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richhodg66
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Posted: January 07 2017 at 5:39am | IP Logged Quote richhodg66

Had to go to our little county courthouse the other day for DMV stuff, nicest folks around, real far cry from most county bureaucrats I've encountered over the years. Anyway, while there, I noticed a small display case with some stuff in it and being new to the county and something of a history buff I checked it out. It wa a memorial to two police officers who were killed in 1949, story here; http://dkcohistory.blogspot.com/2011/03/tragedy-in-1949-deat h-of-davis-brothers.html.

Besides the expected pictures and story, they had their badges, the sheriff's watch and his service revolver, which I'm pretty sure was one of the old big frame .38s Smith and Wesson made before the .357 designed to shoot heavy .38 Special loads (38/44 I think?). I just thought "what a neat old gun", but really, it seems like such a thing would be neat to reproduce in some kind of limited run.

If memory serves me, the .357 came out in 1935, seems like by 1949, seems like most LEOs would have been carrying Model 19s or similar?

Kind of a sad thing to read. Both of them were apparently pretty seasoned cops who were well thought of. The notes said both officer's guns had been fired at least four times, a lot of evidence was consumed in the house fire and the revolver in question was damaged by it as well.

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Rex
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Posted: January 07 2017 at 6:42am | IP Logged Quote Rex

Nice story Rich. While I have never owned a N framed .38 I do like shooting that round in a 4" 686 Smith.
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richhodg66
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Posted: January 07 2017 at 7:02am | IP Logged Quote richhodg66

Difficult to tell because it was damaged in the fire, but I don't think it was nickel plated, otherwise looked like this one;

http://www.gunbroker.com/item/611858573

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Rex
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Posted: January 07 2017 at 8:00am | IP Logged Quote Rex

I don't see many people using the old 38/44 load but I enjoy shooting it. They have always been quite accurate in my .357 revolver. I don't consider Mr. Keith's 13.5 grains 2400 a 38/44 load, it is his alone. I do consider 1150 fps that comes from 12 grains or so 2400 a 38/44 load. I don't worry about these in a .38 Special because unlike most I only own one handgun.
I would like to have an N frame .38 just to remind me of times gone by.
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Old Ranger
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Posted: January 07 2017 at 8:55am | IP Logged Quote Old Ranger

I am glad to hear of officer's being remembered. In this age especially. When we loose one of our own the ranks close to plug the hole of those missing until a brave new officer comes from the academy to fill the ranks again. Those that are gone are remembered by their contemporaries and family alone. It is good to have a memorial for the fallen officers lest we forget their sacrifice to those they're sworn to protect.

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RT58
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Posted: January 07 2017 at 11:24am | IP Logged Quote RT58

I hate it when the good guys lose their lives.

richhodg66 wrote:
If memory serves me, the .357 came out in 1935, seems like by 1949, seems like most LEOs would have been carrying Model 19s or similar?


The "Combat Magnum" which later became the Model 19, wasn't made until 1955. Not every officer bought into S&Ws sales hype of the superiority of the .357 magnum or the .38/44 cartridge, and those that did couldn't afford to run out and buy one on a police officers salary.
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Old Ranger
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Posted: January 07 2017 at 12:35pm | IP Logged Quote Old Ranger

From the late 20's into the mid 60's the standard issue revolver was the S&W M&P/Mod.10, 4" "pencil barrel", .38Spl or a Colt Officers Model in the same caliber. That's what most departments issued. State agencies and Fed's and such differed now and then, but the majority carried the old skinny barreled .38 Smith.

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John P.
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Posted: January 07 2017 at 1:45pm | IP Logged Quote John P.

According to old photos and records in my Department, the most
common service handguns from the 1930's through the 1960's were
the S&W M&P .38 Special (pre-model 10 and model 10). The
remaining guns were mixed S&W Heavy Duty, Colt Official Police and
Police Positive Revolvers.

The model 19 and other .357 Magnums were authorized and became
common in the late 1960's after a poor performance of the .38 Special
in a shoot out. The model 19, Ruger Service Six, and Python
became the most commonly carried. The S&W 686 was popular for
new officers (including myself) in the mid to late 1980's, but they were
only carried a couple of years until we went to the 9MM.

Edited by John P. on January 07 2017 at 3:53pm
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joed
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Posted: January 07 2017 at 3:27pm | IP Logged Quote joed

I had a chance to buy one of those 38/44s once but the owner of the shop
talked me out of it.   Told me it was just a .38 Spl N frame and I'd be better off
buying a Colt Officers Target Model in .22 rf made in 1930.   So I bought the
Colt.   

