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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 10-21-2020, 08:15 PM
fleabus101 fleabus101 is offline
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Default Model 27 barrel lengths

Please Help me out on 357 model 27 barrel lengths.
I'm interested in the midlength 27 barrels.
IIRC the post war pre 27s had 6.5 length
barrels. I guess at some point that changed
to 6 inch barrels.
So can the group here fill me in on when the
length changed?
Also did the barrel contour and/or ribs change
on the 27s change along the models progression?
I'm a fan of the slim tapering barrels so I'm
educating myself on the N frame model 27 barrels and also the 38/44 Target model tapered barrels..
Thanks a Bunch.
Randy.
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Old 10-21-2020, 09:29 PM
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The standard lengths were 3 1/2", 5", 6", 6 1/2" and 8 3/8".
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Old 10-21-2020, 09:45 PM
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In 1979 the 3.5 and 5 were dropped and the 4" was added.

The 6 and 6.5 were offered concurrently until the mid 1970s when the 6.5 apparently stopped. From my observations about half of the 6.5 guns had a ramp front sight and about half had the Patridge type. Although I'm sure someone more knowledgeable will correct me.

I thought the 6.5 length was uncommon and not regularly offered in the catalog. But I was corrected by people informing me that I was mistaken and the 6.5 was listed in the sales catalogs and was readily available. I have no explanation for why it took me 20 years to find something so common.

I share your preference for the tapered barrel. I think it looks better and it makes a longer barrel not terribly muzzle heavy. I think up until 1979 the "357" and various Model 27s were pretty consistent with barrel selections. Muley Gil listed the standard lengths in his post.

Back in the old days one could get a special order length but I have only seen one. That was a 4" Model 27-2 made in 1963. Still kick myself for not buying it. I have never had a 6" 27 but I do own or have owned all the rest. The 27 family is my favorite DA revolver.
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Old 10-22-2020, 02:14 AM
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Randy:

You've been given good info in both of the above replies. Here is a post with some observations that I made on this subject in prior thread, with some photos of course...

Quote:
Originally Posted by RKmesa View Post
A sample of the barrel lengths of the N-Frame .357 Magnum, also known as the Pre-27


8 3/8" (cataloged and easy to find), one of the more common lengths, most with Patridge front sights, but a few of them with Baughman ramped front sights:



The 8 3/8"ers are aslo great canvases for engraving projects. Here's one scratched up by Phil Quigley with some Keith Brown lumber:



6 1/2" (cataloged and not that hard to find) I see them fairly often on Gunbroker and have several in my collection - it seems like about half of them have ramped Baughman front sights and the other half have Patridge front sights:



... a 6 1/2" with a Patridge front sight with an added gold "McGivern" bead and some aftermarket target grips:



6" (cataloged and very common) - although this one has been a bit scratched up. Most of them have Patridge front sights:



5" (cataloged and not easy to find) In my experience the 5" pre-27s are hard to find, probably because everyone that has one wants to keep it. I only have one in my collection (its worn and refinished a couple of times), but I don't have any photos of it, so here is a 5" placeholder - a pre-pre-27 (a.k.a. Registered Magnum):



4" (not cataloged and very difficult to find) There are very few of them out there:



3.5" (cataloged and easy to find - but hard to pay for) one of the more common lengths, but they are pricey when you find them, even if they are not all scratched up like this one...

All of the 27's (at least through the 27-2 engineering change - and I think later as well) have the tapered barrel and checkered topstrap, and barrel rib.

