Smith & Wesson Model 61

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Smith & Wesson Model 61
TypeSemi-automatic pistol
Place of originUnited States
Production history
ManufacturerSmith & Wesson
No. built65438
Cartridge.22 Long Rifle
Caliber.22 Long Rifle
ActionRecoil operated single-action
Feed system5-round magazine[1]

The Smith & Wesson Model 61 (also known as the Smith & Wesson Escort or simply the Pocket Escort) is a subcompact semi-automatic pistol chambered in .22 long rifle and designed for self-defense that was made from 1970 to 1973.


The S&W Model 61 is a recoil operated pistol chambered in .22 long rifle and was marketed for self-defense to fill a void in the pocket auto market after the banning of importation of small concealable handguns. The pistol was available in blued or nickel-plated finishes and black or white plastic grip panels. Early models had numerous reliability problems and according to Smith & Wesson historian, Jim Supica, many were returned to the factory for repair.[1]

According to Supica, many of these returned pistols were not actually repaired. Employees at Smith & Wesson simply took a new pistol off the line, restamped the serial number and shipped the pistol to the customer in place of the old one because repair time would have been too costly.[1] Model 61 engineering changes:

  • 61 (B1,001–B7,800; March 1970)[1]
  • 61-1 (B7,801–B9,850): Magazine safety (May 1970)[1]
    • 61-1 (B1–B500): Special group of pres. numbers (1970)[1]
  • 61-2 (B9,851–B40,000): Barrel nut added (September 1970)[1]
  • 61-3 (B40,001–B65,438): Aluminum frame (July 1971)[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Supica, Jim (2007). Standard Catalog of Smith & Wesson. Gun Digest Books. p. 281. ISBN 978-0-89689-293-4.

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