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Old 02-08-2018, 01:14 AM
Norcal_lover Norcal_lover is offline
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Default Help with identity of Top-break ... Model 3

One of grandpaís but sadly he didnít teach me about them. Can anyone provide basic info? Iím attempting to attach photo.

top-break
Serial number 198xx
.45?
8 inch barrel
Fixed sight

Top inscription reads:
ďSmith & Wesson Springfield Mass USA Pat July 10, 60
Jan 17 Feb 17 July 11 65 & Aug xx, 69 Russian ModelĒ
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Old 02-08-2018, 03:07 AM
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Does it have the pointed or flat trigger? It is near the transition of the hammer activated cylinder stop to the trigger activated stop.
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Old 02-08-2018, 05:34 AM
Norcal_lover Norcal_lover is offline
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Thanks. I’ve added an add’l photo to my original post. Flat or pointed trigger? I would say a round trigger. When I pull back the hammer, cylinder advances.
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Old 02-08-2018, 10:37 AM
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It is best identified as a Model 3 Russian, 1st Model, or Old Old Model Russian. Made from 1871 to 1874 and chambered in 44 Russian. There were about 20,000 of this model made under a Russian contract and commercial guns for sale were made in the 44 American serial number range between about 6,000 to 33,000. In that serial number range, about 4700 were sold.

You have a very uncommon revolver, not often encountered in the condition yours appears to be in. Not sure if the nickel is original or not, but the metal looks very clean with sharp edges that hint as original finish. My guess is that the factory did not make very many nickel guns and I would definitely get that one lettered by our Historian, Roy Jinks. It is possible it was sent to an individual, and who knows, maybe your Great-Great-Grandfather!? Great family heirloom.
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Old 02-08-2018, 10:55 AM
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Welcome to the forums from the Wiregrass! Gary, it may be the picture but it appears the "horns" of the barrel latch are plated and also the knurling of the latch. I thought the horns were kept in the white and the knurling was blued. A letter would definitely be worthwhile.
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Old 02-08-2018, 12:39 PM
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Welcome to the forum. Neat gun. Finish is a question mark to me. It doesn't look like old blue or nickle to me. Almost appears to be gray spray paint on my monitor. Old blue usually turns to a brownish patina and nickle tends to be a combination of shiny plating and patina. It is possible that the nickle went frosty and is appearing as gray on my screen. Love to see it close up or maybe some more close up photos from both sides.

Either way it is a family heirloom and one I would definitely letter. The $75 will be well spent if it shows as being shipped to your grandfather or at least the hardware store in his hometown. You also get the date that it shipped and the original configuration, money well spent.
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Old 02-08-2018, 11:58 PM
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Default Thanks for info re top-break model 3

Many thanks for the great information re grandpaís Model 3! I loved the gun up on his wall 50 years ago and love it now.

I will definitely pay for a ďletterĒ which I assume will tell me where the gun was initially shipped from S&W factory...? And will identify Model details by the serial number?

Iíve attached more pictures. As you see, right side of grip broke. Looking inside handle/grip, itís gray as SF fog.

Thanks again! You folks are great!
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Old 02-09-2018, 09:48 AM
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Letters are excellent to do a few things. First, the letter will contain all the details about the Model 3 Russian, date range, use, etc. It will tell you if the revolver is a genuine S&W, it will give you all the details on what configuration your Model 3 left the factory with barrel length, original finish, original stocks, caliber, etc. Lastly, it will identify the exact day it was shipped and where it went. Make sure you print some images of the revolver and send with the letter request form.

As for original finish, it does look odd, but I have seen this oxidized color on other antique S&Ws and never sure what happened. With the Ivory stocks, maybe it was a special order and could be silver plate as well??? Most questions will be answered with the letter. There are people out there that are expert at restoring stocks and I am sure someone could use faux ivory to fill in the missing section of the right stock and color it to match the existing ivory. It will make the gun whole again and give the appropriate appearance and feel in the hand. It will also present much better. Some members here may even have a right stock, or old sections of ivory Model 3 ivory stocks??? Good luck and let us know when you receive the letter.
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Old 02-09-2018, 02:26 PM
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I'd be willing to bet that's original nickel. I've seen plenty of old pistols where it gets frosty and dull like that from age and not being cleaned or polished.

