38-44 Heavy Duty Boxes

First Heavy Duties came in maroon boxes that were made for 44 Specials and with new end labels which were overstamped with "38-44 HE" and stamped in the lid of the box with "38-44".

6.5 inch Heavy Duties came in maroon boxes that were made for 44 Specials and with new end labels which were overstamped with "38-44 HE" and stamped in the lid of the box with "38-44".  There weren't any blue Picture boxes made for the 6.5 inch Heavy Duty.

This is what is known as a Blue Picture Box.  These were used starting in 1931 at the same time the 38/44 Outdoorsman Model came out in it's own Blue Picture Box.  All 4 and 5 inch Heavy Duties were shipped in these boxes until WW 2 started.  Note that the Heavy Duty on the cover has service stocks.  Unlike today, lots of owners threw away the box once they received the gun.

This is a Blue Picture Box with the Heavy duty on the cover wearing Magna Grips.  These were used starting in 1936 when Smith & Wesson made Magna grips standard on Heavy Duties.  This box shows the revolver pointing to the left.  There is a variation that has the revolver pointing to the right and the lettering on the box top has switched sides.  Must have been a change in vendor for producing the boxes.  

After the war, Heavy Duties were shipped in two piece Maroon Boxes.  This one was for a 4 inch blue model.  Smith & Wesson color coded the end labels so it would be easier to pull the finish required to fill the order.  Blue models had green end lables while nickel models had yellow labels.

This box was for a 4 inch nickel model.  Note the yellow label for this nickel model.

This one was for a 5 inch blue model.  

This one was for a 5 inch nickel model.

This one was for a 6.5 inch blue model.  This is an extremely rare box as only 95 ea 6.5 inch transition Heavy Duties were manufactured.  I have the gun that goes in this box.

In late 1949 Smith & Wesson introduced the Model of 1950 38-44 Heavy Duty.  With that introduction came a new box which collectors have referred to as the "Gold Box".  This one is for a 4 inch blue Heavy Duty.

This one is for a 4 inch nickel Heavy Duty.

This one is for a 5 inch blue Heavy Duty.

This one is for a 5 inch nickel Heavy Duty.

This one is for a 6.5 inch blueHeavy Duty.

This one is for a 6.5 inch nickel Heavy Duty.  Apparently Smith & Wesson made more boxes for this model as there is only one known gun in this configuration.

Interesting enough, these 4 inch blue boxes have different colored brads on the corners.  It is believed that this occured when different vendors were used to manufacture the boxes for Smith & Wesson.

5 inch blue boxes with different colored brads on the corners.  

5 inch nickel boxes with different colored brads on the corners.