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Old January 1, 2011, 08:09 PM   #1
bsheets20061
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Need info on my 1880 smith and wesson 1st model 44 russian revolver

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I recently picked up a 1st model 1880 smith and wesson 44 russian revolver. I was wondering if anyone could give me some information as to the history of this revolver, date made, value etc. any information would be very much appreciated.


The serial number on the frame and cylinder both match it is 23884

thanks in advance for your help
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Old January 1, 2011, 08:13 PM   #2
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pics
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Old January 1, 2011, 10:01 PM   #3
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That gun is really not called the Russian, that term being used for a variation of the Single Action Model 3. That gun is commonly called the .44 Double Action, First Model; the most common chambering was for the .44 Russian cartridge. In spite of the odd appearance, they were decent revolvers. It is not an "1880" since they were not made until 1881. Production ceased in 1913, with 53,590 made. Yours probably dates to around 1895.

Just FWIW, information from S&W indicates that all the frames for that model were made before 1 Jan 1899, so they are all antiques under Federal law, even if they were assembled and shipped later.

Before making a value estimate, I would like to see a picture that would give a better idea of the amount of original finish. It looks good from those pictures, but it should have a more highly polished finish.

Jim
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Old January 1, 2011, 10:09 PM   #4
bsheets20061
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Jim,

what type of picture would you like for me to take so that you could give a good estimate?

i added some i tried to get a closer shot of the finish it is proving difficult to get very detailed pics with my camera
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File Type: jpg sw7.jpg (235.5 KB, 104 views)
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Old January 1, 2011, 10:37 PM   #5
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some more hope they help
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Old January 1, 2011, 10:43 PM   #6
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nice revolver. I would luv to know a guestimate on that badboy. I'll check back.
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Old January 1, 2011, 10:49 PM   #7
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thanks youngun, i am hing to find out as much as i can on this. contemplating sending it and getting i written appraisal on it if would possibly be worth it. Deffinately a great piece of history
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Old January 1, 2011, 10:57 PM   #8
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.44 Russian S&W

Well this gun is very rare. And this model was produced mostly in 1899. So I will assume it was Fabricated in 1899. Well this gun is under a class of a Top Break Revolver from what i heard of. It has a 6.5 Inch Barrel, And About 85% of these guns have an original Bluing. The sell price $1,500-$6,500. And another cool little fact was Buffalo Bill Owned one. Sorry if i couldn't help, But I Tried.
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Old January 1, 2011, 11:00 PM   #9
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youngunz language: 6GRAND

what a gun. getting it appraised/authenticized, etc etc only helps the sell and the revolver even if you keep it
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Old January 2, 2011, 01:24 AM   #10
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jesamoonda thanks for the info every bit helps that a cool fact about buffalo bill.
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Old January 3, 2011, 03:03 AM   #11
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sending away for a written appraisal but any info still appreciated as well value estimates and history
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Old January 3, 2011, 03:53 PM   #12
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OK, here is my take. First, with some 54,000 made, those guns are not rare, though they are uncommon. You will see two or three at any large gun show. That gun appears to be in good mechanical condition, but it has none of the original finish which, as you know, is a good part of a gun's value to collectors.

The original finish would have been a hard black bluing. The current lack of finish is not due to wear; normal wear will leave original blue in crevices and in areas like the bottom of flutes and the bottom of the barrel. IMHO, the original finish was deliberately removed (possibly with blue remover since there are no signs of over-polishing), then someone attempted to reblue the barrel. Look at your picture SW7 and observe the difference in color betweern the top strap and the frame. They were originally the same, but now neither is the original finish.

In addition, the hammer and trigger were originally color case hardened; they appear to be blue. I think someone had the idea of "restoring" that gun, didn't have enough knowledge to do it right and decided to sell it as is.

Value? In like new condition (and that would be rare!) one should easily go well over $5000. Yours, with its lack of original finish, maybe $500 or a bit more.

If you want to see what a nice one looks like, check out this link:

http://www.armchairgunshow.com/ot55-pix/bz-327m.jpg

Note that that gun has the later style grips.

Jim
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Old January 3, 2011, 08:02 PM   #13
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I concor with Jim Keenan
You have a .44 Double Action. Serial numbers ran from 1 in 1881 to 54668 in 1913 with all frames made by 1899.
In the 2006 SCSW, value is listed as ranging from $500 in "Good" to $6500 "As New". Those values are with original finish which yours may not have.

Hopefully you didn't pay "too much" for it.

Jim
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Old January 3, 2011, 10:55 PM   #14
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i paid 95.00 for it, shot it today shoots like a dream.
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Old January 3, 2011, 11:13 PM   #15
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"You have the right to remain silent...."

Talk about grand theft! $95 for an S&W DA .44! Wow!

Jim
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Old January 3, 2011, 11:25 PM   #16
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Haha i figured at that price i couldn't go wrong i figured the finish wasn't original but the condition was very nice and came with ammo. So i was happy with it, and still am. Iwill still get the written appraisal just to have I am also sending away for the history of it fro, s,ith and wesson.
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Old January 4, 2011, 02:01 PM   #17
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Hopefully that's not the original box? S&W didn't become part of Bangor-Punta until the 20th century
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Old January 4, 2011, 02:09 PM   #18
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Quote:
Talk about grand theft! $95 for an S&W DA .44! Wow!
Why don't I ever get in on these deals?
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Old January 4, 2011, 06:50 PM   #19
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I don't normally recommend restoration, but that gun is a good candidate for a quality restoration. I say that because it has no serious dents, rounded corners, or missing parts. Done properly, a restoration could raise the value of that gun to the over-$1500 level (and I am talking about an acknowledged restoration, not fraud), making the work worthwhile.

If you want to consider it, Google "Turnbull restorations" and send them an e-mail with pics and see what they say.

Jim
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Old January 4, 2011, 08:59 PM   #20
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good point jim but OP needs to make sure restoration will help and not hurt this firearm. sometimes the unrestored are worth more and restoration hurts and vice versa depending on the situation. Of course, you might already have known this before you posted; I just don't want the OP to make a rash decision before being positive.
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Old January 4, 2011, 11:22 PM   #21
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i will deffinately check out for restoration thanks jim.

and it isnt the original box, just one i had sitting at the house.
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Old January 5, 2011, 01:08 AM   #22
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I sent them a message to recieve a quote now just waiting for a reply
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Old January 5, 2011, 10:32 PM   #23
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Hi, youngunz4life,

Yes, I considered all of that, and ordinarily I wouldn't suggest restoration. If the gun had any significant amount of original finish or, on the other hand was badly worn or beat up, I would say to leave it alone. But a gun like that, with the outer surface intact (no buffing, no dents, no deep scratches), can be made to look almost new. Plus bsheets got it at a price that will allow him to spend some money on it and still have a gun that will be worth significantly more than he will have in it.

And, of course, Turnbull is the top restorer in the country, not some hamhand with a buffing wheel who thinks markings are obscene and to be removed as quickly as possible.

Jim
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Old January 6, 2011, 01:04 AM   #24
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well turnbull responded today and said that they do not do work on this type of reolver i am extremely interested in getting a proper restoration done. if there is anyone else that there may be who is reputable and can do this for me, i would appreciate if someone could send me a link to their website.

thanks
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Old January 6, 2011, 10:14 PM   #25
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If I still had a license and a shop I would love to take that one on. But no can do. I defintely would not take it to the average gunsmith; most of them go by the old motto "Lean a little harder on the wheel, there are still some markings on that gun."

Maybe Google would help, but I would certainly talk to the people and find out a lot about them before taking a chance. No restoration is always better than a bad restoration.

Jim
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