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Posted: 6/14/2003 9:42:30 AM EDT
Hello. I have an opportunity to get a Model 27. It appears to be in pretty good shape. There is hardly any gap between the face of the cylinder and the forcing cone. It has beautiful wood grip panels the shop tells me are custom. They look it, but what do I know? They are a dark reddish color with dark grain and a glossy finish. The double action is super smooth.

I tried doing a search to find out more about this model but had trouble finding anything too useful.

Am I correct in that the 27 is nicer than the 28?

This one has an adjustable rear site and I think a target hammer (it's wider than the hammer on my three screw model 19).

Is there any way to tell what era this is from from the serial number? That is, a list, rather than paying whatever S&W charges for a history?

It seems mechanically sound. It has checkering on top.

The bluing seems fine -- perhaps a little wear, but less than the 19 I found.

Is $500 a reasonable amount to pay for this?

Anything else I should look for?

Thanks!
Link Posted: 6/14/2003 11:03:14 AM EDT
Thats a reasonable price for one of the finest S&W .357s made after the Registered models.

What barrel length?
Link Posted: 6/14/2003 4:48:24 PM EDT
To answer your questions:

You are correct in that the 27 is has a nicer finish than the 28. The 28 and 27 are basically the same gun, the 28 being the duty version (originally called the "Highway Patrolman").

Both the 28 and 27 have adjustable rear sights as standard. It sounds like you're also right that it has a target trigger.

I'm sure there's a way to tell the vintage. After all this is the internet.

They are hard to wear out, being big helps so it's likely that if it seems mechanically sound to you, it is. All the 27's have top strap checkering. I think none of the 28's do (cost).

If the bluing seems good, then that's just another indication that it's in good shape.

They aren't cheap guns. Unfortunately $500 isn't too far afield for a nice 27. They are no longer in production (I think they still make the stainless 627 once in a while, but when's the last time you saw one in a gunshop?). They aren't rare by any stretch. S&W made oodles of them for decades. They are high quality guns though, and you can expect to pay a pretty high price. The price is about what you're going to see very nice M27's go for. It might be a tad high for a used one, but your best bet would be to look at some of the auction sites to get an idea of value.

Early ones are pinned and recessed. The chambers are recessed in the cylinder so the entire case is supported, even the rim. There is a pin in the frame that secures the barrel in place. Later production went to deleting the recessed chambers and getting rid of the pin. Both were not really needed anyway, but it's a nice touch of class if you can get it. It's simple to tell, just look at the side of the gun, at the frame where the barrel screws into it. Either there's a pin there or there isn't. It won't effect price much, but it can narrow down the date a bit.

I have one with a 5" barrel. They are a work of art that shoots. Very fine guns indeed, and there really weren't any "bad" ones.

Ross
Link Posted: 6/14/2003 8:57:57 PM EDT
I own a Model 28 that I got for a mere $225, used of course. Damn fine gun. When one shoots .38WC out of it, it's like shooting .22 shorts.
Link Posted: 6/15/2003 6:16:18 AM EDT
Other things to check?
Look closely at the sideplate screws for signs of removal...buggared slots would say, at least, the sideplate had been removed or at least retightened with an ill fitting screwdriver.
Custom grips are not really a big deal, you may want another type for shooting any way.
Short of using a range rod, do the usual checks for a revolver...bore is shiny with no bulges, cylinder is not loose in all directions.
Feeler gauges would tell you what the cylinder gap really is...holding it sideways against a light should show daylight.
It should also have a target trigger...the pad being nearly as wide as the trigger guard, also no longer made.
I always say latch on to a copy of "The History of Smith & Wesson" by Roy Jinks...chock filled with info and a good addition to the library.
Known as the caddy of .357s, like the Colt Python, it's as good as it gets.
Link Posted: 6/15/2003 10:01:59 AM EDT
Thanks for the replies everyone.

Lumpy196 -- I've always wanted to know the story behind your username but have been afraid to ask -- I think it's 6"; I was excited and put it on layway figuring if I found out it was a bad deal I would only lose $20 and yet keep it from being bought by someone else while I checked. Thinking about it, it was longer than my model 19, so I believe it has a 6" barrel. Now, if I could only find a model 1917 (I think that's the one -- a S&W revolver in .45acp, right?) I'd feel complete.

Ross -- my model 19 has a pin; I think this model 27 is not pinned, so I guess it isn't as old as the 19 I own.

BobCole -- curses, beat again by you. My house is modest and my handgun collection is very modest.

anothergene -- I could barely see any light between the cylinder and forcing cone. Is that bad? My model 19 has a very small gap that shows light. My Ruger new single six (.22) has a fairly large gap -- maybe twice as large as the 19. There are no scratches on the finish and the screws appear unmolested. Thanks for the heads up on the book.
Link Posted: 6/15/2003 10:48:48 AM EDT

Originally Posted By zougou:
Ross -- my model 19 has a pin; I think this model 27 is not pinned, so I guess it isn't as old as the 19 I own.

anothergene -- I could barely see any light between the cylinder and forcing cone. Is that bad?



Not all models have the pinned barrel. Blue Book lists a 10% premium for them. Model 27s were last made in 1994.

As for the gap, as long as the cylinder turns ok & doesn't bind, I wouldn't worry about it.

If you don't mind me asking, how much did it go for?
Link Posted: 6/16/2003 7:53:03 AM EDT
BobCole -- It is/was $500. I put it on layaway. Those N frames are big! I guess it would be a poor choice for CCW.
Link Posted: 6/16/2003 8:55:13 AM EDT
I don't know when the display box was discontinued...they used to come in a wooden box with blue fake velvet lining, a cleaning rod, brush and screwdriver and booklets, as all top of the line Smiths.
Even without the box, it does not take away anything from the gun itself...most of those display boxes fell apart on the inside anyway.
Now ya need some speed loaders!
Link Posted: 6/16/2003 10:13:05 PM EDT

Originally Posted By zougou:
BobCole -- It is/was $500. I put it on layaway. Those N frames are big! I guess it would be a poor choice for CCW.




Damn! Good thing I went with the Model 28 & saved the $$$$$.

As for carry, yes, they are a good bit of size. The up side is you can shoot them all day long at the range & not get your hand to hurting.
Link Posted: 6/17/2003 5:42:22 AM EDT
Link Posted: 6/17/2003 8:24:22 AM EDT
Awww, you guys are making me feel bad... With all the money you guys saved, surely one of you could send me a box of ammo since I'll be broke.
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