Have to admit, I like shooting that Colt.

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dahlin
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Posted: January 07 2017 at 3:44pm | IP Logged Quote dahlin

Here is a picture of my colt 357 from what I understand it is a pre trooper. It came from Florida and was a sheriffs duty revolver. I have had it about 15 years shoots great and has a very good trigger. Randy
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Old Ranger
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Posted: January 07 2017 at 3:58pm | IP Logged Quote Old Ranger



That's a 1956 M&P issued in that year and was removed from service in 1994 after serving three officers and used in 5 shootings over the years. It's earned its spurs as they say here in Texas.

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Paul B.
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Posted: January 07 2017 at 4:33pm | IP Logged Quote Paul B.

joed wrote:
I had a chance to buy one of those 38/44s once but
the owner of the shop
talked me out of it.   Told me it was just a .38 Spl N frame and I'd be
better off
buying a Colt Officers Target Model in .22 rf made in 1930.   So I
bought the
Colt.   

Have to admit, I like shooting that Colt.


Depends on which 38/44 it was. I've had two of them in the
Outdoorsman version (adjustable sights). The Heavy Duty version just
had a front sight and hog wallow trough for a rear sight.
My first Outdoorsman was used with a hot handload to kill a Black
Bear on July 4 1959. I had to sell it to pay bills. Found another a few
years back and I;ll be damned if I sell that one.
Paul B.
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STCM(SW)
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Posted: January 07 2017 at 5:30pm | IP Logged Quote STCM(SW)

This is my S&W HD. It lettered to August 19, 1931 and shipped to Dept. of Public Safety, Coraopolis, PA.
This is only a few months before the Outdorsman was being made.
Someone had Micro front and rear adj. sights put on and had it re blued and nickel plated the trigger and hammer.
Not bored out to .357 Magnum.
Grips are not Original.
Shoots great and I do load to 38/44 MV, 1120 FPS with a
158 gr FP plated bullet.

url=https://postimg.org/image/iunbra435/][/url]how to take screenshots

Edited by STCM(SW) on January 07 2017 at 5:38pm


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RT58
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Posted: January 07 2017 at 7:34pm | IP Logged Quote RT58

I was never issued a weapon at any of my LE jobs, the depts. were too small. Looking back I'm glad it worked out that way, I'd hate to carry a sidearm I didn't like.
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M700
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Posted: January 07 2017 at 9:35pm | IP Logged Quote M700

Grandpa carried this .45 Colt New Service, and he got it used. Backstrap is marked NYST, New York State Trooper. Not sure when they carried these big ol' revolvers, but I sure am glad I've got it!



Really ought to try to find some original grips for it.

I put about a box of mildly loaded lead bullet ammo through it every year.

Guy
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richhodg66
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Posted: January 08 2017 at 7:25am | IP Logged Quote richhodg66

That's a cool gun, Guy. Have you got the original grips?

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joed
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Posted: January 08 2017 at 9:06am | IP Logged Quote joed

Paul B. wrote:

Depends on which 38/44 it was. I've had two of them in the
Outdoorsman version (adjustable sights). The Heavy Duty version just
had a front sight and hog wallow trough for a rear sight.
My first Outdoorsman was used with a hot handload to kill a Black
Bear on July 4 1959. I had to sell it to pay bills. Found another a few
years back and I;ll be damned if I sell that one.
Paul B.


It had an adjustable sight on it. Other then that I do not know what it was.   
What I should have done was bought one of the Colt Single Action Army
revolvers the seller brought in. They were old and priced quite high though.

I did some research on the 38/44 on the S&W forum.   Most that owned
them were shooting .38 Spl out of them and nothing hot because of the age
of the gun.   

Edited by joed on January 08 2017 at 9:09am


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M700
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Posted: January 08 2017 at 10:14am | IP Logged Quote M700

richhodg66 wrote:
That's a cool gun, Guy. Have you got the original grips?


No, and I really ought to try to find a set.

Guy
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M700
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Posted: January 08 2017 at 10:18am | IP Logged Quote M700

A great-grandfather of mine carried a .44 Colt single action as a small-town Marshall back in the old days.

I haven't seen that gun since I was a kid. My uncle took it with him when my grandfather passed, and I fear that when my cousin hit hard times, he sold it. Cousin and uncle are both dead now, and the gun is gone. Phooey. Would have been nice to have it.

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LAH
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Posted: January 11 2017 at 1:55pm | IP Logged Quote LAH

Great story Rich.

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