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Discussion Starter #1
Wanted to share a few pictures of this 38/44 Outdoorsman that I picked up recently. The gun is in fairly nice condition, 6' barrel, the bore is bright and shiny, it appears that the gun has not been fired much. Mfg date of 1955. I am looking forward to taking this gun to the range soon.
Outdoorsman 1.jpg

Outdoorsman 2.jpg
 

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For those of us not so good with history.......can somebody explain the purpose of this particular revolver?
 
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For those of us not so good with history.......can somebody explain the purpose of this particular revolver?
There were what was called .38 Special Hi Speed loads that were midway or so in power between .38 Special and .357 Magnum loads developed for the .38/44 both Heavy Duty and Outdoorsman, about 1200 FPS with 158 grain bullets instead of 850 for .38 and 1400 or so for .357 for the revolvers.
 

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The Outdoorsman came about after the development of the 38/44 Heavy Duty. The HD was the 38 S&W Special built on the N frame with fixed sights and what S&W called a reinforced ejector lug. The design was in response to LE requests for a firearm and ammunition to defeat the body armor and heavy cars used by the criminal element in the late twenties and early thirties. It was also S&W’s answer to the Colt 38 Super And it worked well.

The HD and Outdoorsman allowed Phil Sharpe and others to hot load the 38 S&W Special and eventually convince the Company to introduce the 38 S&W Magnum.

Here is my Heavy Duty, a post war 5” with the short action.

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Kevin
 

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Sweet looking revolver! Congrats on adding that to your collection.
 
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Wanted to share a few pictures of this 38/44 Outdoorsman that I picked up recently. The gun is in fairly nice condition, 6' barrel, the bore is bright and shiny, it appears that the gun has not been fired much. Mfg date of 1955. I am looking forward to taking this gun to the range soon.
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View attachment 473269
Getting it in the original box would add $300 in value to me. Include the screwdriver too?
I hope you enjoy your Outdoorsman as much as I am enjoying mine. I bought one a couple months ago, a 1950 model. I hand load and won’t give details but I am getting 1350 fps with 158gr. SWC gas checked bullets with no pressure signs. I am a deer hunter and plan on taking a whitetail with mine this fall. Here is a picture of mine along with its baby brother, a model 17 no dash made in 1959.
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Discussion Starter #15
Layne, those are two super nice looking Smith’s you have there. Look forward to hearing about the deer you get this season
I hope you enjoy your Outdoorsman as much as I am enjoying mine. I bought one a couple months ago, a 1950 model. I hand load and won’t give details but I am getting 1350 fps with 158gr. SWC gas checked bullets with no pressure signs. I am a deer hunter and plan on taking a whitetail with mine this fall. Here is a picture of mine along with its baby brother, a model 17 no dash made in 1959. View attachment 473328
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Kevin, you have a really good looking Heavy Duty there, I know it’s got to be a great shooter
The Outdoorsman came about after the development of the 38/44 Heavy Duty. The HD was the 38 S&W Special built on the N frame with fixed sights and what S&W called a reinforced ejector lug. The design was in response to LE requests for a firearm and ammunition to defeat the boxy armor and heavy cars used by the criminal element in the late twenties and early thirties. It was also S&W’s answer to the Colt 38 Super And it worked well.

The HD and Outdoorsman allowed Phil Sharpe and others to hot load the 38 S&W Special and eventually convince the Company to introduce the 38 S&W Magnum.

Here is my Heavy Duty, a post war 5” with the short action.

View attachment 473309 View attachment 473310

Kevin
 

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Kevin, do you load any 180 gr for the HD.
Cliff
I use the Skeeter Skelton load, almost exclusively in this revolver. In all fairness, I do not shoot this one much. It came to me in a trade along with an ACP revolver. As much as I like the N frame, I prefer the 45 ACP chambering more than any other. So no, no 180 grain bullets for me.

For those not familiar with the Skeeter Skelton load, a computer search will give you the particulars but a Lyman 358156 bullet seated long (this bullet was designed by Ray Thompson and has two crimp grooves and a gas check) crimped in the lower crimping groove over enough 2400 powder to achieve 1200 fps or a bit more.

Kevin
 

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Here's a pair of pre-war II Outdoorsman.. 38/44 and .22 LR.

I heard a story once that S&W pulled two top finishers off the Outdoorsman assembly line and put them to work making the Registered Magnums..

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This one ain't quite so old.
 
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