Range report, S&W M&P 1905 4th change


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firestar
July 31, 2003, 06:08 PM
This gun dates to the late 1920s based on reports I have got back. It was cheap and came with a good lockup and a bore that looked better than the rest of the gun. The finish looks bad but the mechanics are just fine.

I finally got to shoot it today and I was surprised! It has a 5" bbl and fixed sights but it shot to POA and was VERY accurate! I don't mean it was accurate for an old gun or it was accurate for a cheap gun, I mean this was accurate PERIOD!.

I hate the grips but they are original. I will put some better feeling grips on this gun and really see what I can do with it. Even with these bad grips, I was able to get extremly small 6 shot groups. When I concentrated and sat down (can't use the rest because there is a wasp's nest there) I was able to get one ragged hole groups at 7 yards. I shoot real close like this when i am seeing how good a gun can shoot and not how good I can shoot. At close range, I take as much of me out of it as possible and I have found it is a better way to tell the accuracy of a gun than shooting at 25 yards. At 25 yards, it is more about how well I am shooting that day than the inherent accuracy of the gun. I was shooting some handloads that I maid using LHBWC and 4.5 grains of Unique. They are about as accurate as average and nothing special but they do a decent job. I am not the best handloader and I think factory ammo is just as accurate as any I can make.

I guess i didn't expect much out of a 80 year old $99 gun but what i saw today really shocked me! I will shoot it again and as I get used to it, I will probably get even better. I intend to pit this M&P against my 6" M-19 to see which is more accurate. I shot my Ruger Speed Six next to the M&P and found that I got tighter groups with the M&P. The Speed Six is no slouch on accuracy but I have had really good luck with S&W revolvers.

The trigger is a tad heavy in SA but it breaks very clean. The sights are hard to see in the bright sunshine because they are nickel. The grips are a joke. The bbl is pencil thin. The trigger face is narrow. The gun is too light for target work. It recoils more than it should. The cylinder latch digs into my thumb during recoil. All those problems and I still shot well and had fun! This gun has some potential. I think a good set of grips and a trigger shoe will make this gun shoot much better.

So far, I would rank this M&P as the 4th most accurate handgun I have ever owned, i have owned lots so that should count for something. in case your interested, here is my list of most accurate handguns:
1. S&W 586 4"bbl
2. Chip McCormick Colt Comander Factory Racer
3. S&W M-19 6" bbl
4. S&W M&P

The three at the top are really close but I had to choose some kind of order.http://thehighroad.org/attachment.php?s=&postid=407270

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Old Fuff
July 31, 2003, 08:24 PM
It’s accurate …… Really? Even with too-small grips, a heavy trigger pull, and poor sights. Well that says something about the way they “used” to make guns.

Believe it or not, your gun was targeted at 20 yards with (then standard) 158 grain/LRN .38 Special loads. If it was off by very much it didn’t leave the factory. Back in the ‘20s primers weren’t as good as they are now so the mainsprings were thicker. You can improve the action and trigger pull by simply swapping a current stock S&W mainspring for the one that’s in the gun. DON’T LOSE THOSE ORIGINAL GRIPS! When you take them off you’ll find that one is serial numbered on the underside, and that number should match the one on the butt. If both grips are as good as they appear to be in the picture they are worth almost as much as you paid for the gun.

I suspect the inside lockwork may be covered with dirt, dry grease and lord knows what. If you haven’t done so yet it should be thoroughly cleaned are lubricated inside and out. That in itself will help. Resist the urge to “tune up the action.” A mistake will cost you big-time if you have to go looking for parts. No, the ones they make now don’t fit.

I don’t know if you plan too shoot it double-action or not. If you do you’ll find the narrow trigger works best because you’re finger can slide across the face during the long stroke.

Go ahead and enjoy the old-timer. It doesn’t have the kind of power everyone seems to want these days, but when it comes to hitting something you’ll find it does the job.

Richard2003
July 31, 2003, 09:00 PM
I have one from the same approx date and it too is a very accurate shooter even though I am not.
I got mine for $135 and it is in approx 80% condition.
I also have the original grips on mine.
I do not have the heart to replace them as it almost is like spoiling it to me.
This is the one gun that I like to take out of the safe a lot and just fondle.


<<<<This gun dates to the late 1920s based on reports I have got back. It was cheap and came with a good lockup and a bore that looked better than the rest of the gun. The finish looks bad but the mechanics are just fine.

I finally got to shoot it today and I was surprised! It has a 5" bbl and fixed sights but it shot to POA and was VERY accurate! I don't mean it was accurate for an old gun or it was accurate for a cheap gun, I mean this was accurate PERIOD!.

Dave Markowitz
July 31, 2003, 09:27 PM
firestar,

If those are the original grips, your gun is one of a few thousand made in the mid-1920s which lacks the S&W eustacheon on the grips.

I have a M1905 M&P, 4th Change lacking the eustacheons myself. Mine has an adjustable rear sight and a McGivern bead front sight. This was the precursor to the K-38 Masterpiece.

firestar
July 31, 2003, 09:37 PM
Old Fuff,
Thanks for the great reply. You gave me some good info. You know your M&Ps it sounds like. ;)

I am 28 but I have been shooting since I was 11. I am only recently getting really interested in revolvers. Most of my handguns have been autos but little by little, I am growing to see how good a revolver can be.

The nickel is original and the grips are numbered to the gun like you say. Also all the numbers match so I don't think is was messed with at all. I have already cleaned the gun, I did that the first night I got it. The action felt much better after I had cleaned and oiled it. When I said the trigger was a little heavy in SA, I really only meant compared to my my other revolvers. Compared to some autos, it is pretty nice. It breaks very clean which I have found to be more rare than finding a light trigger. Most modern auto triggers seem to have lots of creep to them. I am not going to bother with a new spring, it really doesn't need it as I am used to stock triggers anyway.

Just for fun, I am thinking about taking to my bullseye league and see how it does against my M-19. I feel like I am discovering something that everybody already knows about.:D

Old Fuff
July 31, 2003, 11:18 PM
firestar:

When you are going to the range take a wide, felt-tip/marker pen with you and dab a little black on those narrow sights. You'll do better, and the ink is easy to wipe off with a little solvent later. If you're shooting will be generally restricted to single-action bullseye punching by all means add the trigger shoe. But you might be missing something. The gun you have is the same kind that Ed McGriven used to do double-action speed shooting (5 shots in 3/5th of a second with hits you could cover with an outline of you're hand). In any case enjoy the gun, you can't do much better for ninety-nine bucks.

C.R.Sam
July 31, 2003, 11:37 PM
Nice catch Firestar.

Made even more nicer by havin those grips. Not only proper grips, havin the ones that came with the gun.

Totally agree with usin black marker on the sights.

Sam

coldshot03/04
July 31, 2003, 11:54 PM
Now thats Nice.;)

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