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Cabot & Webster Prototype Single-shot Pistol
This Smith & Wesson profile single-shot pistol prototype was intended to provide an inexpensive revolver-style pistol for training, target, plinking and odd-caliber experimentation by handloaders. Cabot & Webster, a firm begun by arms designer Walter H.B. Smith and Joel Gross, were jobbers for Smith & Wesson and had a special relationship not accorded many small businesses. After developing a .22 caliber prototype based on a Smith & Wesson Military & Police frame and sideplate with the blessing of S&W president Carl Helstrom, the company asked S&W for permission to test then-experimental .44 Magnum ammunition in an upgraded aluminum frame with a steel monoblock. Barrels and other components were provided by Smith & Wesson for the project.
Incorporating powder-metal technology for certain parts, the revised design proved successful and there was consideration to have a steel frame .44 Magnum pistol subcontracted through a group of New England armsmakers. The goal was to have an inexpensive .44 Magnum pistol (intended to retail under $50) on the market as .44 Magnum ammunition became available, at least nine months before a Smith & Wesson revolver would be available.
Despite the best of intentions, this single-shot pistol never developed beyond the prototype level.