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Old July 17, 2012, 06:07 AM   #1
bamaranger
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S&W model 58 in .44 mag?

I can recall about 15years ago an acquaintance came back from a show and claimed to have seen a fix sighted, N-frame revolver in .44 mag. I felt certain that he had seen a model 58 in .41 mag.

Was surfing gun broker today and there is a stainless, fixed sighted .44 mag listed as a model 58. It's suspicious in that the barrel/ejector rod is shorouded, not exposed like a MOdel 58/.41 typically would be.

So was there a limited production run of hybrid 58/.44's, or are these sightings the result of some custom gunsmithing?
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Old July 17, 2012, 08:17 AM   #2
Mike Irwin
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My guess is custom gunsmithing.

To the best of my knowledge S&W has NEVER offered a fixed-sight .44 Magnum, and certainly not one labeled a Model 58.
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Old July 17, 2012, 10:13 AM   #3
carguychris
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Quote:
My guess is custom gunsmithing.
+1. FWIW the prewar fixed-sight .38/44 Heavy Duty has long been fodder for gunsmith conversions. Although these guns have become uncommon today, IIRC they actually remain S&W's all-time best-selling N frame model, and LE surplus examples were once available for a song. Consequently, in the 50s and 60s, they became fodder for a number of custom 'smithing projects by folks who could not afford a new Model 29 or whatever. (This phenomenon helps explain why nice original .38/44s are uncommon today!) You'll still see the odd example pop up on a random gun show table.

BTW if a gun is in fact a .38/44 conversion, and the converted caliber starts with "4" and ends with "Magnum", I personally would not fire it unless the procedure involves a Ransom Rest, a 15'-long piece of string, and an earthen berm to cower behind.
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Old July 17, 2012, 10:14 AM   #4
newfrontier45
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To the best of my knowledge S&W has NEVER offered a fixed-sight .44 Magnum
Ahem...S&W made 300 2½" 629's with fixed sights for Camfour back in 2000. You even responded to a thread four years ago that mentioned them.

http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=271470

http://www.gunsamerica.com/988082604...xed_Sights.htm

Then there's the 3" Carry Comp for Lew Horton back in 1992.
http://www.gunsamerica.com/900504479...mp_44_Mag.htm#





However, if it's a .44Mag and marked model 58, it's most certainly a custom conversion.
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Old July 17, 2012, 11:41 AM   #5
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So I forgot something.

Sue me.

All you'll get is annoyed. It doesn't pay to sue poor people.


At one time I had heard rumors about a few factory .44 Magnum Model 58s, but that is all that they ever remained, rumors. No one has ever seen one, no one has ever owned one (unless you count an uncle's brother's cousin's neighbor's kind of thing as constituting ownership), so I have summarily dismissed the rumors as unfounded.
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Old July 17, 2012, 12:28 PM   #6
newfrontier45
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Quote:
So I forgot something.

Sue me.
Why the hostility???

All I remembered was seeing a picture of one. Those links came up in a quick internet search. So sue me.
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Old July 17, 2012, 09:13 PM   #7
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But hostility is my middle name.

And my favorite flavor of ice cream.

And my favorite bedtime reading material...
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Old July 17, 2012, 10:41 PM   #8
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As support for the proposition that the Model 58 referred to in the original post is a result of gun smithing; I noticed on gunsamerica that there is a
S&W model 58 in 45 LC with 6 in barrel, (with model 25 barrel and cylinder), with Millett adj. rear sight.
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Old July 17, 2012, 10:58 PM   #9
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Quote:
Was surfing gun broker today and there is...
It helps to give the auction number so we can look at the purty pichers too.

But I found it:
http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/Vie...Item=296669567

Somebody has already told the seller that a Model 58 is not stainless, that he likely has a plated finish. But not a bad job.

If you look at the third picture down, with the cylinder open to show a fuzzy stamp that I assume reads Model 58, you can see that the barrel top rib does not match up with the frame receiver ring and topstrap.

