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Old 09-09-2017, 04:44 PM
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Default The Model 67 K-38 Combat Masterpiece Stainless Revolver...

This is another advance peek at what will be a future article in Dillon's Blue Press catalog/magazine. As always, constructive comments welcome.

John

The S&W Model 67 Combat Masterpiece Stainless Revolver



Chevys. Fords. Hot dogs. Apple pie. Smith & Wesson .38 Special revolvers. All have been around for quite some time, and are as familiar to us as the backs of our hands. Maybe you didn’t realize it, but revolvers chambered for the .38 Special cartridge have been part of our United States heritage since 1899! That’s when Smith & Wesson introduced its Model 1899 – the very first S&W medium frame (later to be known as the “K-frame”) double-action swing-out cylinder revolver. This was the first handgun to be chambered for the then-new .38 Special, which in fact was a slightly lengthened U.S. service cartridge called the .38 Long Colt. First loaded with black powder, the .38 Special round was very soon thereafter loaded with smokeless powder.

Both the .38 Special and the S&W revolvers that chambered it became enormously popular. The .38 Special has become the most accepted center fire handgun round in the U.S. today. When introduced it quickly became the de facto standard for police forces nationwide. It’s also been used by our military, and many civilians have found that Smith’s K-frames handle “just right.” The .38 Special, first lacking some punch with low velocities and round nose bullets, is no slouch today.

Strengthened guns, higher velocity loadings and expanding bullets have made modern rounds more than adequate for self-defense. Double action revolvers are perhaps the most reliable handguns made, and learning to use them is a piece of cake for almost everybody.

The S&W K-frames have come a long way since they were first conceived so long ago. While the first ones could fire if dropped on their hammers, S&W soon developed a hammer block that allowed firing only when the trigger was deliberately pulled. The first method used could be less than reliable if rust or congealed gun oil inhibited the block from moving into position. During World War II, a second method was developed – a positively-activated sliding block that is virtually impossible to defeat in use. It’s still standard for external-hammer-equipped Smith & Wesson revolvers today.

The .357 magnum cartridge and revolvers chambered for it came into use in 1935. The .357 guns were able to chamber and fire .38 specials as well, because the magnum cartridge was in fact a slightly longer round than the .38. The .357 became popular, but a steady demand for the .38 special continued. Many folks preferred it over the heavy-recoiling magnum; it was much more manageable and pleasant to shoot. Quick follow-up shots were much easier to execute.

.38 Special revolvers are still quite widely used, and S&W has continued to refine and improve the breed. The “Military and Police” revolvers evolved into what is now known as the Model 10 following Smith’s use of model numbers for its guns in 1957. Micrometer adjustable sights and a sloped (Baughman) front sight characterized the “K-38 Combat Masterpiece” revolver. This was considered the ultimate .38 revolver at the time for serious social work. It was available either blued or nickel plated. This fine revolver became the Model 15 in 1957. Many were used in our armed forces.

In 1972, S&W took the Model 15 a step further, making a new gun that was even more desirable for defense and severe usage. The Model 67 “K-38 Combat Masterpiece Stainless” was essentially the same gun as the Model 15, except that it was made with stainless steel rather than being blued or plated. It was a 6-shot handgun, and weighed 34 ounces empty. A 4” pinned barrel was standard, and the front sight soon after introduction was fitted with a red plastic insert for higher visibility. The first rear sights were also made from stainless steel, but these were soon changed to black to prevent sight glare. Both the rear sight leaf and the barrel rib were grooved. Unlike its .357 brother, the Model 66, the new 67s had no ejector shroud and the barrels were tapered to save weight. Walnut frame-fitting “magna” stocks were standard. The backstrap and forestrap had 10 grooves for better retention. An overtravel stop for the trigger was incorporated, but it can be easily removed if desired. This gun will handle +P and +P+ heavy loadings as well as the old 38/44 increased pressure rounds.

Many police departments from the 1940s through the mid-1980s still stuck with the .38 Special cartridge, and specified guns chambered for it as their standard issue. A good number of departments carrying .357 revolvers required their officers to use only .38 Special rounds in them, fearing over-penetration and liability for injury to nearby innocent bystanders. The Model 67 had found its niche with the police, and many used examples will be found today with police identification markings.

