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Old 10-17-2011, 07:54 PM
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Default Help Identifying a S&W Top Break

Greetings,

First, I apologize that there are no pictures!

I was at a gun show recently and saw something very interesting...in fact, I have never seen a S&W like it before. I was hoping that ya'll could shed some light on the issue (admittedly, I am by no means an expert on the older S&Ws).

A gentlemen at the show had really high end antique revolvers and firearms.

He has what appeared to be a .38 caliber (uncertain for sure) but it was a S&W top break.

The item in question was fully engraved.

However, the grips were said to be "from the factory" from the seller and were very unusual: The grips were a "clay red" color with a black wispy, wavy pattern, while also having the S&W logo carved into it.

As a side note, the seller was asking $3K approximately for the revolver.

Any insight would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 10-17-2011, 07:58 PM
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Apologies, I should add my question is mainly relative to the grips.

As well as, any information regarding this configuration.

Thanks
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Old 10-17-2011, 08:17 PM
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Those red and black stocks are indeed original S&W stocks. I forget exactly when they were used, but they were an available option. Mostly 1890s and early 1900s, I think.

Engraved top breaks certainly exist and show up from time to time in major auctions and through specialty dealers.

$3000 is not an impossible price for an engraved top break in really good shape, but there are variables to consider. It would probably be possible to find an engraved top break at a lower price.
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Old 10-18-2011, 07:19 AM
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Thanks for the insight DC! I was pleasantly surprised to see it at the gun show. It was in overall very good condition.
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Old 10-18-2011, 08:44 AM
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According to the standard S & W reference, the red (occasionally blue and green also) mottled hard rubber stocks were made from the late 1880s to early 1890s.
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Old 10-18-2011, 12:15 PM
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Be aware also that there are modern replicas, copies, ok fakes of the red mottled grips circulating also. If they look to good to be old they probably are.
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Old 10-18-2011, 01:19 PM
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The red mottled grips were available and "normally" shipped on blued revolvers during the late 1800's period. This is a .32 S&W Mod. 1 1/2 2nd Issue, shipped in 1887. I had been informed that the red were only put on blued guns and black were put on the nickle guns. Since nickle was more popular back then, the red grips were more scarce.
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