Smith & Wesson’s large N-frame revolvers are a favorite among handgun hunters, competitive shooters, and classic wheel gun enthusiasts.
With a basis in the old school circa 1908 Hand Ejector First Model “New Century” double-action revolver, the first handgun chambered in .44 S&W Special, this early S-frame morphed during World War I into the Model 1917, chambered in .45 ACP, and a series of similarly beefy descendants such as the Model 27 – the world’s first .357 Magnum – and, the subject of our tale, the hand-filling Model 29.
I recently got to handle these bad boys while I was in the Vault in Minnesota. There is a reason these have been in production for over 60 years.
More in my column at Guns.com.
One of the oldest forms of walking around with a concealed handgun, the practice of pocket carry has been around for centuries and is still alive and well today but needs a few tricks to pull off properly.
While owning a gun isn’t for everyone, the prospect of carrying a gun when outside of the home is for an even smaller subset of the population. Keeping with that mantra, toting around a gun in your pocket is really not for everyone. Some will advocate against it, full stop, while others have successfully used the method for years and it is their primary method of carrying.
I weigh the good with the bad, in my column at Guns.com.
For the past two years, I have probably spent more time with my S&W M&P9 M2.0 4-inch Compact (what a mouthful!) than any other pistol I own.
In all, I’ve dropped more than 4K rounds through it with no issues worth noting and, on most days, it is my EDC in addition to whatever gun I am T&E’ing at the time (yes, I believe in the concept of the New York Reload aka “dressing for success”).
I personally think the M2.0 4-inch Compact is a Glock 19 killer as it does everything the G19 can, only slightly better from the factory. With that being said, I am glad Smith finally figured out that they should market an optic-ready model, able to take a variety of seven different red dots, with an MSRP of around $600~.
More in my column at Guns.com
In the late 1960s, Smith & Wesson started a project to provide Vietnam-deployed SEAL Teams with a modified S&W Model 39 9mm pistol that included a slide lock and threaded barrel for a suppressor as well as a 14+1 magazine capacity, a big jump from the Model 39’s standard 8+1 load.
The gun, intended for NSW use to silence sentries or their dogs, became dubbed the “Hush Puppy.”
Note the chest holster…Hush Puppy inside
Well, by 1971, Smith thought the basic model, sans suppressor-ready features, would make a good gun for LE and the consumer markets and introduced it as the more polished S&W Model 59, which soon saw some serious success in the hands of Disco-era police, including a regular appearance on cop shows of the era.
More in my column at Guns.com.
In April 1940, Russell Lee, a 37-year-old prolific shutterbug who worked for the government’s Farm Security Administration, crisscrossing the country to document American life, stopped in at the Navajo Lodge along U.S. 60 in Datil, New Mexico.
Pretty cool looking place. A rustic relic of the Old West filled with Navajo rugs, trophies, furniture crafted long before the days of pressboard IKEA junk, and guns. Oh, the guns.
Speaking of guns…check out this gun rack.
How many can you name?
More details after the jump to my column at Guns.com.
In the summer 1988 issue of American Handgunner magazine, Ruger hyped their then-new GP100 revolver as being thicker and beefier than “an ordinary .357,” showing their frame next to that of a Smith & Wesson Model 686. The argument being that thickness= strength.
Smith, on the other hand, fired back in the next issue, complete with a Ruger-shaped burger including the company’s distinctive grip panels.
In the early 1980s, S&W was producing a series of “second-generation” semi-auto 9mm pistols that followed up on the company’s earlier Model 39— itself the first non-European designed 9mm produced for the U.S. market– and Model 59 offerings. These included 8+1 shot single stacks like the S&W 439/639 and the “Wondernine” 14+1 double stack S&W 459/659.
These double-action models, with alloy frames, were light and, using a slide-mounted safety/decocker, safe for new users. As such, they proved popular with not only consumers but also law enforcement agencies looking to upgrade from .38/.357-caliber wheel guns.
However, there were no comparable .45ACP pistols in the lineup.
Enter the S&W Model 645, baby.
With a production run that only lasted for two seasons of Miami Vice, the S&W Model 645 is a solid classic.
More in my column at Guns.com
For those situations where a more full-sized gun isn’t on the schedule, this Smith & Wesson Model 642 Airweight has often tagged along with me, especially in hot summer months.
I picked up this 15-ounce piece of prevention back in 1997 and, while my typical everyday carry is a double-stack 9mm compact (alternating between Glock’s G19 and S&W’s M&P 2.0) this .38 special often pokes its head out of the safe for various uses. While not perfect, they do have their place and this one has been nothing but faithful for 22 years.
More on its journey in my column at Guns.com.
The UK’s National Army Museum recently announced they have received a historic revolver tied to an iconic British adventurer from World War I.
The revolver, which looks to be an early Smith & Wesson 1st Model Hand Ejector in .44 — the company’s first N-frame– is engraved with the name of Ashraf Bey.
Who? More in my column at Guns.com
Debuted last October, the S&W M&P M2.0 Compact, a 15-round capacity medium-sized entry to Smith and Wesson’s line, was from the beginning thought to be a direct contender to niche populated by the well-liked Glock 19. The G19 has long been the people’s champ when it comes to a double-stack 9mm handgun that is serious enough to provide solace if needed while compact enough to carry without pulling your pants down every other step.
Over a five-month period, I put 2,000 rounds through the new Smith, give or take a handful, and carried it for approximately 400 hours, and compared it directly to the G19.
In short, Smith got a lot of things right.
Jump to my column at Guns.com to see what I found.