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S&W Hand Ejectors: 1896 to 1961 All 5-Screw & Vintage 4-Screw SWING-OUT Cylinder REVOLVERS, and the 35 Autos and 32 Autos


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  #1  
Old 07-24-2010, 10:39 PM
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Default 1950 Model 45 Target - Found in Tucson

I was able to purchase this revolver from a fellow SWCA member at the SWCA Annual Meeting in Tucson, Az. While there were many exciting and wonderful guns to be seen at the meeting, for a 45Wheelgun fan, this gun pushed ALL of my buttons.

It is in it's original numbered box, it is in very nice condition. I am not the best grader of guns, I'll let the pictures speak for themselves.











Here is where it gets interesting. This gun comes with a second extractor. The original extractor (numbered to the gun) has been modified to extract .45Colt. A second extractor has been fitted to the gun to extract .45ACP in moonclips.



This is a very old and yellowed index card that was in the box. I have been told the "Sutherland Collection" was sold in the early to mid 1970's. This gun was also in the Betts Collection (former president of the SWCA). In spite of what the card says, it was shipped in March of 1951 according to the factory letter.



Here is the .45ACP extractor with the label that came with it.



A Cylinder of .45Colt:















With the .45ACP extractor in place.









To say I am thrilled would be an understatement.

There are so many great reasons to join the SWCA, but finding that "one gun" at the annual meeting is a reoccurring theme on this forum. Many of the members saw this gun at the Thursday night "show and tell" and I got some great input from the members at that time. My suggestion to you, if you are not a member, is to seriously consider joining the SWCA, I wouldn't have this gun if I hadn't.

I have not gotten it to the range yet, I'll be interested to see how well she shoots with both types of ammo.

Anyone who knows me at all, knows I didn't take these pictures...tip of the hat to our own Lee Jerrett for the pictures.
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  #2  
Old 07-24-2010, 10:53 PM
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Very well done and thanks for sharing. I am new to this forum and to S&W firearms. How difficult is it to get a .45/.45 colt S&W that would be used to shoot?
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Old 07-24-2010, 10:54 PM
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Congratulations are in order for that one! I'm impressed. Double-duty guns that chamber a couple of different rounds are interesting creations.

Please let us know how the range trip works out.
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Old 07-24-2010, 11:09 PM
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I am suprised that S&W does not offer that 2 extractor feature today.
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Old 07-24-2010, 11:10 PM
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That's a neat way to convert to .45 Colt. It leaves the case unsupported a bit, but I imagine there would be no problems, considering the low pressures involved.

I like the 1918 cartridges too. I have a few Winchester .45 ACP cases, stamped "W 18", from 1918. According to the range managers, an older man would come out every few months and shoot a 1911 with WW I ammo. This was in the 1970s and there were few misfires.
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Old 07-24-2010, 11:12 PM
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Time to spring my trap-

Put $200 in small bills in a paper sack, and drop it in the alley behind Rosa's cantina in El Paso, or you'll never see the gun again.
Better yet, bring it inside- I'm in the last corner booth (they got Wifi now) waitng for Feleena to dance.


NEAT old gun.

I agree, Gil- this is about one of the neatest conversions I have seen. NO headspace problems. NO problems with the cylinder sliding back and forth, and NO problems with ammo clearing the frame lug in either caliber.

I could not find an empty 45 Colt case- I was going to saw it in two lengthwise just to show that the unsupported head of the case is still completely solid as I feel that it is.
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Old 07-24-2010, 11:14 PM
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Congrats, that's a great find.
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Old 07-24-2010, 11:25 PM
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Awesome firearm and friend to sell it.
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Old 07-24-2010, 11:42 PM
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45Wheelgun,
Thank you for writing this up. The work that was done on this revolver was some absolutely great machining and some creative engineering. I appreciated the opportunity to discuss it with you. Look forward to hearing about this as you learn more.
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Old 07-25-2010, 02:49 AM
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If I understand what I am seeing, there were 2 things done during the conversion.

Start with any S&W revolver originally chambered for .45 ACP.

1- The .45 ACP chambers are deepened to accept the longer .45 Colt case

2- The ejector/ratchet star for the .45 ACP is removed and replaced by a custom ejector/ratchet star that was cut to hold the .45 Colt cartridges the proper distance from the firing pin bushing and recoil shield on the back face of the cylinder window of the frame.

