1st Year Colt Three Fifty Seven Model 6″ .357 Magnum Revolver, MFD 1954 C&R

SOLD FOR: $2,026

WOA#: WY240406RK003

Make: Colt

Model: Three-Fifty-Seven

Serial Number: 3505

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 “3505”, and the crane flat is also marked with “F” and “M”. 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 “T”.

Barrel Length: 6”

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 no notable wear or damage, only light handling marks. The checkering is well defined. There are no chips or cracks. Overall, the grips are in Excellent 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. In this writer’s opinion, the bore rates 10 out of 10.

Overall Condition: This revolver retains about 98% of its finish. The finish is thinning lightly at sharper edges. The action shows faint operational wear. The screw heads are sharp. The markings are clear. Overall, this revolver is in 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: This revolver comes in a faux-leather cardboard hinge-lid Colt box with model-matching label, cleaning brush, wax paper, and serial-matching test target.

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 seen little use, with about 98% of its finish remaining, retaining a great bore and strong mechanics. We think the Colt collectors will be interested, especially given the small numbers of this model produced and this one’s particularly high condition. Please see our photos and good luck!

Please forgive any typos, I was educated in California. -Bud

1st Year Colt Three Fifty Seven Model 6" .357 Magnum Revolver, MFD 1954 C&R
1st Year Colt Three Fifty Seven Model 6″ .357 Magnum Revolver, MFD 1954 C&R