View Full Version : Colt Trooper

April 25, 2006, 12:20 PM
I recently inherited nine weapons of various types.I am looking for info on one in particular.It is at least 50 years old. Barrel is stamped "Colt Trooper".38 Special.The s/n only appears under the left grip and it is scribed in by hand.Box is marked "Target Grips" "Regular Hammer.The grips do not fit perfectly,they are an imitation checkered ivory and marked "I O/P".I know what that stands for. It has holster wear but shoots great a lock /aligns perfectly.Nobody around here has heard of a .38 Trooper,I had a .357 years ago.Anyone give me any info on this ?? Thanks.

Jim Watson
April 25, 2006, 01:12 PM
Colt Trooper .38 Special was made from 1953 until 1969 on the V spring action. Similar to Official Police, Python, .357 Magnum, and Officer's Model Match.
Post the serial number and a Coltologist will likely come up with the year actually made.

April 25, 2006, 02:11 PM
The old Model Cot Trooper was Colt's "budget" holster gun, intended for law enforcement use and sales to civilians not wanting to spend the money on the finer finished 357 Model or the Python.

The serial number is stamped in three places:
On the frame just below the barrel.
Swing out the cylinder and look at the frame just under the barrel.

Second, the number is stamped on the cylinder crane, opposite the number on the frame.
And third, the number is stamped inside the side plate.

The serial number will be a series of numbers, any letters stamped around the numbers are inspector's stamps.

Here's a brief history of the old model Colt Trooper:

The old Model Trooper is often called a "poor man's Python", since the Python is basically just a Trooper with a heavy lugged and ribbed barrel, a more polished and tuned action, and a better polished blue job.
It was made from 1953 to 1969 when it and all other of the old style Colt mid-frame revolvers were discontinued and replaced by the totally different Trooper Mark III.

The Trooper was originally available in .38 Special and .22LR.
It came with "service" hammer and grips or optionally with Target hammer and grips.
Finish was blue or bright nickel.
The .38 version came with a 4" or 6" barrel, .22LR in 4" only.

Early .38 Troopers had the firing pin mounted on the hammer, the .22 was always hammer mounted.
Later .38 and .357 Troopers had the firing pin mounted in the frame.

At the same Colt introduced the Trooper in 1953, they also brought out the Colt 357. That was both the caliber and the name of the model.
The 357 looked just like the Trooper, except it had the firing pin in the frame, and was to be Colt's premium holster gun.

The idea was, the 357 would be for those wanting the best, and the Trooper would be for police use and people wanting a "budget gun".

Things got complicated in 1955 when Colt introduced the "Super Premium" Python.
People wanting the best bought the Python, and people wanting cheaper bought the Trooper.
This left the 357 as odd man out, so in 1961 with about 15,000 produced, Colt discontinued the 357, changed the Trooper firing pin to inside the frame, and began to make it in .357 Magnum also.

The .38 and .357 Troopers were very popular with law enforcement, especially with Sheriff's departments, and were heavily used during the 50's and 60's.

The .22LR Trooper was intended to be a "trainer" for the center fire models, and these are fairly rare, with only about 2200 made between 1953 and 1969.

In 1969 the Trooper and almost all of Colt's old style revolvers were discontinued and replaced by a totally different type of revolver, the Colt Trooper Mark III.
The reason was, the old hand fitted and finished Colt's had simply priced themselves out of the market.

The Trooper models are high quality, strong, and durable guns.
They are a sleeper, considering that a Trooper is a good substitute if you can't afford a Python.

While the Trooper was intended to be a budget gun, like all the older Colt's it was a hand assembled and fitted revolver, of a type no gun maker can afford to make these days.
These days, Colt's "budget" Trooper is more finely fitted and finished than most any of todays revolvers.

April 25, 2006, 02:33 PM
I have had my Trooper .357 since 1972, had it rebarreled in 1978, the original barrel had a crack in the forcing cone. You have a sturdy and reliable
revolver that will give you much good service, only caution is that you might
want to start looking for a spare barrel just in case. I was lucky to find one
in .357 a few years ago. Internal parts are the same as the Python and Official Police.

charlie in md
April 25, 2006, 02:52 PM
:confused: I have a "mutant" version of a trooper. The frame is from a trooper, with the "V" mainspring. The barrel is from a Colt Python Hunter. I have no history on the gun, I bought it used through the Gun List many years ago. Is it safe for .357 mag loads, or is it for .38 special only? I've fired a few mag loads through it with no problems, but mainly just 38 special wadcutters.

April 26, 2006, 01:12 AM
UNLESS it was re-chambered by some fool, if it'll chamber 357 ammo, it should be safe.

April 27, 2006, 11:07 AM
Thanks for the info.I will look again for the s/n.I left off 4" bl with Accro sights.Will post answer in a day or so:)

March 25, 2009, 05:02 PM
im waiting for paper work to perchase colt trooper,j frame v spring,357. i would like to buy proper grips.can anyone help.