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nvcdl
November 29, 2015, 17:02
Picked up a S&W 357 with a 3.5" barrel off gun broker. Has a lot of holster wear but is pretty tight otherwise. Grips are not original but are S&W.

Debating whether to leave as is or send out for refinishing. Not sure it has much collector value currently.

yellowhand
November 29, 2015, 17:14
Leave it or send it to Smith for any work, Smiths have gone through the roof and barrel lengths like this one, even more.
Model and dash number?
Inside frame latch.

BUFF
November 29, 2015, 17:26
Nice! Among S&W fans, the 3-1/2 incher like that is the most desirable.

P.M. me your serial number and I can tell you about when it was made and shipped.

tdb59
November 29, 2015, 17:33
3-1/2 inch Model 27 with Magna grips !

Woot !


:love::love::love:



.

FUUN063
November 29, 2015, 17:54
Those are really sweet pistolas! I've had mine many years and still have it, with some occasional shooting.


Leland
:fal:

W.E.G.
November 29, 2015, 18:02
Picked up a S&W 357 with a 3.5" barrel off gun broker. Has a lot of holster wear but is pretty tight otherwise. Grips are not original but are S&W.

Debating whether to leave as is or send out for refinishing. Not sure it has much collector value currently.

Totally leave AS-IS.

Unless you really WANT a safe queen.

Spend the $$$ on ammo and range time.

Unless you plan on carry in around in a range bag, holsters aren't cheap either.

I like the Model 440.

One holster allows for strong-side or crossdraw.

http://www.cowboyneeds.com/440.html

http://www.cowboyneeds.com/440.jpg


Available in also BLACK - which I prefer.


http://i227.photobucket.com/albums/dd7/rkba2da/holsters/triplekholster1.jpg

http://i227.photobucket.com/albums/dd7/rkba2da/holsters/triplekholster2.jpg

Retired Bum
November 29, 2015, 18:53
Almost 30 years ago I picked up a NIB Model 27-2 3.5 inch and it came with the wooden presentation case with tools and papers. Paid right at $500 for it as best as I can recall. About MSRP back then. Still have it although I have shot it so it is no longer NIB.....

A beautiful piece to say the least. I showed it to a self styled S&W collector a couple of years ago. He offered to take it off my hands for all of $400 because it was "second hand". Needless to say I rejected his offer. It sits in the safe next to my 27-2 five inch which I consider to be the best looking of the Model 27's. Had a six inch 27-2 and a 8 3/8th -2 as well. Sold them years ago for a fraction of what they would bring today. Maybe I will offer the two I have left to somebody who appreciates the old Smiths someday. I actually prefer shooting my 28-2 four inch Highway Patrolman to the Model 27's. I don't have to baby it like the 27's.....

And so it goes.


The Retired One

Right Side Up
November 29, 2015, 19:32
The prettiest N frame Smith I have is a Model 27.

nvcdl
November 30, 2015, 20:00
Serial number is S 1021XX

Here is a link to the auction - probably paid too much for a shooter but I wanted something I would actually be able to enjoy shooting.

If I refinish it I'd still shoot it - would put me at cost of a new S&W without the stupid lock and no MIM parts.


http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewItem.aspx?Item=523196479

4x401
November 30, 2015, 20:33
If you actualy paid that auction price, I think you did pretty well.

nvcdl
November 30, 2015, 20:48
Guy initially posted as a fixed $875 - after about a week he dropped price to $700 and I decided to pull the the trigger.

In meantime I won an auction for a Heavy Duty 38/44 at opening bid price of $490 - haven't received that one yet. Been refinished in Nickle but has original grips.

If you actualy paid that auction price, I think you did pretty well.

D P Six
November 30, 2015, 21:58
Serial number is S 1021XX 1953-54. If you disassemble, the ejector rod has right hand threads. Nice gun with character. Diamond grip would finish it off.

VALMET
November 30, 2015, 22:11
Congrats on the pick-up...N-frame Smiths are some of my all-time favorite firearms.

nvcdl
December 01, 2015, 11:33
I have a couple 28-2's in 357 but my only 27-2 is a switch cylinder conversion to 45LC/45acp. The 357/27 is neat as it is only N frame that has the cross checked top strap.

