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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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Old 01-25-2015, 09:43 PM
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Anybody ever see one of the super rare Lightweight  Heavy Duties? Anybody ever see one of the super rare Lightweight  Heavy Duties? Anybody ever see one of the super rare Lightweight  Heavy Duties? Anybody ever see one of the super rare Lightweight  Heavy Duties? Anybody ever see one of the super rare Lightweight  Heavy Duties?  
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Default Anybody ever see one of the super rare Lightweight Heavy Duties?

In the Catalog it says 10 aluminum framed Heavy Duties were made in 1955. Had 4" and5" barrels and both fixed and target sights. Was apparently built on a test basis for the police market. Just wondering if anybody on here has seen one?
We all love the Heavy Duty. This one sounds uber cool.
Jim
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Old 01-25-2015, 09:47 PM
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I don't know anything about lightweight HDs, but it seems to me that using an alloy frame negates the two most important reasons for having an N-frame .38: Mass to control recoil, and strength to handle heavy loadings. What were they thinking?
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Old 01-25-2015, 09:47 PM
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Calling 1Aspenhill, calling 1Aspenhill. . . .

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Old 01-25-2015, 09:49 PM
shawn mccarver shawn mccarver is offline
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I don't know anything about lightweight HDs, but it seems to me that using an alloy frame negates the two most important reasons for having an N-frame .38: Mass to control recoil, and strength to handle heavy loadings. What were they thinking?
For some reason, I think they also did some Highway Patrolman revolvers with aluminum frames.

The reason was to make it weigh less on the officer's belt.
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Old 01-25-2015, 11:32 PM
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Yeah, what a terrible idea. They'd never build a Scandium 44 or any such thing. Worse still, a scandium 357 that might be called a 360. Who comes up with these ideas, over and over?
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Old 01-25-2015, 11:38 PM
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Anybody ever see one of the super rare Lightweight  Heavy Duties? Anybody ever see one of the super rare Lightweight  Heavy Duties? Anybody ever see one of the super rare Lightweight  Heavy Duties? Anybody ever see one of the super rare Lightweight  Heavy Duties? Anybody ever see one of the super rare Lightweight  Heavy Duties?  
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How about the 329PD....What a joke!
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Old 01-26-2015, 12:11 AM
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Hi
Here is a picture of the alloy frame 38/44 they do exist but not all of the 12 ever made it out of the factory. I do not own it but I have held it.
Jim

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Old 01-26-2015, 12:15 AM
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Jim:

Now you have me thinking. . . did S&W just build the alloy frame HD Target, or did they also attempt it with the Highway Patrolman?

Thanks for the reminder.

Shawn
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Old 01-26-2015, 12:31 AM
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Shawn
The 12 frames were all they made and they called them Heavy duties but they were target guns so they should have been called outdoorsman. I guess you could call it a 28 but it is still a prototype revolver.
A great gun and it was a honor to be able to handle it.
Jim
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Old 01-26-2015, 12:38 AM
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Light weight Heavy Duty....talk about an oxymoron!
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Old 01-26-2015, 12:56 AM
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Where is the Gun Jim? In a Private collection?
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Old 01-26-2015, 01:12 AM
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Alex
There are 2 or 3 and they are in collections. I have only seen the one in the picture I don't know if they are all the same configuration or not.
Jim
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Old 01-26-2015, 01:26 AM
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THANX for the photo and the insight. Jim you are a real asset to the forum and have given me the chance to see things I wouldn't have.
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Old 01-26-2015, 11:15 AM
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Great gun, Jim. Do you know if the rosewood presentation grips were the factory originals?

