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Old September 1, 2018, 09:47 AM   #1
RickB
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1950 target

I was reading a gunrag article about the S&W 1950 Target chambered in .45 ACP.
The author included the Highway Patrolman, and .44 Special Model 24 as "1950" models, and while they all do have similar features; N-frame, skinny barrel, adjustable sights, I'd never thought of them as being different chamberings of the same model.
Did the .38-44 Outdoorsman stay in the line-up long enough for there to be a post-war version that could be considered another variation on "1950", and is it correct to lump them together; different chamberings of the same gun?
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Old September 1, 2018, 10:03 AM   #2
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RickB, I can't really answer your question. I do know a little about the subject since I have a "1950 .45 ACP Target Model (Light Barrel) "Pre-Model 26" (which is a mouth full right there). There were only 2,768 of these manufactured. My understanding was they were made primarily in .45 ACP with fewer units of the same model made in .45 Colt.

I think the others you speak of are considered different model or in this case other "Pre-Model Numbers". This may just be making your question murkier. The .44 Special was the a.k.a. Model of 1950 .44 Target "Pre-Model 24".

I am not familiar with the .38/44 in a Model of 1950. Hope this is of some limited help as opposed to something you already know.
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Old September 1, 2018, 10:54 AM   #3
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The "1950"designation has to do with S&W's change from the "long action" N-frame revolvers to the new "short action", which generally happened about 1950. Before Smith's got model numbers all adjustable sighted guns were referred to as "target" models.

The Outdoorsman 38-44 was the "target" version while the Heavy Duty 38-44 sported fixed sights. In 45 ACP I believe the fixed sighed version of the 1950 was called the "military" version while the adjustable sighted one was the "45 Cal Model of 1950, Target", or something close to that.

All the above is from memory and at my age that is always subject to correction (lol). If someone knows better speak up.

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Old September 3, 2018, 10:06 PM   #4
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It was the "Model of 1955" that had the heavy barrel.

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Old September 4, 2018, 05:44 PM   #5
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Yes but that 1955 was proceeded by the 45 Cal Model of 1950 which had the same tapered 6.5" barrel as the 38-44 Outdoorsman and the Model of 1950 44 Target.

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Old September 4, 2018, 08:21 PM   #6
Bob Wright
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As I recall, there were the Model 1950 Target Models in .44 Special and .45 ACP, later the .45 Was the Model 1955 Target. Then there was the Model 1950 Military and Model 1950 Army. The Military and Army were chambered in .44 Special (Military) and .45 ACP (Army). The Model 1950 Army lacked the extended lug to protect the ejector rod. The target sighted .357 Magnum was named "The .357 Magnum" while the same gun in .38 Special was known as the .38/44 Outdoorsman. The .38/44 referred to its being a .38 caliber on a .44 Frame (N-Frame). There was no fixed sighted N-Frame .357 Magnum at the time. The fixed sighted N-Frame was called the .38/44 Heavy Duty.

All N-Framed revolvers had the locking lug extended to enclose the ejector rod except those designated "Army" Models, or "Military & Police."

As I recall, some, if not all, Model 1955 Target Models had a "U" shaped mainspring.


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Old September 4, 2018, 08:30 PM   #7
Bob Wright
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Incidentally, early N-Frame and K-frame Model numbers were not made known to the public but were in-house use only. The designation used a letter prefix for frame size, bore dia. for caliber, and the letter "T" for target sighted models.

Fr example, the Military and Police (known as the Model 10 by newcomers) was the "K-357" while the K-38 Masterpiece was known as the "K-357-T.

Target sighted K-Framed guns were dubbed "Masterpiece" during that era. There were the .22, .32, and .38 revolvers known as the K-22, K-32, and K-38 Masterpiece. The 4" .38 was the K-38 Combat Masterpiece, and when it was maid in .357 Magnum was the Combat Magnum, the K- prefix being dropped at that time.

J-Framed revolvers followed a whole different style of naming, such as "Terrier" and "Chief's Special". There was a "Regulation Police" and .22/32 Kit Gun.

Pardon me for ramblin' on. Got started rememberin' and kept ratting on.

Bob Wright

Forgot about the S&W Model 28. this gun was dubbed the "Highway Patrolman" and was an N-Framed, target sighted .357 Magnum. Essentially the .357 Magnum but with less deluxe features and finish.
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Last edited by Bob Wright; September 4, 2018 at 09:07 PM.
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Old September 4, 2018, 08:42 PM   #8
lamarw
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The attachments are copies of my Letter from the S&W Historical Society on my Model of 1950, Pre-Model 26.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Pre-25letter1.jpg (46.0 KB, 23 views)
File Type: jpg Pre-26Letter2.jpg (41.9 KB, 17 views)
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Old September 5, 2018, 10:02 AM   #9
RickB
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So, the heavy-barreled Model of 1955 became the 25, and skinny-barreled Model of 1950 became the 26?

My recent-production M22 has "Model of 1950" rolled on the barrel; I wonder if current 21s, chambered in .44 Special, are also marked that way?
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Old September 5, 2018, 10:21 AM   #10
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Get a copy of the latest edition of the Standard Catalog of Smith & Wesson by Supica and Nahas and your life will be richer.

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Old September 10, 2018, 10:41 PM   #11
lamarw
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Over the weekend, a Model of 1950 Pre-Model 26 sold at Rock Island Auction for $2,250.-- plus 21.5 % buyer's premium. It is claimed the revolver is 99%, but I don't know. there is a chunk out of the grip, a distinct turn line and handling marks. It also does not bave the bright blue finish which is an upgrade. The box and tools are not present.
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