Almost 30 years ago I picked up a NIB Model 27-2 3.5 inch and it came with the wooden presentation case with tools and papers. Paid right at $500 for it as best as I can recall. About MSRP back then. Still have it although I have shot it so it is no longer NIB.....

A beautiful piece to say the least. I showed it to a self styled S&W collector a couple of years ago. He offered to take it off my hands for all of $400 because it was "second hand". Needless to say I rejected his offer. It sits in the safe next to my 27-2 five inch which I consider to be the best looking of the Model 27's. Had a six inch 27-2 and a 8 3/8th -2 as well. Sold them years ago for a fraction of what they would bring today. Maybe I will offer the two I have left to somebody who appreciates the old Smiths someday. I actually prefer shooting my 28-2 four inch Highway Patrolman to the Model 27's. I don't have to baby it like the 27's.....

And so it goes.


The Retired One

nvcdl
December 01, 2015, 11:36
I've picked up a couple used holsters for my N frames - haven't decided what I like best. If I'm carrying a revolver nowadays it is usually a K frame sized one.


Totally leave AS-IS.

Unless you really WANT a safe queen.

Spend the $$$ on ammo and range time.

Unless you plan on carry in around in a range bag, holsters aren't cheap either.

I like the Model 440.

One holster allows for strong-side or crossdraw.

http://www.cowboyneeds.com/440.html

http://www.cowboyneeds.com/440.jpg


Available in also BLACK - which I prefer.


http://i227.photobucket.com/albums/dd7/rkba2da/holsters/triplekholster1.jpg

http://i227.photobucket.com/albums/dd7/rkba2da/holsters/triplekholster2.jpg

FUUN063
December 02, 2015, 01:15
Haha, when I'm not shooting my 27-2 3 1/2", it sets next to my 5 inch pre-27 as well! Weird. Anyway, I have had several of each of the models of 27 including a few 8 inchers, 6 inchers and such. I recently sold my last 8" Model 27 LNIB with the wooden box for $1,200.00 at a local gun show to a dealer.

Leland
:fal:

BUFF
December 02, 2015, 05:34
nvcdl:

You picked 2 excellent revolvers. In particular, your .357 Magnum (and that is the actual model name or designation for the revolver, "The .357 Magnum" both the gun and the cartridge in it's 1935 roll-out) is big, noisy fun to shoot. It's a strong gun, capable of shooting hot ammo, and with the 3-1/2 inch barrel, you will get lots of flame and roar. Those checkered walnut Magna stocks never fit my hand very well. I usually liked smooth wood target stocks or neoprene Pachmayrs.

The .38-44 Heavy Duty is was the father of the .357 Magnum, developed and marketed 5 years before the Magnum and is big dirty fun to shoot with the intended ammunition, which when done right, runs just a bit slower than .357 Mag with the same bullet but a good bit faster than .38 Special +P. I usually load up a good stiff bite of -2400 under a 158-160 grain cast SWC to 1,150 fps or so out of the typical 5 inch barrel most of these have.

Post a picture or link to the .38-44 when you can.

I hope you handload. Modern .357 ammo is down-loaded from what it used to be and to get .38-44 performance, you have to roll your own. The steel in these big guns just swallows the blast and power and blows it downrange with authority! I love a big revolver.

nvcdl
December 02, 2015, 10:44
Yes - I've developed an affection for the big N frames.

Here is a link to the heavy duty auction pics - I expect to receive it next week.

http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewItem.aspx?Item=523406020


nvcdl:

You picked 2 excellent revolvers. In particular, your .357 Magnum (and that is the actual model name or designation for the revolver, "The .357 Magnum" both the gun and the cartridge in it's 1935 roll-out) is big, noisy fun to shoot. It's a strong gun, capable of shooting hot ammo, and with the 3-1/2 inch barrel, you will get lots of flame and roar. Those checkered walnut Magna stocks never fit my hand very well. I usually liked smooth wood target stocks or neoprene Pachmayrs.

The .38-44 Heavy Duty is was the father of the .357 Magnum, developed and marketed 5 years before the Magnum and is big dirty fun to shoot with the intended ammunition, which when done right, runs just a bit slower than .357 Mag with the same bullet but a good bit faster than .38 Special +P. I usually load up a good stiff bite of -2400 under a 158-160 grain cast SWC to 1,150 fps or so out of the typical 5 inch barrel most of these have.

