The D frames were never used or carried as "primary" combat handguns in the same sense & role as the 1911 pistols & the bigger Colt and S&W Model 1917s. Aircrew revolvers were seldom used on the ground & very rarely saw any type of combat applications that involved repetitive shooting.
I, and any gunsmith familiar with the old Colt V-Spring guns, will categorically deny that those older Colts are as "robust" as any like vintage Smith.
I can take one of my steel-framed Smith Js and one of my steel-framed Colt Ds & fire an equal amount of the same ammunition through both, the Colt's hand will cause it to go out of time long before the Smith will develop timing issues.
That Colt design, much admired as it is, simply is not as durable as a Smith. And it can't even begin to approach a Ruger in longevity.
People insist on taking one of two erroneous positions on the Colt V-Springs: It's either "fragile", which isn't true, or it's the "full equal" of any Smith, which is also not true.
The guns will work well for quite a while, but they've obsoleted themselves in today's production world by being too labor-intensive to economically produce, they're too complicated for all but a very few gunsmiths to work on,
Colt is just about out of parts, the mechanism was designed at a time when very few people shot centerfire handguns much on a regular basis, it simply does not hold up over the long run as well as other currently available revolver designs, and sooner or later those guns will have no parts or service support.
Anybody considering one should do so in full understanding of all this.
Just make an informed choice, and continually denying the nature of the V-Spring action relative to durability does not serve anyone well.