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Handguns Revolvers

Ten Most Significant Smith & Wessons

by G&A Staff   |  June 14th, 2011 28

Technical Editor Dick Metcalf put together this photo array of the top 10 most significant Smith & Wesson handguns of all time. Some of his choices may surprise you.

Model 1, .22 Short (1857) — first revolver to shoot a self-contained cartridge.

 

Model 3, .44 & .45 Cal. (1870) — first American big-bore revolvers specifically manufactured for metallic cartridges.

 

.38 Double Action, .38 S&W (1880) — S&W’s first commercial double-action revolver.

 

.38 Hand Ejector, .38 S&W Special (1899) — first gun ever chambered for the .38 Special cartridge.

 

.44 Hand Ejector, .44 S&W Special (1908) — first gun chambered for .44 Special, nicknamed “Triple Lock,” set the stage for large-frame, big-bore revolvers to follow.

 

.22/32 Kit Gun, .22 Long Rifle (1911) — S&W’s first revolver to fire the .22 Long Rifle cartridge.

 

.357 Magnum, .357 Mag. (1935) — the original N-Frame .357 Magnum.

 

.38 Chiefs Special/Model 36, .38 Special (1950) — first S&W J-Frame revolver and first ultracompact .38 Special.

 

.357 Combat Magnum/Model 19, .357 Mag. (1955) — first medium-frame .357 Magnum.

 

Model 29/629, .44 Magnum (1956) — first .44 Magnum revolver and arguably the most famous S&W of all time.

 

 

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