I've been packing my Registered Magnum.


November 18, 2006, 01:35 PM
I discussed this on the S&W forum and got mixed replies. Some folks thought I was crazy for carrying such a valuable gun while others applauded the panache in packing this classic revolver which was, after all, designed to be a fighting pistol.

I shot the gun at the range and it's one of my most accurate revolvers. The 4" barrel makes it barely usable for concealed carry (still too big and heavy, really) and I just like the feel of the gun. I admit to feeling a bit romantic about carrying a piece of history for personal defense.

A lot of guys are packing expensive pistols. I see custom 1911s offered at $2,000+ and I assume folks are packing some of these. Most of the other guns I routinely carry are worth considerable sums of money (although not as much as the RM) and while there's risks to any gun used for CCW (could be lost, stolen, damaged or confiscated after a shooting) I feel fairly comforatble packing a pricey pistol.

Do you actually carry a rare or expensive handgun? Would you?

If you enjoyed reading about "I've been packing my Registered Magnum." here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
Ron James
November 18, 2006, 03:33 PM
I would carry a expensive pistol, but not a rare one. A expensive pistol can be replaced or reconditioned. But a rare one, if you reblue the value drops in half, if you replace any exteral parts the values drops, the more you carry it the value drops. But your choice.

Heavy Metal Hero
November 18, 2006, 03:43 PM
Well I would hate to shoot someone with it. It won't be very romantic when it leaves your hands and goes into police custody.

Ben Shepherd
November 18, 2006, 04:41 PM
I agree with the above posters. Packing an expensive piece is fine. Packing something I can't replace? No way.

Even if *it* happens, and you're cleared of all charges, I'll bet it doesn't get treated the way you'd want in the evidence locker.

Now at a THR get together or a barbecue affair, I'd say wear it proudly in a very nice rig. In the open, the hell with concealed.:D

November 18, 2006, 05:04 PM
I carry a Kimber Ultra Carry II and for me, that WAS expensive!

I would not carry a rare gun, no. If you have to use it, it will go into the property room at the police station and you (1) will not see it for forever, and (2) it is NOT going to be cared for as well as you would. You will not get back the gun in the value it has when you give it to them, I don't think.

I carry that Kimber because it is so blooming accurate and because, if I really had to, I could grit my teeth and buy a replacement. For yours, I'm not sure that's an option.


November 18, 2006, 05:39 PM
Man, I'm sorry you guys live where you think the cops will keep or mistreat your guns. I've had several firearms that were taken into police custody for various reasons and all were returned without excessive delay and in fine shape.

I agree there is a difference between rare and simply expensive.

November 18, 2006, 05:47 PM
It was conceived as a weapon.
It was built as a weapon.
You're carrying it as a weapon.

Seems simple enough to me. All that pride and craftsmanship doesn't detract from this. Even the most priceless sword by today's measure was designed, in essence, to perform the same function as a sand-cast throwaway given to an illiterate, conscripted peasant. It's a weapon. It's being used within its design parameters.

I say good on ya. Unlike most collectors, you're at least honoring the spirit of what those artisans and craftsmen made. True poetry wrought in steel wasn't intended to sit in a vault.

Old Fuff
November 18, 2006, 06:55 PM
I wouldn't carry one that was mint/like new, but I take it that yours has some mileage on it. I would take into consideration that it would be dificult to replace if it was confiscated, which is always a possibility. But if you are confortable with the situation that's all that matters.

As for myself, I have little interest in carrying such a big hogleg unless it was chambered in .44 Special... :) Or I'd find a 3 1/2 to 4 inch model 27 and tote that.

November 18, 2006, 07:03 PM
I would absolutely carry it! This gun was made to last 100s of years - and at the time it was being made they didn't imagine them sitting in safes as collector's items - they were made to be shooters, and the best shooters available, at that.

Aw, you might get a little holster wear in the blue. Boo hoo. It's a carry gun! When you sit in your garage for 90 minutes at a time just staring at the gun are you really going to be enjoying yourself less because, aw, there's maybe after time, some wear to the blue? NO.

Please post some photos. I missed this thread at the S&W forum, but would love to see some pics of the finest Smith ever made.

November 18, 2006, 07:41 PM
It is yours. Do with it as you choose, and don't worry about what anyone else says.

Freedom, it's a wonderful thing.

November 18, 2006, 08:02 PM
People respond to stimuli at different rates, for different reasons. Some people would rather risk their life than risk an expensive possession.

I would not carry a gun that I would not be willing to drop from shoulder height, on command.

Whether you would hesitate for one split second to drop that gun from that height when a LEO has his Glock pointed at your COM will answer your question.

