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Old 09-25-2018, 11:01 PM
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Default Registered Magnum vs. 27-2

It is unlikely that I will ever handle a Registered Magnum, let alone shoot or own one.

But I do have a 3.5" nickel 27-2 (pictured below).

If you ignore stuff like rarity, history, finish and potential for price appreciation, Is the Registered Magnum a significantly better gun?

Thanks

27-2 shooter:

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Old 09-25-2018, 11:12 PM
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Yes it is

Action is a lot smoother and overall attention to detail is noticeably better. That’s not to say the 27-2 isn’t a great revolver. I’ve owned a few over the years.

I still own a couple RM’s and a Pre-27.
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Old 09-25-2018, 11:12 PM
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Most would probably think the RM is a more finely made revolver, as in a Cadillac versus a Mercedes?
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Old 09-25-2018, 11:21 PM
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You know, I thought for a long time that I'd never own a Reg Mag. Then, one day forces aligned just right and I became an RM owner. So, as they say with S&W "never say never". Is it better than a 27-2? Dunno, I had to trade my 27-2 off to get the RM. In my hand my mind says it just feels better. Maybe that's just aura left from the lawman who carried it 70+ years ago. My grandfather was a judge in the same town as that lawman so maybe they crossed paths in the day.

But, to the other point, yes, a 3.5" 27 is still a work of art and should never be disrespected or trifled with. Enjoy it!
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Old 09-25-2018, 11:23 PM
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Leaving out all the variables you mentioned......both will shoot very well, and the 27-2 can be made very smooth by a good gunsmith. And you won't feel guilty sending some rounds down-range!
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Old 09-25-2018, 11:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bushmaster1313 View Post
It is unlikely that I will ever handle a Registered Magnum, let alone shoot or own one.

But I do have a 3.5" nickel 27-2 (pictured below).

If you ignore stuff like rarity, history, finish and potential for price appreciation, Is the Registered Magnum a significantly better gun?

Thanks

27-2 shooter:

About the only thing I can think of that could be better on a 27-2 is the trigger. I'm not overly impressed with the triggers on pre-war Smith and Wessons and whether or not they have been worked on over the years or smoothed by decades of shooting is up for debate. I have an out of the box Model of 1955 and a pre model 29 that both have wonderful triggers, better than my 2nd Model H.E. and Triplelock. I will also say that the interior work done on the locks of the early pieces is extraordinary, pieces that are polished and carefully fitted by hand, outstanding workmanship. I think that is what sets the early stuff apart, the craftsmanship.
Your Model 27-2 has decades of Smith and Wesson technical improvements, some of which were dedicated to the trigger assembly. The Registered Magnum was GROUNDBREAKING in its significance and as such will always be an icon of firearm technology. The 27-2 is little more than a grandchild by comparison but it has the benefit of all of the improvements handed down through the generations that preceded it.
Much like the children of today, bright as they may be they will not have their metal tested by the fires of adversity such as the generations that preceeded them.
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Old 09-25-2018, 11:45 PM
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A 27-2 in hand is better than a RM that is unattainable. That said, bc1023 RM is absolutely fabulous and would make me consider selling one of my kids to the circus to get one. Joking, of course, but it is beautiful!!
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Old 09-26-2018, 01:33 AM
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That's a horrible concept ,to sell your kids to the circus, you should be ashamed of yourself. In retrospect, how much do you think they will give us, and would it be enough to buy a RM ?
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Old 09-26-2018, 07:52 AM
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Default I have both in 3.5"

Well, I own both a Non-Registered Magnum and a 27-2. I have shot both. The pre-war long action of the RM's and NRM's are a true delight to shoot. There was some tribal knowledge lost between the RM days and the 27-2 era, and I don't think that we will ever see the attention to detail and fine manufacturing qualities of the pre-war guns again.

PS- Quinn - you are welcome to shoot my 27-2 for comparison against your FBI Reg Mag.....but ya gotta let me shoot the FBI gun

Here is the Non-Registered Magnum after the first range session.

Registered Magnum vs. 27-2-dscf0386_zps8sv30fha-jpg

And here is the pair together. The 27-2 is wearing genuine Fuzzy Farrant stocks as they really fit my hands well. The NRM gets some period correct sambar stags with a Tyler adapter when the mood strikes me.

Registered Magnum vs. 27-2-dscf0484_zps3uv1nimu-jpg
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Old 09-26-2018, 08:23 AM
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I will never know.......................

