The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > Hogan's Alley > Handguns: The Revolver Forum

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old April 7, 2010, 06:50 AM   #1
NickW
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 11, 2008
Location: East Coast
Posts: 242
Smith & Wesson .357 Magnum Model 68-1??

I have the chance of buying a Smith & Wesson .357 Magnum Model 68-1. It’s been sitting in its box basically since new. I’m buying from a friend and don’t want to rip her off and I don’t want to pay more than it’s worth. I’ve always owned Ruger’s so S&W is new to me; is this model strong enough to take 50 rds a week practice like my Ruger GP100? Thanks in advance.
NickW is offline  
Old April 7, 2010, 08:01 AM   #2
18DAI
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 30, 2005
Location: NC
Posts: 2,115
If that S&W 357 is a stainless fixed sight L-frame with full lug barrel, it is actually a model 681 that was stamped incorrectly. There are a few out there. Sadly, it does not increase its value. Great revolver though, and my personal favorite L-frame.

IIRC, the model 68 was similar to the model 66, only chambered in 38 special with a 6" barrel, for the California Highway Patrol. I don't have the SCSW handy though. Hope this helps! Regards 18DAI.
__________________
S&W Model 19 Combat Magnum. Everything you need in a revolver, and nothing you don't.
18DAI is offline  
Old April 7, 2010, 08:09 AM   #3
Mike Irwin
Staff
 
Join Date: April 13, 2000
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 36,074
Have any pictures?

One way to definitively identify it as a 681 (I suspect 18DAI is correct) is that it will have a full underlug under the barrel.

That means that when looking at it muzzle on, the muzzle isn't really round, it looks more like a figure 8. The bottom "loop" of the 8 is the underlug.

681s and 686s both had full underlug barrels.
__________________
"The gift which I am sending you is called a dog, and is in fact the most precious and valuable possession of mankind" -Theodorus Gaza

Baby Jesus cries when the fat redneck doesn't have military-grade firepower.
Mike Irwin is offline  
Old April 7, 2010, 08:16 AM   #4
carguychris
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 20, 2007
Location: Richardson, TX
Posts: 5,501
Quote:
If that S&W 357 is a stainless fixed sight L-frame with full lug barrel, it is actually a model 681 that was stamped incorrectly.
If the gun does not have a full-underlug barrel and has an adjustable rear sight, it may be a Model 66-1 that has been stamped incorrectly. Also, for the most part, the Model 681 was only available with a 4" barrel. If it's another length, you've either got a misstamped gun or an exceptionally rare one.

What does the end label on the box say?
Quote:
I’ve always owned Ruger’s so S&W is new to me; is this model strong enough to take 50 rds a week practice like my Ruger GP100?
The M681 is just as strong as the GP100.

The M66 is not. It's built on the smaller K frame, and .357Mag K frames sometimes have durability problems if they're fed a steady diet of hot Magnum loads with lightweight (<158gr) bullets. The problems generally take many thousands of rounds to show up, though. OTOH the gun can digest as many .38Spl+P rounds as you're willing to feed it.
__________________
"Smokey, this is not 'Nam. This is bowling. There are rules... MARK IT ZERO!!" - Walter Sobchak
carguychris is offline  
Old April 7, 2010, 09:40 AM   #5
NickW
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 11, 2008
Location: East Coast
Posts: 242
Thanks gentlemen. I have one very bad cell phone picture and have requested proper pictures which are on the way; in any event, it is a four inch full lugged barrel and 68-1 is stamped on the crane. Also, I was doing some surfing on the net and there may be a recall on these revolvers. Apparently, the pistols that were recalled and sent back to S&W for repair have an “M” stamped near the Model number? Any info on this would be greatly appreciated. Once again thanks!
NickW is offline  
Old April 7, 2010, 09:42 AM   #6
Mike Irwin
Staff
 
Join Date: April 13, 2000
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 36,074
That is correct. The recall is still in effect. Unmodified guns should be sent to the company for modification.

