Great Care Wins Out

Astrong argument for LA superiority is observation. S&W revolvers made in the 1930s often had splendid DA pulls out of the box. The best examples, such as the .357 Registered Magnums, are considered by many the best ever made. The LA design seems to have gotten much of the credit.

I think the brutal economics of the Great Depression were the main factor. Firearms demand was low; there was no incentive to cut corners and speed production, quite the opposite. Workers wanted to keep their jobs; managers didn’t want to lose their highly skilled and trained employees. Workers could take time, for example, to pick through hammers and triggers to find an exceptional match. Great care could be lavished on fit and finish.

I’ve noticed the same dynamic with other makers such as Colt, Savage and Winchester — virtually custom-made, hand-fitted quality at production prices. It was really just a rare moment in time, a fluke of circumstance. I suppose it is human nature to forget the misery and hardship of the Depression and remember the few bright spots.

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