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Cas City Forum Hall & CAS-L  |  Special Interests - Groups & Societies  |  Frontier Iron (Moderator: St. George)  |  Topic: Perfected Model 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
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Driftwood Johnson
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« on: December 10, 2016, 04:06:06 pm »


Howdy

From time to time on these pages I have ranted about how I thought the Smith and Wesson 38 Double Action Perfected model was the dumbest model ever to come down the pike. This is the Top Break that has the thumb piece on the side. In order to open it you have to lift up the latch on top at the same time as you push the thumb piece forward. How dumb is that? According to some experts, the idea behind the Perfected model was to prevent a bad guy from reaching over the top and lifting up the latch of a Top Break that was being pointed at him, breaking open the gun and rendering it harmless. Supposedly there is a letter to Daniel Wesson on file somewhere, asking for just such a revolver. Let me tell you, anybody who could reach over the top of a revolver and open the latch has a lot better coordination than I do. More chutzpah too. I have tried it with a Top Break pointing at myself and it is not easy to do.

Other logic points to the interchangeability of parts with the early 32 Hand Ejectors.

I'm not sure where the truth lies, but I always thought these were the dumbest revolvers and was adamant in my refusal to even consider buying one.

Well, it's time to 'fess up now. I have had this one since April of this year. I came across it at an auction, and it was in such nice shape I just couldn't pass it up. Nickel plated with a four inch barrel. It left the factory in 1917.








Since it was made well into the 20th Century, I am not reluctant to shoot modern Smokeless rounds in it. I had a box of TEN-X 148 grain Hollow Base Wad Cutter 38 S&W cowboy loads that are very light and have hardly any recoil. I used them in the Pocket Pistol event at a match last June and really enjoyed them. Wish I could find some more.


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So, as if that wasn't bad enough, I picked up this blued Perfected with a 3 1/4" barrel in August. I guess I have a 'thing' for these silly revolvers now. This one shipped in 1912.









While we are still on the topic of Top Breaks and Perfecteds, here is a S&W single shot target pistol. Look familiar? The Third Model Single Shots were built on the same basic frame as the Perfected Models. The lockwork is the same as the Perfected, but they lacked the silly thumb piece, so they opened up like any other Top Break. But unlike all the other S&W single shots, they worked in single action or double action mode. What's the point of a single shot target pistol that you could fire double action? This one left the factory in 1912.









Here's a fun picture.




Oh, the trials and tribulations of the Smith and Wesson collector.
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Thats bad business! How long do you think Id stay in operation if it cost me money every time I pulled a job? If hed pay me that much to stop robbing him, Id stop robbing him.

Ya probably inherited every penny ya got!
Abilene
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« Reply #1 on: December 10, 2016, 05:17:36 pm »

Cool.  I will admit total ignorance about these models.  So does it take two hands to open the Perfected?
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Driftwood Johnson
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« Reply #2 on: December 10, 2016, 07:53:38 pm »

Yes, but it takes two hands to open any Top Break, except maybe a Schofield.

With any Top Break you hold the gun in one hand, and reach over with the other hand, grasp the barrel and cylinder, and pull the latch up with your thumb. After pulling the latch up, still grasping the barrel and cylinder, you rotate them down to open the gun.

With the Perfected, it is the same, except with the hand holding the gun you push the thumb latch forward, just like on a modern S&W Hand Ejector.

The way the latch works on a Schofield if you are good, you can pull the latch back with the thumb of the hand holding the gun and open the gun by brushing the barrel against your leg. The Schofield was designed that way so a mounted shooter could open the gun and reload while riding.
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Thats bad business! How long do you think Id stay in operation if it cost me money every time I pulled a job? If hed pay me that much to stop robbing him, Id stop robbing him.

Ya probably inherited every penny ya got!
Will Ketchum
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« Reply #3 on: December 10, 2016, 08:10:39 pm »

Yes, but it takes two hands to open any Top Break, except maybe a Schofield.
I'm sorry but I disagree. Most S&W top breaks that I own can be opened by just reaching up with my gun hand thumb and pushing up on the latch. If it doesn't drop on it's own you can just push it against your leg. That is why I never felt that the Schofield was an improvement and was never necessary in the first place.

Will Ketchum
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Driftwood Johnson
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« Reply #4 on: December 10, 2016, 08:27:46 pm »

Yeah, you're right.

I was just playing around after I wrote that and I realized that with with my pocket pistols I can reach up with my thumb and pop the latch. I can do it with my Russian too, but the latch on my New Model Number Three is kind of stiff and I have to grab it with my other hand and pull it up. Can't quite do it with my thumb.
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Thats bad business! How long do you think Id stay in operation if it cost me money every time I pulled a job? If hed pay me that much to stop robbing him, Id stop robbing him.

Ya probably inherited every penny ya got!
Old Top
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« Reply #5 on: December 11, 2016, 01:43:35 am »

And the Schofield can be opened by one thumb, but in a fireing position the front site disapears from sight.
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matt45
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« Reply #6 on: December 11, 2016, 08:45:21 am »

so is there any idea of why the target pistol had a double action?  My book seems silent on the subject?
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Driftwood Johnson
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« Reply #7 on: December 11, 2016, 09:36:58 pm »

Quote
so is there any idea of why the target pistol had a double action?  My book seems silent on the subject?

I think the simple answer is the 3rd Model single shot used the same frame and the same lockwork as the Perfected model revolver, minus a few parts.

I popped the side plate off the Single Shot today. It was on really tight, I suspect it had never been removed since the gun shipped in 1912. There was some old grease inside, but I did not clean it out because I was in a bit of a hurry.






This is the lockwork of the nickel plated Perfected model. The lockworks are identical, except the Single Shot is missing the pawl and cylinder stop. The triggers are the same, so they must have been common parts. The hole for the pawl and the extension at front for the cylinder stop are on the Single Shot trigger. Also, since there is no thumb piece on the Single Shot, the slide for that is missing too. The hinged part attached to the hammer is the double action sear, not much different than what is in a modern S&W. When the trigger is pulled back, it pushes up on the double action sear, forcing the hammer back. I suppose they could have left off the double action sear and the gun would have worked normally in single action mode. Nothing would happen when the trigger was pulled double action. I guess the designers thought it was better that the double action trigger do something rather than let the trigger flop back without anything happening. That's my guess anyway.




All this makes perfect sense, at least to me. The Perfected model was produced from 1909 to 1920. The 3rd Model Single Shot was produced from 1909 until 1923. Smith and Wesson produced four distinctly different Single Shot models, the third model was the most popular with 6,949 produced.



The arrangement of the grips is similar to some of the small frame I frame 22 revolvers being produced at the same time.






Bekeart 22 target revolver and grips.



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Thats bad business! How long do you think Id stay in operation if it cost me money every time I pulled a job? If hed pay me that much to stop robbing him, Id stop robbing him.

Ya probably inherited every penny ya got!
Pettifogger
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« Reply #8 on: December 12, 2016, 10:40:29 am »

I had never given any thought to these before.  Now I want the Target model!!!  Phooey, just what I need.  More stuff in the safe I will probably never shoot.  Hopefully I will never see one for sale.
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matt45
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« Reply #9 on: December 12, 2016, 10:43:31 am »

Thanks- I reckon that clears it up.
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