Model 67s underwent some changes over the years. In 1977 with the Model 67-1, the gas ring was changed in location from the yoke to the cylinder. The handgun illustrated is one of these, and left the factory in April, 1978. It was obtained from the estate of an individual who bought it new but seldom fired it. The nostalgic pinned barrel was abandoned in 1982 to speed production. The barrel pin was previously used to anchor the barrel in the frame, preventing barrel rotation. Friction alone holds modern barrels in place. In 1988, the Model 67-2 appeared, featuring a new yoke retention system, a “floating” hand (the part that rotates the cylinder), a radius stud package and a re-designed hammer nose bushing. 1993 saw the Model 67-3, involving a change in the configuration of the extractor. The frame was also drilled and tapped under the slightly modified rear sight leaf for scope mounts. Additionally, rubber Hogue grips were used.

In 1996, the square butt was dropped in favor of the round version. Then in 1997, the shape of the cylinder release thumbpiece was changed, and the trigger became a metal injection molded (MIM) part.

With the Model 67-4 in 1998, the frame was changed to eliminate the cylinder stop stud, the grip frame grooving was stopped, MIM parts were used, and a floating firing pin in the frame necessitated some changes to the internals. The formerly graceful profile of the frame was, in my opinion, negatively affected. In 2001, to help comply with numerous regulations, a fired case was included with each gun shipped. In 2002, an internal key lock system was introduced with the Model 67-5. This was a sop to certain overzealous “gun control” politicians. The “ugly hole in the side” is still controversial, and many feel it has no place on any handgun, since possible malfunctions of the key lock could tie up the gun and be disastrous in defense situations. Interestingly, some “dash 5s” have been observed to have shipped as recently as late 2016; these were determined to be “cleanups” using in-stock older parts.

In 2004, a two-piece sleeved barrel was authorized for the Model 67-6. Also appearing were some heavy non-tapered conventional barrels with no ejector shroud. These were probably older parts cleanups. The Model 67-6 is still being made and continues to be popular.

Although semiautomatics and “plastic”-framed pistols have now become all the rage, the Model 67 is still in demand, particularly in the civilian sector. It has been continuously manufactured since 1972. Those who think the .38 Special cartridge is dead definitely have another think coming! It’s still well-liked and available everywhere. The Model 67 represents perhaps the greatest example of a medium-frame revolver in this caliber, and occupies a singular place among the classics. The earlier ones through the “dash 3” examples are most sought after and the prices on these continue to escalate.

(c) 2017 JLM
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Old 09-09-2017, 05:59 PM
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Here is a early mdl.67
dick


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Old 09-09-2017, 06:36 PM
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Thanks for all the background on a gun that I own and enjoy (67 no dash). One very small recommendation - 3rd from the last line should probably say "thing" instead of "think" if this is the copy to be published.
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Old 09-09-2017, 07:13 PM
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I believe that in the OPs context think is correct grammatically.
Makes me want to get my 67 out of the safe:
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Old 09-09-2017, 07:19 PM
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My 67, no dash with target grips that are, of course, not original to the revolver. This example belonged to a gunsmith and gun shop owner who found time to enhance the finish by polishing.
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Old 09-09-2017, 07:23 PM
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John, I always enjoy reading your S&W pieces. Thanks again!
Jerry
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Old 09-09-2017, 07:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thadheth View Post
Thanks for all the background on a gun that I own and enjoy (67 no dash). One very small recommendation - 3rd from the last line should probably say "thing" instead of "think" if this is the copy to be published.
If you think that "thing" is correct, you have another think coming!

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Old 09-09-2017, 08:20 PM
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Default What about the 67-5?

I'm still curious about the Model 67-5 and why there is an apparent timeline error in the SCSW 4th Edition regarding this Engineering Change. Mine shipped November 17, 2016 and was purchased in March of 2017. For a gun that was supposedly discontinued in 2004, it sure sat on the shelf for a long time. It most definitely has a one piece barrel.
[IMG][/IMG]
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Old 09-09-2017, 11:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by D Brown View Post
I'm still curious about the Model 67-5 and why there is an apparent timeline error in the SCSW 4th Edition regarding this Engineering Change. Mine shipped November 17, 2016 and was purchased in March of 2017. For a gun that was supposedly discontinued in 2004, it sure sat on the shelf for a long time. It most definitely has a one piece barrel.
[IMG][/IMG]
That's an interesting anomaly. They say anything is possible with S&W. Perhaps a clean-up of older parts???

