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The most popular barrel length was the 4-incher, but some officers liked the longer 6-inch revolver and many also had a 2.5-inch variant, with the more concealable round butt.From the mid-'50s to the late '70s, Smith & Wesson's Model 19 (also known as the Combat Magnum) was a best-seller, firing a growing array of hot .357 Mag. In the long run, it was the ammunition that caused the decline of the Model 19 (or 66 in stainless steel) and drove the development of its replacement, the Model 686.
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Semi-automatic pistol choices were far less varied, and concealed-carry handguns were almost always snub-nose revolvers.
The grand old 1911 pistol was showing surprising signs of a renaissance, but the gun to have for police service was the century-old double-action revolver.
Six years after its introduction, the gun was out of production.
But that was only because everything else was likewise temporarily on hold; World War II production of military revolvers for the British took precedence.