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S&W Antiques S&W Lever Action Pistols, Tip-Up Revolvers, Top-Break Revolvers, and ALL Single Shots


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Old 12-01-2020, 05:40 PM
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Default Well, the grips are nice.

My nephew texted me last week with a picture and a question. What's this?



It was early and I may have been a little hung over. I told him it was an old Smith and Wesson, probably a .32 or a .38 and not worth much.

He texts back with: Its way bigger than a .38.

OK, now I'm awake. I see its a Double Action .44 Russian. I still don't know anything about them, but it belongs to his foreman. At this point I think my nephew wants to buy it. I tell him its in rough shape and not worth more than a couple of hundred bucks. I really just wanted to go back to sleep, but I didn't want him to insult his boss with a super low ball offer.

Next thing I know, its mine. He thought I wanted it, I thought he wanted it. The guy threw in this holster, which this poor thing had been shoved in and hung up with an old shoe string in his basement.



It was worse on the other side. I didn't have the heart to take a before picture, other than this one.



I used a whole tube of Flitz, two gym socks, and one of my wife's kitchen towels. I know it still looks like........ well, I can't say it here.





As I said, the grips are nice.







Midway had .44 Russian in stock and in no time at all Larry Potterfield had a box winging my way.

I've lived a full life, so today I ventured to my completely empty indoor range and let fly. The sights were ridiculously small and the gun shot a foot high at 10 yards. Still, I left with all the digits I showed up with.



The recoil was stout but it was fun to shoot. Now that I have empties I'll load up some poofy loads with Trail Boss (no BP allowed on my range) and shoot it once a year or so.

Also, the holster turned out to be a nice Perkins Campbell 1911 GI job dated 1917. My CMP 1911 fit like a glove.
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Old 12-01-2020, 06:28 PM
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Another orphan rescue!

The acetone/ATF mixture soak may help some more with the finish.

Hopefully you gave the spider residing in the bore ample warning before torching his web.
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Old 12-01-2020, 06:33 PM
Hiram Jr Hiram Jr is offline
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Those may be the nicest S&W grips I've ever seen. Do you think the gun is contemporary with the holster?
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Old 12-01-2020, 06:36 PM
AlHunt AlHunt is offline
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Well, that one is just crying for Tactical Purple Cerrakote and a Punisher Logo.

It looks like a fun thing to have.
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Old 12-01-2020, 07:13 PM
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I'd gladly give it a new home if it really hurts ya to look at it... I see lots of potential...
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Old 12-01-2020, 08:24 PM
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Mother's Mag or Blue Wonder Cleaner should take that rust off. Blue Wonder down the bore will clean it up. I'd still soak it for about a week in auto trans fluid and acetone (50-50). There's no telling what's in the action. Then flush it out with aerosol brake/parts/carb cleaner.
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Old 12-01-2020, 08:28 PM
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So...about when was it made?
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Old 12-01-2020, 08:36 PM
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Nice Score.

Keep scrubbing, they clean up real nice:

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Old 12-01-2020, 08:38 PM
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So I make the Serial Number as 21879. 44 DA serial 21378 was shipped in March 1890. 44 Double Action First Model serial 22708 was shipped in September 1889. So, my guess is somewhere around 1890.
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Old 12-01-2020, 08:44 PM
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Looks a lot better now and from the target it looks like you just need to aim at the nad's if you want a heart shot.
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Old 12-01-2020, 09:03 PM
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Quote:
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Nice Score.

Keep scrubbing, they clean up real nice:

Looks great!
OP, please update if it cleans up more!
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Old 12-01-2020, 11:09 PM
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I don't know what it is about those grips, but they hold up like that are made of stone.

I have a baby version of this gun in .38 S&W, and while the gun was in nice shape overall. The grips were so perfect, I thought they might have been replacements. They were numbered to the gun though.

Honest wear on a gun is good looking, but I would mostly classify that as neglect. However, it matters little. Not all old guns can look brand new, but all old guns are cool.
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Old 12-01-2020, 11:44 PM
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Sig, a three day soak in 50/50 ATF and Acetone (sealed in a new paint can; remove the stocks first) and a scrubbing with bronze wool will remove most rust and not scratch any remaining nickel. Neat old .44.
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Old 12-02-2020, 12:13 AM
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I have been known to adopt/rescue rusty (seasoned) guns knowing full well I was buying a ticked to nowhere. The ride is still fun. Congrats on the ownership by default, enjoy the ride.
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Old 12-02-2020, 07:59 PM
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Quote:
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Sig, a three day soak in 50/50 ATF and Acetone (sealed in a new paint can; remove the stocks first) and a scrubbing with bronze wool will remove most rust and not scratch any remaining nickel. Neat old .44.
Its soaking now.

