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Old April 12, 2013, 04:05 PM   #1
BillCnKC
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Volquartsen .357 Magnum

All--

I have a Volquartsen .357 magnum revolver with a 7" barrel. It is based on a 686. I am trying to figure out how rare--if that term is even applicable--this revolver may be. Have you ever seen one before? Have you ever even heard of one before?



Thanks.

--Bill
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Old April 12, 2013, 04:25 PM   #2
Venom1956
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looks good. I like it.
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Old April 12, 2013, 04:45 PM   #3
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Cool. Looks like a PPC revolver. I've not seen one with a Volquartsen barrel before, and I'd be interested in knowing if Volquartsen actually built & tuned the gun, or if someone else added it as part of their build.

PPC isn't nearly as popular as it once was, so there's generally not much demand for PPC revolvers, and, as such, they don't typically command premiums on the market. The good news for buyers is that they're often a bargain for what they are - accurate custom target revolvers. If yours is a bona fide Volquartsen-built gun, and they didn't build many, and you have the documentation, it might bring a bit of a premium.

BTW, I'd look into the spec on that barrel. Heavy PPC barrels often have fast twist rates designed to stabilize long-ish target wadcutters, so despite it being built on a .357mag frame, it might perform best with target ammo (i.e. not .357mag power).
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Old April 12, 2013, 07:57 PM   #4
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Neat.

I wonder if it started out as a 686 that was re-barreled by volquartsen or if it was put together and tuned by volquartsen.

I would suggest you contact volquartsen with everything you know about it and see what they have to say.

Given that nothing jumps out at me while searching google, I don't think a very large number of .357s like this exist. With a name like volquartsen on it, it might be pretty special.

How does she shoot?
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Old April 13, 2013, 08:37 AM   #5
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Very cool piece, I had no idea they ever did anything with revolvers. Definitely give them a call and ask about it, then come back and let us know what they say!
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Old April 13, 2013, 12:23 PM   #6
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I had no idea they even did revolver work, past or present. It'll be interesting to hear what they have to say. There can't be very many of them floating around.
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Old April 13, 2013, 03:38 PM   #7
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Very nice. I would get in touch with VQ directly- their customer service is exceptional.
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Old April 13, 2013, 07:15 PM   #8
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Yep, that's a S&W revolver, customized by Volquartsen.

Back in the late 80's, Tom Volquartsen had a table set up at our local gun show.(They're in Carroll, IA. The show was in Des Moines.) I bought a .22 pistol from them, and with that pistol, I got a brochure that showed all of their models and options. On the back page was a description of all of the fine things they would do for you S&W revolver.
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Old April 13, 2013, 08:42 PM   #9
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The real question is, how does that thing shoot? Like the others said I wasn't even aware Volqaurtsen worked on revolvers, it must be pretty rare.
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Old April 13, 2013, 10:19 PM   #10
BillCnKC
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All--

Thank you for all the input!

I have some Volquartsen .22 target pistols and have spoken on the phone with Nic Volquartsen a few times while "designing" them. (My Volquartsen target pistols are truly wondrous machines: 10" barrel for 25 yards and a 12" barrel for 100 yards . . . unbelievably accurate. I also have an Olympus for off-hand.) And, yes, several years ago, I talked to him about this revolver. Although he was kind of vague about it, he did tell me that quite some time ago, they built 100 of them from S&W 686 bases. I did not get any feeling from him as to its value as a collectible firearm, though.

I also have a S&W 686 with a 6" barrel, which I really like. (Who wouldn't?) I cannot attest to the inherent accuracy of either firearm, but the excellent trigger on the Smith pales in comparison to the Volquartsen. It is a wonder to behold.

Your replies have confirmed for me that if not a collectible, it at least isn't a commonplace revolver. I am the only kid on my block that has one, for sure!

Thanks for your help.

--Bill aka seal killer
ps I think I will take the Volquartsen and the 686 out and bench them at 50 yards. If I see any differences I will at least get a clue as to the quality of the 7" barrel.
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Old April 13, 2013, 11:08 PM   #11
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I would try to get Nic Volquartsen to write up a letter stating that this is one of the 100 they built. It would give validity to it's rarity, and if only 100 of these exist in the entire world, it is exceedingly rare.

If it is 1 of 100 built by Volquartsen this revolver would appeal to fans of Volquartsen, Smith & Wesson, and any collector of rare revolvers. Volquartsen has a reputation for excellence. The only reason this wouldn't be "collectable" is that there are not enough in existence for people to collect them. If they ask for you to pay for this service, do it because it is worth it.
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Old April 14, 2013, 01:27 AM   #12
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Whoops.....that's a 686?!

