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1946 vintage...It was cut down by the owner in the mid 50's.
3.5 inch with the front sight added...old gun just has some character.
I'm very tempted to turn it into a 44 special.
 
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Very nice...I like the modification. And as much as I like a .41 Special, that gun or yours is screaming for the .44 Special conversion ~ and it would be period correct.

Hope you've found a old holster to nestle her into...

giz
 

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I'm down with the 44 idea, Howie. Go for it. :cool:
I have a refinished 5 inch pre war that may see the hands of Bowen shortly.
 

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Yeah, I agree. .44 Special would be a righteous conversion.

When you git 'er done, send it to me and I'll wring it out for ya. :mrgreen:
 

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Another Postwar chop of a nice prewar Outdoorsman 38/44. I think that it is very neat as is but it may some day head for Bowen's shop.
 

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Love those "cut-down" HD's . Keith44spec. I never get tired of admiring your work, both in metal and leather, what a great talent. All My Best, Joe.
 

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Joe,

I think everyone here would realy enjoy seein' that exceptional rig of yours,
two improved HD w/carved ivories in floral tooled holsters, looped catridge slider & belt... :mrgreen:

I saw them over on the blue side...Got me to thinkin' maybe, I... ;)

Su Amigo,
Dave

P.S. I'd be happy to post the pics here, with your permission...
 

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I must confess that I have never understood spending thousands of dollars to convert a 38/44 to a 44 Special. Why not just buy a 1926?
 

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SaxonPig, It is a fair question of why convert. For me, it is a simple answer, I do not want to destroy the value of a stone cold mint collectible revolver and by converting a relatively common average condition HD I can have a new finely tuned and fitted custom gun that I can shoot and carry without worrying about long term value. Also how many mint condition 3rd model handejectors in caliber 45Colt with 4in. barrels are out there? If you found one, would you holster and shoot it without worry? In the case of Dave's snub , I would duplicate it just because it is so"friggin" neat. I think it boils down to the fact that I and many others just like custom gunwork on models that we like. As to your original question, my younger son asks the same of me all the time. Saxopig, all my Best, I always enjoy your posts, Joe.
 

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I am sorry for "not allowed" I ment no disrespect to the forum. I did not realize that was considered profanity. Let me say " very,very" Joe.
 

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SaxonPig said:
I must confess that I have never understood spending thousands of dollars to convert a 38/44 to a 44 Special. Why not just buy a 1926?
SP, that's fair nuff question. This was discussed over in the blue forum sometime back. It, caliber conversions, was really popular back in the late 60s and early 70s. Converting M28 & M27s to 44Spl. when a M24 was as scarce as hens teeth.

My favorite revolver is a converted 3 1/2" 27 re-chambered to 44spl. Back last year I had pasted on my M24-3 to a good friend, I had an old 38-44 and a M24 3" barrel with a converted to 44spl. 27 cylinder in my desk...So, now I got me a good using fixed sighted 44spl.

Also, got a pre-model, 5 screw conversion in the works; a 3 1/2" that's gonna end up a .45 Long Colt. I know some would say, why 'wreck' them ol' 'N' frame that some collector might want...Well it's kinda like the old sayin' about the bird in hand, if'n the bird's in my hand she could wind up a good lookin' engraved and fine using 44 or 45. Custom guns gotta start some where.

One man's old revolver is another man's treasured friend. I don't collect guns, I use firearms as tools, be it in LE or working on the ranch. I like fine engraved firearms, be it shotguns, rifles or handguns. Some are factory engraved others a custom works of art with my cattle brand or some other personal touch added.

That says it's mine, just like my horses or cattle. I use them when and where I please, I don't have any that's to rare or good to be carried or shot. When my grandchildren sort throught 'em, I want them to say, 'I bet this one was Paw's favorite, look at the blue wear. No look at this one here, this'n has got to be his favorite with engravin' and ivory stocks...Hey boys, look here an old 44 and she still loaded!'

