A S&W Trip, Back in Time to 1951

Discussion in 'Centerfire Pistols & Revolvers' started by Hammerdown, May 3, 2009.

  1. Hammerdown

    Hammerdown New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2006
    Messages:
    91
    Hello
    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. :p 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. :confused: 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. In 1957 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









    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
  2. Dakota Red 1

    Dakota Red 1 New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2007
    Messages:
    504
    Location:
    Kansas
    Great Post---Thanks!
  3. Thomas_1

    Thomas_1 New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2006
    Messages:
    271
    Location:
    Fenton, Missouri
    I have an S&W Highway Patrolman .357. It's not as old but probably around the late 70's. The amazing thing about the older revolvers is that the seem to me to shot so much better than the newer ones.
  4. TranterUK

    TranterUK Guest

    Really interesting thank you. I also loved the old Smith & Wessons. I once had a M25 4" that was a close to my perfect revolver as any I ever saw. Just needed an inch less on the nose!

    I also recall owning one called the Coast Guard Special. A brushed stainless that came with lovely wood round back finger groove grips., another close to perfect revolver.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 3, 2009
  5. pkcgbifaid

    pkcgbifaid Member

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2003
    Messages:
    532
    Location:
    Charleston, WV
    I really like the older S&W revolvers and REALLY like their polished blued versions. I think the new brushed stainless looks like c*@p in comparison, and think the fit on the older guns was better as well.

    Congratulations on an excellent example of fine craftmanship.
  6. muddober

    muddober Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2008
    Messages:
    1,448
    Hammerdown: What a cool gun. I have had two S&W 44 like yours in my life time and both were polished. When I say polished I mean exactly like any model 29 44 Mag. I have never seen one like you mentioned with a mat finish like a Highway Patrolman. I have included a picture of mine and its serial is in the 141,000 range. What serial range is yours if you don't mind? I just got this gun a couple of months ago at Scheels of all places.

    Ron

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: May 3, 2009
  7. Hammerdown

    Hammerdown New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2006
    Messages:
    91


    Hello Ron
    Gorgeous .44 special Hand eject you have there. S&W used The Matte soft Glow style bluing on all Their revolvers Post-War when they resumed Civilian production starting in 1946. They continued to use that style finish on all their revolvers except the Model 29's which came out in 1956, and the Pre-27's that were Introduced in 1936 and after the War They still Used the High Polished finish on them till they ceased making them in the late 1980's some time. These Two Models were The Flag ship models of S&W so that is whay they always had High Polished Bluing on them, and all the Other revolver's had Matte style bluing. All The reference material I have Read said that the reason they used the Lower gloss Bluing was because it took far less time to achieve it and after the war They were Bogged down with Civilian orders. My Gun was a very early one at at that time matte Bluing was The Norm Unless you special Ordered The High Gloss Bluing. According to my Reference material the Model of 1950 Forth Model Hand eject .44 special wore the matte style bluing until about 1959-1960 time span when S&W changed back to their famous High Polished Bluing. They contined to produce it with High Gloss Bluing until it was ceased from production sometime in 1967. I would say either Yours has been refinished or was ordered as a special order finish to have that High Polished bluing as the Upper side plate screw was dropped from production in 1955-1956 Time span or when ever they ran out of The Five screw frames thay had stock Piled. If it has Not been refinished I would Highly suggest Obtaining a Factory letter on it, as there are not that many that left the factory with The High Polished bluing before 1959 time span. My serial numer is an S-Prefix 7035X Being made Just Four short Months after they released the Model in 1950...Below is a 1951 K-32 I Have with The matte style bluing along with a K-22 from 1947 that has the very same Matte style bluing finish that was Normal Back in that time span, along with a First year Highway Patrolman that shipped Two Months after it's Introduction being June 1954. I Hope this helps, Hammerdown



    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Last edited: May 3, 2009
  8. muddober

    muddober Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2008
    Messages:
    1,448
    Hammerdown: What cool guns you have. I did not include the S in my serial number but it is there. My gun has NOT been refinished and neither was the one I had years ago. As I said I have never seen one with anything other than high polish but then again I am sure there are a lot of things I have never seen. I use to blue guns for a living and while I can be fooled my gun has not been re-blued. I have included a couple of pictures. One is a four screw 44 Mag and the other is a 4 screw Highway Patrolman. Your 5 screw Highway Patrolman is the first one of those I ever remember seeing. I put the target hammer and trigger in my patrolman 35 years ago. I once had an original 4 screw 5" 44 Mag with the box and a 5 screw 6.5". I had to sell them to keep alive when Carter was president. I don't think anybody has enough guns to sell to keep alive while this clown is in office. I can't resist commenting. Here is a guy who never really even had a job much less ever had to make a payroll and he is telling GM who to fire? What company in all of the USA, other than perhaps a law firm would have hired this guy to run their company much less run the country. Sorry for the editorial.