I have a nice (about 90%) shooter grade, 4", recessed but not pinned; 27-2 dating to about 1980

My 1939 6 1/2 inch RM appears to be unfired since leave the factory...... and I will keep it that way!!!!!!!

So if I could have only one....... the 27-2 is much more useful!!!!

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Old 09-26-2018, 08:55 AM
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Significantly better? Let me suggest that all depends on the nature of your yardstick. Aesthetics? Forget about it---RM wins hands down. Same goes for historical significance. Yeah, but it's a gun. Okay---good point.

Does one shoot better than the other? I don't know---seems unlikely----and what does that mean anyway----"shoot better"? Well how about the sights----let's start there: The RM sights are vastly superior because they are infinitely adjustable---the "Micrometer" sight isn't. This is of the utmost importance when trying to light matches and drive nails. Yeah, but the RM sights are a (comparative) pain in the butt to adjust and lock; and if you don't do it right, they'll shoot loose pretty much right now. Accuracy?----don't know---never tested it---figures to be a toss-up with the edge going to the newer gun.

I can keep this up for a long time----and end up right where we started. Where we started was trying to compare a couple of guns with a lot in common---aside from the fact they're from different eras. If the topic was automobiles or airplanes, the question never would have come up----simply because of our expectations.

One thing we can all agree on is they're pretty much exactly the same---but different.

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Old 09-26-2018, 11:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by apollo99 View Post
That's a horrible concept ,to sell your kids to the circus, you should be ashamed of yourself. In retrospect, how much do you think they will give us, and would it be enough to buy a RM ?
Shoot, I've got one that I would give away just so that I wouldn't have to feed him anymore.
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Old 09-26-2018, 11:19 AM
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One thing not mentioned here is metallurgy, which has always been improving.

I cannot imagine the 27 has not benefited from this, and as such might have stronger steel than the RM.
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Old 09-26-2018, 11:47 AM
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Quote:
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That's a horrible concept ,to sell your kids to the circus, you should be ashamed of yourself. In retrospect, how much do you think they will give us, and would it be enough to buy a RM ?
None of mine would bring enough.
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Old 09-26-2018, 01:36 PM
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Thanks for all of the above

Sounds like the trigger of an RM was more finely tuned at the factory

BTW. My 27-2 was bought as a shooter and I shoot about a box of .38 Spl with it almost every trip to the indoor range
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Old 09-26-2018, 02:30 PM
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The 27-2 has the "short" action which was an improvement of the Reg Mags "long" action.(Faster lock time) King's and others were doing short action conversions on registered magnums to "improve" them. Two of the finest actions I have ever seen were on Pre-war short action conversions. Just my $.02
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Old 09-26-2018, 03:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by apollo99 View Post
That's a horrible concept ,to sell your kids to the circus, you should be ashamed of yourself. In retrospect, how much do you think they will give us, and would it be enough to buy a RM ?
Didja ever see the movie "The Ransom of Red Chief"?

I was him, and now my son has taken on the role......don't believe me? Ask my pop....I bet he still won't let me shoot his FBI Reg Mag
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Old 09-26-2018, 04:42 PM
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I'm no expert but I own both and IMO the finish was really spectacular on the RMs and they had more options. But as far as shooting goes I don't see any real difference. The 27s are just as smooth as my RM.
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Old 09-26-2018, 04:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by apollo99 View Post
That's a horrible concept ,to sell your kids to the circus, you should be ashamed of yourself. In retrospect, how much do you think they will give us, and would it be enough to buy a RM ?
You may even not get any money out of it.😈

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Old 09-26-2018, 04:52 PM
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I dream of winning the lottery just to be able to buy a RM!
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Old 09-26-2018, 06:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Art Doc View Post
I'm no expert but I own both and IMO the finish was really spectacular on the RMs and they had more options. But as far as shooting goes I don't see any real difference. The 27s are just as smooth as my RM.
I think accuracy is similar, but I find the RM much smoother than any 27 or Pre-27 I ever owned. I donít think itís even that close.