Post a picture or link to the .38-44 when you can.

I hope you handload. Modern .357 ammo is down-loaded from what it used to be and to get .38-44 performance, you have to roll your own. The steel in these big guns just swallows the blast and power and blows it downrange with authority! I love a big revolver.

Retired Bum
December 02, 2015, 17:03
A bit over 20 years ago I acquired a 1937 made .38/44 Outdoorsman. This model has the 6.5 inch barrel with a Patridge front sight and an adjustable rear. Bought it from a fellow officer at the prison. He told me that it had belonged to his father. His wife wanted it out of the house and I bought it at a very good price.....

Like Buff, I worked up a hand load using the Lyman #358477 SWC over Blue Dot that chronographs at 1125 fps in the Outdoorsman. I have let a few others shoot the Outdoorsman and they can't believe how slick the double action trigger is. The single action trigger pull is like the proverbial glass rod. This was S&W's top of the line revolver before the introduction of the .357 S&W Magnum.

And so it goes.


The Retired One

Timber Wolf
December 02, 2015, 18:31
N frames are cool, and the "odd" lengths, like 3 1/2" & 5" are especially so. I have both 3 1/2" and 5" N frames. Sort of. The 5" is factory, but the 3 1/2" is a frankengun.

Long ago a time, I walked up on a 3 1/2" .357 Magnum N frame at a gun show. I did not know what it was, but I liked it, the price was fair ($275 as I recall) and I had the bucks so it followed me home. I shot it with some stout loads but not a lot and put it up.

Fast forward several years and I finally posted some pics of it on the S&W forum. The barrel was pretty obviously changed at some point. The cross hatching on top of the barrel did not match the top of the frame, but whoever did the work did a great job. The answer from the RKIs on the S&W forum was it was an Outdoorsman with a swapped barrel, and bored chambers to accept .357 cartridges.

That post on the S&W forum led to a member over there offering a NOS Outdoorsman barrel which I acquired from him and that is where the project sits. Some day I will "restore" the correct barrel to the Outdoorsman but leave the bored cylinder alone as it is serialed to the gun.

You probably don't want to hear about the 38/44 HD I bought at the pawn shop cheap (really cheap). I did not know what it was when I bought it either, just that it was a cheap .38.:whistling: I'd rather be lucky than good any day.

nvcdl
December 02, 2015, 19:28
N frames are cool, and the "odd" lengths, like 3 1/2" & 5" are especially so. I have both 3 1/2" and 5" N frames. Sort of. The 5" is factory, but the 3 1/2" is a frankengun.

Long ago a time, I walked up on a 3 1/2" .357 Magnum N frame at a gun show. I did not know what it was, but I liked it, the price was fair ($275 as I recall) and I had the bucks so it followed me home. I shot it with some stout loads but not a lot and put it up.

Fast forward several years and I finally posted some pics of it on the S&W forum. The barrel was pretty obviously changed at some point. The cross hatching on top of the barrel did not match the top of the frame, but whoever did the work did a great job. The answer from the RKIs on the S&W forum was it was an Outdoorsman with a swapped barrel, and bored chambers to accept .357 cartridges.

That post on the S&W forum led to a member over there offering a NOS Outdoorsman barrel which I acquired from him and that is where the project sits. Some day I will "restore" the correct barrel to the Outdoorsman but leave the bored cylinder alone as it is serialed to the gun.

You probably don't want to hear about the 38/44 HD I bought at the pawn shop cheap (really cheap). I did not know what it was when I bought it either, just that it was a cheap .38.:whistling: I'd rather be lucky than good any day.

Supposedly a lot of the 38/44s have been bored out for 357. I wouldn't be surprised if this one I have coming in is modified.

Tell us about the pawn shop find.

Timber Wolf
December 02, 2015, 20:31
Supposedly a lot of the 38/44s have been bored out for 357. I wouldn't be surprised if this one I have coming in is modified.

Tell us about the pawn shop find.

