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Old 11-18-2017, 07:47 PM
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Old 11-18-2017, 07:50 PM
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more pics, more to follow
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Old 11-18-2017, 07:52 PM
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More pics, a few more to follow
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Old 11-18-2017, 07:53 PM
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More pictures
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Old 11-18-2017, 07:54 PM
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Last one - enjoy!
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Old 11-18-2017, 07:58 PM
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one last note - these pics were taken outdoors in daytime, and seem pretty harsh. The pistol actually looks a lot better in house lighting - but daylight shows it all -
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Old 11-18-2017, 09:18 PM
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450 is the caliber, not a rack number. WW had a number of his guns marked with the caliber and the type match they were used in, as he shot the same ones time and time again in match after match. The identifying numbers, symbols, etc.. made it easy for him to grab the right gun from his shooting box on the firing line at the right time.

DC
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Old 11-18-2017, 10:14 PM
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Yes that's correct. You can see the rack number on the picture of the front strap. (Did I write .450 as the rack number? Sorry if I did)
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Old 11-18-2017, 10:37 PM
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Nice find but too bad it's so well used. Is it mechanically excellent, no play at the hinge or vertical posts / clasp ?

Please post a scan of the bottom few paragraphs of your S&W Letter. Thank you.
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Old 11-19-2017, 12:13 AM
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There are folks that collect famous shooters guns and to one of them, price might be no object. To a regular collector/shooter, the name has no value at all and they would only look at the gun as a gun.

In this case, I would think that marketing and time frame would be the biggest factors. An ad in the local Podunk Tribune will not reach the right audience. One of the better auction houses in a well promoted catalog could bring double or triple the value.

Also, if you need to sell today as opposed to waiting a few months can also negatively impact the value.

So, all in all, there are reasons why guns like these will have estimates all over the board.
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Old 11-19-2017, 02:11 AM
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HeavyB, I disagree with James insofar as the name "Walter Winans" has no value to a collector. He was the undisputed world's champion pistol shooter for many years in the 1890s and perhaps the finest shot of all times and Olympic Gold medal winner. He had a number of Smith & Wessons ( and Colts ) with similar stampings, and some of them have sold at good auctions in the recent times, for very good prices. It's like saying the name "Babe Ruth" on a base ball has no value! You can Google Winans and learn all about his accomplishments in the shooting scene. S&W records indicate the factory shipped 24 S&Ws directly to Winans, several of which were special presentations with embellishments by Tiffany, etc,. Winans also authored seven books on shooting. He was also an sculptor and painter of note and a member of Britain's Royal Academy, as well as the founder of England's Royal Horse Show! New Model #3s shipped to Winans include # 25121,25123 (shipped Mar. 12, 1889) 26338, 26339, 26340 & 26341 (shipped Feb 26 1890 ) 27889 (shipped Nov 22, 1895) 27897, 27899, 27902, 27906 (shipped Jan 27, 1892) 28021, 28022, 28023, 28024 ( shipped Jan 5, 1893) 33862, 33874 ( shipped Apr 29, 1903) and seven .38 HE revolvers , special orders, # 020, 021, 022, 023, 024, 025, & 026 (shipped Aug. 4, 1899 ) A collection of 14 of these Winan's guns was sold in 1981 by S&WCA member Ron Ogan. S&WCA member Dr. Gery Klaz is our resident expert on Winan's and is writing a book about him. I can see your gun easily reaching a mid four figures in a good auction. Ed.

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Old 11-19-2017, 02:45 AM
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It is my opinion this gun---any famous person's gun, is worth as much as you can get for it. As already noted you'll get more or less depending upon the makeup of the body of potential buyers. If it is your intent/desire to sell it, do yourself a favor, and secure the best possible agent to accomplish that objective for you. A PM to the author of post #7 will put you on the road to accomplishing that.

When it comes to an insurable value, you can insure it for whatever amount you wish. When it comes to collecting from the insuror in the event of loss, you will collect the amount/value you PROVE in your "proof of loss". Such proof can be established by the amounts paid for similar items in recent transactions. Given similar items are few and far between---and recent transactions are likewise few and far between (or unknown---and unknowable), you're left with appraisals by ACKNOWLEDGED EXPERTS for proof---and the more the merrier. That brings us back to the author of post #7---who can guide you to others.

On the one hand, while ownership of such treasures can be enormously satisfying, they can be a pain in the butt when the time comes to take them off the shelf---or collect for your loss when someone else takes it off your shelf. You either need to be prepared to accomplish these eventualities by yourself, or get some GOOD help.(!!)

