The UN-Shrouded Ejector Rod

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by Fleetwood_Captain, Mar 19, 2010.

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  1. Billy Shears

    Billy Shears Member

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    Mr. Boothroyd was author of several published works on the history of firearms, regular contributor to a large number of magazines and specialist publications during his lifetime, a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland and member of the Arms and Armour Society, and was certified as an expert witness in the British courts. He was also the one who persuaded Ian Fleming to change James Bond's armament from the pipsqueak Beretta .25 that Fleming originally armed him with, and became the basis for the character "Q." He was more than just "some limey author" and his opinion carries a great deal of weight as well.
     
  2. Glock Holiday

    Glock Holiday Member

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    ColtDSr.gif
    My 1969 Colt second generation detective special with an un-shrouded Ejector Rod.
    Colt produced this shroud less model from around 1927 until 1972.
     
  3. Guillermo

    Guillermo member

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    If the opinion attributed to him here is accurate, he had a skewed opinion of the firearms that we were discussing.

    As to why he expressed that the Smiths were delicate I cannot say. National pride? Take out of context? He was paid by a competing manufacturer?


    On this one I am a proponent of the gold standard.



    (for those without an inkling of Spanish, "Oro" means "gold")
     
  4. unspellable

    unspellable Member

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    Ball detent

    <<<
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by unspellable
    I have a late production S&W M29 with a ball and detent as a third latch. It locates the crane quite nicely and is far simpler to produce.

    I don't think that's a "production" feature, but rather an aftermarket addition.
    >>>

    Nope. It's a standard production feature on more than one model of S&W. In my case it's a Model 29-9. The ball is on the front of the crane. The second latch at the front of the shroud is absent.

    On the aftermarket mods I've seen, the ball has been on top of the crane and the second latch is still present..
     
  5. Billy Shears

    Billy Shears Member

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    His opinion may not have been skewed, it may be based on some experience, who can say? The British bought of lot of Colt and S&W revolvers during WWI, and some of those were triple locks, which did have very finely made mechanisms, especially as regards the cylinder lock up. All it would have taken was a couple of instance of one malfunctioning in the trenches for word to get around. After all, the more intricate a mechanism is, the more liable it is to get out of order, and conditions in the trenches of WWI were far harsher than most handguns will ever see. A problem needn't even be a common one to have this happen. Let it happen even just a few times and word of mouth may put it around.

    And his opinion of Webley revolvers isn't simply a matter of national pride. Webleys were robust. True the frames and cylinders wouldn't handle most modern full power cartridges, but it didn't need to be; the .455 Webley round fired a big heavy bullet at the sedate velocity of 650 fps. The Webleys were more than strong enough to handle this cartridge, and the lockwork had a reputation for being very rugged and standing up to even the harshest treatment.

    So Boothroyd's comment may not be "skewed" at all when you look at it in that context.
     
  6. Guillermo

    Guillermo member

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    Billy, I will admit that context is often everything. With that in mind I will reserve judgement until I read what he had to say in context.

    I remember watching a movie clip, do not remember the name of the movie. The guy is saying in a high incredulous voice "I killed Vinny? I killed Vinny? I killed Vinny?" (or whoever)

    The just then asked the court reporter to read the transcript which read "I killed Vinny, I killed Vinny, I killed Vinny."
     
  7. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Member

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    Mr. Boothroyd indeed was more than just "some limey author" and his opinion carries a great deal of weight in some quarters, but it doesn't change history.

    In the Summer of 1914 the British sent S&W a hurry-up order for hand ejector revolvers chambered to use their .455 service cartridge. S&W said O.K., but they would have to build them on a .44 Triple Lock platrorm, and submitted a sample. The Brits. said that the sample was too heavy, not too light, and they were worried about getting mud into the 3rd. lock asembly. However given the war emergency they would accept the Triple Locks until a new lockless barrel could be designed, tooled and put into production.

    So in the intrem they got (and issued) some 5000 Triple Lock revolvers. Following this S&W made an additional 69,754 revolvers with no lock and no oversized underlug. The first 5000 apparently served well because they were not withdrawn from service. Those that were still in inventory and serviceable were reissued in 1940 and used during the Second War until enough .38 Enfield, Webley, Smith & Wesson and Colt revolvers were obtained to meet current needs.

    A similar revolver, chambered in .45 ACP, with a 1" shorter barrel was used by the U.S. Army during the First World War, under the same conditions that the English were facing. They also had no problems with them being too delicate, and they were reissued during the Second War.

    Boothroyd has a right to his opinion, but it doesn't reflect what really happened.
     
