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S&W Revolvers: 1980 to the Present All NON-PINNED Barrels, the L-Frames, and the New Era Revolvers


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  #1  
Old 10-02-2011, 08:56 AM
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Hi:
Why did CHIP issue the Model 68 in .38spl instead of .357mag?
Wasn't the Colts issued in .357mag?
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Old 10-02-2011, 09:09 AM
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Jimmy, as a former LE officer, surely you know that "the Brass" always does everything logically. Truly I believe they thought that 357's were "too" powerful and harder to shoot well. I am sure that some of our more knowledgeable Ca. LE vets will chime in with the reason in as much as they were there.
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Old 10-02-2011, 09:34 AM
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Because bureaucrats are idiots and believe that everyone else just has to be dumber than they are. They have to protect you from yourself, protect you from other people, and protect other people from you.
If only people had some protection from the bureaucrats.
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Old 10-02-2011, 09:44 AM
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Jimmy, as a former LE officer, surely you know that "the Brass" always does everything logically. Truly I believe they thought that 357's were "too" powerful and harder to shoot well. I am sure that some of our more knowledgeable Ca. LE vets will chime in with the reason in as much as they were there.
I may not be a former LE officer, but I am an old guy who has watched government bureaucracy all my life.

Any LE agency is just another government bureaucracy, and as such, decisions are often made by individuals in positions of responsibility but not in positions that require expertise in all things that relate to their job.

So prefacing the following by saying that I do NOT know specifically why that decision was made, I can offer some possible reasons that might have popped into the head of the guy who made the decision.

1. Cost - Bulk buys of .38Spcl ammo are bound to cost a little less than bulk buys of .357, so the guy thought he was being cost conscious with little thought of the performance of the ammunition.

2. Liberal mindset - The guy might have felt that .38 was more humane and that fewer perps would die as a result.

3. Liability - He might have thought that using a less powerful ammunition in service weapons would make it easier to defend justified shootings in court.

4. Totally clueless - He might even have considered that CHIP officers might have to shoot while moving, and that the .38 might be more controllable with only the other hand on the handbar of the bike.

5. Anything at all - You never know what goes on in the mind of a bureaucrat. We should have all learned that by now.
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Old 10-02-2011, 09:46 AM
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What is a Model 68? Is this a typo?

Dave Sinko
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Old 10-02-2011, 09:59 AM
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What is a Model 68? Is this a typo?

Dave Sinko
Nope.

S&W Model 68 .38 spl CHP Smith & Wesson Revolvers > Full Frame Revolver for sale, gun classifieds or gun auction from Legendary Guns. Buy or bid on this S&W Model 68 .38 spl CHP in the category Smith & Wesson Revolvers > Full Frame Revolver on GunsAm
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Old 10-02-2011, 10:05 AM
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The C.H.P. used both model 67 and 68 revolvers, I have examples of both. I guess the 68's are rated +P and the 67 isn't? 67 has a 4" barrel, 68 has a 6". Both are stainless.
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Old 10-02-2011, 10:19 AM
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Default Model 68?

I met my girlfriend's father for the first time this summer in Sacramento. He showed me his old duty revolvers. One was a heavy used Pre model 14 6" and one of those model 68's in presentation case. He started with CHP in 1950.and the pre 14 was what they carried then. The 68 was given to him when he retired along with another pre 14 that was used by his partner in their duties chasing overweight truckers trying to beat the law on the back roads of northern Cal. Both the pre 14's looked like they had been dragged behind their patrol cars then polished. Both worked and the bores were very clean. First model 68 I had ever seen.

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Old 10-02-2011, 10:26 AM
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Guys, the Model 68 is basically a Model 66 6in. barrelled only in 38 Special in stead of 357. You probably have seen one without paying attention to it because you were not looking for a 6in. 66 at the time. I know for a fact that I have and foolishly passed on buying it. That will not happen again.
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Old 10-02-2011, 11:22 AM
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Back in the 1970s most Highway Patrol Officers carried .357 Magnum revolvers. When Jerry "Governor Moonbeam" Brown became governor, he brought his crew of effete hippies into Sacramento. They thought that the .357 Magnum revolvers would hurt too much if the CHP officers had to shoot someone, so the officers were restricted to .38 Specials and the Model 68 was born. When Governor Moonbeam left office 8 years later, the Model 68 was quickly retired.
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  #11  
Old 10-02-2011, 11:36 AM
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Default Here's some pictures



