At any kind of given minute there are weapons on the industry that are conspicuously undervalued. Sometimes this is due to supply, as when an importer brings in a fresh boatload of some excess model and also they room literally anywhere at bargain prices until suddenly they room all gone and also the price spikes. Various other times a certain model is simply in a "down" bicycle while we shooters chase part other warm trend leaving small demand because that a standard this or that. This invariably turn right into the shooters’ classic reminiscence: “Remember once the Colt/Smith/Ruger ABC’s were anywhere for only XYZ dollars!? i wish I had bought one then!” If girlfriend step back and look extensively at the sector you can sometimes spot this buying opportunities before the industry adjusts and prices a steal accordingly. This is just one of those occasions. 

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N-Frame (The .44, or large frame) smith & Wesson revolvers were constantly a premium product. The classic big-bore wheelguns struggle a spell wherein they were cheap priced around a decade earlier but have been ticking greater year more 보다 a year because that a when now. Never produced in massive numbers, collectors and also the increasing generation of shooters regularly outbid each various other on good condition specimens the the post-war Ns. The is, with one conspicuous exception: The Highway Patrolman (later version 28) .357 Magnum. 

Introduced in 1954, the Highway Patrolman to be Smith’s bid to capture much more market re-superstructure with regulation enforcement by cutting greatly cosmetic expenses to their existing, and premium quality, .357 Mag. (later designated the version 27). The Highway Patrolman got a much more utilitarian vice, high-gloss blue, and also eschewed the extensive checkering down the topstrap and also barrel rib. Mechanically and also internally over there is no difference between the 2 models, return the 27 was offered in more barrel lengths 보다 the four- and also six-inch selections of the Highway Patrolman. At the moment these transforms led to a modest price decrease and the Highway Patrolman was rather popular. Today, however, the price difference can it is in dramatic. In equal problem a Highway Patrolman deserve to usually be uncovered for half (often less) 보다 a comparable vintage Pre 27. 

This instance has led me come the allude where my armory is starting to look prefer a rescue sanctuary for homeless model 28s. Right here are 5 reasons to conserve your lunch money and get a Highway Patrolman while the "‘getting is good."

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1. The Highway Patrolman is the Muscle vehicle Wheelgun.

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One look in ~ that huge frame, sharply tapered barrel v its high rib and also ramped sight and also you recognize the era it come from. Firearms are both influenced by and also ultimately become a component of the aesthetic of an era. The Highway Patrolman looks together 1950s as a ’57 Chevy Bel Air.

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2. History. The Highway Patrolman was very popular with legislation enforcement and an especially so with the state troopers and also highway patrols of sundry states. A model 28 you choose up this day stands a decent possibility of having served and also protected in a past life, or it may simply be a perfect facsimile of the plenty of thousands that did. I specifically enjoy shooting old service weapons together a hands-on background experience and the huge Smith is a home window into one more time. 3. Performance. Every model 28 I have actually fired has actually been a performer. The old pieces are exceptionally precise with both .38 Specials and also .357s. The long-barreled one in the image fired an moral one-inch group from a barricade at 25 yards v Black Hills 158 gr. Jacketed hollow points and also its brothers will routinely pile wadcutters into virtually an inch. I’d sell that the Highway Patrolman was the closest thing to a laser beam ever issued out on a large scale. The magnum velocity and trajectory, target sights, and also stereotypically great triggers allow hitting come stretch out past traditional limitations. 

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I newly walked the 6 inch Patrolman the end to 80 yards indigenous a Defense Targets prepared Ship Target, which is comparable (if slightly smaller sized than) the critical zone of plenty of law enforcement silhouettes. Native a barricade, the smith put 5 right whereby I intended, and four of those had actually the splatter marks virtually touching in a 3.7" group. Eight-inch stole plates at 40 or 50 yards are easy money v the much shorter barrel. 

The large frame is matched fine to the recoil level that the cartridge and the design 28 soaks increase full-house .357 "whap" without punishing the shooter. The standard wheelgun permits full regulate of existing self-defense or duty-oriented .357 loads, which have tendency to have actually mid load projectiles because that caliber and also are pushed to much less than maximum velocity. Dropping .38 Specials in the cylinder bring away recoil down to an practically laughably negligible level. Running Magtech 158 gr. Specials I was able to clear the bowl rack on one smoking cigarettes run that was a win or two faster than my typical compact striker fired 9 mm times. 4. Quality.

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Something interesting happened as our world changed. The dull finish of the Highway Patrolman is no much longer quite for this reason dull, looking comparable and perhaps exceptional to many of the satin blue that is offered on contemporary firearms. Of course, the dull blue bears no comparison come the outrageous refined high lustre blueing the the upscale N frames of the era, yet it watch custom compared to the spray-on, bake-on typical finishes of ours time.The casehardened hammer and also trigger watch downright luxury in our right now polymer world. There is a smoothness and gentle precision in cocking the old Smiths that reaffirms the a craftsman fitted the connecting parts by hand and also the occurring years have actually worn the parts right into a well honed union. 

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5. Value. As soon as one looks very closely at the care and also hand occupational that go into building the classic high-polish N frames and also imagine what that would expense to replicate that today, it is not difficult to see their present valuation. The Highway Patrolman in most cases skirts the bidding wars, commerce mostly among folks who appreciate the model for its performance and value rather than its usual collectibility. This and also the greater production numbers of the 28 collection create a case where a seriously high quality and great shooting classic can be discovered for much less than the price of a brand-new Glock. A new Smith & Wesson N framework .357 will certainly run numerous dollars more and will have distinct differences from the vintage elder. 

It is feasible that a couple of years from currently "Golden Era" N frames become passe and also lose every value, however it is extremely unlikely; quality and also era-specific eight seem to constantly have a market. I would certainly imagine that the prices will continue on a gentle rise—the 28s space undervalued together is. There might be no rush to obtain a Highway Patrolman, however I suspect that whenever girlfriend do, you will certainly be glad you did.