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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have 3 Officers Model revolvers and of course they have unshrouded ejector rods. In target guns it's not much of a problem, but in holster guns it might not work out quite so well. Why did Colt never put some kind of shroud or just a nub to protect the rod? I understand that Colts don't lock up on the end of the rod so they don't need an attachment up front. It just seems that the ejector rod is pretty vulnerable just hanging out there.

Dwight
 

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You will have to ask the men who designed the D.A. Colts,and improved them over the years,but they "will not be coming down for breakfast"!!

This was a sense of pride with Colt-that S&W "needed" a front lock! But then Colt always said S&Ws rotated the "wrong way",well the 1888-1908 Army Navy Colts did too!(To the left,away from the frame).

But then Colt would NOT build a top break revolver,either.

Many well made foreign revolvers,following the Nagant,or Gasser patents had no front lock and an unshrouded,ejector rod!

Bud /forums/images/graemlins/confused.gif /forums/images/graemlins/confused.gif
 

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[ QUOTE ]


This was a sense of pride with Colt-that S&W "needed" a front lock!

[/ QUOTE ] very good point bud,the s&w WILL NOT function without the frt lock, is it any wonder why it had to be protected with the shroud?? a s&w with a bent e/rod is a handsome paperweight and nothing more. and yes they do turn the clyinder backwards!! i wont bring up the fact that the bolt is not timed to drop in the lock notch lead but is just allowed to drag against the outside of the cyl. until it finds a hole!!!
 

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If the rod unscrews, you can't move the cylinder.

If its a full shroud, debris can get in the recess and block the rod preventing the cylinder from closing and latching. Probably an issue fresh in people's minds right after WWI and the trenches.

And the answer that trumps all others, "We always did it that way."

Shrouds add manufacturing cost, without it the barrel is a tube, with it it has a top and bottom, and extra mill ops.
 

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[ QUOTE ]
If the rod unscrews, you can't move the cylinder.

If its a full shroud, debris can get in the recess and block the rod preventing the cylinder from closing and latching. Probably an issue fresh in people's minds right after WWI and the trenches.

And the answer that trumps all others, "We always did it that way."

Shrouds add manufacturing cost, without it the barrel is a tube, with it it has a top and bottom, and extra mill ops.

[/ QUOTE ]
All of that causes me to ask -- then <u>why</u> did Colt change their philosophy and adopt the barrel/extractor shroud?
 

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IMHO the two most likely values are protecting the rod from bending and disallowing shell ejection and reducing snaggy items for concealed carry/withdrawal. :cool:
 

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S&Ws "shroud" also contained a lock(2 if you count the triple lock-IMO the finest fitted revolver ever made-I got 5 of em',including 2 targets,looking for more-BUT-I sure wouldn't have wanted one down in my "dirt hole" guarding AF bases in 'Nam!).

Colt,put the shroud,as part of the "weight package" on the Python-but there is NOT a lock there on a Colt shroud,so ya just clean the dirt out quick,and it won't usually stop the cylinder from locking.

Plus,some Colts no doubt get bent ejector rods,and if twisted enough,the cylinder won't rotate,as the rod will strike the bottom of the barrel(particularly in Colts with a "step" or "indentation for the exposed rods,like heavy barrels. But,a solid knife blade can usually bend it back enough to clear the barrel and rotate to fire. Dropping the gun,or wacking someone on the skull,will often cause this.

But the other Colt "advantage,is that I have NEVER seen a Colt ejector rod unscrew!!! Some crooked gunsmiths will charge plenty to an "uniformed" S&W owner,whose rod unscrewed competely tying up the gun. 5 minute fix,tops,and they will come up with all sorts of maladies,and "costs". Seen it done several times,until a friend's unscrewed at the local range,and I fixed it. He went ballistic,as did another guy,who had paid a local "smith" 50-100 bucks to have their M-27 and M-29 "de burred". Sideplates never off either gun. Gunsmith lost a lot of business,and some range members started reading the basics of revolver troubleshooting!

Sorry for the "ramble"

Bud /forums/images/graemlins/mad.gif /forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif
 

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[/ QUOTE ]
All of that causes me to ask -- then <u>why</u> did Colt change their philosophy and adopt the barrel/extractor shroud?

