A sensation when first introduced, the Combat Magnum became one of the most popular handguns of all time. In terms of power, accuracy, and fit and finish, few modern service pistols equal Smith and Wesson’s best revolver. At the time of its introduction, the Combat Magnum was the world’s lightest .357 Magnum revolver. Truly, the Combat Magnum was the revolver everyone wanted and arguably the finest service revolver ever fielded.
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While modern self-loading handguns are as reliable as a machine can be, the revolver is more likely to fire after long-term storage while loaded. You may leave the revolver at home, ready, and it will come up shooting. The revolver may also be placed against an adversary’s body and fired. EIther way, many feel comforted by an extra round or two at the ready.
The history of the piece is interesting. Colt’s double action revolvers began production about the turn of the previous century. The Army Special, and later the Official Police revolver, were robust handguns with a smooth action. The Colt Official Police is slightly larger than the Smith and Wesson Military and Police and was sometimes chambered in .41 Colt. We often call the Colt a .41 frame revolver. The Army Special/Official Police is the primogenitor of the Colt Python.
While Smith and Wesson has manufactured great revolvers for a long time, the 686 Plus is superior in many regards. Modern CNC machinery results in tight tolerances in the throat and chamber dimensions. This means excellent accuracy potential, which is important for some pursuits. No one has ever been sorry for carrying an accurate personal defense handgun. No one will be sorry for carrying the 686 Plus.
Smith and Wesson has earned an enviable reputation for quality revolvers well suited to personal defense. The small five-shot revolver is among its most popular handguns, with the Model 649 carrying honors as the best of Smith and Wesson’s snubbie lineup. Read the article to see whether you agree.
The Pachmayr Guardian grip is among the most interesting yet and certainly the most innovative. The design is simple enough. This spring-loaded extension rocks into place and allows firing the pistol with much more comfort. A rough analogy is the difference between the flush fit and extended grip offered with compact self-loading handguns.
Smith and Wesson’s 1935 .357 Magnum was introduced to a handgunning world far different than the one we live in today. Smith and Wesson .38 K frame revolvers, the Colt Army Special, and even the Colt Single Action Army were popular sidearms. The Smith and Wesson Triple Lock was the choice was many professional shooters.
The Coonan really shines as a field and hunting handgun for those that appreciate an instant second shot and the fast handling of the 1911 design. The pistol is fast on target to the first shot, but recoil is such that fast follow-up shots are not in the class with the .45 ACP. And that is ok.
For the K6s, Kimber began with a clean slate and created a revolver with features that are completely modern. The K6s primary innovation is an impossibly thin, six-shot cylinder. This six-shot .357 Magnum revolver is less than 1.5 inches wide. The cylinders are counter shrunk, in the classic style for safety. To aid in cylinder rotation, the case rim doesn’t drag on the recoil shield, but that is far from all of the K6s’s new attributes.
The Colt Single Action Army was introduced in 1873 after much development and the addition of key features including a solid top strap and chambering for the .45 Colt cartridge. The original revolver was intended to give troopers an edge against aboriginal tribesman. One requirement was that the revolver be effective against Indian war ponies at 100 yards. However, civilians and lawmen needed a faster handling revolver. They needed the Sheriff Model.