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Old October 22, 2012, 01:02 AM   #1
Winchester_73
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A Colt Ruger and Smith, oh my!

I managed to acquire these revolvers recently. This was an interesting group. My brother, who is newer to guns bought the Ruger and I bought the S&W and the Colt.

The first gun is a S&W MKII hand ejector. SN 7059. These were sold in large numbers to the British government, whereby some were dispersed to Canada. I found this gun on the net, and it was listed as a 45 colt. The seller did not know whether it was rechambered after the factory to that or not. Most MKII hand ejectors are in cal .455 webley but about 730 were chambered in 45 colt from S&W for Canada. These were built on the N frame. I was told by a fellow collector that he saw one his friend had, which was caliber marked in the yoke, and was close in SN, approx 6800 or so he said. I was hoping this was applied by the Canadians so that someone would quickly know whether the gun was for 45 colt or not. I loved the guns condition. Back when these were made, S&W put a high emphasis on polishing, even on guns like this, which were only government contract. You get the feeling with these older S&Ws that they wanted every gun that left the factory to be basically perfect. I got the factory letter, and sadly it was rechambered at some point after its service life. It was done profesionally however and its a neat shooter gun to have with a neat history. The purchase of this gun was more or less a scratch off ticket, because if it was real, it was worth 3x+ what I paid. I did not know how to compare factory S&W 45 colt guns from the era to converted ones for the subtle differences before I bought the gun. Now I know so hopefully this won't happen again but I still like the gun a lot. The gun was shipped in 1915 to Remington arms who then shipped them to England and abroad. The gun has all the standard Canadian markings of the period. It was not import marked, and the converting gunsmith did not mark the gun on the outside, which I am happy about. In hindsight, I may have passed on the gun BUT any factory S&W in 45 colt from that era is scarce to rare, depending on which specific model you are talking about. I paid much less than any factory 45 Colt example, so I guess it was an ok find. Its actually my first 5 screw N frame, and so my first pre war N frame as well. Here she is, with all the original parts and grips:


This gun will be shot some but I don't reload yet, so my 45 colt supply is very limited. Although I better get some, since I have 3 45 colt guns now.


The next gun is a really neat one in my opinion. Originally I found this for a friend but it went for a little more than he personally wanted to spend. Its a Colt SAA 2nd generation 45 colt with a 5.5 in barrel. SN is 44XXXSA which makes for 1967 production. Its very clean. The grip type was an optional accessory, so I won't know if they are original or not until this one comes in.
If original to the gun, each side should have the last 3 numbers of the SN per the Garton book of post war SAAs I have. My first Colt SAA was a 2nd generation buntline which was my great grandfathers, and as cool as that one is, I always wanted an SAA I could play with more. I didn't want a 3rd gen SAA for various reasons, and I don't feel comfortable just yet buying a first gen SAA because quite frankly, there is a lot to know that I haven't learned yet. I know the basics about those, but not enough. So then I felt for the best compromise of quality, history, and investment potential, the 2nd gen was the way to go. This gun will also be shot some, but no CAS for this one :P




The seller who had that Colt SAA, also had this blackhawk. I had over looked it at first, but then I noticed it was a 3 screw. I'm not really an authority on Rugers, but I know a few things. I asked if it was converted, and the seller replied it was not. Good I thought, and I asked the SN, and I was told 181XX so I looked that up. I found it was 1958 production. I then realized that this gun was a flat top (I over looked that originally) and was more a collector's item than the later 3 screw guns. I decided then I had to make an offer to get both. In order to get both, I offered some collectible coins to my brother to raise the money. He is more of a coin collector and I more of a gun collector. He asked what kind of a gun I was trying to buy (he knows me well) and I told him. He said he would like to have it when he thought it should cost more than the seller wanted. The fact that it was a collectible Ruger also appealed to him. I said that was fine, and he was happy. I of course told him I would like to have it myself at first, but he said "but how many 357s do you already have? I don't have any" so I let him buy it. I have 2 3 screw ruger blackhawks, but no flat tops yet. Someday I will find my own. In the mean time, I did my brother a favor, and that's alright with me.


