Smith & Wesson Military and Police Revolver

DunnBy Robert Dunn 
AGI and GunTech Video Producer, 
AGI Pro Course Graduate, GCA Charter Member

M&P1While going through their father’s things, my Mom and her sister came across an old Smith and Wesson revolver that had belonged to my Grandfather. The gun was stowed away in his trunk with some military memorabilia from WWI and an unopened bottle of whiskey. As I think about it, I believe that it would be a cold day in hell if the things in that trunk were ever in need of use again. My Grandfather was a kind and practical man. He owned a Winchester 1873 that he kept at his grocery store and the revolver was hidden away at home in case of emergencies.

M&P2I don’t know the exact reason he bought this particular gun, but if you knew him, this revolver was a good choice. The .32 S&W Long round is not overkill, but it would stop a drunken coalminer or put some rabbits and squirrels in the stewpot, if need be. The handgun is really fun to shoot. For someone wanting to fire something more powerful than a .22 rimfire, the .32 S&W Long is a good choice. You will pay more for ammunition, but you can still enjoy a long day at the range without developing bad shooting habits.

If you like the look of a Smith and Wesson revolver, this one is a classic. Some folks might have seen this gun’s pristine condition and locked it away to preserve our heritage, etc. These things are also important to me, but I will leave that job to the Smithsonian Institute and the NRA, plus I really like taking firearms apart and studying them. This revolver demanded to be fired, too! When I saw this firearm, it reminded me of that scene in the cartoon movie, “Who Framed Roger Rabbit?”, when the “Old-Timer Cartridges” woke up, blew the dust off of themselves and excitedly jumped into that big old revolver, ready for action.

M&P4Though I am a “Colt Man” at heart, I really do love S&W revolvers (a big fan of Clint Eastwood movies in the 70s!). As a comparison, I am clearly a (Chrysler) Mopar man when it come to cars, but I would have the same dumb smile on my face burning down the road in a Model-T Ford.

The Military/Police Model was an evolution of a design stemming from the .38 Hand Ejector Model of the late 1890s. The S&W M&P was in use by many different police and military forces internationally. It enjoyed great success at home in the United States as well. In later years, it was called the famed Victory Model during WWII and today, we know it as the Model 10. Revolvers are known for their reliability, and Smith and Wesson took pride in quality, so together the M&P makes a sound choice for a self-defense weapon. The .32 S&W Long rounds enable the less experienced shooter better accuracy, which is also a good feature in a home defense scenario.

M&P3When you take this gun apart, you can really appreciate the high quality. The parts just fit so perfectly, not unlike other Smiths I’ve seen. Though the double action feels heavy, it is smooth not sluggish. After a few shots, you begin to feel what the handgun wants from you and accuracy can be reigned in. The single action is near perfect to me.

I love old firearms. I like to think about who the previous owners were and what adventures they shared. It’s even better when you loved the previous owner of a firearm and you think of them when you see the gun or take it with you on your own adventures. I think warmly of my Grandfather as I hold his revolver and finish typing with one hand.

6 Responses to Smith & Wesson Military and Police Revolver

  1. The notch on the backstrap and the square butt grips indicate that it is one of few that were made in that configuration. Check it out.

  2. In my collection, I have a S&W M&P in .38 Special. According to S&W research, the revolver was made in 1923. It saw duty with a police department in the south. I acquired the revolver from an elderly gentleman shortly before his passing away. It will stay in my collection until I pass on.

  3. On another note, can anyone give advise on the timing I
    of an Colt 1877 Lightening? Or point me in the direction of the best information on the repair of them.

  4. Nicely done, sir. You always have such wonderful pictures. I have an early 50’s vintage model 10 in .38 special my mom and brother got me for Christmas one year. It too is in beautiful shape. I did a little work on the double action pull and I like it nearly as much as I like my 627 performance center .357. I had an old 1905 model. I kind of wish I had held on to and restored now.

  5. Thanks for the comments guys. My guns are some of my most treasured possessions, it’s nice to be able to share some of their stories.