Anyone else have a plausible explanation for this?

I sent a note to Roy Jinks to get his opinion - hope he can shed some light on this.

Thanks for the pic.

John
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Old 09-10-2017, 12:26 AM
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Originally Posted by PALADIN85020 View Post
That's an interesting anomaly. They say anything is possible with S&W. Perhaps a clean-up of older parts???

Anyone else have a plausible explanation for this?

I sent a note to Roy Jinks to get his opinion - hope he can shed some light on this.

Thanks for the pic.

John
If it helps, another forum member also purchased one of these Model 67-5's this year. If you want to contact him for details he's sshakrr.
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Old 09-10-2017, 01:24 AM
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Originally Posted by PALADIN85020 View Post
The Model 67-6 introduced a two-piece shrouded barrel assembly in 2004. This model is still being made and continues to be popular.
Interesting. I have a 67-6 with a factory fired round in an envelope dated January of 2011. It has a 4" heavy (non-tapered) one-piece barrel that is not shrouded - see attached photos.
Is this a less common variant?
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Old 09-10-2017, 01:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PALADIN85020 View Post
That's an interesting anomaly. They say anything is possible with S&W. Perhaps a clean-up of older parts???

Anyone else have a plausible explanation for this?

I sent a note to Roy Jinks to get his opinion - hope he can shed some light on this.

Thanks for the pic.

John
John, also see the following link.

http://smith-wessonforum.com/139613258-post35.html

Thank you,
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Old 09-10-2017, 07:07 AM
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Paladin I like your article. It is well written and very informative . For many folks the dash numbers on S&W revolvers can be confusing your article helps articulate the changes well. I personaly like the older revolvers better but I know a lot of guys who have new S&W revolvers with MIM parts and even locks who love and swear by them .Maybe a side by side comparison of a old and new revolver would be in order with range report ect . Thanks for posting I enjoyed the read.
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Old 09-10-2017, 07:10 AM
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What perfect timing with me seeing this thread! I just shot my 67-1 yesterday. First time in over a year. I stumbled on the auction on gunbroker 2 years ago. Opening bid if $225. Buy it Now at $250! I nearly
Broke my finger stabbing at the Buy it Now button! Looks almost new but came with rubber Hogue's. I put crimson trace grips on it since it's the gun my wife would grab if she needed a gun and she needs all the help she can get. Such a sweet shooter.
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Old 09-10-2017, 12:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BC38 View Post
Interesting. I have a 67-6 with a factory fired round in an envelope dated January of 2011. It has a 4" heavy (non-tapered) one-piece barrel that is not shrouded - see attached photos.
Is this a less common variant?
I had heard a rumor of a heavy-barreled 67, but this is the first verification I have of one. I can only surmise that this variation first appeared with the 67-6, and then later iterations went with the shrouded (sleeved) barrel assembly.

Another anomaly for Roy Jinks to see!

John
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Old 09-10-2017, 12:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by D Brown View Post
I'm still curious about the Model 67-5 and why there is an apparent timeline error in the SCSW 4th Edition regarding this Engineering Change. Mine shipped November 17, 2016 and was purchased in March of 2017. For a gun that was supposedly discontinued in 2004, it sure sat on the shelf for a long time. It most definitely has a one piece barrel.
[IMG][/IMG]
Here is the reply I received from Roy Jinks on this:

"John, with out the serial number of the gun it is tough to tell anything. But I can say it is not unusual for the factory if they find old parts in inventory to complete the guns and sell them. But with out checking it is tough to tell. Roy"
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Old 09-10-2017, 01:26 PM
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In view of the interesting anomalies listed above, I've modified the original text to mention them. If Roy Jinks can give me some more definitive answers, I'll certainly include that data.