Here is an original nickel 1875 Remington I have that is very simular in appearance

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Old 02-09-2018, 02:43 PM
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I have read before that using Hoppe's to clean a nickel gun can cause that type of frosting. It is also possible that someone tried to clean the gun with some other invasive chemical during its life that caused this appearance. We may never know.

The mere fact that it has survived and come down through your family makes it special in my mind.

Please post the letter details once you get them. In addition to enjoying good gun porn we also like to read the stories.
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Old 02-10-2018, 10:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wiregrassguy View Post
. . . Gary, it may be the picture but it appears the "horns" of the barrel latch are plated and also the knurling of the latch. I thought the horns were kept in the white and the knurling was blued . . .
Guy, sorry for missing the issue you bring up on standard finishes of antique S&Ws. I think that in the early days of the factory, there were several different ways to finish guns.

It would have been logical to think plating of some parts could compromise the operation of the revolver and they should not be plated, but there are many exceptions to that rule out there. I had one example in a tip-up Model 1 1/2 that was lettered as being full plate, including the hammer and trigger. There was another Model 3 in the past that had an original invoice indicating full plate as well. Many plated guns have been shown here over the years with full plate as well, but were not authenticated. My guess is that some were either special ordered that way or some workers at the factory did it and some did not?? It is also known that the factory was very frugal in operations, so maybe someone decided that the case hardened finish was good enough and they could save a few cents per gun if not plated??

The OP's Model 3 has very sharp edges and features for a 150 year-old S&W that has signs of being used, so I am leaning towards original finish, but as you mention the letter might bring some resolution to the question.
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Old 02-10-2018, 11:20 AM
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Several of the Forum antique experts (on guns, not the people ) have chimed in already, so I will restrict my comments to - cool gun with an even cooler family history!

Here is the letter request form:

http://www.swhistoricalfoundation.co...quest_form.pdf
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Old 02-10-2018, 02:32 PM
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Oh my. You guys have surpassed my very optimistic hope that I could learn just a little about grandpa’s gun! Again, many thanks!

An aside is that I’m pretty sure grandpa got this one from his brother, a gun collector in Chicago area. And because I have the gun in my hand, I would be shocked if the finish t’wernt original (to say nothing of defending my grandpa’s stewardship of ‘my’ favorite gun).

Ok, I reckon I need to buy a printer and get the request off to the antique gun whisperer, Roy Jinks.

Warm regards,
Pam
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Old 02-11-2018, 08:16 AM
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Wow not only do you have one very cool gun your thank you posts are honestly some of the nicest I have ever seen . Please let us know what your letter says as the posts and answers the experts here give are an easy way for those of us who are just starting to learn about true " antique " S&Ws to be educated . You seem to be a gentleman and you will fit in well with the experts here these guys are not only knowledgable they are patient with us newbies .So thanks for posting and as always thanks to the guys who added info it truly helps us all.
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Old 02-11-2018, 08:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Norcal_lover View Post
Oh my. You guys have surpassed my very optimistic hope that I could learn just a little about grandpa’s gun! Again, many thanks!

An aside is that I’m pretty sure grandpa got this one from his brother, a gun collector in Chicago area. And because I have the gun in my hand, I would be shocked if the finish t’wernt original (to say nothing of defending my grandpa’s stewardship of ‘my’ favorite gun).

Ok, I reckon I need to buy a printer and get the request off to the antique gun whisperer, Roy Jinks.

Warm regards,
Pam

Hi, Pam.

For what it is, it looks nice and it appears "honest" e.g. no one tried to disguise anything about it. In your picture of the close up of the cracked grip/stock I see some numbers on the frame flat (under the grips/stocks). See close up that area from your photo, attached.

Please remove the grips/stocks and take close up photos of both side of the flat area that can only be seen with the grips/stocks off.

Identifying the stampings on the grip frame would help us help you. Albeit, the S&W factory usually stamped the left side of the grip frame (yours shows stamping on the Right side of the grip frame) it is not carved in stone as to one, single, methodology over the decades of the S&W factory service stamps.

It may also be a serial number or assembly number, however, if it is a date stamp, it would likely indicate a S&W factory service date. It is accepted by collectors that a S&W factory service included a refinish along with a mechanical service or could just have been solely a refinish. It is not imperative, but more seen than not, that a factory service included a imprint of a star (*) by the serial number on the butt.

