the dust. The OP’s final MSRP was $110.
But our shootin’ specimen was of the original persuasion — hammer-mounted pin, naked ejector rod and .38 Special chambering. Most revolver guys I shoot with felt it has a level of retro charm the Mark III never approached.
The lack of magnum capability didn’t bother us a bit, as lighting off .357s in a 4″ 36-oz. revolver quickly becomes more chore than fun — particularly after you reach a “certain age.” There is a reason most medium-frame .357s see more .38s than magnums. How much magnum pounding the gun itself can take is a matter of debate — how much pounding I can take is not.
The .38 Trooper in question was offered up for our use by shooting buddy Doug Fee. Many years ago, he’d obtained it at auction, along with a later .357 version, which we politely declined. Somewhere along the line, someone had installed Pachmayr rubber grips on it which, although certainly comfortable, somehow lacked the “as issued” coolness of the checkered walnut service stocks on the .38.
The Trooper’s excellent adjustable sights may not cause heart palpitations for those enamored of fixed-sight guns but shopping for the perfect marriage between Point of Aim and Point of Impact has been complicated by the difficulty in finding .38 Special ammo these days. If your Trooper is a later .357 model, the advantages of adjustable sights become even more obvious.
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