Not much to tell really. Back in my younger days I found the 38/44 HD in a pawn shop case with a price of $135. I bought it just cause that is what I did back then (buy guns on a whim). When I showed it to my then lady friend she said "its' so big".:uhoh: Sorry to say I did not hear that from her about other things.:( The gun is pretty nice but somebody did file the front site a little but noticeably.

You REALLY don't want to hear about the .44 Special Triple Lock I walked away from at a gun show for $145. He had literally just traded into it and wanted to blow it out and get his money back. I went down a few tables and bought a NIB 6" Dan Wesson .357 Mag for $165 instead. I have since picked up three other barrels/shrouds (2.5, 4, 8") to make the DW a "pistol pac" set.

Back when you could do stuff like this, I mounted a scope base on the 8" barrel shroud in Vo-Tec school shop class making what I call a "poor man's Python Hunter". Can you imagine working on guns in a public school shop class today? I regret not buying the .44 S&W, but have enjoyed and shot the DW a lot. At the time, I enjoyed and shot the DW so well I swapped off my Model 28 (for a Ruger Old Army). I have since replaced the 28, and added another for good measure.:wink:

But I digress, what was the question again?:confused:

nvcdl
December 03, 2015, 18:55
I kinda kick myself thinking of all the oddball N frame revolvers I passed on back in the 90s. Poltomac Arms in Alexandria,VA used to have all sorts of cool old guns show up - I remember they had a 3" 629 as new in box for $400, did pick up a 25-5 LC with Stag grips for $500 back then - ended up selling the grips to John Taffin and trading the revolver off for a 1911.

Not much to tell really. Back in my younger days I found the 38/44 HD in a pawn shop case with a price of $135. I bought it just cause that is what I did back then (buy guns on a whim). When I showed it to my then lady friend she said "its' so big".:uhoh: Sorry to say I did not hear that from her about other things.:( The gun is pretty nice but somebody did file the front site a little but noticeably.

You REALLY don't want to hear about the .44 Special Triple Lock I walked away from at a gun show for $145. He had literally just traded into it and wanted to blow it out and get his money back. I went down a few tables and bought a NIB 6" Dan Wesson .357 Mag for $165 instead. I have since picked up three other barrels/shrouds (2.5, 4, 8") to make the DW a "pistol pac" set.

Back when you could do stuff like this, I mounted a scope base on the 8" barrel shroud in Vo-Tec school shop class making what I call a "poor man's Python Hunter". Can you imagine working on guns in a public school shop class today? I regret not buying the .44 S&W, but have enjoyed and shot the DW a lot. At the time, I enjoyed and shot the DW so well I swapped off my Model 28 (for a Ruger Old Army). I have since replaced the 28, and added another for good measure.:wink:

But I digress, what was the question again?:confused:

W.E.G.
December 03, 2015, 19:01
I kinda kick myself thinking of all the oddball N frame revolvers I passed on back in the 90s. Poltomac Arms in Alexandria,VA used to have all sorts of cool old guns show up

If not already down, will be down very soon for the park they are building there.

A gun store on stilts. There was a reason for that.

Do you know what it was before it was Potomac Arms?

http://redbricktown.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/OHAHistoryWF0Prince-1024x794.jpg

http://gunlore.awardspace.info/gunknow/images/potomacarms.jpg

nvcdl
December 03, 2015, 21:10
Very cool pics - I figured the upstairs used to be a bar from the layout.

I used to stop by there most Saturdays to see what had turned up in the used gun case. They used to have great prices on used guns.

If not already down, will be down very soon for the park they are building there.

A gun store on stilts. There was a reason for that.

Do you know what it was before it was Potomac Arms?

http://redbricktown.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/OHAHistoryWF0Prince-1024x794.jpg

http://gunlore.awardspace.info/gunknow/images/potomacarms.jpg

STGThndr
December 03, 2015, 22:51
RB quote-I actually prefer shooting my 28-2 four inch Highway Patrolman to the Model 27's. I don't have to baby it like the 27's.....

And so it goes.


I hear this loud and clear... picked up a nice HP Smith .357 a couple years ago for under $500.00 It is my preferred .357 shooter cuz I don't want to wear out my Python. It's nicer than a Ruger and won't wear out even under heavy loads... BUT, like a Python it is accelerating in value tho not as much....

