As I was going in to the office tonight, I mentioned that I collect older S&W revolvers to my boss. He then said that he had a "Colt Highway Patrolman" .357 Magnum that he would like to sell or trade. I'm hoping he meant a S&W Highway Patrolman (Colt made the Trooper, which was sort of similar in its 1970s incarnations). Below is a picture of the S&W Model 28 Highway Patrolman. It's a 4" barrel on an N-frame. With these facts swirling through my Gun Nut brain, I am now trying to put together a trade on my Ruger Blackhawk and some AR-15 magazines. Hopefully by the end of the week, I'll have another S&W badge in the gun case.
I'm not sure why I'm drawn to older S&Ws, but I am. Smith never really made a *great* semi-auto until the M&P series, but S&W has been making some sweet wheelguns for some time. I think the ones from the 1950s to the 1970s were probably the best, and those are the ones I like the most, but I'll take whatever S&W I can get. I love the 64-4 I got as surplus from J&G Sales for the pittance of $250.
From a practical stance, here in the middle west, a .357 mag goes a long way. We don't have particularly large predators. Sure, there's the occasional mountain lion, but a .357 mag hollow point or soft point of most any weight would make short work of such a critter. The Model 28 was made as a working man's gun that was to be quick from the holster, balanced, and powerful. It's a natural choice as a trail gun (maybe a tad heavy...) or camping companion. Or it could just be another S&W for your collection.