View Full Version : S&W 27-2 .44 necked down to .357?

October 4, 2005, 12:10 AM
A friend of mine's dad has a Smith and Wesson 27-2. The cylinder is chambered for .44 but necks down to .357. It is marked on the barrel S&W .357 magnum. The serial number is #N761XXX. The only other markings are 67819 and B5.

I've searched the net and haven't found anything. Talked to some buddies at the local gun stores, nobody has heard of this gun. Do you think it was a factory gun or did somone ream the cylinder out for a custom round? I could have Smith run a history but that would cost $30.

Just wondering what it would be worth if anyone has any info.


October 4, 2005, 01:12 AM
Maybe this?


October 5, 2005, 03:03 AM
That does seem to identify the caliber.

I think the gun was made in the early 80's from the serial number but the article states that the 357/44 B&D was introduced in '64 and had a rather short life. Kind of odd S&W would chamber a pistol for it 16 years later in a pistol designed for .357. Maybe someone had the cylinder hogged out or a whole new cylinder installed?

I've been offered this pistol pretty cheap but the owner doesn't know anything about it. He bought it back in the 80's thinking it was .357 and has never shot it because of the lack of ammo.

October 5, 2005, 03:28 AM
Ok, more searching under bain and davis. B&D made a conversion that was popular with the Smith 27's. Aparently this is what was installed.

Is Bain and Davis still around? Do they have a web site? Saw some links but the pages wouldn't come up. None for sale at the auction sites. Any ideas on value???


October 5, 2005, 09:07 AM
Hey Hoot,

If I am not mistaken B&D is long defunct. This was a pretty common conversion during the 70's, and was written up in several gun rags from that period. IIRC it was also common to simply take an N-frame S&W .357, since it was on the ".44 frame" anyhow, and simply rechamber the factory cylinder for the B&D round. This theoretically allowed the user to switch back to conventional .38/.357 with the simple addition of another cylinder. While N/.357 cylinders are still to be found (e-bay), there's a little more to it than that. For best accuracy and function, the crane, cylinder and ratchet should be fitted to the individual gun. "Plug in" parts, they are not.

What's it worth? Depends on whether or not you are a collector of 1960-70 wildcat revolvers. To me, it would be worth substantially less than a bone-stock gun of the same configuration- because I'd have to have S&W fit a new, stock cylinder. But that's just me.

You friend has an interesting (and possibly collectible, if the 'smith doing the conversion can be confirmed) piece of firearms memorbilia there.

Mike Irwin
October 5, 2005, 11:52 AM
This was certainly not an S&W factory supplied option.

October 17, 2005, 10:17 PM
The gun you are talking about is a 357/44 Bain&Davis. These were never factory guns unless it is a contender barrel, that was made by Thompson Center. It is an easy wildcat to make as all you have to do is remove the cylinder from your revolver and send it to Bain and Davis to have the cylinder reamed out. A revolver could be done for about $89.00. The most popular guns to do was the S&W 28 or 27 or the Ruger Blackhawk. The cylinder had to be thick enough to handle a 44 cartridge. The resulting ammo could be loaded with anything from a 90 grain .355 bullet up to a 158 grain .357. It generates 1700+ feet per second and up to 900+ foot pounds of energy. The perfect one cartridge does it all from squirrels to black bear in one gun! I had a model 27 6' gun done in the late 80's. It used to be listed in the speer reloading manual, and data was available from Bain & Davis as well as RCBS dies and anything else you need for this gun. It may be undesireable to a non reloader but to anyone who likes the unusual and likes to play with wildkits you have a desireable gun. The cases are easy to make and reload. I'm surprised that your gun dealers didn't know anything about it as it is one of the more successful wildcats because it did not require your gun to be rebarreled, was inexpensive and effective. Hopes this helps.

October 17, 2005, 10:23 PM
the address for 357/44 bain & davis is Bain & Davis Gun Shop, 307 E Valley blvd, San Gabriel, CA 91776-3522 Phone (626) 573-4241 This is from my search engine today.

October 17, 2005, 10:51 PM
Bain and davis is still alive in california


October 18, 2005, 04:44 AM
I'd buy it for $175. But then, I've got a set of dies here somewhere. The value of the revolver would be the price of a with a replacement cylinder minus the cost of replacing the cylinder (not too much).