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Old December 16, 2002, 11:09 PM   #1
T0ki
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S&W Mod 28-2 Highway Patrolman

Is there any way to tell by the serial or markings if this is original nickel finish? I have a hand-me-down, but I couldn't get the story before my grandfather passed away. I'll probably end up writing S&W's historian, but wondering if anyone knew.

Thanks!

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Old December 16, 2002, 11:35 PM   #2
riverdog
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I always thought the Mod 28's claim to fame was that flat blue finish over not quite polished steel. I don't think any had original factory nickel. IIRC and all that. Mike Irwin should know.
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Old December 17, 2002, 12:48 AM   #3
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Apparently there were fewer than 100 Model 28s made in nickle finish.

If it's original, it's got collector premium.

Best way is to contact Roy Jinks.
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Old December 17, 2002, 07:35 AM   #4
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Check over on Smith-WessonForum.com. A couple of the fellows have them and can help you.
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Old December 17, 2002, 07:57 AM   #5
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TOki...

"Is there any way to tell by the serial or markings if this is original nickel finish?"

Mike Irwin gave you the best advice for getting the most accurate information on your Model 28-2. However, there is one other thing you may check on your own. Supica and Nahas (The Standard Catalog of Smith & Wesson - the book most of us use) reports the following"

"Florida Highway Patrol: Twenty-five guns with 5" barrels with nickel finish marked "F.H.P." #32 through #56 shipped in 1959. Serial range S189071 to S192687..."

IF your Model 28 meets these criteria it may be a very rare variant. But this was two years before the Model 28-2 was introduced so the odds may be very low, but still worth looking at.

In any case I am sure we all would like to know along with you.
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Old December 17, 2002, 09:12 AM   #6
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I am not an expert, but from what I have heard, apparently there were a small number of nickeled M28s produced and sold. Can be any barrel length (I think), but they are not shiny. The finish was a dull nickel that almost looks like stainless steel. I would spend the $30 and have the gun "lettered" by S&W just on the very rare chance that it might be original. You could probably get a couple grand for it if it is (but it's 99.99999% sure it is not).
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Old December 17, 2002, 12:36 PM   #7
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"Can be any barrel length (I think)"

Unless there are some 28 variants out there that I'm not familiar with, the only barrel lengths the 28 was offered in was 4 and 6".
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Old December 17, 2002, 02:17 PM   #8
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Mike Irwin...

" Unless there are some 28 variants out there that I'm not familiar with, the only barrel lengths the 28 was offered in was 4 and 6"."

Mike, you must be away from your Supica and Nahas.

Florida Highway Patrol - 25 specially marked nickeled 5" barrel firearms.

Also, less than 100 manufactured with 8 3/8" barrels (reason not stated).

All special runs it appears.
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Old December 17, 2002, 04:30 PM   #9
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Every SW gun I've seen with original nickel on it has a big "N" stamped on the frame under where the handgrip goes.
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Old December 17, 2002, 04:54 PM   #10
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Waaaahhhh....

You're right, Frosty. Brain fart.
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Old December 17, 2002, 05:19 PM   #11
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Usually, but not always there is also an "N" stamped on the back of the cylinder by the extractor.
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Old December 17, 2002, 06:33 PM   #12
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Hello all, This is my first post on this forum, will attempt to add a little about the 28-2 in nickel finish. This gun is too new to be a FHP piece. The others were reportedly made as salesman's samples and have a brushed finish as already mentioned,none of them were shiny nickel. The current thought is only nine guns total were made,all with 4" barrel. The extractor star should be blue,as should the rear sight, trigger and hammer should be case colored. There is a collector on the S&W forum who owns 2 of the authentic guns both in N-420xx (1972)serial range. There are many around that have been redone,some were done very well and others not so good. I asked about current value of a real one and was told the last authentic gun offered for sale about 7 or 8 years ago was $1,000. If this gun has the features listed above,it's probably worth getting a S&W letter as already advised. If it turns out to be authentic,it's a rare bird and probably worth a fair amount more now.

Last edited by Barrocky; December 17, 2002 at 08:19 PM.
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Old December 17, 2002, 06:36 PM   #13
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The Mod 28 should not have a "rear sight" other than the groove in the topstrap, no?
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Old December 17, 2002, 06:42 PM   #14
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Model 28's have adjustable rear sights.
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Old December 17, 2002, 08:04 PM   #15
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WOW!

Thanks for all the replies. I do know that N stamp under the handguard designates an aftermarked Nickel done by S&W's pro-shop. I was curious about the N in the serial (which is N854xx).

I'll pony up the 30 bones and have it papered by S&W. I appreciate everyone's assistance. I'm filling the form out as we speak.
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Old December 17, 2002, 08:14 PM   #16
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I for one would definitely like to know what you found out.
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Old December 17, 2002, 08:27 PM   #17
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The "N" in the serial number doesn't mean nickel. All S&W N -frames were serial numbered with the "N" prefix starting in 1970. Serial number range from 1972-74 was N60000-N190000, I'd guess your gun was made in 1972. It seems to be in the right era for the nickel pieces, maybe you'll get lucky.
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Old December 17, 2002, 08:53 PM   #18
T0ki
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Barrocky

For your first 2 posts, you're a veritable horn o' plenty!!! Rookie of the year award, anyone?

Thanks a lot. Check, pics and letter are all stamped and in the mailbox.

Again, I appreciate everyone's help and I'll update the thread and even scan the letter if anyone cares to see it.
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Old December 17, 2002, 09:17 PM   #19
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Barrocky..

Quote:
The current thought is only nine guns total were made,all with 4" barrel.
I would be interested where the number "9" came from. I've only heard the term "few", in reference to the salesman samples. Thanks.
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Old December 17, 2002, 10:46 PM   #20
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Mike- When I said the nickeled M28s could be in any barrel length, of course I meant the barrel lengths common to the M28.

I, too, have heard that the number of guns was small, but not as few as nine pieces. I would think that last one sold would have fetched a much higher price if it was documented that only nine existed. I was thinking maybe a couple hundred...
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Old December 17, 2002, 11:37 PM   #21
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I've never seen an exact number written anywhere on the production numbers of the "salesman's sample" guns. The Standard Catalog says a "few" were made. I doubt the number was a couple hundred or they would surface from time to time ...the authentic guns never seem to. I don't believe that anybody knows the exact number at this time. I was told about a year ago by the owner of the 2 authentic pieces that only about 9 were built .....I'm not going to question it. I figure he should know as well as anyone and obtained that information from a reliable source. If they were indeed only built to be salesman sample guns,I doubt the numbers were high. I'm sure given time, a couple more might come out of the closet to be recorded but it will always be a rare piece. The S&W 147-A comes to mind for some reason,they only made 112 of them. I've seen several for sale in the last few years and there is a dealer who has about 3 for sale right now,heck I even have one. I can't say the same for the nickel M28's, I've never seen one for sale anywhere and was only told of the one that sold 7 years ago. Hope yours turns out to be "right".
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Old December 17, 2002, 11:43 PM   #22
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If samples were made for the salesmen, there wouldn't have been that many.

Believe it or not, S&W hasn't had very many salesmen for a long, long time.

The sales staff usually only services the big accounts, like Lew Horton, RSR, etc.

The days of the S&W salesman traveling with a kitload of guns and assorted goodies pretty much died with the Depression, I think.
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