Smith & Wesson Revolvers
The go-to place on the internet to find out about all things Smith & Wesson is:
Run by longtime S&W guru Lee Jarrett, it is about the most polite and well run firearms forum I’ve encountered. There are truly well informed members who actually know what they are talking about and more often than not post quality pix showing quality guns to illustrate their posts. Lee has vast knowledge of S&W guns and often adds the definitive word to tricky questions or confusing collector issues.
Folks who have one question about Granddad’s top-break are treated to courteous and informative answers especially when they post photos of the gun. Folks who know and love S&W will absolutely love the site! Check it out!
Most folks associate my custom gun work with single shot rifles and double barrel shotguns, but my hobby firearms are S&W revolvers. I have owned and shot Smith’s since the 1970s and in the past few years have renewed that interest and have become a semi-serious collector. I prefer the early ones, the so-called 5-screw small frame guns and K-frame revolvers. The .22 and .38 Specials are my favorite calibers with .44 Special my favorite large bore. Making and collecting custom grips is very interesting to me and I will publish some of my experiences with grip making in the future
For the time being here are some photos of interesting S&W’s many with interesting grips.
J Frame guns: 3” Chief Special, very early M-49 Bodyguard, Centennial (1953) and a 2” Chief with a very early square butt. All are from the 1950’s era and all .38 Special.
A Transition I Frame, 4-screw sideplate Terrier, .38 S&W, one of the smallest and VERY coolest S&W ever made!
.32 Regulation Police, 4 1/4” barrel with rebated frame, circa 1920’s.
1932 K-22 Outdoorsman with Fitz Plastic Thumbrest grips
K-22 right side with great factory grips.
Same revolver with Sanderson thumbrest Target Grips circa 1960’s.
Lew Sanderson (Father) Brochure
Don Sanderson Brochure (son)
I bought my early S&W’s at Colorado gun shows when I was a gunsmithing student at Trinidad State (1975-78) never paying any attention to sideplate screws, diamond grips or any of the things I so enjoy these days. All I wanted was shooters, M-17, 18, 19, 28, 48, etc, etc., often trading one for another just to have something different.
About 1985 when I was living in Eugene, OR I wandered into my friend Don Sidener’s Bullseye Guns in Springfield, OR and saw a .32 Lemon Squeezer under the counter. That was during my brokest days and Don traded it to me for god knows what, probably credit on one of the several muzzleloading guns I built for him. When I got it to the bench I discovered all these little tiny parts, Swiss-watch like with pins the size of sewing needles and I truly fell in love with early S&W’s. Also during that period I sold a 4” Model 19 that I had stamped my initials in the sideplate swearing I’d die with the gun in my hand. The money paid for one months rent and I knew I’d never have the same attachment to material possessions.
In another gun shop in Springfield a fellow came in with a revolver the counter man wasn’t interested in and I purchased it out front, a Second Model .32, Bicycle Revolver.
I still frequently sell one gun to get another, but try to hang onto my favorite S&W’s!
2nd Model .32 lettered to Simmons Hardware, St. Louis, 1905
First, Second and Third model .32 Safety Hammerless with .32 S&W single action, Model 1 second change and M-41 auto.
S&W Show and Tell day in my office.
Model of 1950, .44 Target
3rd Model single shot; hand polished, charcoal blued, with gold lettering inlay, case colored hammer and trigger and custom English walnut grips checkered 32 lpi. this work was completed circa 1993.