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Old 01-11-2017, 10:56 AM
cyclops24 cyclops24 is offline
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This pistol belonged to my great grandfather and passed down to me from my grandfather. It has been sitting in my safe and I decided to do some research on it. I believe it is the perfected model with a 6 inch barrel and nickel finish. Are these valuable or rare at all? I didn't see many for sale. I have no intentions of selling this one just trying to get a better idea of what I have. Also the nickel is a little rough and I assume refinishing this would hurt the value. Thanks for you knowledge and help.
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Old 01-11-2017, 01:38 PM
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I assume refinishing this would hurt the value
More to the point it would ruin an historic artifact and destroy its collector value.

Peter

Last edited by PJGP; 01-11-2017 at 01:39 PM.
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Old 01-11-2017, 02:00 PM
opoefc opoefc is offline
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Yes, it's a Perfected Model and the 6 inch barrel is uncommon. Judging from the photo, I don't see any evidence a refinish is needed. I'd say it's a 98% gun now and probably in the top 5% of surviving Perfecteds. A little S&W trivia: When this model was being introduced, S&W purchased the boxes from a vendor, who misspelled the model name as " Perfect" on the box labels. The factory, not wanting to waste anything with S&W's name on it, used the boxes anyway, until the next box order could correct the error. Ed.
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Old 01-11-2017, 02:05 PM
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There aren't many of the Perfected top breaks around, and there are many collectors who would be very interested in yours. Refinishing is a definite no-no. I have been looking for a good one for a long time, never found one.
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Old 01-11-2017, 03:24 PM
cyclops24 cyclops24 is offline
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Thanks guys. Like I said this one is a keeper for obvious reasons and would still be a keeper even if it wasn't rare. I wish I had the original box but the pistol is it and other than knowing that my great grandpap owned it, I know nothing else about it so it is exciting to know it's an interesting piece. I appreciate your help and insight.
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Old 01-11-2017, 03:39 PM
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Post .38 S&W "Perfected" snubbie 1st year production

Gentleman, I have posted my "Perfected" before, but here it goes again. 1909 1st year, factory lettered as shown but with 4 inch bbl. The 6 inch owner asked about value, and several months back a member of the forum posted a snubbie cut down like mine, that realized $790.00 on GB!
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Old 01-11-2017, 04:52 PM
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The earlier S&W top breaks had a weakness, in that if the bad guy got close enough, he could reach out and pull up on the top barrel release latch, opening it. And obviously it then could not be fired. The thumb latch prevented that. At least that is the story. I've also read that a considerable percentage of the approximately 60,000 made were exported, possibly accounting in part for its relative scarcity.
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Old 01-11-2017, 05:19 PM
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As far as scarcity goes, they made 59,400 and ran them up until 1920, so most of them are most likely out there somewhere. I think your gun shows a nice finish and the 6" barrel is not as common as the shorter lengths offered, but I would not pay $800 for it. I think the true value is around $550 - $600, with the loss of finish on the barrel and some freckling on the rib and frame. It is of course impossible to tell the actual condition from a single image. One question - do the stocks have brass escutcheons surrounding the screw?

Last week, I saw four Perfected revolvers out there for sale, so you can find them if you look at all the various online auction sites. If you confine your searches to LGS, you will probably not find any.
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Old 01-11-2017, 08:11 PM
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Very nice.

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Old 01-13-2017, 02:26 PM
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Thank you!
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Old 01-13-2017, 02:54 PM
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Why are people so fixated with refinishing an old gun? I recently went to see a C-93 Borchardt. Not a pit on it, but someone had it re-blued. All
those beautiful fire blue parts had been buffed out. The finish was dead. Just leave it alone or dont buy it in the first place. All that history gone.
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Old 01-13-2017, 03:54 PM
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Welcome to the forums from the Wiregrass! I recommend cleaning it thoroughly with Blue Wonder cleaner, then polish it up with Flitz or Mother's Mag polish. You can protect the finish with Renaissance Wax which is a micro crystalline wax used by museums. Some folks suggest you can use a carnauba floor wax in lieu of Renaissance.
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Old 01-13-2017, 05:01 PM
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I agree with all previous suggestions. But first try an old cotton T-shirt with oil. No harm and it dont cost nothing. I dont clean guns and put them away for any appreciable time. I enjoy my guns and look at them all the time. I live in South Florida two blocks from the Atlantic. Salt air, I got plenty. Best.
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Old 01-13-2017, 05:25 PM
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New guy here..never have seen a top break with a thumb release.Did the thumb release push up on the rear latch to allow the revolver to open? Seems very redundant. Thanks.
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Old 01-13-2017, 05:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wiregrassguy View Post
Welcome to the forums from the Wiregrass! I recommend cleaning it thoroughly with Blue Wonder cleaner, then polish it up with Flitz or Mother's Mag polish. You can protect the finish with Renaissance Wax which is a micro crystalline wax used by museums. Some folks suggest you can use a carnauba floor wax in lieu of Renaissance.
Thanks! I am big user of Ren wax as well as the Mother's product you mentioned. I'll give it a shot on the perfected.
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Old 01-13-2017, 06:10 PM
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New guy here..never have seen a top break with a thumb release.Did the thumb release push up on the rear latch to allow the revolver to open? Seems very redundant. Thanks.
The Perfected revolver frame was the same as a 32 Hand Ejector, only with a hinge instead of the solid frame as seen on hand ejectors. The thumb latch worked the same way as with any S&W HE, only you had to do two things at the same time. Lift the top latch and push forward on the thumb latch before opening the gun.
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