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Old January 23, 2014, 12:21 AM   #1
Bgoody
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Need Info>>Ben Shostle engraved model 66

Hello, I'm new to the whole "forum" thing. Didn't know where else to turn for some info on an engraved S&W model 66. Engraved by Ben Shostle. I came across this gun about 4-5 years ago. Got it for $1100 I believe. Looking for any info on the engraver, and value. I have no intentions of selling but am just curious if I paid too much, or got a good deal . I will try to post a pic if I can figure it out. Any info is greatly appreciated!
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Old January 23, 2014, 08:52 AM   #2
Bgoody
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Pics

Here are the pics of the gun. Finally figured out how to post them.
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Old January 23, 2014, 03:45 PM   #3
Sevens
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I'm no expert, but at least your thread gets bumped to the top with my reply!

Generally speaking, engraving on firearms typically only raises the "collector value" when the engraving was done from the manufacturing factory and as originally ordered in the original production of the gun. Typically, such engraving was offered many years ago and not so much recently. Due to the time, care, skill, etc involved, it has -NEVER- been a low-cost "option" and anything that cost more originally makes the firearm worth more now. Also tends to make them more rare since so few people could justify the (sometimes nearly irrational!) cost associated with it.

Bottom line is that typically, a firearm that's been engraved outside of the factory and wasn't typically ordered and shipped by the manufacturer as such is simply ornamental and has value only to a buyer who... likes it.

And, perhaps even more of a bummer, if the firearm was one that was highly collectible in the first place, aftermarket engraving well outside of the original manufacturer absolutely hurts the collectible value.

It's very much like a rookie baseball card of a superstar player... with an autograph on it. Those who don't know collectible cards think "WOW!" and those who do know collectible cards think "ugh...!" as the signature just destroys the collectible value of the card.

You don't have a 1930s-era Smith & Wesson Registered Magnum, so your engraving didn't attack the collectible value of a rare gun, but if it wasn't ordered as such from Smith & Wesson and shipped from S&W with that engraving (able to be proven as such with a S&W factory letter from Roy Jinks) then your engraving is, well, not helping the "collectible" value of the revolver.

To the right buyer who enjoys that sort of thing, it may garner serious interest. But generally speaking, it's a Model 66 with aftermarket engraving.

Now I know less than squat about engraving, but even an ultra-quick search on the name "Ben Shostle" suggests that the man was extremely well known and respected in his field, and his work is sought after. So that's excellent news, for the value of the revolver and for piece of mind for what you spent.
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Old January 23, 2014, 04:01 PM   #4
DaleA
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Yikes! Beautiful work!!! Personally not my cup of tea but I can look at it and appreciate it even if I wouldn't buy it. I don't think you could go wrong by calling it a 'work of art'.

I can't see how $1100 would be too much for it. I'm guessing it's worth a lot more now but I'll defer to the folk that know about these things.
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Old January 23, 2014, 04:06 PM   #5
glenncal1
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Bgoody- post at Smith-wessonforum.com someone there will probably know a lot more about the engraver and collectability.
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Old January 23, 2014, 06:34 PM   #6
Bgoody
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Thank you very much for the responses. I bought the gun simply because I thought of it as a work of art. I love the engraving. I have done some research on Shostle and found some interesting info. Also found that his work is very sought after. I was just curious if anyone knew a little more about value. I plan on getting it appraised and insured since Mr. Ben Shostle passed in 2006. If anyone knows who to contact for an appraisal any info would be greatly appreciated. Thanks again for the responses.
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Old January 23, 2014, 09:43 PM   #7
Sharpsdressed Man
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His work is/was highly regarded. He used very deep, full relief engraving, removing a lot of metal, but doing it very artistically, almost like carving, which made him almost unique in the engraving field. Very time consuming. I'm going to guess your gun could easily be worth $2500-$3000 to a Shostle collector. More pictures would be nice, then everyone could see the detail.
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Old January 23, 2014, 11:06 PM   #8
Bgoody
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Ok here's a few more pics. The engraving on this gun is amazing, especially when you realize it was all done by hand. Here you go!!
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File Type: jpg photo-3.JPG (132.4 KB, 43 views)
File Type: jpg photo-4.JPG (140.5 KB, 36 views)
File Type: jpg photo-2.JPG (125.0 KB, 35 views)
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Old January 23, 2014, 11:06 PM   #9
Series70
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Ben Shostle-engraved Smith

