A Nurse with a Gun

Monday, March 17, 2008

The Smith & Wesson Model 27

The Model 27 is often called the Mona Lisa of Smith & Wesson revolvers. From 1957 to 1994 it reigned at the top of the heap of .357 magnum revolvers. As a finely tuned and polished N frame, it is the direct descendant of the princely Registered Magnum Smith & Wesson. Click to enlargeThere was a period of time from 1948 to 1956 when the .357 magnum Smith & Wesson is known as a "pre-Model 27." In 2000 the Performance Center released the eight shot Model 27-7, but with a frame mounted firing pin and a MIM hammer and trigger, it was not the same.

The Model 27 sold in either highly polished swimming pool deep blue, or resplendent in blindingly smooth mirror like nickel. The big revolver was available with the options of a target trigger and hammer, as well as target stocks. Barrel lengths ranged from three and a half inch snubbies to eight and 3/8 inch target guns. The three and a half inch Model 27s are enjoying a surge in collectibilty, but the five inch guns are actually more scarce. The longer barreled guns wore a Patridge front sight, while the shorter barrels had a Baughman "Quick Draw" sight up front, often with a orange insert. The top strap was checkered from the front sight to the rear adjustable sight. Indeed, the extravagant topstrap checkering is the hallmark of the Model 27.

It is difficult to predict the path that N frame revolvers will take in the marketplace. Whether the prices have reached their limit, or whether they will continue to climb remains to be seen. Most collectors expect the upward trend to continue. One thing is almost certain. Which ever path the prices go, the Mona Lisa of Smith & Wesson will remain on top.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love my highway patrolman model 28 .357 magnum,not as pretty,but man that gun shoots great

10:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Still prefer my true blue 25-2 in .45 ACP. Locks up tighter than an ingrown toenail and shoots two-inch groups at 25 yards – even with my Ray Charles eyes!

1:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Too bloody right gentlemen. The model 27 is definitely the creme de la creme of .357 magnum revolvers. Having enjoyed pistol shooting for in exces of 20 years, and having owned numerous revolvers, I find the model 27 to be the best by a long shot. For rapid accurate fire in a .357 magnum, the large frame of the 27 is a definite advantage.Of all the guns I have owned, the 27 is definitely "not for sale", nor will it ever be. When you find a good thing, stick to it !!!.

2:56 AM  
Blogger Oscar said...

Where can I get the brown handles you have on the photo of your S&W Model 27?


4:11 PM  
Blogger Xavier said...


8:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My 1st REAL revolver,(at age 16) was a S&W Mod. 27 with a 5" barrel. I paid $165 new in the box...(wish I still had the box) I was mad at my Dad cause there was a N.I.B. COLT S.A. 45, 2nd generation, 4 5/8ths bbl for the SAME price! He wouldn't sign for the Colt, cause it wasn't a SMITH and WESSON! I still have that 5" 27 and recently acquired a 3 1/2 inch 27 as well. ALSO.......I finally got my Colt 2nd generation, but it's got the 5 1/2" bbl and I paid $1250 for it. Glad I have my Smiths, but Dad was WRONG about that Colt!.........LOL

6:12 PM  
Anonymous Rick_A said...

The pre-27 is where it's at. They are simply perfection in a 3.5" barrel.

9:49 PM  

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