Would like to buy a "classic" S&W revolver


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sleepyone
December 4, 2012, 11:17 PM
Lately I have been considering buying an older S&W revolver. I already have a 4" 686 Plus that I absolutely love. It is a newer one with the lock, but it has perfect lockup and is extremely accurate. It has been my hunting sidearm since I bought it about three or four years ago. I would like to buy an older, 1970s or 80s?, blued S&W revolver in .357 and 4" barrel to go with my 686+. This will probably be a one-time purchase. I don't have the funds to build a collection of classic S&W revolvers (wish I did), so I want to make sure I make a wise purchase. This gun will be a range/hunting sidearm and not a safe queen, but I want to buy one that is in excellent condition as I take very good care of all my firearms. My budget would be about $750 max. I would like to get some advice from The High Road S&W revolver experts on which model would be a good fit based on the guidelines I have given. Thanks!

I would like to some pics of the model you recommend if possible.

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gspn
December 4, 2012, 11:34 PM
Model 586 and Model 27 come to mind. Depending on which "dash" you get they should fit into your criteria pretty well.

Driftwood Johnson
December 5, 2012, 12:18 AM
Howdy

I get a kick out of it when guys say they want an 'older' gun and then peg the date at the 1970s or 1980s. There is really no reason to limit yourself to those years if you want a nice 'older' Smith, although the prewar guns can be pretty pricy.

The classic S&W 357s are The 357 Magnum, later known as the Model 27, the Highway Patrolman, later known as the Model 28, and the Combat Magnum, later known as the Model 19. All the others are Johnny Come Latelys, at least in my somewhat snobbish opinion. :)

The 357 Magnum was the first revolver developed specifically for the 357 Magnum cartridge. It was built on the large, N frame. After S&W changed over to their model number system in 1957 it became the Model 27. This gun was the absolute top of the line with Smith, fancy checkering on the top strap and barrel rib, and a high polish finish. Unfortunately you will probably have trouble finding one in your price range, but you never know.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v495/Driftwood_Johnson/smith%20and%20wesson/Model%2027/IMG_0191_enhanced.jpg




The Highway Patrolman was the same basic gun but without the frills. Produced with a slightly matte finish, it was meant to be a more affordable gun. I would not be surprised if you could find one in your price range. After 1957 it became the Model 28. Don't be put off by the duller finish, some of them were almost as polished as a 27. You can see that this specimen has some shine to it.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v495/Driftwood_Johnson/smith%20and%20wesson/Model28_02-1.jpg




The Model 27 and 28 are both big, relatively heavy guns. In the 1960s, Bill Jordan lobbied S&W for a more lightweight duty gun chambered for 357 Magnum and the Combat Magnum, built on the K frame, was the result. It later became known as the Model 19. I bought this one brand, spanky new in 1975.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v495/Driftwood_Johnson/smith%20and%20wesson/Model_19-2.jpg



Here is a photo comparing the sizes of the Model 27 and the Model 19. Don't be confused by the over sized target grips ont he Model 19, it is the smaller gun.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v495/Driftwood_Johnson/smith%20and%20wesson/Models1927.jpg



And here is the reason for the size difference. Notice how much bigger the N frame cylinder is and how much more metal there is surrounding each chamber.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v495/Driftwood_Johnson/smith%20and%20wesson/cylinders-1.jpg

You should be able to find a nice 'older' Model 19 or 28 in your price range. You might get lucky and find a Model 27 you can afford.

P.S. All of the guns shown have 6" barrels, but they were available with 4" barrels too.

788Ham
December 5, 2012, 12:53 AM
Nice revolvers Driftwood ! Beautiful specimens !

wlewisiii
December 5, 2012, 12:54 AM
I hear you DJ. I don't have the same problems with modern made revolvers as some, but I'm well aware of how far back things go.

I'd suggest haunting your favorite gun auction site and use the search "Military and Police .38 special". I always liked the 4" barrel though others are fine. Do that and you'll get a revolver that is still stupid cheap bur remains one of the finest combat revolvers ever made.

The phrase "Pre Model 10" is always good news as well.

