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Old 03-29-2018, 01:31 PM
red9 red9 is offline
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I just received this third model 10". Frame, barrel and latch match. Stocks are unnumbered hard rubber, probably not correct. The front sight has been undercut. I can recall a thread with a similar sight (this gun?), but cannot locate it.
The interesting part - serial number 0215. Numbers 0214-0219 are identical pistols, made on the same date (11/11/1914). Letter has been requested. Does anyone have any of the other members of the set?

Bob


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Old 03-29-2018, 02:42 PM
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Nice score, I was underbidder on that one.
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Old 03-30-2018, 08:03 AM
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A collector I know has had some success looking for grip numbers under different lighting, LED, florescent, etc.
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Old 03-31-2018, 09:32 PM
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Bob, that's sweet. Remember my money is as good as Don's but my money is a lot easier to get. That is real NICE. Congrats. Sal
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Old 03-31-2018, 10:55 PM
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Whether or not the stocks are numbered I wouldn't bet on them NOT being original---which is to say those which were put on the gun when it was finished. As you already know, the vast majority of these guns didn't come to be by way of the regular production process----nor with regular production parts. If there was a motto involved, it might well have been, "If it fits and works, it's good to go."

Ralph Tremaine

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Old 04-01-2018, 09:29 AM
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Re originality of the stocks.

My assumption that they are not original is not based on the lack of serial number. Rather, I have never seen a third model that shipped with hard rubber stocks. There may be some but, if so, I would not expect to see the less expensive stocks on a club gun. Either way, we should know when the letter arrives.

Bob
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Old 04-01-2018, 01:02 PM
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That's an interesting point: "------------we should know when the letter arrives."

I'm in the process of composing a post about letters---actually it's more about what we know, what we don't know, what we speculate about, and what we understand---about what we know, don't know, and what we speculate about.

In this case for instance, we know letters invariably mention the grips. I thought I knew how the letters were researched---check the shipping records, check the invoice, write the letter. It would appear there's more to it than that. I have some shipping records---also some invoices. Neither say anything about grips. So I get to add that to what I don't know-----is there another source examined that tells about the grips? Maybe someone can tell us about that.

Another thing is barrel lengths-----they too are invariably mentioned in letters. I have some invoices on K-22/40's--and they mention barrel lengths. I don't know why they mention barrel lengths, 'cause they're all the same. But I have a letter on a single shot that says they don't know what the barrel length is. Actually what it says is "We are unable to verify the barrel length." That was disappointing (pretty much burned my butt) because the barrel length is the most important thing about that gun. That's one of those things that probably gave rise to that old saying about "Some times you eat the bear, and sometimes the bear eats you.". Anyhow, this time I figured there might be a way to double check that letter----so I ordered another one---on the same gun. Guess what?!! That letter says it has a 6" barrel. No more burned butt. Now I have to add that experience to the list of things I don't know about----and the things I don't understand.

One thing I know about is what we don't know about when the guns were made/finished being made. We've pretty much never known about that. We've been told stuff to explain why we don't know about that---and I reckon we accept it----but don't really understand it.

A case on point: I have a couple of guns I speculate were made pretty much at the same time----same day even. So I asked about it. That was a BIG mistake!! That's because I was told when they were made----perzactly-----in writing yet. WHOA!! Now I don't know how they knew when they were made. I don't know why they can't/don't tell us when all of them were made----and I don't understand either of those things I don't know-----and I'm not much inclined to speculate about either. I am inclined to fuss and fume about it, but I'll probably put that off until I come to understand what I don't know----if I live that long----which seems unlikely.

I wonder if we'll hear from anybody who knows about these things we don't know about. I wonder too if we'll understand what somebody might tell us about these things we don't know about. I reckon anything is possible.

Ralph Tremaine

I just thought of something else---Bob (red9) pretty much knows when his gun was made/finished being made. That's because it's on the Club Gun List (Right about a third of the way down, right?)--or he at least implied it was----I haven't looked. I speculate (pretty much know) there's another list---tells about when the guns (like pretty much ALL of them) were put in "the shipping vault". So, is it possible some guns were made/finished on one day, and put in the vault on another day---like the next day? Certainly! Is the next day close enough for the folks who care about when their gun was made? I would certainly hope so!