So, what I'm sayin' here is, a personal firearm is kinda like a suit of clothes, it's just better when it fits you and not everyone else. :mrgreen:

Su Amigo,
Dave

I would like to thank Joe Kent for his permission to post this pic of his 'Hamilton Bowen 38-44's converted to .44 Spl. and .45 Colt with Persinger Ivory steer head carved stocks ... and a 1955 nickeled Colt GM, also with Persinger ivory. Extra Fancy Floral carved holsters by El Paso...' :mrgreen:




(edited for language, English)
 

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Dave, thanks for posting the picture of my Bowen's . Another answer to Saxonpig's question of Why? is the fact that it's just plain fun to do. I very much enjoy the thought process of what to do and carrying out all the details for the final product. I am currently working out the details for an engraved Bowen much like Onomea's, and dang Dave, you've got me looking for a snub 24-3 barrel. Once again,my friend, thanks for posting my picture. All my Best, Joe
 

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Joe,
Those are some very nice guns!.. holsters, too! kfjdrfirii
 

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I sure can see both sides of this! I spent several years looking around for a suitable (inexpensive and not abused!) 38-44 to perform this same conversion on. As time went by, prices for decent HDs rose higher than I was willing to pay. Then, S&W solved my problem by re-introducing the M-21. I passed on the Thunder Ranch version and picked up one of the plain ones from CDNN for ~ $500! I know that it's not a HD, it's not P&R, and it has that round butt and the IL - but it's become one of my favorite shooters. One of my buddies has offered to matte the top of the frame and the back strap with fine checkering. If I do that, I'll have the barrel bobbed, and the IL hole plugged at the same time - and I still won't have much $$ in it. Doesn't make it any less of a custom revolver!

Just this past weekend, I drove down to the big Dallas gun show to look around. I spotted what I thought was a HD suitable for custom work. It looked like it hadn't been abused or shot very much, but it had been messed-with enough to repel collectors. It even had a gold-plated trigger and hammer! I flipped the tag over......$1000! Gad! Is it still worth the $$ and effort? IMO, yes - particularly if you already have one ready for the project, and if you despise the new S&Ws with the IL.

xtm
 

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xtimberman, you raise a number of very good points. I would agree, I would not want to run out and spend $800.00 and up on a gun just to convert it when you could buy a ready made "shooting" gun. What has not been mentioned by those of us that are doing the conversions is the fact that many of us are setting on a number of HD's that we have had for number of years. You must remember, these were kind of the stepchildren of the N-frames and could be bought for little or "nothing" in earlier days. I think your proposed project sounds very neat and I cannot wait to see the end result, please keep us posted. You will also probably become, like my friends Keith44Spl, Jag312, Onomea and a couple of others, dangerous to my wallet. But ,what the heck, it is most certainly is a good time. All my Best, Joe.
 

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Hey Joe,
I love that two-gun rig of yours!

A lot of things we do are fun - but dangerous to the wallet! Just finding out about Paul Persinger's work is dangerous to the wallet. I've sent him a good bit of $$. ;)

P.S. Welcome to the S&W Forum!

xtm
 

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Xfuzz, xtm & joe,

I didn't know there was still this much interest in conversions, seein' how Smith brought the M24 .44Spl. back in the dash three and the model 25-5 in 45 Long Colt chambering in the eighties.

Back in the early to mid 70s we could buy those 28s & 27s as police trade-ins for a song. They were great revolvers to work with. At that time, adjustable sights were the 'in' thing, so the old 38-44s kinda got left in the dust at the tail end...More shooters were turning to the 44s and 45s following the preachings of Skeeter Skelton, Elmer Keith & the likes of the 44 Associates. As prices turned upward on the adj. sighted 'N' frames, the HDs were next in line to get 'big bored' and so here we are today.

My 38-44 HD conversion started as a much carried sidearm,



With a barrel & cylinder swap to 44 Special. A soft glass bead finish with a dip in the hot blue tank,
just a little knock around the place handgun...


(5-shots at about 25', two handed)

Su Amigo,
Dave


(edited for pics)
 
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