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  #12  
Old 10-02-2011, 12:40 PM
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The LAPD also used the 68, with slightly different markings. The 68 wasn't issued though. It was a special order through the LAPD Revolver Club, with officers allowed to carry after "neutering" (DAO conversion) and being put on your gun card in the Armory. The 68 pictured has my old patrolman's badge and initials engraved on the sideplate. If you look closely, you can see where "68" is stamped over "66" on the frame. I also had a Patridge front sight installed at the factory for bullseye shooting.
Bob





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Old 10-02-2011, 01:03 PM
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joe kent,or other guys,
if one of these was in mint shape,no box or papers,but mint gun with original grips,what would be a fair price to buy one at.they are so rare,its hard to do or find a current price value
thanks for advice guys
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Old 10-02-2011, 01:05 PM
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Back in the 1970s most Highway Patrol Officers carried .357 Magnum revolvers. When Jerry "Governor Moonbeam" Brown became governor, he brought his crew of effete hippies into Sacramento. They thought that the .357 Magnum revolvers would hurt too much if the CHP officers had to shoot someone, so the officers were restricted to .38 Specials and the Model 68 was born. When Governor Moonbeam left office 8 years later, the Model 68 was quickly retired.
This was a widespread "fad" or "mania" back in the late 70s, early 80s. Mostly prompted by fears of civil lawsuits with plaintiff's lawyer screaming "MAGNUM."

My Dept fell under these stupid rules for several years, in spite of warnings of lawsuits by Officers (or their survivors) should they get injured or killed AFTER they shot the suspect with the "inadequate ammunition" the Department required.

Fortunately there were no incidents during this time period, and the restriction of 38 Spl +P, went away. About the same time, approved duty weapons opened up to semi autos.
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Old 10-02-2011, 01:10 PM
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joe kent,or other guys,
if one of these was in mint shape,no box or papers,but mint gun with original grips,what would be a fair price to buy one at.they are so rare,its hard to do or find a current price value
thanks for advice guys
It depends. The most expensive would be the CHP stamped gun, which would have been issued as a duty sidearm and would usually come from a retired officer. Next would be the ones overstamped "OHB", which changed the C to an O and the P to a B, indicating it was sold as surplus. There is also the LAPD issue gun and commemorative. I would guess a range from $600-750 but without a lot of sales to come to this figure.
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Old 10-02-2011, 01:16 PM
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A bit off topic, and I am enjoying this one.

But, I remember the days of "NO magnums-.38 Spl only". And the days of the press and other idiots horrified by "Dum-Dum" bullets and hollowpoints.

Now, it appears a lot of departments are carrying .40 calibers WITH hollowpoints or even allowing "carry what you wish within reason".

Now it seems as if tasers and "beating-up-the-badguy" is all the rage amongst the press and their like-minded worriers.

Winchester should re-introduce the Black Talon...I bet no one would care.
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Old 10-02-2011, 01:55 PM
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It depends. The most expensive would be the CHP stamped gun, which would have been issued as a duty sidearm and would usually come from a retired officer. Next would be the ones overstamped "OHB", which changed the C to an O and the P to a B, indicating it was sold as surplus. There is also the LAPD issue gun and commemorative. I would guess a range from $600-750 but without a lot of sales to come to this figure.
There was a M-68 on a table at the Big Reno Show for 2 yrs or so. It was a 90% gun at best...one of the cHP guns...did have original grips...and it went begging for $700 asking price until a yr or so ago. WHERE it went, if it was sold I have no idea. To me it was a $500 gun at most.

I would like to have one of the LAPD or a CHP gun...as long as the CHP gun didn't have the stamping neutered out. But only if it had the box and was in 95% or better condition.

Other than the stamping....it's a 6" M-67 or a M-66 with a .38 cylinder...whatever one wishes to call it. NOT all that unique in my opinion.
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Old 10-02-2011, 02:20 PM
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Quote:
Winchester should re-introduce the Black Talon...
I believe they did, it's called the "Ranger."

As for 38 special ammo for the CHP, remember Californian was and is the worlds leader in P.C. ideas. Does anyone believe that .357 magnum is a P.C. term?
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Old 10-02-2011, 02:24 PM
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Frank;

I would tend to agree on this one being somewhat of a specialty collector gun. I put them in that order of value because an unused CHP stamped model 68 would be least common, and the (unused) commemorative most common. I've seen well-used 68s in the $400-450 range within the past few years.
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Old 10-02-2011, 06:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twomoons View Post
joe kent,or other guys,
if one of these was in mint shape,no box or papers,but mint gun with original grips,what would be a fair price to buy one at.they are so rare,its hard to do or find a current price value
thanks for advice guys
There is one for sale on gun broker right now. But the guy is running a reserve auction, so there is no telling what his real asking price is.
Looks to be in pretty good shape for a former cop gun.
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Old 10-02-2011, 10:28 PM
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One just sold on Auction Arms:

