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Old September 23, 2012, 07:43 AM   #1
021retired
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age of a s&w new model 3?

I have an old S&W new model 3, .44 cal I think, that belonged to my Grandfather and I would like to know when it was made. The serial number is 23XXX and it has the indention in the back of the trigger guard with a 6" barrel. Is this pistol worth restoring?

Last edited by 021retired; September 23, 2012 at 07:57 AM. Reason: did not post correctly
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Old September 23, 2012, 08:05 AM   #2
PetahW
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Since there were just under 35,800 made from 1878 to 1912, I would WAG your gun was made in the mid/late 1890's.

Since the commercial version can be worth from $700 in 10% original condition, and North of $8500 in mint condition, it might be worth a professional restoration.

It's not a gun I would recommend for a home restoration - which would most likely only drive down whatever it's current condition/value happens to be (you didn't say).


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Old September 23, 2012, 08:22 AM   #3
021retired
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The pistol appears to be tight but hasn't been fired for many years. The gun was originally nickel plated but some time in the past was painted silver which probably didn't help matters. There is a small sliver at the bottom of one grip missing. Just recently got involved in guns so I am pretty green on them.
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Old September 23, 2012, 08:51 AM   #4
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If you can post a picture it would help greatly.
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Old September 23, 2012, 09:04 AM   #5
Mike Irwin
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ALL No. 3s were made prior to 1898.

Smith & Wesson just kept assembling parts until 1912.

The only way to really find out the guns "age" is to spend $50 and have it researched and lettered by Smith & Wesson. They will be able to tell you when it left the factory.
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Old September 23, 2012, 09:19 AM   #6
Jim Watson
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Quote:
it has the indention in the back of the trigger guard
Strange, MY New Model No 3s did not have an indention in the back of the trigger guard.
Maybe you have a First Model Double Action .44.

Please show pictures.


"Silver paint" does not sound good but it can probably be removed without hurting what is left of the nickel plate and surely without hurting the steel under that.
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Old September 23, 2012, 09:35 AM   #7
Mike Irwin
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Hum...

I missed that...

You may well be right, Jim.
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Old September 24, 2012, 09:56 AM   #8
021retired
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Yes, it is a double action, didn't think to check that. I have a couple of pictures of it if I can figure out how to post them with this reply. I can take whatever photos that are necessary to help identify the pistol and condition. Thanks to everyone for their expertise and information. Apparently, my photos are too large to send so I will try to condense them and try again.
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Old September 27, 2012, 04:42 AM   #9
Radagast
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.44 Double Action 1st Model serial number 22369 shipped October 1889. Guns in the 25xxx range shipped in 1890. So late 1889 or early 1990 is probably as close as you will get without a factory letter. Caliber was .44 S&W Russian.
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