iinThe K-Frame Revolver - The S&W Phenomenon, Volume II
by Timothy J. Mullin
520 pages, 592 illustrations, most in color
This book is a follow-on to our 282-page title MAGNUM - The S&W .357 Magnum Phenomenon, published in 2012.
Beginning with an introductory thumbnail history of Smith & Wesson, including all the changes in corporate ownership to date, the book follows the K-frame through the decades since its introduction in 1899, with chapters on Developments Prior to World War I; Contemporary Evaluations, taken from the author's extensive collection of early arms-oriented periodicals; The Scourge of "Those Spanish Imitations" during the 1920s; and The Depression of the 1930s, when the first K-22 was introduced. A full chapter on The K-Frame During WWII includes new material on the 9mm Light Rifle, the .38/200 Revolver, made in unprecedented quantities for British and Commonwealth forces (including an experimental 9mm version), and the U.S. Victory Model. The short-lived prewar short-action K-22 "Masterpiece" was introduced, while later, in 1944, a fatal accident involving a Navy Victory Model mandated the crash development of a new, more positive hammer safety.
Demand from police and civilian shooters alike surged in the "K-Frame Boom" after WWII, and many ex-wartime .38/200s and Victory Models were converted for civilian sale, or were specifically marked for issue to police forces in Occupied Germany. New commercial target models and the alloy-frame "Airweight" were introduced, and a little-known copy of the M&P was produced in limited numbers in Israel, in 9mm Parabellum caliber.
Numbers Replaced Names in 1957, with the standard M&P leading the way as the Model 10. The Airweight Model 12 was used by the Swedish Air Force, and a special version was produced for the French police with a manual safety on the sideplate. The .357 Magnum chambering was added, first in the Combat Magnum (Model 19) and then in the fixed-sight Model 13. Stainless steel K-frames were introduced in 1970, and the special Model 547, in 9mm caliber, was produced for the French Gendarmerie. Many other recent K-frame models are depicted and discussed, including the Scandium-alloy Model 315 Nightguard.
A multi-chapter Retrospective includes Features of the K-Frame; Competitors of the M&P from U.S. and foreign makers; Famous Users (including, among others, Elmer Keith, Ed McGivern, Herrmann Goring, Col. Rex Applegate, Bill Jordan, and Ian Fleming); Postwar Military Use of the K-Frame, including the USAF M13 "Aircrewman" and military cartridges and accessories; Unusual Variations and Rarities, including some spectacular engraved examples; Custom Features (stocks, sights, barrels, revolver safeties, etc.); and Commercial Accessories (ammunition, holsters, boxes and cases). The book concludes with a Bibliography and a comprehensive Index of this book and our earlier title MAGNUM.