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Combat Revolver ?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by fxstchewy, Jan 19, 2013.

  1. fxstchewy

    fxstchewy Well-Known Member

    What is the definition of a Combat Revolver? I have heard this and that called a combat revolver but what is it really? examples?
  2. OptimusPrime

    OptimusPrime Well-Known Member

    One with that name is the S&W Combat Masterpiece. Became known as the Model 15 when S&W started that naming convention in 1957.
    Other than that, I don't what the actual definition would be per se, unless it was one used and issued during a war like the M&P during WWI or the Wembley during WWII. And many during the Civil War of course but I don't think those would be considered modern enough.
  3. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    S&W or Colt Model 1917 fought WWI, so that would count I suppose.

    S&W Model 10 Military & Police?

    S&W Model 19 Combat Magnum?

    The fact is though, that any revolver is a combat revolver if it could be used in combat.

  4. sleepyone

    sleepyone Well-Known Member

    I believe it is a term taken from the Smith and Wesson .357 Combat Magnum revolver, which later became the Model 19. Maybe similar revolvers from other manufacturers were referenced as combat revolvers? Just a guess.
  5. fxstchewy

    fxstchewy Well-Known Member

    Is a GP100 a "Combat revolver"?
  6. lemaymiami

    lemaymiami Well-Known Member

    Here's my own definition (and I was issued a model 10 heavy barrel the last week of 1973.... I was allowed to purchase it the day I retired out in 1995)...

    A combat revolver is one that's at least 38 caliber with at least a 4" barrel and absolutely no adjustible sights or any bells and whistles at all... I want a very basic sturdy revolver that can take every bad thing that can happen to a pistol being carried daily when you might have to bet your life on it....

    All the manufacturer's designations were purely for marketing purposes in my opinion. If you have a choice always opt for the heaviest non-target barrel that the manufacturer offers for that model.

    I'm only familiar with Smith & Wesson (for Ruger or Colt fans... you're on your own....) In blued steel it's a model 10 (the same weapon is also offered in 357mag - someone else will have to provide the model number). In stainless it's the model 64 (and I owned two of those at one time, a standard 4" and a 2" with round butt...).

    Colt and Ruger made revolvers that fit the above description but I never owned one and can't name any particular model.

    All of the above is just my personal opinion but imagine owning a fine revolver with an adjustible sight... that's been knocked out of alignment at some point... Just not something I'd want to bet my life on, period.
  7. rswartsell

    rswartsell Well-Known Member

    To some the word combat applies only to military combat, when in truth the term applies to any fight. Smith and Wesson used the name for what became known as the Combat Masterpiece to differentiate from the K-38 Masterpiece. The K-38 was its father if you will. Fashioned for the target range and bullseye competioin, it was so fine a revolver that it was made known to Smith that there would be a demand for such a revolver with characteristics that lent themselves to a fighting gun. Hence the Combat Masterpiece. If a cop gets into a gunfight he is in a form of combat and can be considered to be using a combat weapon.

    Using combat as a modifier to imply military only application is something of a misnomer. Using tactical as a modifier in my mind means even less. It has come to common usage for a particular collection of features. I think in reality they have more marketing application than anything more substantive.

    P.S. Combat Revolver= a revolver you can fight with.
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2013
  8. Jim K

    Jim K Well-Known Member

    In the military, the term "combat" is applied to some item intended for use in combat as opposed to something intended for use in garrison, like "combat" boots as opposed to shoes, or "combat" rations, as opposed to the mess hall chow. In the civilian world, a term to hype about anything from "combat" flashlights to "combat" jockstraps. Same as "tactical", another advertising hype term to sell junk to those who want to pretend to be a soldier or police officer.

  9. msb45

    msb45 Well-Known Member

    Totally agree

    Target models were intended for the range. Combat models were made for Military/Police use.

    Model 19 was the Combat Magnum
    Model 586/686 was the Distinguished Combat Magnum
  10. How about a Cut Down S&W 1917?

  11. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

    If I see the term in a gun article somewhere I usually assume the writer's using it to differentiate something he thinks of as a full-sized fighting revolver of ~4-5" barrel, probably with fixed sights and perhaps a utilitarian finish.

    As opposed to a small concealed-carry snubby, a precision target-shooting revolver, or a large hunting wheelgun.

