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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 03-24-2020, 11:04 PM
Oldmandp Oldmandp is offline
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Default First concealed hammer hand ejector?

When was the first concealed hammer hand ejector made?
I frame .32?
Lots were made in top break.
Newer are Centennials.
Many Thanks!
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Old 03-24-2020, 11:12 PM
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I donít know, but I am glad they exist. I love mine!
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Old 03-25-2020, 01:52 AM
Muley Gil Muley Gil is offline
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The Centennial was the first hammerless hand ejector, introduced in 1952.

I have read that Colonel Rex Applegate asked S&W to update the old top break hammerless revolver to fire .38 special.
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Old 03-25-2020, 02:37 AM
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As Muley Gil posted.

Actually there were never any I frame hammerless.

And the only other HE is the L frame. Mod 242 .38 Spl and Mod 296 in 44 Spl IIRC.
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Old 03-25-2020, 09:50 AM
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They are very interesting guns,

Mod 40, 640,940
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Old 03-25-2020, 11:57 AM
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Ah!
I found that the top break was available in concealed hammer longer than I thought.
Cool about Applegate!

I did see a .327 mag centennial for sale...for about 30 seconds!

I really like my 43c. My every day carry.
Many Thanks!
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Old 03-28-2020, 10:43 PM
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Default Chief Special Hammerless

Hi Oldmandp, Myself fitting that description except for "dp"; not a "displaced person."... Yet! Maybe "dysfunctional"!
Below pix of my '52 edition Centennial, SN 2xx. Notably box label described as "Chief Special Hammerless". Thanks for the interesting Thread & discussion of a relatively less discussed model to my mind.
Best & God Bless all in this Crisis.
John
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Old 03-28-2020, 11:00 PM
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That's a special box marked that way. Changed to Centennial in 1953, the company's 100th anniversary year.
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Old 03-29-2020, 01:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hondo44 View Post
That's a special box marked that way. Changed to Centennial in 1953, the company's 100th anniversary year.
Thanks for the notation Hondo! I've never seen many red boxes at all for these & no recollection of nomenclature on others.
A question. Would this Model have used the so-called "Baby Chief" frame or lalready with later/larger Chief size?
Best!
John
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Old 03-29-2020, 02:51 AM
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Correct, there are no Baby J frame Hammerless or Centennials.

In fact we see no other J frame models, Bodyguard, and Cent or BG Airweights in Baby J versions either.

And only a very few Baby Chiefs Airweights.
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Old 04-01-2020, 05:01 PM
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The first of these J-frame guns were the "Centennial Airweights," and were available for limited sale on November 21, 1952. The first 37 guns had aluminum frames AND cylinders. The all-steel model called the Centennial was introduced on December 1, 1952.

More information can be found in my "101 Classic Firearms" book beginning on page 158.

John

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Old 04-01-2020, 07:09 PM
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It first appeared in the Gun Digest (6th Edition, 1952) catalog section under the name of ".38 Chiefs Hammerless" at a price of $60 Blue and $66 Nickel. I believe that must have been a pre-production ad, as the 1952 GD reflected 1951 gun information.

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Old 04-01-2020, 07:54 PM
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There was interesting reading in the 1952 Centennial S&W Catalog for the "new" Centennial revolver.
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Old 04-02-2020, 09:42 AM
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I really like the lines of the Centennial. I have its ugly brother, nickel Model .38.
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Old 04-02-2020, 10:54 AM
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An interesting case of a last minute change or the right hand not knowing what the left hand was doing:

Before they were named the Centennial, the S&W factory called the alloy model the ".38 Chiefs Special Hammerless Airweight" and the all steel version ".38 Chiefs Special Hammerless", and that is the reason the earlier boxes are labeled as such. Boxes were obviously ordered well ahead of time before the Cenntennial name was thought up by the marketing dept.
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Old 04-02-2020, 12:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hondo44 View Post
An interesting case of a last minute change or the right hand not knowing what the left hand was doing . . .
My catalog is labeled as "First Printing October 1952", so maybe the catalog came out late, after the name change to Centennial?
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Old 04-02-2020, 12:40 PM
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The first J Frame revolver was completed in 1950 and introduced at the
International Association of Chiefs of Police. It has been known as the
Chief's Special ever since. In 1957 when S&W started the numbering
system, the Chief's Special became model 36. The stainless version of
the Chief's Special came out in 1965 and they called it model 60.

The Centennial Airweight, with a concealed hammer and a grip safety,
appeared in 1952. In 1957 it was designated Model 42. Initially it only
weighed about 11 ounces, but they soon replaced the alloy cylinder with
a steel cylinder which boosted the weight up to about 12.5 oz.

I really like my model 642-1, shown below with a little black speed
scabbard made by Chic Gaylord. Belts were quite narrow in the 1950s
when the holster was made, so this old Uncle Mike "Mirage" is all I have
that will go through the loops.
The grips are Blue Lava by Hogue. The knife is a Piranha.
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Old 04-02-2020, 01:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glowe View Post
My catalog is labeled as "First Printing October 1952", so maybe the catalog came out late, after the name change to Centennial?
I would agree. The boxes likely had to be ordered much earlier in those days.
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Old 04-02-2020, 01:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crazyphil View Post
The first J Frame revolver was completed in 1950 and introduced at the International Association of Chiefs of Police. It has been known as the Chief's Special ever since.
It's reported that S&W requested suggestions for the name from the attendees.

The name is actually .38 Chiefs Special; plural but not possessive.
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Old 04-02-2020, 03:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hondo44 View Post
Correct, there are no Baby J frame Hammerless or Centennials.

In fact we see no other J frame models, Bodyguard, and Cent or BG Airweights in Baby J versions either.

And only a very few Baby Chiefs Airweights.
It's interesting to note the Centnnials came out nearly two years before the last Baby Chiefs shipped and before the first, longer grip frrame Model of 1953 Chiefs were shipped in mid 1954.

I've wondered if the company made scores and scores of Baby Chiefs frames before it enlarged the grip frame for the Centennials. Then, being known for never wasting anything it had to sell the Baby Chiefs before changing to the Model of 1953 for the Chiefs.
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Old 04-02-2020, 06:16 PM
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More information can be found in my "101 Classic Firearms" book beginning on page 158.

John


John, Iíd like to read your book, do you sell it directly or is Amazon the better way to go? (Sorry, hope Iím not violating any rules here by asking).
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Old 04-02-2020, 07:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NavySCPO View Post
More information can be found in my "101 Classic Firearms" book beginning on page 158.

John


John, Iíd like to read your book, do you sell it directly or is Amazon the better way to go? (Sorry, hope Iím not violating any rules here by asking).
Danny, you can get the book by calling Dillon Precision at 1-800-223-4570. Be patient - the line is quite busy right now. You can also get it at dillonprecision.com. You can order it on Amazon, but it's more expensive and will take longer to get it to you. Dillon shipping is quite prompt.

Thanks for asking!

John
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