Devon de Numbre

Collecting vintage revolvers

Optimism is defined as the guy with a revolver and one speed-loader. – Unknown

A bit of my fondness for revolvers comes from Hollywood movies. My favourite wheel-gun movies are Sudden Impact (1983) and The Professionals (1966).

I collect .357 Magnum / .38 Special revolvers, because I love shooting wadcutter rounds, knowing I can shoot more powerful Magnum rounds with the same gun. I also like the simplicity and ease with which revolvers can be cleaned.

Colt Lawman MKIII (2 inch)

2022-11-13 3188.jpg (From the golden age of double-action revolvers)

The MKIII was the first generation Colt to use sintered metal technology. At the time is was a medium-frame revolver designed to compete with Smith & Wesson's K-frame series:

While this system did work and lowered production costs, the sintered-metal construction was regarded with suspicion by too many customers. It matters little that [customers] who bought and used the Mark IIIs were rewarded with great ergonomics, long service life and impressive accuracy. – The Colt Mk III Lawman: A Forgotten Revolver

According to the Colt's Manufacturing Company, LLC / Colt Archive Properties, LLC. mine was manufactured in 1976, then a redesigned model with an added lug to protect the ejector rod. This last generation MKIII was replaced by the MKV series.

Classics are nice, but sometimes improvements are better. I prefer both the protected ejector rod and the .357 Magnum / .38 Special chambering of the MKIII to the classic Official Police.

Colt Trooper MKV (6 inch)

2022-10-01 3146.jpg (Not a Python!)

The Trooper is a solid duty gun, precise revolver and great to shoot, but often considered to be the "poor man's Python" or a "piece of crap" gun (Taran Butler on the Trooper). Yes, the Trooper and the Boa have the same frame as a Python, but there are many more differences. No doubt the "Shooting Master" (Bill Wilson's favourite) and the "Single Action Army" (Taran Butler's favourite) are the top of the line from Colt, but are super-expensive and hard to get.

The Trooper MKV was a total redesigned revolver compared to the MKIII series, including the switch from Colt J-frame to V-frame and a smoother trigger pull.

According to the Colt's Manufacturing Company, LLC / Colt Archive Properties, LLC. mine was manufactured in 1982, making this a first-year MKV production model. The MKV was later replaced by the (King) Cobra series.

I like what I have. The MKV is my favorite gun to shoot at the range and is really fun to shoot with .38 Wadcutter cartridges.

Smith and Wesson Model 66-2 Combat Magnum (2.5 inch)

2022-11-05 3180.jpg (I am not Ichiro Nagata but I am trying…)

The Combat Master models 19 and 66 are simply the best Smith and Wesson .357 Magnum handguns ever made. Mine is a third-generation – dash two – K-frame without the large logo, no pinned barrel and no recessed cylinder. The most striking feature is the hammer with a nose firing pin, as in the previous generations.

My dash two is estimated to have been manufactured in 1982. The dash eight was reintroduced again in 2014.

I initially purchased a 686 after the action thriller Broken Arrow (1996) and replaced it with a more compact 66 Snubnose. I do not regret that switch, as some collectors prefer old Smith and Wesson revolvers over newer ones – maybe a "smyth"?

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