The fourth picture shows a non-recessed cylinder. Weren't all M58s P&R? The barrel is pinned but the cylinder is not recessed.

I haven't seen a S&W of that vintage with a sight blade simply dovetailed into the rib, either.

It sure looks like a gunsmith job to me. ("Previously owned by a gunsmith" might be a clue.)
Not a bad looking gunsmith job, but if I wanted a fixed sight .44 magnum, I would want a close examination and testfire before I paid my money.
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Old July 18, 2012, 12:37 AM   #10
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Old July 18, 2012, 01:06 AM   #11
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This thread is interesting to me, because I've always wanted a look alike (that doesn't exist) to the S&W model 1917 that was in .44 mag, had a fixed rear sight, a tapered barrel, half moon front sight, no shroud, big ended ejector rod end that looked almost exactly like a model 1917 (unlike the non big ended, straight ended ejector rod on their recent series of a few years ago that resemble the 1917 but were not made in .44 mag and had that awful looking hammer lock hole. A 1917 model clone, but in .44 magnum. Wouldn't that be great?


.
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Old July 18, 2012, 10:14 AM   #12
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Looks like it was fitted with a longer 29/629 barrel and then shortened to 4" with the dovetail sight installed. If the original 58's were recessed then probably a 29/629 cylinder as well. They did a pretty good job and I'd say if there are no issues, it's easily worth more than the opening bid.
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Old July 18, 2012, 01:10 PM   #13
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As others have said, the revolver in question is decidedly not a stock production Model 58 (if it is-BUY IT!), but the apparently modified Model 58 does seem like a cool set-up to me and, as newfrontier45 opined, "...it's easily worth more than the opening bid."
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Old July 18, 2012, 07:11 PM   #14
4V50 Gary
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After the movie, Dirty Harry, was released, the public demand for the Model 29 skyrocketed beyond S&W's capability. Some gunsmiths modified existing N frames to .44 Magnum. This could be one such gun.
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Old September 28, 2012, 12:44 AM   #15
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S&w model 58 in. 44 mag

Wrong wrong and wrong
There is a model 58 in a 44 mag
I just joined this site only to say to the one saying there isn't a mod 58 in a 44 mag that you are wrong
My father inlaw owns this gun. I HAVE SHOT IT ABOUT 3 YEARS AGO AND WAS JUST LOOKING AT IT TONIGHT September 28 2012
I was trying to find info on it online and all I ran into was a 4 inch barrel in a 41 cal
This gun is a S&W 44 mag model number 58 with a 7 3/8 barrel - blued and rosewood grips
Would be happy to send anyone pics of it and would like to have info on it
My email is gummmd@yahoo.com
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Old September 28, 2012, 01:00 AM   #16
Jim Watson
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Smith & Wesson has had a few little slipups with the model and caliber stamps, too. They don't seem to bring high prices like mismarked stamps and coins. I don't doubt your FiL has such a gun, but it was not a catalog item, it was a foulup at the plant.

(They did a good many Model 25s marked Model of 1950 instead of 1955 before somebody noticed what was wrong.)

Now if it has a 7 3/8" barrel that IS odd. Or did you mean 8 3/8" which is fairly common.
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Old September 28, 2012, 06:52 AM   #17
Mike Irwin
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Mr. Gumm sent me a text message regarding this.

I've sent him back two responses explaining the possibilities of what is going on.

1. Mismarked gun

2. Worker "lunchbox" gun

3. Post manufacture gunsmith conversion.

I highly suspect either No. 2 or No. 3 given the simple fact that factory records show ONLY one flavor of Model 58 during its original production run -- .41 magnum, 4" barrel, fixed sights.

A 7 3/8" barrel is NOT a factory length barrel, but it could be a simple mismeasurement and would relate to the 8 3/8" barrel that has been a factory staple for nearly 100 years.

He offered, and I've requested, clear photographs of the guns, the markings (including inside the crane cut).

As I said in my previous response, I've heard rumors of Model 58s having been factory made in .44 Magnum, but as far as I can tell, no one has ever actually seen a factory authenticated .44 Magnum 58, there are no official company records indicating that any were ever made, and none of the major S&W collectors I know of have ever claimed to have proof of one existing.