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Old October 22, 2012, 09:44 AM   #2
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Once again, Winchester 73, you've brought tears to my eyes. Beautiful old pieces, especially that Smith...easy to see the quality they built into their guns back then. And that Colt 2nd Generation is no slouch either. Well done! Now you've got to take up reloading...it'll add a whole new dimension to your hobby interests.

Son #2 has a similar S&W with the same barrel length but still chambered for .455 Eley, as I recall. An odd cartridge that one, with a funny, elongated bullet. We found dies for it, cast bullets of the appropriate size (Lyman's 454190 as I recall) and got it shooting again...groups ran about 3" at 25 yds and leading wasn't an issue. Brass was initially hard to come by...but we found Canadian CIL brand worked well.

Hope you enjoy them...Best Regards, and thanks for sharing, Rod
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Old October 22, 2012, 10:29 AM   #3
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Ha! you buy a RUGER?! I laugh sir! That flat top is nice but I'd say the S&W is my favorite of this crop, Conversion and all!
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Old October 22, 2012, 10:45 AM   #4
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MANY Colt affictionados feel the second generation guns were the best SAAs made, myself included. Congratulations on a REAL nice revolver. Oh yeah! the other two aren't bad either.
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Old October 22, 2012, 02:47 PM   #5
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Winchester, that Smithy is a sight for sore eyes!
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Old October 22, 2012, 06:34 PM   #6
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I'd say you done "Ok" on those deals.
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Old October 22, 2012, 08:27 PM   #7
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very nice finds indeed. love those S&Ws
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Old October 24, 2012, 08:13 PM   #8
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Very nice finds Winchester. I dearly love N frames, but the 3 screws are dear as well. And then the Colts... Enjoy them sir.
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Old October 24, 2012, 08:55 PM   #9
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Are you sure this was a .45 Colt? Most of these I have seen were chambered for the .45 Enfield. The .45 Enfield was what the U.S. Army called the Colt short. The .45 Schfield will fit and fire in the .45 Enfield S&W made for the Brits.
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Old October 24, 2012, 09:42 PM   #10
Winchester_73
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Quote:
Are you sure this was a .45 Colt? Most of these I have seen were chambered for the .45 Enfield. The .45 Enfield was what the U.S. Army called the Colt short. The .45 Schfield will fit and fire in the .45 Enfield S&W made for the Brits.
As I said about the gun, it was originally chambered in .455 webley and then re-chambered to 45 colt. There were about 700 ordered in 45 colt that went to the Canadian government. One theory about "why" is that the 45 colt was much more plentiful on this continent at that the time than .455 webley. MKII hand ejectors in 45 colt are rare to say the least.

The ".45 enfield" you speak of (which I don't think exists) is actually ".455 webley". In that case (no pun intended) the 45 S&W Schofield, would probably chamber in a gun that is .455 webley.

Here is a link with the proper caliber names:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/.455_Webley
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Old October 24, 2012, 09:44 PM   #11
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Thanks for the compliments everyone although I don't mean to bring tears to people's eyes The Colt and Ruger I don't have yet, so those are the seller pics. They are ok, but I imagine both will look better in person.

I'm really surprised that the Ruger hasn't gotten more love. Rugers are popular today and the old ones are collected by many people. I hope my brother appreciates it the way I do. He's newer to guns.
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Old October 25, 2012, 11:07 AM   #12
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Quote:
Thanks for the compliments everyone although I don't mean to bring tears to people's eyes
Well, guns aren't onions but really fine, older specimens (like the ones you are notorious for flaunting) do tend to wet the cheeks of those who appreciate the fine workmanship, good design, superb finish and traditional material found in some firearm icons of yesteryear; qualities sadly lacking in most contemporary efforts.
So, at least for me, I hope you continue showing us the guns in your growing collection-I keep a hanky near the monitor.
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Old November 24, 2012, 07:26 PM   #13
Winchester_73
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Thanks for the compliments DGW. Although all 3 are nice revolvers, I couldn't help but think that maybe the S&W got so much love because I took the photos (of course, it deserves some love). so I took the other 2 outside and photographed them. Here are the pics.

Colt SAA 45 colt 2nd gen 1967





Ruger Blackhawk 357 magnum 3 screw "flat top" 1958 (unconverted)

My brother is happy with it





The loading gate turned color as sometimes older guns do. I've heard many explanations for this phenomenon, one being that the the nickel content was higher. I don't know for sure why it happened here.

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