Guns For Sale - Revolvers For Sale - Mod. 68 38 sp 6 inch stainless. Calif. Hwy Patrol - Auction: 10579719 (Ended 10/02/2011, 18:03:00 PST)
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  #22  
Old 11-20-2011, 08:21 PM
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Have pair 67 and 68 in SS CHP. Smothest actions of all my Smiths, but they were the CHP Armorer's revolvers.
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Old 11-20-2011, 09:01 PM
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Did they ever make the model 67 or 68 in 2 " like the model 15?
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Old 02-17-2013, 06:48 PM
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As the other forist said it was because of internal and burocratics regulations. But stil they complecated the life even more, why didīt they use models 19 or 66 with .38 special +P ammo? Just like the FBI did, they used models 13 with .38 special +P ammo.
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Old 03-18-2013, 02:53 PM
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I just came across this thread during my search for a CHP Commemorative Model 68. I've read the post as to why the CHP issued the .38 instead of the .357. I was on the CHP for 30 years and was issued the model 67. We had a choice of either the Model 67 4", or the Model 68 6". I chose the 4" so it did not hit the seat while while on patrol and push up on my hip. I chose not to use a swivel holster that would prevent the 6" from pushing up into my hip while driving all day. I read we were limited to the .38 because then Gov Brown thought we would hurt too many people with the .357. All I know is the weapons staff taught us to shoot to kill. We could carry a .357 from an approved list of guns, but we were responsible for the purchase and repairs. I eventually went with a 4" Model 686.
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Old 02-07-2014, 01:44 AM
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Mike Wood just wrote a very interesting book called "The Newhall Shooting: A Tactical Analysis" about the famous gun battle in which 4 California Highway Patrol officers were killed in 1970.

He has a very interesting appendix in the book called: "A History of CHP firearms, equipment and firearms training". It was in about 1976 that the S&W 67 and 68 revolvers became standard issue. The duty load was the Winchester 110 grn +P+ jacketed hollow point (the "Treasury Load").

CHP officers could carry .357 magnum revolvers if they purchased the guns themselves, but had to carry the issue .38+P+ issue loads.

Most cops aren't shooters. Most of them seldom or never shoot in practice. For somebody who only shoots the minimum required during in-service training, a round that has less recoil will probably work better, because they can get back on target more rapidly.

I became a cop in 1981. The vast majority of cops still carried revolvers then. For those officers who carried .357 magnum revolvers, was common practice to use .38 ammo for training and carry .357 mag ammo for service use. Some agencies said that all officers had to shoot .38s regardless of what caliber revolver they had. Several agencies around here allowed officers to carry .357 mag rounds loaded in the cylinder but required all reloads to be .38s, presumably to allow officers to exchange ammo in the middle of a protracted gunfight . . .

I briefly carried a .357 mag revolver on duty, loaded with .357 magnum rounds. Some of my practice was done with .357 rounds and anytime I shot the gun in an IPSC match I used .357 rounds because they made major power factor. (The few times I shot in PPC matches with that gun I shot .38s I think)

I had never heard of the Smith & Wesson model 68 until I recently read Mike Wood's book on the Newhall incident.
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Old 11-08-2017, 01:04 PM
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I joined the CHP in 1980. As cadets, we were issued the Model 67 (4"-barrel revolver) or the Model 68 (6"-barrel revolver). Both capable of the .38 +P+ ammo. We selected either one, I went with the Mod. 68. The pistols were stamped "CHP" on the frame. What we were told by our weapons instructors at the time is that prior to the time when the CHP started issuing these guns, officers were allowed to carry either .38 or .357 revolvers. The 2 most popular were S&W and Colts. When the CHP started issuing a specific revolver and basic ammo, they went with one firearms company (basic state-mandated bidding process) and one cal. ammo for bulk purchase (also though bidding process). The CHP weapons staff evaluated all proposed firearms and ammo under specific criteria of performance and safety. The one "political rule" was they could not call the ammo "hollow point bullets", probably because it sounded too cruel. So they labeled it "Controlled Expansion" rounds. There was no issue about whether the higher powered ammo would hurt too much. We were trained to hit center-mass for maximum effect and maximum chance of hitting the target. Deadly force is just that!

Regarding the use of .38 Cal. instead of .357 Mag., my understanding (from my instructors) is that it was an issue of ammo interchangeability. That is, in a fire fight, if an officer ran out of ammo, their partner could provide one of their speed-loaders full of the same ammo that would fit. Both .38s and .357 could take the .38 ammo, whereas only the .357s could use .357 magnum ammo. So the .38 won out. Granted, this was a rather far-fetched rationale, but it sort of makes sense.

