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  1. #1
    Checkman's Avatar
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    Yet another old gun

    As some of you know I have a fondness for the old revolvers. Especially Smith & Wessons. So here is yet another one that I found.

    I was at a local pawn shop a couple weeks ago and I came across a pre-war Heavy Duty with a 5" barrel. In very good condition. Bore very clean. Timing is good, no endshake and diamond magna grips. The Magnas are not period correct however. I believe they are are from the years immediately following World War II. All the serial numbers on the revolver match. It appears that the frame and barrel have been refinished, but not the cylinder.

    The price on the tag was $400. Naturally I had to get it.I didn't even attempt to haggle since it was already a very reasonable price so I just paid it. Serial number is 526**. The standard catalog serial number list shows that it was manufactured in 1938. Might be worth paying for a factory letter.

    You just don't find Heavy Duty and Outdoorsman revolvers in Idaho. At least that's been my experience.

    If you are interested in reading more about the Heavy Duty and the very hot 38 special load that it fired known as the 38/44 here is a link to an interesting article I found. Those of you who are interested the history of American law enforcement might enjoy it as well. I did.

    http://www.cruffler.com/Features/AUG...-august01.html
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    Last edited by Checkman; 11-08-09 at 09:40 AM. Reason: Added a link.

  2. #2
    CTR man's Avatar
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    Nice revolver. Very similar to the S&W .357 that I inherited from my dad upon his passing. It is a 19-2. I guess S&W kept their designs similar.

    Would you know from the serial number when these revolvers were made? Also, mine has a K before the serial number. What does this mean? K-frame?

    The only physical differences that I can tell are the sights and maybe the trigger. And of course the grips. My dad had to have special grips made for him as he had large hands. It was his duty weapon. He was LE in the early 1960's

    On the right hand side of the frame below the revolver assembly and above and to the right of the trigger assembly mine is stamped as follows.

    MADE IN U.S.A.
    MARCAS REGISTRADAS
    SMITH & WESSON
    SPRINGFIELD, MASS.

    What is up with the Spanish on my Made in USA S&W .357 revolver?

    I would post pics but I need to figure out how to operate the camera and transfer the pics to the computer.


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  3. #3
    Checkman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CTR man View Post
    Nice revolver. Very similar to the S&W .357 that I inherited from my dad upon his passing. It is a 19-2. I guess S&W kept their designs similar.

    The Heavy Duty is a large frame revolver. The same size frame that the famous "Dity Harry" 44 magnum revolver (the Model 29) is built on. After WWII S&W put an S before the serial number on all large frame revolvers. Sometime in the 1960's (the exact date has slipped from my memory) the prefix was changed to an N. All large framed revolvers are called N frames by S&W buffs. There is a bigger frame now called the X frame. It was introduced in 2002.

    The N frame, K frame, J frame and L frame all have the same internal design. There are a few exceptions. But there are differences depending on when a respective gun was made. For example Smith changed the action in 1947. Before 1947 all the revolvers are known as "long action/throw" models. Those made after 1947 have the "short action/throw".

    The 19-2 means that your dad's revolver is a Model 19 with the second engineering change. When Smith makes an enginnering change to a model that is deemed to be pretty major the company gives it a dash.

    Would you know from the serial number when these revolvers were made? Also, mine has a K before the serial number. What does this mean? K-frame?

    K frame revolvers are mid-size revolvers. The vast majority of S&W revolvers carried by cops (across the globe) during the 20th century were and still are K frames. The most famous K frame models would have to be the Model 19 .357 magnum and the Model 10 38 special. A strong third would be the Model 15 Combat Masterpiece in 38 special. PM me the serial number and I can give you a general date of birth. However it will only say when it was produced. It might have sat in a storage area for a couple years before being assembled and shipped. That's where you pay S&W $50 for a factory letter.

    The only physical differences that I can tell are the sights and maybe the trigger. And of course the grips. My dad had to have special grips made for him as he had large hands. It was his duty weapon. He was LE in the early 1960's

    I'd like to see a photo. Sounds like your dad might of had Jordan Trooper grips.

