As Most of you that Know me here, I am an avid collector of S&W classic Revolvers. I started out Buying the newer Dash series revolver's
but lately I have been replacing them with Pre-Numbered revolvers made prior to 1957.
I have a good friend who has One of every Target Model Revolver S&W ever made from 1850-1955
and when I was visiting him one day he showed me a Model of 1950 Forth Model Hand eject .44 Special Target Revolver.
I must admit, as I Looked it over closely It sure made me tingle Holding this revolver, and he then Pulled out a Brother to it in the standard factory Matte Blued finish
that was correct for that time period. I questioned him of why the one I was holding had High Polished bluing
, and he shared with me that it was a special ordered Gun. I said, it did not match his other revolver's so he needed to sell it to me.
He Humored my Request,
took the revolver from me and placed it back in his full wall collection which consists of 263 S&W Target Revolvers.
A Year Later, I was asking if he still had that Odd Ball finish .44 Special, and again asked him to sell it to me. He is in his late 70's and I inserted that if he would consider selling it, I sure would appreciate having it to remember him by
when he goes to the Great Gun Collectors Graveyard in the Sky
He then told me what he had in it, and I asked if he would sell it to me for that, and was Shocked when he accepted my Offer.
He said he would bring it by the House next week when he visited. I received an E-mail from him as he was all tore up because he could not find the Box that came with it.
He said he had Four Huge lawn & leaf Bags full of original factory Box's in his attic and that he was sure he had it, but would have to Look for it. I could not understand why a Box was so important to him.
but he said he had found a couple of Other .44 Special factory Box's but they were Not The Box for this revolver
A few days later he said he had located the correct box and would be making the Two Hour Journey to me home in a couple of days. Once he arrived and brought in the revolver in it's box, he explained why he had to find this certain box. Apparently Back Then S&W did not waste anything
along the way as the box that came with this gun was originally Intended for a model of 1926 Triple lock hand ejector in .44 special,
yet S&W chose to use the left over box's by Placing the Factory sticker over the Model of 1926 Call out on the box.
Inside the box laid the .44 Special along with the correct Black oxide Knurled sight adjuster
as they are called, The Correct Knox Rust Proof paper
and a Warranty Card not filled out
. It also came with a factory letter stating this gun was custom Ordered with a High Polish Blued finish, Target Hammer & Target Trigger.
It shipped in January 1951
Just For Months into the release of this new model. It also is called a Transitional Gun
due to it's Pre-War Mushroom style extractor end
that they had to Notch the Barrel out for it's clearence when closing the cylinder, another Part Issue S&W Used rather than Waste.
It shipped to Folsom Arms in New York City,
which was in Brooklyn Just three doors down from The famous Gun Smith John Jovino
, who made many custom-N-Frame carry revolvers at that time and right next door to Remington Arms export facility
. This Gun shipped with a set of Magna style grips
, as S&W did not have target grips until Mid Year 1952
. I felt the gun warranted a set of Original Coke Profile grips, so the factory serial stamped magna grips were replaced and put in the box for safe Keeping.
To me, This Model was One of The Most Important models S&W ever Produced
as it was directed towards Elmer Keith
and his Team of .44 Special shooters Known as "The Associates"
. This Elite Group of men shared a common Love for The .44 Special Caliber, and because of it's heft and durability The Associates could Load it very heavy without any worry. The big names in the Time span between The 1930's to late 1950's In this Associates Group who Loved and fired the .44 Special S&W revolver's were Elmer Keith, Phil Sharpe, Townsend Whelen, John Lachuk, Earl Naramore, P.O. Ackley, F.W. Mann, and Julian Hatcher
. It was Elmer Keith who Clearly was The Dare Devil of that group Taking the .44 Special cartridge well beyond it's Limits to what we Now Know to be the Mighty .44 Magnum Round
Elmer also designed a Three gas Check lead Bullet that Proved to be very accurate in this caliber and they still use it's design today
In 1956 S&W decided after much prompting from Elmer Keith to come out with the .44 magnum Cartridge
and a revolver Made to fire it. Remington Arms was commissioned to make the round and they were afforded an experimental Model of 1950 .44 Special like the one shown
with a Lengthened forcing cone to accept the New Powerful .44 magnum Round and special heat treating of the cylinder and Frame was done for their Experimental testing. Once the Test's were completed, Remington approved the round and Gun Intended to fire it so S&W started making The Pre-29 model in .44 magnum
and sales went Straight Through The Roof.
They continued to offer The Model of 1950 hand eject .44 Special until 1967
and Ironically it was discontinued due to the Popularity of the .44 Magnum round, Which stole the spot light on the .44 Special Caliber, which was The Very same round that they used in The Experiemental Model of 1950 Forth Model Hand eject , to develop the .44 magnum and due to Poor Sales of this Model revolverThe .44 Special Model 24-2 was laid to rest for Eternity.
They branded this model with the Number 24
and it contined into the Model dash-2 series before being discontinued in 1967. In the Mid 1980's they reintroduced the Model 24-3
In .44 Special caliber and that too is no Longer made for the .44 Caliber Enthusiasts to enjoy....Hammerdown