My shooting skills and preferences have evolved over the years.. I'm shootin big blast pistolas less than I used to.. I like shooting my stainless .44 Redhawk and carry it when camping here in the mtns and like it more than I did my model 66. And the .44 seems to have less muzzle-blast than the .357s.... I have several .44 mags, in part cuz I had nice leather holsters already, and in other part cuz I have an older Interarms Puma .44 lever rifle, which I bought in part cuz I had several .44 revolvers.... Now.... what to do to the Puma to make it more shootable? It sure isnt a .45-70.... I could use it for deer but my BLR does a better job over longer ranges. Wish I hant traded off my early-make Marlin .357 lever carbine..

Retired Bum
December 03, 2015, 23:57
My preferred trail handgun these days is a S&W Model 60-4 J frame .38 Special with the three inch full lug barrel and the adjustable rear sight. The carry load is the Winchester +P 158 grain LSWCHP aka the FBI load. Ten extra cartridges in my jacket pocket and I consider myself good to go for a walk in the woods.

A bit over 20 years ago I picked up a NIB Model 629-3 .44 Magnum Mountain Revolver. I bought a ballistic nylon fabric holster for it and used it for a trail gun. Carry load was the Winchester 210 grain Silvertip. But some years ago I came to the realization that I really didn't need that big four inch N frame on my hip. So I put it away and switched over to the Model 60-4. I consider it and the FBI load adequate for any two or four legged critter that one is likely to encounter in this area. I carry in the woods to defend myself, not get engaged in a fire fight....

I have one Python in the safe. A 1975 made six inch in blue fitted with Pachmayr Gripper neoprene's. I put the original walnut factory grips away for safe keeping. This is the third Python I have owned since buying my first back in 1971. A lovely revolver and a true classic IMHO. But when it comes to shooting a six inch .357 Magnum with full power loads I will take my first year production Model 686 over the Python. It has a very slick double action trigger pull and the single action is every bit as good as the Python. And just like with the Model 27-2's I don't have to baby it like the Python.

And so it goes.


The S&W Owning And Shooting Retired One

W.E.G.
December 04, 2015, 08:58
My preferred trail handgun these days is a S&W Model 60-4 J frame .38 Special with the three inch full lug barrel and the adjustable rear sight. The carry load is the Winchester +P 158 grain LSWCHP aka the FBI load. Ten extra cartridges in my jacket pocket and I consider myself good to go for a walk in the woods.


http://i227.photobucket.com/albums/dd7/rkba2da/pistol%20pics/SW%20Model%2060/Model60black.jpg

Timber Wolf
December 04, 2015, 14:25
My preferred trail handgun these days is a S&W Model 60-4 J frame .38 Special with the three inch full lug barrel and the adjustable rear sight. And so it goes. The S&W Owning And Shooting Retired One

My current woods loafing gun is a 3 1/16" .357 SP101 loaded with stout Magnums. As it sometimes backs up my favored pocket pistol, an S&W 642, my reloads are all +P .38 Specials in Bianchi Speed Strips or Speed Loaders. Reloads stay in the truck console or day pack when not at hand (in pocket). It would be embarrassing to get off somewhere with the 642 needing reloading and to only have .357 mag in the pocket.:(

I don't own a Model 60 myself, but am storing a "Lady Smith" for my 12 year old daughter for the next few years in my safe.:wink: It is lightly used and has a swell padded S&W case and all, just the thing a young lady proficient in firearms needs. I stole, err, purchased it from a local pawn shop earlier this year. Seriously, I have been afraid to go back in there for fear they would recognize me and their mistake in selling it to me so cheap.

Previous to laying in the Lady Smith I had a nice almost-new-in-box S&W 3913 salted down with her name on it. Heck, if she turns out alright she might still get both! Her current collection consists of exactly one firearm, an Anschutz Woodchucker .22. But she is outgrowing the little youth .22 and it is time to move her up. In a month or two I am going to introduce her to the first gun I ever owned, an H&R Reg'lar Model 365. And then there is the S&W 14 with her name on it..............

But yet again, I digress, mea culpa.:bow:

W.E.G.
December 04, 2015, 15:09
I've been using the FIVE SHOT revolvers to "rebut" the Facebook dopes who are insisting that all guns need to be limited to six shots.