CSA 357
November 18, 2006, 08:09 PM
I see no reason not to carry it, I dont have a reg magnum but if i ever do i will be used, i dont have any guns that i cant use , enjoy it thats what its for sax! csa

November 18, 2006, 11:09 PM
XB- I would never drop a gun in the manner you have described. Even at gun point. Massad Ayoob has discussed this situation in print and suggested that as a safety measure you tell the officer clearly that you will set the gun down gently on the ground to avoid any chance of an AD by dropping it. If he's going to shoot me while I hold the gun between thumb and forefinger at arm's length then he will probably shoot me no matter what.

Here's the gun with a target I shot with it. Not a good photo. Still can't get the hang of lighting for digital photography.


Old Fuff
November 18, 2006, 11:31 PM
Nice gun and excellent target...

Turn off the flash, and go outside. If it's a bright, sunny day find a spot thats shaded. If its a coudy day your good to go. Either will reduce harsh shadows. You won't get the hot spots and burned out reflections that the flash causes.

Cocked & Locked
November 19, 2006, 12:29 AM
Without a doubt...I'd carry it, not at all times probably, but I'd have to carry it some! The cool factor is too high not to do so. :cool:

After all, it is a handgun made for defensive purposes.

Standing Wolf
November 19, 2006, 01:57 AM
If you're too chicken to carry an expensive gun, maybe you need to hire a bodyguard.

Ala Dan
November 19, 2006, 03:10 AM
I too carry a Kimber Stainless Ultra Carry II~!:uhoh: Not my most expensive
(my new Les Baer Thunder Ranch Special 1911 holds that distinction), or rare
but one that I feel real comfortable with.:cool: Guess if it got caught up in
"police custody" is stainless properties would help preserve it; 'till I could get
it back.;) :D

November 19, 2006, 03:38 AM
Forgive me, but there is no way I would ever carry a registered magnum. Ever. Never ever......

November 19, 2006, 01:06 PM
Interesting reading. My two primary carry pieces are rare but replaceable (pre-27 and a factory engraved 66-1), so I understand the original poster's situation. It would be a major drag to lose one, but the thrill of ownership includes using them for their designed purpose.

November 19, 2006, 04:41 PM
That pretty much somes it up.

Shot it again today and damn that gun can shoot. Much better than I can. Tried some 125@1500 loads and the gun loves them. Like 1.5" groups at dead center at 10 yards.

Going back to my 659 now. Maybe I'll pack the RM on formal occasions.

November 19, 2006, 04:54 PM
$1500, easy. I carry a homebuilt 1911 that cost me just a hair over $800, and my wife carries a $160 Mak. It's all relative.

November 19, 2006, 05:28 PM
I'm not sure how I'd feel about it, send it to me and I'll carry it for a few weeks and let you know. :D

November 19, 2006, 07:41 PM
I thought the pic was nice. Great gun! Those stocks look like they could really tell some stories. In fact, this gun screams "carry gun" to me.

November 19, 2006, 07:52 PM
I wouldn't CCW except fancy occasions ect. The problem stems from the amount of practice a CCW should really get to stay "qualified". I would NOT want to put that much wear on a fine old gun. Get a 27-2(or 3) with a 3.5" barrel, and use the same holster.;)

November 19, 2006, 08:05 PM
The first .357 Magnum was finished on April 8, 1935, and given to FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover. Jinks reports orders far exceeded the company's ability to produce guns, which was at a rate of about 120 per month. In 1938, the registration procedure was dropped after approximately 5,500 guns were made. The revolver continued in production until World War II converted S&W to war work. Total pre-war production was 6,642 guns. The magnum returned in late 1948. When S&W adopted model numbers in 1958, it became the Model 27.

No, there are guns out there just as good to carry without the history. :eek:

November 19, 2006, 09:53 PM
Creatain, there will never be any more of them. Go ahead and ruin it it's your investment, but I can say you do not deserve it IMHO

Brian Williams
November 19, 2006, 10:09 PM
Carry it, shoot it, have Fun.

November 19, 2006, 10:15 PM
and value obviously in the eyes of the beholder.
That gun reminds me of a katana-its purpose gives it soul.
carry at will if youre comfy with it.

Master Blaster
November 20, 2006, 10:01 AM
Did you ever find out if the original owner registered it????

Did you get a letter from S&W.???

I dont buy guns as collector items, I like to shoot all my guns, and If I buy an antique like my 1946 M&P I will fire it to get the feel of the old time hand fitting of the action.

If the registered magnum was mine, I would shoot it at the range occaisionally, but since its such a premium collectors item, I would refrain from carrying it. Carry puts too much wear on the pistol's original finish, and if it becomes damaged it could severly reduce the value of it since it is a RARE Collectors item.

If you want to carry a Heavy N-frame .357 magnum revolver, I would look for another model 27 a nice one can be had for $600-800 if its from the 60's, and carry that one instead, that way if it gets taken in a self defense shooting or it gets damaged you are only out a few hundred bucks, instead of a few thousand.


