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This required a fair amount of mechanical engineering, as well as updated metallurgy, but it was eventually done.
The revolver was an instant hit and quickly became the gun to have in law enforcement.
To do so, we have to go back a few years to the beginning of the Magnum era.
On April 8, 1935, Smith & Wesson ushered in the Magnum era of handgunning with a new revolver.
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Long-barreled versions of the revolver drove 158-grain bullets to speeds of 1,500 fps or more.
From the mid-'50s to the late '70s, Smith & Wesson's Model 19 (also known as the Combat Magnum) was a best-seller, firing a growing array of hot .357 Mag. In the long run, it was the ammunition that caused the decline of the Model 19 (or 66 in stainless steel) and drove the development of its replacement, the Model 686.
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The police officer views his handgun as a tool of his trade. Believe me, there is nothing easy about carrying the original large-frame .357 Mag.
The author’s favorite L-frame barrel length is 5 inches because it offers a good compromise between performance, sight radius and handling.