Ralph Tremaine
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Old 11-19-2017, 07:33 AM
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Wow great gun great story I would insure it at te highest written estimate I could get .And again great gun with a great storied history thanks for posting .
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Old 11-19-2017, 10:47 AM
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This thread inspired me to do a little reading about Mr. Winans. Today I downloaded an e-book version of his The Modern Pistol and How to Shoot It (G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1919). I haven't gotten far into it yet, but it is evident just from the preface that Mr. Winans was a man with many definite opinions -- he could have gotten some hot threads going on this board. Consider this utterance, for example: "The revolver is now obsolete, and there is no use learning to shoot it."
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Old 11-19-2017, 02:23 PM
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Winan's was very well known for his strong opinions and actions. Many of which rubbed the shooting fraternity, as well as his neighbors in Scotland, the wrong way! He was known to shoot as many as 150+ driven deers a day on his 250,000 acre hunting lease with his revolvers! The meat was given to the locals. When semi auto pistols came on the market at the turn of the century, he became a proponent of their design and an expert marksman with them. Ed
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Old 11-19-2017, 02:44 PM
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For the life of me, I do not remember who, but some member of the SWCA displayed, if I recall, a pair of gold inlaid and engraved Winans revolvers at the SWCA Annual Meeting in St. Louis in about 1986 or 87, or thereabouts. We did not call it a symposium yet.

Those revolvers looked as if they had just left the factory, which was unusual since Winans actually used his guns.

I think I also recall reading that Winans was the first to use illuminated sights on his revolvers.

In any event, David Carroll is correct. Winans' revolvers were often engraved with the caliber, the type of match, and sometimes even the distance at which it was zeroed, so he could use the correct revolver for the distance at which the target was set.

He was a millionaire at the time, and I recall that he had many, varied interests.

Here is a short, but interesting footage of Winans:

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Old 11-20-2017, 05:35 AM
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Wow I love reading about these gentlemen of leisure ,always wanted a job like that .I wonder why I couldn't have been born wealthy instead of so darn good looking.
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Old 11-20-2017, 06:42 PM
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Heavy B.
In your photo of Winans shooting, his revolver looks more like a Schofield or Russian than a New Model 3
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Old 11-21-2017, 08:38 AM
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Quote:
HeavyB, I disagree with James insofar as the name "Walter Winans" has no value to a collector
Ed, perhaps I did not put into words what I was thinking in my head. I don't think that I said that the name has no value to a collector.

There are collectors that collect famous persons guns and own several. What I was trying to explain was that to a collector that has and collects Walter Winans guns, the desire to acquire this gun could push the price into the stratosphere. To the S&W collector that knows the name but will not pay a premium for that fact, the price would be less.

I know who he was, but I would not pay double or triple the guns street value as merely a gun because it once belonged to Walter Winans.

If I were in the market for the model and could get one owned by Winans for a small premium say a few hundred more, then I might bite. It is just not one of the hot buttons that would make me pay a huge premium.

As a further example, to the S&W collector that collects modern semi automatics only, and he is still a collector by definition, might not give a rats patooty for a gun owned by Winans unless of course it was one of his later semi automatics.

That is what I was trying to illustrate when I made my statement to the OP.

Audience and size of audience can also affect the price received tremendously as well. A local pawn shop that does no online or written advertising will probably not receive as much for a given firearm as one of the national auction houses.

So all in all, I was merely trying to explain some of the nuances in selling firearms.
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Old 11-21-2017, 11:06 AM
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Once again, this shows the importance of lettering your Smith & Wesson. When I received your letter and checked the ship date, I was happy to see the destination "Walter Winans". If your looking to sell it, I would suggest purchasing a table at the next gun show in your area. The only things on your table should be the revolver (in a locked case), a copy of your factory letter and any supporting documentation. Don't put a price on it, the reason, ask people what they would pay. Get a feel for interest and prices. Someone may have an offer that you can't resist. Do this at several shows. Word will spread, the right person will find you. Next, try on-line sites. If you have to, as a last resort, place it in auction. Make sure you can put a reserve on it. If the auction house won't put a reserve on it, find another one that will. As I told you when we spoke, you have a real piece of history there. I would not sell it, but it's not me. Good luck.
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Old 11-21-2017, 01:54 PM
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OK here is a picture of page 2 of my letter - the important page.
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Old 11-21-2017, 04:40 PM
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Just thinking out loud here ... I, myself, would love to have a Winan's New Model 3 Target. The caliber doesn't bother me because I load myself.

However, I would much prefer to own one in nicer condition. I believe this might be the same thought of most higher end New Model 3 collectors.

While yours will sell to someone for a reasonable price, it is my preference to spend more to purchase one in nicer condition.

