Smith & Wesson Forum

Go Back   Smith & Wesson Forum > Expert Commentary > Bill Patteson
Forum Register Expert Commentary Members List


38/44: The Heavy Duty...For Heavy Duty

This is for all things 38/44 Heavy Duty.
Rating: 4 votes, 4.00 average.

N Frame Engineering Changes in Transition 38/44 Heavy Duties

Posted 10-29-2012 at 12:30 AM by 1Aspenhill
Updated 11-25-2012 at 04:33 PM by 1Aspenhill

Sometimes, even when you look at guns a lot, there are things that you don’t see. I had determined that between S68327 and S68348, the 38/44 Heavy Duty went to a straight ejector rod, rolling the top of the barrel with patent dates and address information was stopped and Smith & Wesson began stamping the frame with a four line address. Looking at 4 inch Transition Heavy Duties from S68348 to S75604 this assumption is correct (4 inch guns did not have the patent dates and address information rolled on the top of the barrel).
S68327

(S68327)

S68348

(S68348)

It appears that the 5 inch Transition Heavy Duties followed most of these rules (there are no known 6.5 inch Heavy Duties in the S68327-S75604 serial number range). They took longer to stop rolling the top of the barrel and changing to a 4 line address on the right side of the frame. Heavy Duty S68967 still has the barrel markings and it is a Missouri State Highway Patrol gun. They were all 5 inch blue guns, the lowest serial number is in the S65000 range and the highest serial number is in the S71000 range and shipped in May 1948, we assume that all of them have the address and patent markings on top of the barrel. One day we hope to have an example of a higher serial number to confirm our hypothesis. Heavy Duty S72185 does not have the address/patent information on top of the barrel but does have the four line address.
S68967

(S68967d, Courtesy Jay Golden)
S72185

(S72185a)
S72185

(S72185g)
After they had made the changes on the 5 inch models, all examples noted still had the large ejector rod knob. This holds true for the 3d Model of 1926 .44 Specials also. Of note, every 38/44 Outdoorsman Transition Model are numbered in the S69000-S71000 serial number range and have pre war style hammers and triggers, large ejector rod knob, patent dates and address information on top of the barrel, and single line address. Some 38/44 Outdoorsman Transitions have been noted with Registered Magnum barrels. This would indicate that Smith and Wesson had pulled a large number of frames and other parts to assemble these guns simultaneously with the Heavy Duties and 3d Models right after the war ended and peace time production began.
I had assumed that the factory had exhausted all the pre war style barrels and began using the new ejector rod, barrel and four line address at the same time. This assumption was wrong when it came to the four line address, barrel and ejector rod. Because the factory still had 5 inch barrels around that were already milled for the large knob, they continued to use them up as seen in serial numbers S72185, S72265, S72291 and S72299 shipped in 1949.
S72265

(S72265, Courtesy Jim Fisher)
S72291

(S72291)
S72299

(S72299)
S77337

(S77337b)
These later guns had the large ejector rod knob but did not have the address and patent date markings on the top of the barrel. I do not have any examples of 5 inch guns between S72299 and S77337. S77337 is the earliest example I know of that is a 5 inch blue 38/44 Heavy Duty Model of 1950 with all the new characteristics. I am sure that there will be additional examples discovered in the near future that will confirm or deny our theories on the changes to these models and as seen before, you can’t say never with Smith & Wesson!
Posted in Uncategorized
Views 6861 Comments 1 Email Blog Entry
« Prev     Main     Next »
Total Comments 1

Comments

  1. Old Comment
    IT APPEARS YOU ARE KNOWLEDGABLE ON THE SMITH & WESSON GUNS. i HAVE A 38/44 AND NEED HELP DETERMINING IF IT IS PRE OR POST MODEL 23. SERIAL NO. IS s818XX. WHERE CAN I FIND AN ANSWER? I NEED TO SELL IT, BUT NEED TO KNOW WHAT I AM SELING. PLEASE ANSWER. THANKS. RUBY
    permalink
    Posted 12-08-2012 at 03:23 PM by heidithe2nd heidithe2nd is offline
 
Total Trackbacks 0

Trackbacks

smith-wessonforum.com tested by Norton Internet Security smith-wessonforum.com tested by McAfee Internet Security

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 03:31 AM.


S-W Forum, LLC 2000-2015
Smith-WessonForum.com is not affiliated with Smith & Wesson Holding Corporation (NASDAQ Global Select: SWHC)