AMERICAN FIREARM ICON
“Do I feel lucky? Well do you, punk?”- Clint Eastwood in “Dirty Harry”-1971
Clint Eastwood was immortalised for the famous quote from the film, what was equally noteworthy was that his firearm was a Smith & Wesson revolver. Smith & Wesson’s humble roots go back to 1852 when Horace Smith and Daniel. B Wesson of Springfield, Massachusetts entered the realm of firearm manufacturing with their Volcanic Rifle.
The American Civil War saw their Model 1 revolver used by both Confederate as well as Union soldiers. Their latter Model 3 was adopted by the U.S Army as the first cartridge-firing revolver in U.S service. Introduced in 1899, their evergreen Model 10 revolver became the most popular choice for American police officers. Used by them for most of the last century, and also known as the “Victory’ model, over six million units were manufactured. A further one million were used by America during the Second World War.
In 1935 their Model 27 was the first revolver chambered for the .357 Magnum, still a timeless classic. They also were the first company to chamber a revolver for the .44 Remington Magnum. The Model 29 was announced to the American public on 19 January 1956. Elmer Keith, famous American outdoor and J. Hatelier, Technical Editor of “American Rifleman” were presented with some of the first production models.
In more recent years S&W produced two more even more powerful handgun calibres; the .460 S&W
was a lengthened and more powerful version of the .454 Casull, and in February 2002, the .500 S&W, a collaboration between them and Cor-Bon was released. This has the honour of earning the title of “The most powerful production handgun cartridge”. Smith & Wesson has over the decades contributed a vast array of calibres; namely the .22 Short,.32 S&W Long, .38 S&W, .38 S&W Special as well as the .40 S&W.
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