  8. Guillermo

    Guillermo member

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    Old Fuff has spoken...might as well shut down the thread
     
  9. gunnie

    gunnie Member

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    ..."And his opinion of Webley revolvers isn't simply a matter of national pride. Webleys were robust. True the frames and cylinders wouldn't handle most modern full power cartridges, but it didn't need to be; the .455 Webley round fired a big heavy bullet at the sedate velocity of 650 fps. The Webleys were more than strong enough to handle this cartridge, and the lockwork had a reputation for being very rugged and standing up to even the harshest treatment."...

    not trying to start a rant. i think you missed my point. if you change out "webley" for "schofield" in your posting, i think you'll see what i mean. the schofield was used by the army as late as the spanish american war, and the phillipine insurection. they were issued in 1875...

    i own a delicate S&W new century "triple lock". the frame dates almost a century ago. it still shoots .45 (long) colt standard velocity ammunition without problems...

    ..."The S&Ws were considered too light weight and prone to being put out of action in the mud of the trenches. The heavier New Service was favored. "...

    i think the above mentioned colts were excellent revolvers also. but how exactly would a heavier frame prevent contamination?

    gunnie
     
  10. Billy Shears

    Billy Shears Member

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    It doesn't, but a lot of what people "know" about guns is simply perception, and may not reflect reality 100%. Take another example: the supposed impetus behind the 1911 and the .45ACP. Story goes that the .38 Colt was found so lacking in stopping power against the Moros, that old .45 SAAs were brought out of inventory, and cured the problem. Except that's not quite true. It is true that .38 experienced failures to stop against the Moros. But then again, so did the .45 SAAs, and so, for that matter, did the .30-40 Krag rifles (Reportedly Winchester 1897s did well though). But the perception that the .38 was almost totally ineffective, and the .45, when used in it's place "knocked the Moros clean off their feet" became established. It's more perception than reality, and this perception was probably born out of the feeling among the troops that the .38 was vastly inferior to the old .45 cartridge, and never should have been adopted. So, the troops "remembered" things according to their preconceived ideas.

    I can see something of the same sort happening with the Triple Lock among the British. British troops used to the heavy, chunky, industrial-ugly Webley, and quite satisfied with its performance see this beatiful, sleek, shiny S&W, with its slender, gracile lines, and multiplicity of finely made parts, and figure it just can't be as rugged. It's just too finely made. And so they become hypersensitive to any hiccup under service conditions, and may even predict problems that never happen. They then "remember" that the S&W was just not us rugged and durable -- especially if they were long-serving professional officers, and later saw a problem [admittedly an easily corrected one] materialize that I have read about in more than one source relating British experience with the weapons: some S&W revolver mainsprings taking on enough of a set, or weakening after many years of service, or even simply getting out of adjustment, so that it doesn't ignite the primer every time, which never seemed to happen in civilian service, but British military ammo had harder than usual primers, and demanded a harder strike. If they then saw anything like this happen, even years later, it could confirm a preconceived bias. And so, in British military circles, the S&W acquires a basically undeserved reputation for being too delicate.

    And then along comes Mr. Boothroyd many years later, who wasn't born early enough to serve during WWI, but was born early enough to have become acquainted with men who had served in the trenches. They relate their experiences, and he reports them, not suspecting that what he's listening to is their biases, and slightly distorted memories speaking, rather than hard facts.
     
  11. Billy Shears

    Billy Shears Member

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    Whoops! Double post.
     
  12. Guillermo

    Guillermo member

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    it sounds like you are saying that he is wrong and explaining why such is the case while defending him.

    BTW, thank you for your posts, I am truly enjoying the discussion and learning a lot
     
  13. Billy Shears

    Billy Shears Member

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    Not precisely. I think he was accurately relating what the British perception of the revolver was. Like it or not, somehow the S&W acquired that reputation in British service; there had to be some reason for it. But given the generally sterling reputation of the S&W, I'm offering one possible explanation for why that reputation is not consistent with other people's experience. But it's only a possible explanation. Again, WWI was one of the most horrific wars ever. The British death toll during the war was twice that of WWII, and the environment of the trenches was one of the most hostile in human experience. It really is possible that an environment that harsh revealed defects which went unrevealed by a century of service in police holsters and elsewhere, and that there were some failures of the weapon under those conditions. Without specific incidents, however, we'll never know.
     
  14. Guillermo

    Guillermo member

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    so you are saying that he was reporting the British perception rather than his own opinion that the Smith was "delicate"

    I must have misunderstood from the beginning.

    While I am sorry for not paying closer attention from the beginning I certainly have learned a lot from the misunderstanding.
     
