Long a staple of police and security use, surplus stainless steel Smith & Wesson medium-sized duty revolvers still have a lot of life left.
The S&W K-frame was the standard police-issue “service revolver” for just about every law enforcement agency in the 1970s and 80s, and have continued to clock in for use in corrections and security roles to this day. Dating back to the early side-ejector designs of the 1900s, these six-shooters were dependable for both military and police work – which led to the model’s early designation.
I carried a K-frame S&W 60-series for years, back in the days of full mustaches, PR-24s, speedloaders, and dump pouches. Oh yeah, baby.
Over 6 million K-frames have been produced.
And I saw in the warehouse where Guns.com just rec’d over 800 police trade-in Model 64s (38s) and 65s (357s) in a variety of generations (64-5, 64-8, 65-4, 65-5, 65-6, 65-7, and 65-8) made between 1988 to 2008-ish.
Don’t count these old troopers out, as they still ring true for a relaxing day on the range and can serve self-defense uses for generations to come. Just saying.
As part of the gig I have, I get to see lots of interesting guns come through the GDC Vault including a legit Semmerling, a GyroJet, and old-school Pasadena-marked Auto Mag, a VP70, and a myriad of rare martial guns (Norwegian M1914s, Union Switches, Rock O-Las, Vz33s, et. a).
But it is guns like these that get my attention as they bring back memories of times when I used to be clad in polyester from head to foot and learned the intricacies of PR-24s, speedloaders, and dump pouches:
We just got like 40 old S&W Model 64-1/64-2/64-3s, all police trade-ins from what appears to be the East Baton Rouge (Louisiana) Sheriff’s Office. You can almost smell the Tony Cha-Cha
More in my column at Guns.com.
These days everyone is obsessed with the collectible Colt “snake guns” of the 1950s-80s. You know, the Pythons, Diamondbacks, Anacondas, Cobras and the like.
Well, the thing is, Colt also made a great six-shooter alongside all of those in the same factory and it remained popular enough at the time to see widespread use with not only police but also the consumer market.
This circa-1965 Colt Trooper is a good example of the I-framed 4-inch .357 Magnum variants offered at the time.
More in my column at Guns.com.
In honor of the Colt’s 150th Anniversary in 1986 a new revolver hit the market, the .357 Magnum Colt King Cobra.
Based on the company’s Mark V system shared by the medium-frame Trooper series of double-action six-shooters, the King Cobra got its name as an ode to smaller Colt Cobra wheelguns which dated back to the 1950s but were only chambered in .22LR, .32 Colt and .38.
Borrowing the solid rib heavy barrel/full underlug profile of Colt’s Python series but coming in at a more affordable $400 smackers at the time, it was half the price of the iconic serpent.
This made it appealing to budding target shooters, law enforcement, and personal protection. Likewise, the price point made more competitive with other full-lug magnums of the time, namely Ruger’s then-new GP-100, S&W’s Model 586, and Dan Wesson’s 15HB.
This Colt King Cobra, a 4-inch model with a serial number that dates to 1988 production, is in what the company billed as “Ultimate Bright Stainless,” a finish that was only used on this model for four years.
Today, this classic “snake gun” now is in at least its third generation, a transformation I cover more in my column at Guns.com.