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Old 04-02-2011, 09:59 PM
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Default What is THE classic S&W revolver?

What do you guys feel is the most classic of all S&W revolver? I donít really know how to ask what I am asking. But I look at some of the 4 or 5 inch 357 or 44 mags and I think that their lines are some the most classic of all revolvers. I am just trying to see if there is some type of consensus as to which Smith is the most classic of all. I know this is a really wide open question, but I kind of mean it that way. What do you consider THE classic S&W revolver? Pictures are always welcome.
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Old 04-02-2011, 10:03 PM
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Registered Mag
K22
44 mag
kit gun
chief spl

in that order.


Charlie
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Old 04-02-2011, 10:05 PM
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Just my opinion, but I always thought the Model 10 (or M&P for the pre-model number generation) with a 4" barrel was probably the most "classic" S&W revolver.
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Old 04-02-2011, 10:06 PM
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The profile I like the best is
Mdl-19, 6 inch
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Old 04-02-2011, 10:09 PM
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There was a similar thread here not too long ago and while everybody likes the 357 and 44 Magnums, I believe the consensus was that the utilitarian Military & Police (later the Model 10), with something like 7 million produced, was the hands-down winner as far as what most people imagine when they think Smith & Wesson.

Edit (from Wikipedia): Boorman, Dean K., The History of Smith & Wesson Firearms (2002), p. 46: "The .38 in Military and Police Model 10 has historically been the mainstay of the Smith & Wesson Company, with some 6,000,000 of this general type produced to date. It has been described as the most successful handgun of all time, and the most popular centerfire revolver of the 20th Century."

Last edited by -db-; 04-02-2011 at 10:14 PM.
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Old 04-02-2011, 10:10 PM
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the 19 four inch in blue. although, i think the most elegent revolver ever is the 586 4 inch with wood targets
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Old 04-02-2011, 10:12 PM
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Tough question! My top three is the best I can do:
#1 3.5" 357 Magnum (Model 27)
#2 6.5" 44 Magnum (Model 29)
#3 4" Combat Magnum (Model 19)

These are the great signature Smiths that are never confused with Colts or Rugers. Classic and legendary all. All made a huge impact.
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Old 04-02-2011, 10:21 PM
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The Military & Police and it's later name, the Model 10. The .357 Magnum arrived in 1935, the M & P was already there. The .44 Magnum in 1955, the M & P was already there. The same with the Combat Magnum, the Model 13, the Chief's Special, and every other revolver. They made more M & P's and Model 10's than any other revolver that ever came out of the Smith factory. It served in WWII for how many countries and police forces around the world? The classic 4-inch version is of course the most commonly seen. It might not have been the most glamorous, but it was the workhorse of Smith & Wesson.

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Old 04-02-2011, 10:26 PM
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If you want the absolute Classic, it's without any doubt the 4 inch M&P or later the model 10. If you want the pinnacle, IMO that would be the 3 1/2 inch RM or the later model 27.

Now for the good news/bad news side of this question. In it's long history S&W has made so many splendid revolvers that there will be considerable debate on this issue. Bad news is that the simple fact is that in terms of numbers and useability nothing better defines the S&W revolver line better than the M&P or model 10.
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Old 04-02-2011, 10:26 PM
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I think the model 29 is thought of as the classic S&W revolver, although only because of its Dirty Harry fame. I never realized that there were 6 to 7 million M&P (model 10) revolvers manufactured.
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Old 04-02-2011, 10:29 PM
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  #12  
Old 04-02-2011, 10:30 PM
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3.5" M27
4" Triple Lock .44
6" K22
RD
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Old 04-02-2011, 10:38 PM
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I agree with several previous posts. The .38 M&P has been the epitome of S&W since 1899.
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Old 04-02-2011, 10:41 PM
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I think a revolver being the classic for its maker is the one most sought after by shooters and collectors and with the S&W or Colt and not necessarily the first. So for me in the S&W line it's the Model 27 starting with the registered magnum followed in second by the Model 29. In colts I think it's the Python and the in second is the Diamondback. In both lines I think the first and second models in each are the most sought after and cost the most.
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Old 04-02-2011, 11:08 PM
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it sounds like the M&P might be the "classic". But i like the term "pinnacle". Maybe that was really what i was after.