    On the right hand side of the frame below the revolver assembly and above and to the right of the trigger assembly mine is stamped as follows.

    MADE IN U.S.A.
    MARCAS REGISTRADAS
    SMITH & WESSON
    SPRINGFIELD, MASS.

    What is up with the Spanish on my Made in USA S&W .357 revolver?

    Beats me. They went with that logo in the late forties I believe. Let me get my S&W Standard Catalog off of the shelf and I can tell you more.

    I would post pics but I need to figure out how to operate the camera and transfer the pics to the computer.
    No problem. I can go on and on about S&W revolvers if you don't tell me to shut up. Heck my wife does it all the time.

  4. #4
    CTR man's Avatar
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    Thanks for sharing your knowledge. I guess that what I have is pretty common, then. I wonder why my dad didn't go with the larger frame.

    From what I can tell you about the grips they are wood and come clear up to the trigger guard and revolver housing release and up to the boss below the trigger. They go about 3/4" below the frame and have a mother of pearl inlay in the shape of an elongated diamond where they screw on to the frame.

    You must be with S&W revolvers as I am to early model 64 1/2 to 73 Ford Mustangs.

    I used to own a couple and could go on and on about them. Wife tells me to shut up all the time.


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  5. #5
    Checkman's Avatar
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    Your dad went with the K frame for a couple possible reasons.

    One was that it was issued to him perhaps?

    The other reason is the K frame models are lighter and smaller. Just easier to carry around all day. My dad said that when his agency went from the N frame Model 28 to the K frame Model 65 in 1979 it felt like he had traded an anchor for a nerf football.

    The N frame is bigger and alot of folks have trouble shooting it. The K frame is friendlier to folks with smaller hands.

    I don't have large hands either, but I've learned how to compensate. I like the N frames but the K frames are easier to carry. Hey I carry a GLOCK 19 as my duty weapon and I love it. Compact, light, easy to shoot. what more do I need?

  6. #6
    CTR man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Checkman View Post
    Your dad went with the K frame for a couple possible reasons.

    One was that it was issued to him perhaps?

    The other reason is the K frame models are lighter and smaller. Just easier to carry around all day. My dad said that when his agency went from the N frame Model 28 to the K frame Model 65 in 1979 it felt like he had traded an anchor for a Nerf football.

    The N frame is bigger and alot of folks have trouble shooting it. The K frame is friendlier to folks with smaller hands.

    I don't have large hands either, but I've learned how to compensate. I like the N frames but the K frames are easier to carry. Hey I carry a GLOCK 19 as my duty weapon and I love it. Compact, light, easy to shoot. what more do I need?
    The only thing I think that you would need is reliability. Which I hear the Glock has. Otherwise why would so many LE agencies use them? I hear the Glock has some plastic or polymer components thus making it lighter. I have never shot one, though. I just wish the price of ammo would go down and more plentiful so that I can go shooting again. I have a standing offer with PGG to go shooting if I ever can afford the ammo.

    If it was issued to him, why would he get to keep it? Maybe he bought it from the dept, who knows? Seems to me that he would have had to turn it in. Nevertheless, I am glad to have it. It is one of the few things of his that I have to remember him by. I had to bust open the lock box to get to his guns after he had passed on.

    Perhaps, he went with it for weight reasons like you say. He was 6'1" and 165. A bit on the thin side if you ask me. Although when he went with the grips that were supplied with the weapon, he had problems. Thus having to go with the larger grips. All I know as a testament to the size of his hands is at the age of 14 he was able to put me into a wrist lock with one hand over both wrists because he thought I was going to take a swing at him. Thing is, I thought I was going to get hit so I was covering my face. I felt like my wrists were in a vise cranked down as hard as it would go without crushing them. This was in 1978, long after he had quit reserve LE work for a federal USDA position. I guess his police training kicked in.