Victory Models are good but tend to be too well known so the prices are higher. You might get lucky though.

I don't usually go too far earlier except for break tops just because the action was changed for safety reasons after a Navy accident in the war.

Good luck.

lowercase
December 5, 2012, 01:00 AM
Model 27.

I need to get one to keep my Python (currently on layaway) company.

Model 19s are nice, too. I have a beater, ex-police model 19-3. I WISH that I could have owned it back when it was nice. I may send it in to S&W to get re-blued.

Guillermo
December 5, 2012, 01:09 AM
Sleepy

Please know that I am the bargain hunter. I take em with cosmetic issues and cheap prices.

There are SOOOO many great guns out there if you are willing to look.

The chase is half the fun.

BTW, if you don't have a 22 revolver, get a K22. Amazingly accurate, cheap to shoot.

Driftwood Johnson
December 5, 2012, 01:31 AM
I'd suggest haunting your favorite gun auction site and use the search "Military and Police .38 special".

Howdy Again

I agree the M&P and the Model 10 are terrific guns. I have a whole bunch of them. But they are 38 Special guns, and the OP said he wanted a 357 Mag.

But I agree, for the money, if you don't need a Magnum, you can't beat a nice old M&P for value today. At gunshows I usually have to squeeze past all the guys oogling the plastic guns whenever I spot an old K frame. So many don't know anything about how terrific these old guns are.

More for us.

wlewisiii
December 5, 2012, 02:11 AM
Must have missed that earlier. Sorry OP. That said, I'd still take a model 10 unless I really needed .357 capability - I was a cop or the like - but for 99.999% of the personal or home defense scenarios, a Model 10 will turn the trick.

When it won't you want a .45 Colt N frame anyway...

What?

;)

56hawk
December 5, 2012, 02:23 AM
I agree that the model 28 is your best bet. I picked one up super cheap. It's a little worn, but probably the best shooting 357 I own.

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=162416&d=1333934863

Bubba613
December 5, 2012, 09:15 AM
Model 10s were sometimes produced in .357. Or Model 13. Little high speed ammo for these guys but they're classics.

sleepyone
December 5, 2012, 09:16 AM
Thanks, Driftwood! That is a nice collection and a great history of the .357 models. I will also have to start paying more attention to the older M&P .38s at the gun shows. I'm probably one of those guys eying the plastic guns you had to squeeze by to look at the K frames. I just bought an M&P .40 4.25" Pro Series and an M&P .45 full-size to finish off my semi-auto collection. I already have a 642 and Ruger LCR .38 +P for my pocket pistols and now want some "vintage" .357s. I was born in '64 so I grew up watching movies and cop shows where all the guns were still revolvers except when the 1911 would make a rare appearance.

Can't wait for the Fort Worth Gun Show at the end of December!

Checkman
December 5, 2012, 12:05 PM
The Models 27, 28 or 19. Stay away from the early model 66's (1970's). They had problems.

On the early Model 66's the gas ring at the front of the cylinder would expand and push forward from the heat of firing full power magnums. As a result the cylinder would lock up. Smith moved the ring from the cylinder to the yoke, but then the inner axis was no longer protected from powder debris and there would be build up under he ejector star causing it to push out and jamming the cylinder from another direction. So then the ring got moved back but this time it was swaged into place instead of press-fitting it.

Personally I like the Model 28. It's a Model 27 without the fancy finish and therefore I don't worry about taking it out to the field. It's meant to be a field gun. So is the Model 27 but that finish is so pretty.

highpower
December 5, 2012, 12:20 PM
A Model 27 will probably be hard to find in the price range that you quoted. The Model 28's give up nothing to the the more highly finished 27's except the shine and are way more likely to turn up under $750.

Since you stated that you are looking for a S&W from the 70's or 80's, you may want to consider a Model 66. Basically it is a Model 19 in stainless steel. They are hot on the market right now, but I still see them in the $500 range.

