For 32 years—from 1954 until 1986—the best deal in the Smith & Wesson catalog was the Model 28, a revolver built on the N frame and chambered for the .357 Mag. cartridge. Before S&W assigned model numbers to all products, the maker called this gun the Highway Patrolman. Made with the user's choice of either 4- or 6-inch barrels, the Highway Patrolman had a matte-blue finish, with a very plebeian exterior. There was no grooving on the barrel rib or rear sight and no choices in sights, trigger or hammer. I have seen Target and Magna grips on them, almost always in oiled, checkered walnut. In other words, the Model 28 was a plain .357 Mag. revolver of the largest and strongest type. You got a lot of gun for your money and that made the Model 28 popular with cash-strapped police agencies and individual officers.
Back when revolvers ruled the law enforcement roost, there were a number of notable sidearms with names that left no doubt as to their intended markets. The Smith & Wesson Military & Police, Bodyguard and Chiefs Special are a few that come to mind.
Well i'm thinking of getting a Smith and Wesson Model 28 Highway Patrolman as my first revolver. A guy i work with is selling it, he bought it brand new in 1968 i think he said and from my understanding really didn't shoot it that much but i'm gonna talk to him more about it one Monday. The price that he is giving it to me for seems to be a steal around $250. I told him its most likely worth more, he told me he knows that he would rather sell it to me for his price then someone else for a higher price (I've worked with him for years and he lives a few miles from my parents so we grew up in the same area just decades apart). I'm gonna check it out but i'm pretty sure it will be in great condition. He only ever really took it hunting as a back up or "finishing" gun if you will, but he got a snub nose years ago and never takes it anymore.