SOLD FOR: $1730
Serial Number: 2341
Date of Manufacture: 1954 (https://www.colt.com/serial-lookup), 1st Year Production
Caliber: .357 Magnum
Action Type: Single and Double Action Revolver With Swing Out Cylinder
Markings: The left side of the barrel is marked “COLT .357 / .357 MAGNUM CTG.”. The right side of the barrel is marked “COLT’S MFG. CO. HARTFORD CT. U.S.A.”. The flat under the crane and the crane are marked “2341”, and the crane flat is also marked with an “S”, “H” and “C”. The sideplate is marked with a “Rampant Colt” logo. The left side of the grip frame at the top front of the trigger guard is marked with a “VP” in a triangle and at the top rear with “L”.
Barrel Length: 4”
Sights / Optics: The front sight is a serrated, ramped blade integral to a serrated, ramped base fixed to the front of the barrel. The rear sight is a square notch adjustable for windage and elevation in a base pinned to the topstrap.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The grips are two-piece checkered walnut with silver-colored “Rampant Colt” medallions at the tops of the grips. The grips have minor handling wear with a few scattered light nicks and scuffs. The checkering is well defined, generally sharp. There are no chips or cracks. Overall, the grips are in about Fine-plus condition.
Type of Finish: Blued
Finish Originality: Original
Bore Condition: The bore is bright and the rifling is sharp. There is no erosion in the bore.
Overall Condition: This revolver retains about 97% of its finish. The finish is thinning at a few edges, most notable at the muzzle on the left. There are a few scattered minor marks. The action shows faint operational wear with a very thin, light turn-line and minor wear on the sides of the hammer. The screw heads range from sharp to lightly tool marked with strong slots. The markings are clear. Overall, this revolver is in about Fine-Excellent condition.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly. The lock-up on this revolver is SOLID on all 6 chambers with the trigger depressed. The trigger is smooth in double action, and crisp and light in single action. We have not fired this revolver. As with all used firearms, a thorough cleaning may be necessary to meet your maintenance requirements.
Box, Paperwork & Accessories: None.
Our Assessment: In the early 1950’s, Colt realized that they were behind the times and didn’t have a revolver chambered for the .357 Magnum. The previous New Service model had been discontinued during WWII, and was a heavy frame, too heavy for constant carry use. Colt brushed off their medium E frame, changed it to add an internal spring-loaded firing pin and heat treated it to increase its strength, calling its new creation the “I” frame. The new gun was ready for production in 1954 and Colt called it “The Colt 357”. Colt outfitted the revolver with adjustable sights and gave it a more carefully fitted and tuned action. Colt used the old E frame for the Trooper, and gave it adjustable sights as well, chambered for .38 Special and .22 L.R. The Colt .357 was a big success, but then Colt came out with the Python, an even more upgraded revolver. Shooters who had the money went to the new Python and those who didn’t mostly bought the Trooper, leaving the Colt .357 in limbo. It was discontinued in 1961 after only 15,000 had been produced, at which time Colt moved the Trooper to the I frame and offered it in .357 Magnum as well as .38 and .22. This Colt .357 was made in the first year of production, 1954. It has the desirable Colt Blue finish, with a very smooth double action trigger. This example appears to have had a very gentle life, with about 97% of its finish remaining, a great bore and strong mechanics. We think the Colt collectors will be interested, especially given the small numbers of this model produced. Please see our photos and good luck!