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Old June 5, 2019, 06:12 PM   #1
Soclosenotnear
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Smith & Wesson model 42 lemon squeeze .38 special

I recently quit working as a 10+ year pawn shop manager, to pursue my own ventures. Working as such, I've become quite a firearm collector and for the last few years a s&w collector and revolver enthusiast. I was able to pick up a beautiful 15-4 and 34-1 with original boxes. While I love to shoot, I cannot afford to more times than not. I afford my guns via layaway and honestly consider myself a collector more than anything and just want nice firearms to pass down to my kids one day.

So...

I walked into my old store today and found a very nice model 42 with the original box. I remember this gun from a very good customer who had borrowed against it several times and confided me he was thinking of selling it and thought I should buy it if I wanted it. I explained the same thing that I typically purchase on layaway. I can only assume he came in and decided to sell it to the store, since I had left.

The gun is in very nice condition with full bluing and original wooden grips as well as aftermarket replica wooden grips. I didn't jot the serial number down but it's in a blue cardboard (Bangor punta era?) box. Based on my two other Smiths, probably early to mid 70's. It was priced at $950. I'm certain I could still get a fair price, even though I'm not an employee. I'm sure they paid him $650ish as I know that's what I had been looking him on it. I would be expect to get a price of $750-800. This seems to be in line with GunBroker, even for examples with no box.

I feel like I'd like to add this to my collection. Is there anything to be concerned with should I decide to shoot it? Or anything in particular to look for in general. Also, just curious if it's worth even jumping on, as it would be strenuous, even on layaway right now, or if I could get another most anytime. I've been wanting to sell an old norinco sks, which would cover a solid third of the price. 6 month layaway, yada yada.

Thoughts?
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Old June 5, 2019, 06:41 PM   #2
ratshooter
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I thought pawn shops had a 300% mark up on the stuff they sold. If so that would mean they paid him $300-400 for the gun. And I thought all the price tags were coded so the employees could tell at a glance what the store paid for the gun.

One of the old codes was M-A-R-Y-L-O-U-I-S-E with each letter denoting a different value. I don't think that code is used anymore. As for the price of the gun its pretty much what you are willing to pay and how bad you want it.
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Old June 5, 2019, 07:48 PM   #3
Soclosenotnear
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Haha, cash America used to use Mary Louise. Now cash America and first cash use dasyflowrz meaning 1234567890. My goal was typically a 35-38% profit margin and that was a struggle at times. The name of the game is being aggressive on the loan counter and frankly, if you aren't paying competitive prices in my area, you aren't buying or loaning. I had 100% redemption loan customers with tens of thousands of dollars in loans they had picked up without losing one. I would loan those folks money on a rock if they needed it and pushed their loans, at times, beyond what the item was worth.

I didn't physically pick the revolver up today because I was already familiar with it. So, I didn't glance at the cost on the tag. Again, given the circumstances, and knowing what I have already loaned him against it, I know he wouldn't have taken less than that. They wouldn't have paid him more to buy it as I had loaned aggressively on it before.

I realize it's only worth what someone will pay for it. But I just try to keep an eye out for the old smiths *with* boxes, paperwork's, tools, etc. which this one also has, btw. Although, I don't look as much as I did when I worked there, they don't pop up too often like that locally.
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Old June 5, 2019, 08:24 PM   #4
Driftwood Johnson
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Howdy

When the title of your post said 'lemon squeezer' I was expecting something like this:







Smith and Wesson never called them lemon squeezers, they were the 32 and 38 Safety Hammerless Revolvers. However the general public often refered to them as Lemon Squeezers because the grip safety had to be squeezed to pull the trigger.




Anyway, according to the Standard Catalog of Smith and Wesson, the Model 42, Centennial Airweight, shipped in the blue two piece cardboard boxes with metal corners. Except the nickel plated ones which shipped in gray boxes.

The 'Bangor Punta' boxes were used from 1966 until 1985, also from the SCSW, an invaluable resource for all collectors of things S&W.

Here is a photo of my Model 17-3 that I bought brand-spanky new in 1975, with its blue Bangor Punta box. You have to look carefully to see the words 'A BANGOR PUNTA COMPANY' in small text between the other two diagonal lines of text.