I have also found that other master gunsmiths (of that era, mostly pre WWII) stamped service dates on guns much like old pocket watches wherein you find a series of small inscribed service dates, each by the watchmaker who serviced it. So, while it is likely (if a service date stamp) that it "is" a S&W service date, it is not an "absolute" that it was stamped by S&W, albeit, most likely was.
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Old 02-11-2018, 01:07 PM
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Hello Sal,
Thank you for your comments re the imprinted characters on the grip. I noticed it as well. Though I donít trust myself to remove the grips, I also see that the same imprint is on the cylinder. My guess is that both say, ďU 99Ē with some sort of mark between the U and the 99.
More pics attached! Thanks!
Pam
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Old 02-11-2018, 09:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glowe View Post
It would have been logical to think plating of some parts could compromise the operation of the revolver and they should not be plated, but there are many exceptions to that rule out there. I had one example in a tip-up Model 1 1/2 that was lettered as being full plate, including the hammer and trigger. There was another Model 3 in the past that had an original invoice indicating full plate as well. Many plated guns have been shown here over the years with full plate as well, but were not authenticated. My guess is that some were either special ordered that way or some workers at the factory did it and some did not??
So are you saying that some Smith & Wessons actually left the factory completely plated? Trigger, trigger guard, hammer and latch included? I don't believe I have ever heard that before. I've always been told that the first sign of a re-plate is all parts are nickel or blue.
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Old 02-11-2018, 10:57 PM
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How many S&Ws were full plate is anybody's guess, but probably not many. The old statement that we should never say never when it comes to S&W often comes to mind while reading the wealth of information shared on this Forum.

Joe (jleiper) has posted about the number of Model 3, 2nd Russians out there that were full plate. I hope he catches this thread and comments on these few nickel Model 3 Russians.

My 2nd Model was in the allotted block and shipped to M.W. Robinson specifically for delivery to H@G in a 130 pistol shipment.
An interesting footnote about my letter was that of the 130 pistols shipped 110 were blued and only 20 were done in "full plate"


Here is another thread about full plate S&Ws. Smith Wesson Model 3 American lettered I tend to think we quickly dismiss full plate guns and they may have been ordered from the factory that way. I am not even sure if a letter will tell you exactly how the revolver left the factory?
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Old 02-12-2018, 04:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Norcal_lover View Post
Hello Sal,
Thank you for your comments re the imprinted characters on the grip. I noticed it as well. Though I don’t trust myself to remove the grips, I also see that the same imprint is on the cylinder. My guess is that both say, “U 99” with some sort of mark between the U and the 99.
More pics attached! Thanks!
Pam
Hi, Pam.

That is likely the (or part of) the "Assembly number" which should match, exactly, the assembly number / marks on the face of the cylinder, the underside of the latch, and the barrel. The barrel number in the deep recess at the very rear of the barrel, visible only with gun open and the latch raised, looking into the recess(es). May need a Q-tip to clean in there before it's readable.

I cannot make out exactly the grip frame stamp as when I enlarge the digital images you supplied and they "pixel" out before I can get a good "read" on them.

Should your curiosity be satisfied at this point, you can stop, however, a much closer look is needed if you truly want to know. Take a 10x power (or higher) magnifier to examine again and report back to us.

Assembly numbers usually consist of a combination of one letter and one number or a combination of 3 alpha-numeric characters which sometime include a punch mark (period) either in-between or "as" one of those digits.

If all assembly numbers / markings match, exactly, that means you have all the original parts, as manufactured back in the early 1870s.

After that, I cannot make a definitive judgement call one way or the other if the finish is original or a quality refinish but ... at a glance ... it looks OK. As other members noted the lines are straight, the edges are sharp (these are good things, LOL).

All the best, Sal
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Old 02-12-2018, 11:36 AM
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I may be wrong, I thought that I was wrong once before but I was mistaken, but my old eyes almost seem to see U 799 as the mark on cylinder and frame butt. Normally the guns that I have observed (and that is a small sampling compared to the antique experts here) it is a letter and one or two numbers, not three.

It is possible that someone chose to use three numbers to use as assembly numbers but it also may just be a misread by my old eyes.

Pam, stock removal is not impossible but should be done very carefully. Usually, the older the gun, the harder they may be to remove. Years of accumulated gunk can almost glue them in place. The other major stock destroyer is the locator pin. If you do not remove the stock straight up from the frame and off the pin but push them at the top in an angle to the butt, the locator pin can crack or break the stock or cause a huge chip.

