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Old 08-26-2014, 07:11 PM
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Default S & W top break

OK guys,
I have a top break Smith, 6.5 inch barrel, nickle finish marked 44 winchester cartrage, hard rubber grips, with a sn of189XX. Blue book shows several calibers but not a winchester 44 cart. probably from 1885 and up?
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Can't post pictures but have then on iphone? and can text
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Old 08-26-2014, 07:32 PM
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I'd say a .44 DA Frontier, except I think the SNs did not go to 189XX.
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Old 08-26-2014, 07:41 PM
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blue book does not show 44 winchester but several 44s such as russian, S&W, that is the SN ?
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Old 08-26-2014, 07:45 PM
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How about posting some pictures? The S&W .44 DA Frontier was made in both .44-40 (.44 Winchester) and .38-40 (.38 Winchester). But again, the SN appears too high to be one of those. Please re-check it for accuracy.

Last edited by DWalt; 08-26-2014 at 07:48 PM.
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Old 08-26-2014, 08:00 PM
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Is your S&W a single action or a double action? ( I'm assuming the gun is a genuine Smith & Wesson and not a foreign copy ) Ed.
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Old 08-26-2014, 08:07 PM
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I assume it is a top-break, but is it a single action or double action? It could be a New Model 3 in 44-40, which is a single action revolver. Problem is that the serial numbers go only to 35,796 and were made from 1878 to 1912. The 44-40 double action revolver, called the Frontier only went to serial number 15,340.

Could also be a European copy??
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Old 08-27-2014, 01:42 AM
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it is a double action, no copy, so the 44-40 is winchester 44? SN is 189XX,

Thanks
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Old 08-27-2014, 08:45 AM
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Please post pictures of your 44 DA, since it is 3000 above the production run for the Frontier DA. The Frontier was manufactured in its own serial number range 1-15340, according to Jinks and Neal's book. Could the 8 be a 3 ??
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Old 08-27-2014, 01:17 PM
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Just looked at the sn again. Definately a 18974 SN. Double action. I can email pix or text to your phone.
Thanks,
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Old 08-27-2014, 01:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by decklift View Post
Just looked at the sn again. Definately a 18974 SN. Double action. I can email pix or text to your phone.
Thanks,
I sent you a PM. If you send me pictures, I can post them for you.
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Old 08-27-2014, 01:53 PM
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Gary,
I just sent you a PM. If you will email me at: decklift@aol.com I will send picture.
Thanks,
David
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Old 08-27-2014, 02:59 PM
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Could the gun be a mismatch? A 44-40 barrel on a 44 Russian DA frame?

David - did you verify the gun is all matching?
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Old 08-27-2014, 03:53 PM
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David sent me the attached pictures of his 44 DA.

The plot thickens!
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Old 08-27-2014, 08:14 PM
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For now I'll agree with G'sS&W above. Check the serial numbers! Photos #1 and 2 make me suspicious of a mis-match also. However, "Never say never..."etc.
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Old 08-27-2014, 08:41 PM
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FWIW, to my eye, it does appear to have the longer cylinder, but that does not mean the cylinder is chambered in 44-40. All 44-40s are the 1 9/16 in cylinder but some 44 Russians are as well.
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Old 08-27-2014, 09:44 PM
Rusty Shacklford Rusty Shacklford is offline
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Default Have it lettered

Hello, I would say you have an interesting pistol there. I am not a collector or any type of expert but I can give you what info I have. I find these conversations to be an entertaining diversion.

Since you stated that the weapon is in .44-40, have you tried to chamber a .44-40 cartridge? If it is too long, then perhaps it is in .44 Russian caliber. The .44-40 is also called >44 Winchester or >44WCF.

Some of the parts between models interchanged. Check the serial number to the rear of the barrel toward the barrel latch-does it match the number of the butt, cylinder, and barrel latch?

I can't tell from the pic but does the patent dates on top of barrel end at 1871 or at 1880? The single action barrel apparently interchanged and the barrel assembly looks in slightly better condition than the frame.