FWIW, here's a 6-year-old closed auction featuring a Ben Shostle Model 57 which went for $2900. You may have a real investment there.

http://www.gunauction.com/search/dis...temnum=8011153
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Old January 23, 2014, 11:11 PM   #10
Bgoody
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Here's a few more
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File Type: jpg photo-6.JPG (137.7 KB, 28 views)
File Type: jpg photo-5.JPG (143.3 KB, 27 views)
File Type: jpg photo.JPG (105.4 KB, 22 views)
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Old January 23, 2014, 11:42 PM   #11
Baba Louie
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Quote:
...curious if I paid too much, or got a good deal
More like a GREAT deal. Just do a google image search with his name!

Shostle was THE Founder and former president of the FEGA... understand? He was one of, if not THE, very best at that particular art form.

...paid too much?!?! (grumble, sanafrazzin' lucky bastige, wish I may wish I might...)

It is beautiful. Thank you for sharing those photos Bgoody.

Contact Brian Powley or one of the FEGA master engravers for an approximate value.

How's it shoot?
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Old January 24, 2014, 12:48 AM   #12
Bgoody
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LOL, never shot it......probably never will. I know that's a cardinal sin in some people's book, but I just can't bring myself to pull the trigger. You wouldn't happen to have a number or email to Brian Powley would you??? I usually buy guns to actually shoot, but I know nothing about engraved guns. I'm just thankful I was in the right place, at the right time, with the right amount of money on hand..... Thanks for all the responses and interest, God Bless!
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Old January 24, 2014, 02:26 PM   #13
Bill DeShivs
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It won't hurt a thing to shoot it, should you want.
Very nice gun, beautiful engraving by a master engraver. You got a great deal, and it will increase in value.
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Old January 24, 2014, 02:34 PM   #14
Sevens
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Quote:
It won't hurt a thing to shoot it, should you want.
With every shot you fire, there will be powder residue on the revolver. There is no way that I can conjure to avoid that. None.

You'll be wanting to remove that filth, film and residue.

You'll then be cleaning that hand-done art work, with whatever method you employ. At the very least, you'll be needing/attempting to rub a film of residue -OFF- deeply engraved metal, in every nook & cranny. You may be using a solvent also.

For the price of a working K-frame Magnum, I think it's a lousy idea.
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Old January 24, 2014, 02:35 PM   #15
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You'll also be dragging a cylinder line around the circumference of the highly done cylinder, even with simple dry firing.

On this revolver?
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Old January 24, 2014, 02:58 PM   #16
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Just to state the obvious: It's a beauty!
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Old January 24, 2014, 04:13 PM   #17
Bgoody
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Yeah there's no way I will ever fire it. Never intended to when I bought it. It could use a good cleaning, although I don't have anything other than regular hoppes solvent. I dont know if that is good or bad for it. I will probably just take it to a gunsmith friend and see what he thinks. Thanks for the compliments. I have come across auctions of Shostles engravings and noticed that most of them have certificates with them signed by Mr. Shostle. I know I can't get the actual signature anymore since he passed, but does anyone know if there is a way to get a certificate of authenticity? Or how to get in touch with FEGA? Thanks again!
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Old January 24, 2014, 04:39 PM   #18
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It's stainless. That means you can use common kitchen sink stainless cleaner (I think I used Zud one time, long ago) to remove the fire blackening on the front of the cylinder. Then you can easily buff off the drag line unless it gets TOO deep. That engraving is so deep, removing the drag without damaging the engraving would be child's play for a gun finisher.
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Old January 24, 2014, 06:03 PM   #19
Bill DeShivs
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As a hand engraver, I don't recommend home refinishing of engraved guns. Any common gun cleaning solvents will work on the gun safely. If there is blackening in the background of the engraving, make sure you just wipe the surface with solvent-as the solvent can remove the blackening.
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Old January 24, 2014, 07:31 PM   #20
Sharpsdressed Man
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Engravers sometimes use black ink, or some other medium, rubbed into the engraved portion of the gun to contrast the smooth areas. It shows off the engraving more. It is easily replaced.
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