Happiness is a New Blue S&W Centennial


July 9, 2008, 09:29 PM
Just picked up my newest addition to my collection, a S&W "classic collection" 40-1 in Blue.

I love that its a new production centennial.

I love the metal to metal fit and deep blue finish.

I'm not so sure about that grip...this is my first j-frame and me and that grip are not getting along. With that grip safety I am having to squeeze my lemon squeezer more than I would like to, and am not always releasing the safety on every squeeze, especially on my off hand.

And sometimes I'm getting a little trigger finger pinch on the trigger/trigger guard.

I am going to order up a tyler-T grip adapter to see if a little more grip is enough to fix things, They seem to be on all the 40's I 've seen pics of. If that doesn't help I'll see if I can find a reasonable gunsmith to put in a retro pin to lock down the safety, from what I understand that is how it used to be.

But those are all Me issues, the gun is great, just the size and quality I wanted in a true pocket revolver.

Here are some pics my dealer took before He shipped it:





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July 9, 2008, 10:24 PM

That's one beautiful gun you've got there. Way back when, when most snubbies were hard to come by, the Model 40 Centennial (as well as the lightweight Model 42), was The Snubbie to have. Great aquisition of a great classic.

July 9, 2008, 10:28 PM
Congrats! May she serve you well.

Sweet looking gun.


July 9, 2008, 10:32 PM
Love the 40's! Let us know how you get along with the grip safety as you shoot it some more. Does it "bite" ever when firing? I've heard it can.

I'm seriously lusting after a nickel model 40 at my local shop.

July 9, 2008, 11:07 PM
I've been wanting one of those for awhile. How much did you pay for it?

July 9, 2008, 11:28 PM
I have one on order- first new S&W revolver I'll buy in 9 years. Wait, I did buy a 329 stinker and got rid of it quick!

July 9, 2008, 11:36 PM
That is a sharp looking gun! Good buy!

I want to see the nickel 40-1. I would be severely tempted, I think.

What is the reason that S&W didn't put an integrated lock on it? Anyone know?

.38 Special
July 10, 2008, 12:03 AM
Because it's already got a "safety".

BTW, it's not technically a "lemon squeezer". No less an authority than Roy Jinks says the name belongs to the New Departure gun and no other. </nitpick>

July 10, 2008, 08:47 PM
Local shop has both blue and nickle. Until you see these in person, it is hard to believe how nicely they're done. Nothing this nice has come out of Springfield since the early 60s, IMO.

July 10, 2008, 10:45 PM
Me and that "safety" are still getting acquainted. In the mean time a fellow on another board told me in the 60's & 70's He saw NYPD detectives rubber band the grip, holds down the safety and gives some nice cushion...pre-Pachmayers.

Me being a little flat on funds currently did it and I like it! It does all that is advertised and to my color blind eyes it looks Coyote Tan from a distance (Up close it looks like 10 rubber bands wrapped around my Altamont Walnut grips. ;)).

I will most definitely be looking for a gun smith to drill and pin the safety for a clean look, but in the mean time it'll work and get me a couple of range trips in.


July 11, 2008, 12:08 AM
I will most definitely be looking for a gun smith to drill and pin the safety for a clean look, but in the mean time it'll work and get me a couple of range trips in.
You're talking about disabling the safety, right?

Will a gunsmith do that in this day and age?

.38 Special
July 11, 2008, 12:11 AM
I'll bet there are some gunsmiths that will do it. I'd also bet that you'll likely be turned down repeatedly until you find one.

Personally I think I would just do it myself, in the garage with the drill press.

Actually, personally I think I would leave it alone. I'm trying really hard to talk myself out of buying one of these nice little guns in nickel, as another .38 snub is about the last thing I need, but I guess that's neither here nor there...

July 11, 2008, 12:48 AM
So the repros don't have the frame lock? I thought I saw that the repro model 60's did.

July 11, 2008, 01:28 AM
Happiness is a par of New Blue S&W Centennial's

July 11, 2008, 10:20 AM
I had one when they first came out. It was a nickeled version. It was a very attractive revolver and the fact that it didn't have the infernal lock on it made me very happy. I did some dry fire at home and found that when I rapidly drew it from under clothing from a concealment holster, I frequently didn't depress the grip safety and the revolver didn't function until I adjusted my grip. Sadly, I came to the conclusion that the pretty little revolver might get me killed if I ever had to use it for serious social interaction. I was VERY disappointed. I traded it for a Colt DS.

Based on my experience, I would say to try that test at least a few hundred times and if you muff it, don't carry it. The alternative might be to disable the grip safety. I would be a bit leery of this in a carry weapon. I think the problem I had with the grip safety was the reason why when the Centennial models were brought back by S&W the grip safety was eliminated...

July 11, 2008, 10:50 AM
Interesting counterpoint. I handled one yesterday (in Nickel, of course!) and I did find the grip safety a little odd. It wasn't like a 1911 grip safety, which I have absolute faith in... This one still sticks out even when depressed. I left with much the same thought as Frizzman; I wondered if I'd automatically engage it under duress.

Unfortunately they didn't have any 36's in nickel. Just color case and blue. The color case turned me off when I saw it on S&W's site because of the lack of history of CC in the j-frame... But in person it was actually quite cool. Cheaper than the blue 36 next to it, too. I left to think it over...

I don't really need another j-frame. But I do want one. LOL

Old Fuff
July 11, 2008, 10:54 AM
Don't go drilling holes in your new toy - it isn't necessary. :eek:

If you (or better yet, a qualified gunsmith) pop off the side plate you will find that the lever on the back of the grip pushes on a small lever on the inside. This lever in turn moves to either block or unblock the hammer. If the smaller lever is removed the grip safety will function as before, but cannot block the hammer.

To remove this lever you have to drive out a pin, take out the lever, and replace the pin. Then reassemble the sideplate. Put the lever in a safe place, and it can always be put back to restore the revolver's original condition.

The grip safety is desended from an earlier top-break design dating from about 1887. Smith & Wesson used as a sales point in their advertising, saying the the gun was absolutely safe to carry in a pocket, and if a small child found it they couldn't fire it because they lacked the hand strength to both depress the safety and pull the double-action trigger.

In early models 40 - 42 it tended to pound the palm of one's hand when .38 Special cartridges were fired, and served no useful purpose. S&W finely discontinued it. I think the current "classic" reproduction is more intended for collectors then serious shooters.

But in any case enjoy your new gun, but for the sake of your hand, do use care in selecting ammunition.

July 12, 2008, 12:00 AM
^ Good stuff Fuff! Thanks for the tip. :)


July 12, 2008, 01:06 AM
I think the current "classic" reproduction is more intended for collectors then serious shooters.

I was wondering about that - my blue "new 40" has probably the nicest polish and blue of any S&W that I've seen. The grips on mine were something of a disappointment as they "float" above the frame above the grip frame proper but at least they'll not mark up the frame polish.

Sure doesn't look like their "matt finish" products, though. It's really pretty nice.

Old Fuff
July 12, 2008, 01:21 AM
I should have made myself more clear... :o

I met to say that the grip safety, which was O.K. on the old top-break series of Safety Hammerless revolvers chambered in .32 S&W and .38 S&W; proved to be a hand-pounder when .38 Special cartridges came along in the early models 40 and 42. The safety stuck out in a manner that could become downright painful. That, and addtional costs associated with extra machine cuts on the backstrap caused S&W to drop the safety, and most buyers were happy to see it go.

The current "classic" revolvers returned to the safety, but I suspect that shooters who buy this version will soon learn to dislike it.

Other then that it is a very satisfactory product for any use the owner might put it to.

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