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Old September 24, 2021, 05:12 PM   #1
LawrenceN
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S&W DA .44 Russian Mystery Stamps

First off, greetings all from Ontario, Canada. I've come into possession of a pretty straightforward S&W DA with a 5" barrel. While cleaning the thing, I noticed two odd stampings on the barrel. From the pics, you'll note that these weren't applied at a factory but obviously hand stamped. I've put a request for any information about them on several forums including the S&W forum. I did find out from the serial number that it came off the line 30 Oct. 1890. It's in superior condition and mechanically excellent and I'm tickled pink to have it. I wasn't sure whether to post this here or in the Curio & Relic forum. These stamps, however, are a head-scratcher. I'm wondering if the "SMI" had a double struck "I" as it overlapped the "M". Pure speculation, but might the "MI" letters stand for "Military Institute"? As to the "C.T.G", is it an abbreviation for "cartridge" and if so, why the capital letters and periods. Might it be an acronym? To forestall any question regarding calibre, I've double checked and it is indeed in .44 Russian. So! Any feedback or input would be most welcome. Thank you.
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Old September 25, 2021, 07:37 PM   #2
105kw
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To start out, I am not an expert on Top Break S&Ws.
The cartridge marking is odd, the US Army never adopted the 44 Russian as a service cartridge. The only other similar marking was on a Spanish copy of an N frame Hand Ejector.
A lot of S&W 44 Top breaks went to Mexico, and Central and South America for Police or Military organizations.
Try the S&W Collectors Association.
Post what you find out please.
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Old September 25, 2021, 09:11 PM   #3
LawrenceN
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Thank you for the welcome

I've posted this on the S&W Collectors Forum. Research can be frustrating and still fascinating. Thus far, I've not had any solid information that can either clarify the stamps or point me in a direction for further research. Given the number of clubs and groups that came and went over these many years, it may be a futile endeavour, but I'll keep my fingers crossed. Should something of note come to my attention, for sure I'll post it here to share the knowledge.
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Old September 26, 2021, 11:54 AM   #4
FrankenMauser
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Feels like fuddery or bad import marks.

Interesting, but does not seem to be more than a one-off, and possibly done by Bubba at his workbench.
Beer on bench.
Gun on bench.
Stamps on bench.
"Hell yeah!"


When that was produced, the only notable SMI was an Italian small arms ammunition manufacturer. So that is of little help. And if it had been stamped for *that* SMI, they would have included their signatory star.
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Old September 26, 2021, 12:23 PM   #5
LawrenceN
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It may be, but speculation is all I have at this time, pending someone who knows the origin or meaning of the stamps. I have a feeling that it may have been a military academy, or some form of military shooting club or training group. C.T.G., perhaps Cadet Training Group? Again, it's only speculation.

Last edited by LawrenceN; September 26, 2021 at 01:29 PM.
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Old September 26, 2021, 09:28 PM   #6
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I posted pictures to a group, to see what they think.
No one seems to know what it is, but I'll let you know if something comes up.
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Old September 26, 2021, 11:27 PM   #7
105kw
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Ctg is a abbreviation of cartridge, S&W used it as well as other manufacturers.
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Old September 26, 2021, 11:41 PM   #8
Jim Watson
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But that is not a S&W stamp.
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Old September 27, 2021, 04:41 AM   #9
LawrenceN
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As I noted in my OP, normally I see cartridge abbreviated as "ctg.". The fact that it's in Capital letters and with a period after each letter would lead me to speculate that it's an acronym for something. No one on the S&W forum has been able to come up with a suggestion either. Without question, the stamps were applied by some sort of club or organization post production. It's a real head-scratcher. If I ever find out the origin of the stamps it may or may not add value to the pistol, but for me, it's more solving a mystery.
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Old September 27, 2021, 10:12 AM   #10
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You might want to spend the money on a research letter from Smith & Wesson. Depending on the records for the gun they can often give you information on where it was shipped originally - i.e., the wholesaler or even the individual if it was purchased direct from the factory.
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Old September 27, 2021, 07:09 PM   #11
LawrenceN
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Irwin View Post
You might want to spend the money on a research letter from Smith & Wesson. Depending on the records for the gun they can often give you information on where it was shipped originally - i.e., the wholesaler or even the individual if it was purchased direct from the factory.
Thank you for the suggestion. That will be one avenue to explore. Mind you, it would only bear fruit if the pistols were part of an order from S&W. If they were purchased through a normal everyday retailer, I'd probably be snookered. Still, I'll not shut myself away from any potentially viable avenue of research.
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