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Discussion Starter #1
I want to get a 2" .38. I like older guns, and am trying to decide between an airweight chief and a colt cobra. I have heard the colts have some small weak internal parts prone to breakage. The colt I am looking at was made 1952 and times perfectly, but I am wondering if it is a less reliable gun than the chief.
 

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I would get the Colt. I don't see many of those anymore. From what I heard Colts are not weak, but they are supposedly fitted to tighter tolerances.
 

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I have had a pair of Model 36 Smith's, and about 7 months ago I picked up a Colt Agent. I like the fact that I have an extra shot, I don't even notice the supposed bulk from the bigger cylinder. The action is just as good in my opinion, and I got it for much less. As much as I like my S & W's, the Colts are just as good, and you can probably find a Cobra for less, or a Detective Special, or an Agent.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Both guns are $375, so price is not an issue. I had an early 1900s police positive that had a tiny little thin metal internal part that broke and tied up the whole gun. On inspection, it was so thin it looked like it was made to break. I think the later colts may have a little different internals. I have also heard that early alloy guns were weaker than modern alloy.
 

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The 5-shot J Frame is in a class by itself. It is the study of compact size, adequate power, complete reliability, and it has no equal.

The Colt Cobra is a fine gun, but it is more appropriate to compare it to a 2" K-frame Model 10 or 64.

Common wisdom is not to use +P ammo in aluminum guns more than sparingly and never +P+. I've seen Cobras with cracked frames.

I've had and liked Cobras, Agents and Dick Specials, but to me there is no comparison with the S&W J-5's. Remember that these Colt guns only have locking features at the ass-end of the cylinder whereas the Smiths have it both fore and aft....
 

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I would get the M36, tried and true.....
 

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Cobra. Superb carry revolver. Regards 18DAI
 

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Personally I am with Colt there but has nothing to do with the durability or anything like that. Colt fits my had and also the 6 round over 5 round. I just point and shoot it better. I like the weight and way it feels

Smith is a bit slimmer and a bit easier to "tweek" the action. The Colt and the spring system is a bit more difficult to "tweet." Currently there is more out there for neat things for the Smith J frame, i.e. grips, holster, gunsmiths, and other support. More models, models with hammers either shrouded or internal. Colt the shroud is an add on.

The J frame has been carried as a back up with countless folks and conceals very, very, well.

The Smith are now rated for Plus P and haves some with chambering for 357 mag

One thing on the lightweight guns is the increased felt recoil so that should be keep in mind. The little J frame with plus p or in 357 is like hitting your hand with a bat and then you have the follow up shot.

I lean more toward the Smith as I personally like the 640. Just too small for me. I could get a bit larger grip but then I am at the size of the Detective Special with one less round. But that is me, not you.

Hope that helps a bit in your thought process.
 

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Both the Colt and the Smith and Wesson will do an outstanding job for you. I would get the Colt because of the extra round in it's cylinder and because the Colt will probably have a higher resell value later in case you decide to sell it. The prices on Colt revolvers are almost insane.
I love my 5 shot J frame model 49. It was my first Smith and Wesson revolver purchased used 25 years ago and it is still carried and used today.
 

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If getting them both is not an option, I would go with the Colt. As has been previously stated here, they have a higher resale value. There is a difference in thickness across the cylinders. If you want the slimmer of the two go with the Smith. If slimness doesn't matter, get the colt.

I front pocket carry a 638. My detective specials with the shrouds are just that much bigger that I don't pocket carry them.

Let us know what you pick.
 

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The cylinder of a Colt Cobra is one hundred thousands of an inch larger in diameter than the cylinder of a S&W Chiefs Special.... :lol:
 

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'Back in the day', I knew several LEO's who wouldn't carry any snubby but a Colt.
Obviously, the J-Frame Smiths appeared in greater numbers.
I never knew of a failure, action or lock, in the little Colts.
On paper, the extra lock appears to be much stronger, and it's less prone to bending than the exposed ejector rod of the Colt.
That being said, I've still not seen the catastrophic failures in Colts that lots of us Smith folks believe are just waiting to happen... kljng; kljng;
Don
 
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