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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 02-27-2012, 05:11 AM
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Default S&W mod 21-4

I've been pondering a .44 special for some time now. I recently found a used Mod 21-4 in great shape. It looks just like the thunder ranch modle, but doesn't have the thunder ranch logo on the side, but has the same grips. My big concern is the lack of adjustable sights. Does anyone have any experience with the 21? Let me know the good and bad. Thanks
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Old 02-27-2012, 08:20 AM
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Can't help you with the 21-4 but I do have a 22-4 which is the same gun except in 45 acp. It shoots to point of aim with a 230 grain slug. Someone that knows more will be along with the answer to your question soon.

Welcome to the forum.
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Old 02-27-2012, 12:18 PM
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I purchased a 21-4 from Bud's about 18 months ago to replace a Taurus 441 (great gun, BTW). What a mistake.
The 21 had to go back to Springfield for a new barrel, which they did quickly.
Action was smooth (MIM) but I could not get it to group well despite trying dozens of different loads. Traded it straight across for a 4" 29-3 and never looked back, was so glad to be rid of it.
Recently scratched my 44 Special itch with a 696 from a forum member. That one is everything I want in a 44 Special.

My $0.03, YMMV!
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Old 02-27-2012, 02:08 PM
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I've owned a Model 21-4 for almost three years, and it's one of my favorite shooters. The trigger is very smooth, and it just loves 240gr SWC's. Except for the weight, it would be a very good CCW revolver.

Mine shoots to point of aim at 25 yards with the 240gr bullets
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Old 02-27-2012, 02:13 PM
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I bought a NIB 21-4 Thunder Ranch .44 Special revolver a little over a year ago. I like it very much. It is extremely well fitted and finished. The timing, carry-up, etc. is excellent. The SA and DA trigger pulls are the equal of any I've ever had on my other N-frame revolvers. At 7yd. I can put 6 rounds of Winchester Cowboy Loads into a single ragged hole. It does the same with 200 gr. Blazer loaded with Gold Dots. At 15 yds. POA is POI. The front sight is wide enough to easily see and use rather than being a narrow blade that gets lost in glare, etc. I have fired it with both the factory issue round-butt grips and with square-butt Pachmayr Presentation Grips. I prefer the square-butt grips, but that probably reflects my 30 year experience shooting S&W revolvers. For carry, etc., I think the round-butt is the way to go. I very much like the 21-4. For many years I'd wanted one of the M&P type .44 Special S&W revolvers. An 21 in shootable condition has never been within my reach financially. This 21-4 has allowed me to own and enjoy a long desired revolver. I would recommend it to anyone who shares a similar interest in a light, compact, rugged .44 Special revolver for field and woods use as well as filling a HD role on the nightstand. JMHO. Sincerely. brucev.
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Old 02-27-2012, 10:04 PM
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Thanks for the Info,,, I just sold a motorcycle so I have some cash burning a hole in my pocket,, I'll get over there and take a good long look at it it. I hope it is still at the shop.
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Old 02-27-2012, 10:25 PM
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I've had this about 5 years. I shoot it occasionally. Although I really don't care for S&W's manufactured after about 1980, it is reasonably well fitted and finished and shoots well. I did replace the tiny stocks with an old set of 1950's non-relieved targets.
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Old 02-27-2012, 10:48 PM
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I bought a Thunder Ranch model 21 when they came out. I still have it and a non Thunder Ranch model 21. My normal carry is a model 21 or a Lew Horton model 29. With Winchester 200 gr Silvertips it shoots to point of aim. I like the fixed sights. I prefer my model 21 to any of my other firearms (Colt 1911s, Glocks, Ed Browns and my other S&Ws) for ccw. I was a 1911 guy for better than 30 years.
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Old 02-27-2012, 11:12 PM
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Some body said 21-1 !!!
I don't like them at all!
They are big and clunky. Too heavy and the ctg is old & underpowered. It has the HATED IL & MIM parts.
The WORST thing is I didn't get 3 of them when 'Bud's' was closing them out at $576 !
One last thing. They don't group worth a tinker's curse! As the following pic shows.



The target is a 3" post-it note at 10 yds. Shot DA by the half blind, arthritic old fat man.
Oh, the load is the usual 240gr SWC at 750 fps. It will do the same with Gold Dot HPs. They hit about an inch lower.
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Old 02-27-2012, 11:30 PM
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I just got the 24-1 TR version in 44 special. Sought it out as I'm coming to appreciate the astounding advantages of a proper S&W DA Nframe in range games.

I've been using other N frame Smiths the last 5 years in local club matches of various flavors. I especially favor the 610 3 7/16 and the 627 Vmag.

Mine 24-1 was slightly used and came with a spectacular trigger, groups very will with a variety of loads, and the non-adj sight is very useful without the unnecessary complication and bulk of the other kind...which are mere affectation most of the time anyway.

I love the one I got.
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Old 02-27-2012, 11:49 PM
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I've got the 21 & 22. Both are very nice revolvers. My 21 needs a taller front sight. My 22 shoots to point of aim with the stock sights. i like it better because its a square butt.
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Old 02-27-2012, 11:49 PM
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Had one for awhile. It was accurate and reliable. Regret selling it, but it was replaced with a 22-4.

