During World War II after the Dunkirk evacuation the British military was in dire straits for weapons that were lost.
There was a shortage of revolvers. Smith & Wesson was contracted to provide replacement handguns for England. Due to the urgent need there was no time for Smith & Wesson to design a new revolver so the M&P pistol was used. This weapon was designed to shoot the 38 special and with some minor modifications implemented to convert this handgun to the British caliber .38/200.
The initial orders for this handgun were for South Africa but the British military staff in Washington DC diverted it to the United Kingdom.
Originally the Smith & Wesson M&P model came in four, five and 6 inch length barrels, with checkered would grips and commercial bluing. Due to the demands for faster and more economical production Smith & Wesson changed to a plane wood grip, 5 inch barrel and a phosphated finish.
The pistol were talking about today is one of the standard ones that were made.
There were 586,200 Smith & Wesson M&P pistols produced. This is one of the of the 8000 pistols that Australia received.
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