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Old September 24, 2012, 11:28 AM   #1
Alex Johnson
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What caliber?

So I happened upon a S&W 28-2 4" recently and am having some thoughts about it. I already have a S&W 27 3 1/2" which is almost identical to this one and I really don't need another 357 so the idea came to have this one customized by Hamilton Bowen to something a bit more exotic.

I sent an email off to Bowen to get a feel for the price of the conversion, refinishing, and action work and the number seems doable with some financial adjustment. The question is, what caliber would you go with. The ones that seem to be most likely right now would be 45 Colt, 44 special or 44-40. I had also considered the 38-40, but somehow that seems to be going backwords. Any insights, particularly from those who have had similar work done, would be much apprecited.

I do realize that this is not going to be a project where I can ever recoup my costs, but it should make a really interesting revolver and I have always admired Bowen's work.
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Old September 24, 2012, 12:27 PM   #2
Webleymkv
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I'd go with .44 Special. .45 Long Colt has a rather smallish rim that's more likely to jump the extractor star and .44-40 ammunition is both rarer and more expensive. Also, the slight bottleneck of the .44-40 case makes it more difficult to handload than .45 LC or .44 Spl.

Other options to consider would be .41 Magnum or, if you like moonclips, 10mm or .45 ACP/AR.
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Old September 24, 2012, 12:39 PM   #3
Winchester_73
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Webley named some good options. You could also go 41 special or 40 S&W I suppose but I think between 44 special, 45 colt or 41 mag would be the most reasonable.

It is on the other hand tempting to have it chambered in something thats not already made by S&W. In some ways, to go 44 special, for example, would be like taking the long way home to a model 24, if you catch my drift. Given the fact that its a N frame, in some ways, its not worth 38 special or below and its already 357 mag. Choices choices choices

I look forward to seeing the finished product. Should end up being something pretty special.
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Old September 24, 2012, 01:24 PM   #4
Mike Irwin
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Hum...

If it were I doing it, I think the last thing I'd do would be to spend the money converting a Model 28 to either .44 Spl. or .45 Long. Both of those are fairly commonly available as the Model 24 or the Model 25.

The .45 Long Colt does have a very small rim, but I've never had an issue with that in my Model 25-5. Just keep the muzzle of the gun pointed up during ejection and let gravity do the rest. And we all do that already, correct?

If those two cartridges were the choice, I'd sell the 28 put the money towards another gun, then send it off to Bowen to do any desired tweeks.

Converting to .44-40 would be interesting. The thin neck is a pain in the rump, but you can, with a little care and practice, learn how to get around it fairly quickly.

But, were I the one looking for an interesting and unique conversion, I think I'd have to pick one of several cartridges...

.45 Smith & Wesson - Granted, the .45 S&W is simply a less powerful version of the .45 LC, but it does have a larger rim for surer extraction.

.41 Colt would also be interesting, but it's just not all that great a cartridge...

No, I think my choice would be...

.38-40. VERY few S&W hand ejectors were ever chambered in this round, it's got very good ballistics for being a blackpowder era round, and it's been, along with the .44-40 and the .45 S&W, making a very nice comeback courtesy of the Cowboy Action crowd.

Yep, make mine .38-40.
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Old September 24, 2012, 04:22 PM   #5
rodfac
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A .41 or .44 Special would make up into a great "Mountain Gun" if Bowen kept the original M-28 barrel profile. Does he rebore the barrel or substitute one of his own? I've had a yen for one of those conversions ever since Skeeter Skelton wrote about them back in the 70's, when M28's were relatively common and a working man couldn't find a .44 Special for love nor money. Rod
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Old September 24, 2012, 04:57 PM   #6
Alex Johnson
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Its my understanding that the barrels would be re-bored. I agree that the availability of the other calibers raises some questions such as as why bother and I have considered that. I have always had an interest in the 44-40 and have reloaded for them extensively in some of my single actions revolvers with both black powder and smokeless loads. I have never had any experience with the 38-40, but that would also be a possibility.

I guess in the end I would like to have a full custom revolver from their shop. I will never get my money back out of it, but I wouldn't plan on getting rid of it either. I know folks who spend more money than were talking about here on a stupid cell phone package yearly, so I guess in the end this seems to be a more worthwhile way to spend the money.

At least this way my son's will inherit a pretty nice gun collection when I am somewhat cooler.
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