Damn....time flies. I'm not even sure if they were out when I saw those in the brochure. I wonder if he was doing Model 19's or 27's?

Hell, I guess I lose track over time. Nic? Is Tom gone?
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Old April 14, 2013, 09:06 AM   #13
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farmboy--

I did not "know" Tom. I always called Nic directly. Only once did I speak with any other person and I was under the impression she was a family member, also. This was several years ago.

--Bill
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Old April 14, 2013, 09:35 AM   #14
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Any chance those are integral scope mounts atop the barrel? Maybe it's a hunting, rather than target (PPC) revolver. If the former, it'd be set up to shoot .357mags, rather than soft .38 target wadcutters. Something else to ask VQ if you talk to them again. And yeah, I'd definitely see if I could get a letter from them.
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Old April 15, 2013, 12:10 PM   #15
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A couple things I have noticed from the picture...
The trigger and hammer appeared to be "jeweled", so that would be another custom touch by Volquartsen. Also, those grips do not jive with that cylinder stop. By the time Smith & Wesson went to those grips, they had already moved to the integral (as opposed to press-fit) cylinder stop. (I think?)

Of course, when a custom builder works on a factory gun to produce a product, timelines get quite skewed, but I figured it was worth mentioning. I like the way those grips feel in the hand, but I can't get on board with the look. Being that I don't see a S&W logo on them, they could simply be an aftermarket Hogue monogrip that was added by Volquartsen or a previous owner.

The rear sight doesn't look like most S&W adjustable revolver sights that I'm familiar with, but that is out of my area of familiarity. It's the angled horizontal piece that looks different to me. It would seem as if that's custom, too. If I'm taking a stab in the dark, I'd say that from the side it almost looks like a Millett adjustable sight.
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Old April 15, 2013, 12:19 PM   #16
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I saw a Volquartsen Classic a few years ago at a gunshow. It was built on a Smith Model 66 with custom front and rear sights. It was under glass and not for sale.
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Old April 15, 2013, 12:28 PM   #17
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Now you just need to send them a Ruger pistol and have them put the V-6 barrel on that! Then you'll have a matched set!
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Old April 15, 2013, 01:31 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sevens
The rear sight doesn't look like most S&W adjustable revolver sights that I'm familiar with...I'd say that from the side it almost looks like a Millett adjustable sight.
Bingo. Millett used to make a terrific rear sight for S&W revolvers, but stopped a few years ago. I have one on my 1° match gun, and have been looking for another. They're tough to find nowadays, so the OP ought to at least be aware the rear sight itself is somewhat desirable. Good call, Sevens.
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Old April 15, 2013, 02:28 PM   #19
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Millett calls themselves an optic maker now... which is all well & good, I don't know how their products fare in the market, but it seems like a market with a gujillion competitors while so very few still make quality adjustable sights.

MMC had this market cornered back in the, ummmm...60s, 70s? They went away in the 80's, I think. It seems like a fertile area for someone to do good business.

Or are quality iron sights a dying breed?!
Quote:
on my 1° match gun
Is this pronounced "one degree match gun" ?! Please explain. It sounds...exclusive and COOL! I already know your skills with a revolver, but I'd like to learn some of the terminology as well!
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Old April 15, 2013, 03:19 PM   #20
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Sorry guys, if I don't know what I am talking about... but I think if you really want a pair of here Millet sights they are:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Millett-Smit...item5d3d814406

Again, I am newbie to revolvers, may be it's not what you are discussing...
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Old April 15, 2013, 03:52 PM   #21
newfrontier45
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Definitely not a factory S&W rear sight. Could be Milletts. It is a shame that they no longer make their fine iron sights.
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Old April 15, 2013, 05:05 PM   #22
MrBorland
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sevens
Is this pronounced "one degree match gun" ?! Please explain. It sounds...exclusive and COOL!
um...well...then...um...yeah, sure...that's what it means, of course.

It's actually a little shorthand I use for "primary".


Quote:
Originally Posted by AID_Admin
Sorry guys, if I don't know what I am talking about... but I think if you really want a pair of here Millet sights they are:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Millett-Smit...item5d3d814406

Again, I am newbie to revolvers, may be it's not what you are discussing...
Yep - thems the ones. They're not unobtainable, but you can't go to Midway or Brownells and just order with a click. It's also "buyer beware" now, so be sure those you buy on ebay are exactly what you want. For example, those in the link have squared off front ends, whereas newer guns have rounded front ends.


Here's a pic of my 1° (primary) match gun with Millett rear sights (on bottom). My "2°" 686 (soon to be my 1°) with stock sights is on top.


Millet sight on my 686:
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