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S&W Mdl 27 Classic

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by Mr. Mosin, May 31, 2020.

  1. Driftwood Johnson

    Driftwood Johnson Member

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    Howdy

    Picture is worth 1000 words department.

    I just grabbed a bunch of N frame Smiths and took a close look where the rear sight screw is. It is not directly over the barrel/cylinder gap, it is a bit closer to the frame.

    Here is my Model 27. Notice where the screw is, without getting my calipers out I would say the screw hole is centered about halfway along the amount of barrel extending in from the frame.

    pnGZRQUgj.jpg




    Yes, it could use a good cleaning, don't give me any grief about that. From this view the front sight screw is completely hidden by the barrel extension. Yes, there is a little bit of flame cutting, but this Model 27 left the factory in 1959, so a little bit of flame cutting is to be expected. Anyway, I don't see any evidence of any problem caused by the screw hole. If a little bit of soot gets blasted onto the circumference of the cylinder, so what? Yes, the soot is more noticeable on a stainless revolver than on a blued revolver because the soot is dark. By the way, any soot deposited on the circumference of the cylinder is easy to wipe off with a cloth soaked in Hoppes #9. Nothing abrasive is needed. Not like the carbon rings that get blasted onto the front face of the cylinder, they are more difficult to remove, which is why I never bother.

    pmdioOVmj.jpg




    Here is why a Model 27 weighs more than a Model 19. K frame Model 19-3 on the left, N frame Model 27 on the right. The cylinder is bigger, so the frame has to be bigger to accommodate the bigger cylinder.

    pofgzzxBj.jpg




    My six inch Model 27 weighs 3 pounds 1 ounce unloaded. The next time I have my six inch Model 19 out I will weigh it and let you know what it weighs.

    pnvS3gDSj.jpg
     
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  2. Mr. Mosin

    Mr. Mosin Member

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    Thank you. For a belt gun, an "all day carry" gun, the Mdl 19 wins out, but for extensive Magnum usage, the Mdl 27 will be better ?
     
  3. labnoti

    labnoti Member

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    The Model 27 Driftwood Johnson has photographed is not a Model 27 Classic, but a Model 27 from 1994 or earlier. I can see from the pinned barrel it is earlier than 1982. Importantly, the rear sight it features is the old style rear sight. Incidentally, those rear sights are no longer manufactured by S&W and they can be difficult to find replacements for.

    Sometime in the 1990's, S&W updated their KLN and later X frame revolvers to use the current rear sight design. In this photo of a Model 27 Classic, the screw can be seen over the cylinder. There are in fact three holes drilled and tapped in the top strap. Of the three, only the most forward hole is used to secure the rear sight. The back of the rear sight is secured by a nut in a dovetail. In the photo, I have also pointed out the blotching on the cylinder caused by the screw hole. This is not my photo, but I found it on an auction site.

    Untitled.jpg
     
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  4. Driftwood Johnson

    Driftwood Johnson Member

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    Yes, that is exactly why the Model 19, originally called the 357 Combat Magnum, was developed in 1955. Famed lawman and shooter Bill Jordan suggest to S&W that they build a 357 Magnum on the K frame that would be lighter for all day carry than the N frame Model 27.

    The Model 27 has a cylinder the same diameter as any N frame revolver. My photo graphically illustrates how much more metal there is between chambers on the Model 27. More important, you can see that because of the larger diameter cylinder there was no need for a clearance cut a the bottom of the forcing cone, so the forcing cone is full diameter all the way around. The flat on the bottom of the forcing cone of a K frame revolver has caused problems in the past with light, high velocity 357 Magnum bullets.

    Here is the forcing cone on my Model 19-3. The slight flat created by the clearance cut is visible. This slightly lessens the amount of metal in that spot.

    plgMV7BGj.jpg
     
  5. Driftwood Johnson

    Driftwood Johnson Member

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    If you read my post, you will see my Model 27 shipped in 1959.
     
  6. labnoti

    labnoti Member

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    An early Model 27 is a wonderful range gun, a terrific gun for big game hunting, and just a great gun for anyone who wants to admire or collect old Smith and Wessons. Generally speaking, the earlier the example, the better simply because they gradually cut costs over the decades.

    A Model 27 Classic has a lot of the features and style of the earlier Model 27's, and is available in new condition with a warranty. They're well-made guns but without the "numismatic" value of the collector pieces. They would still be great for the range or hunting but most people would find them absurd for everyday carry. Even in 1971, the premise of "Dirty Harry" was how outrageous it was for a dude to walk around with a l0ng-barreled N frame. The Model 29 is the same gun just chambered in 44 which actually makes it lighter weight since they bore out more metal than they would for 357. Now that we're decades into the age of polymer wonders, the proposition is even more absurd. Some people can do it. Most people would find it outrageous.

    A Model 627 is a great range gun, hunting gun, and competition gun. If you really want an all-day shooter with a ton of "bolt-on" aftermarket upgrades and accessories available, the 627 just has it all -- all but the nostalgia, legend status, and authenticity of an early "pre-27" collector item. It lacks the esoteric qualities but has more of everything else.

    Model 19's, especially the most recent iteration are not less capable of shooting lots of hot magnums. The recoil velocity of the lighter gun will be more, but the gun is durable. No doubt any model 27 would be more pleasant for a day at the range with full Magnums than a Model 19, but the inverse is true if it would be carried all day and not shot. On the other hand, it can make sense to choose an everyday carry gun not based on what's most comfortable, but what you would want to fight a fight with. Of these guns, the 627 is the better weapon.
     