It is no secret that Walter Winans used all his best guns very often and over many years but I cannot imagine that he would not take excellent care of them.

In speculation, I feel the majority of this wear came after Walter Winans ownership. That's what concerns me most of all.

What mechanical condition is it in ?
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Old 11-21-2017, 04:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ddeanjohnson View Post
This thread inspired me to do a little reading about Mr. Winans. Today I downloaded an e-book version of his The Modern Pistol and How to Shoot It (G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1919). I haven't gotten far into it yet, but it is evident just from the preface that Mr. Winans was a man with many definite opinions -- he could have gotten some hot threads going on this board. Consider this utterance, for example: "The revolver is now obsolete, and there is no use learning to shoot it."
Are you quoting Winans ? If so, at that time it was truly his opinion and good advice but that is definitely "dated" and "whodathunk" (back then) there would be us guys, 100+ years later that still get a thrill out of these.

That statement today would start a revolt from most SASS and Cowboy shooters not to mention us guys who can't wait till the next time we're at the range with our Model 3s.
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Old 11-21-2017, 06:17 PM
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Not that it may matter in the big picture of life but there is a typo in your letter. The letter explains that there were four consecutively numbered guns in this shipment to Winans. It goes on to give the range as 26338 -28341.

I believe that the correct range would be 26338 to 26341.

If it does concern you, I believe that if you send it back with an explanation a corrected letter will be returned.
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Old 11-21-2017, 09:04 PM
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Not that it may matter in the big picture of life but there is a typo in your letter. The letter explains that there were four consecutively numbered guns in this shipment to Winans. It goes on to give the range as 26338 -28341.

I believe that the correct range would be 26338 to 26341.

If it does concern you, I believe that if you send it back with an explanation a corrected letter will be returned.
James
Thanks for pointing out the error. It's a big help. I'll let Roy know you caught it. Bill, send it back, we will change it.
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Old 11-22-2017, 12:11 PM
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Good eyes, James Redfield! Thanks for catching that. OK Don, I will send it back -
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Old 11-22-2017, 12:16 PM
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Hey Sal,
It's in excellent mechanical condition. The trigger is incredible. Granted it may not have been taken care of as well as other examples, but those didn't have a lanyard loop. My theory is he used this pistol for riding around his property at some point in it's life. Thus a lanyard loop and a bunch of holster wear.
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Old 11-22-2017, 01:23 PM
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On the subject of prior ownership having added value, I must agree this is part of the allure and passion of collecting. It matters "who" and how historically significant, equated with "what" it actually is, condition, how scare, and present demand.

We saw Gary Cooper's Registered Magnum sell for a small fortune ... and that was a mere MOVIE ACTOR. We've seen guns supposedly attributed to Wyatt Earp, Frank James and so on (some with very flimsy supporting documentation) go into big numbers. Years back I even saw a DUG UP, 1847 Colt Walker sell at auction for what I thought then was something outrageous and it was just a lump of iron. A set of Clayton Moore's later owned 2nd Gen .45 Colts (non sequential) and a custom Bohlin rig from the 1970s go for $40,000 some odd and then a few years later for over $80K. These were NOT the Colts he wore in the Lone Ranger pix but rather his own costume set. Again, a MOVIE ACTOR.

Another consideration is how scarce or how many of them are there existing. The more scarce the higher value, I feel but all depends on condition and just how important a person owned it and how solid the documentation is.

A Walter Winans gun is significant to some, I agree not all, but some. The documentation seems irrefutable with physical evidence of the engraved WWW and caliber to match. Thus, I'm of the opinion it is one of the real McCoys. There are many other Winans' New Model 3s and many, many other Winans' guns of all types. It is just a Winans owned gun hasn't shown up for sale lately. After this publicity I expect other Winans' guns will start coming out of the woodwork soon. It usually happens that way.

Ed Cornett refers to Ron Ogan (who became a mentor of mine in my earlier years of collecting) having several of Winan's New Model 3s. Too bad I didn't meet Ron Ogan until 1987 or I'd have owned some of them already.

Ron Ogan once had a Chief's Special that was engraved as a gift to President Kennedy that I wanted badly but it was more than I could afford at the time. In 1989 money he wanted $25,000 that I'd have gladly paid had I the loose cash at the time. BUT, he also had a Chief's Special presented to J. Edgar Hoover that just didn't hit my "hot" button but it sold to someone. I still wonder where that JFK gun is now.

In summation, Walter Winans was a significant part of S&W history and master marksman who helped promote Smith & Wesson, likely equivalent to the Clint Eastwood of his day (in S&W promotional / star status).