IIRC it was a problem with the size of the hammer nose hole in the recoil shield. It was too large, and would allow the primer to flow back into the hole, effectively locking the gun up.
__________________
"The gift which I am sending you is called a dog, and is in fact the most precious and valuable possession of mankind" -Theodorus Gaza

Baby Jesus cries when the fat redneck doesn't have military-grade firepower.
Mike Irwin is offline  
Old April 7, 2010, 10:26 AM   #7
carguychris
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 20, 2007
Location: Richardson, TX
Posts: 5,501
If the gun lacks the "M" stamp, call S&W with the serial number before you jump to conclusions. They did not "M"-stamp every gun that was fixed. Also, a large number of no-dash and dash-1 .357Mag L frames had the correct firing pin bushing installed and were "M"-stamped on the production line, so the gun may still be OK if your friend doesn't think it was ever sent back.

Oh yeah, value. A LNIB Model 681 with the correct matching box, docs, and tool kit is worth about $550-$650 on the open market. The last time I checked, the Blue Book said that the fixed-sight .357Mag L frames (581/681) are worth less than the adjustable-sight models (586/686), which is normal for S&Ws, but the fixed-sight models are garnering lots of collector interest and increasing in value because they weren't in production for very long and most likely aren't ever going to be reintroduced. Their value is probably going to overtake their adjustable-sight equivalents.

FWIW since you're not very familiar with S&Ws, IIRC regular-production M681s all have a 4" barrel, traditional forged and color-case hardened lockwork with the firing pin on the hammer, and a 6-shot cylinder; production ended before S&W introduced MIM lockwork, the free-floating frame-mounted firing pin, and the 7-shot "686 Plus" cylinder. (There may have been some later Performance Center or distributor-exclusive runs with these features, but I'm not aware of any.) Also, there is no such thing as a "pinned and recessed" L frame; the pinned barrel and recessed cylinder are found on pre-1982 centerfire Magnum K and N frames, but the L frame was introduced in 1981 without these features.
__________________
"Smokey, this is not 'Nam. This is bowling. There are rules... MARK IT ZERO!!" - Walter Sobchak
carguychris is offline  
Old April 8, 2010, 09:38 AM   #8
NickW
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 11, 2008
Location: East Coast
Posts: 242
Thank you, here are some pics that I just received from the owner. Not very good quality pics but the serial numbers are readable and I don't think the condition is LNIB, GOOD BUT NOT LNIB.; oh well. Also, the owner does not have the orginal case or documents. Also, I don't see an "M" stamped anywhere. Thanks in advance.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg SW68 1 PIC1.JPG (228.5 KB, 284 views)
File Type: jpg SW68 1 PIC5.JPG (217.5 KB, 180 views)
File Type: jpg SW68 1 PIC6.JPG (216.6 KB, 169 views)
NickW is offline  
Old April 8, 2010, 09:41 AM   #9
NickW
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 11, 2008
Location: East Coast
Posts: 242
More Pics.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg SW68 1 PIC7.JPG (210.1 KB, 184 views)
File Type: jpg SW68 1 PIC3.JPG (237.0 KB, 163 views)
File Type: jpg SW68 1 PIC2.JPG (193.1 KB, 147 views)
NickW is offline  
Old April 8, 2010, 09:54 AM   #10
18DAI
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 30, 2005
Location: NC
Posts: 2,115
Great revolver. I advise you to buy it, shoot it, love it!

Based on those pics I'd say around $350 - $400. My 0.02 Good luck! Regards 18DAI.
__________________
S&W Model 19 Combat Magnum. Everything you need in a revolver, and nothing you don't.
18DAI is offline  
Old April 8, 2010, 09:55 AM   #11
Mike Irwin
Staff
 
Join Date: April 13, 2000
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 36,074
That's definitely a 4" Model 681 that has been mismarked at the factory.

There are collectors who specialize in only mismarked S&W revolvers. There have been a fair number of all kinds over the years.

Not particularly rare, but interesting.
__________________
"The gift which I am sending you is called a dog, and is in fact the most precious and valuable possession of mankind" -Theodorus Gaza

Baby Jesus cries when the fat redneck doesn't have military-grade firepower.
Mike Irwin is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 09:03 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2014 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.08854 seconds with 8 queries