I also learned not to measure the acetone in a red Solo cup.
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Old 12-02-2020, 08:51 PM
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Sig, a red Solo cup is only good for keg beer in my opinion. Let the revolver soak. The longer the better. After a scrub with bronze wool, it may be necessary to soak again. It all hinges on the aggressiveness or depth of the rust. I bet you will be surprised with the results.
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Old 12-03-2020, 12:47 AM
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.44DA, serial number 21879 ,was made March 10, 1888. A factory historical letter ($100 ) will tell you when was shipped, to whom & where & in what configuration. Most of these went to S&W distributors. .44DAs have become very popular in the recent times after having been the ugly ducklings of S&W antiques for years ! Ed

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Old 12-03-2020, 01:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sigp220.45 View Post
Its soaking now.

I also learned not to measure the acetone in a red Solo cup.
Back on the day if we had a green new employee in the print shop we would send them to get us some type wash with a styrofoam cup if they were fast they might make it halfway before the bottom came out. There was also hot ink to be mixed. Also dreaded Type Lice to be flushed out...probably get fired, and sued nowadays.
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Old 12-03-2020, 10:19 AM
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SWEET !!!
I Like It ... I bet it cleans up just fine ... Got Character !

Do the 50/50 acetone / ATF soak (less the grips) that will take off , loosen a lot of rust and grime... Long Soak.
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Old 12-03-2020, 07:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sigp220.45 View Post
Its soaking now.

I also learned not to measure the acetone in a red Solo cup.
What I find strange is acetone will NOT melt an Oral - B Toothbrush , not bristles nor handle !!!!
I use acetone & toothbrush to clean new bullet moulds and expected the first one to melt in short order ... but it hasn't .

I have only tried Oral - B , if you have an old one use it to scrub the rusty , grungy places while long soaking .
Old metal loaf baking pan with aluminum foil cover is good for soaking ... plastic containers ... sooner or later they dissolve.
Another good container to soak in is disposable aluminum baking pans , they come in small sizes ...just be careful not to poke a hole in thin aluminum pan...use foil to cover .
Can't wait to see how it turns out .
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Old 12-03-2020, 08:32 PM
J. R. WEEMS J. R. WEEMS is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sigp220.45 View Post
My nephew texted me last week with a picture and a question. What's this?



It was early and I may have been a little hung over. I told him it was an old Smith and Wesson, probably a .32 or a .38 and not worth much.

He texts back with: Its way bigger than a .38.

OK, now I'm awake. I see its a Double Action .44 Russian. I still don't know anything about them, but it belongs to his foreman. At this point I think my nephew wants to buy it. I tell him its in rough shape and not worth more than a couple of hundred bucks. I really just wanted to go back to sleep, but I didn't want him to insult his boss with a super low ball offer.

Next thing I know, its mine. He thought I wanted it, I thought he wanted it. The guy threw in this holster, which this poor thing had been shoved in and hung up with an old shoe string in his basement.



It was worse on the other side. I didn't have the heart to take a before picture, other than this one.



I used a whole tube of Flitz, two gym socks, and one of my wife's kitchen towels. I know it still looks like........ well, I can't say it here.





As I said, the grips are nice.







Midway had .44 Russian in stock and in no time at all Larry Potterfield had a box winging my way.

I've lived a full life, so today I ventured to my completely empty indoor range and let fly. The sights were ridiculously small and the gun shot a foot high at 10 yards. Still, I left with all the digits I showed up with.



The recoil was stout but it was fun to shoot. Now that I have empties I'll load up some poofy loads with Trail Boss (no BP allowed on my range) and shoot it once a year or so.

Also, the holster turned out to be a nice Perkins Campbell 1911 GI job dated 1917. My CMP 1911 fit like a glove.
Really a great effort so far. I LOVE projects like this. My question would be, although Brownells sell a nickel removing solution they seemed to be out would anyone have any other ideas on how to remove traces of old nickel??? Let my project soak in Hoppes for a week and nothing happened Just looking for an idea that will work. Would love to get my hands on the OP project.

Last edited by J. R. WEEMS; 12-03-2020 at 08:34 PM.
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Old 12-09-2020, 03:30 PM
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Its soaking now...
Any updates?
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Old 12-09-2020, 07:59 PM
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Any updates?
It did a week in the soak and then a go over with some Motherís Mag Polish.

It will never pass for new, but it looks a lot better.
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