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Old 02-28-2012, 12:20 AM
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I've got a 21-4, Thunder Ranch model, and it's one of my favorite revolvers. I tried not to buy it. Non-pinned barrel, MIM parts, the lock...I ignored that thing for weeks, but it just stayed there on the rack. Finally I broke down and bought it.

The finish is as good if not better than any other S&W I've ever seen. It's got a great trigger. When I bought it home, I took it down the hill behind the house, and fired a dozen rounds at a milk jug about 50 yards away. I didn't really expect to hit it, since I never shoot at anything that far away, but that jug jumped into the air more often than not.

A couple of days ago I took it to the range for the first time. As someone else said at 7 yards, six shots went into one ragged hole (the same Winchester Cowboy loads). By the time I ran out of ammo, the 10X rings on the two targets I put up, were gone.

I didn't really care for the slick grips that came on the gun, so I've replaced them with a set of Hogues. I'll see how they do next time.

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Old 02-28-2012, 12:36 AM
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The only real problem with mine is I dislike the idea of the IL, and I don't get to shoot it more often.

The good points are how it feels and shoots. Being affordable counts too.


A sweet 4" fixed sight N frame 44 Special six shooter.
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Old 02-28-2012, 02:01 AM
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The only two things I dident like on my TR model was the ugly gold logo on the side plate and the stock's. Nothing I can do about the logo (wish I knew they were going to make a non TR model) but swapped out the stock's for a set of wood Hogues and the bleeding stopped. Mine is accurate with 240gr LSWC's at 905fps and shoot's to POA. I love it!
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Old 02-28-2012, 07:51 AM
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Quote:
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The only two things I dident like on my TR model was the ugly gold logo on the side plate and the stock's.
I have often wondered if there was a way to remove that ugly gold gash on the side of the gun. Another good thing about the Hogues is they pretty much cover it up.
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Old 02-28-2012, 09:36 AM
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Pilgram6- You should be ashamed to put that ugly, inaccurate revolver in this thread. Just kidding. Thats real nice.
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Old 02-28-2012, 04:04 PM
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I too, have the 21-4 and the 22-4. Both are excellent guns. I have owned three of each of these and sold/traded them away but I always buy one back. They have excellent triggers and nice finishes. Some of the earlier 22s came with a too tall front sight and the one I have now is one of them but I slowly filed until I got the elevation I wanted. S&W would replace the pinned sight but I did not want to send it back. They are smoooth.

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Old 02-28-2012, 06:44 PM
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I've shot thousands through my nickel 21. May be my favorite gun. Shoots GREAT and very smooth. I usually shoot at 15 - 20 yards at steel plates and the gun is dead on at that range. If I do my part it never misses.
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Old 02-28-2012, 06:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vulcan Bob View Post
The only two things I dident like on my TR model was the ugly gold logo on the side plate and the stock's. Nothing I can do about the logo (wish I knew they were going to make a non TR model) but swapped out the stock's for a set of wood Hogues and the bleeding stopped. Mine is accurate with 240gr LSWC's at 905fps and shoot's to POA. I love it!
Same likes and dislikes and ditto the Hogue wood for my 21-4 TR. Shoots 240 LSWC's and Berry's Plated 240's to POA. Purchased mine barely used and can't fathom why someone sold it!!
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Old 02-29-2012, 12:07 AM
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I got it for $600, exelent condition, great trigger. I had to put it on lay away, but it will be in my hands very soon. I was happy with that price.
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Old 02-29-2012, 11:50 PM
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The prices on these seem to stay fairly stable. $600- $650. Not that I'm complaining. Mine's not going any where and if I get a windfall I'll get another.
But why hasn't the price gone up? They aren't making the 21-4 anymore and the TR was a limited run.
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Old 07-28-2015, 10:59 AM
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I found this M 21 nearly 2 years ago, and I am putting together a batch of my other handguns to buy a second one...



This was taken soon after I got it...very good shooter, great to carry and I think I will lose a few auto pistols to get another one of them obsolete revolvers in this obsolete caliber.
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Old 07-29-2015, 12:33 PM
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The only dislike I had with mine were the ridiculous tiny stocks that came with it. I very quickly acquired a set of Ahrends and never looked back. A friend of mine has the TR version and used a permanent marker to darken the gold colored bling.
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Old 07-29-2015, 08:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m657 View Post
I just got the 24-1 TR version in 44 specia

A 24-1 Thunder Ranch? When did those come out. Gotta get me one!
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Old 07-29-2015, 09:17 PM
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I've got the 22-4, which is square butt and 45acp. At the time I could've purchased a 21-4 for a couple hundred less, but I prefer the sq butt and 45.

As far as the sights go, whether a center or six 'o clock hold is required depends on the load used. Mine is spot on for windage. With that big, prominent fron sight it's an easy sight picture to pick up at speed for a fixed sight gun.

They're both awesome guns and my favorite modern Smiths.
20140914_094019 by Slick_Rick77, on Flickr
20140915_101444 by Slick_Rick77, on Flickr

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Old 07-31-2015, 11:04 PM
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I have both. Great revolvers. Finding the particular load is all-important. Sometimes they group perfectly, other times, one has to find "that load" to group POA/POI.

Congrats!




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