"Could it be that some Russian officers were still using the old S&W .44?"
Without a doubt.
The Russians bought something like 150,000 S&W revolvers. There are some accounts of their being used to arm partisans during World War II.
"The gift which I am sending you is called a dog, and is in fact the most precious and valuable possession of mankind" -Theodorus Gaza
Baby Jesus cries when the fat redneck doesn't have military-grade firepower.