Just swap extractors, already fit to the sixgun's hand, and there you go!

This would be a tremendous thing for some good gunsmith to set up!

That is a great piece, 45wheelgun!

Hamilton Bowen, are you reading this?
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Old 07-25-2010, 03:16 AM
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Congratulations on that incredible piece! I stopped by Murphy's Guns in Tucson today, that is one awesome store. Several nice pieces in their cases there that would be mine if I had the $$$.
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Old 07-25-2010, 05:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Battletech58 View Post
Very well done and thanks for sharing. I am new to this forum and to S&W firearms. How difficult is it to get a .45/.45 colt S&W that would be used to shoot?
S&W has never offered a dual caliber .45ACP/.45Colt (to my knowledge) as a cataloged item.

This solution is unique to this gun and would have required a master engineer/machinist/gunsmith to create. This should be repeatable by a quality gunsmith.

Others have fitted a second cylinder to an existing .45 revolver. The problem with that solution on a S&W is the frame lug needs to be modified to fit the 45Colt cylinder. When you put the original .45ACP cylinder in place the cylinder will slide back and forth a bit, due to the modified frame lug.

A secondary issue with the two cylinder solution is you risk damage to either cylinder, yoke and the screw head of the side plate screw in order to swap the cylinders. Those risks do not exist when changing the extractor only. You also miss the chance to scratch the slide plate with the screwdriver...

Single Action guns (Colt SAA and Ruger Blackhawk) can do the two cylinder solution without the frame lug issue due to their design.
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Old 07-25-2010, 08:57 AM
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I don't have a 1950 to compare, and wondered if the 1955 version could also be converted in such a manner. I don't know if the cylinders on the 2 models are the same length.

So I'm looking at my 25-2 here, eyeballing, using a plain metal machinists rule and some R-P 45 Colt rounds it "looks like" it would work, i.e. there is enough room. Such a conversion on this revolver might be limited in OAL length to selected bullets if such a 45 Colt extractor was installed, but looks "doable".

Interesting, and congratulations on your fine revolver.

rayb
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Old 07-25-2010, 09:06 AM
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Dave, neat, "one of a kind" 45 ACP/45 Colt. Should be a great gun to shoot.

Bill
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Old 07-25-2010, 09:07 AM
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Dave,

excellent post and even better gun. Somehow I missed the show & tell , I think by Thursday afternoon I was plum wore out. Congratulations on the aquisition.

Dan
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Old 07-25-2010, 09:18 AM
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This is a very interesting thread. It shows what quality engineers and gunsmiths from the past can do. They were probably glad to do something out of the ordinary that tested their expertise and knowledge. Thanks for sharing and looking forward to a range report.
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Old 07-25-2010, 11:00 AM
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rayb,

The only difference between the 1950 and 1955 .45 Target revolvers is the weight and contour of the barrel. Cylinder length is the same. The length of the .45 Colt cartridges would be a bit limited. When the 125th Anniversary S&W, the M25-3 came out, it also had the shorter cylinder. The M25-5s have longer cylinders.

The only disadvantage of this conversion is that by lengthening the chambers to accommadate the .45 Colt cartridges, one loses the ability to shoot .45 ACP without clips. Personally, that wouldn't bother me in the least, as I have seldom done that in the various 1917s and M625s that I have owned.

Yes, I believe that some of the custom gunsmiths could do this reasonably.
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Old 07-25-2010, 11:03 AM
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Slick! I like creative solutions.

But now you can't shoot acp without moonclips (unless shooting uphill). Hmmm, small price to pay for an intersting piece.
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Old 07-25-2010, 11:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Muley Gil View Post

Yes, I believe that some of the custom gunsmiths could do this reasonably.
Define "reasonably". Three years and half the national debt later...

Interestingly, it appears that the .45ACP extractor is from a 1917. Look at the two sets of locator pin holes and the style of the ratchet pads. The original extractor was used to make the custom one.
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Old 07-25-2010, 02:15 PM
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That 1950 45 Target is slicker than puppy poop on a freshly waxed floor! (smile)

I sometimes think the thing I miss most since moving from Tucson is "Murphey's Guns and Gunsmithing". One of the best shops I've ever seen. Some good people working there too.

