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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 11-18-2020, 06:29 AM
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Default Military Model Question

I am aware that S&W produced the Model 1917 and the Model 1950 Military. Were any other 45 ACP revolvers introduced as “Military” Models. I guess I am asking was there a Model 1955 Military?

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Old 11-18-2020, 07:04 AM
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There were no 1955 Military (fixed sight) guns; the 1950 version went through the normal progression of modifications (5 to 4 to 3 screws, etc.) and became the model 22.

The reintroduced model 22-4 was called the Thunder Ranch (4") or the 1917 Classic (5.5"). I suppose you could call a non-TR logo gun a model of 2007 Military if you like.
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Old 11-18-2020, 09:55 AM
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I have always understood that the Model of 1950 Military was in 44 caliber (pre 21) and that the 1950 45 acp (pre 22) was designated the Army model. Ame I wrong?
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Old 11-18-2020, 10:13 AM
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1950 Military .44 Special.

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Old 11-18-2020, 11:35 AM
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You didn‘t ask about this, but for completeness‘ sake just a historical reminder that for S&W the .38 K-Frame was the original “Military Model”.


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Old 11-18-2020, 07:10 PM
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Here's a pic of my Model 1950 Army Model and a photo of what the box for one looks like (not my box). I find it interesting that the Model 1950 chambered in .44 Special is referred to as the "Military" Model and the Model 1950 chambered in .45 ACP is referred to as the "Army" Model. Probably because the .44 was introduced first and they didn't want to cause confusion by using the same terminology for a different caliber.
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Old 11-18-2020, 08:10 PM
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Originally Posted by quinn View Post
I have always understood that the Model of 1950 Military was in 44 caliber (pre 21) and that the 1950 45 acp (pre 22) was designated the Army model. Ame I wrong?
My mistake. Apparently the 44 is the 1950 Military and the 45 is the 1950 Army. That makes it even odder as the 44 S&W Special was never a military cartridge. At least not to my knowledge. The 44 Colt, yes. And somewhere I recall the 44 American but not the Special.

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Old 11-18-2020, 08:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Absalom View Post
You didn‘t ask about this, but for completeness‘ sake just a historical reminder that for S&W the .38 K-Frame was the original “Military Model”.
I know the 38 Colt was adopted by the Military but, prior to WWII, was the 38 S&W Special ever adopted by tge U S Military?

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Old 11-18-2020, 08:32 PM
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And just because we love to see photos!

From the left, the Model 1950 Army, the Model 22-4, the Thunder Ridge version of the Model 22-4, and the Model 22-4 with the 5 1/2” barrel, the Army Model? The 22-4 Commercial? The ???

Okay no photo Of the 5 1/2”, 22-4. Those will come later.

Kevin
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Old 11-18-2020, 09:51 PM
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Originally Posted by StrawHat View Post
prior to WWII, was the 38 S&W Special ever adopted by tge [sic] U S Military?
No, Kevin, it wasn't. But Absalom's point was it was named that by S&W. So the 1950 "Military Model" has a precedent.

With respect to the prewar .38 Military & Police model, it seems it was named that way because, before 1911, the company hoped it would be adopted by the U.S. military as a replacement for revolvers shooting the .38 Colt's cartridge. The Philippine Insurrection gave the Colt's cartridge a bad reputation. Ultimately, the .45 A.C.P. won the honors instead of the .38 Special. But the name for the revolver stuck.
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Old 11-18-2020, 10:10 PM
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Originally Posted by StrawHat View Post
I know the 38 Colt was adopted by the Military but, prior to WWII, was the 38 S&W Special ever adopted by the U S Military?
Well ... if you want to get really technical, yes, at least the Navy did buy 150 Army Special revolvers in 1910. And don't let the .38/c caliber designation throw you; these were in .38 Special. Before WW II, Colt records did not distinguish the .38 calibers, so the letters don't either.

But you probably can't call that "adoption".

The lettered gun below is actually owned by the Colt assistant historian. We have discussed this on the Colt forum. The working hypothesis is that the Navy needed the guns urgently for some reason, the old D.A. 38's were no longer produced, but the new .45 M1909's not yet available.


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Old 11-19-2020, 06:37 AM
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No, Kevin, it wasn't. But Absalom's point was it was named that by S&W. So the 1950 "Military Model" has a precedent.

With respect to the prewar .38 Military & Police model, it seems it was named that way because, before 1911, the company hoped it would be adopted by the U.S. military as a replacement for revolvers shooting the .38 Colt's cartridge. The Philippine Insurrection gave the Colt's cartridge a bad reputation. Ultimately, the .45 A.C.P. won the honors instead of the .38 Special. But the name for the revolver stuck.
That is what I gathered. Too bad as the 38 S&W Special is a decent cartridge.

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Old 11-19-2020, 10:37 AM
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This has been an informative and enjoyable thread and has answered a couple of questions on the subject that I've always harbored.

I've also always wondered why the 38 Long Colt was loaded to less power than the 38 S&W Special, even though the cases for all intents and purposes were the same.
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Old 11-19-2020, 11:49 AM
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....
I've also always wondered why the 38 Long Colt was loaded to less power than the 38 S&W Special, even though the cases for all intents and purposes were the same.
The .38 Long Colt was developed from the .38 Short Colt as a black powder load a few decades before the .38 Special, and frame dimension and strength of the guns was designed accordingly.

The .38 LC guns survived the transition to smokeless (in the US military in 1900) without modifications, and Colt even advertised their suitability for Special, but for the actual sustained shooting of .38 Special-level pressure loads, a stronger frame was necessary.

S&W designed that along with the cartridge, as the K-frame. Colt followed in 1908 by replacing the old D.A. frame with the newly designed Army Special.
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Old 11-19-2020, 01:00 PM
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That is what I gathered. Too bad as the 38 S&W Special is a decent cartridge. Kevin
*
As loaded with the round nose bullet and uninformed training with regard to how to shoot and where to put rounds (tactical anatomy), the .38 Special got a bad reputation for good reason. Loaded with any kind of decent projectile, and I tend to go old school with a SWC because they are most likely to work well and consistently in a modest velocity revolver, it is a decent load for personal defense. The power/controllability curve crosses at a point where a large number of people will perform well shooting it.
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Old 11-19-2020, 03:24 PM
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The round nose bullet is one of the more accurate shapes. Not much shock though. The wadcutter has both accuracy and shock working for it. It is my choice when carrying the small bore.

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Old 11-19-2020, 04:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scharfschuetzer View Post
This has been an informative and enjoyable thread and has answered a couple of questions on the subject that I've always harbored.

I've also always wondered why the 38 Long Colt was loaded to less power than the 38 S&W Special, even though the cases for all intents and purposes were the same.
.38 Long Colt is a shorter Cartridge Case than .38 S&W Special...and with this, has a slightly smaller Case volume.

Otherwise, they are the same diameter.

In original Black Powder Loading, the .38 S & W Special Cartridge held more Powder than the .38 Long Colt Cartridge.
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Old 11-19-2020, 07:29 PM
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Many of us probably know that prior to the Colt Official Police Model, the same gun with minor cosmetic differences was known as the Army Special. It was never adopted by the US Army but it's obvious that Colt's marketing department along with Smith & Wesson's had some wishful thinking going on.
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