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My 6.5" S&Ws...

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by SaxonPig, Sep 7, 2012.

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  1. SaxonPig

    SaxonPig Member

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    At various times various models of S&W revolvers have been offered with 6.5" barrels. Some models, like the Model 29, used the 6.5" length while others, such as the Model 57, used the 6" barrel. The Model 27, on the other hand, was made in both lengths although the 6" is far, far more commonly seen.

    In 1978 S&W standardized all lengths at 6" and those models that were offered in the 6.5" barrel length had to conform to the new policy. To me the extra 1/2" was noticeable and I always felt the 6.5" barrel was just a tad more sophisticated looking than the 6" tube.

    I have four S&Ws with 6.5" barrels:

    A run of the mill M29-2 from the 1970s.

    [​IMG]


    A Model 25-2. The serial suggests a 1980 date but it has the 6.5" barrel supposedly phased out in 1978. Most likely they used up old barrels in inventory so it took a few years to make the transition.

    [​IMG]


    A pre-27 "357 Magnum" with the scare 6.5" barrel. I looked for one of these for at least 10 years before breaking down and paying way too much for this one. One man who saw it remarked that the red insert front sight and white outline rear sight must have been added but these optional features were available beginning in 1953 and I see no reason to believe the gun is not factory original.

    [​IMG]


    A 32-20 Military & Police Model. The long barrel and round butt seems an odd combination but many early S&Ws were made this way. The stocks are post 1968 and are way too new for this old gun and I am searching for an older set to look right.

    [​IMG]
     
  2. BYJO4

    BYJO4 Member

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    Nice group of Smiths.
     
  3. Iggy

    Iggy Member

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    Here's another one for you to look for.
    [​IMG]
    S&W 38/44 Outdoorsman
     
  4. cyclopsshooter

    cyclopsshooter Member

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    DERP- Revolver turrets of the keyboard.-

    [​IMG]

    I cant help it... but I seriously love it when you post photos.
     
  5. SaxonPig

    SaxonPig Member

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    Iggy- The ODs are beautiful but too pricey for me. They have become purely a collector's gun.

    CS- Nice Colts but I am pretty sure they have 6" tubes and not 6.5. :)

    Not that there's anything wrong with that...

    [​IMG]
     
  6. bluetopper

    bluetopper Member

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    I sold this 25-2, 45acp, 6.5" barrel a couple of years ago. My photo taking skills are not in your league but she was a beauty.


    [​IMG]
     
  7. Checkman

    Checkman member

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    My 1950 Outdoorsman with 6.5" barrel (mfd. 1953). It's a rescue gun. Poor thing had been through hell when I found it and didn't have a crane. I paid $50.00 for it. I found a crane and spent a couple hundred dollars more on it having it brought up to speed. Shoots like a dream now.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2012
  8. bluetopper

    bluetopper Member

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    All Outdoorsmans are 38 Special caliber aren't they?
     
  9. Iggy

    Iggy Member

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    Technically speaking, the first Outdoorsman was a .22. otherwise know as the K-22
    [​IMG]

    It was followed by the 38/44 and then changed to after the war to the more familiar ones we see today.
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2012
  10. cyclopsshooter

    cyclopsshooter Member

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    damn iggy.. pre-war adjustable sights... nice
     
  11. Iggy

    Iggy Member

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    cyclopsshooter

    Thanks, sometimes when you go walkin' in the bull pasture, you come back with sumthin' besides crap on your boots.:)
     
  12. Guillermo

    Guillermo member

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    Saxon

    Once again thank you for sharing your amazing collection with us.

    :D
     
  13. Checkman

    Checkman member

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    The 38-44 Outdoorsman is a 38 caliber revolver. The 38-44 was a high velocity 38 Special load. The 44 indicated it was to be fired in the 44 frame or large frame also known as the S frame and now the N frame.

    There were a few large frame Outdoorsman made in 45 Colt and possibly a few other calibers (such as 44-40 WCF), but it's hard to track those down. I got that info from Standard Catalog of Smith & Wesson; 3rd Edition by the way.
     
  14. gjamison

    gjamison Member

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    the 38/44 outdoorsmen was never call an S frame. the S came from when S&W
    had to add a letter prefix to there serial numbers. the 38/44 OD was built on the
    N frame.
     
  15. Guillermo

    Guillermo member

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    gjamison is right

    always a N frame

    The "S" prefix was added when the then-new hammer block was introduced in August of 1946*

    * standard catalog of smith and wesson, 3rd addition
    page 156
     
  16. mope540

    mope540 Member

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    Nice Smiths!!!! especially the 25-2s.

    My only 6 1/2" S&W is this 627 PC. 1/200, early '98 run for Lew Horton. Sweet shooter...downright scary accurate.

    [​IMG]
     
  17. Checkman

    Checkman member

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    Guillermo
    I've got some articles and books from the 1950's in which the writers (to include Elmer Keith) keep referring to the large frame S&W revolvers as S Frames. So in the interest of accuracy I listed that as one of the names that were used for the old 44 frame over the years.

    Incidentally my Outdoorsman has the S prefix with the serial number since it was made in 53. I can see why there would have been those who called it an S frame for the few years until Smith added the N prefix in place of the S prefix.

    Interesting how things change over the years.
     
  18. Iggy

    Iggy Member

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    Ol Elmer's 38/44 loads make that Outdoorsman come alive.
    You can reach right out there and smack something with real authority with those.
     
  19. Metal Tiger

    Metal Tiger Member

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    629-1

    Here is one of mine from the mid 80's

    [​IMG]
     
  20. 788Ham

    788Ham Member

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    Iggy,

    I saw one of those 38 - 44's at the pawn where I picked up my recent Colt Trooper, I was going to look at it, until I spied that Colt. I might have to go back and take a look, It sure weren't purty like yours is!
     
  21. 45crittergitter

    45crittergitter Member

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    Here's a couple of 6.5" 657 Classic Hunters from 2 different runs.
     

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  22. Iggy

    Iggy Member

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    788Ham

    Yeah, most 38/44s were definitely working guns. The ones with fixed sights often wound up in lawmen's holsters. The fixed sight guns are called Heavy Duties, and the ones with adjustable sights like mine are Outdoorsmans. They both are in pretty high demand.

    They are terrific guns and were the predecessors to the 357 Magnum.
     
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