View Full Version : 5" N frame.

Nomad, 2nd
October 22, 2014, 01:31
So, I'm 20 days past spinal surgery, and HAD TO get out of the house.
So I talked my sister into taking me out for lunch, and I'd buy her's

"NATURALLY" we had to hit a couple pawn shops coming back. (me limping in there with a cane)

And there was this 5" N frame sitting there looking all lonely.
This is a model 544 in 44/40, commemorative model. It's got one nick, and a couple scratches on the grip, no finish wear, and I've probably 2x'd the faint cylinder drag line dry firing it. Fortunately/unfortunately some jackass had the hammer and cylinder polished. (and an action job that almost makes me forgive him!) It's professionally done, but makes it a shooter rather than a collectible. For $625 OTD and the fact that these were apparently made to use .44 projectiles.... I can stand it.

I've got several N frames, but never a 5"

I'm looking at this thing like my first 3" K frame. (model 66 for $316)
World changing. (I didn't like revolvers before that 66, although I had a small pile) and I didn't really like my N frames until now.

Most K frames should be 3" and most N frames should be 5"
If you haven't, you owe it to yourself to try one.

Guess I need 44-40 dies...

October 22, 2014, 06:01
My dick's bigger than your dick.... my dick's bigger than yours.... :tongue:

What mine lacks in GIRTH, it makes up for in LENGTH.
Seven-eighths bigger to be exact.

Hey seriously... nice score.

...and good on your sister for hanging out with you in your "time of need."

Hope you got her something nice too.


October 22, 2014, 06:02
...and as always

Post pics of sister.


Nomad, 2nd
October 22, 2014, 08:11
She wanted a few little odds and ends (DVD's etc)
I couldn't get them Lower, but I got them to throw them in on the deal.)
-and to be fair I HAVE "put her on retainer" to run errands for me while I'm laid up.

Pix.... Not a chance with you vultures.
Besides, it's my OTHER sister (the track star) who got the looks in the family!


October 22, 2014, 08:58
Just something about a 5" N frame, yanno? :bow:

My "N's" are either fours or sixers, never lucked out on a "5". :(

44/40? OK, but just seems odd.

Enjoy, you lucky sog.

PS, no need to send pics of "track star" sis. Couldn't catch up anyway. :sad:

October 22, 2014, 10:41
I have a 5" 27, I prefer 6.5" Ns though...

October 22, 2014, 12:03
I have my 5" 629 classic. I find it a nicely balanced revolver.

Nomad, 2nd
October 22, 2014, 13:17

44/40? OK, but just seems odd.


NOT my first choice, but seeing as how they apparently used M-29 barrel blanks (so i only need dedicated brass, not projectiles) and given the price of other 5" N frames....

I can deal with it.

October 22, 2014, 16:40
For sure, I would have dealt with it too. :D
It's just a strange caliber to find in a modern day S&W and not one I would expect to see.
What was it they were commemorating if I may ask?

I found the 44/40 to be a bit of a bugger to reload for. There's just a lot of little issues to deal with. Most bullets for one, have the canulure set up for .44 Special and Magnum and located too far back to work in the 44/40.
The Shell Holder that was supposed to fit, didn't. Resizing die left a ring until it was reamed out. Cases only lasted 3 to 4 loadings before they started to separate. The loads were warmish, but not hot, cases were getting overworked in the resizing process and made brittle.

But hey, I'm not trying to discourage you, that was in a 70 year old '92 Winchester. Hope you have better luck.

October 22, 2014, 18:17
Regardless of caliber...I love a 5" N-frame. I'd say you did well.

October 22, 2014, 19:22
Just a thought, you could have a 44 special or magnum cylinder fitted to make it even better.

Retired Bum
October 22, 2014, 19:42
In my gun safe resides a Model 544 that I purchased NIB with its display case and all accessories and paperwork in the late 1980's. Paid $500 for it per my records which was MSRP as I recall. About 8,000 of them were produced in their own serial number range starting with TWT0001.

I was curious about the groove diameter of the 544's barrel so I took it to a gunsmith who slugged the bore for me and it measures .429 inch which is identical to my Model 29-2 .44 Magnum and my Models 24-3 .44 Specials. This was good news to me because I cast my own lead bullets and I size them all to .430 inch. I bought a RCBS #44200FN double cavity mold that duplicates the weight and shape of the original factory bullet.

I bought a box of Winchester 200 grain JSP factory ammo and chrono'd this load at 754 fps out of that five inch barrel. Very tame and mild shooting to say the least. My standard hand load uses the RCBS bullet and 7.0 grains of #231 which chrono'd at 820 fps. A bit more energy but certainly still quite tame and easy on the 544. The cylinder walls are thin and the bolt locking notch is right in the center of the wall over the chamber. So only tame loads in my 544. If I want more energy I use one of my other Smith .44's.

I have three five inch N frames. The other two are the stainless Model 625-2 aka .45 Model of 1988 and a Model 27-2 .357 Magnum. Five inch barrels look just right on the N frame.

And so it goes.

The Retired One

Timber Wolf
October 23, 2014, 18:26
Yep, agree that 5" Ns are cool. Mine is a 27. My 44-40 is another largish revo, a Colt New Service.

October 24, 2014, 12:36
I lucked into one awhile back. 5" Model 27 no dash with a S serial number. It is has lots of honest holster wear but it locks up tight and it has the best trigger of all of my other Smiths.
I feel that the N frames are really overbuilt for the .357 Mag.
The 5 " barrel does balance out nicely though.
I am still looking for a 3 1/2 " model 27 that I can afford.