To each their own, of course.
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Old 09-26-2018, 06:52 PM
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It was Gypsys at our house, they were around all the time...the circus only came to town yearly. We wised up to the circus threat early on, they used to come in on the train and "parade" right past our place on their way to the fairground. It was pretty neat, they even put on a free show on the way...clowns foolin around, elephants walkin trunk to tail, acrobats tumbling, pretty girls in tight outfits....
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Old 09-26-2018, 10:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by usmc2427765 View Post
A 27-2 in hand is better than a RM that is unattainable. That said, bc1023 RM is absolutely fabulous and would make me consider selling one of my kids to the circus to get one. Joking, of course, but it is beautiful!!
Which circus, is the market good?
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Old 09-26-2018, 11:15 PM
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Lees Landing Billy, If I understand correctly you have a RM overhauled by S&W, but you'll never shoot it? Instead, after you're gone somebody you likely don't even know, will be the first to shoot the overhauled gun? I don't know, perhaps if I had a RM that I could somehow document had never been fired outside the factory, I would not shoot it. But one shot enough to benefit from a "complete redo", I'd take care of it, but I'd definitely shoot that one......ymmv
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Old 09-27-2018, 06:54 AM
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I wonder how people swear the RM they shot was smoother than a 27 just because they knew it was an RM and expected it to be better? I think everyone's experiences will be highly subjective. Would be interesting to do a blind test (maybe not with live ammo).

I do shoot my RM...

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Old 09-27-2018, 08:34 AM
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Quote:
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I wonder how people swear the RM they shot was smoother than a 27 just because they knew it was an RM and expected it to be better? I think everyone's experiences will be highly subjective. Would be interesting to do a blind test (maybe not with live ammo).

I do shoot my RM...

Hey now...member from the "kidney of Dixie"...avatar is different...but isn't this TFMFKASP (the Forum member formerly known as Saxon Pig)? Where have you been?
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Old 09-27-2018, 11:41 AM
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Let's see. Ferrari v Fiat. Both made by the same company. Both get from point A to point B. Both have 4 wheels and a reciprocating, internal combustion engines. Somehow, they are not quite the same. Somehow, Triple Locks and RMs are just different.

Back in the day when I was collecting single shot rifles if someone had offered to trade me a Peabody for the red headed terror dominating my domicile I probably would have given it more than a passing thought. Today, however, he has his own RM and his own red headed terror... Live is good!
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Old 09-27-2018, 01:07 PM
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Quote:
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I wonder how people swear the RM they shot was smoother than a 27 just because they knew it was an RM and expected it to be better? I think everyone's experiences will be highly subjective. Would be interesting to do a blind test (maybe not with live ammo).

I do shoot my RM...

I shoot both of my RMís and Iíd have no problem doing a blind test with any of my Pre-27ís or 27-2ís.
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Old 09-27-2018, 01:24 PM
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Shoot, I've got one that I would give away just so that I wouldn't have to feed him anymore.
Is the kid a good worker? All mine moved out.

If I were ever to find an RM, it would be lost forever in an evidence locker pending my wifeís trial.
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Old 09-27-2018, 01:43 PM
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Never have held a RM. My question is, it is an N Frame correct? Yes, it was a custom revolver during it's run. Basically like a Colt Python, during their run. So what truly makes it so special? The action work? The accuracy? What?

I have two M27-2's, one 3.5 inch and a six inch. Both handle well and shoot well. I don't abuse them, but I do shoot them a fair amount. The actions are very nice, both in single and double action. Just wondering, what am I missing?

27's aren't cheap and RM's are probably a lot more. Do they truly justify the cost to buy one over a 27?
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Old 09-27-2018, 02:46 PM
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I find the term “Registered” confusing w/respect to this model. I wonder who is it regerestered to and by whom. Maybe I’m just a geek but does anyone else share this confusion?
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Old 09-27-2018, 02:52 PM
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The revolver was registered to the owner, but could be transferred to a new owner if requested. The certificate is essentially a lifetime warranty against defects in workmanship, finish, or material etc.

Bill


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Old 09-27-2018, 03:05 PM
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Default Registered magnum vs 27-2

I have owned both a 1938 prewar Registered magnum with 6.5 inch barrel and a 27-2 with 6 inch barrel.I took both to the gun range and fired identical .38 Specials and ,357 Magnum rounds through each, back to back.

Both revolvers were equally accurate hitting the bullseye.
The action on the pre war RM is butter smooth, especially in double action mode. The Rm cost me $7,250, the 27-2 cost me $550.

The prewar magnum has the butter smooth hand fitted action which is typical of Smith & Wesson 5 screw revolvers produced before 1941. The same quality is experienced with my pre war outdoorsman and .44 special third model hand ejector.

The bluing is darker on the pre wars but the 27-2 finish is familiar to my generation; this is the type of Smith I grew up with.