Bob
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Old 01-26-2015, 12:26 PM
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Jim, so this is a 4 screw from 1955? Thanks for sharing the photo with us. Kyle
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Old 01-26-2015, 12:40 PM
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Quote:
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Hi
I do not own it but I have held it.
How is that possible, Jim? You never impressed me as a guy who gives up easily!
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Old 01-26-2015, 12:59 PM
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Neat prototype but considering the Combat Magnum was on the drawing board in 1955 an "Airweight" N frame 38-44 in comparison makes about as much sense as a HB Model 12 .
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Old 01-26-2015, 02:41 PM
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Iíve heard of them but never saw one until now.
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Old 01-26-2015, 03:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Engine49guy View Post
Neat prototype but considering the Combat Magnum was on the drawing board in 1955 an "Airweight" N frame 38-44 in comparison makes about as much sense as a HB Model 12 .
It's just a characteristic of business that innovative but illogical products appear from time to time, then vanish. It probably did not take long for S&W to figure out that an alloy N-frame was an idea which was a non-starter.
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Old 01-26-2015, 04:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DWalt View Post
It's just a characteristic of business that innovative but illogical products appear from time to time, then vanish. It probably did not take long for S&W to figure out that an alloy N-frame was an idea which was a non-starter.
The words "Airweight" and "Heavy duty" when used together are kind of an Oxymoron like female mailman or Military intelligence..ha ha....JK.

Perhaps would have made more sense to chamber some Airweight N frames in .44 special as that round wouldnt fit in the K frame ?

Todays Airweight .44 Mags are relegated for stout wristed individuals and those that enjoy firing 165 grain +P+ .357 Mag out of a J frame Model 60.

Last edited by Engine49guy; 01-26-2015 at 04:04 PM.
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Old 01-26-2015, 04:23 PM
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I'm certainly no expert on any of this but I bet this was the R&D and engineering departments experimenting with using aluminum for anything. It just happens that they used the HD as the ginny pig but I bet that was just a coincidence. That is a really neat gun none the less.
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Old 01-26-2015, 05:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmg60 View Post
Shawn
The 12 frames were all they made and they called them Heavy duties but they were target guns so they should have been called outdoorsman. I guess you could call it a 28 but it is still a prototype revolver.
A great gun and it was a honor to be able to handle it.
Jim
How did it feel in your hand?

It occurs to me that the proportions of an N frame may be preferred by some with larger hands.

I think it is a very interesting option.

Thank You for your first hand report..
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Old 01-26-2015, 05:36 PM
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Another example of why this forum is the best on the net. Find something obscure and a member will own it or at least have held it. Fantastic!
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Old 01-26-2015, 06:27 PM
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That picture made my heart stop.
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Old 01-26-2015, 06:43 PM
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Thanks for sharing your insight and experience Jim. One more example of why I so much enjoy this forum and the fine people that make it up.
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Old 01-26-2015, 08:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmg60 View Post
Shawn
The 12 frames were all they made and they called them Heavy duties but they were target guns so they should have been called outdoorsman. I guess you could call it a 28 but it is still a prototype revolver.
A great gun and it was a honor to be able to handle it.
Jim
Jim:

Thank you for the clarification! I appreciate it very much.

Shawn
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Old 02-05-2015, 05:32 PM
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WOW, might of worked if the model 19 did not come along
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Old 02-05-2015, 05:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmg60 View Post
Hi
Here is a picture of the alloy frame 38/44 they do exist but not all of the 12 ever made it out of the factory. I do not own it but I have held it.
Jim

Thanks for you contribution on this. It's feels great to be 67 and still learn things.
Steve
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Old 02-05-2015, 08:25 PM
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There is a reason these are super rare. The cops didn't want them because the trigger guards broke easily and the lightweight frames didn't stand up to heavy loads for any length of time. It would be nice to have one in a collection though.
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Old 02-05-2015, 09:34 PM
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I find it fascinating that a half century before lightweight metals became so popular for firearms, S&W was already making advancements in metallurgical usage. The modern day 325PD, 325TR, 329PD, and Night Guards are direct descendants of that 1955 model.
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Old 02-05-2015, 09:46 PM
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"I find it fascinating that a half century before lightweight metals became so popular for firearms, S&W was already making advancements in metallurgical usage."