They are great guns and, like ArtDoc, they are my favorite series of S&W revolvers.
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Old 10-22-2020, 04:34 AM
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I have a handful of N frames currently. All have 4 inch or shorter barrels. The shorter barrels have been my collecting preference. 4 of them are slim tapered barrels types. Really like my exc condition blued pre 27 3.5 taper barrel 27.
I'm now looking on aquiring a 6.5 model 27 Target type while I'm raising funds for one. So looking with this thread to learn what to look for on the slim tapered patridge sighted model 27s, and are the pre 27s out there more prevelent in 6.5 inch I prefer. I really like the
slim barrels for pleasing looks to me and the weight savings over the heavy barrel types.
Plus, at my age, shooting 38 wadcutters,
with the versitility of 357s is a nice benefit
with the graceful lines of terrific looking
model 27s.
I appreciate you guys sharing your experiences
and knowledge on model 27s that can help me
eventually select a blued beauty Target puncher.
If any of yall can share pics of your nice 6.5 inch barrel 27s I would appreciate them a lot.
Thanks a Bunch Guys..
Randy..
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Old 10-22-2020, 07:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RKmesa View Post
... Here is a post with some observations that I made on this subject in prior thread, with some photos of course......
Rick or anyone,

Wasn’t the Model 27 also offered with an 8 3/4” barrel or am I thinking of a different model?

Kevin
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Old 10-22-2020, 07:35 AM
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A M27-2 from late 60's (P&R), with the 3-1/2" barrel is on my short list. I have a very nice M28-2 with a 6" barrel, so I want something shorter in a M27.

What's the going rate for a blued one? Don't need the box, target stocks nice but not necessary, but better than average condition. An "S" prefix would be a real plus. (and plus more money, I'm sure)
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Old 10-22-2020, 08:08 AM
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Not a great picture, but here's a 6" pre 27 with Patridge front sight and an outstanding set of diamond targets. I have the numbered magnas as well. I LOVE this sixgun!

f

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Old 10-22-2020, 09:16 AM
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Default Model 27 - among my very favorite guns

I've managed to attain 3 in my more active collection years (read prior to retirement and fixed income)

Pre27, S serial prefix, 6-1/2" Blue, Letters 1952, same ultra fine checkered top rib as the others.

27-2, 3-1/2" Blue, Letters 1977

27-2, 6", Nickle Letters 1980

All very fine guns, closest I'll ever get to an RM. The pre 27 fits my hands better than the others, probably the reason it is more accurate for me.

Keep searching....they are still out there, and no more made, so the only thing rising is the price, but it is only money and what you may pay today will seem a real bargain in 10 years.
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Old 10-22-2020, 09:46 AM
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Pre-27s, 5", 6" and 6 1/2". Two with custom grips~

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Old 10-22-2020, 10:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StrawHat View Post
Rick or anyone,

Wasn’t the Model 27 also offered with an 8 3/4” barrel or am I thinking of a different model?

Kevin
Kevin:

The Model 27 and it's post WW II, "pre-27" equivelent was never offered in an 8 3/4" barrel. However there is one (a transitional post war .357) that shipped with a special order 8 3/4" barrel.

You are probably thinking of the pre-war .357 Magnums, known as "Registered Magnums", and "Non Registered Magnums". They were offered with 8 3/4" barrels, and such lengths were fairly common. Here are photos of a few of them...

REG 3261



REG 4405



REG 1666

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Old 10-22-2020, 10:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fleabus101 View Post
...I'm now looking on aquiring a 6.5 model 27 Target type while I'm raising funds for one.

...If any of yall can share pics of your nice 6.5 inch barrel 27s I would appreciate them a lot.
Thanks a Bunch Guys..
Randy..
Randy:

Here are photos of a couple more 6.5" Model 27s that reside in my collection:

A Model 27-7:





... and my very first model 27, a birth year 27-2 that is well used and gets shot regularly...