    I'd say it would almost always be a .38 or .38/.357, but there was a day when the .45ACP moonclip guns were the epitome of a combat revolver.
  12. roaddog28

    roaddog28 Well-Known Member

    I would have to agree that what describes a combat revolver would be fixed sight 4 inch in either 38 special or 357 magnum. When I think of a combat revolver I also think about a police service revolver. Examples that come to mine are the S&W model 10/64 in 38 special and the S&W model 13/65 in 357 magnum. In Ruger it would be the Police Service Six in either 38 special or 357 magnum. In Colt the Police Positive come to mind for me. All of these above examples represent a combat or service revolver.
    Of course this is my opinion.
  13. HILLBILLY-06

    HILLBILLY-06 Well-Known Member

    It's called a "Victory model or Victory Pistol" & there's several around for sale here and there. The real great looking ones are quite expensive too.
  14. Byrd666

    Byrd666 Well-Known Member

    Not entirely sure where, or when the term "combat revolver" started. All I do know, per Smith & Wesson customer service, is that the 2 1/2" K frame round butt .357 Magnum revolver I have, is called a Combat model K. And through my research, here and there, the first thing that pops up, is normally a 2 1/2" Smith K frame, round butt, .357 Mag revolver.

    I think another call to S&W is in my future Monday morning.
  15. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    They would be wrong then.

    If you have a .357, you have a .357 Combat Magnum. (Later called the Model 19)

    If it were a .38 Spl, it would be a K-38 Combat Masterpiece. (Later called the Model 15)

    The Combat name originated in 1949 when S&W introduced the K-38 Combat Masterpiece.

    The name Combat Magnum originated in 1955 when at the urging of border patrolman Bill Jordan, they introduced the .357 Combat Magnum.

    Last edited: Jan 20, 2013
  16. BlindJustice

    BlindJustice Well-Known Member

    Great Brittain used the 455 Webley break open revolvers in WWI. WWII they adopted the Browning Hi-Power but they also had the revolvers in the odd 38 S&W 200 gr. load

    WWI - Both the Smith & Wesson and Colt New Service chambered in .45
    ACP utilizing half moon clips - just over 150,000 produced.

    General Mark Clark carried a 4" M1917 in WWII and the Korean War, Generals get their way.... eh?

    Post WWII - S&W produced the 1950 Target as well as the 1950 "Army"
    the latter having a 4" Bbl. & fixed sights, compared to the former's 6.5" Bbl. & adj. sights, target hmmer and target trigger.

    S&W then built the 1955 Target which became the Model 25 in '57 with a
    non tapered barrel.

    Today, the Model 22 4" Bbl. fixed sights, and the Model 22 Model of 1917
    with 5.5" Bbl and fixed sights are offered.

    The S&W "Victory" model .38 Special was issued to USN pilots in WWII.
    and of course the USAF used the S&W 38s for security duty at bases.

    One could convert any adj. rear sight to the fixed rear like the one offered on the Nightguard series ( avail. at Cylinder & Slide. )

    Hmm, guess the S&W Model 58 4" Bbl. fixed sights, seems like a
    M&P on Steroids, only N frame I can think of with fixed rear sight.

  17. BlindJustice

    BlindJustice Well-Known Member

    oh, 19th century

    Colt 1860 Army .44 ball & cap

    Colt Single Action Army
    S&W Model 3 (?)
    & the Russians bought 150K or so of the
    Model 3 in .44 Russian

    & the ineffectual 38 Long Colt.

  18. Action_Can_Do

    Action_Can_Do Well-Known Member

    I would be very hesitant to allow S&W the sole privilege of defining what a combat revolver is. After all, they have a tendency to change what the definition is (fixed sights/adjustable sights, short barrel/long barrel). Also, many, many single action revolvers have been used very effectively in combat.
  19. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

    There really isn't a commonly accepted definition...as you can see from the post here. The term has it's genius not as a defining term so much as a differentiating term, not so much as to it's intended use, but to it's differing features

    The term is to separate it from Target revolvers; Hunting revolvers came much later.

    I agree with rcmodel above that the origin of the term is based on the S&W naming of their guns prior to using them model numbers. Colt of that time did not use the term for their revolvers and the only gun they have used that term on just meant it was heavier (Combat Commander)

    Their M&P line...Military & Police...were never called Combat revolvers. Their Target Masterpieces became the M-14, M-16, and M-17; so the shorter barreled (but still adjustable sighted M-15 & M-18) became the Combat Masterpieces. They continued this naming with the M-19 Combat Magnum...the M-13 (HB M-10; chambered in .357Mag) never got that designation...they couldn't just call it just a Magnum as it might be confusing with the .357 Magnum (M-27) and they couldn't use the word Police in the name as Colt had claim to that already

    The current usage has taken a once proprietary term and applied it much in the way we use the term Tactical...which jokingly means, it is painted flat black or FDE
  20. westy39

    westy39 Well-Known Member

    The definition of a combat revolver is simply Smith & Wesson model 686.

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