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Old 04-14-2018, 11:13 PM
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Default Model 27 or 28 purchase decision

I don't know a lot about N frames, especially the older ones. I have a 625-8 but it's fairly new.

Now I'm looking for 4" model 27 or 28, I just don't know which one. I don't really know the difference except that the 28 was discontinued in 1986 and the 27 in 1994. I assume there were more 27's made because of longer time in production. I'm probably not going to buy anything built in the 90's.

I'm not looking for a collector or high condition gun but I would prefer earlier production as those seem to be built with some eye toward quality. I'm going to shoot it and carry it hiking so it may get some wear.

I noticed the prices on the 27's seem to be a bit higher or is that my imagination?

If you had your choice which model would you prefer?
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Old 04-15-2018, 12:29 AM
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Actually, I have both. Mechanically they are the same. The Model 27 was the premier model with great polishing and bluing. The preparation for the great finish took a lot of time and skill, therefore increasing costs of production. The Model 28 (aka Highway Patrolman) was made with a matte blue finish in order to be at a price point to attract interest by law enforcement and sportsmen. If you will be carrying it in the woods a lot I would recommend a Model 28 that has a finish you won't worry too much about.
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Old 04-15-2018, 12:32 AM
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M-28 seems to check your boxes.
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Old 04-15-2018, 03:43 AM
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One obvious difference is that M-27 had checkering on the barrel rib and top of the frame, the sighting surfaces. Adds to looks.

I see more blue jobs on M-28's that have turned a plum color that I detest.

Pride in ownership suggests M-27. If you don't care about looks, just buy a M-28.

Oh: if you want a four-inch barrel, far fewer M-27's were made in that length

Sounds as if you BADLY need to buy a good basic handgun or S&W book.

If you want it mainly for trail use, I think either with six-inch barrel is a good choice. M-27 is just prettier.

Frankly,today, I wouldn't buy either. I prefer a stainless outdoor gun. I'd buy both a M-66 and a Ruger GP-100 and carry the first for ease of carry (it's lighter) and use the Ruger for most shooting with full .357 loads.

When you're backpacking or hiking, you won't fire enough Magnum loads to matter about carrying the M-66, and it saves weight on the belt.
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Old 04-15-2018, 05:31 AM
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Well, even if they are basically the same gun, the 27 is prettier. That may be an hindrance if you want to shoot it.

Also 27 fetch higher prices.

I bought a 28.

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Old 04-15-2018, 06:13 AM
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If you remember back a few years, Chevy trucks had chrome bumpers and mirrors and stuff and GMC trucks had painted ones.
The GMC was a working truck and the Chevy was a town truck.

That's about the same difference in 27s and 28s. The Model 28 is the GMC of the S&W line. Same gun, just not gussied up as much.

Your grand kids will enjoy shooting either one even after you are gone
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Old 04-15-2018, 08:41 AM
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I have had both, but now only have the 28. Consider the 27 just a fancier more expensive upgrade of the 28. Both are good guns but a lot depends on what your going to do. Shoot it a lot, or admire it a lot and what money you wish to spend!.
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Old 04-15-2018, 08:55 AM
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You can’t go wrong with either model, but a 28 was made for what you want to do with it.
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Old 04-15-2018, 08:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NYlakesider View Post
I have had both, but now only have the 28. Consider the 27 just a fancier more expensive upgrade of the 28. Both are good guns but a lot depends on what your going to do. Shoot it a lot, or admire it a lot and what money you wish to spend!.
Actually, it's exactly the other way around.

The 28 is (was) a less fancier, less expensive version of the 27. It was intended for LEO use while the 27 (it's direct ancestor the Registered Magnum that is) was aimed at a gun savvy wealthy public (first released smack in the middle of the Great Depression it was not the "average Joe" handgun).
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Old 04-15-2018, 09:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kurusu View Post
Actually, it's exactly the other way around.