    Choose The Right. When you're doing whats right, then you have nothing to worry about.

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    In memory of Sgt. Howard K. Stevenson 1965 - 2005. Ceres Police Dept.
    In memory of Robert N. Panos 1955 - 2008 Ceres Police Dept.









  7. #7
    TXCharlie's Avatar
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    Nice!!!

    I have my father's barely-used S&W K-22 (in .22LR) that looks a lot like that. It's probably the highest-quality gun I have.

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  8. #8
    Checkman's Avatar
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    My father was an Idaho State Trooper for twenty-one years (1973 - 1994) and he has all three of the handguns that were issued to him when he worked for ISP. The first two (Models 28 & 65) he purchased when the agency switched models. The third one (S&W Model 4586) was given to him by the state when he retired in 94.

    It still isn't unusual for agencies to sell or give issued handguns to officers when they change models or the officer retires. I was issued my Glock 19 a few years ago and it was brand new. I have every intention of purchasing it whne the time comes.

  9. #9
    Checkman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TXCharlie View Post
    Nice!!!

    I have my father's barely-used S&W K-22 (in .22LR) that looks a lot like that. It's probably the highest-quality gun I have.
    The K-22 is a great model. And the fact that it shoots 22LR makes it one you can shoot often. Take care of it. Though I probably don't need to say that do I.

  10. #10
    keith720's Avatar
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    I bought a pristine condition model 28 a few months ago. It came with a Border patrol style holster, but there is little to no wear on the pistol itself. I carry a G-22, but was started on revolvers and have always had an affinity for them. I showed it to one of the guys I work with, and he said he could picture me carrying it. I think he meant it as a compliment?
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  11. #11
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    Just located a S&W mod 25 "1955" 45 acp target. 6 inch pinned barrel, 4 screw and "N" prefix. The Hogues went into the gun show box (anyone need a set of N frame Hogues?) for a set of uncheckered oversize factory wood grips. Now to find the ammo can with the 45 auto-rim handloads..........

    I had the opportunity to look at the ISP issue 45 auto in Lewiston circa 1991. The ISP Sgt who carried it liked the handling and performance.



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  12. #12
    Checkman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sgtbear111 View Post
    Just located a S&W mod 25 "1955" 45 acp target. 6 inch pinned barrel, 4 screw and "N" prefix. The Hogues went into the gun show box (anyone need a set of N frame Hogues?) for a set of uncheckered oversize factory wood grips. Now to find the ammo can with the 45 auto-rim handloads..........

    I had the opportunity to look at the ISP issue 45 auto in Lewiston circa 1991. The ISP Sgt who carried it liked the handling and performance.


    My father was on the firearms selection team in the summer of 1990. The teams first choice was the Sig P220 in 45 acp, but that was deemed to be too expensive. The Smith was the next choice.

  13. #13
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    I wish I had my first issued S&W M10 in 1972. I had to give it up to the auto transfer era. I assume you are a member of the S&W forum. Very knowledgable guys over there.
    As today's police officers you are not unlike your counterparts of years past. You are an elite group of select members, a brotherhood of highly trained professionals, who are called upon to protect your community in a time of need. Guardians for safety. Being a police officer is not for the faint of heart. You must be honest, trustworthy and fearless in the face of evil. You are being watched everyday. Represent yourself, your department and the shield, for it should always be the embodiment of all that is good and justly. You are the thin blue line. Be proud, be tough and be safe.

  14. #14
    Checkman's Avatar
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    Yep I'm a member over there.

  15. #15
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    Beautiful gun, Checkman, congrats on the purchase
    Arm the sheep!

  16. #16
    Checkman's Avatar
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    Thank you mam.

  17. #17
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    I have a 44 S&W special that breaks open like a Webley. The wooden grips have 1914 on them and I've thought about getting it reblued, but most advise me against it. I've checked with the factory and had questions about it answered from one of their techs. The gun was made the same year that my late father was born. Just thought that it would be interesting to post.

 

 

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