The key is to loosen the stock screw except maybe the last thread and then gently tap on the screw head driving the opposing panel downward. Place a soft cloth below to catch the stock. Once the one panel is removed, turn the gun over and gently tap on the inside of the remaining panel through the opening in the frame. It too should drop to the cloth. Once the panels are removed, clean the gunk from the frame and apply a coat of Renaissance Wax so sticking in the future will not be a problem. Probably wouldn't hurt to clean any residue from the panels as well.

If stocks seem to be stuck and won't budge, try gently heating them and the frame with a hair dryer. Many times a little heat will break the gunk bond and facilitate their removal.

Hope that helps.
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Old 02-12-2018, 11:45 AM
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It is my understanding that S&W did not have in-house plating facilities at the time these revolvers were manufactured in the1870's. The plating was done by a subcontractor such as King. As such, S&W did not have complete control of the plating process and that is the reason there are plating anomalies. Some of these are plating of triggers, trigger guards and hammers, etc.
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Old 02-12-2018, 12:19 PM
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That is one reason why full plating might not be reflected in a factory letter. I was aware of the tip-ups not being plated in-house, but did not know the Model 3s were also plated outside the factory?
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Old 02-12-2018, 12:38 PM
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If you can't remove the grips using James' screw method, take a wood or plastic handled tool, like a hammer or screwdriver, hold the gun by the barrel/cylinder and rap the frame with the tool handle behind the hammer at the knuckle to jar the grip panels loose. The vibration should allow them to just fall off.
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Old 02-12-2018, 01:51 PM
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First Model Russian: "Made from 1871 to 1874..". The Model 1, Third Issue was manufactured 1868 - 1881. The 'newest' Tip-up is the Model 1 1/2, Second Issue was made 1868 -1875. In my opinion, it is entirely possible that the plating of the OOM Russian could have been subcontracted in the 1870's. I have not seen any dates published that definitively pin down the dates of the subcontracting. Can anyone help?
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Old 02-12-2018, 05:14 PM
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I may be wrong, I thought that I was wrong once before but I was mistaken, but my old eyes almost seem to see U 799 as the mark on cylinder and frame butt. Normally the guns that I have observed (and that is a small sampling compared to the antique experts here) it is a letter and one or two numbers, not three.

It is possible that someone chose to use three numbers to use as assembly numbers but it also may just be a misread by my old eyes.

Pam, stock removal is not impossible but should be done very carefully. Usually, the older the gun, the harder they may be to remove. Years of accumulated gunk can almost glue them in place. The other major stock destroyer is the locator pin. If you do not remove the stock straight up from the frame and off the pin but push them at the top in an angle to the butt, the locator pin can crack or break the stock or cause a huge chip.

The key is to loosen the stock screw except maybe the last thread and then gently tap on the screw head driving the opposing panel downward. Place a soft cloth below to catch the stock. Once the one panel is removed, turn the gun over and gently tap on the inside of the remaining panel through the opening in the frame. It too should drop to the cloth. Once the panels are removed, clean the gunk from the frame and apply a coat of Renaissance Wax so sticking in the future will not be a problem. Probably wouldn't hurt to clean any residue from the panels as well.

If stocks seem to be stuck and won't budge, try gently heating them and the frame with a hair dryer. Many times a little heat will break the gunk bond and facilitate their removal.

Hope that helps.
Hey, Jim ... since you have a "few" years on me (like 20 or 30), will the hair dryer trick work on my joints when they're "stuck and won't budge" or move properly in the morning ?

All in good, wholesome, jest and with respect ... Sal
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Old 02-12-2018, 05:48 PM
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It looks like James might be the winner-winner of the chicken-dinner. Those stamps most likely are all U799. Iíve attached more pics! Someone tell me to stop!

Oh, and as much as Iím tempted to have a go at removing those grips, not going to happen. When my sister gives me that piece of missing ivory from the grip, I shall go in search of smith who can clean, refresh, and do no harm.

Thanks, guys!

Pam
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Old 02-12-2018, 07:36 PM
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It is my understanding that S&W did not have in-house plating facilities at the time these revolvers were manufactured in the1870's. The plating was done by a subcontractor such as King. As such, S&W did not have complete control of the plating process and that is the reason there are plating anomalies. Some of these are plating of triggers, trigger guards and hammers, etc.