John
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Old 09-10-2017, 04:42 PM
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Another note from Roy on these rather deviant dates:

"John, it sounds to me that they were using up old parts. I will check when the factory is reopen during the week. I cannot log on right now. You should also know that the dash numbers are not anything absolute, they are not a binding thing even if the books tell you they are. Roy"

John
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Old 09-12-2017, 04:27 PM
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Here's the latest from Roy Jinks -

"John, that Model 67-5 was shipped in November 2016 and as I suspected it appears as if it was made up from old parts that were in the company back log. The company does not pay any attention to dash numbers and they never meant anything to the company other than in production control. It is the collectors that started to emphasis the dash numbers. They were also helpful to Customer Service who had to supply parts for the guns, but when it came to sales the sales department never paid any attention to them they just want to sell the product. So the revolver is nothing special in the sense of how the company sees it and it has the same product code as the new guns. Hope that this helps. I guess that is why my interest now lies with all the older products as my area of collecting. Roy"
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Old 09-14-2017, 08:31 AM
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Excellent article and great timing ! The resurgence of interest in the model 67 is numerous on here lately. I look forward to rereading it in my next copy of the Blue Press. As it just so happens I too recently picked up a few weeks ago this beautiful example of a model 67 ND .



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Old 09-14-2017, 09:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PALADIN85020 View Post
Here is the reply I received from Roy Jinks on this:

"John, with out the serial number of the gun it is tough to tell anything. But I can say it is not unusual for the factory if they find old parts in inventory to complete the guns and sell them. But with out checking it is tough to tell. Roy"
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Isn't the serial number on the box above: DDKxxxx
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Old 09-14-2017, 09:48 AM
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My 67 no dash from 1973. All stainless rear sights. My wife's favorite shooter. Bob
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Old 09-15-2017, 12:10 AM
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A very nice write-up on a fine S&W revolver. Thank you, and it's always nice to read about guns you own and are fond of. A photo of my 67 no dash from 1973 with my 15-3 from 1976.
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Old 09-15-2017, 12:39 AM
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Originally Posted by PALADIN85020 View Post
I had heard a rumor of a heavy-barreled 67, but this is the first verification I have of one. I can only surmise that this variation first appeared with the 67-6, and then later iterations went with the shrouded (sleeved) barrel assembly.

Another anomaly for Roy Jinks to see!

John
I had no idea there was anything unusual about it until I read this article. Guess even a blind hog finds an acorn every now & then.

Given that the dash 6 started production in 2004 with the 2-piece barrel, I have no a clue how mine - built 7 years later in 2011 - ended up with a heavy barrel.

The owner of the LGS where I bought it said that he sold it new to the original owner, including selling them the Crimson Trace grips. So the probability that it underwent a barrel swap seems unlikely to me.

Maybe S&W found a few stainless 38 caliber barrels lying around in the factory somewhere and decided to put them to good use.
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Old 09-15-2017, 04:31 AM
lebomm lebomm is online now
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BC38 - The barrel on your gun looks like that of a Model 65 or 64 HB. The Baughman ramp appears to have been pinned over the low ramp of the stainless M&P. If it was a factory cleanup, I personally think it should have been a factory option. I prefer the balance of the HB K guns.

Larry

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Old 09-15-2017, 06:14 AM
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Here is my S&W Model 67 No Dash. I got it about 15 years ago. It was
badly abused, pitted, etc. I had it bead blasted. I really like the finish.
Uncle Mike's Spegel designed combat grips. Shown with a Tom Three-
persons style holster with "dog ear" by Oliver Ball, and some ammo.

2nd from left it is resting in my Myres #624 holster, on a Sparks gunbelt,
with a Benchmade knife.

3rd from left in a Lefty Lewis (Bell-Charter-Oak) rendition of Chic Gaylord's
Combat Speed Scabbard with "dog ear".

4th from left in an Askins designed Border Patrol holster by Myres.

5th from left in a Tom Threepersons black basketweave by El Paso Saddlery.
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Old 09-15-2017, 06:45 AM
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Originally Posted by PALADIN85020 View Post
This is another advance peek at what will be a future article in Dillon's Blue Press catalog/magazine. As always, constructive comments welcome.

John

The S&W Model 67 Combat Masterpiece Stainless Revolver



Chevys. Fords. Hot dogs. Apple pie. Smith & Wesson .38 Special revolvers. All have been around for quite some time, and are as familiar to us as the backs of our hands. Maybe you didn’t realize it, but revolvers chambered for the .38 Special cartridge have been part of our United States heritage since 1899! That’s when Smith & Wesson introduced its Model 1899 – the very first S&W medium frame (later to be known as the “K-frame”) double-action swing-out cylinder revolver. This was the first handgun to be chambered for the then-new .38 Special, which in fact was a slightly lengthened U.S. service cartridge called the .38 Long Colt. First loaded with black powder, the .38 Special round was very soon thereafter loaded with smokeless powder.