  15. Dave/hoff

    Dave/hoff Member

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    Finally

    A return to civility at the High Road.

    I hope that thousands here will read this thread and learn how a really "High Road" conversation is engaged.

    I would offer commendation, but for me to congratulate you gentlemen on just being gentlemen is not necessary. However, thanks are extended.
     
  16. Guillermo

    Guillermo member

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    Billy, Oro and Fuff are all worthy of respect.

    Anytime that you perceive me being any other way you will find that my tongue is firmly planted in my cheek.

    Folks like them are what make the High Road an incredible site.

    I am a hitchhiker.
     
  17. BullfrogKen

    BullfrogKen Moderator Emeritus

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    Conversations in the revolver section tend to have a bit less bluster than other sections of the board.
     
  18. Guillermo

    Guillermo member

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    revolvers go round and round in an elegant way, like their owners

    Autos are bottom feeding brass chuckers...

    :neener:

    :evil:

    :D
     
  19. Dave/hoff

    Dave/hoff Member

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    agreed

    Guillermo, I've enjoyed your posts for a while, especially your exchanges with Old Fuff. I recognize the fun you two have at each others expense.

    I agree totally with your "honor roll" of posters, and would submit that rcmodel, Jim Watson, Jim Keenan, as well as yourself and a few others are also deserving a certain amount of deference.

    There are others here (who shall remain nameless) whose posts I have learned to ignore.
     
  20. Guillermo

    Guillermo member

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    I too have a great deal of respect for the posters that you mention.

    And yes I like to yank Old Fuff's chain because I know that he will not take it wrong. (even though he hates vintage shotguns)

    there are others too

    While I appreciate you including me, I must reluctantly admit that I am not in their league
     
  21. Guillermo

    Guillermo member

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    BTW

    I would trade my single malt scotch collection for a gunsmithing and shooting lesson from Old Fuff.

    The boy knows some stuff
     
  22. Oyeboten

    Oyeboten Member

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    Well, of course the initial S&W 'M&P' ( 'K-Frame' ) of 1899 to 1902, had no shroud and no 'Lug' either, having a free floating Ejector Rod.

    Mud or Sand or debris wise, as for a Swing-Out Cylinder Revolver, I would expect that if any foreign matter got into the area where the Crane 'Leaves' close together, it would inhibit or prevent closing and latching the Cylinder, regardless of make.
     
  23. Checkman

    Checkman member

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    Well as an aside I like both Smith & Wesson 455 N frames and Webley Mk VI's. I finally got hold of a 455 Hand Ejector Mk II a few months ago. (That took some horse trading) to go with my Mk VI and I am now eyeballing a British Colt Official Police in 38/200 (i.e. 38 S&W). I like those old British military issue revolvers.

    Incidentally in defense of the Webley has anyone ever taken one apart and actually looked at it? Reminds me of the AK 47 in a way. Lots of empty space for things to rattle around in. Which makes perfect sense. The Brits needed a revolver that would require minimum maintenance while being carried by officers and NCO's out in the middle of nowhere Africa hundreds of miles away from the nearest supply depot. I can understand why the perception of the S&W Triple Lock was that it was delicate. Especially when compared to the Webley. Right or wrong.

    Hi guys I've been gone for almost two years. It's good to be back.
     
  24. 420Stainless

    420Stainless Member

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    My favorite advantage is that many nice old Colt's were made that way. I prefer the look of shrouded models, but I love to shoot those old Colts.
     
  25. tipoc

    tipoc Member

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    It is true that facts speak loudest.

    Boothroyd spoke his opinion based on his battlefield experience and his unquestioned knowledge of English military tastes and experience.

    The British, as reported by Boothroyd, preferred the Colt New Service over the S&W Triple Lock or the M1917. They considered the S&W to be a lighter weight and more delicate a gun in comparison to the New Service or the Webley. Where ever they could they got the New Service (It was the weapon of choice for the RCMP for example while Canada was still under the Queen) in preference over the S&W.

    Keep in mind that the U.S. military felt the same. For a brief period just prior to the development of the 1911, the U.S. went back to revolvers in .45 Colt and ordered New Services for troops in the Philippines. It also ordered some for use in Alaska.

    Now when short of guns and money in two world wars the British took and were glad to get a good many of the "delicate" M1917s and T Locks in .455. (Colt involved in producing the 1911 could not produce enough New Services (M1917) in .455 or .45acp) But it does not change the fact that the Colt New Service was and remains a more robust gun than any produced by S&W at the time. This latter is simply a fact. This is what Boothroyd was addressing.

    Most all revolvers proved too "delicate" for the trenches of WWI by the way.

    tipoc
     
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