That makes perfect sense as most of the nickel American and 1st Russians I have seen have plated latches and triggers.

Its when you get to the later nickel DA models and NM #3 it seems like the latches are consistently blued and triggers are cased.
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Old 02-12-2018, 08:37 PM
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"Its when you get to the later nickel DA models and NM #3 it seems like the latches are consistently blued and triggers are cased." Agreed. I wish that the date of the inhouse S&W Factory plating was known. I suspect around 1880 as that is the debut of the Double Actions and the observed consistency in regards to the nickel and blue parts.
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Old 02-13-2018, 10:59 AM
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Oh, and as much as Iím tempted to have a go at removing those grips, not going to happen. When my sister gives me that piece of missing ivory from the grip, I shall go in search of smith who can clean, refresh, and do no harm.

Thanks, guys!

Pam
Welcome aboard.
Glad to hear that. I shuddered upon hearing the advice to beat on the screw, heat the ivory, and tap on the grip. Sorry guys, but I've removed my share of grips, and I have YET to tap a screw or heat ancient ivory. When I lose the hand strength and dexterity to get them off like I always have, I'll quit.
This is not the gun and the grips that a novice should learn on!

BTW- I have seen lots of escutcheon nuts that were knocked out of grips by tapping the screws while the grip stayed where it was. It almost always chips the grip around the nut. I also hate to pull a pair of grips and see all those screwdriver dings inside the grip like a woodpecker had been working on it where it was tapped off. Yeah, it doesn't show with the grips on the gun, but why ding them up? Do no harm. Be good stewards.
You might want to rethink that.
There! I feel better.

Pam, you are wise in having a good conservator clean that gun up. It does need it. Left alone, it will continue to degrade.
That is nickel that the norcal sea air has been working on for those 50 years you mentioned.

NEAT old gun!
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Old 02-13-2018, 12:31 PM
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The key word in Lee's post is "conservator". There are very few gunsmiths that fit into that category. Almost all gunsmiths out there today have little to no experience with top break S&Ws, so I would be afraid that those things Lee advised against might be many smiths first choice! Many gunsmiths do great work on modern revolvers and pistols, but the lack knowledge and experience when tackling a fine old hogleg S&W. I hope you get some recommendations from the members here.

BTW - I contacted Roy about when the factory started to plate their own revolvers and here is he stated. His response puts your revolver right at the cusp of in-house plating. It is possible that it was all done by S&W.

The original nickel plating done in the 1860s was handled by Adams Plating. I believed that the factory started plating in house in the early 1870s . . . Roy
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Old 02-13-2018, 01:29 PM
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Thanks Gary. Now I wonder how early "..in the early 1870s . . . Roy ". 1871 - 1874 is early in my book also.
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Old 02-13-2018, 02:20 PM
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Thanks Gary. Now I wonder how early "..in the early 1870s . . . Roy ". 1871 - 1874 is early in my book also.
. . . including 1870. Pam's gun should have shipped in 1873, so . . . ??
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Old 02-13-2018, 03:42 PM
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My 1875 shipped 2nd Russian has a blued latch with a cased hammer

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Old 02-13-2018, 06:40 PM
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2nd American shipped Jan, 1874.
Latch and Trigger Guard are blue.
Hammer and Trigger case.

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Old 02-13-2018, 07:06 PM
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Pardon my ignorance, but what do you fellows mean by “cased hammer?” Can’t seem to find the term in ye olde internet.

Pam
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Old 02-13-2018, 07:12 PM
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Pam, casehardened; case colors on the hammer and trigger. I'm sorry I don't have a picture but the colors are blues, greys and sometime straw.
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Old 02-13-2018, 07:26 PM
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It means case hardened.

Lee, I certainly didn't suggest that one "beat" on the stock screw with a sledge hammer. Nor would I think that anyone with half a brain would use the tip of the screwdriver to tap on the second panel. I believe that I said "turn the gun over and gently tap on the inside of the remaining panel through the opening in the frame". That can be accomplished by a finger tip or I sometimes use a wooden dowel. I also suggested a hairdryer, not a flame thrower.

IMHO, not removing the stocks can allow the crud underneath to continue to destroy the metal frame and hurt the gun. Certainly my method is better than taking a razor knife, a putty knife or a screwdriver and prying them off as I have seen done.