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Old 04-01-2018, 03:46 PM
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Now, about Bob's grips: It is my understanding grips were fit to the gun----early on in the process----like pretty much right after the serial number was stamped on the frame. That number was put on the grips because they needed to be fit to the frame----and then they needed to get put back on THAT frame----when everything else was all through and done with----right?

Okay---I understand that-------if/when we're talking about WOOD grips. And that's because the wood grips didn't fit the frames very well---up until they got a new grip making machine----and then they weren't fit to the frames anymore----and they weren't numbered anymore. That about it?

Okay, we're not talking about WOOD grips here---we're talking about "hard rubber". They weren't carved out of a block of "hard rubber" by a machine---they were molded---and molded stuff is all the same----except when it isn't. And when it isn't, you throw them away--and grab another one that is. Now, it pretty much stands to reason that sometimes a molded thing isn't quite right---but it's not bad enough to throw away---it can be fixed. And in the case of hard rubber grips, it seems pretty likely any such defect has to be on the inside---because if it was on the outside, you'd throw it away---but if it was on the inside (and interfered with the fit), you could fix it to fit---and if you did, you'd number the grips---right? Here's why I think it's right: I have 16 single shots. Five of them have wood grips, so they don't count. I forget for sure, but I think two of the remainder (all with "hard rubber" grips) are numbered---maybe only one of them. Is it possible all but one or two of them carry replacement (unnumbered) grips? Yep. Is it likely? Nope. As should be clear by now, I don't expect to see numbers on hard rubber grips. And to add to my conviction, I have five other guns with "hard rubber" grips----and they're not numbered either. Now does my pitiful little pile of guns with hard rubber grips comprise a statistically valid sample? Not hardly! Do I care? Not hardly!!

Ralph Tremaine

And I grant you finding hard rubber grips on a 3rd Model is unusual---if not unknown. I guess I approach this differently. This is a club gun first----then it's a 3rd Model. Accordingly, in my mind, Club Gun Rules apply first---and the first Club Gun Rule seems to be there are no rules. The next Club Gun Rule is what you see is what you get. Another Club Gun Rule is whatever whoever ordered/authorized the Club Gun wanted is what he got----never mind anything else. They're a breed apart---that's what makes them so attractive----then and now.

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Old 04-01-2018, 07:03 PM
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Wow. I have never seen that one before! Sure is beautiful.
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Old 04-01-2018, 09:06 PM
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I'll venture the thought that Club Guns were never a "special" run by the factory. Instead the club gun was made from parts on-hand as most club guns were given away and S&W wasn't interested in giving away merchandise that could otherwise be sold for profit.

My take on the OP's single shot's hard rubber stocks was that they were lounging around in inventory (and subject to Inventory Tax) and this was a way to deplete obsolete inventory. I hope to see the letter.

I'll go further to say (this is a guy thing) that since the stocks fit; use them. A guy thing in my opinion is: Fit, Form and Function. A gals opinion, I think, would be: Fashion, Color and Fragrance. I'll put my flame suit on but I don't mean any disrespect; just noted differences that I have observed.
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Old 04-01-2018, 10:08 PM
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Following Mr. Maher's lead, I was brought up with the understanding club guns were built in the Service Department from "condemned" or "scrapped" parts (whenever possible). Having seen my share of club guns, I took note of the fact they looked like any other gun---aside from the serial number. There were no visible flaws nor anomalies. Accordingly, and not knowing or being able to find out any better/different, I decided such parts were "condemned" or "scrapped" not because of any flaw which would have an effect on their ultimate form or function; but because their particular flaw was not compatible with established production procedures----that fixing them "on the line" as it were would be disruptive to the flow or would require skills/tools not available "on the line". Is that the fact of the matter? I don't know. It makes sense, and I've never been told different.

As noted, club guns were given away----as part of the marketing effort and/or to curry favor with those whose favor was beneficial. Giving things away costs money. Measuring the precise benefit of giving things away is somewhere between difficult and impossible---but the expense of the gift is charged off as an expense. (I have a gun (not a club gun per se) given to a person whose technical contribution to their success is beyond measure on the one hand----and who was also an editor of a gun/shooting magazine on the other hand.) So on the one hand S&W expressed their gratitude for the contribution he made to their success, and to curry favor with him so he'd say nice things about their stuff in his magazine on the other hand. And they charged the cost off to their Advertising Account----and incurred no tax liability as would be the case if that expense/those dollars had gone to the bottom line as profit. The Wesson's didn't amass their wealth by being dummies.