The 28 is (was) a less fancier, less expensive version of the 27. It was intended for LEO use while the 27 (it's direct ancestor the Registered Magnum that is) was aimed at a gun savvy wealthy public (first released smack in the middle of the Great Depression it was not the "average Joe" handgun).
Oh I well know the history of these guns. I realize the 27 came out first. I was just referring to the price difference and the amount of better finish between the two guns.
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Old 04-15-2018, 09:23 AM
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Like others have said, either will handle the same amount of shooting as basically they are the same gun except for finish. The 27 was finished to a higher degree than the 28, but they are the same basic N frame 357. The 27 also has more choice in barrel lengths, with them being made is 3 1/2", 4", 5", 6", 6 1/2" and 8 3/8" and also offered in blue or nickel finish. The model 28 was offered commonly only in a matte blue finish and 4" or 6" barrels. There are a very few model 28's that were delivered with nickel finish and with other length barrels, but they are scarcer than hen's teeth. I've found that nickel finished guns hold up very well over time; almost as good as stainless steel guns.

Here is a pic of my 5" nickel 27-2, which is 44 years old and had more than 30k rounds through it. It is also with my newest 3 1/2" 27-2, which I just bought last month. I haven't even gotten a chance to get to the range with the new gun to give it a tryout yet.
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Old 04-15-2018, 09:26 AM
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Default Model 27 or 28 purchase decision

The 28 all day long for what you need it for, you’ll never look back! (and I own multiples of both)




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Old 04-15-2018, 10:01 AM
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I'd rather get the model 27, but would rather pay for the 28.
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Old 04-15-2018, 10:02 AM
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As mentioned they are basically the same gun. The 28 introduced in the mid-50s as a lower cost working officers gun..... the 27 is the descendant of the Registered Magnum introduced in 1935 ( S&Ws flagship gun)

I have both a 4 inch +95% 28 and a 90% shooter grade 27....... which I prefer to having a collectors grade 27 to look at!!!!!

Be aware: the 28 was offered in both 4 and 6 inch barrel lengths throughout its production....... IIRC 6" guns are more common.

The 27 was offered in 3 1/2, 5,6, 6 1/2 and 8-something barrel lengths . In 1980/81 the 3.5 and 5 inch 27s were dropped from the catalog and replaced with a 4" offering.

So the reality is; the 4" 27 is one of the least common variations of the 27 as it was only offered for 10-12 years ; and it was competing with the new L-frame 586/686 guns.

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Old 04-15-2018, 10:15 AM
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Like many here, I've been doing this a long time and have or have had an example of about every Smith made. A 5" mod 27 is one of the few that I'm always horny for. I like 28s too, especially 6" with magnas.
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Old 04-15-2018, 10:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Golddollar View Post
Actually, I have both. Mechanically they are the same. The Model 27 was the premier model with great polishing and bluing. The preparation for the great finish took a lot of time and skill, therefore increasing costs of production. The Model 28 (aka Highway Patrolman) was made with a matte blue finish in order to be at a price point to attract interest by law enforcement and sportsmen. If you will be carrying it in the woods a lot I would recommend a Model 28 that has a finish you won't worry too much about.
Last time I had to think real hard about making a choice between a Model 27 and a Model 28 the big factor to be considered was the price of the Model 27 (about $190) and the price of the Model 28 (about $140) at that time.

Today a nice Model 27 might be over a grand, while a used Model 28 might be had for $550 or so.

Both great .357 revolvers. Intended uses and checkbook balance should help make the decision.
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Old 04-15-2018, 01:22 PM
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For what it's worth, I have a Highway Patrolman that somebody did a nice after-market nickel job on. If you could keep an eye out for something like that I think that would suit your purposes perfectly. And no, mine is not for sale.
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Old 04-15-2018, 01:33 PM
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The price on 28s has been coming up in my area. Hard to find a
27 for less than $1K, pushing up prices on 28. The 4" 28 seems
to be more desirable on the market and is bringing a little more
than 6" all things being the same. So best deals are on 6" 28s.
The 28 vs 27 has already been explained, it's apples and apples
in reguard to practical use.
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Old 04-15-2018, 01:42 PM
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...27 for it's looks...

