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Old March 9, 2018, 10:44 AM   #1
Blackberrypriv
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Smith & Wesson 38/44 outdoorsman


Going be owning this one soon as was wondering if anybody had any input on them. this one also hasn't been bored out to 357 mag either. thanks
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Old March 9, 2018, 02:58 PM   #2
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It's a .38 Spl on an N frame. It was made to fire a load that is hotter then a normal Spl load.

I looked at one of these that a friend was selling in his shop. Wanted to buy it but he talked me out of it saying it was nothing more then a .38 Spl chambered in a N frame. Personally I think it's more then that.
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Old March 9, 2018, 03:32 PM   #3
44 AMP
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Quote:
saying it was nothing more then a .38 Spl chambered in a N frame. Personally I think it's more then that.
It is, and, it isn't. It's a historical collectable for S&W fans, and the gun that proved that the .357 Magnum wasn't just possible, it would be practical.

If you don't care about its place in the history of S&W's model line, then its just an N frame .38 Special. If you do, then its a sweet piece of history, AND an N frame .38 Special.
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Old March 9, 2018, 03:33 PM   #4
Bob Wright
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As I remember the fixed sight model was known as the "38/44 Heavy Duty" while the target sighted version was the "38/44 Outdoorsman."

The "38/44" designation came from the .38/44 Special cartridge, the equivalent of the +P of its day. The designation meant it was intended for the 44 framed revolvers.

As a matter of interest, there were two .38/44 cartridges: The .38/44 Special which was the high velocity version of the .38 Special, and the .38/44 Smith & Wesson. This latter cartridge was so named as it was a .38 cartridge intended for use in the .44 framed S&W No. 3 target revolver. The case length was full length of the cylinder, with the bullet nose flush, or just below, the case mouth.
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Old March 9, 2018, 03:40 PM   #5
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Quite a bit of load data on the net for the .38/.44...
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Old March 9, 2018, 04:01 PM   #6
Don Fischer
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I have the 38/44 smith but mine has a 5 1/2" barrel and adjustable sight's. Heavy gun but I do like to shoot it. Have another Smith, not for sale, mod 16 32 Long. really love this gun.
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Old March 10, 2018, 11:49 AM   #7
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The outdoorsman is a fine revolver, it'd be pretty awesome to shoot the old school high velocity rounds out of it. I assume nowadays people just duplicate the original high velocity loads if they reload, other wise you're just stuck with +p loads or maybe the BB loads.
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Old March 10, 2018, 11:19 PM   #8
Driftwood Johnson
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Howdy

I picked up this 38/44 Outdoorsman last year. It shipped in 1933. Yes, the Outdoorsman was the model with adjustable sights. However they are not like the rear sight you get on a modern S&W. Notice the tiny screw on each side. To adjust the windage, you need a tiny screwdriver. You back out one screw, then push the sight blade over with the other one. Then you snug them both up again. The grips are correct for this model, however they are not numbered to the gun.

The original 38/44 rounds were quite a bit hotter than a 38 Special +P. Pretty much up to 357 Magnum strength. No, I have only fired standard 38 Specials through this one, have not wanted to load anything hot for it.









38/44 Heavy Duty. Notice the fixed sights. This one shipped in 1931. I have only fired standard 38 Specials through this one too.



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Old March 13, 2018, 09:56 PM   #9
James K
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Just FWIW, if the Model 1917 had not done so, the 38/44 had the honor of introducing split thumb webs to the American shooter. Ouch!

With the true Magnum, S&W caught wise and introduced the "Magna" stock, saving a lot of pain (and a lot of rusting in the thumb web area of the guns).

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Old March 14, 2018, 09:45 AM   #10
Bob Wright
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Not too long back, I saw and examined a .38/44 Heavy Duty in a pawn shop. I had no intention of buying it, but just had to hold it in my hand. The impression was it is a much better feeling gun in the hand than similar modern DA S&W revolvers.

Don't know why, that's just the way it is.


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Old March 14, 2018, 01:13 PM   #11
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Handling a revolver of the that era is like time travel.
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Old March 14, 2018, 01:18 PM   #12
Jim Watson
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Sights sure were finer in those days. Did everybody have better eyesight?
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