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Finding Info of Discontinued S&Ws?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by Kind of Blued, Feb 21, 2009.

  1. Kind of Blued

    Kind of Blued Well-Known Member

    It may be the case that the Supica Standard Catalog book would solve all of my problems, if so, let me know and I'll buy it ASAP.

    Anyway, when trying to figure out, for example, if S&W ever made a 3" 686+ with no-ILS, where do you look? Google does me no good.

    Or how about a 3" .44 Spl. N-frame with a full-length extractor rod?

    You get the idea. :) I'd like to be self-sufficient and not have to bother you all every time I think up another dream gun.
  2. Radagast

    Radagast Well-Known Member

    Re 686: Product code 104228 3 inch barrel with round butt, manufactured for US Customs, pinned black front ramp, marked " CS-1" above model markings, dull grey bead blast finish, 1988. The internal lock was introduced in 2001.

    For a three inch .44 special look at the 696 on the L frame, 5 shot, full lug barrel, manufactured 1996 - 2003.

    Otherwise look for a 629-1 in .44 magnum. Product code 103610, manufactured 1985, 3 inch barrel, round butt, unfluted cylinder, finger grooved timber grips.

    All the above was taken from Supica & Nahas SCSW3.
  3. Radagast

    Radagast Well-Known Member

    Also for the .44 S&W look for an N frame 624 Lew Horton Combat Special. Manufactured 1985 - 1987, product code 103580 Three inch barrel, round butt, Gocalo Alves combat grips, red ramp/white outline sights, with a fitted holster. First 100 made laser engraving, in a fitted cherry case with red velvet interior.
  4. Kind of Blued

    Kind of Blued Well-Known Member

    Sweet, thanks Radagast. I DO need to buy that book after all.

    I'm pretty sure (from looking at pictures) that the 3" 624s (including the Lew Hortons) have an abbreviated ejector rod due to the lack of a full underlug. The 629-1 may be an option, although I wonder how much extra weight it carries, being a magnum.

    Anyway, the Supica book will be ordered tomorrow and eagerly awaited. I have much to learn.
  5. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    You have to keep in mind that even as good as it is, it was already outdated before it was published in 2006.

    It is very hard to keep up with all the new & odd variations S&W keeps coming out with all the time. Even with the book.

  6. The Lone Haranguer

    The Lone Haranguer Well-Known Member

    I have not read the Supica book. I would bet that it has a large section on the Third Generation metal-frame pistols. At one time they had a rotating wheel chart to keep track of all the variations.
  7. Oro

    Oro Well-Known Member

    All 3"N frames have slightly shorter ejector rods, so looking for a different model doesn't help.

    FYI - the shorter ejectors work just fine - I've never had a problem (629-1 3") and others with 3" N frames have said the same here. It is not an important enough point to make a deal breaker out of in my opinion.

    As to a short barreled .44 spcl, the other option is a 27. They were made in 3.5" lengths from 1935 until the early '80s (then 4" replaced it for some unknown reason). They have a full-length ejector rod and are very nice guns. The blue jobs on them were fantastic - absolutely mirror-like. It is probably my favorite revolver.
  8. Kind of Blued

    Kind of Blued Well-Known Member

    Thanks Oro. I've had trouble getting reliable extraction out of my 642 due to the shortened ejector rod, but I spent this afternoon doing some drills and reloads and got quite a bit better. I'd still want all the help I could get in a stressful situation though.

    I've been looking at 27s and 28s lately, and I agree, the 3.5" 27s seem very nice, perhaps ideal. I'm about to redeem a gift card to El Paso Saddlery, and I'm trying to figure out how to get the most bang for my buck with one holster capable of fitting several guns I'd like to acquire in the future. A holster for a 4" N-frame sounds like a good bet.

    When did the 8-round cylinders start to show up? Are there, by chance, pre-lock 3.5" 8-round Model 27s floating around?
  9. Oro

    Oro Well-Known Member

    As far as I know, 27s, before discontinued, never were other than six shot. Last year there was a run of "classic" retros with locks, square butt, and I think 3" barrels. I think they were six shot, too, and in blue and nickel.

    The extractor rod on the 642 is WAY shorter than that on a 3" N frame, so proportionately it will be better. A tip I learned is to make a quick rap on the ejector to start them out and have the gun pointed upward - gravity will do most of the work after that.

    For field carry, I have an El Paso "Tanker" style. It is made for a 3" N and it holds my 3" N and my 3.5" fine. They finish them so there's about 1/2" extra leather past the barrel, so the 3" is tucked in nicely, and the 3.5" ends at just about the end of the leather but still protected. Here is a photo of it.

  10. Kind of Blued

    Kind of Blued Well-Known Member

    Sweet rig Oro. I'm excited to pick out a holster. I'll probably have him build it to allow coverage just to the end of a 4" N-frame barrel. That should keep things snug on a 3, 3.5, and 4".

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