Lastly, I would urge you to contact the S&W historian for info about the pistol. It costs $50 ( I think still) and tells you where it was shipped, it's original features, and caliber. It would be well worth it for a gun of this type and would add to the value. It may have been repaired at some point, or be something not typically seen. Have fun and enjoy.

Last edited by Rusty Shacklford; 08-27-2014 at 09:47 PM.
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Old 08-28-2014, 01:13 PM
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I will have it lettered. Latch is matching, do not know the caliber but it is not stepped inside the cly. Cly measures 1 9/16 is has no number. I will mike the bore and cly soon as get to my mike. I think tah the barrel and cly have been changed out. Roy, If you still on here what is the procedure for requesting a letter?

Thanks to all who have responded,

David Mitchell
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Old 09-02-2014, 07:59 AM
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Can anyone tell me the exact year my gun was made? I use it for target shooting with 158gr bullets. 358 and use 38 short colt brass. And 15 grains .pyrodex as propelant it works great.it got the serial nr 45289. it would be great if somebody knows this. jim, from Bergen. Norway
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Last edited by lc38; 09-02-2014 at 08:26 AM. Reason: pics
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Old 09-02-2014, 08:06 AM
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Default s&w sa second modell 38s&w.

Can anyone tell me the exact year my gun was made? I use it for target shooting with 158gr bullets. 358 and use 38 short colt brass. And 15 grains .pyrodex as propelant it works great. there is absolut no play in the cylinder ad locks up perfect,and grooves and barrel are perfect even better then the new guns I bought earlier. peopole dosnt belive its a genuine S&W from 1880-1890,they all think I got a Italian copy but I know its the real deal.the serial nr is :45289 . best regards from jim from Bergen ,Norway.
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Old 09-02-2014, 08:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by decklift View Post
. . . what is the procedure for requesting a letter? David Mitchell
David - follow the link below to get a copy of the letter. Unfortunately, Roy also needs the correct caliber to ID the gun. The long cylinder was manufactured in both calibers, but the Russian had a shoulder inside the cylinder. Can you find someone that has a cartridge to test? Also, you could remove the cylinder and take it to a local ammo store to see if the staff will help you make sure of the caliber.

Factory Letter Request Form
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Old 09-02-2014, 09:03 AM
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Quote:
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Can anyone tell me the exact year my gun was made? I use it for target shooting with 158gr bullets. 358 and use 38 short colt brass. And 15 grains .pyrodex as propelant it works great.it got the serial nr 45289.
Your revolver is a 38 Single Action, 2nd Model, shipped from the factory around 1880. The revolver is chambered in 38 S&W and will handle factory loaded ammunition since it is loaded light today. Actually, the bullet should be .361" and not .357" as is the 158 SWC bullet. I think that Europe sells something like a 38 Corto, which is 38 S&W ammo. Find something around 700-750 fps and you can shoot without the mess of Pyrodex.

Quite often, the accuracy of shooting .357 bullets in a 38 S&W gun leaves a lot to be desired. The bullet is actually too small to give good contact to the rifling and can pass combustion gases past the bullet upon firing. I would at least look for .361 bullets to shoot if you continue to reload.
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Old 09-02-2014, 09:33 AM
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thanks a lot for your info Gary, so it is from 1880. must say that S&W are quality since it both look as good as it does and fires just as well. noticed that when it comes to range over 20 y it is not as accurat as it might be with the right bullet dia,.003-4 under sized.tried to NOT size some of my cast bullets and it perfomed better than.I will buy me another mould from Midway looked it up they got one in .361 2 cavity mould for about 50 dollars ,and Iam gonna look for the 38 corto,course aas you said pyrodex is a mess,but I clean and shine my guns every day anyway ,but blackpowder fff, is worse. used that before.it was just to messy for me. thanks a lot JIM

Last edited by lc38; 09-02-2014 at 09:40 AM.
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