Because of Clint Eastwood there was a demand for .44 Magnums that the Factory had trouble keeping up. He even resurrected an antique S&W. The demand for original, antique, 1875 Schofield revolvers was so great (and still is) that it single handedly caused a shortage of original Schofields where there was no such shortage prior to "Unforgiven" (with a production of several thousand original Schofields and a pretty good survival rate). So much so that other companies started to produce newly made Schofield clones before S&W got wise to produce the new "2000" batch of Schofields.

Clint Eastwood did more for Smith & Wesson than any 20 advertising campaigns combined. Walter Winans, in his day, was very good publicity for S&W, too.

It is just that the guys who would appreciate a Winans New Model 3, more than others, seem to be dying off rapidly.
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Old 11-24-2017, 07:04 PM
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So on this thread, Someone mentioned they symbols on the back, under his initials and the caliber. (And then mentioned David Carroll's name?) Like they would help him know which pistol to grab during a match or event. Does anyone know what the symbols mean? This one has a "plus" sign, with a dot in each of the 4 "angles" - see pic. Any ideas?
Bill
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Old 11-27-2017, 10:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HeavyB View Post
So on this thread, Someone mentioned they symbols on the back, under his initials and the caliber. (And then mentioned David Carroll's name?) Like they would help him know which pistol to grab during a match or event. Does anyone know what the symbols mean? This one has a "plus" sign, with a dot in each of the 4 "angles" - see pic. Any ideas?
Bill
Bill,

New Model 3s ... until the last, perhaps few thousand, did not have caliber roll stamps nor any indication of what the caliber was marked on the revolver anywhere.

A master shooter with boxes of many guns ... sure, he can choose the caliber at a glance instead of pulling out one at a time, then searching like an imbecile at a demonstration of skill shooting event. GREAT idea !

Just reasoning with symbolism of the cross and punch dots in each quadrant, as if a hieroglyph, and thinking if "I" were a master shooter that used so many different guns it seem that he had his own system by which the CROSS was pre-inscribed then he (Winans) would add the punch dot when sighting aim at different distances which were popular at the time. e.g. Upper left is lower (as if 6 o'clock hold) for say 50 Ft, upper right seems closer to center aim for say 100 Ft., Lower left a little higher for 150 ft and the right lower even higher yet for 200 Ft. (or if they used specific "meter" lengths in GB).

I have several of my favorite target revolvers and pistols. I cannot possibly remember which hit how and where with what ammo so I tag each of how they hit paper at what distance and with what ammo. e.g. an early 25-2 with 6.5" barrel & S&W muzzle brake, DOB accurate w/Giles .45 ammo , at 100 ft. (my "standard" Giles load is 200 grain Hensley & Gibb semi wadcutter with 3.8 grains of Bullseye). My Giles 1911s .45 all hit paper differently. I use codes like "DOB accurate, 200 GR H&G semi wadcutter, 3.8 Bullseye 100 ft" (to me means aim at the center X with my Giles load 200 Grain, Hensley & Gibb, semi wadcutter with 3.8 Grains of Bullseye powder at 100 ft). My .38 Wadcutter Giles 1911 I have tagged as DOB accurate with factory pack WW 148 Grain wadcutter at 100 ft. (WW here is Winchester Western).

Others I mark group / feet / ammo, and / or "RR" if sighted in Ransom Rest. I just use large manila tags with velcro tie on the guns but Winans had a better idea by engraving it exactly in his sight line ON the gun (if that is what it truly represents).

I have no proof or documentation that the cross and punch dot positions on Winan's Revolver is his point of aim at different distances, but it makes sense, I think.
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Last edited by model3sw; 11-28-2017 at 11:51 AM. Reason: additional comment.
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Old 11-27-2017, 11:19 PM
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Default YOU CAN'T TELL THE PLAYERS WITHOUT A PROGRAM

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Originally Posted by HeavyB View Post
So on this thread, Someone mentioned they symbols on the back, under his initials and the caliber. (And then mentioned David Carroll's name?) Like they would help him know which pistol to grab during a match or event. Does anyone know what the symbols mean? This one has a "plus" sign, with a dot in each of the 4 "angles" - see pic. Any ideas?
Bill
David Carroll is the author of post #7.

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Old 11-28-2017, 02:16 PM
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Default Shooting Stance

I ran across this image from an online book, showing Walter Winans shooting stance for handguns. There were some other famous shooters with their's also.
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Old 04-03-2018, 10:48 PM
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OK guys, I will be at the TULSA GUN SHOW this Friday through Sunday, and will have it with me. If you are going to the show and would like to see it in person, I will be at table 1B4 (or nearby) please come say hello.
Bill

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