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Old September 24, 2012, 02:17 PM   #32
Mike Irwin
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Join Date: April 13, 2000
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 36,327
"S&W refused to chamber their revolvers in 45 colt. They easily could have."

Actually, they really couldn't.

Doing so would have required a re-engineering of the entire gun, lengthening the frame and the cylinder, with a corresponding need to change most of the tooling to produce them.

At the same time, S&W was deeply into its contracts with the Russians. In fact, at the time, virtually all of S&W's production capabilities were being tied up making guns for the Russians, they were ordering so many.

So, in order to make the change to the gun to chamber it in .45 Long Colt, they would have seriously impacted their contracts with the Russians.

And at the time, the Russians were paying for their revolvers with shipments of gold bullion.

The US Government? They were paying with promises...

In fact, S&W became SO heavily involved in producing Number 3s for foreign military contracts that, in 1878, when the Army approached S&W and said "Hey, we want another 8,000, maybe more, guns from you. When can you deliver them?"

Smith & Wesson's response? "Sorry, we're busy, come back some other time."

There are some who have speculated that that is what cemented the bond between Colt and the Army regarding handguns right up until the emergency need for guns at the onset of American participation in World War I.
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