...28 if you are going to worry about what you might do to it's looks...
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Old 04-15-2018, 10:39 PM
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A few years back my online go to dealer had two m28-0/6” and one m28-2/6” barrels in blue. Two were 99.99% condition and one has some holster wear 97%. These were the only ones I ever seen. They were $695 each.
Then he had two m27-2’s/6” barrels, one nickel, one blued both 99.99% for $795 each. I’m not sure what there worth now but I never seen any locally. One of my LGS had new s&w n frames for $699 each. Another LGS had a used but never fired m29 6 1/2” 44mg for $699 with presentation case, blue case with papers.

My point is stay looking. I think we can still find them under $1,000 to $1,500 tops depending on condition.

I’d say buy a few the prices aren’t going down.

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Old 04-15-2018, 10:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iggy View Post
If you remember back a few years, Chevy trucks had chrome bumpers and mirrors and stuff and GMC trucks had painted ones.
The GMC was a working truck and the Chevy was a town truck.

That's about the same difference in 27s and 28s. The Model 28 is the GMC of the S&W line. Same gun, just not gussied up as much.

Your grand kids will enjoy shooting either one even after you are gone
I stripped 4 ‘73 Chevy/gmc 4x4 suburbans/blazer/pickups. All were pretty much the same options. There was the custom with painted trim and the Cheyenne with the chrome. Different models same truck.
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Old 04-15-2018, 11:02 PM
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If you really want one with a 4" barrel, the M28 will be easier to find and less expensive. But the M27 may be the better investment, if that's important.
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Old 04-15-2018, 11:08 PM
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I do not care for the looks of the top strap checkering of the M27 but I love the utilitarian look of the M28. All of mine shoot great and have top notch actions.
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Old 04-15-2018, 11:51 PM
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Did you buy any of those guns you saw? I certainly would have. I bought a brand new 28 in 1974 because my buddy said not to buy a 27. I listened to him but I wish I hadn't. I still have the 28 which still looks great after several 1000 rounds through it and I recently found a 1979 model 27 at 95% for $750. Hind sight says I should have bought the 27 in 1974. Only $100.00 more at the time. Oh Well!
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Old 04-15-2018, 11:58 PM
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If you can find a 27 with the three Ts (Target hammer, Target trigger and Target stocks) in your budget, that's the way I would go. You can sometimes find them on a 28, but very rarely.
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Old 04-16-2018, 12:14 AM
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Times have sure changed. 20 years ago this question might not have ever been asked. I rember in my circle of gun shops , I had been the only one who liked 28's for a very long time . The 27 will cost you more but it has never lost interest among Smith & Wesson fans.
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Old 04-16-2018, 09:43 AM
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The 27 is much more deluxe and refined than the 28. In recent years a sort of cult following has developed around the 28 and prices have risen to near 27 levels. IMO the 27 is twice or more the gun the 28 is and is well worth a premium. When the 28 is within a couple hundred bucks of a 27 the choice is easy. Get the 27.
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Old 04-16-2018, 10:17 AM
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I wanted a shooter grade so I wouldn't have to "baby" it, and not freak out if I dropped it or banged the grip on the truck or tractor, so I went with a 28. I had a 28-2 that was super nice (6") and then ran across one that dates right around my birth year (1958), so I bought it too. (another 6")

I like the way the 6" balances, even though it is a bit more difficult to sit down with it holstered. I just ordered an old police swivel holster that ought to fix that problem. I have a target hammer and grip adapter on the way for the '58 too.
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Old 04-16-2018, 02:32 PM
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I own both. Either one would be a great choice. When you're shooting, you won't notice any difference.
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Old 04-17-2018, 12:45 AM
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I have 27's. Do I want a 28? Of course, but they aren't so easy to come by.

