Pre 28 Highway Patrolman


May 24, 2014, 08:32 AM
I stopped at the LGS looking for powder, and walked out with a 1955 N frame Highway Patrolman in .357! It was my birthday so I couldn't walk away empty handed. Paid a little more than I wanted too, but it really doesn't matter....this thing is sweeeeet! (

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May 24, 2014, 08:45 AM
Very nice! You don't usually see the 3Ts (target grip, target hammer, target trigger) on the model 28s. Nothing beats an N frame S&W for shooting 357s.

May 24, 2014, 09:10 AM
I was also quite impressed with the options! I have yet to shoot it yet, but I already know it will be heavenly. I already have a 629 N frame in .44 mag that I adore. This is the 5 screw model, not sure if that affects value but it is definitely early.

May 24, 2014, 09:15 AM
Nice, a great find in any gun store.

May 24, 2014, 10:47 AM
This is the 5 screw model, not sure if that affects value but it is definitely early.

5 screws commands a premium.

Peter M. Eick
May 24, 2014, 03:16 PM
One observation. It looks like someone ordered it with a target hammer and wide trigger. Those visually look bigger than my Pre-28 which is an early first year model.

Nice gun.

May 24, 2014, 05:37 PM
The trigger and hammer are probably not original to the gun. The OP probably didn't get a good a deal as he thought.

May 24, 2014, 10:52 PM
I didn't buy it because it was a good deal. I even said in my first post I probably over paid a little. It was purchased to be a shooter, and something I can enjoy for years to come....not a shelf queen.

I can't confirm or deny the trigger and hammer being original. I'm not an expert by any means. What I do know is the cylinder and frame numbers match, and the trigger and action feel fantastic.

May 25, 2014, 05:55 AM
Stocks are not correct either, but who cares? It's a nice little contraption for keeping the vermin at bay. I don't know what you paid, but you're lucky I didn't get there first.

May 25, 2014, 06:08 AM
My God.

Sweet it is my friend! Heck of a berfday present you gotch yerself!

Peter M. Eick
May 25, 2014, 07:13 AM
Looking again, I suggest you letter the gun. I would not say the hammer and trigger are not factory original. They were an option in 1955 as I understand it. One of my Pre-25's has those same features and I believe it to be original.

Neat gun. I would have bought it if I saw it.

May 25, 2014, 07:34 AM
Thanks for the advise Peter. Would I contact S&W for the documentation you mentioned?

May 25, 2014, 08:10 AM

Original or not it's a great find. Happy Birthday!

May 25, 2014, 08:17 AM
Thanks Bannockburn, it was my 30th birthday so why not have something to remember it!

It truly is amazing how smooth and awesome the older smith revolvers are. Even if the trigger isn't factory, the thing feels great. I really like the wider pad. Hopefully a range report will be coming soon!

Peter M. Eick
May 25, 2014, 11:34 AM
Go to the following link. It is probably a 20 week wait but hey you might find something.

For example on of my 357's was the 1939 Camp Perry Prize Gun as speced by the winner.

May 26, 2014, 12:15 PM
There was a time back in the day you could order a S&W with any feature you wanted. You could also send a S&W back to the factory and have whatever features you like added. Maybe your gun isn't all original, but likely the factory did the work. If she was mine I would factory letter her.

There is also a slim chance that if it was a special order, that someone special ordered it.

Peter M. Eick
May 26, 2014, 02:34 PM

When I look at my Pre-28 (top) and look at yours, mine is all original, with original grips and such. It was bought from the original purchaser and it shows the wear he put on it during its use.

When I look at the OP's gun, I see the target hammer and particularly the target trigger. and target sights.

When I compare the grips to this one:

They look factory original like this one had. Note the bright blue polish on this outdoorsman also. (50 shots, 15 yrds offhand by the way).


When I look at his trigger and hammer they look like my Pre25 that was smithed after leaving the factory. The targets are 50 shots at 15 yrds offhand but the gun is original configuration.

So I think it is possible that the gun is all factory original. If it were me, on a pre-28 I would take the gamble and letter it. I think it is a unique gun and would be proud to own it so I would want to know its history.

Sorry for the long post.

tightgroup tiger
May 26, 2014, 08:52 PM
I'm still shooting an original 1957 model 28, it is a hell of a shooter. Mine is the first year they put model numbers on them and was shipped in December of 57. It is still my favorite revolver and weekly range shooter.

Good find, and enjoy.

May 26, 2014, 11:14 PM
To Peter M Eick, I've got a Highway Patrolman M28-2 that looks just like the one in the original post, or the top gun in your post, other than than that the front sight on my gun has an orange insert in it making it more visible. Serial number starts out as N518.

Thanks for posting the target photos you did. At my indoor range, I'm limited to the 15 yards, and it's nice to see what the gun can do in the hands of a good shooter. I think I've got a long ways to go, before I can even start to approach what you've posted!

Can someone explain how to recognize "the 3Ts (target grip, target hammer, target trigger)" as mentioned up above? What is the difference between a target hammer or target trigger, compared to others that the gun might have come with?

May 27, 2014, 01:09 AM
Peter, thanks for the pictures! Don't apologize for an informative post, the more I can learn the better. I think it is worth the money on this particular gun to get it lettered. Well worth the $50 just to satisfy my curiosity.

Tightgroup: I believe this gun is early 1955. The serial is s129xxx and is a 5 screw.

May 27, 2014, 10:53 AM
You were lucky to have discovered that nice pre model 28 as it took me a long time to have found my 4" pre model 28 pictured below. I believe that it is a 1954 vintage with the serial number #1110xx. ( ( ( (

May 27, 2014, 08:09 PM
That's a great looking Smith slick, thanks for sharing. I really didn't know much about these when I purchased it, but I was sold at .357 N frame. The more I learn, the better it gets!

May 27, 2014, 08:23 PM
Nice find

May 27, 2014, 10:11 PM
Mr Eick,
the grips on bluekouki86's gun are not original. They are post 1968, as they lack the un-checkered diamond around the grip screws. They also appear to be Goncalo Alves rather than walnut, so 1967-1980.

N514xxx places your gun in the period 1978-1980. Red ramp inserts were common by that stage. The target hammer is .5 an inch wide, as opposed to the .375 of the standard 'semi-target' and the narrow prewar triggers.
The target trigger is grooved and flared to the sides, pretty much filling the width of the trigger guard, as opposed to the flat sided trigger with or without serrations found on service guns.
Target grips are larger, designed to fill the hand and make access to the hammer easier (well I think thats the idea, it works with my big paws. Service or 'Magna' grips are smaller so they are less likely to catch when carried and may make double action fire easier for those with smaller hands. Mr Eicks photo in post 17 shows service, target, service & service grips.

3Ts is the abbreviation for target trigger, hammer and grips. They are rarely seen on service grade guns such as the Model 28. My model 28 from 1968 has original target grips, with semi target hammer and trigger.

May 27, 2014, 10:48 PM
Thanks for the info radagast

May 28, 2014, 01:00 AM
Radagast, thanks! I'm learning more and more about this gun. I really enjoy shooting it, and every time I go to the range, I'm doing better. Nowhere near as good as the photos up near the beginning of this thread, but today I put all my 50 shots into a 3 1/2" circle at 15 yards, with most of them in a 2" circle - nothing spectacular, but better than I've done in many years. I spend 15 minutes with it every day dry-firing, and that has helped a lot.

Lucky Derby
May 29, 2014, 06:52 AM
Congrats. A good N frame is hard to beat. :)

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