SOLD FOR: $1,325
Make: Smith & Wesson
Model: The Highway Patrolman, Pre-Model 28, Square Butt N-Frame
Serial Number: S114848
Year of Manufacture: 1954-1955 (Standard Catalog of Smith & Wesson, Page 397)
Caliber: .357 Magnum & .38 Special
Action Type: 6-Shot, Double / Single Action, Swing-Out Fluted Cylinder Hand Ejector Revolver
Markings: The left side of the barrel is marked “SMITH & WESSON”, the right is marked “.357 / CTG.”, “HIGHWAY / PATROLMAN”, the sideplate is marked with the S&W monogram, the right side of the frame has the four line Marcas Registradas. The butt, barrel flat, rear face of the cylinder, underside of the ejector star and rear face of the yoke are marked with the serial number. The yoke, yoke cut and sides of the grip frame have inspection marks.
Barrel Length: 4”, Pinned
Sights / Optics: The front sight is a serrated ramp blade that is integral to a serrated, ramped base pinned to the solid rib. The rear sight is a flat top, a square notched leaf in a base that is micrometer-click adjustable for windage and elevation.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The grips are two-piece checkered walnut panels with smooth diamonds around the grip screw escutcheons which leave the 6-groove serrated backstrap exposed and have S&W monogram medallions. The grips have light handling wear with a few scattered light marks, the most notable a scuff on the bottom-front of the left panel. The checkering is well defined. There are no chips or cracks. Overall, the grips are in about Fine condition.
Type of Finish: Blue
Finish Originality: Original
Bore Condition: The bore is bright and the rifling is sharp. There is no erosion in the bore.
Overall Condition: This handgun retains about 98% of its metal finish. The cylinder has a thin, faint turn-line, mostly not through the finish. Otherwise, there are only light handling marks. The screw heads range from sharp to very lightly tool marked with strong slots. The markings are clear. Overall, this revolver is in about Excellent condition.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly. The cylinder locks up with very little play on each chamber. The double action trigger is smooth, the single action is crisp. We did not fire this handgun. As with all used firearms, a thorough cleaning may be necessary to meet your maintenance standards.
Box, Paperwork & Accessories: None.
Our Assessment: The Highway Patrolman, later known as the Model 28, traces its heritage back to the Smith & Wesson Registered Magnum. The Registered Magnum morphed into the Model 27. The Model 28 is unusual in that Smith & Wesson removed, rather than added, features to the Model 27 to create it, in order to reduce production costs with no reduction in utility. A classic N frame revolver, the Highway Patrolman is blued, but it is not polished, saving labor costs. The top strap and frame rounds are bead blasted to achieve a matte appearance rather than finely checkered. In the late 1940s and the first part of the 1950s Smith & Wesson was the only American gun company manufacturing a .357 magnum revolver. Since this relatively deluxe model was the only revolver available for this cartridge at the time, police departments, as well as individual officers and private shooters, requested from Smith & Wesson a more strictly utilitarian “budget” .357 magnum revolver. S&W responded with the Highway Patrolman (later renamed the Model 28 in 1957). The manufacturing changes made for a more affordable revolver, though mechanically the Highway Patrolman is the same as the more ornate Model 27. The Highway Patrolman was in production from 1954 through 1986. For most of its production run, it was a steady seller with both police officers and civilian shooters. This example is in Excellent condition showing little sign of wear with a great bore and mechanics. While this revolver would still make for a great shooter, in its high condition it will certainly interest the Smith & Wesson collectors. Please see our photos and good luck!