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Old 08-23-2017, 04:34 PM
richhack richhack is offline
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Hi I have just acquired a very nice 1st model double action in 44 Russian nickel finish 6 barrel with adjustable sights plus its original box the serial number is 34076 does anyone know the year of manufacture. I have been on the historical foundation site but the form for a factory letter is geared up for US users especially the payment section. If anyone can help with this I would be very grateful photo attached many thanks Richard.
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Old 08-23-2017, 05:05 PM
robertrwalsh robertrwalsh is offline
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Best I can find is 1871-1878 with a note saying the serial number range for these guns is "complicated." Further note says first model 1871, second model 1873, third model 1874. hope this helps. didn't think they let you guys actually possess hand guns any more. WELCOME ABOARD
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Old 08-23-2017, 06:42 PM
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Welcome to the Forum. You have a very nice 44 DA that would have shipped most likely in 1897. All 44 Double Action revolvers are classified as antiques here in the US, but do not know how they classify antiques in the UK.

The gun is a target revolver, which is quite uncommon for this model, and would definitely bring a premium in the US. Nice find, especially with the original box.
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Old 08-23-2017, 07:29 PM
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Welcome to the forum.

Well for your first post I would say that you have out done yourself. That is one very sweet revolver and the box is merely the icing on the cake.

Just for comparison sake, what does something like that fetch on your side of the pond? Also, any back story? Was it an auction, dealer, friend??? We like stories...
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Old 08-23-2017, 07:45 PM
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Thumbs up S&W .44 DA 1st Model (1881-1913)

Standard Catalog of SMITH & WESSON 4th Edition, 2016 by Jim Supica and Richard Nahas, page 122: .44 DA 1st Model (1881-1913) Target Sighted
(Target Model 50% premium.)
Fine: $1,700 ($2,550)
VG: $1,000 ($1,500)
Good: $850 ($1,275)
Fair: $600 ($900)
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Old 08-23-2017, 07:59 PM
richhack richhack is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robertrwalsh View Post
Best I can find is 1871-1878 with a note saying the serial number range for these guns is "complicated." Further note says first model 1871, second model 1873, third model 1874. hope this helps. didn't think they let you guys actually possess hand guns any more. WELCOME ABOARD
We can but they have to be classed as section
58(2) of the Firearms Act 1968.which means they are exempt from license to qualify they have to be antique and on a list of obsolete calibres 44 Russian being one plus many other plus any rim fire and cap/ball as long as they are antique no new builds such as pietta etc these have to be put on tight regulated license thanks for the reply. Forgot to say if we want to shoot them the they have to be put on license if just collectors piece no problem bit of a bummer.

Last edited by richhack; 08-23-2017 at 08:04 PM. Reason: missed out something
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Old 08-23-2017, 08:30 PM
opoefc opoefc is offline
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Welcome to the Forum. The production log for the .44DA models show that serial number 34076 was made Jan. 26, 1897. As said above , a factory made target variation of this Model is very uncommon and the original box puts it over the Moon! . S&W made all the frames for this model early in it's production cycle and then later assembled the guns as orders were received, so some guns show shipping dates as late as early WW1 era. You can order a factory historical letter from the S&W Historical Foundation, which will tell you when, where and to whom the gun was shipped and it's configuration when shipped. Cost is seventy five US dollars. Your bank can give you a certified check in euros or pounds, convertible to $75 US at what ever the exchange rate happens to be at the date of the check, if you want to order a factory letter. There's a link on this Forum to the application form for the letter. You have found a very nice S&Ws, worth quite a bit here in the US ! Ed.
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Old 08-23-2017, 08:43 PM
richhack richhack is offline
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Originally Posted by opoefc View Post
Welcome to the Forum. The production log for the .44DA models show that serial number 34076 was made Jan. 26, 1897. As said above , a factory made target variation of this Model is very uncommon and the original box puts it over the Moon! . S&W made all the frames for this model early in it's production cycle and then later assembled the guns as orders were received, so some guns show shipping dates as late as early WW1 era. You can order a factory historical letter from the S&W Historical Foundation, which will tell you when, where and to whom the gun was shipped and it's configuration when shipped. Cost is seventy five US dollars. Your bank can give you a certified check in euros or pounds, convertible to $75 US at what ever the exchange rate happens to be at the date of the check, if you want to order a factory letter. There's a link on this Forum to the application form for the letter. You have found a very nice S&Ws, worth quite a bit here in the US ! Ed.
Many thanks for a great reply will order letter,yes Im very pleased with it. Richard.
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Old 08-23-2017, 09:04 PM
mrcvs mrcvs is offline
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Originally Posted by opoefc View Post
Welcome to the Forum. The production log for the .44DA models show that serial number 34076 was made Jan. 26, 1897. As said above , a factory made target variation of this Model is very uncommon and the original box puts it over the Moon! . S&W made all the frames for this model early in it's production cycle and then later assembled the guns as orders were received, so some guns show shipping dates as late as early WW1 era. You can order a factory historical letter from the S&W Historical Foundation, which will tell you when, where and to whom the gun was shipped and it's configuration when shipped. Cost is seventy five US dollars. Your bank can give you a certified check in euros or pounds, convertible to $75 US at what ever the exchange rate happens to be at the date of the check, if you want to order a factory letter. There's a link on this Forum to the application form for the letter. You have found a very nice S&Ws, worth quite a bit here in the US ! Ed.
How large were production lots? I own No 34641, a DA First Model in .44 Russian, although not a Target Model. Mine shipped in May of 1900 and perhaps it is from the same lot produced 26 Jan 1897?