I bought this 66 no dash a year or so ago for $350.
http://highpower.smugmug.com/Firearms/Smith-66/i-GfMj59Q/0/X2/IMG_1736-X2.jpg

BigJimP
December 5, 2012, 06:34 PM
If you want a blued gun....then I 2nd the opinion for an N frame ( model 27 or 28 ) ...probably a model 28 on your budget...a model 27, will be hard to find at that price - but no reason not to search for it...../ or a K frame (medium sized) in a model 19.....( the model 66's are all stainless - like the model 686 you have now).

I prefer the N frames ..../ over the K frames ...(you have an L frame in the 686 now )...but it depends on what fits your hands the best.

pendennis
December 5, 2012, 06:57 PM
Well, I've got three "older" Model 27's, spread by about 25 years.
http://i661.photobucket.com/albums/uu331/pendennis1947/25YearEvolution357Magnum.jpg

BYJO4
December 5, 2012, 07:47 PM
As already said, your needs can easily be filled with either a model 19, 27,
28, or 586. I think the choice depends some on your hand size. I have what I consider to be average size hands and find the k/L frame fits better.

rswartsell
December 5, 2012, 08:42 PM
Just a brief note. If you do consider .38's, the very sweet K-38 Masterpiece will fall into your range, later called Model 14 under the numbering system. It's 4" version, the Combat Masterpiece or Mod 15 is a sweeter action/finish than the Mod 10 and a "must have" for .38 spl. guys.

sleepyone
December 5, 2012, 11:45 PM
excellent thoughts and pics, guys. Thanks!

Probably the model 28 highway patrolman is more in my budget and will fill my need more for a gun that will see quite a bit of use. But it would be sweet to find a model 27 at a bargain price.

DurangoKid
December 5, 2012, 11:45 PM
This has been my favorite .357 Mag. over the years. This is a Mdl. 27 S&W 3.5":)

788Ham
December 6, 2012, 12:52 AM
rswartsell,

I just picked up a #15-4 at a GS this past weekend, very nice piece. Its been a while since I've owned a Smith, but this one stole my heart, and shoot, what a shooter! Chewed the center out of a target @ 15 yards, I was more than pleased then!

Pendennis, what a fine collection you've got sir !

Old Dog
December 6, 2012, 01:51 AM
4" Model 19-3. Superb timing and lock-up. Unparalleled accuracy. Purchased used, not so very long ago, from a small local shop for under $400. The Combat Magnum is, in my opinion, The One that one should own should one own only one ...
http://i1252.photobucket.com/albums/hh577/Beau360/DSCN0157.jpg

CajunBass
December 6, 2012, 10:22 AM
I guess I've owned most of the "classic" Smith & Wessons. 10's, 12's, 15's, 19's, 28's, 27's, including some of the "pre" models.

This is the one I elected to keep when I sold most of them off.

27-2, 3.5in.

http://i21.photobucket.com/albums/b292/CajunBass/handguns/100_0399.jpg

You can find them in your price range, but you have to look.

CommanderCrusty
December 6, 2012, 10:37 AM
Yes. Absolutely. I REALLY want a blue Combat Masterpiece .38 special, 4" with adjustable sights. It could be my "perfect" revolver. (On the other hand, my GP100 4" stainless is awfully nice too.)

ArchAngelCD
December 7, 2012, 03:17 AM
excellent thoughts and pics, guys. Thanks!

Probably the model 28 highway patrolman is more in my budget and will fill my need more for a gun that will see quite a bit of use. But it would be sweet to find a model 27 at a bargain price.
If it were me I would and did buy a real Classic instead of the new Classics S&W is pushing out.
You can probably find a 95%+ M28 for under $600 which is well within your budget.
Actually, there was a M28 for sale last year that cost only $495 so at that price you might be able to also buy a police turn-in M10 too!

