Terry Murbach's Trail Masterpiece


August 16, 2003, 11:30 PM
Terry Murbach wrote about this gun (really a 3" Mod 60) a few years ago. The article was on sixgunner.org, but that site is no longer available. Does anyone have a copy stashed somewhere?


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August 17, 2003, 01:37 AM
Terry a member here.
Likely he will see this thread and mayhap respond with a rerun.


August 17, 2003, 05:37 AM
If all else fails, you can drop him a line at Terry@corbon.com . He will likely check it on Monday morning when he gets to work. I have a copy of his original article on that gun in Petersen's Handguns from several years ago. The only problem is that I am currently in Korea and the article is at home in storage (unless the soon-to-be-ex has burned it...)

The Mighty Beagle
August 17, 2003, 08:23 AM
Hey, just curious - isn't this the same guy who supposedly convinced Smith & Wesson to start putting heavy lugged barrels on the later K-22 and K-38 models? (I can't remember the respective model numbers).

I seem to recall a big stink over that, though I may have gotten my gunrag writers mixed up.

I think it was "Handguns" magazine whose editor lambasted him for it. I found it unusual and unprofessional, and felt sorry for the writer.

Just wondering if I'm remembering correctly ....

August 17, 2003, 12:30 PM
I just e'd the thread to him. :)


August 17, 2003, 12:37 PM
Thanks. I hadn't gotten around to emailing him myself.


August 17, 2003, 01:29 PM
I rememeber that Model 60 Article. It promted me to get one of them. Last i heard, Terry still had his.

He also had a 3" adj sighted .32 long made up and published a pretty comprehensive load table with it.
I don't remember him being lambasted by any editors . Terry himself is a master of lambastitude when riled and it would quickly deteriorated into a question of who was the lambastor and who the lambastee.

August 17, 2003, 03:29 PM
I wanna see that .32 Long load table! I'm kinda scared to hot rod that caliber, i'd like to see some 3" data. I got a few month's back an original Mod 36-1 3" adj. sight "chief's special target" .38, CHEAP! It does not have the heavy barrel like the later 60's do , but it will suffice as it is VERY accurate. :D :D :D

August 17, 2003, 04:25 PM
I have been trying, in vain, to get Terry to take up the pen and start writing again. Too bad. He writes informative, detailed articles that are also entertaining. I have a copy of that .32 article as well. Very good info.

August 17, 2003, 04:34 PM
Were there a lambasting contest...
My money would be on Terry.
From what I have seen.
He good....and makes sure right is on his side.
He has moved mountains for me.


August 17, 2003, 04:39 PM
Terry's .32 long loads were fairly sedate actually. had a wide selection of them though.

August 17, 2003, 06:13 PM
where can I down load them please!:confused:

Old Fuff
August 17, 2003, 07:15 PM

Factory .32 S&W Long (.32 Colt New Police) loads are very modest because of the large number of H&R and Iver Johnson top-break revolvers that are around, most of which were made during the late 1890’s or early 1900’s.

If you have a modern S&W or Colt hand-ejector or one of Ruger’s neat Single Six’s chambered for this cartridge you can safely up the load. However never put one into an old top-break. It is quite safe too duplicate .32 H&R Magnum performance, but not with the same powder charge recommended for it because the regular .32 case is slightly shorter.

August 17, 2003, 08:01 PM
Oh, btw, the reason I want this article is because my wife, who has decided to buy her first gun, determined that she likes the 3" Mod 60 the best out of all of the guns we've considered. The 3" model had the best balance.

we looked at:
2" and 3" j-frames
3" GP100
2" Taurus 44special Total Ti (she did like the idea of throwing bigger bullets than me)
Bersa Thunder 380 (she prefers the simplicity of a revolver)
2" and 3" SP101.

It helps that I already load 38 and 357mag. I can tailor loads for her wants/needs. We're going to start real low too. :)

Anyway, I thought she'd enjoy the article since it's something different than the many technical descriptions out there.


Wil Terry
August 18, 2003, 09:39 AM
Ye Gads, Sam, how the heck are you? Thought maybe you'd a melted in the A.T. heat. Been hotter than the hinges of hades up here too.
I do not have any copies of " Trail Masterpiece " articles. The first was in the '84 or '85 GUN DIGEST. Several were in HANDGUNS and HANDGUNNING after that plus quite a bit of information was also in HANDGUNS DIGEST [ 3rd edition??]
The original pistol was a S+W M36-1 to which I added target sights. It worked like a champ and was/is highly accurate. It is a great little trail gun.
The M36-6 and M60-6 in 38SPL were introduced later by S+W and were slick little fiveguns too.
My 2", 4", and 6" S+W 32LONG pistols were never referred to as " Trail Masterpiece " revolvers to the best of my recollection. I did put some loading data for these on sixgunner.org some years ago. Whereinell did that site go guys, I can't find it anywhere.
The underlugged barrels that S+W went queer for years ago had NOTHING to do with anything I wanted or requested. I always thought the whole idea had as much utility as mammories on a bull, and that included the original COLT PYTHON. Matter of fact I could never understand just why S+W went absolutley GA-GA over the whole danged idea other than some marketing guy sold 'em on the whole shebang to sell revolvers. If it sold more revolvers who am I to argue with that, go for it!!!
The M60 you want for your wife is the "LADYSMITH" in the 3" version.
The absolute best factory trailgun in a medium bore cartridge I've ever seen is the S+W M631 4" 32MAG.
I have never shot nor seen a M60 in 357MAG.

August 18, 2003, 09:52 AM

I assumed it was a model 60, but it could've been something else. What we saw was a j-frame, stainless 357mag with a 3" ported barrel, roundbutt grips (Uncle Mike grips), and adjustable sights. It had "Small Hunter" etched into the side.


The Mighty Beagle
August 18, 2003, 02:46 PM
Well then sorry for the mistaken identity, Terry. You pretty much summed up my feelings on the whole underlug issue, BTW.

August 18, 2003, 06:38 PM
I had always thought that the reason S&W went to full lugged barrels is that they were easier & cheaper to machine than the half-lugged barrel. Just need a milling table with two horizontal heads and you run a steel blank through and get the basic shape of the barrel cut into it sideways, then a vertical head to cut the slot for the extractor rod, then send it off for boring and rifling. I never have figured out just how you machine one of the old tapered, half-lugged barrels and end up with that graceful smooth round taper and the shroud underneath it.

edited for spelling

Bullet Bob
August 19, 2003, 06:18 PM
On the off chance you're still looking for the article, there's at least one version on page 203 of the 1986 Gun Digest.

August 19, 2003, 06:59 PM
The article (or a version of it) is also in the '84 Handguns Annual put out by Peterson.

I've been a fan of these little (3" J frame size) guns since first reading that article, and blame Terry for my ownership of a fair number of them in .22LR, .22WMR, 9mm, .38 and .357! :D

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