Forthe money, get a 27-2 in acceptable condition and shoot it
whenever the mood takes hold.

It is all about having FUN.

And BTW, you will find the most knowledgable Smith and Wesson people in the world on this forum who are generous with their time and knowledge.
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Old 09-27-2018, 03:44 PM
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Originally Posted by chiefbob81 View Post
I dream of winning the lottery just to be able to buy a RM!
Really, they can't be that expensive are they? What can they run in great condition? Never mind, they are pricy aren't they?
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Old 09-27-2018, 03:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Old cop View Post
I find the term ďRegisteredĒ confusing w/respect to this model. I wonder who is it regerestered to and by whom. Maybe Iím just a geek but does anyone else share this confusion?
It was never called a Registered Magnum by Smith & Wesson. It was later given that name due to the registration process that was given as an option to the original owner.
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Old 09-27-2018, 03:46 PM
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Originally Posted by 03hemi View Post
Really, they can't be that expensive are they? What can they run in great condition?
In great shape with the original box, they are five figures. Add to that for certain barrel lengths, namely 3.5Ē
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Old 09-27-2018, 03:50 PM
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Some may consider this sacrilege, but here goes. I have a couple of very nice M27-2s among numerous other S&Ws. The M27s are beautiful examples of S&W craftsmanship. But the best trigger of any S&W I have is on a Highway Patrolman (probably early 1955).

I bought the HP maybe ten years ago so I don't know if it came from the factory with such a trigger, or if decades of shooting smoothed it out, or if somewhere along the line an ace pistolsmith did an action job on it.

I have never handled, dry fired, or live fired an RM, but I can't imagine how its trigger could be better than the one on my lowly HP. Now if I can just keep from getting kicked out of the forum for having the audacity to compare an HP to an RM.
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Old 09-27-2018, 03:56 PM
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Originally Posted by AJ View Post
Never have held a RM. My question is, it is an N Frame correct? Yes, it was a custom revolver during it's run. Basically like a Colt Python, during their run. So what truly makes it so special? The action work? The accuracy? What?

I have two M27-2's, one 3.5 inch and a six inch. Both handle well and shoot well. I don't abuse them, but I do shoot them a fair amount. The actions are very nice, both in single and double action. Just wondering, what am I missing?

27's aren't cheap and RM's are probably a lot more. Do they truly justify the cost to buy one over a 27?
The Python was a production revolver built by Colt for sale to the masses. The RM was custom built to order for each customer. Totally apples and oranges.

As a shooter, the RM isnít worth 10 times the price of a 27-2, but as an investment or a piece of history, it is in my opinion.
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Old 09-27-2018, 08:41 PM
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Originally Posted by bc1023 View Post
The Python was a production revolver built by Colt for sale to the masses. The RM was custom built to order for each customer. Totally apples and oranges.

As a shooter, the RM isnít worth 10 times the price of a 27-2, but as an investment or a piece of history, it is in my opinion.
Yes, the Python was mass produced
Colt Python - Wikipedia But, probably as respected as the RM/M27 family by many. Prices on the Pythons are bat$h*t crazy, when compared to the M27. However, not as out there as the RM. The Python was a custom made piece at the end of it's run. Apples and oranges........... Had a Python, but sold it as I felt it was to muzzle heavy in the six inch form.

Someday I hope to be able to shoot a RM and see for myself. However, I think this poor boy will stay with his m27's.
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Old 09-27-2018, 08:45 PM
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Yes, the Python was mass produced
Colt Python - Wikipedia But, probably as respected as the RM/M27 family by many. Prices on the Pythons are bat$h*t crazy, when compared to the M27. However, not as out there as the RM. The Python was a custom made piece at the end of it's run. Apples and oranges........... Had a Python, but sold it as I felt it was to muzzle heavy in the six inch form.

Someday I hope to be able to shoot a RM and see for myself. However, I think this poor boy will stay with his m27's.
The later Python Elite from the custom shop doesn't compare well to older Pythons from the 50's and 60's.
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Old 09-27-2018, 08:55 PM
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The later Python Elite from the custom shop doesn't compare well to older Pythons from the 50's and 60's.

This can be said of the RM's and the 27's..................In fact isn't that what started this thread?
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Old 09-27-2018, 08:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Jack Flash View Post
Some may consider this sacrilege, but here goes. I have a couple of very nice M27-2s among numerous other S&Ws. The M27s are beautiful examples of S&W craftsmanship. But the best trigger of any S&W I have is on a Highway Patrolman (probably early 1955).