Regarding boxes upping the value of a S&W revolver, I have found that to mostly be a myth. Yes, you can go to Gun Broker or even eBay and find S&W boxes being hawked for ridiculous prices. But I can't tell you how many times I have closed a deal on an old Smith, and after the haggling was done, the dealer said, "I think I have the box out back" or something like that. In other words, the the fact that the original box was included had never been mentioned, and it was not written on the price tag.

Case in point, after we agreed on a price for this Model 14-3, the dealer said he had the box out back. No mention of it was made during the negotiations.






Don't get me wrong, I like getting the original box, papers, and tools whenever possible, but they have never entered into the negotiations over the price. At least not in my experience.
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Old June 5, 2019, 08:58 PM   #5
Soclosenotnear
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Driftwood,

Thanks for taking the time to post. The revolver in question does have a grip safety as shown in your first picture. If course it is much more modern than yours. It is a 2" snub nosed j frame gun.

Around here, at my stores and all the others, pawn shops at least, we clearly mark on the tag any boxes or accessories to justify our asking price. As we also did on tools, cameras, etc.

At the pawn shop, whatever you are interested in, as an employee, gets extra focus, naturally. So for me, the guns got extra attention. So, maybe a large gun shop with many guns and little time or a pawn shop employee who doesn't have vested interest wouldn't add value, but in my corporate atmosphere, by the time I left, all gun prices had to be approved by a supervisor. Accessories were noted and given value at times. Either way, as you mentioned, they're nice to have. They stack well in the gun safe.

Also, the gun does have that type of box, as do the couple others I own.
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Old June 6, 2019, 11:03 AM   #6
Driftwood Johnson
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Howdy Again

I didn't mean to imply the Model 42 doesn't have a grip safety. I just never heard one called a lemon squeezer before.

Yes, it certainly is fun when a box comes along with the gun. But I find they take up too much space in the safe, so I pile them up on top. Here are most of my boxes, I have a few more stashed away elsewhere.

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Old June 6, 2019, 03:08 PM   #7
ratshooter
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Quote:
I realize it's only worth what someone will pay for it. But I just try to keep an eye out for the old smiths *with* boxes, paperwork's, tools, etc. which this one also has, btw. Although, I don't look as much as I did when I worked there, they don't pop up too often like that locally.
I say if you like the gun and want it then buy it. Its not going to go down in value. If you are willing to pay the price to get it then someone else will buy it from you for the same price or more down the road. Its hard to lose money on a S&W revolver. A new gun is fun.

Thanks for the tip on the "dasyflowrz" code. I actually looked up pawnshop codes and some others are blackhorse, republican, moneytalks and volkswagon. Good luck figuring out which one they are using. I guess you could always just ask.
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Old June 6, 2019, 06:39 PM   #8
Soclosenotnear
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Driftwood,

I understand now. I'm sure I picked up that lingo from some pawn shop folk over the years. I'm sure you're aware, most everybody who walks up to the gun counter is an "expert". There's more inaccurate information out there then good info.

Ratshooter,

Being in Texas, you should be full of cash America's and first cash stores. First cash does operate under different brands. Anyways, FC and CA are one company now and that is the code on the tags.

When my store was locally owned before being bought out, we used "make profit" which is still second nature to me, more than anything.



I'm going to simmer on this one for a few days. I've owned a hammerless Taurus at some point and didn't care for it. I imagine the Smith to be better trigger wise, but probably still not my cup of tea. When I do shoot, I shoot single action the vast majority of the time. But I do like the way they look, and as mentioned, it will sit in the safe 99%+ if the time. It's only money, of course.
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Old June 7, 2019, 06:08 AM   #9
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In a previous thread, I mentioned inheriting my grandfather's mod 42 Centennial. It was pretty much a nightstand gun and hardly used. I tracked down a Tyler t-grip to give me a little more leverage on the grip safety. When I removed the grip panels to install it, I discovered a small pin that can be used to deactivate the grip safety. I also ordered a set of imitation aged ivory grips, but they still require some fitting. Ill post pics when it's done.
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Old June 7, 2019, 08:08 AM   #10
jar
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While there was originally a pin to lock the grip safety in the "Fire" position, most often the pin has not survived the ages.

Here's my 40 showing the pin and the lock position.



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