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Old June 20, 2013, 01:02 AM   #24
Senior Member
Join Date: December 11, 2004
Location: Redwood City, Ca.
Posts: 3,297
I think we're down the wrong bunny bath. Wasn't the .357 mag intended to defeat the body armor of the day? What it might do with a vehicle would be incidental.
Actually no. S&W thought it was too powerful for a police round. They developed it as a hunting round. The first guns they sold for it were not aimed at the police market but for sportsmen. They chambered it in a new gun which they called "The Registered Magnum", a very beautiful and hand fitted gun. Each one had a special serial number and a letter attesting that the gun was "Registered" to it's owner and came with the name of whoever bought it on the letter. S&W advertised as how it could take the biggest game etc. But they didn't aim it at the police market. They already had a gun for that, actually more than one.

The one intended to "beat" the body armor of the day was the 38/44 Heavy Duty with a hot loaded .38 Spl.

They didn't stop any vehicles unless it was by luck and an accident. Back then cars and trucks were made of steel and cast iron. I've seen old ads for a snubby M&P (the Model 10) claiming it would send a 38 Spl. round clean through a Ford. OK.

Colt had the 38 Super.

But anyway the .357 was soon in demand and law enforcement wanted it so S&W came up with the Highway Patrolman which was aimed at law enforcement. This was in the post war period. This became the M28 and later there was the Combat Magnum which became the M19.

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