Smith & Wesson has been building
revolvers for sixteen decades now, in spite of the many times
that ‘experts’ have proclaimed that the revolver is
obsolete. Still, with dozens of semi-automatic pistols from
which to choose that hold a fistful of cartridges, many shooters
choose the revolver for hunting, fighting, and recreational
While revolver design is changing, with most
these days being built of rust-resistant stainless-steel alloys,
many shooters still love the look and feel of a polished blued
carbon steel revolver, and for those folks, Smith & Wesson
has their “Classic Series” of double-action sixguns.
The Classic Series handguns are, as the name
implies, revolvers that are reminiscent of the S&W revolvers
from years past. They are polished blued, with half-lug barrels
and a traditional-style checkered wood grip. The six-shot
cylinders are fluted, and the hammers and triggers color-case
finished. They are good-looking revolvers. The most-notable
difference, and a turn-off for many potential buyers, is the
internal key lock. While we could lie down on the floor and
throw a fit, it looks as if the key lock is here to stay, but it
can be either used or ignored, as its owner prefers. Personally,
I never use the key lock, and it causes no problems with the
revolver’s function. I have fired dozens of S&W revolvers
that have the internal key lock, and none have ever presented a
problem, except with the Model 329 shooting heavy loads. The 329
has locked itself under recoil in my hands, and I have observed
this as well in the hands of other shooters. No other model of
S&W handgun has presented this problem, and I have heard no
reports to the contrary. Even my big 500
S&W Magnum revolvers have never had a problem locking
These Classic Series sixguns have good,
hand-filling checkered walnut stocks, and the wide target-style
triggers and hammers. The
finish is a polished blue, and they wear the classic Smith &
Wesson adjustable rear with a post front sight. These Classic
revolvers were sent through the S&W Performance Center to
receive their action job before leaving the factory, resulting
in excellent smooth double-action trigger pulls and crisp
single-action trigger pulls. The pull weights are listed in the
chart below, but feel lighter than they measured, due to the
comfortable, wide triggers.
The checkered wood stocks on both revolvers
have a great feel to them. Looking in profile like the classic
S&W Target stocks, these are thinner, and have a much better
feel in my hand.
are listed in the chart below. Trigger pulls are listed in
pounds of resistance. Weights are listed in ounces. Linear
measurements are listed in inches. Suggested retail prices are
listed in US Dollars, and does not include the Performance
Center Action Job.
|357 Magnum / 38 Special
|Trigger Pull SA
|Trigger Pull DA
|Barrel / Cylinder Gap
|MSRP as of June 2018
I fired these Classic Series revolvers for
accuracy and velocity testing, as well as just banging away at
steel targets at various distances. The thin barrel profiles
make these sixguns a delight to handle, and the excellent sights
are easy to use.
tested these revolvers with several types of 357 Magnum and 45
Colt ammunition for velocity and function. The results with each
brand and type of ammunition are listed in the chart below. JHP
is a jacketed hollowpoint bullet. TAC-XP is a homogenous copper
hollowpoint bullet. HC is a hard-cast lead flat-nosed bullet.
DPX is a homogenous copper hollowpoint bullet. Keith is a
hard-cast lead semi-wadcutter bullet. Buffalo Bore
Anti-Personnel uses a soft-cast lead hollowpoint bullet.
Velocity readings were taken at an elevation of 541 feet above
sea level, with an air temperature of eighty-seven degrees
Fahrenheit, with humidity in the eighty-five percent range.
Velocities are listed in feet-per-second (FPS) and were recorded
ten feet from the muzzles of the revolvers. Bullet weights are
listed in grains.
357 Magnum - Model 27
|Remington Golden JHP
|Buffalo Bore TAC-XP
|Buffalo Bore TAC-XP
|Buffalo Bore JHP
|Buffalo Bore JHP
|Buffalo Bore HC
38 Special - Model 27
|Double Tap Match Wadcutter
45 Colt - Model 25
|Double Tap Hardcast SWC
|Buffalo Bore Anti-Personnel
|Buffalo Bore TAC-XP
revolvers were very accurate, but the Model 25 was crazy
accurate! Shooting from a rested position on paper at
twenty-five yards, I was using a Target
Shooting, Inc. handgun rest. The Model 27 had no problem at
all putting almost every type of ammunition tried into two and
one-half inches or less. I thought that was pretty impressive,
until I shot the Model 25 on paper. It shot five-shot groups
well under the two-inch mark and piled that Buffalo Bore
Anti-Personnel load into one-half inch at twenty-five yards!
was excellent, except for some 158 grain 357 Magnum JHP ammo
that had been out in the weather for several months. I
experienced a few failures-to-fire with just one hit on the
primer, but they all fired on the second hit. I attribute this
to the ammo, not the sixgun, as every other brand and type of
357 Magnum and 38 Special ammunition tried functioned perfectly.
I experienced no sticky extraction with either revolver.
In addition to these Classic Series sixguns shown here, also
available are the Models 17, 19, 48, and 57 revolvers, chambered
for the 22 LR, 357 Magnum, 22 Magnum, and 41 Magnum cartridges,
These Classic Series revolvers are in
production now. Check out these and the extensive line of Smith
& Wesson firearms and accessories online at www.smith-wesson.com.
To order quality ammunition online, go to www.buffalobore.com,
For the location of a Smith & Wesson
dealer near you, click on the DEALER FINDER at www.lipseys.com.
order a Smith & Wesson handgun online, click on the GUN
GENIE at www.galleryofguns.com.
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