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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 11-26-2021, 11:39 PM
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Aluminum Grip Model of 1891? Aluminum Grip Model of 1891? Aluminum Grip Model of 1891? Aluminum Grip Model of 1891? Aluminum Grip Model of 1891?  
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Default Aluminum Grip Model of 1891?

Do any of you recognize this? I'm stumped
S&W 1891 Single Shot by spencerhut, on Flickr
S&W 1891 Single Shot by spencerhut, on Flickr
S&W 1891 Single Shot by spencerhut, on Flickr
S&W 1891 Single Shot by spencerhut, on Flickr
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Old 11-27-2021, 12:11 AM
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I've seen a few of these over the yrs and also aluminum Colt stocks . They are not factory, I'm sure, and were probably an effort of someone to make repro stocks at one time. They are indestruable, compared to wood or hard rubber factory stocks and would be a good choice for a truck gun, or similar that got hard use. Ed
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Old 11-27-2021, 12:23 AM
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Do you think it's worth it to get a letter on this one?
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Old 11-27-2021, 01:13 AM
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There's exactly one way to determine if it's worth it to get a letter: Get the letter, read it, and decide.

If you hope to get more input on the grips from the letter than you've already received from "opoefc", let me opine it ain't going to happen.

The very first time anybody ever used the phrase "been there, done that", it's a good bet they were talking about him-----and if they weren't, they should have been .

Ralph Tremaine

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Old 11-27-2021, 08:16 AM
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I should think of there was any doubt, the quality of the workmanship employed to produce these grips strongly suggests this is not factory work.
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Old 11-27-2021, 09:37 AM
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Blowing the images up on my laptop, the left grip has a dent & other marks on it, the right grip looks to have been broken, so they are not indestructible, & screws are backwards to S&W sets. The barrel appears to be in much better condition than the frame, do the serial numbers match?
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Old 11-27-2021, 11:13 AM
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My guess is that the owner broke the original hard rubber stocks and made a cast of those broken and beat up stocks, then molded a few aluminum copies, cracks, dents, and all. Casting is crudely done and there is no doubt that they are, as Ed stated. By 1920, the company made some walnut extension stocks for their RPs and 22/32 HFTs that were a similar shape as the wood extension stocks, but not made in hard rubber.

Odd thing is that I do not think any hard rubber extension stocks of that shape were used on Single Shots, Double Action 38s, or I frames except for those with "ears" on the rear top of the stocks??? I suppose those extensions could have been filed off for the casting???
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Old 11-27-2021, 11:50 AM
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The Cast Aluminum Stocks we sometimes see, I expect tended to be from the old High School 'Metal Shop' classes back when.
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Old 11-27-2021, 08:59 PM
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The plot thickens. The grips are not aluminum, they are lead. Something tells me hand washing was not as big a deal back then as it is now.
S&W Model of 91 by spencerhut, on Flickr
S&W Model of 91 by spencerhut, on Flickr
S&W Model of 91 by spencerhut, on Flickr
S&W Model of 91 by spencerhut, on Flickr
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Old 11-27-2021, 10:15 PM
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This might be a bust. It 'might' be worthy of a letter knowing the stocks are lead and there is a trigger stop shown in a photo. It is known that target shooters are a strange lot and will do anything to gain an advantage over other shooters. The 'bust' is that a letter may only show a distributor that the gun was shipped to originally.
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Old 11-28-2021, 07:42 AM
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How much ch does this pistol weigh with lead stocks?

I just weighed mine, with walnut stocks and a 10” barrel, and it weighs 1 lb 9 oz.
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Old 11-28-2021, 01:48 PM
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Yes, the target shooters are a strange lot; and convinced as they often are that they can shoot better than their guns can, they will proceed to move heaven and earth to get their guns "up to snuff"---or at least easier to use.

That said, it seems to me (as a reformed target shooter) were I inclined to change the balance of my (top-break 10") single shot, I'd be adding weight to the barrel-----not just anywhere to make the gun heavier.

And speaking of balance, it's worth noting the folks in Springfield went way out of their way to maintain the balance of the first model single shot when they did the 2nd Model----and the 3rd model. And when I say they went way out of their way, I mean they spent money they didn't otherwise need to spend messing with the 2nd's and 3rd's in order to maintain the balance of the 1st. That's what those grooves on the sides of the frame are all about----that and the "fancy flat" ground on the bottom of the 3rd's barrel lug (when just plain flat would suffice). The bottom line on balance is all three models are virtually identical, and they didn't get that way by accident.

Now this one is a 1st Model frame (two pins), but no ears (recoil shields), AND NO VERTICAL GROOVES on the side of the frame where 2nd's (and 3rd's) have vertical grooves. That makes this one different from any I've ever known to have come from Springfield----which doesn't mean it didn't come that way, but I'm comfortable in my belief it ain't likely.

