A Gift

Just because it's a rare classic doesn't mean it should stay in your gun safe.

posted on November 27, 2023
Sheriff Jim Wilson

Some time back, we got a new Border Patrol boss in this area. He was an ex-municipal police officer turned Border Patrolman. A man of discerning tastes, he was also a longtime reader of mine. We were introduced and hit it off right from the start, getting together for drinks, supper, and visits. As you can imagine, guns and the folks who used them were the main topics of conversation.

In the course of one of these visits, I casually mentioned the original Colt Trooper. Dave had never heard of that particular gun, due to the fact that he is a bit younger than yours truly. Made from 1953 to about 1969, the original Colt Trooper was the same size as the old Colt Official Police, but chambered for the .357 Magnum cartridge. Having the same internal parts as the Python, it was the predecessor of that fanciest of all Colts by a couple of years. I’ve always thought that Colt brought the gun out to compete with the Smith & Wesson Highway Patrolman (Mod. 28). Regardless, it was a very well made, accurate revolver that quickly became popular with law enforcement and other serious revolver shooters.

About a month passed and Dave called and asked me to visit him at his office. Upon my arrival, he pulled out a Colt box that contained a very nice Trooper with a 4-inch barrel. I examined it and told him that he had a very fine revolver there. “No, Sheriff,” he said. “You have a very nice revolver.”

This fine old Colt shows absolutely no signs of abuse and only a bit of holster wear. Its serial number indicates that it was manufactured in 1966. The stocks are the small, dark wood service stocks with nice checkering and the silver Colt medallion. It delivers the kind of fine accuracy that Colts of that era were known for. Altogether a very fine 57-year-old handgun.

So, should I put it up on a dingy shelf as some collectible relic of a bygone era? Not hardly! I’m going to shoot it and carry it. Next month, I’m planning a little trip up to Tyler Gun Works and I’ll have them tune and polish the action, lightning up the DA trigger pull just a bit. And while we’re at it, I’ll select some fancy stocks to go on it. It’ll be just the ticket for coyotes, bobcats, and javelina in my corner of Texas. And, of course, it will have the regular duty of keeping my hide bullet-hole free.

A lot of folks have no idea of the hard work that our US Border Patrol does. While I am somewhat disappointed in some of their bureaucratic leadership in Washington, I have nothing but the highest regard for the boots-on-the-ground Border Patrol Agents and the monumental challenges that face them. All of which just makes me appreciate this gift even more, coming from a working lawman.

Thanks, Dave.

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