Now for something different: The Colt Trooper.
If you remember some of the cop flicks of the 1960s and 1970s, chances are you remember seeing just about everyone with a revolver, good or bad, for a weapon. There’s several reasons for this: reliable automatics were extremely limited in availability at the time, especially in the USA. The choices were either the Browning (FN) Hi-Power or the Colt 1911, both of which required significant tuning and maintenance to stay running. They were also finiky about ammunition, given that they were designed to use military ball and nothing else. Side note: other designs like the Smith & Wesson Model 39 hadn’t caught on primarily because they were too “revolutionary” for the time, coupled with poor ammunition choices and availability for the caliber (9x19m).
Revolvers, by contrast, didn’t have complicated feed mechanics powered by recoil, but mechanical works to rotate the cylinder and fire. The double action trigger was the standard that everyone worked by, well known and understood, despite the relative complications. There were typically no safeties aside from the heavy double action pull, so it was very much a point and shoot affair.
The Colt Trooper came onto the scene in the 1950s as Colt’s attempt to try and get some of the law enforcement market back from Smith & Wesson, which had been dominating the revolver market for some time. Colt’s high end offerings like the Python and the Anaconda were designed for enthusiasts, while the Trooper was intended as a duty arm. .357 Magnum was steadily becoming the go-to cartridge for many agencies that wanted more power than .38 Special, especially as time went on into the late 1960s and 1970s with rising periods of civil unrest and heavily-armed criminal gangs. The Trooper went through a redesign in this period, resulting in the Mk III variation. The Mk III had a redesigned frame, corrosion resistant coil springs, and new sintered parts to reduce cost in both labor and materials. Many Colt enthusiasts consider this a bad thing, as the day’s standards were high in terms of workmanship and materials compared to today.