November 20, 2006, 05:33 PM
MB- A previous owner lettered the RM and I have it. One of 14 shipped to the Utah Highway Patrol (and so inscribed on the side plate) in 1938. They bought 50 total and a collector told me 2 are known to exist and the rest are unaccounted for at this time. Many if not most RMs went to police agencies and they just threw the certificate request forms away.

Thanks for suggesting that I purchase a 27 but I currently have seven of them (well, 5 M27s and 2 pre-27s) and I do carry one of them from time to time. I didn't carry the RM for lack of options.

I agree it's somewhat risky and probably not the wisest thing to do. But if I were truly a wise man I wouldn't have so much money tied up in guns.

November 20, 2006, 05:41 PM
Do you actually carry a rare or expensive handgun? Would you?No way, no how. I sold my PC-13 (The Very Serious Carry Revolver) after I decided I wasn't willing to risk the finish by toting it. Put it away.

November 20, 2006, 05:41 PM
I don't know if kudos are in order for carrying such a gun.

On one hand, it seems right to carry such a fine device as it was intended. However, the gun is rare and valuable. It offers insight into the gunner's crafts that can't or won't be reproduced today. It's a piece of history.

November 21, 2006, 02:06 AM
That thing was meant to be carried. If it represents no significant monetary loss if it is dinged or worn, go for it!

November 21, 2006, 02:15 AM
"...for me, that WAS expensive..." Exactly. The term 'expensive' is relative. Carry what you shoot best. Think in terms of a fighting gun, not how pretty or what it cost.

November 21, 2006, 09:42 AM
Gee, I guess I shouldn't bring up the fact that I used to take this .375 Cogswell & Harrison double rifle pig hunting, should I?


Old Fuff
November 21, 2006, 10:03 AM
It bothers me not at all ... :)

The chances of loss or damage while going pig hunting are far less then what might happen if you CCW a handgun, and then are forced to use it.

When I carry I presume that I may lose the gun. However this doesn't mean that I tote a junker. Obviously my neck is worth more then any gun. But if I can find a less expesive alternative without giving up performance I use it. As an example, a post-1972 Colt Detective Special rather then an early post-World War Two one. You apparently see things differently, but again it doesn't concern me because any loss - if it happens - will fall on you, not me.

November 21, 2006, 10:00 PM
It would be even better if you carried it around in a classic muscle car or on a Harley. I hope you'll get tremendous enjoyment from it.

November 21, 2006, 10:58 PM
I hope you also carry the registered magnum when you are pig hunting.

If you're not going to shoot 'em, you may as well be collecting stamps.

November 22, 2006, 04:11 PM
Sometimes I do carry while riding my old Harley.


November 22, 2006, 04:15 PM
That's why I pack Glocks. I wouldn't want to hurt or loose any of my other firearms! Loose a Glock, it can be replaced quickly and cheaply!

November 22, 2006, 06:56 PM
Heck, you paid for it. If you want to carry it, carry it. I would venture to say that the guys who assembled it at the factory would probably prefer it being used instead of locked up in a safe waiting for the next buyer with bucks. I'm sure there are better carry options out there, but I certainly wouldn't talk bad about your decision. Then again, my daily carry is a 1k pistol. I'm not worried about the cops taking it or roughing it up... if I have to use the thing I would probably be ecstatic over the mere fact I was still alive and probably wouldn't get too worked up over waiting a year or so to get it back. Plus, I can shoot it good as heck and it makes a good sized hole.

It's your safety, don't listen to people on the internet... they'll be here talking about you after the fact just like the cops will be lol.

James T Thomas
November 25, 2006, 01:00 PM
Life is brief; enjoy it while you can!
What makes you think your heirs will value and respect it when you're gone?

I have several firearms that belonged to my grandfather, and then to my dad, and now they sit gathering dust for the most part. I have no idea whether my sons will place any sentimental value on them either.

And I have no idea whether they will have appreciated in value beyond my time; or will be of financial value for my wife or boys, or even if they will get their hands on them. No one does know that kind of thing. We presume we do for the most part, when in actuality, when you are gone, all bets are off.

If you think you do, you may not have lived enough or long enough.

I would enjoy the gun.

November 25, 2006, 09:39 PM
A Registered Magnum just sold online for $5,750. Your piece is much more rare than the one that just sold. Forget about the price but just try and think how bad the loss would be if it were stolen or trashed!! Carry a replaceable gun that's similar so you won't chance the loss of that rare and beautiful piece of history. http://armchairgunshow.com/otsHAR_Smith_Wesson.htm

Bill B.
November 26, 2006, 09:53 AM
Carry it and enjoy! :)

If you enjoyed reading about "I've been packing my Registered Magnum." here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!