Nomad, 2nd
October 24, 2014, 13:32
I am still looking for a 3 1/2 " model 27 that I can afford.

I got a buddy with one.

He's about it trade it off and get $1,500 trade value.

Retired Bum
October 24, 2014, 15:03
Before I found the five inch Model 27-2 I was called by my favorite LGS at the time and was told that they had just taken in trade a 27-2 3.5 inch still new and unfired in the wooden display case and was I interested? Oh yeah....

Bought the 3.5 incher and it was perfect without even a cylinder turn line. And it had something that I haven't ever seen on a N frame made in the 1970's. Triple serial numbers. The one on the butt, another on the inside frame below the Mod 27-2 stamping, and the third inside the ejector rod shroud.

I buy guns to shoot them and once I got the rear sight dialed in to hit the point of aim at 50 feet I could put all of my 158 grain LSWC hand loads inside of the ten ring firing double action. This was before it became necessary for me to start wearing bifocals. Before the K frame .357 Combat Magnum arrived on the scene the 3.5 inch N frame was a popular duty weapon for FBI agents who in those long gone days were allowed to carry a privately owned handgun.

I eventually acquired two other 27-2's. A six inch and the 8 3/8ths inch. But the 3.5 and the five inch were my favorites of the group. I sold the two longer barreled 27-2's to finance my purchase of a Swiss made Sig P210-6 9mm.

And so it goes.

The Retired One

October 24, 2014, 19:01
Guys, I have a model 28-2 in really good shape, .357 mag "Highway Patrolman", 4 inch bbl. Got it from a local pawnshop that is one of my "circuit store checks". The bolt notch is directly over the chamber, otherwise a very heavily-made .357 revolver.
I do prefer the 5-inch bbl, esp in .357 due to muzzle blast from the four-inch barrel.
Have been thinking about how it would be my favorite carry IF it were in .44 spec or .44 mag, or even my "happy cartridge" .41 mag. I do reload for all these cartridges.

Would the cost of barreling and cylinder swap be prohibative, and be less money/trouble to look for a model 29? Is it worth the trouble? School me, all frank opinions accepted with pleasure and the usual grain of salt.

I do have a .44 Redhawk 5.5" and it's about as heavy and bulky as I care for in an "all-day" carry, less would be better. Have thought about cutting this back to 4.1" inch. Now Ruger has these in four inch barrels but I havent seen any.
Thanks, Dun

Nomad, 2nd
October 24, 2014, 21:42
Sell/trade the 28 for What you want.

Otherwise you will ruin the value, and spend more than if you got out of the 28 for a .44.

Retired Bum
October 24, 2014, 22:13
About 15 years ago I was offered a four inch Model 28-2 Highway Patrolman in a private sale. I looked it over and it seemed to be in reasonably decent condition with the original Magna grips numbered to the gun. The seller wanted only $200 for it which was a low ball price even back then. He explained that he need auto insurance money and that is why he was hoping I'd buy the 28-2. So I gave two Franklins and took the piece home.

My rountine with a newly purchased revolver is to remove the cylinder and the grips and then give it a good cleaning. Upon removing the grips I found something that I wished wasn't there. The seller had electro penciled his name and SS number on the grip frame. He had neglected to tell me this of course. But even so I still considered it a good buy for $200. Cleaned the 28-2 and then put the grips back on and added a Tyler T-Grip that I had. And so it remains to this day.

This is the third 28-2 I have owned over the years. All of them have been excellent shooters with very good accuracy. I always considered the Highway Patrolman to be the best buy in a N frame.

The .41 Magnum was mentioned in a post by STGThndr. I have owned four S&W's so chambered. Three 57's and one 58. Still have a four inch 57 and the 58. The other two were the 8 3/8th's models. Both long gone now. I have to admit that the Model 58 is my favorite of the two. I have always had a thing for basic service revolvers and pistols. My favorite type of handgun by far. The M58 shoots to point of aim with my 215 grain LSWC handloads that duplicate the so called "police" 210 grain LSWC factory rounds. I picked up the M58 used at a out of town gun shop for $350 almost 20 years ago. Pinned and recessed of course. Now a decent one goes for around a grand if all original....

And so it goes.

The N Frame Loving Retired One

October 25, 2014, 17:54
http://i169.photobucket.com/albums/u223/wayne1967/image_zps79574a11.jpg (http://s169.photobucket.com/user/wayne1967/media/image_zps79574a11.jpg.html)

October 25, 2014, 20:57
With the price of N frames being what they are now, it would be better just to sell it and buy another N frame in the caliber/ barrel length that you want. Lots of Model 28 's were rebuilt to 44 Special back in the day, but if or when you try to sell it you will not break even with what you have in it.
It took me a couple of years of looking but I was able to snag four N frames..
5" Model 27 , 4 " factory nickle Model 57, a beater Model 58, and a 4 " Model 28-2.
The 58 cost me the most out these four. It's an old cop revolver that lived a hard life in a duty holster. No rust or other major issues, just not a lot of blue left on it. It shots to point of aim as well with my reloads. Out of the four it is my favorite.

October 29, 2014, 08:33
No fear, I won't butcher my N-Frame- nor would I ever sell or trade it anyway. It's a perfect .357 (altho the .357 cartridge does well out of a longer barrel too). Finding an affordable .41 N-Frame is unlikely, but one can hope.