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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 06-29-2020, 06:40 PM
Saa106 Saa106 is offline
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I have a Model 1955 pre-25 but Iím ignorant to these guns. Thanks for any help you can provide.

1. Hand ejector
2. Model 1955
3. 45 CAL APC
4. Serial # S921xx (I think itís a 1952-1953 YM)
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Old 06-29-2020, 06:54 PM
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From the SN, yours likely shipped in the late 1952-early 1953 period. Yours may have the so-called "W" mainspring (hammer spring) which is a little unusual. The presentation-style target grips are not original, but desirable nonetheless. I can't tell if the hammer and trigger are plated, but if so, the finish is not original, and that cuts the value considerably. Is it Armalloy or something like that? It should be a Model 1950 Target at that time, but that is not what is stamped on the barrel. I think they were sold only with a 6-1/2" barrel, but yours looks to be shorter than that. Is there a SN stamped on the bottom of the barrel?

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Old 06-29-2020, 07:44 PM
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Welcome! Your gun appears to have the forward upper frame contoured for the tapered barrel of the 1950 Target, but with a later heavy 1955 barrel installed. If you can post a photo of the topstrap/barrel junction from above that would help. Even with the parts swap I bet it is a nice shooter.
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Old 06-29-2020, 08:58 PM
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Swapped barrel cut to 4" or so, some sort of industrial finish including hammer and trigger. Somebody took a $1,200 gun and spent a lot of money to make it into a $400 gun.
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Old 06-29-2020, 09:07 PM
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The serial number is on the back of the cylinder and on the frame under the grips. Iíve uploaded more pictures. I inherited this gun from my father after her passed. I know nothing of what had been done to the gun prior to my fathers death 15 years ago. The barrel measures 4Ē.
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Old 06-29-2020, 09:09 PM
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Looks like the frame started out as a 357 magnum.
Recessed cylinder also.

Last edited by bamabiker; 06-29-2020 at 09:14 PM.
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Old 06-29-2020, 09:16 PM
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Shoot it and remember your dad.
Oh and welcome to the forum.
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Old 06-29-2020, 09:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bamabiker View Post
Looks like the frame started out as a 357 magnum.
Recessed cylinder also.
But the cylinder and frame are the same S921xx serial number.
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Old 06-29-2020, 09:24 PM
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Shoot it and remember your dad.
Oh and welcome to the forum.
Will do. Iím sure he carried this gun on duty in the 70ís, he was a long time law man.
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Old 06-29-2020, 09:35 PM
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OK I'm back.
No expert here but the top of the frame is checkered and as far as I know the only S&Ws with that feature was the 357 magnums which became the model 27s.
Since the cylinder number matches the frame someone bored out the original cylinder to 45 caliber and changed the barrel.
At least that's what it looks like to me.
Not a collector gun but can still be a good shooter and it was your father's.
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Old 06-29-2020, 09:47 PM
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Ya a 5 screw N frame 357 turned into a 45 acp. Handy dandy big bore. Whee it was done it wasn't anywhere near a $2000 frame. If it was done in say 1960 it was more like a $300 deal for a guy serious about his work gun. Your dad was a well armed law man for sure.
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Old 06-29-2020, 09:48 PM
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Welcome to the Forum.

Can you show us a picture of the rear of the cylinder? If it is recessed, it is probably chambered in .45 Colt instead of .45 ACP. Unless, the cylinder has been cut for full moon clips.
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Old 06-29-2020, 10:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Muley Gil View Post
Welcome to the Forum.

Can you show us a picture of the rear of the cylinder? If it is recessed, it is probably chambered in .45 Colt instead of .45 ACP. Unless, the cylinder has been cut for full moon clips.
Picture uploaded
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Old 06-29-2020, 10:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Saa106 View Post
Picture uploaded
Thanks. It looks like your dad's revolver was built on a .357 Magnum, using a cut down 1955 .45 barrel. The cylinder appears to have been rechambered to .45 Colt. Then the revolver has refinished.

I have a M27-2 .357 Magnum that I had converted to .44 Special. Mine was done very much the same way as yours: a new 6 1/2" barrel was fitted (& then cut to 5" years later) and the cylinder was rechambered to .44 Special.
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Old 06-30-2020, 12:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Saa106 View Post
The serial number is on the back of the cylinder and on the frame under the grips. Iíve uploaded more pictures. I inherited this gun from my father after her passed. I know nothing of what had been done to the gun prior to my fathers death 15 years ago. The barrel measures 4Ē.
What a great inheritance!

When you posted that the frame serial # matching the cyl # is stamped on the frame under the grip, do you mean it's on the butt of the grip frame?

I believe the cyl has been rechambered and partially recessed for the thicker case rim of the 45 Auto Rim to fit the narrower 357 headspace (since the serial # hasn't been shaved off).

If so the 45 ACP will also chamber and shoot with to narrower 357 headspace, because the case mouth headspaces on the shoulder in the chamber, and cases unloaded by hand.

Unless the chambers accept 45 Colt cartridges.
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Old 06-30-2020, 01:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hondo44 View Post
What a great inheritance!

When you posted that the frame serial # matching the cyl # is stamped on the frame under the grip, do you mean it's on the butt of the grip frame?

I believe the cyl has been rechambered and partially recessed for the thicker case rim of the 45 Auto Rim to fit the narrower 357 headspace (since the serial # hasn't been shaved off).

