Memories & A Sixgun

.38 Special Military and Police Model Smith & Wesson With a 2-inch Barrel

My uncle, Taylor Wilson, was the gun guy in our family. Taylor had grown up in West Dallas,during the Depression, and knew what hard times really meant. He was on speaking terms with other West Dallas residents, namely the Barrow and Hamilton families. However, to my knowledge, Uncle Taylor chose not to get afoul of the law and generally behaved himself. In the fine Texas tradition, however, he always carried a pistol.

I can remember Taylor visiting our home, in Austin, when I was just a snip of a lad. Upon entering the house, he always took his pistol out of his pocket and laid it on the mantel. For people of his generation, that was a way of showing respect and the fact that he trusted the company that he was in. On one of those visits he caught me staring at his gun, from a safe distance. Nothing would do but for him to take me out in the back yard and let me shoot it. I was 4-5 years old at the time and I’m sure that my mother raised holy hell about it.

In the course of time, Uncle Taylor gave me my first shooting lessons. He also showed me how to clean and take care of a gun, telling me that if I took care of a pistol, it would take care of me. Not long before he died, Taylor was telling me how he wanted to split up his modest estate. I told him that he should leave everything to his daughter and grandkids; all I wanted was his old sixgun.

The revolver in question is a 2-inch Smith & Wesson Military & Police model, in .38 Special. That’s the same gun that later became the Model 10. This old sixgun is the early 5-screw model with a rounded front sight and a butter smooth action. And, as the photo proves, I still have it.

Taylor’s old Smith & Wesson stays loaded and does duty as one of my home defense guns. A while back, I used it to demonstrate the cross draw in a segment of American Guardian TV. But it gets light duty these days.

A lot of people wouldn’t understand how a firearm can be a treasured memory of one’s youth and the people who made a lasting memory and shaped the course of one’s life. I expect that you folks can.

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10 Responses to Memories & A Sixgun

  1. Hoss Dugger says:

    Neat story. I have some of my Dads guns and Granddads guns and they will be passed along to the kiddos and Grand kiddos. Some already have been. Love it

  2. Reloader says:

    I came into possession of my late uncle john Breslin’s two carry pieces, a S&W Model 10 HB-6 and a Colt 1903 .380 made in 1911. He was former DPS and New Braunfels, Texas, ass’t chief for many years. He passed in 1976. His partner, Jerome “Geronimo” Preiss later Sgt. in Texas Rangers, served under Alfred Allee in south Texas..Many memories..

  3. Jim Wilson says:

    I knew both Geronimo and Capt. Allee quite well.

  4. Philip Montarsi says:

    Brings back memories of a late friend who introduced me to handguns, fine shotguns and other neat things. He had a Detonics 45, steel frame (1970’s vintage) which he engraved and carried on a daily basis. After my friend’s passing, the estate let me buy the gun. Call me strange, but after having it a few months, I sold it. I didn’t have the same feelings for it since it wasn’t a gift. I struggle with the decision from time to time. I hope that when the time comes that some young person admires one of my guns with the same passion, I will make provisions to get it to them as a gift.

  5. Nick Sisley says:

    Jim Wilson: We met several times at the Intermedia conclave – Dick Metcalf’s stomping grounds. So I remember you well. Re your Pre-model 10 S&W – I bought a used Model 10 maybe two years ago. When I’m “packing” that’s the gun that’s usually holstered on my hip. Mine is a 4-inch barrel version, but still very compact for carrying – and with an excellent and light trigger right from the factory. I keep it loaded with Winchester 110 grain Silver Tip H.P. – but shoot 148 grain wadcutters (reloads) for practice. Thanks for sharing your love of your uncle’s old S&W. Nick Sisley

  6. David Loeffler says:

    Memories tied to guns are some of the best. I got Dad’s guns. My brother got the sail boats. Money value, he’s way ahead. We’re even because his memories are sailing with Dad and mine are shooting and hunting with him.

  7. Gary M. Long says:

    I am one of many who love stories like this. I own the nickel Mod 10 carried by the WWII hero and police chief in the small town where I grew up in the 60s He lived across the road from my family and when I did something with my car in high school he always seemed to know about it. Instead of taking the hard line with me he’d just get on his tractor the next weekend, drive across the road and tell my dad. This, of course, put me on the straight and narrow. He gave me the Smith shortly before he passed. I have many firearms, this one is special. As others have said….memories.

  8. Ronald Bennett says:

    Almost the same story with me except it was my god father and a 4in pre Model 10 . After he passed my godmother gave me a custom made single shot .22

  9. Yamil R Sued says:

    Sheriff Jim, I know EXACTLY how you feel about that Revolver. I have my Dad’s Cobra that he got in the early 70’s and had it until he passed. It has all the wear in the world, but I love it!!

  10. Wallace McDaniel says:

    I suspect Uncle Taylor knew you would cherish the revolver & keep it in the family. So many guns handed down get pawned by those who only see $$$ signs….that’s upsetting & sad to those of us who appreciate a heirloom.

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