I'm a huge fan of the S&W M&P revolver. Back in Nov. 2009 I bought a 1948 M&P privately for only $150...

http://i116.photobucket.com/albums/o26/ArchAngelCD/MP_1s.jpg

And here it is along with a Chief's Special. It just seems right they are together!
http://i116.photobucket.com/albums/o26/ArchAngelCD/M10-M36s.jpg

just for fun
December 7, 2012, 11:12 AM
Lately I have been considering buying an older S&W revolver. I already have a 4" 686 Plus that I absolutely love. It is a newer one with the lock accurate. I would like to buy an older, 1970s or 80s?, blued S&W revolver in .357 and 4" barrel to go with my 686+. This will probably be a one-time purchase. This gun will be a range/hunting sidearm and not a safe queen, but I want to buy one that is in excellent condition as I take very good care of all my firearms. My budget would be about $750 max. I would like to get some advice from The High Road S&W revolver experts on which model would be a good fit based on the guidelines I have given. Thanks!

I would like to some pics of the model you recommend if possible.I am far from being a expert and the older I get the more I realize what little I do know! With that said I would have to admit that I own both a 686+ and a 586 that was bought new in 85 (think it's a -1, would have to go look to be sure). Like you, my guns are for shooting and although I do enjoy the pristine Smith's on the S&W Forum, can't justify owning a "look-at-it" gun!
As much as I like the 586 (I'm a sucker for blued steel and wood grips) I would have to say the 686 is getting more and more range time. Mainly because I shoot it better! Not sure if it's the round grips or because it seems to have better balance. Both display accuracy way beyond my limited skills. It's just easier to hit the plates with the 686. Most shooting is done with reloads at 38+P ratings, that way I can stay at the range longer and shoot more. Would I be willing to sell the 586? NOPE!

sleepyone
January 19, 2013, 03:17 PM
I finally have some funds with which to purchase a "classic" S&W .357 Mag revolver I inquired about when starting this thread several weeks ago. The feedback and pictures were very helpful. I think I'll go with either a Model 19 or a 28 in 4" depending on what fits my hand better and the condition. Other than going to the gun shows and hitting the pawn shops, I don't know of any sources for older S&W revolvers. Don't really want to use GunBroker, Bud's etc. since I won't be able to hold it first. Are any of you guys who have these wheel guns in the DFW metroplex looking to sell or know of anyone looking to sell one?

Hoppes Love Potion
January 19, 2013, 09:41 PM
I would question why you are essentially buying what you already have? The 686 is one of the best .357s ever made. You may get a different look by buying an older blued .357, but you may find a blued finish does not hold up that well to heavy field use, and that the N-frames may be too large and heavy for practical carry in the field, or the K-frames may not be sturdy enough for a steady diet of magnums. The L-frame 686 was invented for a reason, to solve these specific problems.

Not saying don't get a M19 or M28, just that you may already have the superior tool for that purpose.

sleepyone
January 19, 2013, 11:03 PM
I would question why you are essentially buying what you already have?

You are being a real killjoy. :p Actually, a good friend of mine said the EXACT same thing today. He said the 686 Plus is the apex of the .357 Magnum revolver, and I'm not going to find a revolver that offers anything that mine does not already have in the way of quality, accuracy or features. Still, I would like to have another S&W .357 Mag revolver. Maybe I should just find a pre-lock version of my 686 plus. I also like to have redundancy in calibers so that if a particular firearm ever becomes unusable for whatever reason I will have another one to use until it is back in service.

Checkman
January 19, 2013, 11:25 PM
It doesn't matter why you want one. The fact is you do want another one. I like the Model 28 personally and I like it because I like it. I have several .38 Special revolvers (Colt,S&W,target,snub and duty models) because I like .38 Special revolvers and I collect them. Being practical has nothing to do with it. If you want to own fifteen .357 magnum revolvers - all Model 19's- then I say go forth and have fun. People are to serious sometimes.

pikid89
January 19, 2013, 11:30 PM
I had the chance to get a 686+, and while its pretty darn cool to have 7 rounds on tap, I felt that it was too limited in its usability in things like IDPA, where Stock Service Revolver is limited to 6 rounds. So I found me a nice 686-3 and I couldnt be happier

splithoof
January 19, 2013, 11:57 PM
Registered Magnum. If you can find one of those with the original certificate returned from S&W you will have the crown jewel.

