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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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Old 03-23-2020, 11:23 PM
johncantiusgarand johncantiusgarand is offline
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Default 21-4 Nickel

I've exhausted my search capabilities, and I give up. I just took delivery of a "classic" series model 21-4 in nickel. It has the early style cylinder release latch and came with white factory grips that were supplied by, what I assume, was Altamont; they look almost identical to Altamont's bonded ivory classic round butt offerings.

Anyway, I seem to recall some previous posts on here about how many of these S&W did in nickel. The number 250 keeps popping up in my head, as if I read it on here once. But I don't know if my memory is correct.

Can someone confirm/deny/elaborate on this? Seems a small number given all the images I can bring up on Google.
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Old 03-24-2020, 01:43 AM
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PM sent.

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Old 03-24-2020, 12:41 PM
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This will maybe just reiterate what Kaaskop49 has imparted in his PM, but for the benefit of the other forum readers: According to the SCSW IV there were 225 to 250 nickel 21-4 revolvers made (both numbers are from the same source - says 250 in the Engineering Change section and 225 in the Product Code section). There were quite a few other iterations made, but you have the one to have. Again, the SCSW conflicts with itself as to dates. May 2006 in the Engineering Change section and 2007 in the Product Code section.

BTW, the white grips were added aftermarket. They came with checkered walnut service stocks.

Whatever - Happiness is a big bore N-frame in any configuration.

Adios,

Pizza Bob
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Old 03-24-2020, 05:21 PM
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Hmm, I have one of these and had no idea they were that unusual.
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Old 03-24-2020, 06:36 PM
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I'm very grateful for the information. As to the grips, I thought they were aftermarket add-ons as well until I took them off. They had a large "N" machined into the back of each one, I presume to denote "nickel" like the stamped "N" on the grip frame underneath. As to why an assembler would have to see the "N" to know which revolver to mount white grips to, I don't know. In my email to the seller acknowledging my receipt and satisfaction later, I also asked about the grips and whether or not he had worked on the action (he's a gunsmith, and this one has a much better action than I'm used to), he replied that both were done by the performance center. Whether or not that was just something they put out, or it was because he sent it to them (he is known for upgrading his guns, like having USFA Rodeos engraved and plated), I don't know; hadn't thought to ask.
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Old 03-24-2020, 06:56 PM
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The large "N" is for N frame. I also have some aftermarket grips marked like that that I bought off of the 'Net.
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Old 03-24-2020, 07:45 PM
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Now I feel foolish, indeed. I guess when I took the trips off and noted the "N" stamped in the frame, I just made the same association with the "N" on the grips. Couldn't see the obvious forest for the trees. Embarrassing to have completely overlooked what else "N" could have stood for.
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Old 03-24-2020, 07:52 PM
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At least now I don't feel bad about having replaced those white panels. Having assumed from the pictures that these were aftermarket, I'd already ordered and received some white G-10 finger groove "combat"-style grips from VZgrips. I was in the middle of putting those on when I got the email reply from the seller about the little white panels having been put on there by the performance center, and I suddenly felt like perhaps I should have gotten a polished aluminum Tyler-T instead. But the VZ grips are much better fitting and feel just about perfect in the hand.
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Old 03-25-2020, 12:12 PM
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Would you mind posting a pic of yr white VZ grips? I have a nickel 21-4 & it sounds like a good idea to buy a pair.

Thanks, Lewel
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Old 03-25-2020, 12:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johncantiusgarand View Post
As to the grips, I thought they were aftermarket add-ons as well until I took them off. They had a large "N" machined into the back of each one...
As has already been pointed out, the "N" is for N-frame, but more importantly when you see a letter like that routed into the back of the grip, it denotes that they are Altamont grips. I have to cast a little shade on the statement that the PC installed the grips. While Altamont was a supplier to S&W and their grips were used on Classic and Heritage series guns - and I believe some regular production pieces also, I can't recall ever seeing their white (bonded ivory - basically ivory powder mixed with resin) grips used on any guns from the factory. I'm assuming these are what they looked like...



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Old 03-25-2020, 01:53 PM
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They have been available for quite a few years, and all frame sizes. Have had these on a J frame for a number of years.
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Old 03-25-2020, 03:24 PM
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They have been available for quite a few years, and all frame sizes.
I stand corrected. Totally unaware. Looking at your J-frame, I seem to recall a gun issued called "The Gambler" that had the white grips, although I can't find anything about that. Am I delusional?

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Old 03-25-2020, 09:39 PM
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Thrilled to see more replies. What image hosting service is everyone using these days. Photobucket was my go-to back in the day. Still mad about their holding all of my old pics hostage just to get me to sign up for their paid version. I just took some quick pics, and I'll post them as soon as I find a good image hosting site. Incidentally, Pizza Bob, those white Altamont grips (and I can confirm that by the lightly engraved "Altamont" I finally noticed inside under better light) are checkered with the diamond surrounding the screw hole. And no S&W medallions.
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Old 03-25-2020, 09:44 PM
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Nevermind, I noticed that many/most folks were using postimage.org. Uploading now. Should have pics posted soon--even the VZ info for Lewel.
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Old 03-25-2020, 09:49 PM
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Well, that stinks. After setting up a new account and being about 80% finished in the uploading process of 4 pics, I received a message that uploads were temporarily disabled for "maintenance". I'll post something as soon as I can....
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Old 03-25-2020, 09:50 PM
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Yeah, they're currently in some sort of "maintenance mode".
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Old 03-25-2020, 10:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pizza Bob View Post
I stand corrected. Totally unaware. Looking at your J-frame, I seem to recall a gun issued called "The Gambler" that had the white grips, although I can't find anything about that. Am I delusional?

Adios,

Pizza Bob
You are not delusional

It was the Model 36 "TEXAS Hold'Em" . . . . Product code 161492



And yes they grips were one of the polymer copies. Truth is I never took them off to verify if they were Altomonte grips or not

1000 of these were done in 2005 with a special serial number prefix of TEXxxxx



Great presentation box with the cards and chips and the whole thing cold be had for $50 or $60 more than a standard Model 36 at the time
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Old 03-26-2020, 12:32 PM
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You are not delusional
Thanks. I didn't think I was dreaming. Just couldn't remember what it was called. Of course I often have the same trouble about myself.

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Old 03-26-2020, 09:54 PM
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Default Finally got access to pictures




I was PM's about which VZ grips I mounted.


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Old Yesterday, 12:18 PM
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The white grips on the nickel gun look better than I expected. While VZ grips are really good looking and well made and well fitting, I tried a set - same style, different color - on my 625-8 PC...



...and took them off after one match (IDPA). The G-10 is a very unforgiving grip media. It transfers every bit of recoil energy directly to the hand that is holding it. Even wood has some give to it and helps deaden the recoil impulse - not so with G-10.

Admittedly, I have become somewhat of a wuss, when it comes to recoil, as I've reached my dotage so I'm sure that YMWV (that's Your Mileage Will Vary).

The VZ lived on my 25-13 for a while, but were replaced by a set of Smith Combats and they are now living in my grip purgatory drawer along with any number of holsters.

Nice looking gun - enjoy it.

Adios,

Pizza Bob
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Old Yesterday, 01:29 PM
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I had a similar experience with some VZ grips on a 1911, but I chalked their discomfort up to their aggressive texture. I can't imagine these would transfer the recoil impulse worse than bonded ivory or polymer, but I'll have to defer to your experience until I've had these at the range.
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