.38/44 Heavy Duty
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Thread: .38/44 Heavy Duty

  1. #1
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    .38/44 Heavy Duty

    I will preface all of this by saying that I purchased this from a particularly great guy on the forums here. Not sure if he wants to be identified, but I do want to make sure he knows how appreciative I am of getting this gun, it is perfect. Also, I knew he might like to see the grips I threw on it.


    In the 1920's the police had problems.

    One of the big ones was that bullet proof vests and glass were becoming more and more common because of the wealth of gangsters at the time. The tried and true .38 Special, .45acp and lesser cartridges weren't doing the job, so what is a copper to do?

    Two answers to the question came up: .38 Super and .38 Special Hi Speed. I'm not going to get into .38 super in this box thread, but the .38 special I will talk about.

    The long term solution was of course the .357 Magnum, but that came a few years later. In 1930 the solution was this:





    This is the .38/44 Heavy Duty. This particular gun is first year production I believe, 1930.

    So what did S&W have to say about the gun at the time?




    What is it though, really? Simply put, it's the most ridiculously over built .38 special of all time. This is an N Frame .38 special, a .44 magnum sized .38 Special. Heavy Duty was an understatement. The gun was built to take .38 special loads which were pretty much what we consider .357 magnum today.

    Have a look at the ballistics table from the 1930s:





    Two things about this particular gun could be considered bad; The finish and the Front Sight. Personally I love the finish being used. Hell the hammer itself has been cocked so many times the checkering on it is actually worn. The reason I love this is because the damn thing is still tight with no end shake. This gun is going to outlive the pyramids.

    The front sight. Well. I know why that was done, it does improve the front sight, but I wish the red ramp hadn't been installed. It only bothers me a little bit.

  2. #2
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    Congrats Shixgun,

    She is purty purty handgun for sure.

  3. #3
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    Nice gun , despite The Attack of the Galoshes !

    It's amazing how the N frame softens the recoil .

    Almost makes me want to start reloading .......... almost .

    My 1952 finish-challenged example

    Name:  DSCN4913.jpg
Views: 1960
Size:  95.2 KB



    Regards
    George - Hard8 don't you start stalking my house
    Last edited by georgepittenger; 02-15-2013 at 04:33 PM.
    First line of defense , my faithful Pit - don't mess with Mr. Kane !

    Lovin' it here in N. Ga - I wasn't born here , but I got here as fast as I could .

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    Holy cow! I really like it.

    I 'spose something could be done with the front, but I wonder if it'd be more trouble then it's worth. Solder a piece of steel in there, finish it and reblue. Actually, I'd get that red piece replaced with brass. It'd look better than red plastic anyway.

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    Welcome to the club!

    Name:  .38-44 002.JPG
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Size:  2.91 MBClick to enlarge They shoo nuff be one fun gun!

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    That is a nice HD!
    Cum Deo et victricibus armis

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    I love the ad's claim of 1.5" accuracy at 50 yards. Can ANYBODY shoot 1.5" groups at 50 yards with a fixed-sight service revolver? That would be outstanding performance from a match pistol.
    "The problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people's money to spend." -Margaret Thatcher.

  9. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by SaxonPig View Post
    I love the ad's claim of 1.5" accuracy at 50 yards. Can ANYBODY shoot 1.5" groups at 50 yards with a fixed-sight service revolver? That would be outstanding performance from a match pistol.
    I'm sure it's possible, some people an do amazing things with guns. Ever read Sixguns by Keith?

    That aside I would guess that they put the gun in a rest to test that accuracy.

  10. #9
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    Some comparison shots.

    Model 19:



    Ladysmith:


    .455 Triple Lock (with the shield shaved for Half Moon Clips and .45acp)


    1917


    .32 Hand Ejector 5th Model


    Pre Model 10


    Pre model 28 with some beat to hell cokes on it


    .32 Lemon Squeezer
    Last edited by Sixgun_Strumpet; 02-17-2013 at 05:17 PM.

  11. #10
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    Smile

    The last four in the comparison are way too pretty for the company you usually keep, you should send them to me to save them the embarrassment!
    The world is a parade of fools, and I'm at the front, twirling a baton.


 
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