As a long-time user of Smith & Wesson revolvers, I am excited to see the things the company is doing these days. One of the most interesting handguns to come along in some time is the Model 69 .44 Magnum. This is a 5-shot .44 Magnum revolver built on the L frame chassis. It features square butt grips and a 4-inch barrel.
Posts Tagged ‘Revolvers’
The first handgun I fired was an old Smith and Wesson Victory Model with fixed sights. It was some time before I progressed to a Smith and Wesson with click adjustable rear sights. A movable front sight is a recent addition I find very modern. While the adjustable sight is a must have for competition and hunting, for personal defense it isn’t needed if you know how to use fixed sights and zero the piece.
The revolver illustrated in these pages is a rare piece with only 15,000 made from 1951 to 1961. It is more rare than any Colt Python variation but doesn’t command the prices the snake guns do. Yet, the Colt .357 is perhaps as accurate as the Python and offers a shootable piece of history for less money than the snake guns.
“I know what you’re thinking. ‘Did he fire six shots or only five?’ Well to tell you the truth, in all this excitement, I kind of lost track myself. But being that this is a .44 Magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world, and would blow your head clean off, you’ve gotta ask yourself one question: ‘Do I feel lucky?’ Well do ya, punk?”
I am not a collector but an accumulator. A collector owns a collection of firearms with the many models carefully cataloged. Some are more common and others, and the key pieces are often quite rare. My firearms are what interests me. The only ones represented in numbers are Colt 1911 pistols and Smith and Wesson revolvers.
I do not buy into the ultra compact handgun for concealed carry and feel any caliber below 9mm or .38 Special +P isn’t suitable for personal defense. I work my wardrobe around concealed carry, not the other way around. While I occasionally bow to necessity, most often I carry an effective handgun in a service grade caliber.
Snubnose revolvers are a favorite of armed professionals and have been for many years. The balance of lightweight power and maneuverability are excellent. About the only thing about these revolvers we may change are the grips.
Smith and Wesson revolvers are among my favorite handguns for collecting, shooting, hunting, and for personal defense. They are able to present a confluence of 19th, 20th, and 21st century design and appearance into very desirable 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 Single Action Army, Peacemaker, or Model P has been in production in various forms and generations since 1873. Now, it is also available from a respected maker based in Italy. The SAA was a favorite six-gun of many explorers, soldiers, and adventurers such as Lawrence of Arabia, General George S. Patton, General Douglas McArthur, and General Wainwright. In their hands, the revolver drew blood and defended their person and their country.
The Smith and Wesson 625 JM is a big burly revolver that has many good design features. This stainless steel revolver features fully adjustable rear sights, a post front sight with a brass insert often referred to as a gold bead, a full underlugged barrel, and a smooth trigger action. The piece is named for Jerry Miculek a wizard of the handgun. Miculek has demonstrated the ability to fire six shots from a custom 625, reload, and fire six more in the span of three seconds.
As a professional writer, shooter, instructor, and teacher, I test many firearms. I realize the merits of each, although I have my own favorites. As long as the handgun is reliable, the piece has the necessary baseline for personal defense. Just the same, my personal defense handguns have changed little over the past 40 years. The 1911 .45, Smith and Wesson Combat Magnum .357, and Smith and Wesson snub-nosed .38 have been the mainstays of the battery.
Handgun articles are a favorite of readers who visit The Shooter’s Log, and interest in handguns cuts across all types, sizes, budgets, and uses. Here is The Shooter’s Log’s top 10 handgun and accessories stories of 2017.
I should start this report with a disclaimer. The North American Arms PUG isn’t my idea of a defensive handgun. But then, it is a well made revolver that never gives trouble, and that means a lot. There are folks that simply cannot be convinced to carry a larger handgun, and something is better than nothing. Many people would have loved to have had a .22 magnum revolver handy when attacked. It is better than tooth and nail.
Tip: A few decades ago the FBI did a study and found that a handgun that weighs over 35 ounces becomes a drag on the pants after a few hours. Perhaps concealed carry handgun permit holders should consider 26 ounces as a reasonable top end.
The story of handguns and how they work is very interesting but may also be frustrating to the beginner. Some definitions are stretched by the makers. As an example, quite a few handguns cloud the definition of double-action or double-action-only operation. Even within types such as double-action first shot there are other categories such as selective double action.
Most feel the .38-44 set the stage for the .357 Magnum revolver—and it did—but the .38-44 is more than a footnote in history. This is a fine revolver that is useful on its own merits. Buffalo Bore is famous for first-class loads that maximize the caliber, and this is no exception.
I feel, among the best all-around defensive handguns for home use is the .38 Special revolver with a short barrel. The short-barreled .38 offers a host of advantages over the auto loader and a time-tested track record second to none.