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  #1  
Old 03-01-2024, 02:44 PM
Grimjaws Grimjaws is offline
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Default Opinions of Colt Trooper MK III

Hey gang. My FFL enabler is getting in an estate with a bunch of nice handguns mostly Colt. I don’t have any pictures yet but he says there is one that fits my taste for blue and walnut - a 4” .357 Colt Trooper MKIII with some minor bluing loss at the end of the barrel, no box or papers. Timing and lock up seem fine based upon his inspection.

I may be able to get it for $550-600.

Anyone have any experience with this revolver and anything to look for besides the usual? I don’t know much about them and was hoping someone here does!

Thanks in advance.
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Old 03-01-2024, 02:56 PM
swagmeister swagmeister is offline
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I've always read that they are solid and dependable guns, but never dry fire them, because a broken firing pin means a return to the Colt factory to fix? Other than that, everything else seems to point to it being a quality firearm.
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Old 03-01-2024, 02:57 PM
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I owned a MK III .357 years ago, early 80's. Very well made and accurate revolver...traded off...gone...wish I still had it..
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Old 03-01-2024, 03:11 PM
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At that price I'd buy it. They're no Python but nice guns nonetheless. It's a coil mainspring rather than Colt's usual leaf springs.
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Old 03-01-2024, 03:30 PM
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I've owned mine since 1976, never a problem. Oh, and I paid $185 for it in three easy payments.

Last edited by 1911haulic; 03-02-2024 at 10:58 AM.
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Old 03-01-2024, 03:43 PM
jmiles1960 jmiles1960 is offline
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That's a good price for that model IMO. I'd pick it up. If there are other Colts or this is an open dealer opportunity, I'd appreciate knowing more.
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Old 03-01-2024, 03:46 PM
shamuscull shamuscull is offline
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Also own a couple of these. I like it also trigger is not as nice as earlier Colts but it is built like a tank. Price seems good from description
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Old 03-01-2024, 03:50 PM
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My 2 cents …
You need that Colt!
It’s a very good price too
Some folks denigrate the sintered metal process but I think they are excellent guns. I have 2 Mk III in 4”. A blue and nickel
I want to say I overpaid around $900 to $1000 each. Naturally when I found out I needed to have one supply dried up. I think (If in good shape) you’ll be pleased
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Old 03-01-2024, 04:01 PM
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Like BKLooney had one back in the late 70's early 80's as a duty gun and sold it but picked one up again 2 years ago! Very solid gun for sure and thats what I paid for mine complete with original box/papers etc... Go for it, you'll thank yourself later.
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Old 03-01-2024, 04:14 PM
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The Colt Trooper Mark III was designed by Karl R. Lewes, who also designed the Dan Wesson and the Browning Lever Rifle.
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Old 03-01-2024, 04:30 PM
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I had an early one that I unfortunately ended up with a broken trigger. I replaced it and traded it off on a model 19. If I remember it had a void in the casting and broke at the pivot pin
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Old 03-01-2024, 04:31 PM
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Yes, I had one, back around '05, and let it go because I was really stepping up my S&W collecting at the time and wanted to free up some gun money. I'm sure I made good use of it, but still....

Trooper MKIII.jpeg

Would be nice to have it back, but I can't get started with the regrets right now; too early to start drinking.
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Old 03-01-2024, 04:55 PM
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A girl I dated years ago had one and it was nice but had an EXTREMELY hard DA trigger pull. I would guess 18-20 lbs.
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Old 03-01-2024, 05:20 PM
hdfinder47 hdfinder47 is offline
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Have a 6" in 22LR. No issues - I'd buy it.
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Old 03-01-2024, 06:57 PM
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That’s a very good price for a Trooper Mark III. It’s a fine, heavy duty revolver.

Very early on there were a few issues with parts breakage due to the new sintered metal technology but those problems were sorted out quickly. That happens with new models and new technologies.

The firing pin issue was thought restricted to a specific period but no one has seemed to nail down exactly when. There was a batch of firing pins that were brittle and might break with dry firing…so as a blanket warning always use snap caps.
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Old 03-01-2024, 07:52 PM
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I shot one once at the range. Not a bad pistol, it remineded me of an S&W 28, not the prettiest but a good shooter.

If that price is affordable to you, I'd buy it. It'll be fun to have and if it dosen't tickle your fancy, the Colt name on it will help you sell it.

Edited: A little web research indicates that the Trooper is lighter then the 28.