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Old 10-22-2020, 11:28 AM
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here is a few, there is 3) 27-2s

2) made in 1969 S prefix ( 3.5" & 8.375" )

1) 1980. N prefix ( 8.375" )

1) 25-5 45 Colt 1980 N prefix ( 8.375" )

1) 24-3 44 Special 1984 ABZ prefix ( 4" )

1) 1950 Target 44 Special 1955 ( 6.5" )

1) 52-2 38 midrange ???? TAM prefix ( 5" )
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Old 10-22-2020, 12:22 PM
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Here is a 4" gun. It is a -3 so not P&R. Someone at some time had the trigger and hammer jeweled and I think probably an action Job as well. Gun shoots like a dream. I had 27-2's in all the standard barrel lengths (except this 4") and have sold them all except for this gun and a -2 5". Just thinning the herd.
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Old 10-22-2020, 12:34 PM
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"Wasn’t the Model 27 also offered with an 8 3/4” barrel or am I thinking of a different model?"

The 8 3/4" length was dropped from the RMs and later .357 magnums due to a US Revolver Association rule limiting the sight radius to 10". So, S&W cut the longest length to 8 3/8".
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Old 10-22-2020, 07:27 PM
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A 6.5" with ramp that actually shipped May 17, 1958 to Davenport, IA. Might be among the last made with no model number. Those are the original stocks and the revolver letters with the red ramp insert and white outline rear sight.




This one shipped March 15, 1957 to a dealer in Salt Lake City as 1 of 3 for the Carbon County (UT) Sheriff's Office.




About 12 years ago a forum member contacted me about this nickel Model 27 in a pawn shop in Seattle. Hadn't gone very far after shipping on May 19, 1960 to Tacoma. Shop was asking $295 and I didn't even bargain with him. Gun was like new after 48 years. Still looks like new and now it's 60 years. Yes, original stocks.



I have more. None are fancy or rare. Most shoe signs of use. But I love my 27s.
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Old 10-22-2020, 09:12 PM
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I truly appreciate all of you guys making the effort to share your pictures of your model 27s.
It has helped me reinforce my desire to aquire a 27 Target model to wind down my S&W
collection habit. Said tongue in cheek.LOL.
The member support here is what keeps me here vs the other forums I used to hang out at.
Again Thanks a Bunch for your efforts.
Any more Target pics you'd share appreciated.
Best Randy..
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Old 10-22-2020, 09:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RKmesa View Post
...Kevin:

...You are probably thinking of the pre-war .357 Magnums, known as "Registered Magnums", and "Non Registered Magnums". They were offered with 8 3/4" barrels, and such lengths were fairly common...
Thank you Richard. I thought I remembered something like that.

In my defense, if you see one S&W 357 Magnum N frame, you’ve seen them all!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Muley Gil View Post
...The 8 3/4" length was dropped from the RMs and later .357 magnums due to a US Revolver Association rule limiting the sight radius to 10. So, S&W cut the longest length to 8 3/8"...
That’s what got me thinking about it but could not place the Model.

Thank you both for refreshing my memory.

Kevin
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Old 10-24-2020, 10:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StrawHat View Post
...if you see one S&W 357 Magnum N frame, you’ve seen them all!
Say it's not so... Those are the same words that my wife uses when I display some my N Frame .357 collection... And one reason why I have rounded up a bunch of hand engraved N Frame 357s and customized others with custom grips - it's much easier to tell the difference then.
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Old 10-24-2020, 01:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glenncal1 View Post
Here is a 4" gun. It is a -3 so not P&R. Someone at some time had the trigger and hammer jeweled and I think probably an action Job as well. Gun shoots like a dream. I had 27-2's in all the standard barrel lengths (except this 4") and have sold them all except for this gun and a -2 5". Just thinning the herd.
Call me if you want to sell the 27-2. 5”
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Old 10-29-2020, 09:05 PM
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I had my usual table at National Gun Day in Louisville 1st w-end in Oct.

It had been a long time since a walkin had anything I wanted but I almost tore my jeans getting my wallet out when this .357 6"/w Cokes was offered up at a $600 ask.
Guy was moving to a Florida condo and was cashing out his collection. Said he'd owned this for over 30 years. Also got a Colt Trooper MkIII 6" in 99%.



Here's a 5" 5 screw I've had for years and I've got 5 more 5" 27s.



