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Old July 13, 2009, 09:37 AM   #1
Resident704
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Need help: ID this S&W revolver (triple lock?)

Hello,
I am in need of your expertise in identifying this S&W revolver that I inherited from my wife's grandfather.
From the research i have done i believe this is a Triple Lock but am not 100% sure.
The right side of the barrel states "44 S&W Special CTG" The Serial # is 41xxx. It is pinned and the cylinder is not recessed. It has a 6.5" barrel.
I would like to know what model it is, the year, and approx value ( i'm not planning on selling but would still like to know)
Thanks in advance
Marty
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Old July 13, 2009, 10:16 AM   #2
Mike Irwin
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Yes. You have a Triple Lock. I'm away from my books, but a serial number in that range should put it around 1910.

It would not have recessed chambers because it's not a magnum or a .22 rimfire.

The "correct" nomenclature for the model is, IIRC, .44 Hand Ejector New Century.

The condition is excellent.

I'm thinking that it would probably go for at least $2,000. If you have the original box and papers? Wow.
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Old July 13, 2009, 11:05 AM   #3
CraigC
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That's not a Triple Lock, the infamous third locking feature should be visible from the right side and it is not. The shrouded ejector makes it a 3rd model Hand Ejector. It appears to be a rare pre-war target model which, according to the 3rd edition of the Standard Catalog of S&W, would be worth $2500 in excellent condition and the target variation brings a double to triple premium.

Beautiful old Smith, I'd love to have an early .44Spl!!!

Last edited by CraigC; July 13, 2009 at 11:13 AM.
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Old July 13, 2009, 11:23 AM   #4
Mike Irwin
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Crap. Target sights. Missed that one... Sigh.
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Old July 13, 2009, 01:20 PM   #5
Resident704
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Wow, I had no idea that the gun was that rare or worth that much. Thank you very much for your time and help.

_Marty
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Old July 13, 2009, 01:53 PM   #6
Mike Irwin
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Yeah. Worth a LOT.

The large-frame large bore S&W revolvers from this time frame are highly sought after. Ones that are in excellent to pristine condition are just so rarely seen that they bring very nice premiums.


I have several very good condition S&W's from that time frame, Js and Ks, (bluing isn't as nice), but very good metal and bores. Prices are a fraction of what the N frames are worth.
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Old July 13, 2009, 05:10 PM   #7
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OK, I've done a bit more looking in the Standard Catalog of Smith & Wesson, 2nd edition.

Yours appears to be a Model of 1926 Hand Ejector (.44 Hand Ejector Third Model, prewar).

According to the write up, target sights in this model are rare, and I'm betting on what I can see that the target sights on your gun are, in fact, factory S&W and not aftermarket.

The grips are also right for a third model. If they are serial numbered to the gun, that makes the whole package even more desirable.

According to the book:

"Target Model Prewar - 6.5 inch round pinned barrel. Requested by the many who seek them, a further description is added here. Estimated that less than 100 were built on the .44 Hand Ejector frame 3rd Model of 1926, this target version has a shrouded extractor housing normally with the serial number inside as well as on the butt and cylinder face. This frame has a six-line serrated backstrap and forestrap, 1/10-inch Patridge front sight pinned on a slightly raised boss.... a rounded rear sight leaf contoured to the topstrap, adjustable for windage and elevation."

There's more.

But here's where it gets crazy...

"Price Check -- Mod. 1926 Prewar 44 HE Target Model, 6.5", serial number 54740 described as 98/99%" sold at auction for.... $8,750

That was in 2001.

I'd say that the value on your gun is, if truly authentic, at least $5,000 and possibly closer to $7,500.

It would appear that you have one of the true treasures of Smith & Wesson collecting.

Your first step should be to get in touch with Smith & Wesson and request a letter of authenticity to make absolutely sure you have what we think you have.