Nasty
January 20, 2013, 11:59 AM
Agreed - "Registered Magnum"

That said, I carried and used an M15 for many years in the USAF...daily classes I taught, too many competitive events to remember and years of hit it the first time every time. Really a magnificent handgun. Wish I could have bought mine when I retired.

It took me years to get used to not having it...an old friend.

bigtubby
January 20, 2013, 12:19 PM
I haven't seen any registered magnums under $750.00 or even close to that price point. I think a RM would run at a minimum $3k but you never know.

bannockburn
January 20, 2013, 04:31 PM
If it were me I would want a Model 19 and either a Model 28, or if I could afford it, a Model 27, to go with what I currently had. Both a K frame Model 19 and an N frame Model 28 or 27 are perfect examples of classic S&W revolvers and would complement your L frame Model 686 Plus quite nicely.

Checkman
January 20, 2013, 11:13 PM
The only Registered Magnum I've come across was a 6.5" model and the sticker price was $2,500.00. Way beyond my financial abilities. That would have been about six years ago. I'm sure that same model would now bring $5,000.

22-rimfire
January 20, 2013, 11:14 PM
I'd buy a new Classic.

sleepyone
January 21, 2013, 12:58 AM
You guys telling me to buy a Registered Magnum need to take up a love offering, and I will be sure to buy one. :D

Otherwise, I'll stick to a 19 or 28 if the frame size is not too big. My 686 Plus is the perfect frame size for me, so I'm not sure how a bigger gun will feel. I'll be hitting the Fort Worth Gun Show on Feb 11th and while everyone else is clamoring for the AR-15s and 5.56 ammo maybe I can sneak out with a good deal on a revolver.

greenmtnguy
January 21, 2013, 01:17 AM
If I had the $$ and hankered for a "classic" S&W, it would HAVE to be a model 27 for me

richkratz
January 21, 2013, 01:16 PM
I own a 5" model 27-2. It is THE 357 magnum. Anyone claiming to collect S&W's MUST own at least one in some barrel length. Since you are not building a collection but want a carry Smith with some range time, I would recommend a model 19, preferably a pinned & recessed model. They are substantially less to lug around than an N frame, and can handle mag loads, just don't shoot consistent diet of 125gr'rs. I always wanted one, but skipped ahead and got the 27.

sleepyone
January 21, 2013, 09:28 PM
This may not be a classic revolver, but does anyone own the Model 625 in .45 ACP? I friend of mine said I should look at that since I have the 686 Plus and he knows I'm a big .45 ACP fan.

splithoof
January 22, 2013, 01:57 AM
I love the 625; I was lucky enough to find one a new one (4") a couple of years ago that was NOT a JM with that tattoo that I think spoils an otherwise excellent revolver. It is very accurate, smooth, and fun to shoot. For what it's worth, it also will handle 45AR without the moon clips, and with clips you can use .45 GAP loads, if that was all you could find. I was given a whole bunch of the GAP ammo, and it works quite well in it.

slickracer
January 22, 2013, 07:41 AM
I just purchased an unfired 24-3 to add to my stable. That's a classic in my book. The big decsion will be do I fired it....I suspect I will.

bigtubby
January 22, 2013, 09:23 AM
I love the 625 as well got a 5" and 3" both prelock both are super accurate and soft shooting guns. They load super fast with the moon clips and you can really go thru the ammo.

Ky Larry
January 22, 2013, 11:31 AM
I still occasionally run across Model-19s in excellent condition. I have or have had most of the guns mentioned above, but if I had to pick just one .357 revolver, it would be my -19 4". It does everything well and has no bad habits.If it was good enough for Bill Jordan, its good enough for me.

jim8115
January 22, 2013, 01:41 PM
I have a really nice 581 no-dash that I am considering selling, if you are interested.

JIM

sleepyone
January 22, 2013, 02:20 PM
sent you a pm, jim8115. what is your location?

jim8115
January 22, 2013, 02:40 PM
It is an "L" frame fixed sights. Ofter referred to as a "Distingushed combat Magnum. Early '80's, I think

Fort Smith, Arkansas

56hawk
January 23, 2013, 12:56 AM
This may not be a classic revolver, but does anyone own the Model 625 in .45 ACP? I friend of mine said I should look at that since I have the 686 Plus and he knows I'm a big .45 ACP fan.