Basically the same revolver, the 27 has some frills. Better polish, checkered top strap.

Love the extra work on the 27, but I wouldn't kick a 28 out of bed for eating crackers either.
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Old 04-17-2018, 12:57 AM
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When I had that decision to make, I chose the 27.
I always preferred driving Cadillacs to Chevys too.
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Old 04-17-2018, 01:43 AM
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Plus one for the 4” 28. I don’t own one anymore but I carried one on duty for many years. The finish wears like iron and that sounds like what you want for your application. Except for the fancy top strap, it’s identical to the 27. Good shootin’,
Doug
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Old 04-17-2018, 01:43 PM
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"I just ordered an old police swivel holster that ought to fix that problem."

Beware of those swivel holsters, especially an old one. I have known two police officers that had the swivel fail, letting their revolvers hit the ground. Luckily, neither one had it happen during a struggle.

My choice for a 6" or 6 1/2" N frame is a Safariland Model 29, a high ride butt forward thumb break holster. I used one for patrol in a cruiser for years.
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Old 04-17-2018, 02:54 PM
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The 28 and 27 are both oversized clunky
revolvers.

Men and women of good taste and
refinement prefer a K-frame or
possibly an L-frame revolver.

OK, fun trolling over.

P.S.: Get the Model 28. I've found
more of them in very decent condition
at much better prices.
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Old 04-17-2018, 04:36 PM
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I've never even SEEN a 4" Model 27. They are that scarce. You will probably have to pay a premium for its rarity. Actually, for that matter, I prefer the Model 27 3 1/2" - very classy.



The less expensive 4" Model 28 is relatively common, and let's face it, it's functionally and dimensionally the same. Here's one of mine, and it would be hard to tell it from a 27 - excellent blue, and factory target stocks.

John

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Old 04-17-2018, 05:08 PM
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Lostintheozone;

All bets are off if you open the cylinder on that 27 and find Model 27-1 AND it happens to be in factory nickel finish.

Check the "noobie showing off post" of today and drop on down to view the 27 dash 1 nickel piece (the only known specimen there is), owned by another SWCA Member. Now....that is drool time.

I love both of mine, M28 4 inch and M27 3-1/2" but the go to piece is usually the M65 - 4". It is all that you want for trail carry, ss finish holds up to all, recoil is OK with Magnums, but easier on my hand with 38 Specials aboard for paper punching.

Like others have posted let your wants and wallet get together and decide.
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Old 04-17-2018, 07:08 PM
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Keep buying HP's like me and never worry about having the money to afford a 27. Front to back '72, '75, and '79

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Old 04-17-2018, 10:33 PM
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Hey Paladin, tried to quote you for this, but to no avail.

Let me show you a 4" 27.



Here it is with new bubbinga from Culina.



Mine was converted to 357 - 44 B&D, but with a new side plate and the original cylinder, it's back to its old self.

Here it is with original side plate and 357-44 B&D cylinder.


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Old 04-21-2018, 07:19 PM
Lt JL Lt JL is offline
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My preference is the 5" barrel 27. I think it balances best. My 4" 28 sees more holster time, though.
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Old 04-21-2018, 08:08 PM
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No 27 yet! Did settle for a 28, no dash around 7 years ago. Not sorry about it. Has had different stocks on it over the years. These today. Bob
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Old 04-22-2018, 07:11 PM
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The only difference between my m27 and m28 is the finish. Both actions feel the same. One is a non polished blue (m28) and the other is a shiney polished blue (m27). I prefer 6” barrels anyway.

I like heavy frames in magnum calibers. RedHawks and N frame smiths.
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Old 04-22-2018, 07:31 PM
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Plus, either one will handle +P ammo and kill multiple bears!!!!
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Old 04-22-2018, 08:17 PM
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I have a 5" 27-2 that for me just balances better for me. I just picked up a 1975 28-2 6" unfired in its original box my second one. The first one I let go.....to shoot or not ....
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