This 8 3/8s 5 screw came thru the NGD doors about 15 years ago but It's found its forever home now.

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Old 10-30-2020, 12:47 PM
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Default 6 1/2" .357 N frames

IIRC, the 6 1/2" barrel length was dropped from the catalog around '68. I have two nice boxed 27-2s, and one or maybe both shipped in '72. Took me a long time to acquire them, but not as long as the boxed -1 I purchased at auction, and the only one I've ever had an opportunity to buy. I also have a couple no dashes, and a few pre models, which were far easier to acquire--they made a lot of them.
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Old 10-30-2020, 02:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StrawHat View Post
In my defense, if you see one S&W 357 Magnum N frame, you’ve seen them all!
Kevin




I can not tell any of them apart




It is terrible




I have the same problem with these two

I have no idea which one is which

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Old 10-30-2020, 04:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RKmesa View Post
Randy:

You've been given good info in both of the above replies. Here is a post with some observations that I made on this subject in prior thread, with some photos of course...



All of the 27's (at least through the 27-2 engineering change - and I think later as well) have the tapered barrel and checkered topstrap, and barrel rib.

They are great guns and, like ArtDoc, they are my favorite series of S&W revolvers.
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Old 10-30-2020, 06:00 PM
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A post by Smith Nut on the S&W public forum on 19 Dec 2004
A couple of years back I researched the M27 barrel lengths re: number of “years offered” in S&W documents (Annual catalogs, All Model Circulars, Price lists). For Postwar manufacturing, the Model 27 and Pre-M27 was offered in the following barrel lengths for the following number of years.

6” barrel = 1946-1994 48 yrs
8.375” barrel = 1949-1991 46yrs
3.5” barrel = 1946-1979 34yrs
5” barrel = 1946-1979 34yrs
6.5” barrel = 1946-1968 23yrs
4” barrel = 1980-1991 12yrs
Notes:
1 – Prior to cataloging the 4”, special orders accounted for all the 4” production.
2 – Model 27 sales (in general) were very sluggish after the Model 19 was introduced.
3 – Model 27 4” guns were cataloged the first time in 1980, the same year the L frame was introduced.
4 – Duty usage of the 4” M27 was probably slow as compared to the (lower cost) M28 Highway Patrolman after 1954.
5 – All Nickel 4” models noted to date have been around 1980 production of the M27-2, all with TT/TH/TS/WO/RR
6 – The years cataloged may not correlate to actual production numbers, but it speaks to the general availability and orderability.
7 – The above is for standard production guns, it does not cover any commemorative or re-issue special editions. Both the 3.5” and 5” were reintroduced at least once.
9 – In 1969 S&W changed to the N serial prefix as a requirement of the 1968 Gun Control Act.

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Old 10-30-2020, 06:14 PM
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Quote:
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[center]Kevin...

I can not tell any of them apart ...




It is terrible




I have the same problem with these two ...

I have no idea which one is which ...
So, I am not alone.

Kevin
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Old 10-31-2020, 03:58 AM
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I think my 27-2 is 6”, I prefer 5”, 5.5”,6”,6.5” barrels.
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Old 10-31-2020, 04:24 AM
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Thanks jcelect!!
Great info on the availability of the
different barrel lengths!
Appreciate you passing that along when hunting thru the sale listings that knowing
better on pictures the yrs 6.5 vs 6 inch
available scoping out potential buys.
Thanks a Bunch!
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Old 10-31-2020, 06:58 AM
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Have only owned six....
27-2s:
3.5"
5" (3)
8 3/8"

Pre-27:
6"

Have also shot a friend's 6.5" 60s vintage 27-2.

Always admired the 5". Had a nice 60s' vintage shooter, a NIB 60's vintage collector and a rusty 70s vintage shooter that got turned into a .41 Magnum. But after getting a 6" I find I actually like the balance and shooting better than the 5" guns...

...so a question...why apparently from the beginning of production was there both a 6" and 6.5" barrel available?

Bob
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