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S&W Antiques S&W Lever Action Pistols, Tip-Up Revolvers, Top-Break Revolvers, and ALL Single Shots


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Old 07-03-2013, 11:42 AM
Zachary47 Zachary47 is offline
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This is my first post on this site so I apologize for not knowing to much about this firearm. My mother and I found this revolver in a hidden compartment of a dresser my father build. We are trying to figure out the exact model of this revolver and its value. The serial number listed on the bottom of the gun and on the cylinder is 91654. I've taken it to two local gunsmiths and both of them said the gun looks like it has the original nickel finish and told me it could be a 38 single action second model but to check here to make sure. I live in Frederick Colorado and I would be willing to take it to a local specialist to confirm. I would really appreciate any help. Thank you very much.
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Old 07-03-2013, 12:03 PM
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glowe glowe is online now
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Welcome to the Forum. You have a 38 Single Action 2nd Model, shipped from the factory around 1884/1885. I believe your revolver has been refinished. A very good job, where all parts were disassembled, except for the trigger center pin. Original pins were raised and rounded, but difficult to remove without the correct tool. Yours is flattened from polishing. It also appears that your stocks are a non S&W replacement. Lastly, the trigger and hammer appear to be blacked/blued, which is not original, since these parts were originally case hardened.

Value for an original in near 100% original finish would exceed $700-$800, but a refinished gun has lost its collector value, so normally grade as Good in most grading systems and would be valued at $250-$350. I think yours might go above those figures, but need the right buyer.
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Last edited by glowe; 07-03-2013 at 12:08 PM. Reason: added content
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Old 07-03-2013, 12:23 PM
Zachary47 Zachary47 is offline
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Thank you glowe very much! I tried uploading more pictures but I kept getting an error message. No one in our family had ever seen this revolver until we found it after my father passed so we're not sure where my father got it from. I really appreciate your information we have been trying to find as much information as possible on this firearm and I personally didn't know enough about these revolvers to know if the two different gunsmiths I showed it to were telling me the truth or not. Thank you very much!!
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Old 07-03-2013, 05:38 PM
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I will add a little more information. This revolver was made from 1877 to 1891, so all are antiques. The factory made 108,255 guns during that time-frame. They came in several barrel lengths; 3 1/2, 4, 5, 6, 8, and 10 inch. The ammunition for your gun is 38 S&W. This caliber is still available from most major manufacturers and should perform just fine, as they are loaded with light charges.

Unfortunately, many gunsmiths are not familiar with antiques, and the two you mention apparently could not name the model. They often do not know much about original factory finishes. They may be the best at repairing and modifying modern guns, but there are only a few in the country with a great deal of experience in antiques. Most will not even work on these old guns.
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Old 07-07-2013, 06:04 AM
dogngun dogngun is offline
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It is a very nice old revolver that someone took time to have refinished. I t has no real collector value, doe to the refinish, but it looks to be in very good condition, and it might prove to be a good shooter should that interest you. The old single action Smiths were very highly regarded in their day, and a lot of them were used well past the time when more modern guns were available. They are simple, reliable and rugged and a lot of people carried them. I would certainly keep it in the family as a "gift" from your father.That is a great thing to find!

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Old 07-07-2013, 11:45 AM
TIMETRIPPER TIMETRIPPER is offline
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I would gladly pay $300 for a SA in that condition, refinished or not. The old S&W single and double action top breaks were very well made. The fact that so many have survived in good shoot-able condition is testament to the quality of their design and construction. The same cannot be said of the host of imitators that they spawned at half the cost. The Iver Johnson, H&R, H&A and other top breaks just didn't hold up as well.
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