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Completing the S&W replica "set"

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by CraigC, Sep 17, 2021.

  1. CraigC
    • Contributing Member

    CraigC Sixgun Nut

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    Finally completed the "set". Taylor's started shipping their replica of the New Model #3 as their "Frontier" model in .44Special and I jumped on one. It was the only big bore S&W replica model I didn't have represented. I started to get the Beretta Laramie but I'm glad I waited. Goes with my Cimarron American .45Colt, Russian .44 and two Schofield .45Colt's. Didn't have time for another group shot.

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    I've also got a pair of these floral carved Californian holsters from Skillet Creek for them. One is 1" longer for the American's 8" barrel.

    003b_1.jpg
     
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  2. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Member

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    gorgeous
     
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  3. ontarget

    ontarget Member

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    Beautiful collection. Nice holster too.
     
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  4. .38 Special

    .38 Special Member

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    @CraigC is starting to get on my nerves. :p
     
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  5. CraigC
    • Contributing Member

    CraigC Sixgun Nut

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    As promised, I'm going to load up some ammo and give a shooting report. They're all very similar but there are some important differences I want to analyze and discuss.
     
  6. beag_nut

    beag_nut Member

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    IF ONLY they were offered in .357 Mag!!
     
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  7. Kleanbore

    Kleanbore Moderator Staff Member

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    I could have as much fun sitting in a room with Craig and his revolvers as just about anywhere I can imagine.
     
  8. Driftwood Johnson

    Driftwood Johnson Member

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    Very Nice

    As I'm sure you are aware, the Uberti manufactured Frontier Model, imported by Taylors, and the Laramie, also manufactured by Uberti a number of years ago but marketed by parent company Beretta, varies in one small detail from the original New Model Number Three. The thumb wheel on top of the top strap was never a feature of the original New Model Number Three.

    pmiyeOGkj.jpg

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    What appears to me is that Uberti has used the same barrel assembly they used for their Russian Model for their replica of the New Model Number Three. The Russian Model Uberti makes is the Russian 3rd Model, and the thumb wheel on top of the top strap is correct for that model. So it was easy to use the same barrel assembly for their version of the New Model Number Three, very few shooters would know the difference, except for a few fussy collectors like me.

    The thumb wheel was unnecessary for the New Model Number Three. It was needed to remove the cylinder on the Russian Model, but removing the cylinder was simpler with the NM#3 so the thumb wheel was done away with.



    Anyway, that is a fine looking piece. I'm sure you will be very happy with it. Since it is chambered for 44 Special, you can even fire 44 Russian ammo in it. 44 Russian is the same as 44 Special, just a little bit shorter. 44 Russian was the most common chambering for that model, off the top of my head I seem to recall the New Model Number Three was chambered for something like 17 different cartridges. Nope, 44 Special was not one of them, neither was 45 Colt.

    My personal opinion is the New Model Number Three was the best of all the large, #3 sized Top Breaks S&W made. Much easier to shoot than the Russian Model with that big hump on the grip. The grip shape of the NM#3 is just about perfect. I think I see in your photo that your new Frontier Model has the same windage adjustable rear sight that the Laramie had. It appears that way in the photos over at the Taylor's sight too.

    Here is a question for you: The originals had a rebounding hammer. Does yours?

    This photo shows the hammer at full cock, ready to be fired.

    pnZzkCdPj.jpg




    In this photo I am holding the hammer forward in the position it would be as a cartridge is fired. Notice the position of the sear (tip of the trigger)

    pmZOl6NCj.jpg




    In this photo the hammer has rebounded slightly and the sear is resting in a tiny notch that keeps the firing pin away from any cartridges under the hammer. When the trigger is released the hammer rocks back slightly like this.

    pm5NVXCFj.jpg




    This photo shows the hammer in the 'half cock' position for loading.

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    Given that the cross sections of the parts are so thin, I never trust the rebounding hammer, a firm blow to the hammer spur could break something. I only every load my Antique S&W Top Breaks with five rounds. But the rebounding hammer was a feature of the originals. Interestingly enough, the Target Models, with adjustable rear sight and tall front sight with a bead on top did not have a rebounding hammer, but the 'standard' models, without the adjustable rear sight and the tall front sight did.

