The Firing Line Forums

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

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old February 24, 2013, 01:42 AM   #1
1Syclone
Junior Member
 
Join Date: February 22, 2013
Posts: 2
Old Smith & Wesson Serial number help

I have acquired an older Smith & Wesson revolver in 44 Spl. My question deals with the appearance of the serial number on the butt. It is a five digit number, 144XX, but it is both proceeded and followed by horizontal diamonds stamped next to the number. Can someone tell me if that is a factory stamp?
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 44spl-2.jpg (227.6 KB, 19 views)

Last edited by 1Syclone; February 24, 2013 at 09:48 PM.
1Syclone is offline  
Old February 24, 2013, 09:25 AM   #2
Winchester_73
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 20, 2008
Location: Pittsburgh PA
Posts: 2,859
Often that means that there was a factory replaced part or the factory did some type of other work on it.
__________________
Winchester 73, the TFL user that won the west
Winchester_73 is offline  
Old February 24, 2013, 05:57 PM   #3
McShooty
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 4, 2012
Location: Northern Missouri
Posts: 334
Welcome, 1Syclone. The diamonds could indicate a refinish, as Win 73 indicates, or perhaps replacement of a part. Refinish was usually indicated by a five-pointed star. Could also be marks on the bottom of the barrel or the rear face of the cylinder indicating factory work. If it is indeed .44 caliber, .44 S&W special, the serial number indicates it could be a .44 Hand Ejector 1st Model, also known as the "New Century" or "Triple Lock," and as such would be a valuable piece. There should be a full metal shroud around the ejector rod under the barrel. The "triple lock" name comes from the fact that there is a lockup of the crane/cyinder assembly inside the yoke, as well as at the front of the ejector rod and in the center of the recoil shield. The barrel is probably 6-1/2 inches, measured from the front of the cylinder to the end of the barrel, but other lengths are known. Production was 15,375 units between 1907 and 1915. Pictures would help verify identity and value.
McShooty is offline  
Old February 24, 2013, 10:36 PM   #4
1Syclone
Junior Member
 
Join Date: February 22, 2013
Posts: 2
Do anyone know if an authentication letter from Smith & Wesson will address the repair or any modification to the gun if it was returned? Does it just describe where the revolver was sent and it's DOB or is it more in-depth? Thanks in advance for any info.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 44spl-1.jpg (230.0 KB, 20 views)
1Syclone is offline  
Old February 24, 2013, 10:44 PM   #5
Sgt127
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 13, 2002
Posts: 595
Hm...you found a Triple Lock. The letter will tell you the birthday and where it was originally shipped. Someone or, somewhere cool will enhance its value, often far beyond its intrinsic value.

The letter will definatly tell you what configuration it was in when it left the factory, Barrel lenght, finish, sights, grips and the like. There MAY be a record of what it went back for, but, doubtful. If it shipped with a six inch barrel and now sports a 4 inch, you may deduce that was one of the return dates...
Sgt127 is offline  
Old February 24, 2013, 10:51 PM   #6
Sgt127
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 13, 2002
Posts: 595
My apologies, welcome and, nice find. It looks to be refinished based on what looks like some pitting under the blue...but, its still a really good old gun with collector value.
Sgt127 is offline  
Old February 25, 2013, 08:05 PM   #7
James K
Staff
 
Join Date: March 17, 1999
Posts: 19,127
It is a Triple Lock, but the grips are not original. The correct grips would be rounded off at the top, not extending up around the "knuckle".

Jim
__________________
Jim K
James K is offline  
Old February 25, 2013, 10:33 PM   #8
Winchester_73
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 20, 2008
Location: Pittsburgh PA
Posts: 2,859
Quote:
It is a Triple Lock, but the grips are not original. The correct grips would be rounded off at the top, not extending up around the "knuckle".
This is correct. The grips on the gun are specifically post war diamond magnas. The correct grip type would be pre war "service" grips, which J-K described above. For your SN range, the grips should be large recessed medallion grips, like the ones on my MKII hand ejector below, which shipped in 1915. Your gun also shipped in the teens, but I believe the SN is too high for the N frame concave service grips to be a possibility.

__________________
Winchester 73, the TFL user that won the west
Winchester_73 is offline  
Old February 25, 2013, 10:37 PM   #9
Winchester_73
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 20, 2008
Location: Pittsburgh PA
Posts: 2,859
Quote:
Do anyone know if an authentication letter from Smith & Wesson will address the repair or any modification to the gun if it was returned? Does it just describe where the revolver was sent and it's DOB or is it more in-depth? Thanks in advance for any info.
A letter will very rarely ever have any repair info. I read somewhere that this is because the repair records were recorded by the owner name and address, rather than the SN or features of the gun, so those records could not be searched by having the gun. In addition, I think those records were lost or something.

A factory letter will list the gun's original configuration, sights, grips (usually, not always), finish, barrel length, and caliber. The letter will list the guns shipping date, which sometimes is years after the gun was produced. It will also list who the gun was shipped to, usually a gun dealer, but sometimes a private person, or an agency, such as a police department or some other government agency.
__________________
Winchester 73, the TFL user that won the west
Winchester_73 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 08:06 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 0.08152 seconds with 10 queries