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It is in excellent condition. I have to use a revolver in a bunch of drills with Mas, I've been using a K Frame and a J Frame and I've gotten fairly proficient but I have a real fondness for Colts. Is the D-Back serviceable for using a lot?
 

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I have three Diamondbacks (two .22s and a .38) and I love them. Really classy little revolvers and a joy to shoot. But I would NOT call them especially durable. They will go out of time long before your K Smith, and when it does, it won't be as easy to get fixed as your K Smith.

Buy it, shoot it, enjoy it, but I wouldn't use it for a hard-working tool.
 

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I agree with Snake. As one who has spent the better part of a day trying to get a Colt revolver in time you couldn't pay me enough to go through that again... :help:

But they also are selling for some pretty big bucks so if the price is right you can't go wrong.
 

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threefeathers,

Personally, i LIKE the little Diamondbacks. - carried one for quite a long time when i was a CID supervisor.
(a MUCH classier handgun than the Smith, but HARDER to work on for sure, just as a Python is. - as usual Charlie is 100% correct, too.)

it must also be said, that the Colts were THE prestige piece for ranking officers to carry on the job in the "PRE- auto era of LE".
(in point of fact, you had to be a "SOMEBODY" inthe USMS, USBP or USCS to be issued a Colt!)


yours, sw
 

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Are there any Gun Service Speciaists still doing Colt Revolvers?
I fired a Colt Cobra (Shell Scott Model) once, but I went with a S&W Bodyguard.

Geoff
Who is curious.
 

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Are there any Gun Service Speciaists still doing Colt Revolvers?
I fired a Colt Cobra (Shell Scott Model) once, but I went with a S&W Bodyguard.

Geoff
Who is curious.
I have a friend who is an absolute magician on a Colt's revolver; PM me and I'll give you his contact information.

The key to the Colt's DA revolver is the Pawl (or "hand" in S&W parlance). The Pawl bears against the star when the gun is fired to give a bank vault lockup. Because of this, you get fantastic accuracy, but your pawl will be lightly battered every time you fire the gun. Therefore, from time to time the pawl needs to be swapped out and a new one properly fit by someone who truly understands the Colt's revolver. It's a wear part, and that's normal. It's not necessarily "fragile" or "easily knocked out of time" as most will say it is; but will need attention from time to time. If you shoot standard pressure .38 Special out of your Diamondback it will take thousands of rounds before you have to address this issue. I say grab the Diamondback and shoot the heck out of it; that's what it's for!
 

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threefeathers,

Another thing about the D-frames: as MANY of them were considered "jewelry" or "a badge of higher rank" , rather than a "working gun" by many senior LEO in "my day on the streets", there are MANY "like new" small frame Colt's revolvers "out there", that will last MOST shooters the rest of their life W/O serious mechanical work.

In the case of VIPERs, POLICE POSITIVE SPECIALs, DIAMONDBACKs & COBRAs, i've recently seen any number of "new in the box" examples at the gun-shows.
(I suspect "the Obama economy" of lost jobs & "selling toys to buy necessities" is the reason for that situation. - Of course MANY people, who used to buy lots of "toys" are now selling their toys & "collectables" to buy groceries.)

NOTE: in over 30 years, i've NEVER had to have my "first issue" COBRA worked on, even though i have shot it "quite a bit" over the years. - these days it lives in a shadowbox with my first "creds" & star.)
(would you believe that i paid 50 bucks for it, UNFIRED, when i was a butter-bar in the MPs in late 1969?)

yours, satx
 

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A Very Desirable Gun...

...for some users who are satisfied with .38 Special power. It is a particularly nice option for many women because it offers six rounds in a size between a S&W J frame and a K frame. Further, many women prefer the better leverage to start the double-action stroke offered by the older Colt trigger system.

I'm not currently aware of any Arizona gunsmiths reputed for their work on V-spring Colt DA revolvers but Grant Cunningham, up in Oregon, has established quite a reputation for tuning and repairing them.