I bought the HP maybe ten years ago so I don't know if it came from the factory with such a trigger, or if decades of shooting smoothed it out, or if somewhere along the line an ace pistolsmith did an action job on it.

I have never handled, dry fired, or live fired an RM, but I can't imagine how its trigger could be better than the one on my lowly HP. Now if I can just keep from getting kicked out of the forum for having the audacity to compare an HP to an RM.
The HP is the M27. Its basically the less expensive version without the checkering and high polished blue.

As for comparing it to the RM, I think you would be very surprised. The pre war stuff is just on another level, especially the RM.

I love post war S&W's too and own more of those than I do pre war. However, it is what it is.

The only revolvers I own that measure up to the smoothest of my RM’s are a couple vintage Korth Combats.

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Old 09-27-2018, 10:01 PM
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Price , originality of package and condition are always the determining factors in a collectible firearm,
Doubt there will be a huge difference in accuracy on the range or even clamped in a ransom rest and
I seriously doubt a blindfolded shooter could tell a Model marked 27 from a pre war RM even though one has a longer action.

As for actions I have a 66-2 (NON P&R) that has a better trigger/action than any other S&W I own so depends on the gun itself and work done to it.

Last edited by Engine49guy; 09-27-2018 at 10:04 PM.
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Old 09-27-2018, 10:57 PM
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Python had way more hand fitting than the typical "mass produced" revolver. Sort of a quasi custom.
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Old 09-27-2018, 11:30 PM
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Python had way more hand fitting than the typical "mass produced" revolver. Sort of a quasi custom.

Check out a pre war Official Police sometime. They are at least as smooth as a Python.
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Old 09-28-2018, 04:52 AM
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I've owned several of each.

I don't always carry a 357 Magnum.......But, when I do, it's this'n.






.
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Old 09-28-2018, 08:52 AM
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Quote:
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A 27-2 in hand is better than a RM that is unattainable. That said, bc1023 RM is absolutely fabulous and would make me consider selling one of my kids to the circus to get one. Joking, of course, but it is beautiful!!
I have some kids if you have a market or someone willing to trade a registered magnum.

All jokes aside I would love a registered magnum. If the stars alighned and I sold about 1/2 the S&W I owned I would be able to get one. Lets see.
a maybe 3 28s, a 57, a 629, a couple k22s, a couple of 45 acps, a 45 colt, some 38 specials, a j and I frame 32. Am I getting close?
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Old 09-28-2018, 10:54 AM
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I have some kids if you have a market or someone willing to trade a registered magnum.

All jokes aside I would love a registered magnum. If the stars alighned and I sold about 1/2 the S&W I owned I would be able to get one. Lets see.
a maybe 3 28s, a 57, a 629, a couple k22s, a couple of 45 acps, a 45 colt, some 38 specials, a j and I frame 32. Am I getting close?
It could be worth it really. If you pile up a bunch of your S&Ws and think...would I rather have one truly magnificent gun that makes me incredibly happy, or all these guns which I like but I could replace if I put some effort into it?

I have to say that after shooting my first one extensively it does certainly edge out my post war .357s in every way.

Does that justify the price difference from a nice pre model 27? I'd say no. No one should buy an RM until they are deep in lust with their S&W collection and are ready to truly appreciate a gun that is really the pinnacle of what S&W ever really did. Only then is the price really justified.

Or, you can do like me and truffle hound your way into them:

$150:



$2500:



$1000:




They are out there. They aren't easy to find, this is all I've been able to afford in the ~10 years I have been looking for them, but I can't imagine parting with any of them.
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Old 09-28-2018, 04:01 PM
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I think accuracy is similar, but I find the RM much smoother than any 27 or Pre-27 I ever owned. I donít think itís even that close.

To each their own, of course.
Brother, don't doubt for a minute what you are saying, however I think it's subjective to a particular gun. I have factory 27's that have unbelievable actions and have never had the sideplates off. I also have some that are like new, but the actions could use a little help. It is all dependent on the "fitter" and how he felt that day. Only the most experience fitters put 27's, 29's and such together in those early days especially. When I worked there many of those more experienced fitters had retired. Pre 27's, were still considered top of the line back in the day. I think a little of that "Lovin Feeling" disappeared latter on. Still great guns, but experience was a major factor when fitting one up.
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