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Old September 26, 2012, 11:06 AM   #53
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Join Date: December 20, 2008
Location: Pittsburgh PA
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IIRC, didn't the Russians order huge numbers, but then renege on most of the order - after they had received, and reverse engineered, the first batch? After which, they rolled their own.

Seems to me I reaad that somewhere, and that it nearly crushed S&W for a short period.
I believe you're confusing the No. 3 with the Mosin-Nagant Model 1891, and S&W with Remington.

More here:
I'm pretty sure that first poster was right. I'm not sure if S&W made more on their own than was needed or the Russians changed their order. I remember reading that there were many never delivered (for whatever reason) and they were sold off domestically.

What killed the top break revolver as a serious use gun? A number of things, including cost and complexity, but mostly it was the in ability to use a powerful cartridge. There are no top breaks in magnum calibers, and even the original .45 Colt loading was not useable in the original S&W N0.3/Schoefield guns, as the cylinder & frame were too short to take the length of the round.
I forgot to reply to this earlier: The thing that killed the top break was simply the swing out cylinder technology. Before that, the top break was very popular despite it not being in 45 colt. A revolver didn't need to be in 45 colt for it to be useful in combat or for general purpose. SAAs at the time were NOT often seen esp in 45 colt. They of course were not rare, but they were the latest and greatest and so many people could not attain and/or afford one. S&W chose not to adapt their design to 45 colt BUT the design itself was fine for 45 colt. It was just a technicality. The reason why it was not in magnum cals was because the first magnum came out in 1935, after the swing out cylinder had been around since 1889 (Colt).

"S&W refused to chamber their revolvers in 45 colt. They easily could have."

Actually, they really couldn't.

Doing so would have required a re-engineering of the entire gun, lengthening the frame and the cylinder, with a corresponding need to change most of the tooling to produce them.

At the same time, S&W was deeply into its contracts with the Russians. In fact, at the time, virtually all of S&W's production capabilities were being tied up making guns for the Russians, they were ordering so many.

So, in order to make the change to the gun to chamber it in .45 Long Colt, they would have seriously impacted their contracts with the Russians.
That's correct but on the other hand, the frame would have been the only part that had to be remade. If they wanted to lengthen it to get another contract (remember that the longer frame would have worked for all of the other cals) they would have. They also didn't want to do it. S&Ws in 45 colt were fairly rare until the 1950s and then finally the model 25-5 around 1980 made the S&W revolver in 45 colt an easy to get item. S&W to my knowledge never made a 38 colt revolver nor a 41 colt revolver. They also didn't bother with a 45 acp semi design (or even revolvers other than government contract) of their own until decades after Colt started making the 1911. It was a little more than production issues. They wanted people to shoot their guns AND their ammo. They didn't want a great design to be married to a competition's ctg. Colt was similar but the S&W ctg designs were so successful they couldn't afford to ignore the S&W cals. S&W invented far more excellent ctgs than Colt did.

EDIT - corrected a few typos
Winchester 73, the TFL user that won the west

Last edited by Winchester_73; September 27, 2012 at 08:10 PM.
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