Colt was working on lightweight aluminum alloy frames for automatics in the late 1940s, somewhat earlier than S&W was working on revolver frames. It was a much more complicated development project project than most would imagine. Colt worked with Alcoa for years before they came up with a suitable product, the Colt Commander in 9mm. The S&W Model 39 was not too far behind, but the aluminum frame did not work out too well.
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Old 02-05-2015, 09:57 PM
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There is a reason these are super rare. The cops didn't want them because the trigger guards broke easily and the lightweight frames didn't stand up to heavy loads for any length of time. It would be nice to have one in a collection though.
With only 10-12 made, how would they know this?
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Old 02-05-2015, 10:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmg60 View Post
Hi
Here is a picture of the alloy frame 38/44 they do exist but not all of the 12 ever made it out of the factory. I do not own it but I have held it.
Jim

I held one and it was amazingly light, I commented to the owner a fellow Trooper, "you're not going to shoot this thing
are you"
He stated he had and it wasn't the most pleasurable experience.
I think he sold it shortly thereafter, this was approx. 10 years ago.
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Old 02-06-2015, 12:39 AM
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Yes, the real inconsistency is light weight for a large-frame revolver designed to use heavy loadings. A lightweight .38/44 is sort of an oxymoron.
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Old 02-06-2015, 07:14 AM
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Anybody ever see one of the super rare Lightweight  Heavy Duties? Anybody ever see one of the super rare Lightweight  Heavy Duties? Anybody ever see one of the super rare Lightweight  Heavy Duties? Anybody ever see one of the super rare Lightweight  Heavy Duties? Anybody ever see one of the super rare Lightweight  Heavy Duties?  
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Yes, the real inconsistency is light weight for a large-frame revolver designed to use heavy loadings. A lightweight .38/44 is sort of an oxymoron.
Yet S&W has spent considerable resources offering various oxymoronic revolvers over the past decades. I owned a 396 Mountain Lite some years back, and sold it shortly after purchase simply because the recoil was too hot to handle. 19 oz for a .44 Special? Too light in my opinion. I believe the large frame Night Guards were a good middle of the road offering, as is the Governor and Thunder Ranch 325, as the inconsistency of lightweight + large caliber continues to be alluring to some folks.
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  #36  
Old 02-06-2015, 08:21 AM
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Anybody ever see one of the super rare Lightweight  Heavy Duties? Anybody ever see one of the super rare Lightweight  Heavy Duties? Anybody ever see one of the super rare Lightweight  Heavy Duties? Anybody ever see one of the super rare Lightweight  Heavy Duties? Anybody ever see one of the super rare Lightweight  Heavy Duties?  
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Anybody ever see one of the super rare Lightweight Heavy Duties?
Yes, theres a photo of one in post #7.
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  #37  
Old 02-06-2015, 08:42 AM
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Anybody ever see one of the super rare Lightweight  Heavy Duties? Anybody ever see one of the super rare Lightweight  Heavy Duties? Anybody ever see one of the super rare Lightweight  Heavy Duties? Anybody ever see one of the super rare Lightweight  Heavy Duties? Anybody ever see one of the super rare Lightweight  Heavy Duties?  
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The words "Airweight" and "Heavy duty" when used together are kind of an Oxymoron like female mailman or Military intelligence..ha ha....JK.
You have to remember that S&W started building smaller caliber guns on larger frames when Bekeart suggested the .22/32.

The .38/44 was IIRC the precursor to the .357 magnum. It was originally designed as a .38 caliber built on a 44 frame so the cartridge could be beefed up a little. The next logical inovation to having a small hot caliber in a larger frame gun would have been to try to lighten the frame.

The Heavy Duty referred to the smaller caliber being shot from the larger frame.

The Lightweight term referred to the weight of the metal frame. Using an alloy to remove weight really has no bearing on using a bigger frame to house a smaller hotter caliber.

Obviously, it is all moot as the prototype was never followed up by production.
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  #38  
Old 02-06-2015, 08:57 AM
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Anybody ever see one of the super rare Lightweight  Heavy Duties? Anybody ever see one of the super rare Lightweight  Heavy Duties? Anybody ever see one of the super rare Lightweight  Heavy Duties? Anybody ever see one of the super rare Lightweight  Heavy Duties? Anybody ever see one of the super rare Lightweight  Heavy Duties?  
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I'm certainly no expert on any of this but I bet this was the R&D and engineering departments experimenting with using aluminum for anything. It just happens that they used the HD as the ginny pig but I bet that was just a coincidence. That is a really neat gun none the less.
No doubt the case. Wouldn't start with a .357 or .44 not knowing the outcome of success with a .38
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  #39  
Old 02-06-2015, 09:42 AM
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Anybody ever see one of the super rare Lightweight  Heavy Duties? Anybody ever see one of the super rare Lightweight  Heavy Duties? Anybody ever see one of the super rare Lightweight  Heavy Duties? Anybody ever see one of the super rare Lightweight  Heavy Duties? Anybody ever see one of the super rare Lightweight  Heavy Duties?  
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There is a reason these are super rare. The cops didn't want them because the trigger guards broke easily and the lightweight frames didn't stand up to heavy loads for any length of time. It would be nice to have one in a collection though.
How can we know that "...the trigger guards broke easily and lightweight frames didn't stand up to heavy loads..." did any get that much testing? Are data from the tests available?