Both the .38 Special and the S&W revolvers that chambered it became enormously popular. The .38 Special has become the most accepted center fire handgun round in the U.S. today. When introduced it quickly became the de facto standard for police forces nationwide. It’s also been used by our military, and many civilians have found that Smith’s K-frames handle “just right.” The .38 Special, first lacking some punch with low velocities and round nose bullets, is no slouch today. Strengthened guns, higher velocity loadings and expanding bullets have made modern rounds more than adequate for self-defense. Double action revolvers are perhaps the most reliable handguns made, and learning to use them is a piece of cake for almost everybody.

The S&W K-frames have come a long way since they were first conceived so long ago. While the first ones could fire if dropped on their hammers, S&W soon developed a hammer block that allowed firing only when the trigger was deliberately pulled. The first method used could be less than reliable if rust or congealed gun oil inhibited the block from moving into position. During World War II, a second method was developed – a positively-activated sliding block that is virtually impossible to defeat in use. It’s still standard for external-hammer-equipped Smith & Wesson revolvers today.

The .357 magnum cartridge and revolvers chambered for it came into use in 1935. The .357 guns were able to chamber and fire .38 specials as well, because the magnum cartridge was in fact a slightly longer round than the .38. The .357 became popular, but a steady demand for the .38 special continued. Many folks preferred it over the heavy-recoiling magnum; it was much more manageable and pleasant to shoot. Quick follow-up shots were much easier to execute.

.38 Special revolvers are still enormously trendy, and S&W has continued to refine and improve the breed. The “Military and Police” revolvers evolved into what is now known as the Model 10 following Smith’s use of model numbers for its guns in 1957. Micrometer adjustable sights and a sloped (Baughman) front sight characterized the “K-38 Combat Masterpiece” revolver. This was considered the ultimate .38 revolver at the time for serious social work. It was available either blued or nickel plated. This fine revolver became the Model 15 in 1957. Many were used in our armed forces.

In 1972, S&W took the Model 15 a step further, making a new gun even more desirable for defense and severe usage. The Model 67 “K-38 Combat Masterpiece Stainless” was essentially the same gun as the Model 15, except that it was made with stainless steel rather than being blued or plated. It was a 6-shot handgun, and weighed 34 ounces empty. A 4” pinned barrel was standard, and the front sight soon after introduction was fitted with a red plastic insert for higher visibility. The first rear sights were also made from stainless steel, but these were soon changed to black to prevent sight glare. Both the rear sight leaf and the barrel rib were grooved. Unlike its .357 brother, the Model 66, the new 67s had no ejector shroud and the barrels were tapered to save weight. Walnut frame-fitting “magna” stocks were standard. The backstrap and forestrap had 10 grooves for better retention. An overtravel stop for the trigger was incorporated, but it is straightforwardly removed if desired. This gun will easily accommodate +P and +P+ heavy loadings as well as the old 38/44 stout rounds.

Many police departments from the 1940s through the mid-1980s still stuck with the .38 Special cartridge, and specified guns chambered for it as their standard issue. A good number of departments carrying .357 revolvers required their officers to use only .38 Special rounds in them, fearing over-penetration and liability for injury to the innocent. The Model 67 had found its niche with the police, and many used examples will be found today with police identification markings.

Model 67s underwent some changes over the years. In 1977 with the Model 67-1, the gas ring was changed in location from the yoke to the cylinder. The handgun illustrated is one of these, and left the factory in April, 1978. It was obtained from the estate of an individual who bought it new but seldom fired it. The nostalgic pinned barrel was abandoned in 1982 to speed production. The barrel pin was previously used to anchor the barrel in the frame, preventing barrel rotation. Friction alone holds modern barrels in place. In 1988, the Model 67-2 appeared, featuring a new yoke retention system, a “floating” hand (the part that rotates the cylinder), a radius stud package and a re-designed hammer nose bushing. 1993 saw the Model 67-3, involving a change in the configuration of the extractor. The frame was also drilled and tapped under the slightly modified rear sight leaf for scope mounts. Additionally, rubber Hogue grips were used.

