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Old 10-08-2007, 12:30 PM
opoefc opoefc is offline
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I finally took the time to read thru these 5 pages and I have to tell you that I can see good points presented here, and the perspective of a newby to No. 3 S&W vs. the experience of years of collecting from people like Mike Priwer. A poor data base is better than none at all, I would have to agree, but why have a poor one when a better one is just as easy to build - Get ALL the data on a gun, not just the serial numer and ship date, and the data becomes much more useable. List all the features and then knowledge is increased many times. The data base then can provide information that will fit different focuses equally well. There are some records, held by a few collectors, that tell when a particular guns was buit. These are the Foreman's Day Book. These guns were built by workers paid by piece rate, working under Foremen who kept records by serial number of each gun as it passed thru their particular work station or function, so the pay rate based on the number of parts or functions a worker performed could be calculated. Only a few of these Day Books are in the CVHM S&W archives. The ones I've examined are held by a few collectors. I have sat down with the factory shipping ledgers and copied down serial numbers & shipping destinations of No. 3s that did not go to M.W. Robinson. Probably 80+% went to them. Someone mentioned Ser. Nos 1 to 5 as being shipped much later - this was because the practice at S&W until end of WW2 was to set aside the first 5 or so of each model for presentation to factory brass or VIPs. Often these guns sat at the factory for extended time periods or were returned to S&W by recipients at a later date and were eventually sold off in regular channels, creating a late shipping date entry in the records. Ser. No. 1 of a commercial model usually went to the factory museum, or the Rotunda display, and No. 2 thru 5 went to a Wesson family member or VIP. Alsolet me add another caliber to the list of No. 3. It is .22LR rimfire. After the 3rd model Single Shot production stopped, harol Wesson sent letters to the top revolver shooters and asked what they would like to see as a design for the new 4th model Single Shot, which eventually came out as the Straight Line. Some replies indicated that a No. 3 Model in .22 Single Shot was desired. American Model Serial No. 22710, in my collection is a .22RF caliber single shot conversion. Roy Jinks says he has seen two of these, including mine, however we have not been able to prove they are protypes made by S&W. My gun is a masterpiece of serious gunsmithing however, equal to any factory product. Guns like this are what makes all this worthwhile! Ed.
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