Quote:
Originally Posted by scooter123 View Post
If you want the absolute Classic, it's without any doubt the 4 inch M&P or later the model 10. If you want the pinnacle, IMO that would be the 3 1/2 inch RM or the later model 27.

Now for the good news/bad news side of this question. In it's long history S&W has made so many splendid revolvers that there will be considerable debate on this issue. Bad news is that the simple fact is that in terms of numbers and useability nothing better defines the S&W revolver line better than the M&P or model 10.
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Old 04-02-2011, 11:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fyimo View Post
I think a revolver being the classic for its maker is the one most sought after by shooters and collectors and with the S&W or Colt and not necessarily the first. So for me in the S&W line it's the Model 27 starting with the registered magnum followed in second by the Model 29. In colts I think it's the Python and the in second is the Diamondback. In both lines I think the first and second models in each are the most sought after and cost the most.
Art,
I can't belive you put the snakes ahead of the 1873 Colt Single Action Army!
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Old 04-02-2011, 11:58 PM
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It's the M&P-Model 10-Model 64, for my vote. I'll add the 64 because it's just a stainless Model 10

S&W's meat and potatoes, standard .38 Special service revolver. Built for hard service, has everything you need for 2-legged predators and nothing you don't. Made for police, military and civilian use, as a basic defensive handgun. How much more "Classic" does it get?

If it has adjustable sights it's already getting too complicated.....
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Old 04-03-2011, 12:07 AM
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Mod 29-2 6.5" blue.

-Jim
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Old 04-03-2011, 12:24 AM
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Any Pre-War N-frame !

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Old 04-03-2011, 12:24 AM
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For the Classic, the M&P is the unbeatable face of S&W for over 100.
For the epitome...uhhh, here's the short list.
1. 5" Reg. Magnum
2. 6" .44 Magnum
3. 4" .44 Triple Lock
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Old 04-03-2011, 12:24 AM
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Great thread. Model 10 with a 5 inch tapered barrel, with the 4 inch close behind.
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Old 04-03-2011, 12:29 AM
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6 1/2" Model 29......After Dirty harry brought them to "every household" via the movie theater and/or the TV.
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  #23  
Old 04-03-2011, 12:38 AM
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Ultimate classic is no doubt the k frame .38 M&P. The ultimate? Probably the Registered Magnum, and I like the 5 inch. The most desireable? Kind of personal preference there, but to me it is the model 28-1.
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Old 04-03-2011, 12:49 AM
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Unitl I get something else, my vote is the 3.5 inch 27-2:

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Old 04-03-2011, 12:50 AM
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Either way it's a loaded question.......asking a bunch of S&W fans which model is the "classic" S&W
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Old 04-03-2011, 12:50 AM
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As stated, it has to be the M&P/Victory/Model 10.
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Old 04-03-2011, 01:07 AM
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Military & Police/Model 10 and its variants. It was the only one made by S&W during WWII, all others were ceased in production if I'm not mistaken, at least regular full production, and it was the first one made available for civilian sale after the war. Its been in constant production since 1899, correct? No other S&W revolver can claim that, none. It may not have the "aura" around it like some of the others mentioned but its been the mainstay all these years. These days I do believe the 642 currently holds the number one sales record. I've heard that mentioned in numerous places including from Smith sales reps.

Last edited by Sonny Crocket; 04-03-2011 at 02:30 AM.
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Old 04-03-2011, 03:38 AM
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In numbers sold - the Mod. 10
In worldwide model recognition - the Mod. 29
In detail and finish - the Mod. 27
My personal choice - the Mod. 27 3 1/2 and 5 inch.

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Old 04-03-2011, 05:43 AM
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I feel there are three S&W handguns that should be considered all time classics.

