By: Friedrich Seiltgen
Copyright © 2023
SMITH & WESSON HISTORY
In 1854 – Smith & Wesson® introduced the .41 Magazine Pistol, “The Volcanic,” and never looked back. It was the ﬁrst repeating American ﬁrearm capable of successfully using a fully self-contained cartridge.
In 1877 – The .38 Safety Hammerless became the world gets its ﬁrst double-action, concealed-hammer revolver.
In 1899, the .38 Military & Police was introduced alongside the .38 S&W Special cartridge, now known as the Model 10; over six million units have been produced since its introduction.
Smith & Wesson produced its ﬁrst automatic pistol, the .35 Automatic, in 1913.
1935 – Smith & Wesson introduces the .357 Magnum. The .357 Magnum quickly caught the interest of law enforcement agencies looking for a way to deal with more treacherous and better-armed criminals.
1942 – The Victory M&P model was released for the United States Women’s Naval Reserve, better known as the WAVES (for Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service) stationed at Norfolk, VA Naval Base, that carried important, confidential messages between various section units.
The Model 36, Chief’s Special®, debuted at the IACP conference in 1950.
In 1955, S&W unveiled the Model 29 chambered in .44 Magnum – the handgun made famous by Clint Eastwood in the movie “Dirty Harry.” In 2005, Field & Stream rated the Model 29 as the 5th best gun ever made, the only handgun to make their top ten.
In response to the U.S. Army Marksmanship Training Unit, Smith & Wesson built a pistol that could ﬁre the newly developed .38 AMU cartridge. The Model 52 was introduced and became known as the most accurate target pistol of its day.
In 2003, an entirely new frame size was developed to fire the new.500 S&W Magnum cartridge. The Model S&W500™ is the world’s biggest, heaviest, most-powerful factory-production double-action revolver.
2005 Smith & Wesson® debuts the M&P® Pistol Series. Law enforcement officials championed the new line of polymer pistols. In the first year after their debut, over 100 departments purchased M&P pistols.
The M&P15 is introduced at the 2006 SHOT Show to overwhelming enthusiasm.
2017 – The M&P M2.0™ family is the culmination of a decade of research and design featuring upgrades to nearly every aspect, including trigger, grip, frame, and finish.
THE 329PD AIRLITE FRAME
Smith & Wesson combined a Scandium alloy frame with a Titanium cylinder to build the strongest and lightest weight .44 Magnum revolver made. The result…maximum power in a small, lightweight, easy-to-carry package.
The trigger is wide, smooth, and flat-faced, while the hammer spur is wide, flat, and checkered.
The frame and barrel shroud are finished in matte black, and the cylinder is natural grey titanium.
The 4.13-inch barrel is manufactured using stainless steel and encased within an alloy barrel shroud. The shroud has a ribbed front sight ramp sporting a red HiViz fiber optic sight, and the rear sight is a V-notch adjustable.
Type: Single/Double Action, Large Frame Revolver
Caliber: .44 Magnum
Magazine capacity: 6 Rounds
Barrel Length: 4.13 Inches
Overall Length: 9.5 Inches
Width: 1.7 Inches
Height: 6.1 Inches
Weight: 26.3 Ounces
Anyone needing a .44 Magnum revolver must look seriously at the 329 PD Airlite. Smith & Wesson cut the weight by using scandium and titanium for the frame by about a pound.
Check one out at your Smith & Wesson Dealer.
That’s all for now, folks! Please keep sending in your questions, tips, and article ideas. And as always – “Let’s Be Careful Out There.”
Friedrich Seiltgen is a retired Master Police Officer with 20 years of service with the Orlando Police Department. He conducts training in Lone Wolf Terrorism Counterstrategies, Firearms, and Active Shooter Response. His writing has appeared in RECOIL, Soldier of Fortune, The Counter Terrorist Magazine, Off Grid, American Thinker, Homeland Security Today, and The Journal of Counterterrorism & Homeland Security International. Contact him at polizei22@msn.