If so the 45 ACP will also chamber and shoot with to narrower 357 headspace, because the case mouth headspaces on the shoulder in the chamber, and cases unloaded by hand.

Unless the chambers accept 45 Colt cartridges.
Looking at the picture of the cylinder, I don't believe the recesses are deep enough for .45 Auto Rim. The chambers look too deep for .45 AR or .45 ACP.
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Old 06-30-2020, 03:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Muley Gil View Post
Looking at the picture of the cylinder, I don't believe the recesses are deep enough for .45 Auto Rim. The chambers look too deep for .45 AR or .45 ACP.
Yes, I agree. And they should not be. The recesses should not be deep enough for 45 AR rims, only deep enough for the difference in thickness between 357 case rims (.055" and 45 AR case rims (.090"); .035". Or else the headspace will be far too wide for the AR cartridges. UNLESS the 357 cyl originally had recessed case rims. I don't recall for the vintage of 357.

I couldn't see inside the chambers well enough therefore asked the OP if 45 Colt will chamber in them.
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Old 06-30-2020, 08:30 AM
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I’ll see if I have some .45 apc, colt and 357 around the house. I’ll take some pics for y’all.
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Old 06-30-2020, 09:32 AM
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All of the 5 screw era factory 357 mag cylinders would have been recessed.

Stopping and looking at the pictures of the end of the cylinder and the rear of cylinder to frame gap I also believe it is a 45 colt. No way it could be an ACP and eject the cases.

I have used severral 1955 and 1950 barrels to make 45 colts. I also have a couple of recessed 45 colt cylinders, mine were made from 44 mag cylinders.
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Old 06-30-2020, 09:53 AM
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Quote:
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All of the 5 screw era factory 357 mag cylinders would have been recessed.

Stopping and looking at the pictures of the end of the cylinder and the rear of cylinder to frame gap I also believe it is a 45 colt. No way it could be an ACP and eject the cases.
Thank you for that verification on 357 recessing. So I agree, must be for 45 Colt.

It could not be for 45 AR or ACP if the recesses are not .090" deep, and they sure don't look like that.

No it could not eject ACP cases in any event.
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Old 06-30-2020, 10:40 AM
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I am sure that this would enrage the collector fetishists. If done today, it likely would reduce the value. That is at best an inanity.

Done back whenever, it was a first rate choice for the first purpose of a serious revolver - fighting. Such caliber conversions were not unknown, in large part because really serious users could not get what they wanted from a factory gun. Cherish it, shoot it, make good use of it.
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Old 06-30-2020, 11:10 AM
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Ya at the time this gun was created the choices of S&W revolvers in 45 colt was Slim to none and slim was out of the country. Making one was about the only real choice. Nobody thought of "pre 27s" they were all pre models for that mater and they were all 5 screws. It was just an available N frame that could be used to make what he wanted and felt he needed.
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Old 06-30-2020, 12:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Art Doc View Post
Swapped barrel cut to 4" or so, some sort of industrial finish including hammer and trigger. Somebody took a $1,200 gun and spent a lot of money to make it into a $400 gun.
Not really. You are applying todays values with what happened decades ago. The 357 was a fine revolver but more than a few people wanted other than magnums. S&W was not responsive so fellows turned to gunsmiths to create what S&W would not.

When I was wearing a badge I converted a Model 28-2 into a 45 ACP. Great duty revolver and one I still have. If I would have owned a Model 27-2 or earlier, I would have converted that one.

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Old 06-30-2020, 03:22 PM
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Would not surprise me if this was converted to a 45 LC. I have another S&W 25-5 45 LC, 4Ē in Nickel from his estate as well. I have that one for sale right now.

Last edited by murphydog; 06-30-2020 at 11:06 PM. Reason: Removed auction reference
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Old 06-30-2020, 09:50 PM
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Not really. You are applying todays values with what happened decades ago. The 357 was a fine revolver but more than a few people wanted other than magnums. S&W was not responsive so fellows turned to gunsmiths to create what S&W would not.

When I was wearing a badge I converted a Model 28-2 into a 45 ACP. Great duty revolver and one I still have. If I would have owned a Model 27-2 or earlier, I would have converted that one.

Kevin
Kevin,

That's a beauty!

Re-bored the barrel and still have an all numbers matching gun except no # left on cyl.
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Old 07-01-2020, 06:15 AM
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Kevin,

That's a beauty!

Re-bored the barrel and still have an all numbers matching gun except no # left on cyl.
Thank you. Yes, I sent the barrel to Dick Nickel (deceased) who bored and rifled the barrel for the ACP. Got the cylinder from S&W when I was attending the armorerís school. Fitted it all back together with dykem, feeler gauges, and files.

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Old 07-01-2020, 06:45 AM
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That is a fantastic pistol, use and enjoy it.

I've said this before, I'll say it again. While I don't begrudge all the collectors in this world their enjoyment, I grow weary of people who render every judgement strictly by dollars and cents. As many have pointed out, this looks to be an exceptionally well done piece of gunsmithing, and was done at a time when what we ended up with simply was not available. I see nothing at all wrong with it. I feel no obligation to my heirs to preserve the resale value of my collection. There is something to be said for enjoying life in the present. As they say, some people know the cost of everything, the value of nothing.


So if I feel the urge for a nickel plated 8 3/8ths inch .44 special with a checkered top strap and rear sight, guess what might happen to my 27-2?
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