1. Model 10 Years ago, if you owned a S&W, this was the one you wanted.

2. Model 36 Almost every top cop or plain clothes officer had one. Many civilians had them due to being easy to conceal, store and shoot.

3. Model 19 Just a dang good magnum that was carried by many LEO over the years and I think would still be carrying if a certain foreign gun maker had not given their guns away in trade in order to get the LEA business.
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Old 04-03-2011, 06:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stantheman86 View Post
Either way it's a loaded question.......asking a bunch of S&W fans which model is the "classic" S&W
that was kind of the point, just a fun question to see what people think.
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Old 04-03-2011, 06:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TDC View Post
In numbers sold - the Mod. 10
In worldwide model recognition - the Mod. 29
In detail and finish - the Mod. 27
My personal choice - the Mod. 27 3 1/2 and 5 inch.

i like this reply. I dont personly like the look of the 10. But it is growing on me and i have to admit it is a true "classic". But i love the 19,27,29 and so on. It sounds like people love the big N frames, 357 and 44.
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Old 04-03-2011, 07:45 AM
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I agree the M & P/Model Ten is the most prolific revolver, but growing up in the 70's every cop I saw carried the same thing.........the four-inch Model 19, or the stainless version, the 66. Yes, there were some early issues, but they were resolved, and the gun went on to be the iconic revolver of its time.

Surprisingly, I don't even own one. But I own Model 64's and 65's, which are variations on the same theme.

The pinnacle? Some would say it's the 6-1/2 inch Model 29, others might argue for the 686 in four-inch trim as the ultimate do-it-all revolver. Then there's the 500...........the King, some would say.

If I could have ONE, to do everything, I'd grab the 686 and run.
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Old 04-03-2011, 08:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by firearmsunlimited View Post
Art,
I can't belive you put the snakes ahead of the 1873 Colt Single Action Army!
Doug

I hear you on this one as 1873 Colt Single Action Army is a iconic revolver and it certainly has a great following. I guess I put the snakes ahead of it because I was thinking of the more modern classics. That plus I've always had a secret lust for a Python but was I never willing to spend the bucks for one.
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Old 04-03-2011, 09:35 AM
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Hands down the M&P/M10

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Old 04-03-2011, 10:22 AM
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Old 04-03-2011, 10:26 AM
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If you want the absolute Classic, it's without any doubt the 4 inch M&P or later the model 10. If you want the pinnacle, IMO that would be the 3 1/2 inch RM or the later model 27.

Bingo!! We have a winner!!
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Old 04-03-2011, 10:27 AM
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Its the S&W M&P 4 inch tapered barrel of course. Nothing represents S&W better than this revolver. Since 1899 this has been the classic fixed sight revolver.

Regards,
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Old 04-03-2011, 10:37 AM
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I've got to go with the Model 19 Combat Magnum, the revolver that set new standards being a medium frame revolver chambered for the new, game changing, .357 Magnum.

In any barrel length, the Combat Magnum, to me and for that reason, is the quintessential example of "the" S&W "Classic" revolver.

Coming in second, perhaps the model 27, but it doesn't hold a candle to the sexy Combat Magnum.
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Old 04-03-2011, 10:42 AM
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si---------

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Old 04-03-2011, 10:52 AM
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I'm with gkitch for my #1...
First: Model 27 3.5 inch
Second: Model 19 2.5 inch (or SS version 2.5 inch Model 66)
Third: Model 39 ASP w/Black Teflon finish, Clear Lexon Grips and Guttersnipe Sight
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Old 04-03-2011, 11:45 AM
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I've got to go with the M&P/Model 10 as being the classic S&W. The model 27 would get my vote as being the classiest S&W.