[/ QUOTE ] the shrouded ejector rod looks more "modern" i belive it`s the only reason colt added it, as it serves no practial purpose, rarely will you see a bent rod on a colt and even should it bend enough to cause clearence problems it can be field straightened enough to work. the colt does not rely on it for lock.in all fairness to s&w colt beat them to the spring loaded rear latch which i`m sure was patent protected.colt perfected the swingout d/a first. /forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif
 

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Just to keep the record straight,let it be said,that the FIRST S&W swing out cylinder revolvers,the small I frame,had NO front ejector rod lock from 1896-1903 and the mid size K frame,from 1899-1902.

After a few years,it seemed "prudent" to install one! BUT,you will never get a S&W ONLY type to admit that that "2 step" hand DOES lock the cylinder tight as bank vault at moment of firing!!! I've tried!!

Bud /forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I do handle my OMMs carefully, and I think the Colt ejector rods are less fragile. I'm not sure yet but I am leaning to the OMM over the S&W M14 for bulseye use. The sight picture is superior among other things.

Dwight
 

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The reason everyone gave above are very informative and I would like to thank them for providing me with more information. We have a lot of S&W guys around here and I like to twist their... well I like to mess with 'em.

That being said the more important reason in my own opinion was left off of the list. Because unshrouded ejector rods just look right. Purely cosmetic. Why does Harley keep designing new bikes that look like old ones? Because to the Harley owners they look right. Anything else would to them just look wrong. To my eye shrouded ejector rods on Colts fall into the same category.

Dave
 

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In regard to cosmetics, isn’t it interesting that the Python – regarded by many as the sexiest lookin’ revolver alive – has that full bbl-length ejector rod shroud? I’ve got to believe that the purpose is cosmetics.



If the purpose were weight, I think it would be an easier machining process to make a bull barrel, or just increase the width of the ventilated rib. (I have also read, somewhere along the line, that the shroud forward of the ejector rod was initially hollow but that it went to solid as this is an easier machining process.)

I think the only difference between the 357 Magnum and the Python is cosmetic, the bbl rib and shroud of the latter to the standard bbl of the former. (And I don’t buy that ventilated rib being useful for dissipating heat advertising logic either.) I think it remarkable that one can buy a pristine 357 Magnum from the ‘50s for less money than a well-used Python from the ‘70s forward.

Still, cosmetics ARE important to most people. And rightfully so in my opinion.

Me, I like the S&Ws as well. When, primarily as an economy measure, the shroud (and third lock) on the Triple Lock (AKA First Model Hand Ejector, New Century, Model of 1908) was dropped in the late teens, giving way to the shroudless second model, a clamor built up such that the 3rd Model – AKA Wolf & Klar, Model of 1926 – with the shroud back appeared by 1926, and was on sale concurrently with the second model, although it was not cataloged until it replaced the 2nd Model in 1940. On an N-frame S&W, that shroud just looks right to me! (Also gives ya more clunk if you wanna whack some guy in the head with it.)

Here's my S&W Pre-27 from 1954:



Still, there is much to said for that classic, exposed ejector rod Colt profile, shown here in my 1939 22 OMT:



(Had a hard time gettin’ that 45-70 round to fit… /forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif.)

I do agree with dwr461 that the classic Colt revolver look, is, indeed, mighty fine.
 

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[ QUOTE ]
Just to keep the record straight,let it be said,that the FIRST S&W swing out cylinder revolvers,the small I frame,had NO front ejector rod lock from 1896-1903 and the mid size K frame,from 1899-1902

Bud /forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif

[/ QUOTE ] point is well taken, i belive those first s&w`s worked simular to h&r`s as you just pushed the rod to home in the recoil plate, to unload you had to pull it out, kind of crude but i guess with low pressure rounds it worked satisfactory. /forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif
 

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It's a small point but the 2" barrelled guns benefit from not having a shroud or front lock. Their absence allows for a longer ejector rod and hence more positive ejection. It's one of the reasons I prefer my Agent over the S&W J-frames.

