Just picked up a Colt Trooper in a trade, has a parkerized finish, I think 5" barrel, no MK series, just plain Colt Trooper marked. Gun is tight, timing very good, trigger excellent, adjustable sights. Any info would be appreciated, where does this gun fit in on the revolver hierarchy? Thanks
The original Colt Trooper was made from 1953-54 to 1969, when it was replaced with an entirely new gun called the Trooper Mark III.
The original Trooper is made on the same "E & I" frame that Colt used for the Official Police, Officer's Model's, the 357, and the Python.
In fact, the Trooper is often called a "poor man's Python", since the action is the same, just not as well fitted and tuned.
There are two basic versions of the old model Trooper:
The early version was offered in .38 Special and .22LR. These guns had the firing pin mounted on the hammer.
The later version was offered in .38 Special, .357 Magnum, and .22LR. These later .38 and .357 models had the firing pin mounted in the frame.
The Trooper was available in blue and bright nickel, with a choice of Target hammer, Target grips, or Service hammer and Service grips.
Barrels were 4" or 6" for the center fire guns, 4" only for the .22LR.
The Trooper was not offered with a parkerized or dull finish, so yours is likely a refinish.
The only 5" Troopers made were nickel plated 5" guns made for the Florida Highway Patrol.
Measure the barrel from the front of the cylinder to the end of the barrel.
The Trooper was to be Colt's "budget" holster gun. The better finished Colt 357 was to be Colt's premium holster gun.
The Trooper was for law enforcement and civilians not wanting to spend the money on a more expensive gun, and wanting a .38 Special with adjustable sights.
The nearly identical Colt 357 (both the name and the caliber of the gun) was a premium gun with a better finish and chambered in .357 Magnum for those willing to spend more money.
In 1955 things got complicated, when Colt introduced the Python, which was a Super-Premium gun.
This left the 357 as odd man out, since police and sheriff's bought the Trooper, and people wanting the best bought the Python.
So, in 1961 Colt discontinued the 357, and began offering the Trooper in .357 Magnum.
The Trooper was quite popular with law enforcement, particularly sheriff's departments.
The Trooper and every other mid-frame Colt revolver except the Python was discontinued in 1969, due to production cost of hand fitting the guns got to be too much.
Even the "budget" Trooper required extensive hand fitting just to work properly, nd the hand labor priced it out of the market.
Most parts and grips will interchange with the Python.
The Trooper is a fine quality Mid-frame revolver, with a heavier frame and cylinder than the contemporary S&W "K" frame guns.
Quality compared to today's guns is very high, and these make a great holster gun.
Accuracy, due to Colt's rifling twist and quality barrels, and Colt's old "Bank vault" lockup is usually better than most other guns.
Thanks for the information. Sorry for the delay in reply, been out of town