Perhaps explaining your method would be more productive than ridiculing mine.
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Old 02-13-2018, 07:42 PM
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Thanks, Mike. So, is the discussion of inconsistent plating, which years various parts started appearing as Ďblued,í etc., important because it would help put a tighter understanding of S&Wís earliest years?

Iíve attached todayís pics. My dad was a police photographer; I am neither. .
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Old 02-13-2018, 10:16 PM
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Pam, The accepted 'norm' for factory finishes is that the hammer and trigger would be case hardened (case colored) regardless of model. Some revolvers had case colored trigger guards and some (of different models) were blue. The barrel latch would be blued also (yours is plated; the 'T' piece) and the top of the 'posts' where the barrel latches to the frame would be in-the-white (bare metal). The 'non standard' plating or bluing raises the question as to whether the revolver was refinished at some point. The refinish would diminish the collector value of the arm. I am under the opinion that your revolver configuration has the original finish as it was initially sold by the S&W factory. I see no signs of any attempt at a refinish. Nice heirloom.
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Old 02-13-2018, 10:40 PM
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I really appreciate your complete response!

Yup, regardless, it will stay a family heirloom (and over my dead body!).

Pam
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Old 02-14-2018, 02:01 AM
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It means case hardened.

Lee, I certainly didn't suggest that one "beat" on the stock screw with a sledge hammer. Nor would I think that anyone with half a brain would use the tip of the screwdriver to tap on the second panel. I believe that I said "turn the gun over and gently tap on the inside of the remaining panel through the opening in the frame". That can be accomplished by a finger tip or I sometimes use a wooden dowel. I also suggested a hairdryer, not a flame thrower.

IMHO, not removing the stocks can allow the crud underneath to continue to destroy the metal frame and hurt the gun. Certainly my method is better than taking a razor knife, a putty knife or a screwdriver and prying them off as I have seen done.

Perhaps explaining your method would be more productive than ridiculing mine.
James,
I had no intention of offending you, much less making you feel ridiculed.
I stick by what I said, but confess I could have said it much more tactfully.

For that, you have my sincere apology.


I'm sure you are skilled at messing with this old stuff we both love, and I'm sure your methods work for you.
I'll still suggest you be very careful heating ivory. I've dabbled in it (collected/dealt ivory items for many decades off and on), and I can tell you heat can make it do some very bad things at times. You don't get a second chance when it goes badly.
In over nine years of running this board, I've seen a little knowledge be a very dangerous thing. With the nut on this gun right beside the edge of the split grip, any tapping, or even pushing is ill advised. The nut is almost certain to come out and probably chip little flakes of ivory. With half the grip gone, it should be no problem to simply pull the grip off. If really stuck that tight, which I doubt because when that old they always tend to shrink, I would pry gently with a wooden clothes pin.
When you say
"turn the gun over and gently tap on the inside of the remaining panel through the opening in the frame.",
most folks are going to use the screwdriver since they are already holding it! Better mention that dowel.


Anyway, I probably got panicky, getting this mental picture-
Bubba comes to forum.
Bubba reads about tapping grips off.
Bubba says "Aha! That's how ya do it!"
Then, we hear:
tap....tap...tap
TAP-TAP-TAP
TAP-TAP-TAP
hmmmm......this ain't wurkin.....
>>>>>Light Bulb!<<<<<<<
"I need a bigger hammer!"



FWIW, that American I posted above looked about like Pam's when I got it, but possibly not as milky.
About the fifth time I opened the gun, the latch spring broke. Try finding that sometime. It is a V spring. I made one from a lever spring for a double shotgun.



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Old 02-14-2018, 09:26 AM
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Lee, your gracious apology is accepted. I perhaps over reacted to your comments. Sunday was the 25th anniversary of my fathers passing and I have been a little moody this week.

I will also add that my experience with stock removal has mostly involved wood panels and not ivory. I also did not take into consideration the fact that these stocks were broken and without a secure escutcheon tapping on same could be problematic.

Apologies also to the OP as in my desire to offer assistance I may have offered advice that could harm ivory stocks.
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Old 02-14-2018, 12:44 PM
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Guys, I agree with the advice about not removing the grips. Tempting as it is to see what is stamped into the butt, I'm not sure it's worth the risk of damaging the ivory.

