Smith & Wesson Governor Review
Part 3 - Detailed Features
July 18, 2011

Smith & Wesson Governor Review

In this part of the Smith & Wesson Governor revolver review, I will try to cover in detail the features of the Governor Revolver.  Since my feeling is that a picture is worth 1000 words, I may not comment on every photo, but have included them for your own study.  As with nearly all my photos, you can click on the photo to bring up a higher resolution photo showing the details even better.

The first thing I want to cover on the Smith & Wesson Governor Revolver is the "Patented, heat-treated scandium alloy frame for superior strength and reduced weight".  I think it would be more accurate if S&W used the term Aluminum-Scandium Alloy because there is only a small percentage of scandium present in the alloy (0.05% to 0.15%).  The addition of scandium in this alloy does give the material improved properties over aluminum alone.  It also allows S&W the ability to market their firearms using a cool name like Scandium for the material.  You can read more about scandium at this Wikipedia link.  If you want to review the details of the actual S&W patents, they can be found at these links; Patent No. US 6,557,289 or Patent No. US 6,711,819.

Figure 1
Smith & Wesson Governor Review

The cylinder is a stainless steel alloy that is PVD coated.   PVD (Physical Vapor Deposition) is an environmentally friendly vacuum coating process that provides brilliant and durable finishes.  In this case the cylinder coating is matte black to match that of the frame.  I was pleased with the finish on both the frame and cylinder.

Figure 2
Smith & Wesson Governor Review

This Governor Revolver measured 8.68" in length, 5.44" in height, and 1.71" in width.  These are slightly different than the rounded off values in the specifications which were 8.5", 5.5" and 1.75".  I don't feel these differences are significant other than they are slightly different than what I measured.  The front sight is dovetailed in place and the rear sight is part of the frame.  The hammer includes a checkered pattern for thumb cocking.

Figure 3
Smith & Wesson Governor Review

Figure 4
Smith & Wesson Governor Review

In the photos below, you get a good idea on the sight picture for the Governor along with an end profile of the Hogue Grip.

Figure 5                               Figure 6     
Smith & Wesson Governor Review   Smith & Wesson Governor Review

These next two photos give you a couple of isometric views of the revolver.  The Hogue grip has a very nice feel and fits my hand well.  I liked the rubber feel, texturing on the sides and finger grooves on the front of the grip.

Figure 7
Smith & Wesson Governor Review

Figure 8
Smith & Wesson Governor Review

The barrel shroud was marked "Smith & Wesson" on both sides and with the right side showing the caliber designations ".45 Colt - .45 ACP - .410 2-1/2"" and the left side with the model name "GOVERNOR".  The caliber markings is actually some type of raised letter marking.  You can also see the end of the stainless steel alloy barrel which measured 2.74" in length.  The tritium front sight has a white high visibility area and is mounted via a dovetail in the end of the barrel shroud.

Figure 9 - Right Side                                                 Figure 10 - Left Side
Smith & Wesson Governor Review   Smith & Wesson Governor Review

The right side of the frame was marked with the Smith & Wesson logo along with "SPFLD, MA S&W U.S.A.".  The base of the frame on the grip was marked with the serial number of the revolver.

       Figure 11                                                               Figure 12
Smith & Wesson Governor Review   Smith & Wesson Governor Review

On the left side of the frame is the Smith & Wesson Trade Mark.  Also on the left side are the thumb piece and internal lock.  In this photo I have already pressed the thumb piece, slightly opened the cylinder and inserted the key.

Figure 13
Smith & Wesson Governor Review

The two photos below show the revolver in the unlocked (left) and locked (right) state.  In the locked state, a small indicator rotates up below the hammer and has the word "Locked" stamped into the indicator.

Figure 14                                                             Figure 15
Smith & Wesson Governor Review   Smith & Wesson Governor Review

The average trigger pull force for 10 pulls in the single action mode measured 4 pounds 15 ounces.  The trigger pull force in the double action mode was greater than my Lyman Trigger Pull Gauge which has a maximum of 12 pounds.  The double action trigger pull was firm but smooth while the single action trigger pull had a very crisp feel.

Figure 10                                                               Figure 17
Smith & Wesson Governor Review   Smith & Wesson Governor Review

With the cylinder open, you can see that the serial number and model name are engraved on the front support of the frame where the yoke nests when closed.

Figure 18
Smith & Wesson Governor Review

Figure 19
Smith & Wesson Governor Review

As with most revolvers, you can see marks are already developing on the frame finish where the spring loaded center pin must slide when opening and closing the cylinder.

Figure 20
Smith & Wesson Governor Review

Figure 21
Smith & Wesson Governor Review

The yoke also has a number engraved on the inside.

Figure 22
Smith & Wesson Governor Review

Figure 23
Smith & Wesson Governor Review

The Governor Revolver weighed in empty at 29.65 ounces which matched the S&W specifications of 29.6 ounces.

Figure 24
Smith & Wesson Governor Review

Next I wanted to load it up, try out the moon clips and inspect the revolver loaded.  For range testing (next part of the review) I picked up some of the Winchester PDX1 .45 Colt and .410 Defender shells.  I also had some PMC .45 Auto on hand.

Figure 25
Smith & Wesson Governor Review

In this photo I show the Governor loaded with six cartridges of .45 Auto using the 6-round moon clip.

Figure 26
Smith & Wesson Governor Review

In this photo I show the Governor loaded with six cartridges of .45 Colt.

Figure 27
Smith & Wesson Governor Review

In this photo I show the Governor loaded with six shells of the .410 PDX1 Defender shells.

Figure 28
Smith & Wesson Governor Review

In this photo I show the Governor loaded with two cartridges of .45 Auto using one 2-round moon clip, two cartridges of .45 Colt and two shells of the .410 PDX1 Defender.  This is real versatility.

Figure 29
Smith & Wesson Governor Review

There is nothing like staring down the barrel of a loaded gun to wake you up.  The Governor is loaded with the mix above and a .45 Auto cartridge is lined up with the barrel.  The only manufacturing issue I have found on this Governor Revolver during this review is the chamfer on the inside of the barrel.  In the photo below you can see that the chamfer appears to be slightly off center of the barrel.

Figure 30
Smith & Wesson Governor Review

 

Thoughts

My thoughts are summed up with my wife's statement after she proof read this part of the review, "That's a cool gun".  I thought it was a cool gun the first day took a look at it and I still think that today after studying it closely for a couple of months.  From the photos, you should get a good idea of the quality workmanship and features.  I'm also amazed at how well the grip fits my hand along with the general balance of the Governor Revolver.

For more detailed photos and commentary, make sure you check out the other parts of this review and feel free to leave comments on my Reader's Comments page.  The following links are provided to help you see other parts of this review and feel free to add a comment on the "Reader's Comments" page. 


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