Lightweight Heavy Duty is no more jarring than Jumbo Shrimp!

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  #40  
Old 02-06-2015, 09:48 AM
Rick Bowles Rick Bowles is offline
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Anybody ever see one of the super rare Lightweight  Heavy Duties? Anybody ever see one of the super rare Lightweight  Heavy Duties? Anybody ever see one of the super rare Lightweight  Heavy Duties? Anybody ever see one of the super rare Lightweight  Heavy Duties? Anybody ever see one of the super rare Lightweight  Heavy Duties?  
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There is an alloy frame "Heavy Duty" On page 156 of the SCS&W. This uber-rare revolver, from the Richard Nahas collection, is finished in nickel and features a five inch barrel, adjustable sights and what looks like cokes... talk about a "grail gun"!
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  #41  
Old 02-06-2015, 11:23 AM
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Anybody ever see one of the super rare Lightweight  Heavy Duties? Anybody ever see one of the super rare Lightweight  Heavy Duties? Anybody ever see one of the super rare Lightweight  Heavy Duties? Anybody ever see one of the super rare Lightweight  Heavy Duties? Anybody ever see one of the super rare Lightweight  Heavy Duties?  
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There is an alloy frame "Heavy Duty" On page 156 of the SCS&W. This uber-rare revolver, from the Richard Nahas collection, is finished in nickel and features a five inch barrel, adjustable sights and what looks like cokes... talk about a "grail gun"!
What a gun that is. That paragraph leads the reader to the alloy .22 Hornet and strangely the book does not mention the weight of the .22.

Any read out on the originality of the stocks on the above pictured 38/44?
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  #42  
Old 02-06-2015, 11:35 AM
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Anybody ever see one of the super rare Lightweight  Heavy Duties? Anybody ever see one of the super rare Lightweight  Heavy Duties? Anybody ever see one of the super rare Lightweight  Heavy Duties? Anybody ever see one of the super rare Lightweight  Heavy Duties? Anybody ever see one of the super rare Lightweight  Heavy Duties?  
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And then there was the Edsel, which was supposed to be all things to all people. Books have been written about that decision. But the Edsel actually made it into production. Now, if S&W could have just come up with recoil-less ammunition for their lightweight .38/44....
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  #43  
Old 02-06-2015, 12:40 PM
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Anybody ever see one of the super rare Lightweight  Heavy Duties? Anybody ever see one of the super rare Lightweight  Heavy Duties? Anybody ever see one of the super rare Lightweight  Heavy Duties? Anybody ever see one of the super rare Lightweight  Heavy Duties? Anybody ever see one of the super rare Lightweight  Heavy Duties?  
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And then there was the Edsel, which was supposed to be all things to all people. Books have been written about that decision. But the Edsel actually made it into production. Now, if S&W could have just come up with recoil-less ammunition for their lightweight .38/44....
Having lived through this era, I'm of the belief that the Edsel was far in advance of it's time, instead of a bad investment. But, to each their own.
Steve
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  #44  
Old 02-06-2015, 04:14 PM
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Anybody ever see one of the super rare Lightweight  Heavy Duties? Anybody ever see one of the super rare Lightweight  Heavy Duties? Anybody ever see one of the super rare Lightweight  Heavy Duties? Anybody ever see one of the super rare Lightweight  Heavy Duties? Anybody ever see one of the super rare Lightweight  Heavy Duties?  
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Default Too bad