If this was my gun, I'd be talking to a professional conservationist; preferably someone with deep experience in the handling of ivory. These people are out there, and for a gun of this rarity and grade it would be well worth the investment. Any effort to do anything other than preserve (such as *gasp* repairing them) would be deleterious to both the historical and monetary value of the gun.

In the meantime, my sole focus with this gun would be storing it properly, such that it is preserved for future generations of Pam's family to enjoy, and secondarily for the benefit of historians that care so deeply about these artifacts.

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Old 02-14-2018, 01:30 PM
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How about this solution to grip removal. Only a suggestion for consideration. Soak the grip in vegetable oil? Dont jump on me, Im old and sensitive. I saw the oil trick once on MOPs.
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Old 02-14-2018, 03:02 PM
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FWIW, that American I posted above looked about like Pam's when I got it, but possibly not as milky.



Lee,

thats a fine example of a 2nd American you posted. How did you make the transformation?

I've always been too afraid to do any type of polishing.

Thanks, Ed
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Old 02-14-2018, 03:27 PM
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How about this solution to grip removal. Only a suggestion for consideration. Soak the grip in vegetable oil? Dont jump on me, Im old and sensitive. I saw the oil trick once on MOPs.
I wouldn't. While the Smithsonian's site doesn't specifically talk about soaking ivory in any sort of oil, I would think that the possible interactions between the oil and the ivory could be deleterious. I think it's fair to assume that exposing ivory to any liquid would put it at risk.

Here's their page on ivory conservation.

https://www.si.edu/mci/english/learn...are/ivory.html

They also provide a link to the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works. Their "Find a Conservator" link would be a good place for the OP to start.

American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works

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Old 02-14-2018, 04:06 PM
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OK! thanks Mike. You answered my question. And I got away unwounded.
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Old 02-14-2018, 04:29 PM
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OK! thanks Mike. You answered my question. And I got away unwounded.
My pleasure. And there's no reason for anyone to get wounded ... if I sounded insistent, it's only because I have enough of a background in conservation to know that well-intentioned efforts to "fix" things can go awry. With such a valuable artifact, there's really no way to be too cautious.

A good example of this is the number of varnished guns out there. This was a "thing" in the 1960's and 1970's, and people sincerely believed that they were contributing to the well-being of these guns. We now know that this can cause all sorts of problems (not the least of which is damaging the original finish when the varnish is removed). Ditto for laminating old documents in plastic; this just speeds up the degradation due to the paper's natural acidity.

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Old 02-14-2018, 05:14 PM
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Originally Posted by first-model View Post
My pleasure. And there's no reason for anyone to get wounded ... if I sounded insistent, it's only because I have enough of a background in conservation to know that well-intentioned efforts to "fix" things can go awry. With such a valuable artifact, there's really no way to be too cautious.

A good example of this is the number of varnished guns out there. This was a "thing" in the 1960's and 1970's, and people sincerely believed that they were contributing to the well-being of these guns. We now know that this can cause all sorts of problems (not the least of which is damaging the original finish when the varnish is removed). Ditto for laminating old documents in plastic; this just speeds up the degradation due to the paper's natural acidity.

Mike
i Remember buying a couple of antique rifles in the early '80's that had been varnished?
Kind of weird but they were otherwise nice guns.
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Old 02-15-2018, 12:16 AM
Norcal_lover Norcal_lover is offline
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Help with identity of Top-break ... Model 3 Help with identity of Top-break ... Model 3 Help with identity of Top-break ... Model 3 Help with identity of Top-break ... Model 3 Help with identity of Top-break ... Model 3  
Join Date: Feb 2018
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Hi guys,
Whatís extraordinary about your group is that Everyone is trying to guide me (a complete stranger) toward the healthy preservation of Osmerís (grandpaís) gun, while keeping in mind my financial health, and, simultaneously discovering and keeping intact this tangible glimpse at history. Your thoughts about which path I should take are based on expert knowledge/experiences. And youíre kind! I am thankful for the guidance you all have given me (and Iíll probably be tapping on your shoulders in the near future).
Iím thinking these are my next steps:
I am prepared to spend more than a few shiny coins bringing the gun back to the best possible health. So, finally having wrestled a new printer into submission, I plan to send off paperwork to Roy in the next few days (for me, lightening speed!). Once I receive Royís info (of course I will share!), I plan to ask this group for recommendations for the few and proud that can work careful magic on the Model 3.
Iíve said it before and Iíll say it again, thanks guys!
Pam
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