I have a 625 that I got to shoot USPSA matches with. For competitive use there is nothing faster than a 625. For any other use I would go with something else.

pikid89
January 23, 2013, 10:01 AM
if you want "Classic" AND you like .45 ACP, why not get a S&W Model 22, the commercial version of the M1917 .45 ACP

http://i786.photobucket.com/albums/yy141/pikid89/model22_zpscf66fe59.jpg

S&Wfan
January 27, 2013, 10:59 PM
An adjustable sight Model 19 or 686 would be nice, as would their fixed-sight "brothers," the Model 13 and 681 respectively.

I've found the fixed sight models to shoot right to point of aim with the proper ammunition too!

Snake Plisskin
January 27, 2013, 11:07 PM
My vote is for the classic Model 19 2 1/2" my all time favorite :)

sleepyone
February 1, 2013, 01:04 AM
so... an update. I ALMOST bought that model 28 from the pawn shop but could not pull the trigger. Being a man of limited resources, I decided I would just stick with my 686 Plus 4". It really is the apex of the 357 Magnum revolver. I'm glad I did not buy that Model 28 because today I was able to buy back a Marlin 336C .30-30 I sold last November in a moment of weakness. It was made in 2009 in New Haven and is probably one of the last true JM Marlins. I'm working on a post and some pics and will tell the story in the Rifle Country section. It's a neat story about when I owned it originally how Marlin lost it for several weeks when I sent it in for some work in January 2010 and then ended up keeping it for six months and how I was able to buy it back from a great guy today.

Thanks to everyone for sharing your pictures and advice when I was contemplating the purchase of the Model 28. I learned a lot about the history of the various S&W .38/.357 models and came to appreciate my 686 Plus even more.

righteoushoot
February 1, 2013, 08:31 AM
I will be getting a 58 "classic" soon. Have a 24 "Classic", and it is a nice piece. Only wish it was round instead of square butt. I will suffer the indignity in quiet though. :D

Deaf Smith
February 1, 2013, 08:34 PM
Me buy a classic revolver?

Nah... I'd by ten of 'em!

I pack a Glock but I sure do like good well made older revolvers.

Deaf

TIMC
February 1, 2013, 09:14 PM
I have a 19-3 as well and just love it. own 6 S&W wheel guns and the model 19 has always been my favorite.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v369/timc/A1D741E0-5A50-456B-80BB-47F973319233-1149-00000356C3F3832B_zps7c8628af.jpg

hAkron
February 1, 2013, 09:52 PM
I've been on a bit of a modern S&W hand ejector buying jag lately myself. In the past moth I've scored a 66 no dash, a 66-1, a 19-5, and just today a 15-4. All 4", all great shooters.

HKGuns
February 1, 2013, 10:48 PM
You'll not find a sweeter shooting .357 than the model 27 in my humble opinion. I picked this one up used for roughly $535 with presentation box, tools and manual.

http://hkguns.zenfolio.com/img/s2/v58/p1273133778-5.jpg

Hotshot10
February 1, 2013, 11:46 PM
HK, that's a sweet 27. When did you buy it? That price seems like a steal.

HKGuns
February 2, 2013, 09:55 AM
Thanks, last August Hotshot.

Bellevance
February 2, 2013, 10:31 AM
The Model 19, as others here have suggested, is worth looking for. Writing at Gunblast.com, R.K. Campbell says this: "If ever there were a revolver of excellent, almost perfect ergonomics, it is the Smith and Wesson Model 19 Combat Magnum. He calls it Smith & Wesson's Best Pistol. (http://www.gunblast.com/RKCampbell_SWsBest.htm)

Here is my 19-4, wearing vintage Herrett stocks:

http://i166.photobucket.com/albums/u119/Bellevance/DSC_0001.jpg

Hotshot10
February 2, 2013, 11:27 AM
last August

Wow. That's great.

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