I carry wheel guns they are real guns.
Check my Signature.
My bedside gun is a lovely old 1930's Colt Official Police .38 Special with a 4" barrel and fixed sights. Its older than most of the posters on this forum; but is as good as new.
In the 1960's it was a police department trade-in, when most departments converted to "Wonder Nines." I think this particular gun lived its first 30 years in the police armory, as it has no obvious holster wear.
I would love to have a Two inch 357 Secutity Six. I had a Four inch but wanted the shorter for carry.
Gun below is my "BBQ" or "Dress" gun. No it is not a model 10, it is a Military and Police, see rounded sight blade with no "base". It was a presentation gun to a retiring NY police detective Lieutenant. He put it into abox and left it there for years. I may be the first person to actually fire it ! The nickel plating is factory original ("N" on serial number). A work of art!
I've been away, out of town, for the past week and just found this neato thread!
Carried this 96 year-old Smith & Wesson Model 1917 .45 ACP revolver on the trip last week as a combination "car gun" and nightstand guardian in the hotel room. A Colt Detective Special was concealed beneath a suit coat on a daily basis during this trip.
Stoked up with handloads using .45 Auto Rim cases with a 255 grain conical flat-nosed bullet, loaded to mimic a .45 Colt factory load (read that 830 fps), it still makes a good big-bore revolver. Especially when carried with spare moon clips full of .45 ACP. This Model 1917 possesses an excellent, smooth double-action trigger pull and hits where it looks. It's an easy revolver to shoot well.
Had been out to the range the week before I left, shooting an N-Frame Smith & Wesson .44 Special. The .44 Special sees frequent duty for traveling but the good .44 Special ammo supply was all shot up after the range trip so the .45 ACP revolver made for a great stand-in. I've always liked having a big-bore double action revolver available when on a road trip thought I have to admit that a good 1911 .45 ACP serves just as well.
I don't really consider any classic 20th century Colt, Smith & Wesson, or Ruger design as antique for serious "usin'" purposes.
The choices most often carried around here are revolvers and those are "older," but not viewed as antiques. The Detective Special mentioned above dates to 1966, a favorite Smith & Wesson Model 10 Heavy barrel dates to 1971, a 2-inch round but Model 10 dates to 1996, and a 2-inch square butt Smith & Wesson Military & Police (predecessor to the Model 10) dates to 1954.
The early Smith & Wesson revolvers had a rather strangely designed hammer block that was staked into the side plate and designed to move sideways out of the way of the hammer fall with the trigger was pulled. The feature was less than "positive" unlike Colt's design. If congealed oil, heavy grease, or accumulated crud is present then the early Smith & Wesson design is prone to fail when the crud interfers with the block, making it sticky and keeping it from returning to the position when it could serve to protect in the event of a drop.
Smith & Wesson came out with a much more effective hammer block system during World War II. Seems that a wartime Smith & Wesson Victory Model .38 Special was dropped onto the flight deck of an American aircraft carrier, causing the revolver to discharge and kill a sailor. This was due to the inadequate hammer block design failing to fulfill its function. The change was rushed to production. The new system somewhat resembles the Colt "Positive Lock" feature only being designed to function with Smith & Wesson lock work. The Victory Models produced for the War effort were roll marked with a "V" prefix in their serial numbers. The revolvers made after the design revision will have an "S" added to the "V" prefix to denote the design modification. This new design was incorporated into all post-World War II Smith & Wesson revolvers.
The old design works fine if the revolver is kept clean and properly lubricated. It's just not trustworthy enough for the person who is unwilling to remove the side plate of his revolver for occasional inspection, cleaning, and lubricating.
All Ruger double-action revolvers may be safely carried with a full complement of cartridges as those revolvers were engineered to protect against accidental discharge from the beginning of their production.
Somewhat on topic,
if you bought a smith or ruger revolver from the 50s 60s or 70s from gunbroker, for instance, should anything specifically be done before it was fired?
I know revolvers usually either work or don't but, it seems like if a gun's been sitting for 40 or 50 years it might need a check up.