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Old 09-03-2021, 06:33 AM
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RKmesa RKmesa is online now
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Here's a response that I posted to a similar thread a while back...

I'll weigh in on this - as I feel passionate about the topic. I'll post a few photos to illustrate my points.

I collect guns and I collect boxes. I like them both. I also collect paperwork and tools that shipped with the guns, because I like them. I collect period boxed ammo and advertisements related to the guns I collect, once again because I like that "stuff". I like the history that all of the items collectively and individually represent. Of course I have extra love for guns and boxes that appear to have been shipped together (matching numbers etc...), but I don't get too worked up if the numbers do not match. It is also impossible to prove that a specific piece of tissue paper, vapor paper, Helpful Hints pamphlet, tan caution notice, green warranty notice, SAT, swab, brush, instruction manual, etc. shipped with a specific gun and I do not try to prove it. Factory paperwork and tools were not numbered to specific guns (with the exception of Texas Ranger commemorative Knives, certain warranty cards, and registration cards that were oft times mailed back to the factory). I imagine there were bins and stacks of the goodies that some final shipping clerk inserted in a box as a gun was prepared to ship. Also, I think it is important to remember and note that unlike specific gun parts (e.g. sights, cylinders, frames, barrels, grips, yokes...) that were fit/filed/sanded/polished to a finished gun and stamped and numbered to that specific gun, boxes were NOT fitted to a specific gun, rather guns were placed into boxes they fit in and those boxes (usually designed or labeled to house a specific model) were numbered somewhere on their exterior to a specific gun so that someone down the line did not have to open the box to determine what gun was placed inside it.

Here are some pre-war K-22s on boxes, some of which number to the period correct boxes, others do not.

I very much appreciate "complete" or mostly complete packages (gun, box, tools, other goodies) whether they were assembled as they left the factory, or by some thoughtful collector at a later date. I try to keep them together so that when my kids sell or distribute my collection someone else can enjoy them (hopefully as much as I have). I collect S&Ws because I love them.

This early K-22 Outdoorsman box and frame numbers match.

This RM box and gun do not have matching numbers. (But seriously - just how many small pre-war magnum boxes have you seen? - me... less than a handful)

There are unscrupulous people over the years who have faked labels, written different numbers on the bottoms of boxes in grease pencil, or replaced a little white piece of tape on the bottom of a pre-war "picture box" to inflate the value of their "package". That is wrong and detestable. On the other side, there are also boxes where the adhesive on the labels failed, grease pencil that wore off, pencil that faded, and white tape that became so worn that the numbers are no longer legible, so I have no clue as to whether those boxes currently house the exact gun that was placed there at the factory and I do not represent that it does. So even on the packages that I have that include all components that have matching numbers, I cannot guarantee that they shipped together when they left the factory.

I also love custom cases and I have several of those. They are pricey, but they really make me smile.

Custom Huey Case with matching engraved pre-27s.

Custom Glenn Dean Case with matching engraved SAAs.

If a collector only collects guns that have boxes clearly numbered to the guns, I would expect that he/she will most likely end up with a pretty small, but nice collection, as those "complete packages" (particularly for older guns) are rare, usually do not trade hands very often, and are generally very pricey when they do trade hands.

I love the guns that are Safe Queens and I love the ones that have a bunch of history on them. I generally do not get too worked up about provenance of a specific gun and in general will not pay extra for it. I shoot the ones that have history on them and find them as interesting (but far less pricey) than the safe queens. I also collect ones that have been tastefully modified by previous owners - and taste is subjective and subject to change... I have even had some "modified"/engraved myself and I love them.

Modified/Engraved K-22 Outdoorsman in non matching, period correct box.

I am also glad that we all do not think alike on this topic and I enjoy and value the perspective of the members of this forum, even when those perspectives differ from mine.

My $0.02,
Engraved S&W fan

Last edited by RKmesa; 09-03-2021 at 12:42 PM.
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