Versions And Loads

The Model 1950 Target .45 is one of three target version S&W sixguns of 1950. One of the others was, of course, the .44 Special, however the .38/44 Outdoorsman also received the improvements of 1950, so all three are basically the same gun in different chamberings.

The .45 version came standard with checkered hammer, serrated trigger, Patridge front sight and diamond Magna stocks. My example is not totally standard as it has a target trigger and hammer plus a square red bead in the face of the Patridge post front sight blade. I don’t know if this is factory or was added later. Although for normal use I prefer the slim barrel of the 1950 Target whether chambered in .44, .45 or .38, I can see why target shooters would prefer the heavier barrel of the 1955 Model. The extra weight just seems to help the sights to hang right on-target.

I have two favorite bullets for use in the .45 Auto Rim. One is from RCBS and was designed for use in the Colt Single Action. It’s a semi-wadcutter patterned after the Keith bullet and when using my wheelweight alloy they cast out at 281 grains. Even loaded over 6.0 grains of Universal at 865 fps this is still an awesome load from the old Auto Rim.

My second favorite bullet is from Lyman, designed specifically for the .45 AR although it’s also a superb hunting bullet in the .45 Colt. Lyman catalogs it as #452490GC, the GC standing for gas check. This one weighs 255 grains and I also load it over 6.0 grains of Universal for over 880 fps. This one is also quite accurate, with groups running right at 1″.