All in all, a great gun for a collector and a nice gun to have available if you have daughters, nieces or granddaughters growing up. While I never had to do so, I never worried that lending mine to a female student who might need it for training with me would render it hors de combat.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I should have said that my nightstand gun is a 1961 Colt Det. Spec loaded with the FBI load. I am very satisfied with that.
 

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spwenger,

a .38spl fired into center-mass is perfectly suitable medicene to END an armed confrontation. (NOTHING, that doesn't hit the target, is enough gun.) = imVho, you probably don't need anything more for self-defense.

i never felt "under-gunned" when i daily carried my little Cobra, loaded with 200Grain "Super Police" loads. - these days i carry my Sig-Sauer P6 (about the same handgun as the P225) all the time & find the 9mm Parabellum, loaded with nine Gold Dots, perfectly suitable for "cornered cat service", too.
(should i HAVE to get into an armed confrontation, since i retired, i won't "stay & fight"; instead, i'll "claw & scratch" the assailant & depart the scene.)

yours, sw
 

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spwenger,

a .38spl fired into center-mass is perfectly suitable medicene to END an armed confrontation. (NOTHING, that doesn't hit the target, is enough gun.) = imVho, you probably don't need anything more for self-defense.
While I vehemently disagree with the terms "center-mass" and "center of mass" as they are neither anatomically useful or correct, I have no issue with relying on .38 Special ammunition. I carry a pair of S&W 640-1's and, a few years back, for a combination of reasons, swapped the 110 gr. Magnum loads I used to carry for CorBon's 110 gr. +P .38 DPX. (There are other good .38 Special loads but, since my revolvers have only two-inch barrels, I prefer to spend the extra money to get what I believe will give me the maximum performance from the short barrels. I am perfectly comfortable using the old 158 gr. FBI load with a longer barrel.)

My qualifier was not intended to demean the utility of the .38 Special but simply to recognize that there are others who prefer fatter or faster-moving bullets.
 

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spwenger,

as just an "old cop", rather than a physician, i see nothing particuliarly wrong with a using the term "center-mass" or "center of mass" to describe a bullet-strike anywhere in the approximate center of the torso. - at least everybody understood that term, whether or not it was technically correct.

fwiw, i am unfamiliar with any location in the center of the torso that is not a disabling or mortal wound with any .35cal or larger hollow-point bullet, moving at normal .38spl factory velocity or more.


yours, sw
 

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It is in excellent condition. I have to use a revolver in a bunch of drills with Mas, I've been using a K Frame and a J Frame and I've gotten fairly proficient but I have a real fondness for Colts. Is the D-Back serviceable for using a lot?
"threefeathers":

Sorry for chiming in so late but I too, think that you might be better off with a Smith if you're going to shoot the gun a lot (first to get used to it and then in your classwork).

I am not doubting any of the people here who have owned Colt's that they shot a lot but just like Smith & Wesson's shooting very loose because they had end shake issues to begin with (That was the real reason they wouldn't make J-Frame .357's in the early 90's: it wasn't the design or the steel; it was that they couldn't hold the tolerances until they finally began making their revolvers like they had finally begun to make their pistols), Colt revolvers going awry are very much a gun-to-gun issue.

The problem is that it isn't the old days anymore.

In the very old days, the average owner didn't shoot that much and the serious target shooter either had his guns built up to begin with or he just knew that sooner or later they would need to be addressed. In the not so old days (but still when Colt's were popular) and people did shoot more, there were still a lot of people who could fix them. Not so much anymore and that's the real problem. Getting it fixed (and fixed correctly) when you need to.

Other issues are two-fold and I think they might be mistakenly combined here. First, there is the timing issue. Just like the Smith's making their end shake worse over time if it is there to begin with, the hand/pawl issue can first be hard to check for and can get worse over time for you are jamming things together as the gun is fired and force is being applied against things when the gun is fired. If things aren't quite right upfront (and again, this can often be hard to discern in a quick inspection of the firearm), they will get worse over time.

