Sunday, October 6, 2013

Colt Peacekeeper .357 Magnum

You use a Colt Single Action Army to make the peace; you use this gun to keep it.

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This is the Colt Peacekeeper. It is chambered in .357 magnum with a six round cylinder, features a parkerized finish (or "matte blue" according to the manual), adjustable rear sights, vent rib barrel and it is a beauty. I recently picked up one of these uncommon little revolvers and the story behind it is rather fascinating.

I'm not 100% that all of the details I have found on this gun are accurate, but most of the information I have found or heard on it is similar. The general consensus is that this gun was only produced for 2 years, likely between 1985-1987. In 1985, Colt workers went on strike for higher wages. In 1985 and the few years that followed, Colt ran on replacement workers until the strike was resolved. During this time, Colt did not have enough replacement workers to perform the high gloss bluing that was a standard on all of their revolvers. To solve this, Colt opted to perform an easier parkerizing job on select models of their guns and give them a different name.

One gun selected was the Colt Detective Special. It received a parkerized finished and was renamed the Colt Commando Special. The Colt Trooper MK V became this; the Colt Peacekeeper.

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The Trooper MK V had only been around since 1982 and was a brand new design for the Trooper Series. It was based on a brand new frame, the "V" frame. It was produced from 1982-1985 until it became the Peacekeeper. The Peacekeeper and Commando Special featured the same internals and excellent fit as expected from any other Colt revolver, they just had an unpolished matte finish. For whatever reason, the parkerized finished wasn't a hit with the Colt crowd that loved the high gloss "Colt blue" finish or the strike just ended and Colt no longer saw reason to produce them with this finish, but the Peacekeeper (along with the Commando Special) faded away after only a couple of years on the market. However, this wouldn't entirely be the end of the gun.

In 1986, the "V" frame was re-barreled and the Colt King Cobra was born.

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