A LOOK BACK AT THE K-FRAME RE­VOLVER

Concealed Carry Hand Guns - - THE AR­MORY -

Smith & Wes­son in­tro­duced the K-frame re­volver back in 1899, specif­i­cally for its new .38 S&W Spe­cial car­tridge, more fa­mil­iar to us to­day as sim­ply the .38 Spe­cial. The com­pany’s Model 10 in that cal­iber was used widely by po­lice de­part­ments for three-quar­ters of the last cen­tury. It seemed to be just the right size for a re­volver fir­ing that car­tridge.

In the late 1950s, S&W in­tro­duced the Model 19, a K-frame re­volver in .357 Mag­num. To that point, the .357 Mag­num had only been of­fered in the com­pany’s large N-frame re­volvers.

The Model 19 was a pow­er­ful gun in a handy size. The Model 66 came along in 1970 as a stain­less steel ver­sion of it. Both the Mod­els 19 and 66 were over-shad­owed by the slightly larger L-frame se­ries guns, such as the Model 686 that were in in­tro­duced in 1981 and were deemed more durable for ser­vice re­volvers. With the adop­tion of semi-auto pis­tols by many law en­force­ment agencies in the 1980s and 90s, the pop­u­lar­ity of mid-sized re­volvers was greatly di­min­ished. Pro­duc­tion on the Model 66 came to an end in 2005 un­til S&W an­nounced its re­turn in 2014 with 4.25-inch ver­sion and then more re­cently with this 2.75-inch ver­sion.

The great thing about a K-frame re­volver is that there are a lot of good, old hol­sters float­ing around. The au­thor found this $10 leather belt hol­ster in a bar­gain bin at a lo­cal gun shop.

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