Dave
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Old 07-25-2010, 04:38 PM
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That is a great find.
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Old 07-25-2010, 04:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tennexplorer View Post

Interestingly, it appears that the .45ACP extractor is from a 1917. Look at the two sets of locator pin holes and the style of the ratchet pads. The original extractor was used to make the custom one.
Good eye.
You are correct.
It is a never used 1917 extractor (never had a serial number).
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Old 07-25-2010, 09:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BUFF View Post
2- The ejector/ratchet star for the .45 ACP is removed and replaced by a custom ejector/ratchet star that was cut to hold the .45 Colt cartridges the proper distance from the firing pin bushing and recoil shield on the back face of the cylinder window of the frame.
Actually it is the original numbered to the gun extractor that has been modified. It appears to me that they removed the ratchet from the star, and then added (silver solder?) a second star. The first star, fitting flush with the cylinder and the second star for holding the rim of the 45Colt. Then they put the ratchet on the top. All fits amazingly well. Note how well the replacement (1917) star fits the cylinder.
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Old 07-25-2010, 09:42 PM
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The more I look at the photos, the more I appreciate the creative craftsman who made it.
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Old 07-26-2010, 10:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 45Wheelgun View Post
Actually it is the original numbered to the gun extractor that has been modified. It appears to me that they removed the ratchet from the star, and then added (silver solder?) a second star. The first star, fitting flush with the cylinder and the second star for holding the rim of the 45Colt. Then they put the ratchet on the top. All fits amazingly well. Note how well the replacement (1917) star fits the cylinder.
I agree. It was a pleasure to get to examine it in person at Tucson. My eyesight isn't all that great. That's where I noticed the 1917 extractor.

The piece of an extractor (the star) that was silver soldered to the original extractor came out of a magnum. If you look at the ratchet pads, they are of the shorter height like the kind you see on a recessed cylinder. It's my personal opinion that the gun had the conversion done post 1956. I think that is the extractor star out of a .44 magnum that was used. I think that because the dimensions are close enought o a .45 Colt to make the project "viable".
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Old 03-10-2016, 11:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by handejector View Post
Time to spring my trap-

Put $200 in small bills in a paper sack, and drop it in the alley behind Rose's cantina in El Paso, or you'll never see the gun again.
Better yet, bring it inside- I'm in the last corner booth (they got Wifi now) waitng for Felina to dance.


NEAT old gun.
Very good, Lee. Wonder how many of the younger members have listened to Marty Robbins.
Great photography on this interesting revolver, too!
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Old 03-10-2016, 12:01 PM
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Thanks for digging this thread up from times past. Very interesting!
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Old 03-10-2016, 01:28 PM
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Congratulations ~ that's a beauty!
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Old 03-10-2016, 02:31 PM
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As a huge fan of 45acp revolvers, I am really impressed (and slightly envious) with your find. I've never had any desire to own a revolver chambered in 45 Colt, but I could easily make an exception for that one. My 1950 is one of my favorite guns. Enjoy yours.
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Old 03-10-2016, 02:52 PM
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Wow, I missed this thread back in 2010, that is one serious score. I'm glad you gave Lee the credit for the pics, because as I looked through them, I wondered if you had been doing all of Lee's photography.
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Old 03-10-2016, 09:17 PM
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Like Wayne, I missed this thread the first time around. What a marvelous engineering job. Has anyone else had this done since this was revealed to us?

Bob
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Old 03-11-2016, 12:04 AM
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I too, missed this the first time. I am glad you brought it back, so I could see it. thanx
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Old 03-11-2016, 02:02 AM
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Very interesting convertible.

Many 45 ACP cylinders of 1917s have been modified similarly for the longer Colt cartridge over the years just by reaming the chambers with rounded shoulders of precise placement for the Colt case to stick out far enough for proper headspace. The modified extractor star is icing on the cake.
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Old 03-11-2016, 06:38 AM
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I am glad this thread was brought back to life as I had never seen this thread or conversion. I have done several dual caliber conversion by milling a recess in 45 colt cylinders. This also leaves a portion of the colt base exposed, but has never cause a problem for me even with stiff colt loads.

I don't think the above method of conversion would be that difficult especially with the new no pin extractors. A 45acp cylinder with chambers reamed to depth and a fitted colt extractor should do it.

