GUN OF THE WEEK
by Bob Walsh
The Gun of the Week this time around is the iconic Smith and Wesson Model 28, often known as the Highway Patrolman. It has been around in one incarnation or the other since the Registered Magnum came out in 1935.
This gun is essentially the cheap version of the prettier Model 27. The Model 28 has a less nice finish and does not have the checkered top strap the more expensive gun had. These features were thought to be unnecessary and therefore an unnecessary expense in a police duty gun. Both versions had the very nice fully adjustable S&W micrometer rear sight.
This weapon is built on the large S&W N frame. It weighs 41 ounces unloaded in the 4” version and was reasonably comfortable to shoot even with very hot .357 loads. It was at one time a very common weapon for some State Police and Highway Patrol as well as a few major metro police agencies. In addition it was also used by some elements of the Italian police force and the Norwegian police services.
It was most common in 4” and 6” variations, though a small number (less than 100) were made with 8 3/8 tubes. Also 25 were made with a 5” barrel and nickel finish marked for the Florida Highway Patrol. Those are worth some bucks to a collector.
Variations of this weapon are still made, including those with 8 round cylinders and light-weight frames. Much easier to pack, but much less pleasant to shoot.