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Old April 2, 2013, 07:25 AM   #1
FISHY-A-NADO
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Help with S&W value please

A GS near my office has a Smith and Wesson M65-3 with a 4" barrel (Serial # 260002***). The gun appears to be in excellent condition and doesn't appear to have been fired very much at all. I went through a pretty good check of the gun as prescribed in another post on this forum and it passes in all areas. Any idea of the age and approximate value?

Thanks in advance for any insight you are able to give.
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Old April 2, 2013, 07:28 AM   #2
sarge83
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I paid $330 for my two used but good to very good condition model 65's but that was six years ago. I would expect at least $400-$500, might hit $550 range if it is in pristine condition in my area.
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Old April 2, 2013, 08:42 AM   #3
18DAI
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An excellent condition 4 inch 65-3, as you describe would go for around $450 locally. IF one could be found. Slightly more for LNIB with matching box and docs.

I advise you to buy it, shoot it, love it. Its one of the last examples of everything you need in a revolver and nothing you don't.

Just take a look at what the asking price is for the lesser quality, current production junk wearing the famous trademark.

Good luck! Regards 18DAI
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Old April 2, 2013, 08:51 AM   #4
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That's not the serial number. The 65-3 was made from 1982 to 1988, and will have a serial number starting with 3 letters (the first should be either an "A" or a "B") followed by 4 numbers. It will be stamped on the bottom of the grip frame, and I believe should also be in the frame cutout, i.e. the part of the frame that's exposed when the cylinder is swung to the side.
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Old April 2, 2013, 11:08 AM   #5
Jeff #111
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When Idaho State Police switched from the Model 65 to the S&W Model 4586 in 1991 my dad bought his M65 for a very reasonable price. He had carried it since it was issued to him (NIB) in 1979. He still owns it and still shoots it now and again. He retired in 1994. I have no idea how many rounds have been fired through it over the past thirty-three years, but I think it's safe to say a bunch.

He's taken care of it and it's still tight and accurate. No cracked forcing cone, very little flame cutting of the top strap etc. Good model.
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Old April 2, 2013, 01:10 PM   #6
Sevens
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"Values" on Model 65's can be a tiny little bit different than, say, other similar Smith & Wesson K-frame magnum revolvers simply because so many of these were sold to agencies and issued as duty revolvers and have been hitting the secondary market as former LE or DOC guns.

Notice I'm not talking about the desirability, durability, tangible use or pride of ownership here -- merely that the market for a four-inch Model 65 is simply going to be different than a 4" Model 13 or Model 19, or a 6-inch Model 65 or Model 66, etc etc. It's all about the numbers.

If your gun was first sold commercially in a gun store or distributor and it's first end-user or owner was Joe Lunchbox, it's most likely a more "desirable" gun on the market, where price or "value" is concerned. Duty guns that have been released to the secondary market almost -ALWAYS- show some evidence of their service, often with secondary identifying numbers or a characters or logos or words etched in to them. Look for anything in a different font or an odd place. Obvious carry wear can be an indicator...some might suggest to look inside for donut crumbs & sprinkles.

The huge local gun store in my area has deals with different LE agencies (or the assorted groups that must handle their fleet of firearms) and they have recently offered extremely large lots of LE trade in K-frames in both .38 and .357. Model 10's, 64's and 65's, and I mean a -LOT- of them.

The Model 10's were intro'd to the local market at $249. And you would literally walk up to a glass gun case and see 20 of them. And if 1 sold, another one was fished from a crate and it replaced it in the case. When I went to find the Model 10-10 that I bought, the price had dropped to $220 to clear them out and I spent a few minutes handling and working SEVEN different revolvers to find the one that came home with me.

When the Model 65's were released to the buying public, they tagged them at $399. Many were three-inch barreled. I didn't buy one of these. Maybe I should have?

I can tell you that if you went to a gun show and found a very nice three-inch Model 65 and all evidence pointed to it NEVER having been an issued gun and only sold commercially, I simply don't think there's any way you'd be able to purchase that revolver for under $500, unless there were "issues" with it.

These are merely my opinions and the market varies according to many factors.
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Old April 2, 2013, 01:44 PM   #7
FISHY-A-NADO
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Thanks for the replies. This is quite educational to me.

Sevens,
After looking again, I think the number I originally (and incorrectly) posted as the serial number must actually be the issue number by some LE agency as it is more of an etched number rather than being stamped and the "font" is different.

They have priced it to me at $450 OTD including one box of .38 special ammo. (They are currently out of .357)

As I mentioned earlier, it is a great looking gun. It was either rarely used or very well taken care of...or perhaps both.
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Old April 2, 2013, 02:04 PM   #8
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If the gun checks out, the timing is good and the cylinder advances & locks properly and you like what you see, I don't see you getting the slightest bit hurt at $450, at least from what I know about the market I live & play in.

If you like that one at $450 and it seems like a runner, I'd buy with no hesitation.

Now I don't know your level of experience in this little hobby of ours...
But it has LONG been my opinion that there exists no better cartridge on Earth to choose as one's first to attempt handloading than .38 Special to be launched from a .357 Magnum revolver, and this is for a long string of reasons. I'm a long time hobbyist handloader and if you have even a passing interest in this segment of the hobby, this would be a fantastic place to start.

But one reason of MANY: .38 and .357 Magnum factory ammo is horribly expensive, IMO.
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Old April 2, 2013, 03:12 PM   #9
FISHY-A-NADO
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In the past I have given thought to doing some reloading of handgun ammo. Back in the days BC (before children) I was doing a lot of trap and skeet shooting so I bought the requisite materials and equipment and reloaded all my shotshells. That hobby was enjoyable but it got put on the back burner long ago. I still have shells I reloaded almost 20 years ago if that tells you anything about the decline in my shooting.

Only recently have I started to do any serious handgun shooting and I get the most enjoyment from shooting small targets with a .22 Ruger Single Six and at longer distance with a Marlin model 60. Could be because those were the only 2 guns that didn't fall victim to my sell-off in 2005 while going through a divorce.

Having said all that, this would be my first handgun chambered in .357 magnum/.38spl and I don't yet know if I will shoot it enough to justify making the investment in all the accoutrements necessary to reload. I'm sure it would be great fun, but I will have to how that scenario plays out down the road. After all, I have to buy the gun first.
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