A simple solution I had never thought of. I like it. I do like my cylinders with the full moon recesses though, because, I don't have to change anything, just load it with which ever.
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Old 03-11-2016, 06:15 PM
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Originally Posted by 44wheelman View Post
Slick! I like creative solutions.

But now you can't shoot acp without moonclips (unless shooting uphill). Hmmm, small price to pay for an intersting piece.
Or he can shoot .45 Auto Rim.

It's neat, and I have a 1917, but I'm not looting the extractor from that for my Triple Lock.





But I would love to have one to go with them.
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Old 03-11-2016, 06:48 PM
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Is that a reasonable modification? I have been watching a model 25-2 marked Model of 1955, in 45 ACP at a LGS, I'd really like to have one in 45 Colt. This one is in excellent shape, but I would consider such a mod if reasonable.

Really sweet piece you have there.
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Old 03-11-2016, 06:59 PM
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Don't know how I missed this thread first time around. Glad it re-appeared.

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Originally Posted by millerj7 View Post
Very good, Lee. Wonder how many of the younger members have listened to Marty Robbins.
Great photography on this interesting revolver, too!
Born in 1950, not only listened to him but met him several times at a very young age. So young in fact I don't recall it. Marty was a childhood friend of my neighbor and he often visited them. This before Marty was a celebrity outside of the few bars he sang at in the Glendale area. My father told me Marty was always smiling, friendly to everybody, kids especially. Dad said, Marty loved to tell and hear dirty jokes when the women weren't around.

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I sometimes think the thing I miss most since moving from Tucson is "Murphey's Guns and Gunsmithing". One of the best shops I've ever seen. Some good people working there too. Dave
Haven't been there in quite some time. Like J&G in Prescott another place I try and avoid with credit cards in my wallet.
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Old 03-13-2016, 08:47 AM
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Originally Posted by raljr1 View Post
Is that a reasonable modification? I have been watching a model 25-2 marked Model of 1955, in 45 ACP at a LGS, I'd really like to have one in 45 Colt. This one is in excellent shape, but I would consider such a mod if reasonable.

Really sweet piece you have there.
It would be possible. But, there are a couple problems. Finding and fitting another extractor star. One for a 45/colt would be hard to find. One from a 357-44 could be reworked. The pins for alignment are often a little bit off from one cylinder/extractor are little off and something might have to be done to make both extractors fit right. Model 28 cylinders are not that hard to find. A good Smith can ream one and fit it. Then you just remove yoke and replace cylinder assembly.
Another thought I had was to just ream the 45 acp cylinder to the colt depth, then redo a couple full moon clips so the 45/colt cases slid though them. They would become spacers to hold the correct headspace for the colt rounds.

Any of it is possible. I have 3 S&W 45s that fire either round, but I use cylinders that are set up by making a 45/colt cylinder then Milling a relief in them for the full moon clips holding 45/acps.

What makes the op's gun great is it was an interesting method done at the factory.

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Old 03-13-2016, 10:04 AM
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A few months back, I bought a .45 Colt cylinder from a poster here. It appears to be a factory conversion cylinder. It is marked on the cylinder under the ejector star "W<> D 6-77 .45 Colt". It is the correct length for a M25 frame. It had a very shallow rebate on the rear of the cylinder to clear the frame lug. I tried it in my M25 and it wasn't quite right, but when I tried it in my 1950 .45 target it was very close, only requiring a slight deepening of the rebate at the rear of the cylinder. Everything else is perfect - carry up, lockup, B-C gap and end shake.
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Old 03-16-2016, 01:01 PM
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Congrats on your purchase. I have not ever seen a revolver like yours ever out here in California I just don't see revolvers like this. Just a beautiful revolver.

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Old 03-21-2016, 11:55 PM
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Default My Model 1950

Enjoyed the .45 Wheelgun post on newly found Model 1950. Mine shown below (s85xxx) is probably a military target model given the lanyard ring. The standard medallion grips were a little too small so I made my own custom set out of black walnut. I also made a custom belt ammo pouch which carries two .45 ACP full-moon clips and a .45 Auto Rim speedloader.
I have no idea if it will chamber or eject .45 Long Colt. Anyone?

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Old 03-22-2016, 12:05 AM
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Nice looking revolver.
If it accepts .45 Colt, somebody has been monkeying with it.
The rounds are not normally interchangeable.
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Old 03-22-2016, 05:17 AM
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Welcome to the Forum, Jaguarman.