Only police should have six shots.

I like the idea of banning "military calibers" too.
That's worked out well for Mexico, you know.

nvcdl
December 04, 2015, 15:42
Let me know if you decide to sell it - I'd like a 629-4 mountain gun.


A bit over 20 years ago I picked up a NIB Model 629-3 .44 Magnum Mountain Revolver. I bought a ballistic nylon fabric holster for it and used it for a trail gun. Carry load was the Winchester 210 grain Silvertip. But some years ago I came to the realization that I really didn't need that big four inch N frame on my hip. So I put it away and switched over to the Model 60-4. I consider it and the FBI load adequate for any two or four legged critter that one is likely to encounter in this area. I carry in the woods to defend myself, not get engaged in a fire fight....

Retired Bum
December 04, 2015, 18:19
I do have a bigger five shot S&W revolver. In the late '90's I bought a new Model 696 L frame .44 Special with the three inch full lug barrel. I didn't like the issue Uncle Mike's "banana" shaped neoprene grips so I bought a nice set of S&W laminated boot grips for it.

The 696 is a fairly heavy piece IMHO and it soaks up the recoil of my 240 grain LSWC hand loads nicely. I bought a couple of boxes of the Corbon 180 grain JHP ammo and shot one box up to see how it did. Recoil was snappy as I expected but by no means punishing. My only complaint about the 696 is it's weight. I know that S&W did offer the 296 which if my memory is correct has a Scandium frame and a titanium cylinder with a stainless steel barrel. But recoil in this model is nasty from what I have read.

These days the 696 just sits in the safe unloved and unused. Another S&W that one day will go on consignment sale....

And so it goes.


The Retired One

John Crusher
December 11, 2015, 14:33
I just got a 6/70 made 28-2 and it's unfrikkin' real ! I went out today and ran a couple of boxes of .38 special and a box of .357 mag. through it and she's a shooter for sure !

Texgunner
December 11, 2015, 15:30
I bought a 4" 686 around 1988. I had an older (my mom's classmate in HS) neighbor who gunsmithed out of a shop in his backyard. His specialty was tuning S&W revolvers, and man, was he good at it! He took my 686 and when he finished with it, the pistol had a trigger that had to be pulled to believe. To this day, people really are impressed by that trigger. Of course, along with the tuneup came outstanding accuracy.

His name was Eugene "Gene" Salach. He and his wife Gertruda, an expatriate Swede, were at Camp Perry every year. Their oldest son, Michael, was a world-class small-bore shooter as a youth and after receiving his appointment to Annapolis, shot on the Navy team. Michael flew P-3s during his Navy years and now flies for Delta. One of Gene's safes was lined with Navy "trophy" Garands that Michael had won in the Navy matches. They were a great American "shooting family".

hokey45
December 13, 2015, 08:58
I do have a bigger five shot S&W revolver. In the late '90's I bought a new Model 696 L frame .44 Special with the three inch full lug barrel. I didn't like the issue Uncle Mike's "banana" shaped neoprene grips so I bought a nice set of S&W laminated boot grips for it.
The Retired One

I bought one of these when they came out. Grips didn't work for me either. I like an open backstrap for "stockweld" and the round butt doesn't feel right after shooting a 1911. Ended up putting a Hogue round to square frame conversion grip on it. It is kinda big for a five shot gun but you got to admit it looks badass.

LeeDog
December 31, 2015, 19:59
I'm a rookie on this site, but couldn't resist the trail gun conversation. A while ago I bought a 686-5 Mountain Gun, a 5-round 44 Spl titanium cylinder, and a 696 hand and sent it all off to Hamilton Bowen. He had the barrel bored to .429, installed the titanium cylinder, re-timed it all and installed a taller front sight of his design. So this is my woods gun now. It weighs about 30 ounces unloaded so it's heavier than the 396 Mountain Lite and the 329PD but lighter than the new Mdl 69. It's a joy to carry and to shoot, too. Still working on the ideal high-power load, but the goal is a 250-gr Keith SWC at 1100 fps. Colorado's got black bear problems and high mountain lion populations, and both of those critters have largely lost their fear of man due to politics entering the arena of game management. So I like the idea of a 44 and always wanted a Spl in the right package.

