I would like to dedicate this website to my wife for her encouragement and understanding. I would like to thank the many collectors of Smith & Wesson hand guns around the world and especially Roy Jinks, David Carroll, Ray Cheely, Bruce Perkins, Jerry Lewis, Bob Bettis, Lyle Larkworthy, Jim Fisher, Ed Cornett, Bill Cross, Lee Jarrett, Jim Supica, Rick Nahas, Tom Harvey and Peter Eick. There are many more that have contributed to the learning and history of the mighty 38/44 Heavy Duty.



The first 38/44 Heavy Duty was shipped from Smith & Wesson on 2 April 1930. This model was built in response to law enforcement's requirement for an arm that would shoot a high speed round which could penetrate car bodies and bullet proof vests. The collaboration between Smith & Wesson, Remington and Elmer Keith produced the 38/44 S&W cartridge which could launch a 158 grain bullet at 1175 fps and producing 460 foot pounds of energy. This round would penetrate 11ea 7/8inch thick boards and would go thru the trunk of a car, seats, dash and into the engine area. The factory first offered this gun in a 5 inch barrel, blue or nickel finish and service stocks. Some special orders were received early in production for the pistol with adjustable sights which was the precursor of the 38/44 Outdoorsman which would first appear in 1931. The 38/44 Heavy Duty was the father of the .357 Registered Magnum which appeared in 1935.    I am always interested in acquiring collectable 38/44 Heavy Duties. Send me any Heavy Duty questions you have and I'll answer them if possible. Please contact me at 

S&WCA Life Member 600