To my eye, it appears your revolver is a 1950 Target .45 that has had a lanyard loop added to it. Can you post a picture of the butt? And a couple of the grip frame, both sides, with the grips removed?

A military frame would not be set up for an adjustable rear sight or have a rib to match a barrel rib.
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Old 03-22-2016, 11:54 PM
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Default My Model 1950

Thanks for the info guys. I was mainly bragging about my favorite target gun and the custom grips and ammo pouch I made. A lot of the discussion on the presence of the lanyard ring was covered in a 12/21/14 Model 1950 thread by DrDan314. The consensus was it is indeed a target model. The lanyard hole is smooth, no threads and with an adjacent pin tunnel. The hole is in a large space between the "S" and the numerals, suggesting the hole was tapped before the s/n was struck. This exact layout was confirmed on a 1953 Model 1950 .44spl which came from the factory with the lanyard ring as documented in a S&W letter. So even though some literature says the factory ring was discontinued after 1950, we know it was still alive and well.
The real question is whether it is a "military" model. The family story is that it was issued to an Army officer in Korea who brought it back. I guess the only way to determine for sure is to spring for a S&W factory letter. In any case, I'm just happy I was the recipient.
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Old 03-23-2016, 12:35 AM
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Welcome to the forum.

That's a beautiful 1950 Target Model. And it's a Target Model whether or not it has a lanyard swivel. Swivels were optional on any commercial model back in the day, and still are to this day on a limited basis.

Factory swivels original to the frame and factory swivel additions are always 1/10” forward of center. The serial number on the butt of pre war guns was stamped off center if the frame was originally assembled with one. If orders came thru for guns with lanyard swivels and there were no assembled revolvers with them in inventory, the factory would not build a new gun if other revolvers that matched the order were in inventory, except for the swivel. In those cases the factory drilled thru the factory serial # for installation of a lanyard swivel before initial shipping. Also if sent back to the factory for addition of a swivel. But in those two cases the s/n is always re-stamped on the left side of grip frame, under the left stock.

Commercial N frame fixed sight models (non-target models) built after the wars on surplus military frames were often but randomly supplied with lanyard swivels.

Post war serial numbers on the butt are always off center to the rear, so adding a swivel didn't require drilling thru the #.

Swivels were often ordered on law enforcement revolvers.

Occasionally the factory installed a plug in the swivel hole if it was already drilled.
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Old 03-23-2016, 11:52 AM
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Thanks, Jim. Your post appears to be the definitive opinion.

Just my two cents on half-moon clips: they are flimsy and break after a couple of uses. The full moon clips last a long time and are faster to load, in fact, they seem as fast as a speedloader.
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Old 03-23-2016, 10:03 PM
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"The full moon clips last a long time and are faster to load, in fact, they seem as fast as a speedloader."

Actually, full moons are FASTER.
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Old 03-24-2016, 10:30 AM
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I have been shooting .45 ACP in revolvers since the late 1960's. I have owned S&W's, Colts and converted Webleys, and have never had a problem with bent or broken half moon clips. The clips have been military, S&W and aftermarket varieties. Until I made a de-mooning tool a couple of years ago, all loading and unloading was done using my fingers. I think that if you are bending or breaking half moon clips it is either poor quality clips or improper handling that is the problem.
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Old 03-24-2016, 11:55 PM
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Yep, could be quality or skill. I'm sure not an expert. But I've noticed there are a lot of us non-experts out there with same experience with half moons. But let's say they are sturdy enough, why would you want to do twice what you can do once in half the time?
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Old 03-25-2016, 06:07 AM
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"The real question is whether it is a "military" model. The family story is that it was issued to an Army officer in Korea who brought it back."

The 1950 Target was introduced in February 1950. I am not aware of any purchases made by the military of this model. When WW II ended, all branches of the military suffered severe cutbacks of personnel. There were tons of 1911 and 1911A1 .45 pistols in inventory and they were the primary sidearms.

Military officers were given a lot of leeway on their personal sidearms (think George Patton!). If indeed this 1950 went to Korea, it would have gone as your family member's personal handgun, bought and paid for by him before shipping out. Or it could have been sent to him from the States, once he was overseas. Since lanyard loops weren't standard on the 1950, I would get a S&W letter on it. It could well have been a special order and letter as shipped to your loved one!
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