Serious Business: The Highway Patrolman
Pinned and recessed N frame Smith & Wessons are rapidly becoming scarce on the used handgun market. As a firearm created specifically to fire the .357 magnum round, the N frame is a requisite gun for the Smith & Wesson collector.
Representing the essential N frame, the Highway Patrolman is blued, but it is not polished. The topstrap and frame rounds are beadblasted to achieve a stippled appearance. The overall effect is a gun that exudes serious business. It is not a flashy gun. It needs no ballyhoo. It speaks the hardcore indisputable language of the .357 magnum. It speaks that lingo again and again, and that is enough.
I took the Highway Patrolman to the range yesterday, among many other guns to shoot. I was shooting with an old friend who was a shotgunner, but not a handgunner. We shot clays for about an hour, and then we set out targets. I started to work with him on handgunning skills. We were, of course, shooting .22 revolvers, but I had brought along a couple of 1911s and the Highway Patrolman as well. Todd is a man with an interest in history, so he shot my GI 1911 copy and liked it. He then picked up the big N frame Smith, fondled it a bit, felt it's heft, and put it back down. I asked him if he wanted to shoot a cylinder or two through it. Todd declined. "That's a damned serious gun," he said. He was right. It's a unique revolver in a long line of resplendent Smith & Wessons, a gun stripped to it's elemental form, designed for nothing more than deadly social callings, and keeping officers of the law alive. It doesn't get much more serious than that.