Is "classiest" a real word?
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Old 04-03-2011, 12:07 PM
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Default "Classic", "Utilitarian, "Pinnacle"

Classic = M&P/Model 10
Utilitarian = 4" Model 19
Pinnacle = Registered magnum

"Least Classic" - Anything with a LOCK!!!!!
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Old 04-03-2011, 12:07 PM
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The Model 10 standard barrel. I have a 10-5 4" I bought from another forum member that remains my favorite. I want a 5" barrel and I'd feel I'd then own the two revolvers that say Smith & Wesson the best. They still remain the best combination of form and function S&W has produced IMO. There are more powerful and desired revolvers I know but for me it's always been the Model 10. The tapered barrel with like new bluing is as graceful a piece of steel as I think one will find in a firearm.
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Old 04-03-2011, 12:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iggy View Post
If you want the absolute Classic, it's without any doubt the 4 inch M&P or later the model 10. If you want the pinnacle, IMO that would be the 3 1/2 inch RM or the later model 27.

Bingo!! We have a winner!!
And another vote for these two. 4" M&P is the classic, 3.5" RM/M27 for the pinnacle.
M29/57, also in 4" guise may possibly be close to the RM/M27 for second place IMHO.
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Old 04-03-2011, 12:21 PM
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5" M&P is right up there with the 4 inch

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Old 04-03-2011, 12:28 PM
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The M&P, Mod. 10 has to be the most classic S&W ever built. There are lots of other, maybe a little better looking, but 7,000,000 users can't be all wrong.


The first Mod. M&P
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Old 04-03-2011, 12:38 PM
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The older, the better

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Old 04-03-2011, 12:59 PM
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To me these ARE classics but most likely not THE classic S&W. M19 2 1/2 ", M15 4", M14 6" and the M17 6".




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Old 04-03-2011, 01:35 PM
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Default definition of classic

I disagree with the Model 10 for this category as my definition, for all that's worth, of "classic" would be something that was made in enough numbers to be famous and quickly associated with the company, yet enough of a ground breaking advent in gun history that it was never confused with the products of other companies. Often copied by others though. Sure, the M&P (M-10) was made in huge numbers forever but it was all too similar to the Colts of the day.

It is an easier question when applied to others:

Ruger: the Blackhawk
Colt: the SAA
Colt, also ran: the 1911 (one could esily argue the SAA and the 1911 in reverse rolls here)
Colt, DA: the Python
Winchester: the Model 70
Old Winchester: the 1873 lever-action

I still think the S&W Classics were the 357 Magnum, the 44 Magnum, and the Combat Masterpiece. All highly sought-after and often copied originals that sold more than S&W could make in their eras. Now they are all highly respected icons of the company.
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Old 04-03-2011, 01:46 PM
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A Volcanic Repeater, as that's what started the whole thing off.

Just kidding.

More realistically, I think I would shy away from a specific model with a particular barrel length. There are three model classes that I would nominate.

The New Century, or triple lock. The gun from which ALL N-frames descend, and fascinating because of its innovative engineering and cost-be-damned approach to producing a fine revolver.

The .38 Military & Police beginning with the Model of 1902 and continuing through all its descendants and spin-offs to the present. (The Model of 1899 is atypical and to my mind represents a prototype that made it to production before the design was fully baked.) I am in complete agreement with everyone who has nominated this 20th-century best seller in prior posts.

Finally, the K-frame Masterpiece models -- K-22, K-32 and K-38. I would stretch this category to include the K-22 Outdoorsman in the 1930s, as that was clearly heading toward the Masterpiece line-up of the first postwar decades.

I have tried to persuade myself that there is a small-frame "classic" S&W, but I just can't make the jump. I know that models like the Chiefs Special and Centennial are admired by many, and everybody knows I love prewar Kit Guns, but they feel to me like niche products that were designed to address a specific marketing opportunity. If I hear someone say "Smith & Wesson," I never think first of a J-frame model or an I-frame predecessor, just as I never think first of zebras when I hear hoofbeats.
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1911, 357 magnum, 44 magnum, 586, 642, 686, airweight, classics, detective, ejector, hand ejector, lock, masterpiece, military, model 10, model 17, model 19, model 27, model 29, model 60, n-frame, s&w, sig arms, smith and wesson, wwii

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