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Old 08-16-2017, 11:07 PM
Beveaux Beveaux is offline
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Default Another Top Break Needs Identification

Smith & Wesson Topbreak
Serial number is 73724.
Exposed hammer. T-latch.
Patent dates are January 24,65; July 11, 65; Aug 24, 69; July 25, 71; Dec 2, 79; May 11, 1880.



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Old 08-17-2017, 08:23 AM
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Default .38 Double-Action 2nd Model

You don't say what it is chambered for, but it appears to be the .38 Double-Action 2nd Model (chambered in .38 S&W). These were produced 1880-1884. The serial number places this example about midway through the production run, so it dates to 1882 or 1883. The grips may be later additions.
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Old 08-17-2017, 09:00 AM
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Welcome to the Forum. Dean gave you the model and manufacture date, so not too much to add, other than Mother-of-Pearl stocks were an option when ordering a revolver from the factory. The distributors also offered a post-manufacture selection of MOPs as well. Your revolver was made before the addition of gold medallions in the top round of the stocks, so those could be original to the gun. Normally, the factory stocks are much thicker and provide a perfect fit to the gun, but the only way to be sure is to get a factory letter that will tell you exactly how the gun left the factory.

I cannot tell from the photos if the trigger and hammer are plated or not, but look too shiny for original, so may have been buffed?? The finish is of the type that looks too good to be true, but cannot tell without a detailed inspection. Unfortunately, the 38 Double Actions do not command much value, mostly because there were over a half-million made, but are great examples of the typical high quality manufacture from S&W.
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Last edited by glowe; 08-17-2017 at 09:02 AM.
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Old 08-17-2017, 01:03 PM
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Welcome to the forums from the Wiregrass!
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Old 08-17-2017, 08:09 PM
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Welcome to the forum.

Quote:
I cannot tell from the photos if the trigger and hammer are plated or not, but look too shiny for original
My sentiments exactly. Although I cannot tell from the photos if the gun is refinished, it almost looks too pristine for 100+ years unless it lived in a museum. Only a close up and personal examination will say for sure. Still a very neat gun.
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Old 08-17-2017, 11:45 PM
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Maybe this is where my crappy monitor is useful. That revolver appears to be in almost new condition. I'd purchase that Double Action in a heartbeat. I see no indications of any refinish or polishing. The lighting doesn't show off the case colors on the hammer and trigger very well but, without a hands-on examination, I believe this is a very fine example of the quality of work produced by Smith & Wesson at that time.
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Old 09-12-2017, 05:20 PM
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Wonderful piece of history. The model II 38 top break is surpassed only by the model I in rarity. Especially in this condition. Re-finished or not it commands value. I do honestly suspect those pearl grips as being aftermarket. I have 3 in my collection that letter and the top of the grip profile where it meets the frame is flush on all of them with the butt being rounded. Not flat like these. The factory grips always fit "Perfectly". Likely a Major Distributor addition during period of use. A factory letter would confirm it. Still a beauty.
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Old 09-12-2017, 07:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BMur View Post
Wonderful piece of history. The model II 38 top break is surpassed only by the model I in rarity . . .
The 38 Double Action, 2nd Model revolver was made from serial number 4001 to 119,000, so are not rare or scarce and when all models are added up, the 38 DA totals over a half-million made. When asked (and sometimes when not asked), we try to give the most accurate assessment as possible and the others on the Forum will help out if we are in error. There is no argument here that it is a very nice looking revolver, but unfortunately they remain low value guns compared to many other models.
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Old 09-13-2017, 12:14 AM
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Re Refinish
I see no hammer stud
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Old 09-13-2017, 08:42 AM
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Upon closer examination by enlarging the photos, I see no evidence of flattened round pins or any indication that the gun is refinished other than the outstanding condition that it presents. I think that we collectors see so many abused and finish challenged guns that we begin to question any gun that appears to be too good to be true.

I will say that if the gun IS refinished, then it was an outstanding job and one that did not leave any of the telltale signs of said refinish.

Like Mike, I would add that one to my collection without much hesitation whether it is original or not. It is still an amazing example of what a new S&W looked like coming off the factory floor.
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Old 09-13-2017, 08:58 AM
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Nice gun welcome to the forum ,hope you stick around and become a rabid ah I mean avid reader and collector.
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Old 09-16-2017, 12:31 AM
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Collecting the early Smiths like this one is often not specific to numbers manufactured but "Early production" and "Condition". In this case, finding a model II 38 top break(Circa 1880's) in this condition is definitely scarce. Been collecting for a while and you don't see them in this condition very often. That translates to value and a solid investment!
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