As the 20th century was about to debut, the brass at Smith & Wesson decided on a new double-action revolver design called the Hand Ejector Model. More powerful cartridges were in high demand so the company developed a solid frame with a swing-out cylinder to replace its top-break double actions.
Out of production and somewhat obscure, the Smith & Wesson Model 29 was once well known only to serious big-bore handgunners. Then in 1971, it became one of the most famous and desirable handguns of all time. Do you know why? Well, do ya?