    Ron

    Attached Files:

  9. Hammerdown

    Hammerdown New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2006
    Messages:
    91
    Hello Ron
    Nice 29 and 28 you have there. I did a Little More Research on the .44 Model of 1950 Hand eject, and as I said, They came Matte Blued from 1950 to 1959-1960 Time span. If you had two that were High Polished Bluing, they were special ordered Finish's like mine and would be worth considerably More than the standard finish revolvers of that time span. The Model 28's were always Matte Blued as they were a Lower Price Knock off of the model 27 with their sales directed towards Law Enforcement. They also lacked the elaborate cross Hatch top strap checkering, and most came with Narrow hammers and triggers.



    The Only Other finish Offered on the Model 28's a High Polished Nickel finish and those revolver's were special order by The Florida Highway Patrol in 1959, and these revolvers were a Four Screw Configuration and the total production of them was 500 Revolvers. These special order revolvers had a 5" Barrel being different from the standard issue 4" & 6" Offerings. Baughman quick draw sights were also normal on The Highway Patrolman series unlike the 6" Model 27's that had patridge front sights. The Last Nickel Finish Floridia Highway Patrol revolver I saw offered for sale, sold for $10.000.00 so if you ever see one of them at a Lower Price Dive on it, they are Highly desireable. I Picked up a Nice model 27-2 last spring shown and it has a Factory Nickel finish with a 5" Barrel, of which I feel Looks and Handles the best of all the barrel lengths offered on the Model 27's... Hammerdown






    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
  10. muddober

    muddober Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2008
    Messages:
    1,448
    Hammerdown: You are making me druel all over my key board. The 5" model 27 was one of my favorite guns and for some reason I don't have one anymore. Through the years have had several of them trading for only God would remember. The 5" 44 mag I had was the best balanced 44 I evershot. Today I have a 629 classic 5" and a 625 classic 5" in 45 Colt. Another one I used to have was a model of 1989 5" 45 Colt. They were built juct like a standard moel 29 and not like the calssics with the underlug. To give you a bit of history I sold my first 44 Hand ejecter polished just like the one I have now to Fowlers gun shop in Pasadena California some 35 plus years ago. He gave me $500.00 for it back then. It wasn't long after that his store burned down killing him and some other people. That gun was lost to the fire as were many others. He was a very nice an affable fellow. I am going to post a picture of one of my custom guns. It is a model 28 that has been rechambered in 45 Colt and fitted with a 1955 target barrel resulting in a recessed cylinder 45 Colt and what a shooter this gun is. Also the gun is in the white and has never shown any signs of rust in the 30 years of owning it. I sometimes tease people telling them it is a stainless 1955 target which as you know there isn't any such thing.

    Ron

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: May 5, 2009
  11. Hammerdown

    Hammerdown New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2006
    Messages:
    91
    Hello Ron
    Want to Make a Pinto out of her ? Lookie what I have stashed Just In Case I need one... Hammerdown








    [​IMG]
  12. muddober

    muddober Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2008
    Messages:
    1,448
    Hammerdown: How neat that is, at one time I could buy that barrel from the factory. You might think about putting your barrel to good use by buying (I bet you already have one) a later Highway Patrolman and re-chambering it in 45 Colt. It leaves you with a pinned and recessed 45 Colt. I was hot rodding the 45 Colt when everyone else was playing 44 magnum. I had a 44 mag but was enamored by the larger volume and same length Colt case. I had the good sense not to try out my theories on a single action so I had the pictured gun built. That gun has seen several hundred loads in the 1400 fps range with a 300 grain cast bullet making the 44 mag shooter take notice. The gun pictured in this post has seen many hundred loads in the 1350 fps range with my 335 cast bullet and it goes well over 1400 fps in its longer barreled brother. Just for fun can you identify these guns.

    Ron

    Attached Files:

  13. Hammerdown

    Hammerdown New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2006
    Messages:
    91
    Hello Ron
    I have this barrel Kicking around Just in Case I find a Nice Model 25-2 or earlier with a bulged Barrel Cheap. I could make a sweet shooter out of someones squib Mistake. I do have about a Brand New Model 25-2 I Bought Unfired in it's Presentation case shown, with a Custom Set Of Walter Roper made grips from the Mid 1930's Time span in Original finish and condition and an Old War Horse from WW-1. This revolver was Once owned by a Pilot for The Royal Canadian Navy and carried in flight. Sadly, later it had the adjustable sights added and they are Micro Brand. It is chambered in .45 Colt Not a conversion and is one of the Ones that shipped to Canada in that Era. I can't tell what either of your revolver's shown are, I am Only S&W Motivated and study none of the Others.. Sorry, Hammerdown






    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Last edited: May 6, 2009
Similar Threads
Forum Title Date
Centerfire Pistols & Revolvers A short range trip. Jul 18, 2014
Centerfire Pistols & Revolvers new grips, 1st range trip Jun 15, 2013
Centerfire Pistols & Revolvers A TRIPLE-Barrel Revolver ...... May 9, 2012
Centerfire Pistols & Revolvers astra .25 cal. field strip and clean info. request.. Jul 28, 2011
Centerfire Pistols & Revolvers Need help SW 539 field strip Sep 28, 2010

Share This Page