  7. fxvr5

    fxvr5 Member

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    How much lighter was the 44?
     
  8. labnoti

    labnoti Member

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    Here is a Model 29 Classic. The frame is the same as a Model 27 Classic. This photo shows the three holes in the top strap.

    img_1658.jpg_thumbnail0.jpg
     
  9. Mr. Mosin

    Mr. Mosin Member

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    Aye. The Mdl 27 is.... large. Though I'd think many an officer carried a 19 on his hip through the years. Many more carried a 10 or a 15- and they survived well.
     
  10. tipoc

    tipoc Member

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    I was incorrect about the barrel in the vid. My mistake. I was thinking of something else and not the 2 piece barrels.

    I was correct that the crack in that frame has nothing to do with shooting.
     
  11. tipoc

    tipoc Member

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    That photo does not show three holes in the top strap that I can see.
     
  12. bannockburn

    bannockburn Member

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    tipoc
    As far as I know, and from looking at a Model 27 schematic, there appears to be only one hole in the top strap and that's to secure the rear sight assembly to the frame. Maybe Driftwood could shed some light on this.
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2020
  13. Mr. Mosin

    Mr. Mosin Member

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    I read (somewhere) the Classic's have 3 holes in the topstrap. For mounting optics.
     
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  14. Driftwood Johnson

    Driftwood Johnson Member

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    Sorry, I'm afraid I am not much help with this. Most of my S&W revolvers are from the 1980s or before. I pulled a bunch out of my safe yesterday, both N frames and K frames. They all pretty much have the sight mounted with one screw exactly as on my Model 27. I don't have one of the current 'Classic' models and I have not handled one. Perhaps next time I go into a gun shop I will get a chance to handle one, but for now, all I am aware of is the one screw positioned as it is in my photo.
     
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  15. Dave T

    Dave T Member

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    When I was a uniform deputy with the Sheriff's Department I initially carried a M-28 Highway Patrolman. In 1974 they authorized semi autos and I then carried a Government Model Colt. I admit I was much younger back then but I was never bothered by the weight of either sidearm, even on some long 12-14 hr days.

    Dave
     
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  16. tipoc

    tipoc Member

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    The pic posted by Labnoti says that it shows three holes in the top strap. Like I asked I don't see three holes. That's why i asked.

    However in my 386PD the top strap does have 3 holes. As do some other modern S&W revolvers with the barrel sleeves. These holes are for mounting optics. that is the only "modern" S&W that I have.
     
  17. labnoti

    labnoti Member

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    Sorry I don't have a better picture. If you're using a phone to look at it, the holes are probably not visible. I assure you the top strap of the Model 27 Classic is exactly as your 386 PD. Pretty much all S&W KLN and X frames have the same three drilled and tapped holes and use the same style rear-sight with the rounded front tang since sometime in the early nineties. Examine just about any S&W revolver (other than J frame and maybe Governor) currently sold in the store, and it will have the three divots under the top strap.

    Just to clarify, because S&W made it confusing, "Model 27 Classic" means the new, not-classic model 27 made since 2010. All classic Model 27 not-"classic" revolvers that were made before they were discontinued in 1994, do not have the top-strap drilled and tapped for optics. They just have one hole in the frame above the forcing cone for the sight screw.
     
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  18. Rodfac

    Rodfac Member

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    I'll add here that my 629-6 has three holes drilled in the top strap and zero carbon/lead build-up points on the cylinder exterior. Yes, it does have the aptly named, "Hillary Hole" but I've long since ceased to notice.

    The gun is superbly accurate, with a 5" "Classic" marked, non-sleeved bbl., and those fugly rubber grips that incidentally, soak up a lot of the remaining recoil not dissipated by it's 50.4 oz. (3 lbs. - 2.4 oz.), fully loaded, weight. It is, in fact, more accurate than any of its 3 predecessors: a 1973 vintage 6" M29, a mid-80's "Classic" 6-1/2" M29, and another early 70's 6 incher. All of these were good, accurate .44's and would easily keep a cylinder inside a 2" post-it, at 25 yds. But this 5 incher does even better. All said and done, it sports a super SA trigger, but has a DA pull that's noticeably heavier than my previous Smith .44's. But for me, SA is the name of the game...no DA work with a .44 at all. As a range gun for distance shooting and for putting down crippled stock, it has no equal in my hands.

    As good as it is, I rarely carry it here on the farm, primarily because of the weight, but I'd seriously consider it slung in a "tanker" style, cross chest holster, if I was still strong legged and had the lungs to hunt elk west of Trinidad, between the peaks, in Colorado's high country.

    For daily, big caliber carry on the farm, I've found Smith's M-69 (sleeved bbl. and cursed "Hole" et. al.) a better choice. At .38 oz. unloaded, it's the same weight as my M-66 & M-19 Smiths. Like them it's 4-1/4" bbl. doesn't ride up into my ribs when seated, with accuracy that is all that I can hold for (both cast and jacketed bullets despite Brian Pearce's lack luster cast bullet results). I carry it mostly with .44 Special level loads...Skelton's classic 7.5 gr of Unique in Special brass for 950 fps with any good 240 gr. LSWC bullet. Before any pooh, pooh that combination, it's a fine load for most anything in the lower 48, with plenty of penetration out to 25 yds or so.

    Sorry for the thread drift & but I do like my .44's and that M-69 was a good choice...YMMv, Rod
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2020
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