Pictured below--with silver coin folk art front sight.
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Last edited by mrcvs; 08-23-2017 at 09:15 PM. Reason: Added month to ship date
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Old 08-29-2017, 11:47 AM
mrcvs mrcvs is offline
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How large were production lots? I own No 34641, a DA First Model in .44 Russian, although not a Target Model. Mine shipped in May of 1900 and perhaps it is from the same lot produced 26 Jan 1897?

Pictured below--with silver coin folk art front sight.
Thank you opoefc for confirming that mine was not out of the same production lot, but rather from the lot produced 03 Feb 1897.

Any ideas as to the size of a production lot? Edit: My understanding is that, in this serialization range, the order was for 300 blued guns, but batch size tended to be a few guns every few days.

Also, when a revolver is said to have been made on 03 February 1897, for example, I assume that means that was the day the frame was forged and the revolver was not assembled until later, on an unknown date prior to shipment?

Last edited by mrcvs; 08-29-2017 at 11:50 AM. Reason: Clarification
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Old 08-29-2017, 01:22 PM
opoefc opoefc is offline
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My understanding is this: Many years ago when Roy Jinks was furnishing info to the ATF regarding production dates for S&Ws vs. the before or after 1/1/99 date in order for the ATF to say which guns were antiques and which guns were not, etc. , he found records that indicated all the frames for the .44DAs were forged and stored for future production before 1/1/99, therefor all .44DAs are classified as antiques by the ATF. To answer Doc's question above re:" 03 Feb. 1897" If the production log shows that date for a specific serial number, I interpret it to mean that a forged frame was taken from storage, milled, polished and serial numbered and used to assemble a complete .44DA and if the Floor Foreman's notes show that date for that serial numbered .44DA, that's the date the gun was considered to be "made" and ready for inventory in the vault, and the Floor Foreman got paid for a completed gun. The build would be because the Floor Foreman had received an order from marketing to build a batch of guns, usually 25 to perhaps as large as 300, blue or plated. The build might not be in consecutive calendar dates but spaced over a time period of several months, as the logs show gaps in dates that guns were completed, probably because of slow sales. Hope that helps. Ed.

Last edited by opoefc; 08-29-2017 at 01:24 PM.
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Old 08-29-2017, 02:33 PM
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Welcome to the forums from the Wiregrass, richhack! Beautiful package!
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Old 08-29-2017, 03:11 PM
mrcvs mrcvs is offline
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Originally Posted by opoefc View Post
My understanding is this: Many years ago when Roy Jinks was furnishing info to the ATF regarding production dates for S&Ws vs. the before or after 1/1/99 date in order for the ATF to say which guns were antiques and which guns were not, etc. , he found records that indicated all the frames for the .44DAs were forged and stored for future production before 1/1/99, therefor all .44DAs are classified as antiques by the ATF. To answer Doc's question above re:" 03 Feb. 1897" If the production log shows that date for a specific serial number, I interpret it to mean that a forged frame was taken from storage, milled, polished and serial numbered and used to assemble a complete .44DA and if the Floor Foreman's notes show that date for that serial numbered .44DA, that's the date the gun was considered to be "made" and ready for inventory in the vault, and the Floor Foreman got paid for a completed gun. The build would be because the Floor Foreman had received an order from marketing to build a batch of guns, usually 25 to perhaps as large as 300, blue or plated. The build might not be in consecutive calendar dates but spaced over a time period of several months, as the logs show gaps in dates that guns were completed, probably because of slow sales. Hope that helps. Ed.
Thank you !!! Your response was exactly formulated as to the way I was thinking--e.g., relative to frames all being pre-1899. I had envisioned a vault full of frames, all pre-1899, that awaited assembly from component parts at some point prior to shipping, perhaps just prior to shipping. So, this idea is dispelled and assembly would then have been soon after forging.
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