Before I discuss the relative virtues of the Performance Center (meaning "custom shop" ) pistol pictured above, the Model 67 Carry-Comp., I'd like to talk a little bit about the history of this pistol, it's predecessors and variants. It's been around quite a while. But if you just can't wait to read about the above-pictured pistol, then here's the link to the SW page on it: http://www.smith-wesson.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?catalogId=11101&storeId=10001&productId=65444&langId=-1&parent_category_rn=15714&isFirearm=Y
Here's an excellent thread on this pistol at the forum THE HIGH ROAD, an excellent forum, which by the way is where I borrowed the picture shown above:
I don't have to tell any firearms fans about how great a pistol the Model 67 is. It is the stainless version of the Model 15, known as "The Combat Masterpiece". The Model 15 is itself basically a Model 10 with adjustable sights, and all of these guns were staples of law enforcement and the Air Force for generations. In fact, when I entered law enforcement, the armorer at our department still carried a Model 67, although he owned many fine firearms like the Python, Commander, Hi Power and Model 19.
The Model 10 pistol dates back to the forties, when it was known as the "M&P" for Military and Police. Subsequent versions became more modern looking, and it became the sidearm of numerous civilian security agencies, law enforcement agencies and the military over the years. The Air Force adopted a modified model, the Model 15, which had adjustable sights, and lots of folks carried these pistols while in the Air Force until the adoption of the Beretta service pistol in the 1980's.
The Model 15 became designated by SW as "The Combat Masterpiece". Likewise, the Model 19/66 pistol in .357 Magnum became "The Combat Magnum". When I was in junior high school, one of my friend's dad had two blued Combat Masterpieces, both Model 15s, displayed in a glass cabinet in their home. Seems his dad had been a chopper pilot in Vietnam, and had been shot down behind enemy lines and had to fight his way back to the line with captured AK-47's and these pistols. Apparently, he carried the guns in dual shoulder rigs
According to my friend's father, it was not uncommon for the Air Force guys who were carrying the Model 15, usually in a military leather shoulder holster rig, to carry bandoliers under their flight suits containing extra .38 Special rounds.
In law enforcement, the Model 10 quickly became the standard police handgun sometime in the 1940's or 1950's. New York City was still isssuing Model 10's to their rookies as late as the early 1980's, and possibly into the late 1980's when high capacity autoloading pistols became necessary for street police to begin carrying.
The Model 67 is chambered for .38 Special +P ammo, meaning it is a heavy duty gun. Of course, you do as many do and fire lower powered .38 Special self defense rounds in a heavier gun, with the result of even lower recoil, but the option is there to shoot high powered rounds that come close to .357 magnum performance from a .38 Special +P round. The Carry-Comp weighs in at 35 ounces, heavy for a small 3" barrel carry pistol but the perfect weight for a field pistol or home defense.
The pistol is high priced, and if I had my druthers, I'd like to buy one of those 3" barrels and put it on a Model 15 or 67. I'd opt for some sort of low profile Novak type of revolver sights over the large snagging variety shown in the picture above, and you'd be getting close to the perfect home/car defense weapon as well as a great field gun.