In 1996, the square butt was dropped in favor of the round version. Then in 1997, the shape of the cylinder release thumbpiece was changed, and the trigger became a metal injection molded (MIM) part.

With the Model 67-4 in 1998, the frame was changed to eliminate the cylinder stop stud, the grip frame grooving was stopped, MIM parts were used, and a floating firing pin in the frame necessitated some changes to the internals. The formerly graceful profile of the frame was, in my opinion, negatively affected. In 2001, to help comply with numerous regulations, a fired case was included with each gun shipped. In 2002, an internal key lock system was introduced with the Model 67-5. This was a sop to certain overzealous “gun control” politicians. The “ugly hole in the side” is still controversial, and many feel it has no place on any handgun, since possible malfunctions of the key lock could tie up the gun and be disastrous in defense situations. Interestingly, some “dash 5s” have been observed to have shipped as recently as late 2016; these were determined to be "cleanups" using in-stock older parts.

In 2004, a two-piece sleeved barrel was authorized for the Model 67-6. Also appearing were some heavy non-tapered conventional barrels with no ejector shroud. These were probably older parts cleanups. The Model 67-6 is still being made and continues to be popular.

Although semiautomatics and “plastic”-framed pistols have now become all the rage, the Model 67 is still in demand, particularly in the civilian sector. It has been continuously manufactured since 1972. Those who think the .38 Special cartridge is dead definitely have another think coming! It’s still well-liked and available everywhere. The Model 67 represents perhaps the greatest medium-frame revolver in this caliber, and occupies a singular place among the classics. The earlier ones through the “dash 3” examples are most sought after and the prices on these continue to escalate.



(c) 2017 JLM
Another great post John. I will watch for my Blue Press
for sure.

I have read that the .357 case didn't need to be longer.
They just made it longer so shooters wouldn't make the
mistake of putting a .357 round into a .38.
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Old 09-15-2017, 12:26 PM
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Isn't the serial number on the box above: DDKxxxx
Yes, but I think Roy overlooked it in haste.

John
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Old 09-15-2017, 12:28 PM
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I had no idea there was anything unusual about it until I read this article. Guess even a blind hog finds an acorn every now & then.

Given that the dash 6 started production in 2004 with the 2-piece barrel, I have no a clue how mine - built 7 years later in 2011 - ended up with a heavy barrel.

The owner of the LGS where I bought it said that he sold it new to the original owner, including selling them the Crimson Trace grips. So the probability that it underwent a barrel swap seems unlikely to me.

Maybe S&W found a few stainless 38 caliber barrels lying around in the factory somewhere and decided to put them to good use.
Roy Jinks affirmed that old parts "cleanups" happen routinely with S&W with no regard to dash numbers.

John
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Old 09-15-2017, 01:58 PM
OIF2 OIF2 is offline
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I was issued a new in-the-box 67 in the academy when I joined the LAPD in '84. It had a solid front sight (no red ramp), no barrel pin and a smooth-faced trigger. Like all LAPD issued revolvers back then, it was DA-only. I carried it for my first 2 years on the job in a Hoyt breakfront and felt very well-armed. Bought it when I retired for $81 and change, still minty. I goes shooting with me at least monthly.

Great article!
Bob

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  #31  
Old 09-15-2017, 02:53 PM
glenncal1 glenncal1 is online now
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I picked up an unloved but mech great 67 a few months ago for $200. A little flitz and some elbow grease and I have a great gun. Great trigger, very accurate. Probably the best gun buy I have made.
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  #32  
Old 09-15-2017, 09:15 PM
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Originally Posted by lebomm View Post
BC38 - The barrel on your gun looks like that of a Model 65 or 64 HB. The Baughman ramp appears to have been pinned over the low ramp of the stainless M&P. If it was a factory cleanup, I personally think it should have been a factory option. I prefer the balance of the HB K guns.

Larry
Yeah, from the angle of the previous photo of the muzzle I can see why you would say that, but it is an optical illusion. The base is one piece with the barrel. Only the front sight blade is pinned. This photos is a little better.
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Old 09-15-2017, 09:48 PM
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Here's mine, serial number dates it to 1972! I'm looking for the correct grips....
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