Some of us, I think, have heard the same thing about the Model 28 -- S&W made .44 Magnum AND .45 Long Colt Model 28s!!!

Uhm... No, they didn't. People like Hamilton Bowen have, but Smith & Wesson didn't.

So, as I told our enthusiastic Mr. Gumm, I'm not at all ready to say "OOPS! I was wrong!" without a lot more information.

And at this point, I'm going to maintain that I am correct.
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Old September 28, 2012, 06:52 AM   #18
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Quote:
Now if it has a 7 3/8" barrel that IS odd. Or did you mean 8 3/8" which is fairly common.
Revolver barrels are supposed to be measured from the muzzle to the forcing cone (i.e. the extreme back end of the barrel by the cylinder), NOT from the muzzle to the barrel-frame interface.

Gumm38: Non-enthusiasts frequently get this wrong and under-report barrel lenghts by 3/4"-1", don't be embarrassed, you're not the first.
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Old September 28, 2012, 08:22 AM   #19
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It seems to me that if one were in posession of a .44 Magnum M58, a factory letter from Roy Jinks would clear up whether or not it was a gunsmith conversion.
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Old September 28, 2012, 08:57 AM   #20
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I've not yet suggested that he go that route.

I'm hoping that we can clear it up with some pictures.

But the factory letter is how at least one "I've got a turbo rare gun, it's a Model 28 in .44 Special!" was solved...

Told the guy who had it that it was a gunsmith conversion, he refused to accept my analysis, but finally SORT of came around when he got the letter saying the gun left the factory as a 4" .357 Magnun, not a 6" .44 Special....

At the time it was made, S&W wasn't even making .44 Specials, so a Highway Patrolman barrel wouldn't have been marked .44 Special, and especially in a non S&W font.

It appeared that whoever did the conversion welded the old caliber marking and ground it smooth. Or they found a barrel that hadn't been marked with the chambering.

Anyway you cut it, though, it was a well done conversion. He picked it up at an estate sale for a good price, but unfortunately it didn't have any documentation with it.
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Old September 28, 2012, 09:31 AM   #21
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Gumm38: Keep in mind that when the Dirty Harry "It'll blow your head clean off..." craze occurred in the 1970s, demand for .44Mag M29s shot through the roof and greatly outstripped supply. However, demand for .41Mag N frames was soft because the cartridge wasn't well accepted, and many LE agencies were passing up the heavy .357Mag M27 & M28 in favor of the lighter and easier-to-carry K frame M13 & M19.

Waiting lists & over-MSRP buyer premiums for .44Mag N frames + soft demand and surplus stock of .357Mag & .41Mag N frames = a suspicious number of .357Mag & .41Mag guns leaving stores with .44Mag barrels and cylinders in them.
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Last edited by carguychris; September 28, 2012 at 09:33 AM. Reason: Minor reword...
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Old September 28, 2012, 01:19 PM   #22
Bob Wright
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Mike Irwin wrote:

Quote:
A 7 3/8" barrel is NOT a factory length barrel, but it could be a simple mismeasurement and would relate to the 8 3/8" barrel that has been a factory staple for nearly 100 years.
Mike, I hate to dispute such an august authority as you, but I think the original barrels were introduce with the .357 Magnum around 1935. These were 8 3/4" in length. However, they were later shortened to 8 3/8" when it was noted they exceeded the sight radius requirements set by the old United States Revovler Association, of Springfield, Mass.

Bob Wright

P.S. I belonged to the USRA for a few years in the 'Fifties.
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Old September 28, 2012, 07:14 PM   #23
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Bob, yep I know the progression of barrel lengths....

Its also getting a lot closer to 100 years... And so are we!
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Old October 28, 2012, 08:18 PM   #24
Elmer
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Hate to revive an old thread, but Mike, did you ever get those pictures?
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Old October 28, 2012, 08:35 PM   #25
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Nope. Never expected to.
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