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Old 04-06-2011, 06:04 PM
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Wink Lew Horton

Can someone tell me what makes a Lew Horton a Lew Horton and why do they sell for a premium? I'd much rather just buy Smith's, which is all I own. I do have 1 colt which I gave to my wife, that doesn't mean I don't love her though.
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Old 04-06-2011, 06:24 PM
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Lew Horton is a distributor. The firm would periodically order limited edition runs of certain S&W revolvers in certain configurations. Being limited, they're more scarce and, to some, desirable. I, for one, adore my 624 LH snubbie.
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Old 04-06-2011, 06:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dashriprock View Post
Lew Horton is a distributor. The firm would periodically order limited edition runs of certain S&W revolvers in certain configurations. Being limited, they're more scarce and, to some, desirable. I, for one, adore my 624 LH snubbie.
As quoted.

Some of the runs were very limited and of especial collector interest.

Anybody know where there exists a list of the weapons produced just for Hortons?
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Old 04-06-2011, 06:41 PM
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I will take a shot at this one, pardon the pun
Lew Horton is a big firearms distributor in Massachusetts. They are pretty smart folks and found that there is a market for non catalog guns. So they contract with Smith & Wesson and other mfgs. They make runs of guns with different features, calibers, barrel lengths, porting, grip frames and combinations their of. Most of the runs are limited some around 5000 pcs. So they are desirable if a combination of parts strikes a cord with buyers. Like 3" N frames with .4X calibers.

I was told by a S&W salesman that LH got the idea to have S&W build these because people were modifying them or gun smiths building customs, he made mention of the John Jovino mods, like the Effector I suppose.
I was also told the S&W was very hesitant to make the first batch. So they wanted the order to be for One Million dollars worth of guns hoping to dissuade LH. They did it anyhow and the rest is history.

I think the first was the 24-3 3" 44spl

Thats how I know the story to be not sure if its 100% true or folk lore mixed in...

Last edited by wheelgun28; 04-06-2011 at 06:45 PM.
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Old 04-06-2011, 09:04 PM
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About the same time as the Model 24-3's in .44 Special, he also ordered Model 29-3's chambered in .44 Magnum, both with 3" barrels. I own a Model 24, but this past weekend, I passed on a Lew Horton Model 29-3 because someone had taken the Morado finger-groove combat grips and replaced them with Pachmayr's.

Both were made ca. 1984-1985.
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Old 04-07-2011, 02:38 AM
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I take an occasional glance at the Horton website, which usually has strange permutations on S&Ws, some of which are pretty cool. I once owned a Horton-run M63 with adjustable rear sight and 2" barrel --- a rare and unusual specimen. I think the explanations offered are accurate --- Horton antes up enough money to support limited edition production runs, thereby creating "instant" collectors item value, or at least, something different and sufficiently scarce to fetch the long dollar.
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Old 04-07-2011, 02:48 AM
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Of the three LH's I have in the safe, I was only aware of two being LH guns. I actually had another and again I didn't know it was a LH or I'd have kept it.

LH produces firearms that are configured correctly for specific needs and they do it before the factory can make a case for them. In so doing they prove markets and make larger runs or trends in specifications possible for the factory.

Once these firearms are shown to have a market, the factory can commit to making them in numbers.

IMO, LH is prescient in their designs. I know that a 3" .44 in either Spl or mag is a fantastic carry gun for the woods and I know that their other designs are equally thoughtful for the task at hand. Witness the Mtn Gun in S&W's line, that had roots in LH design.

I value mine highly and they'd literally be the last to give up if it ever was the case that I had to.
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Old 04-07-2011, 03:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobelk99 View Post
Anybody know where there exists a list of the weapons produced just for Hortons?
I recently tossed out a 7 yr old blue book. I'm pretty sure there was at least a partial list of LH guns in it.
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Old 04-07-2011, 06:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JcMack View Post
I recently tossed out a 7 yr old blue book. I'm pretty sure there was at least a partial list of LH guns in it.
You're right. The Blue Book of Gun Values lists Lew Horton guns - the reference can be found in the index under "L". For each gun there is a notation of quantity made, year issued, and retail price. There is no listing of current value.
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Old 04-07-2011, 06:48 PM
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I have a Lew Horton 29-3 Classic Hunter. It has a 6" barrel and a non fluted cylinder. It has adjustable front sights and they made 5000 of these.
I have the box, cleaning kit, front and rear sight adjustment tools, manual and the warranty card for this. I have thought about selling it, but I do not know what it would be worth.

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Last edited by LouisianaJoe; 04-08-2011 at 01:37 AM.
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Old 04-07-2011, 07:06 PM
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This paper came with my lew horton 66-3. It says only 300 were made for lew horton. Yet I bought it in a california gun shop sold as new/used. Right after I bought it I seen another at another gun shop a few miles away. That was 25 years ago or so, and I have yet to see another. I belive many so called lew horton guns were somehow sold by other dealers across the country.


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Old 04-08-2011, 06:38 AM
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That clears things up a bit. Thanks for the input. My wife and I go to several estate auctions and I've seen a few LH. I'll look with more interest next time.
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Old 04-08-2011, 06:43 AM
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It's been said that the smaller runs get a bit more attention and are fitted/finished a bit better.

Certain models were done by the Performance Center too.
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Old 05-20-2012, 09:31 AM
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Bringing this back up with am added tid bit

back in the olden days of 1985, S&W got permission from a distributor (unnamed) to sell 100 624 3" guns to the employees. Employee price $294.50 including Federal Excise Tax

Also available was the 686 2 1/2" at $214.46 including FET

These were desirable and the company held a lottery to see who could buy one!


Last edited by wheelgun28; 05-20-2012 at 09:44 AM.
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Old 05-20-2012, 09:57 AM
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Interesting, wheelgun28. It was my understanding that the LH 2.5" 686s had WO rear sights but that is not mentioned in the employee sales ad. Note it is mentioned for the 624, however.
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Old 05-20-2012, 10:23 AM
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3" 24-3 Lew Horton .44 special, confirmed with call to LH.
Unfortunately no box or custom holster.

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Old 05-20-2012, 01:12 PM
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A recent Lew Horton mod 29, 200 were made.
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Old 05-20-2012, 01:18 PM
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I never recieved any documentation on my 3" 610 to the effect of it being a LH run, just the owner's word from the pawnshop where I bought it new.
I seen several other identical examples over the years in forums that claimed theirs was LH. Got it 99. It's pre-lock. I hated the original grips, & put these on.
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Old 05-20-2012, 02:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 7tenz View Post
I never recieved any documentation on my 3" 610 to the effect of it being a LH run, just the owner's word from the pawnshop where I bought it new.
I seen several other identical examples over the years in forums that claimed theirs was LH. Got it 99. It's pre-lock. I hated the original grips, & put these on.
You can contact Lew Horton Dist. and provide your serial number. They will confirm if they distributed it.

questions@lewhorton.com
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Old 05-20-2012, 06:09 PM
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Thanks for the link, Mickey D. Why didn't I think of that. I'm pretty sure it is LH, but I'm going to check with them anyway. They had the only 3" unfluted satin ss that I'm aware of.
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44 magnum, 624, colt, effectors, fluted, jovino, lew horton, model 24, model 29, pachmayr, performance center

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