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Discussion Starter #1
I have a model 22-4, the re-issue of a classic revolver, and I really like the classic looks of the thinner barreled, half-moon front-sighted wheelguns. I wonder if there is the potential for a similar production run of the 38/44 Heavy Duty--perhaps with a heat-treated barrel and cylinder that would allow for chambering of the .357 magnum. I had read that some people have already modified their existent 38/44's to chamber .357's, but without the approval of Smith and Wesson.

It would be in keeping with the reissue of the Model 21 and 22, perhaps a "Thunder Ranch" version of the Model 20--what do you think?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I wouldn't mind the Thunder Ranch logo on the grip like the model 22-4, but not the big gold inscription on the side of the frame like the model 21.

I read somewhere in an article that a fixed sight .357 magnum had been considered as a new Thunder Ranch candidate, when they first came up with reissue of the model 21. it just seems logical to re-release the Heavy Duty in the same way, as part of their "classic" series. But why keep it at 38 special, since no one makes a 38 HV round anymore. Hence, the logic of chambering it in .357 Magnum.

Does anyone from Smith and Wesson R&D read these forums, I wonder...
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Sorry, I should have said "I wouldn't mind the Thunder Ranch logo on the STOCKS", instead of grip. It is, after all, a Smith and Wesson forum. lol
 

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Axel,

I have a M 520 that has been refitted with a HD barrel. For all intents and purposes it looks just like a HD but is a true 357 mag and is pinned and recessed! :cool:
 

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Include me in the crowd that would love to see a reissue of the 38/44 HD!

I understand that prior to WWII, S&W marketed a powerful .38 special round just for the HD. It seemed to match the current velocities and energies of the .357 mag, which would be a very potent .38, indeed!

As it happens, the pre-war .357 loading was a more potent number than the one the ammo companies give us today. The pre-war high-volocity .38 was discontinued because, a.) the .357 was introduced and immediately caught the public's imagination, and, b.) there was always the fear and danger that some fool would load the high-power .38 spcl load in a revolver that could not handle it, which probably would include almost anything made prior to about 1920, and any number of smaller, lighter arms produced afterword (like my old 1927 Colt Police Positive).

Some HDs will chamber .357 rounds, but it is not a safe practice.

As far as the HD itself, they are a hoot to shoot in .38 spcl. My transition-era HD is one of the regulars that I take to the range -- though sadly, range time has been very limited in the past few months.

Bill
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Well there is a "classic" model 520 (the version made up for the NYPD, and looks like an HD) up for bid on gunbroker, but the starting bid is around $1800. Currently, a very nice prewar 38/44 HD is up for bid, but at $1300 the reserve price hadn't even been met.

These are very pricey guns!

One of the reasons I wish for a reissue is that a new HD would most likely be less expensive than the relatively few collector versions of the classic HD's out there.
 

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I guess the HDs got "discovered" a few years back; as recently as about 10 years ago, they were very reasonably priced on the open market -- higher here in Califunny, of course, because of our loony gun laws.

Also, not to reopen the evergreen HD controversy (heh, heh, heh,) but if they weren't quite so popular for converting to larger calibers, say .45 Colt, there might be a few more around for us traditional enthusiasts...

Okay. Since I brought it up, I'll admit I come down on both sides of the issue, and if it were a pretty beat HD from late in the post-war model run, I'd even consider a rebuild/conversion to .45 Colt. But to harm a transition-era or pre-war HD? Heresy!

Good thread, Axel!

Bill
 
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