Ralph Tremaine

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Old 04-01-2018, 10:22 PM
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Red9:
I've waited, but nobody has responded to your ask about other 3rd Model SSs in the 0215 range - so thought I'd offer what I know. This one is a little earlier than yours, I think, but...

I sold a 3rd Model SS, s/n: 0134 about 7 years ago to a well known Club Gun collector. 10" gun, w/ std Patridge front sight. It had beautiful SMOOTH (walnut ?) grips with lots of fiddleback & gold dish S&W medallions. The s/n was penciled into the right grip panel. Per Roy, it shipped 3/23/1910.

I brought this gun to my 1st ever SWCA Meeting, because I was pretty proud of it. It is one of the few guns in my life, I regret letting go of - but you have no idea how insistent a person can be when they want something BAD. A deal was consummated, even though I didn't really want to sell, so you can imagine just how good it must have been on my end. Then and there I learned just how special a S&W can be...

As Ralph has said, a Club Gun could be ordered to anyone's desire, but as you inferred - it does seem strange that a gun that special would have shipped out with simple black rubber grips - especially one in a group of 6. I hope your letter provides more insight & you're able to share it with us.
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Old 04-01-2018, 10:46 PM
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A clarification if I may-----------------

Club Guns were ordered/authorized by someone of weight at S&W----not by the intended recipient. I suspect the recipients didn't even know about it until the gun showed up on their doorstep. I'll also suggest fancy embellishments such as the grips Mitch described most certainly would be applied to guns to be given to influential big-wigs----and would not likely be applied to guns given to clubs/lesser lights.


Ralph Tremaine

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Old 04-02-2018, 09:56 AM
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I truly love these target single shots I probabaly will never actualy own one and definitely will never own several or what could be called a collection or one that would be of historic significance .I said that to say this the more I know learn the more I realize how much I didnt know as I am finding out that a lot of information I was told wasn't information but speculation ( not by you guys ) but now I am finding that even some of the speculation I was taught wasn't even speculation but out right guessing or worse . So anyway cool cool gun thanks for posting and as always thanks for the experts who give so freely of their information and give highly educated speculation and are honest enough to tell us which is which .Ya see I am a shooter of a break action target pistol not a S&W but I do love to stand and shoot one handed old school gentlemanly like just to imagine what it was like back then . So when I started reading the threads about the S &W targets single shots I was just well blown away .I don't compete anymore many folks I have shot against would say I didn't " compete " much back in the 70s either lol but I still shoot as much as possible and am I terested in the history of the sport as well and your posts and information help give a little insight into this interest of mine .Will I ever own a " target" like you guys collect ? Don't know maybe someday but seriously thanks for posting these cool guns and thanks for the information you guys put out and thanks for being truly honest about what you know what you think you may know and what you are speculating about and the well spoken reasoning behind said speculation .Good day gentleman the sun is out and there are some targets calling but today I will be shooting one hand old school " pretending" mine is a break action S&W with historic provenance .
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Old 04-02-2018, 01:03 PM
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(Ralph) "As should be clear by now, I don't expect to see numbers on hard rubber grips."

Here are examples of penciled and stamped numbers:





I have also seen scratched.

(Ralph) "...we're talking about "hard rubber". They weren't carved out of a block of "hard rubber" by a machine---they were molded---and molded stuff is all the same."

I agree. Inconsistencies in the size of the finished wood stocks is a factor. But so is the size of the frame. The frame started as a rough forging. Some excess was ground off. The front and back of the grip frame was then finished on a belt sander and polished. As a result, some variation was possible in it's final dimension as well. This explains the fitting of both wood and hard rubber stocks to the frame.

Bob
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Old 04-02-2018, 04:28 PM
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Thanks! I too have seen pencil/stamped/scratched----and I guess I should have said something on the order of I'm not surprised when I don't see anything----nor do I conclude they're not original when I don't see anything----on hard rubber.

When it comes to grips, if they're numbered/original---fine. If they're not numbered/numbered to another gun----and look nice---also fine. I must admit I have never asked about originality, nor have I removed the grips from a prospective buy to see if they're numbered.

RT

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Old 04-05-2018, 08:34 PM
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S&WsRsweet:

Stick around here and keep an eye out. I'll bet you locate a bargain S&W single shot before long.

I truly "stumbled" into my first and have been enjoying their variations and particulars ever since. And there are a lot more out there waiting to be claimed.

They sure are Old School...
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