    I have always found all my S&W #3 Top Breaks tend to shoot high because the front sight is so low. I will be interested to hear how yours shoot(s).

    Have a great time, I look forward to your range report.




    P.S.: Now you need a 44 Double Action to complete your collection of large frame S&W Top Breaks built on the #3 sized frame. This one is a Target Model, notice the windage adjustable rear sight and the tall front sight with a bead on top. Sorry, no replicas of this model have ever been made, if you want one you are going to have to find an original.

    pmVzXqN1j.jpg




    By the way, I love your holsters. I had a couple of Slim Jims made up for me by El Paso Saddlery a bunch of years ago. All my #3 Top breaks fit in them. Not as pretty as your holsters though.

    pnDOrFQ0j.jpg
     
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  9. Targa

    Targa Member

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    Beautiful collection Craig…I have been thinking of adding a Schofield to my safe.
     
  10. StrawHat

    StrawHat Member

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    DJ,

    I have wanted the replica makers to build honest replicas chambered for the correct cartridges for decades. They can’t because they think the shooters only want the store bought ammunition. Heck, one of those top breaks in 45 S&W, scaled properly for the cartridge would be pretty sweet! But no, has to be the long cartridge so a longer cylinder and heavier frame.

    Nuts!

    Kevin
     
  11. Driftwood Johnson

    Driftwood Johnson Member

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    StrawHat:

    I can certainly understand your frustration. But I think if you look at the business of selling replica arms you will have to admit replicas of the big #3 Top Breaks is a niche market. Few shooters buy them as their first gun, most buy them as an interesting addition to what they already own. Not many shooters are going to want to go to the trouble of finding loaded ammo for 44 Russian. Yes, it is available, I have a box or two somewhere, but it is pretty hard to find, compared to 45 Colt or 44-40. Very few are going to go to the trouble to load 44 Russian with Black Powder the way I do.

    In a similar vein, my main match Cowboy Action Rifle is an Uberti replica of the 1860 Henry. The originals were only chambered for 44 Henry Rimfire, which was a pretty anemic round. The 1866 Winchester was chambered for the same round and it was not until the 1873 Model Winchester came out that the more powerful 44-40 round was developed. When Uberti first made replicas of the Henry rifles, they were chambered for the 44 Henry Rimfire round, which had not been manufactured for many years. So soon after that Uberti lengthened the frame slightly so the rifle could be chambered for 44-40 and 45 Colt. I keep hearing about shooters who want to replicate the 44 Henry Rimfire round by shooting 45 Cowboy Special or other shorter rounds. The carrier has to be modified for that. Personally I am quite happy with my 44-40 Henry and have no desire to shoot shorter, less potent cartridges in it. I can't go out and buy an original Henry rifle the way I often do with a S&W Top Break because the originals are way, way out of my price range. And there is no way to load 44 Henry Rimfire anyway. So I am quite happy to shoot an incorrect cartridge in my replica Henry.
     
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  12. CraigC
    • Contributing Member

    CraigC Sixgun Nut

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    The .45Colt has become the plain vanilla choice. It's the 2nd most popular behind the .357, which is really just a .38, so it gets the nod. No, the originals didn't chamber the .44Special but at least it's closer. Same for the Colt cartridge conversions. Modern .44Colt ain't what it was but at least it's not a milquetoast .45Colt.
     
  13. bannockburn

    bannockburn Member

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    CraigC

    Mighty fine looking collection of S&W single action revolvers you've got there!
     
    CraigC likes this.
  14. Mark_Mark

    Mark_Mark Member

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    those break tops looks fun!!!

    Believe it or not, classic cowboy guns are making a huge wave in the gun world. So hold on to your cowboy guns, they are flying off the shelves
     
  15. Driftwood Johnson

    Driftwood Johnson Member

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    Did you check to see if it has a rebounding hammer?
     
  16. CraigC
    • Contributing Member

    CraigC Sixgun Nut

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    It operates just like the rest of them.
     
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