Last edited by cd228; 03-01-2024 at 07:56 PM.
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  #17  
Old 03-01-2024, 08:59 PM
BLACKHAWKNJ BLACKHAWKNJ is online now
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The Trooper Mark III, like the older Trooper, is Colt's version of the L frame.
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Old 03-01-2024, 09:04 PM
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My only Colt revolver is a Trooper MkIII. You won’t regret it.
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Old 03-01-2024, 09:25 PM
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At least the later ones had cast hammers and triggers. As previously mentioned don’t dry fire it without caps as a special press is needed to help repair it after gets buggered up.
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Old 03-01-2024, 09:43 PM
SnidelyWhiplash SnidelyWhiplash is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BLACKHAWKNJ View Post
The Trooper Mark III, like the older Trooper, is Colt's version of the L frame.
Not quite…the Mark III came out in ‘69…long before the Smith L-frame.
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  #21  
Old 03-01-2024, 10:08 PM
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I carried a 2" Lawman Mk III, the fixed sight version of the Trooper, throughout my LE career as primary, BUG or off duty. That's a good price on a good gun.
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  #22  
Old 03-01-2024, 10:34 PM
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I had two Mark III, 8" barrel 22 LR and 8" barrel 357. The 22 LR (very muzzle heavy) went on trade for an S&W M52. The 357 mag was shot for 10K+ of 38 Spl rounds at indoor combat matches for about 3 years and then sold. It was still tight when sold. I spent considerable time getting the action smoothed out, so double action trigger pull was much improved, but not a S&W trigger pull. My were bought near the end of the production run just before the Mk IV models were released. I paid $300 for each of mine in the early 1980's. No complaints.
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Old 03-01-2024, 10:41 PM
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Nice revolvers but pretty heavy for caliber. Sometimes not a bad thing.
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Old 03-01-2024, 10:58 PM
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I briefly carried a 6” nickel MK IV with vent rib until I could afford a Python, like the other cops.
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Old 03-01-2024, 11:03 PM
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I have two of the cousins, the King Cobras, which are essentially the same action. As mentioned above, the DA is heavier than a comparable S&W, but if you’re okay with that, they’re fantastic guns. And in single action firing, they’re as good as or better than any revolver. For that price it’s a steal.
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Old 03-01-2024, 11:07 PM
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I carried one in the early 80s, electroless nickel finish 4". The trigger was indeed on the heavy side, and I had some work done on it. Result was a nice shooting gun, fairly accurate, that was on the heavy side for carry. Also, had an issue with the sights not having enough depression. Returned to Colt and they fixed it. It was a very stout gun and firing heavy-loaded .357 Mag out of it was quite pleasant.

Having said that, buying a revolver that is out of production with no chance of factory repair - as a shooter rather than a collector - is always problematical. Some parts are available through Numrich Arms, some new, some used. Anything with "Colt" on it sends certain people into a trance, so maybe it is worth asking price if you want to sell it later.
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Old 03-02-2024, 12:15 AM
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I came acoss one at a great price and bought it to resell. (I had two Smiths, a 66-2 and 28-2, in the safe and didn't really need a third .357.) It went and a bit later a High Standard, which was really a Dan Wesson, came and went.
The Colt was a nice gun and if I needed a .357 I'd pay that price. I liked the Smiths better though...so my only three Colts remain a 1903 .32, a .38 S&W Police Positive and a .38 Sp Official Police. (And the two .38s will probably be on the "For Sale" list shortly. I just ain't a Colt guy.)
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Old 03-02-2024, 12:43 AM
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I’ve owned a 6” in 22LR since 1982. Shot untold 1000’s of rounds without any problems. Also used as my bullsye gun for a couple years when my eyes were younger. Everyone needs at least one revolver with a cylinder that rotates clockwise.
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Old 03-02-2024, 12:57 AM
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I have a 1973 6" .357 that I'm quite happy with. Excellent revolver. I once shot it head to head against a 6" S&W Model 19. The Colt won.
I always said if I run across a nice 4" at a reasonable price that I would grab it.
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Old 03-02-2024, 05:23 PM
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I bought a new MKIII Trooper in about '73. Good gun all around, EXCEPT for the DA trigger pull. I'd already owned S&Ws, and the MKIII DA trigger seemed so heavy to me as to be almost unusable.

I've had one of the earlier V-Spring Troopers, and similar Colt 3-5-7 model. Much better DA triggers..
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Old 03-02-2024, 05:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rock185 View Post
I bought a new MKIII Trooper in about '73. Good gun all around, EXCEPT for the DA trigger pull. I'd already owned S&Ws, and the MKIII DA trigger seemed so heavy to me as to be almost unusable.

