Anybody buying the classic Smiths?


August 4, 2009, 03:32 AM
I was wondering if anybody is buying Smith and Wesson's line of classic revolvers? I bought the 50th anniversary model 29 and I really like it. It's far more accurate than I am. I'm also thinking about buying the model 57. I will take a blued gun over a stainless gun any day. I'm wondering if these guns are gonna be around awhile because quite a few people seem to be on an anti-S&W kick at the moment.

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August 4, 2009, 03:46 AM
Anybody buying the classic Smiths?
Not to start this all over again but not as long as they have a ugly hole in the sideplate. (and of course the prices are also prohibitive)

August 4, 2009, 05:38 AM
I think the two you are talking about are the pick of the lot. I have seen one of the cased 29's Anniversary models and it was quite impressive. I ran it through a check-out with feeler gauges and a micrometer and it was an impressively built gun. The 57 would be the next most interesting one to me.

The only flaw on these I have is the grips. The lock can be removed, the hole tapped and rebated and a sideplate screw fit that actually adds class to it. I am willing to do that if I find a lock model that I find priced right and well built. But the thing that does annoy me is the grip arrangement. They are not hand fit to the guns, and there are always gaps and areas of mis-alignment on the Magna and service stock supplied guns. They just look cheap. The target equipped guns don't have this problem as they cover the grip straps, so that makes them fit better without having to add extra effort. But the magna and service stock equipped guns just aren't up to snuff.

The Lew Horton series was particularly disappointing, as they remade classic N-frames on square butts, but with sloppy fitting Magna stocks and non-standard and ill-advised 3" barrels. They should have made them either 3.5" or 4" to be actually "classic" (as well as aesthetically pleasing and having good handling) and made the stock fit correctly.

I think the one you have and the one you have your eye on are nice guns. Others I'm less hot for. But as an exercise, you should price a true classic 57 against what you would pay new for this one. You may find them the same, if you are willing to hunt for an ANIB or very mint 57 pre-lock.

August 4, 2009, 07:38 AM
I bought on the of M40 Centennial Classics. It has no lock, and it works just fine. I only wish it included the hole and pin to deactivate the grip safety.

August 4, 2009, 08:12 AM
Just picked up a 1948-51 M&P.. an original classic. :cool:

August 4, 2009, 08:18 AM
I bought the M21 Classic 44 special last year and love it. Yes, it is nickel plated and I wish it were blued, but for the price I paid, I stole it. Had to replace the grips cuz the gun would rotate 90 degrees in my hand when I fired it. Bought the replacement grips from Midway. Had it a year and have put maybe 600 rounds down range.

August 4, 2009, 08:22 AM
Not I......

August 4, 2009, 09:43 AM
Nope. No point in buying an imitation when I can get the real thing for less money.

Thaddeus Jones
August 4, 2009, 09:56 AM
No. I don't pay more for substandard knock offs when the REAL S&W's are available for less money.

August 4, 2009, 10:37 AM
I paid $625 for this 22-4 and the last original 1950 I saw sell went for $2,400.

No, it's not as nice as an original 1950, but it cost about 1/4 as much and I shoot it without worrying about it.

The lock? I ignore it. All S&W revolvers made before 1945 had a hole in the left side. Big deal.

August 4, 2009, 09:50 PM
In the area where I live, buying older guns just isn't an option. The only guns you ever see are really, really beat. I've been looking for 5 years for an old model Smith 29 and I've never seen one. I've seen 2 anacondas (one of which was so damaged, the price was insulting) but I've never once seen a used model 29. The very few examples of old smiths I've seen that I would buy were all on gunbroker, and priced just as high or higher than the new guns.

August 5, 2009, 12:55 AM
IF only that "hole" would go. I would go back to buying Smith & Wesson. I am going to pickup a M40 because it does not have the ILS.

I understand that people have few if any problems with the ILS. I just think it is ugly, and I do not buy ugly.

.38 Special
August 5, 2009, 01:02 AM
I have a couple. They're decent, but they both needed some fairly serious "fixing" out of the box. If they'd been bargains I would have been okay with it, but $1000 revolvers need to be perfect from the factory.

I'm very tempted by several other models in the "classic" line-up, but my experience so far has kept from going for any of them.

August 5, 2009, 01:12 AM
The only "classic" smith and wessons that were ever made were made 50+ years ago. What they sell today is mearly a copy in the same way everybody copies the old Colt SAA.

August 5, 2009, 01:20 AM
I will never buy anything if I can help it from Smith & Clinton.

Would rather send my money to Sarah Brady...she is more sensitive to the RKBA

August 5, 2009, 03:14 AM
I just think it is ugly, and I do not buy ugly.

August 5, 2009, 04:39 AM
In the area where I live, buying older guns just isn't an option. The only guns you ever see are really, really beat. I've been looking for 5 years for an old model Smith 29 and I've never seen one.
Did you ever consider online auction sites or buying from forum classified listings or a private sale? No need to wait 4 years for a revolver that's available outside your area. Their FFL sends it to your FFL and you have the gun you want... Auction Arms ( has a lot of nice guns and you can sometimes find a good deal too. I didn't mention Gun Broker because the prices there seem to be very high. For some reason the buyers there tend to bid the prices up too high IMO.

