Don't know near as much S&W history as you folks do, although I have been a S&W fan for a long time. I just wanted to mention in reference to the 45 colt round in a top break, that starting about 1886? the DA frontier revolver came out in .44-40 cal. That is the same length as a 45 colt. I think it would've been easier to make a 45 colt than you may think. Would like to know your thoughts.
Here's my DA 44-40 frontier.