Second, there are internal problems and breakage issues. The Colt's aren't really fragile but Charlie is right about trying to fix them. Smith's are relatively simple or at least straightforward in that pretty much one part performs one function. The Colt would appear to employ one or more multipurpose components and one often finds themselves chasing things in a circle for as you solve one issue, you can often create another. Then you fix that one only to begin a third. And so on.

As to shooting, and obviously this is all subjective, the gun for all it looks like a scaled-down Python, is a little light and while accurate and fun to shoot, you might find that for extremely rapid fire, multi-shot drills in your classes, it might work against you a bit.

To be honest, a simple, fixed sight, heavy barrel K-frame in either a 3 or 4" length might be a better choice. They're still not too expensive if you stay with a .38; they will take a beating if they are good to start with; they are comfortable to shoot; and if something does go wrong, parts and service will be easier to find (and cheaper to boot) than they will be with the Colt. And an underlug barrel 3" J-frame might not be a bad choice either if you really want a smaller frame gun.

And before everybody starts attacking me for Colt bashing, I am not. I have owned and shot Diamondbacks, Pythons, OP's and New Services. And, like Charlie, I have some experience with period-modified King guns. I really like the Dick Special and all of its offshoots and used to do lot with them; especially in the days when the Old Timers I worked with were still carrying them (and things like Troopers and .357's) because they had actually come on the job when the Colt (and not the Smith) was the gun to have.

They are good guns and (if you can buy this one right) good investments BUT these days to use it as a teaching gun and not only diminish its value through hard use (and I am not saying that you will abuse it) but gradually wear it down (as well as risk hard-to-repair parts breakages), might not be your best option.

And from a teaching standpoint, having a Smith in your hand to demonstrate with and to offer tricks and techniques peculiar to that manufacturer might have some benefit as well for I would think that in your revolver classes, the bulk of your students are more likely to show up with one of them before they will a Colt.

Then again, there is the Colt-sized Ruger SP101. They're very affordable. They can be had with a 2, 3 or 4" barrel and generally, you can't break them if you try…
 

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spwenger,

fwiw, i am unfamiliar with any location in the center of the torso that is not a disabling or mortal wound with any .35cal or larger hollow-point bullet, moving at normal .38spl factory velocity or more.
I have heard plenty of reports, from both "old cops" and medical personnel, of .35-caliber or larger rounds that simply penetrated lungs - even if in and out - and failed to incapacitate.

There is room to argue whether the lung meets your definition of "center of the torso" but part of my concern is that so-called "center mass" is typically taught on square-facing silhouette targets and that ingrained aiming point - even if raised above the stomach level on the B-27 target - may miss the mediastinum if one does not grasp the anatomy and adjust the aiming point accordingly in shots from different angles.

Unfortunately, he seems to have suspended his course offerings but some of us are fortunate to have been exposed to the Tactical Anatomy courses by Dr, James Williams. As I recall, the one I attended was at the 2007 IALEFI conference, where it was part of the general session and I did not sense that it went over the heads of any of the old (or younger) cops in the room.

Anyhow, this disagreement has not diminished my respect for you and, if you wish to continue this discussion, suggest that it may merit its own thread. (If you wish to continue it privately, you can reach me at [email protected].)
 

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P.Marlowe; all,

for HARD service, i suspect that it would be VERY DIFFICULT to beat the S&W Model 65 (or for that matter one of the stainless L frame Smiths), as it was specifically designed for 30+ years of OK Highway Patrol service & it IS tough & simple, though uglier than a mud fence. also, there are LOTS of Model 65 around & for a low price.
(a former Director of the OSP has stated that S&W first made the Model 65 on request of the OHP.)

fwiw, i do NOT trust adjustable sights for HARD service, like "motorcycle cop duty", for example.

yours, satx
 
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