I've had one of the earlier V-Spring Troopers, and similar Colt 3-5-7 model. Much better DA triggers..
That may be true on the triggers. I've had two 3-5-7 models for many years. Excellent, accurate revolvers, but I can't recall ever firing either of mine double-action.
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Old 03-02-2024, 05:52 PM
SnidelyWhiplash SnidelyWhiplash is offline
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The Mark III series had two design goals…be less labor intensive to manufacture…and to hold up to all but unlimited use of .357 Magnum ammunition.

Due to the use of sintered metal technology for certain parts these guns couldn’t be gunsmithed the same as earlier guns. The sintered parts were made to very tight dimensions and surfaced hardened…not all the way through. If someone would try to file those parts it would expose the softer interior and accelerate wear to quickly ruin the part.

The Mark III series utilized a coil spring action rather than a traditional Colt leaf spring. The standard trigger pull was about 15-16 pounds…quite heavy. About the only gunsmithing that could be done was to replace the mainspring with a lighter pull weight spring. Wolff makes an 11 lb. mainspring that makes for an excellent and smooth pull. That’s what I’ve done with the Mark IIIs I have and have had.
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Old 03-02-2024, 07:25 PM
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I have one made in 1974.

It was refinished at some point with a matte black coating- I forget the name of it.

I found some used Pachmayr grips with the colt logo that work very well taming the recoil of hot .357 loads. They also fit my hand better.

I swapped the hammer spring for a reduced weight unit, bringing the double action pull down to 7 lbs with no light primer strikes.

Weight is 38oz empty but I have several revolvers that weigh much more. My Ruger MKIII weighs about the same so I don't find it a problem.

It prefers .357s over .38s. 158gr SWCs between 1000 and 1100 fps are it's sweet spot but doesn't balk at FMJs over a pile of H110.

I paid $600 two years ago so you are right in the same ballpark.

If you don't like it, you will likely not lose money on it upon selling.





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Old 03-02-2024, 08:37 PM
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They have generally held up pretty good over the time they have been around.
The sintered metal parts have given up on some guns.
It's certainly not an issue with all the MkIII's out there.

Yes they are heavy, but you know that when you pick the thing up. Don't like it,,don't buy it.

I've had a few,,maybe 5 over the yrs come in with a broken trigger return spring.
It's a torsion wire spring. I replaced them with ones from Wolff at thr time and didn't have any complaints.
All the springs in the gun are either coil or torsion (wire) except the small flat spring that puts tension on the Hand.. and IIRC it also works on the safety bar.

One thing about the Trigger on the MkIII is that small allen screw on the back side of it.
Some think it's for revolver owners use in adjusting the trigger pull or engagement.
It's not.
It's there for the Factory to use in assembling the revolver.
It makes use of a system in which the assembler can install the parts and use that screw to quickly adjust the action for proper engagement and clearance and then lock it into place. There should be thread locker on the screw to prevent it from moving.

If it's been tampered with then someone has seen fit to get in there an sweeten up the trigger pull/action by some means.
I'd pass on a revolver that shows any sign of that not knowing what may have been done and what parts may be available these days if needed.
The trigger and hammer are Sintered parts (among others) and they can be easily damaged by cutting through their thin hardened surfaces.
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Old 03-09-2024, 11:28 AM
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I have had one since the mid 80's. Very nice as far as accuracy and smooth action and still looks great. Colt really knows how to blue a gun. It doesn't care much for cast bullet loads but shoots all jacketed well. It handles much like a Smith L frame maybe a little slower and lock time "seems" longer. All in all a very solid and good looking revolver. I believe you would be pleased with it.
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Old 03-09-2024, 12:36 PM
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I bought a NOS 1976 Lawman MkIII (same as the trooper except fixed sights and no ejector rod housing) about 10 years ago. Is it a python? No. Its it a tank of a revolver that is every bit on par with the Ruger contemporaries of its time such as the Service Six? you bet. The trigger on mine is comparable or better than any factory (non custom shop/performance center) .357 made today, not as light as a python, but smooth and the single action is very clean.
Troopers and Lawman MKIIIs did see some Police use, they were less expensive than the 686 and way less than the snake guns, even though Colt purists sometimes turn thier noses up- for a working man who wanted a Colt- they were a good choice. Very accurate too.

Last edited by Biff_Biffington; 03-09-2024 at 12:38 PM.
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