The second step should be to insure it and protect it against theft or damage.
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Old July 13, 2009, 05:57 PM   #8
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Thanks for following up on this Mike. I am going to take your advice and get a LOA from Smith & Wesson. I hope I have what I think I have.
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Old July 13, 2009, 06:09 PM   #9
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When you get it, please check back in with us and let us know.
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Old July 13, 2009, 06:24 PM   #10
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Wow! Someone took excellent care of that one. It has been shot can see the ring around the cly. I would really hate to see it sold but that is life I guess
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Old July 14, 2009, 10:35 AM   #11
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While they don't have the legendary reputation of the Triple Lock, I beleive that the Third Model Hand Ejectors are actually even more rare and thusly are still very desirable to collectors.
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Old July 14, 2009, 05:47 PM   #12
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If the pre-war magnas number to the gun, it means it was probably produced between 1937-1941.
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Old July 15, 2009, 07:22 PM   #13
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The serial number puts it around 1933. A real rarity, I've seen two. It was available by special order only prior to 1940. I believe less than 50 pre-war guns in that configuration were made. Wolf and Klar, a Texas dealer, had a sort of exclusive contract with S&W to distribute the 1926 with the underlug. The details of the Wolf & Klar deal are interesting. Only they could approve other dealers ordering the configuration. The deal ended in 1936.

Definitely deserves a letter from Roy....
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Old July 16, 2009, 12:10 AM   #14
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That's... amazing.
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Old July 16, 2009, 04:51 AM   #15
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Now THAT, is a family heirloom for the kids.
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Old July 16, 2009, 05:54 PM   #16
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Talked to a local S&W collector. If the gun really is as good as the pics he figures it might be a 5 figure value in the right auction.
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Old July 27, 2009, 05:23 PM   #17
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WOW just WOW
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Old August 10, 2009, 09:05 AM   #18
Resident704
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UPDATE: Got letter from Roy...

I received my letter from Roy Jinks. It was 2 pages long. Here is the excerpt specific to my revolver...
" We have researched your Smith & Wesson .44 Hand Ejector Third Model Target (Model of 1926), caliber .44 S&W Special, in company records which indicate that your handgun, with serial number 41057, was shipped from our factory on May 6, 1932, and delivered to Wolf & Klar Co., Fort Worth, TX. The records indicate that this firearm was shipped with a 6.5 inch barrel, adjustable rear target sight, blue finish, and checkered walnut grips. This is a very rare revolver with adjustable target sights. The invoice for this shipment list 6 units of this model with adjustable sights and were billed at $25.02 each."

I think my plans are to bring it to Cabela's Gun Library for appraisal and then to get insured. Your comments welcome.

Last edited by Resident704; August 10, 2009 at 09:47 AM.
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Old August 10, 2009, 10:05 AM   #19
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My God. $25.02.... It probably went on the retail shelf for $35 or so. A hefty sum during the middle of the Depression.

Congratulations. You have one of the rarest of all Smith & Wesson revolvers.

To say that I am envious is the understatement of all time.

You probably want to get more than one appraisal, as it's rare enough that you're probably going to run into problems finding people who are familiar with it, but with the authenticity verified by S&W, and its overall excellent condition, I think 3 Gun is probably right, it could top $10,000 in the right auction.

Now if you only had the original box, paperwork, and bill of sale.

My suggestion at this point would be to get in touch with the Smith & Wesson Collector's Association to see if they can put you in touch with a proper appraiser.
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Old August 10, 2009, 02:39 PM   #20
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WOW!
My heart skipped a beat when I opened the link!
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Old August 11, 2009, 09:12 PM   #21
DG45
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Absolutely beautiful gun; although well out of my price range. Congratulations!
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Old August 13, 2009, 07:49 AM   #22
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Quote:
I think my plans are to bring it to Cabela's Gun Library for appraisal
Cabelas seem to hit or miss. I've bought a few guns from their gun library that were bargains as priced, while some things I've seen were absurdly overpriced for what they were.
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Old January 4, 2013, 12:01 AM   #23
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I wanted to resurrect this thread just because I love S&Ws....

Remember, there are still great guns out there...waiting to be discovered...
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