Retired Bum
December 31, 2015, 23:53
LeeDog,

The barrels on S&W .44 Special revolvers leave the factory with a .429 inch groove diameter. Did you mean that you had the chambers cut deeper for the longer .44 Magnum case?

And so it goes.


The Retired One

LeeDog
January 01, 2016, 00:46
No, the original revolver was a 357 S&W Mountain Gun (686-5). The original .357 barrel was rebored by Bowen to .429 and a 5-shot 44 Spl titanium cylinder from a S&W 396 was fitted. So now I have a 5-shooter 44 Special Mtn Gun with 4" barrel that weighs 30 oz, made of stainless and titanium.

Right Side Up
January 01, 2016, 02:57
Sounds like a really nice gun. I'd like to see some pics of it.

BUFF
January 01, 2016, 06:48
I've got a S&W Model 686-5 Mountain Gun, the 7 shot, all stainless 4 inch barrel .357; the Model 696 all stainless steel 5 shot 3 inch barrel .44 Special; the S&W Model 296 AirLite Centennial 5 shot 2-1/2 inch barrel .44 Special with Scandium aluminum hump-backed DAO frame and titanium cylinder; a S&W Model 329PD Scandium frame 6 shot titanium cylinder 4 inch barrel .44 Magnum; and a S&W Model 629-4 Mountain Gun all stainless 6 shot 4 inch barrel .44 Magnum.

I figure my woods gun choices come down to 7 rounds of full power .357 Mag (M-686-5), 5 rounds of moderate .44 Special (M-296), 5 rounds of moderately warm .44 Special (M-696), 6 rounds of warm .44 Special or moderate .44 Magnum (M-329PD), or 6 rounds of normal .44 Magnum (M-629-4).

I believe that mountain lions could adequately be dealt with by any of these, and 7 rounds of .357 in the M-686 Mountain Gun at 35-1/2 ounces on my belt is very doable and comforting. If black bears or small grizzlies were a possibility, I would feel better off with 6 moderate .44 Magnums from the M-329PC at 26-1/2 ounces or 6 normal .44 Mags at 40 ounces (M-629-4).

I have carried all of my choices on my belt for consecutive days in the woods, and even though I am a huge .44 Special fan, I think I would rather have 7 .357's in a critter fight than 5 .44 Specials.

I like what you put together, Lee Dog, but I don't know just how tough those titanium 5 shot L frame cylinders are, and thus how hot a .44 Special load I would put in one.

Yes, if you can post a photo of your Bowen gun, plenty of us would admire it. Hamilton Bowen does beautiful, sound work. I had him convert a S&W .38-44 4 inch Heavy Duty from .38 Special to .45 Colt. His work is flawless; I love that gun.

LeeDog
January 01, 2016, 11:58
I'll try and get some photos today. It's certainly no showpiece, and I had greater expectations for the 2-tone titanium gray - stainless appearance. But it's a tool after all.

Buff your list of 44 Mags and Spls made me drool, especially the 329PD. Really like the new S&W Mdl 69, which came out about 2 years after I'd finished the 44 Spl Mtn Gun. I never thought Smith would build a 44 Mag on an L frame, that's why I built the gun I did.

We disagree about the 357, but that's a long and old argument. To me the 357 is a great defense round for people, and probably good for mtn lion but I have no experience with either. I like heavy, large diameter bullets even if they move slower. I'm playing with a handload of a 215 gr cast SWC in 357 now so that gives you some idea of my predilections.

Regarding the strength of the titanium cylinder, I inadvertently proof-tested my revolver by shooting handloads with 10.5 gr Universal behind a Lyman 429421 250 gr cast bullet. This load exceeds the published max load for a 44 Magnum. I was rushing some loads late in the evening to bring on a camping trip the following day, and, intending to load 5.5 gr, mis-set the beam weight on my scale at 10 gr instead of 5. The cases had to be tapped out of the cylinder, but no damage to the revolver resulted. Lockup is tight. Surprisingly, the accuracy was quite good! Now I pay a lot closer attention to the scale.

