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AR's Top 10 Handguns

Our choices for the best and most significant handguns on the past century.

Sideplate Screws

Among Smith & Wesson fans, there is still some confusion surrounding the use of the terms “three-screw, four-screw and five-screw.”

A Triple Lock From Another Place

One of the sought-after “Holy Grails” of Smith & Wesson collecting is a nice clean specimen of the 1st Model .44 Hand Ejector—the Triple Lock.

S&W Model I

This was S&W’s first side-swing cylinder revolver or, as they called it, a “Hand Ejector.”

Combat Magnum Resurgence

The full-size American revolver concept not only isn't dead, but two new Smith & Wesson Combat Magnums-the Model 69 in .44 Mag. and the revamped .357 Mag. Model 66-are proof that it's actually enjoying a resurgence.

A Look Back at the Smith & Wesson Model 24

The large-framed revolver built to handle the then-new .44 S&W Spl. cartridge would be called the .44 Hand Ejector First Model.

The Keefe Report—Plan B: The U.S. Model of 1917 Revolvers

A century ago, the U.S. Army desperately needed handguns for the Doughboys headed for the trenches of France. Only about 75,000 M1911s had been produced, not nearly enough, so where would they come from?

Profile: Jelly Bryce—Oklahoma Gunfighter

Delf A. “Jelly” Bryce was a lawman who could match it with just about any of the 1930s gangsters and could also please a crowd with his expert marksmanship. How good was the FBI agent with a gun? Good enough to land in the pages of LIFE Magazine.

I Have This Old Gun: Smith & Wesson “Wolf & Klar” .44 Hand Ejector, Third Model

Many collectors have an affinity for firearms with a connection to Texas, such as Smith & Wesson’s Third Model Hand Ejector revolver, also called the Wolf & Klar Model. Although now long gone, Wolf & Klar (W&K) was a Fort Worth pawn shop started by German immigrants Alex Wolf and Jacob Klar that became a prominent hardware, jewelry and gun store during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

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