While on the job, I noticed that even though the CHP issued the S&Ws, many officers purchased and carried their own sidearms while still using the required issued .38 cal. ammo. The CHP eventually lifted their restriction on .38 Cal. ammo, only - around 1988, I think. I purchased and carried a S&W Mod. 686, .357 Magnum and carried .357 Mag. ammo in it, which the CHP provided. This was in the days before the CHP went to automatic pistols.

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Old 11-08-2017, 04:22 PM
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Here's a link to a great article about the S&W 68.

Great website. One of the few active websites devoted to wheelguns.
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Old 11-09-2017, 02:23 PM
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Here's a link to a great article about the S&W 68.

Great website. One of the few active websites devoted to wheelguns.
Thanks for the heads-up on the website...good article. Only mistake was the statement that M68s were bought by the dept and issued to LAPD officers. 68s were only offered through the LAPPL (LA Police Revolver Club) and sold to members. An LAPD officer could purchase and carry a 68 on duty if it was "neutered" (converted to DAO). Great revolver-I still shoot mine weekly. One of the best 6" .38s ever made.
Bob

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Old 07-29-2018, 12:06 PM
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I joined the CHP in 1980. As cadets, we were issued the Model 67 (4"-barrel revolver) or the Model 68 (6"-barrel revolver). Both capable of the .38 +P+ ammo. We selected either one, I went with the Mod. 68. The pistols were stamped "CHP" on the frame. What we were told by our weapons instructors at the time is that prior to the time when the CHP started issuing these guns, officers were allowed to carry either .38 or .357 revolvers. The 2 most popular were S&W and Colts. When the CHP started issuing a specific revolver and basic ammo, they went with one firearms company (basic state-mandated bidding process) and one cal. ammo for bulk purchase (also though bidding process). The CHP weapons staff evaluated all proposed firearms and ammo under specific criteria of performance and safety. The one "political rule" was they could not call the ammo "hollow point bullets", probably because it sounded too cruel. So they labeled it "Controlled Expansion" rounds. There was no issue about whether the higher powered ammo would hurt too much. We were trained to hit center-mass for maximum effect and maximum chance of hitting the target. Deadly force is just that!

Regarding the use of .38 Cal. instead of .357 Mag., my understanding (from my instructors) is that it was an issue of ammo interchangeability. That is, in a fire fight, if an officer ran out of ammo, their partner could provide one of their speed-loaders full of the same ammo that would fit. Both .38s and .357 could take the .38 ammo, whereas only the .357s could use .357 magnum ammo. So the .38 won out. Granted, this was a rather far-fetched rationale, but it sort of makes sense.



While on the job, I noticed that even though the CHP issued the S&Ws, many officers purchased and carried their own sidearms while still using the required issued .38 cal. ammo. The CHP eventually lifted their restriction on .38 Cal. ammo, only - around 1988, I think. I purchased and carried a S&W Mod. 686, .357 Magnum and carried .357 Mag. ammo in it, which the CHP provided. This was in the days before the CHP went to automatic pistols.
In 1983 as a CHP cadet I chose the mod 67 then requested to exchange it for the mod 68. The weapons staff stated they would not exchange it and I could request the change once I was assigned to West Valley CHP. While in the Academy the hammer nose on my mod 67 broke 5 times. Most likely due to all the dry firing we did. After a month on the job at a range day the hammer nose broke again. Back at the office I requested a mod 68 and was told I had to keep this mod 67 and the armorer replaced the hammer nose. Having absolutely no faith in the mod 67 I told the armorer to keep it. I went to the Captain, requested a letter to avoid the 10 day wait period, went down to the LAPD Academy and purchased a mod 19.

When we were issued the 4006 I purchased a CHP mod 68 from the department. Another officer didn't wish to purchase their 68 giving me the opportunity to purchase it. About a week after purchasing the 68 I took it to the range and the hammer nose broke, LOL. I had real bad luck with 67 & 68 hammer noses. I placed it in the back of my gun safe where it sat for the past 30 years with a broken hammer nose.

Recently I purchased a new hammer nose and replaced the broken one. The mod 68 has been resurrected and now one of my NRA Bullseye guns. The 68 does have another issue. The barrel is canted. I did not notice this when I purchased it. It's canted to the point that the rear sight needs to be adjusted all the way to the right. I contacted Smith & Wesson and they agreed to look at it. I'm waiting for the shipping label to send it in for repair.
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Old 07-30-2018, 08:47 PM
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jtcarm jtcarm is offline
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I wonder how many were reamed to .357?
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