I work at a private metallurgical R&D facility and have been assured by smarter folks than me that the Ti cylinder's (tensile) strength exceeds steel. Although I don't plan on exceeding 25,000 PSI in this gun, and probably not 20,000 PSI.

Retired Bum
January 01, 2016, 15:02
LeeDog,

Okay, I went back and read your first post and I realize that I was thinking that you converted a 696 to .44 Magnum. Your Bowen revolver sounds like a nice one.

A friend of mine has a Bowen S&W J frame. It was a two inch Model 31 .32 Regulation Police. Now it is a four inch Model 31 .32 Long Kit Gun with an adjustable rear sight. If I didn't know better I would swear that it was a factory gun from S&W.

And so it goes.


The Retired One

LeeDog
January 01, 2016, 17:12
Retired Bum (which I hope to be someday soon),

Yep, Mr. Bowen does some really incredible work. This conversion (357 Mtn Gun to 44 Spl) used all S&W parts, except for his new front sight, but some of his conversions are really a re-manufacturing process.

I've been trying for an hour to get a URL from Flickr to display in this message and I'm giving up. Maybe when I have more time I can post a photo.

BUFF
January 01, 2016, 20:08
The .44 Special is my favorite handgun cartridge. If you are a handloader, it is incredibly versatile. If I had to choose between only having a .357 or a .44 Special, it would be the .44 Special.

Your accidental strength test of the titanium cylinder is pretty reassuring.

I think the M-69 is a great idea, but doubt I'll get one, I think I have the .44 bases covered as well as I want them. Your Bowen gun was ahead of it's time!

Retired Bum
January 01, 2016, 20:49
My very first .44 Special was a Charter Arms stainless Bulldog with the three inch barrel. I had always considered Charter to be an "off brand" of handguns but when I looked at the Bulldog I went ahead and bought it.

Big mistake. The recoil with factory 246 grain RNL loads was heavy IMHO. And the ejector rod kept backing out after just a few rounds. So I got rid of the Bulldog and decided that I would have to settle for a used S&W if I could find one that was affordable. Then in the early 1980's S&W announced that they were reintroducing the Model 24 1950 .44 Special N frame. A total of 7500 were to be produced with 2500 four inch and 5000 6.5 inch models.

I ordered one of each barrel length and got both of them. Still have them to this day. They are sweet shooting revolvers and the only mod I ever did was replace the factory grips with Packies. I bought a Lyman double cavity mold for the 180 grain wadcutter and worked up a hand load that puts six rounds into just under one inch at 25 yards from the 6.5 inch M24 locked into my Ransom Rest. I shoot the four incher with a 240 grain LSWC from a SAECO mold that chrono's at 900 fps. A good general purpose load in .44 Special that is hard to beat.

For warmer loads I go to the .44 Magnum and shoot them in my old 29-2 6.5 inch "Dirty Harry" model. Almost 30 years ago I bought one of the Texas Wagon Train N frames. Basically a five inch Model 29 but designated the Model 544. Chambered for the old .44-40 Winchester round. I had a gunsmith do a bore cast to determine the groove diameter. The proper diameter is .427 inch. But mine measured .429 inch which means that S&W used their standard .44 Mag barrels on the Model 544. This made me happy because it certainly simplified the bullet selection. I use the RCBS #44200FN which duplicates the original bullet profile from 1873. But one must be careful with the .44-40 in the N frame. Cylinder walls are thin and the .44-40 case is itself thin walled. So I restrict my loads to 850 fps max in the M544.

Sometimes I shoot .44 S&W Russian rounds in the M24's. I bought Fiocchi factory loads and Starline cases. This round is very uniform velocity wise with the 240 grain LSWC's.

Four different 44 caliber revolver rounds is enough for me. I think....

And so it goes.


The Retired One

SBH
January 05, 2016, 10:33
I'd send it to Fogel Gunsmithing in West Mansfield, Ohio. They make S&W's better than the factory does. Look it up on the web. I'd re-finish the 27 and shoot it! Those 3 1/2 inchers are getting rarer. Why not make it purty? jmho

nvcdl
January 14, 2016, 19:42
I may try refinishing it myself with a rust blue. Want to practice on something cheaper first tho.

Picked up a pair of Mountain Guns in recent weeks - one in 44mag and the other in 45LC.