It's too bad that the museum card fails to indicate the weight. presumably the reason behind the whole exercise.
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  #45  
Old 02-06-2015, 05:05 PM
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Anybody ever see one of the super rare Lightweight  Heavy Duties? Anybody ever see one of the super rare Lightweight  Heavy Duties? Anybody ever see one of the super rare Lightweight  Heavy Duties? Anybody ever see one of the super rare Lightweight  Heavy Duties? Anybody ever see one of the super rare Lightweight  Heavy Duties?  
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Having lived through this era, I'm of the belief that the Edsel was far in advance of it's time, instead of a bad investment. But, to each their own.
Steve
The Edsel's failure was not so much a result of the car's technology (but there were reliability and styling issues), but the fact that it was the wrong car at the wrong time at the wrong price. It's a prime example of a total failure of the Ford Marketing department's understanding of customers. And no one in the management of the Edsel project ever even considered the possibility that it might not be acceptable to large numbers of the buying public. There was never a thought given to consumer desires and test marketing. Their attitude was - if we make it, they will buy it. The result was a colossal marketing failure on a grand scale. In comparison, S&Ws lightweight .38/44 project failure was essentially nothing. They didn't tool up and make a million of them before discovering they had bet the company on a product that no one wanted, as Ford did with the Edsel.

Failures like S&Ws are actually a very good and healthy thing - educational and not too costly.

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  #46  
Old 02-06-2015, 06:41 PM
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Anybody ever see one of the super rare Lightweight  Heavy Duties? Anybody ever see one of the super rare Lightweight  Heavy Duties? Anybody ever see one of the super rare Lightweight  Heavy Duties? Anybody ever see one of the super rare Lightweight  Heavy Duties? Anybody ever see one of the super rare Lightweight  Heavy Duties?  
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Having lived through this era, I'm of the belief that the Edsel was far in advance of it's time....
The same could be said about the Tucker, the Studebaker, the Tesla....

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  #47  
Old 02-06-2015, 06:49 PM
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Anybody ever see one of the super rare Lightweight  Heavy Duties? Anybody ever see one of the super rare Lightweight  Heavy Duties? Anybody ever see one of the super rare Lightweight  Heavy Duties? Anybody ever see one of the super rare Lightweight  Heavy Duties? Anybody ever see one of the super rare Lightweight  Heavy Duties?  
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.... Failures like S&Ws are actually a very good and healthy thing - educational and not too costly.
I agree with the spirit of what you're saying, but I don't necessarily see the alloy 38/44 project as a failure. It was pretty standard R&D in a much less sophisticated engineering environment than the one we now live in.

I kinda miss good old fashioned simplicity....

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  #48  
Old 02-07-2015, 02:56 PM
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Anybody ever see one of the super rare Lightweight  Heavy Duties? Anybody ever see one of the super rare Lightweight  Heavy Duties? Anybody ever see one of the super rare Lightweight  Heavy Duties? Anybody ever see one of the super rare Lightweight  Heavy Duties? Anybody ever see one of the super rare Lightweight  Heavy Duties?  
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I'd question whether the technology of the day would allow for an adequately sturdy product for the need, but I'm no engineer. I'm also not convinced that even if I am wrong about that, this is a solution to a real problem other than knowledge for its own sake.
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  #49  
Old 02-08-2015, 01:43 AM
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Anybody ever see one of the super rare Lightweight  Heavy Duties? Anybody ever see one of the super rare Lightweight  Heavy Duties? Anybody ever see one of the super rare Lightweight  Heavy Duties? Anybody ever see one of the super rare Lightweight  Heavy Duties? Anybody ever see one of the super rare Lightweight  Heavy Duties?  
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It's all about the style, the design, the "let's try this" that makes people keep coming back and creating newer and better stuff. If it was all about "Well, if we can't top the success of the M&P .38, we aren't going to build it," there wouldn't be much out there in the way of anything but.
It's not about "need."
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  #50  
Old 02-08-2015, 01:48 AM
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Anybody ever see one of the super rare Lightweight  Heavy Duties? Anybody ever see one of the super rare Lightweight  Heavy Duties? Anybody ever see one of the super rare Lightweight  Heavy Duties? Anybody ever see one of the super rare Lightweight  Heavy Duties? Anybody ever see one of the super rare Lightweight  Heavy Duties?  
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Or one could say it was the answer to a question that no one asked.
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