-Bob
 

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The ejector rod on my 1899 S&W .38 Special did NOT work like the H&Rs. Worked the regular way and is spring loaded.

Can't say for sure on the 1896 .32 H.E.s on the small I frame,but I believe it too was conventional,spring loaded.

BTW,that old 1899,1st Model .38 H.E.,a civilian gun,with a 6.5 bbl. was very accurate,but I certainly never pushed it anywhere past standard velocity loads.

Keep in mind that the "left wheeler" Army -Navy Colts,1888-1908,were its competition,and these are NOT noted for their ruggedness and accuracy. First 2 I owned were not,an ex Army Model 1896,with the oversize bore,and a rough bore,then a 32/20 that also had a poor bore. Two I have now,a First Model Officers,made in 1906,and a 'transition" 32/20,made in 1907 are wonderfully accurate,stay in time,but being "left wheelers,they are fed very mild .38 and 32/20 handloads.

Bud
 

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[ QUOTE ]
I have also read, somewhere along the line, that the shroud forward of the ejector rod was initially hollow but that it went to solid as this is an easier machining process.

[/ QUOTE ]
The shroud was added for weight. The various OMs didn't have a shroud, but went to a heavy barrel that shooters preferred. The Oms were also .38 spls and when the Python came along the shroud added more weight up front for the recoil of the .357 magnum (shoot a Three-Five-Seven vs a Python and notice the recoil difference). The original shroud was hollow and as shooters wanted even more weight up front the shroud was left solid. It was merely Colt giving the shooters what they were asking for.
 

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Well, I'm a Smith & Wesson fan and my tail is twisted. Thoroughly twisted. In fact it is so torqued it is about to fall off. I haven't made my insurance deductable for the year so I'm gonna be mad if I'm out of pocket to have it reattached.

Dwr461

On a '59 Cadillac tail fins look "right" but but they just don't cut it on a 2006 Chrysler. Full lugs look proper on a Python but I've never cared for them at all on a Smith & Wesson revolver.
 

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bmcgilvray,

I think that tail fins would look terrible on a S&W if it means anything to you.

I have a Official Police MKIII that still doesn't have a shroud. But my Trooper MKIII does have one. But in my opinion the Trooper MKIII with 6 inch barrel does bear a passing resemblance to the S&W Model 29 that was selling like hotcakes in the early seventies. Why was it selling so well? Because Dirty Harry carried one in 1970, 1973, and 1976 for Dirty Harry, Magnum Force, and The Enforcer respectively. Well the Model 29's were tough to get because they were what Harry carried. But what with the Trooper cosmetically looking very similar to the Model 29, did that help Colt's bottom line sales of this model? Was this done on purpose? Hell I have no idea. But it does make me wonder how important cosmetics truely are to the layman gunner who gets their info from TV and movies.

Dave
 

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Yeah, but perhaps a spoiler would look ok. But only on a revolver that had the proper ground effects and custom chrome wheels.

I have to confess that I purchased my Model 29 partially due to the "Dirty Harry" factor. Probably the worst case of following a fad I ever indulged. I already was sold on S&W's so that just made obtaining a Model 29 that much more imperative. I did learn to appreciate that Model 29 for its own qualities.

Cosmetics play a HUGE part in the layman's perception of the "coolness" factor and his desire for certain firearms.

Of course I'm completely devoted to "reverse coolness" and seek out the traditional tried and true. I can't run far enough or fast enough from the current generation of auto-loading pistols or "tacticool" assault rifles. Now an old Winchester lever gun, an '03 Springfield, or a Colt 1911; ahh... that's entirely different. Actually I've always liked the classic or historic firearms best. I purchased many of my best collectible "old guns" between 16 and 21 years of age. I always was a bit wierd.

I prefer my DA Colts to have their ejector rods hanging out in space. Would like to add a Python to the arsenal someday though.
 

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bmcgilvray,

I laugh so hard that my rum and coke came out of my nose. Ground effects, /forums/images/graemlins/cool.gif

I think that you and I have similar taste in firearms. For example I don't want an AR15 clone but the Springfield FN FAL chambered for 5.56mm I would buy in a second.

Dave
 
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