August 5, 2009, 07:33 AM
For my tastes, they went a little too far back with their styling. I do not like the skinny barrels. And then of course there's that lock...

Tim Pierce
August 5, 2009, 09:00 AM
I too bought an original classic- Model 27-2 in 99% condition for 680.00.

August 5, 2009, 01:11 PM
I am seriously considering buying a classic model 17... but I could prolly buy an older one in nice shape for less =/


August 5, 2009, 01:22 PM
Just traded for a pre-lock model 13 in blue with a 3" barrel DA only from the factory. Made about 1994. Wasn't sure how I would like DA only, but this thing is butter smooth. Also like the 3" barrel on this model. It is my understanding that they didn't make a lot of the 3" M13's.

August 5, 2009, 02:38 PM
I cannot speak for the other Classics, but my M40 Classic is as nice an S&W as any other I have owned, up to and including my 1948 K-22 Masterpiece. I got a good price on it compared to an original used M40, all of which crossed my path looked well and truly beaten.

Are the Classics good deal? In some cases, yes. If you want an M24, the prices for the older guns are often higher than the M24 Classic's street price. On the other hand, the M17 Classic is way high compared to excellent condition K-22s. In addition, the recent Lew Horton Heritage M17s, which are sans lock and sans MIM, are still out there. I bought two of those and a McGivern M15 Heritage when CDNN closed them out for Lew Horton.

August 5, 2009, 03:12 PM
The lock? I ignore it.
Sometimes it refuses to return the favor.

August 5, 2009, 04:02 PM
This has a hole in the left side similar to the lock equipped guns. Ugly?

This one ugly too?


Really, we need to get over this thing with the "hole."

August 5, 2009, 07:03 PM
Gorgeous revolvers. You have some really, really great examples of S&W's best.

Is the top one a Registered Magnum?

August 5, 2009, 08:10 PM
Hey Saxon Pig...lets see some pics of your revolvers with a Hillary Hole

August 5, 2009, 09:32 PM
If I had a fistful of extra $100 bills on hand, I'd probably get one of those case-colored M1917s.

August 5, 2009, 09:37 PM
Not while the original guns are cheaper.

August 5, 2009, 10:49 PM
G- Only have one (22-4) and I posted it earlier in the thread.

SlimJim- We are rapidly approaching the point where original S&Ws are not cheaper than the newly manufactured ones. I see M27s going for $1,000+ all the time.

August 5, 2009, 10:55 PM
Only have one (22-4)

One too many

August 6, 2009, 01:08 AM
I've been somewhat wary of buying guns via the internet but I'm thinking of trying it once to see how it goes.

August 6, 2009, 10:59 AM
I came close to buying one, but I am holding off.

I think the concept of a big bore (44 Spl and 45LC) fixed sight revolver is an excellent idea.

The "Bug Screw" on the right side of the revolver, holding in the sideplate, is a step backwards. It make look retro, but it is in fact retrogressive. I have had the things unscrew and fall out in period pieces. The less parts the better.

I cannot understand the desire to have the old "coke bottle" grips. They were always uncomfortable and were one of the first things to be replaced.

August 6, 2009, 05:13 PM
I will not buy a S&W made after 1999.I do not like the lock or the switch to MIM:barf: poop internals.The cost on the new models is way too high IMHO.If they made them like they used to,then they could be called a classic.

August 6, 2009, 08:00 PM
I bought one.

Bass Pro Shops had marked several of the Classic Models down as they were not selling.

This 1917 color case hardened was marked down to $649 from $1049.

August 7, 2009, 11:00 AM
What's "CLASSIC" about MIM parts, a frame mounted firing pin and the dreaded ILS. :cuss: Classic Clinton maybe.

To me they are just modern Smith and Wesson revolvers with a bigger price tag because they kinda/sorta/maybe resemble the real thing. This is nothing but a pathetic marketing ploy by Smith and Wesson to get young folks, most of which who don't have a freaking clue what real craftsmanship is, to put the Gameboy down and buy a new revolver. IMO Smith and Wesson has some big balls to try and even pass them off as re-creations of the models they represent.

The new Smiths in general are capable, decent quality, cheaply mfgr'd (for max profit) revolvers. They will do the job but they are in no way comparable to a pre war gun and IMO hardly comparable to Bangor Punta guns. If Smith and Wesson wants to build new fangled Scandium/Titanium revolvers with cast pot metal internals and uneeded saftey/auto engaging disabling devices, then that is what they should stick to making. Don't take that unnecessary sub standard crap, slap it into a N Frame, mark it up to $1100.00 and tell me it's just like a US 1917.

As long as a real one is even functional and for sale (at any price), I'll prefer it over one of the new "CLASSIC" Smith's. I won't say I'll never buy one because if the price is right I would but the price is going to darn near have to be give away before I spent a dime on a "CLASSIC" Smith.

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