Right about now we are in need of a serial number, because we know leftover two pin frames were used to build 2nd Models. We also know the serial number is the determining factor as to how these so-called "transitional" models are going to be identified in a letter (as 1st's or 2nd's). But what we still don't know is whether any 2nd's came out without those grooves. I'm inclined to believe they did not, but I'm not making any bets on the matter.

The bottom line is this gun is very likely to have been severely messed with. If you care about that one way or the other, then a letter is the next step------but a letter to confirm/deny how this gun came to be as it is (never mind the goofy grips) is a crapshoot. A letter reflects the factory records------and I'm thinking the Historical Foundation's files don't cover the period of this gun (the era of the 1st/2nd single shots), so no help there-----right?----wrong?

Ralph Tremaine

And if you decide a letter is in order, you best be very specific in identifying EXACTLY what you want to know. Now the good Dr. Jinks went out of his way when he designed the letter order form, but more than a few folks don't pay enough attention to it when they order their letter. Then they moan and groan about the crappy letter not covering what they wanted to know--------when they didn't adequately articulate what they wanted to know in the first place.

Last edited by rct269; 11-28-2021 at 02:06 PM.
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Old 11-28-2021, 03:24 PM
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I wish we knew the full serial number. I think is one of the scarce First Model Transition to the Second Model. I have on exactly like it. I think yours was originally blue. The sideplate was removed when it was refinished. The lead stocks were the shooters answer to barrel weights. I'll bet there is no recoil!
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Old 11-29-2021, 06:15 PM
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Default Home made grips

What a brilliant Idea.

Home made metal target grips... It's on my bucket list now.



Murph
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Old 11-29-2021, 08:14 PM
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I had one pair of aluminum stocks for a 1911. Purpose was to increase weight to absorb recoil on the .45 and steady the gun in your hand. I got them in conjunction with USPSA shooting at an RO shoot prior to a Nationals shoot.
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Old 11-30-2021, 10:19 AM
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The factory letter I have for my .22 Single Shot First Model, Prototype to Second Model reads in part" with serial number 20734, was shipped on August 21, 1907 and delivered to Iver Johnson Sporting Goods., Boston, MA.
Smith & Wesson manufactured a small group of these Prototype Second Model Single Shots numbered in the First Model series. These pistols all have the smooth frame without the recoil ears and no milled groove. This revolver was probably assembled from left over parts in 1907. The barrel on your pistol 15069 was taken off a single shot shipped in 1893 and replaced with a 10 inch barrel to fill that order. It was not uncommon at this time frame to use up various parts to complete orders."
I believe your .22 Single Shot is from the group mine is in.
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Old 11-30-2021, 11:41 AM
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The serial number is 18,215.

Should there be a number on the barrel?

Last edited by spencerhut; 11-30-2021 at 03:30 PM.
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Old 11-30-2021, 07:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spencerhut View Post
The serial number is 18,215.

Should there be a number on the barrel?
Yes---well and truly hidden away in the latch area.

Open gun----grasp barrel with left hand---lift and hold latch with left thumb---hold magnifying glass with right hand-----and hold good light with your teeth.

The number is on the vertical surface at the rear of the barrel (inside the recess where the latch lives----on the right side). It may start on the right side, and end on the left side. Given the number may be covered with copious quantities of crud, have a good supply of Q-Tips and some solvent standing by------and never admit that you had to use them to anybody---especially anybody here-----just to be on the safe side.

Ralph Tremaine

Speaking of good light, the Kassoy 2X Handheld Magnifier is GOOD light----anywhere you might need it. Mine has been to just about all the big time gun shows, and a bunch of not so big time shows. You'll find it at Kassoy.com, where you'll learn about its 12 LED's and three AA batteries. I reckon this is what the Lord had in mind when he (or she) said "Let there be light". And if it isn't, it's pretty close.

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Old 12-01-2021, 02:39 PM
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Found the S/N on the barrel. only 2 digits 15 . . . so it looks like the barrel matches the frame. Color me shocked. I think the frame might be chromed. The barrel is nickel, no question.

S&W 91 by spencerhut, on Flickr
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Old 12-03-2021, 09:31 AM
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There should have been a number under the latch also.
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Old 12-03-2021, 07:08 PM
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To me, they look like pewter, not lead.
Lead is extremely soft and would neither crack like that nor hold checkering as long as these have.
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Old 12-03-2021, 07:44 PM
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Quote:
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To me, they look like pewter, not lead.
Lead is extremely soft and would neither crack like that nor hold checkering as long as these have.
You may be correct. They are quite heavy, that is why I assumed they were lead. Lead would crack if it was poured at the incorrect temperature.
Never worked with pewter.
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Old 12-03-2021, 08:52 PM
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You may be correct. They are quite heavy, that is why I assumed they were lead. Lead would crack if it was poured at the incorrect temperature.
Never worked with pewter.
True, but that level of detail would be long gone in a lead or typical lead alloy casting.
Leaded pewter would still be heavier than aluminum but also hard enough to hold the level of detail these have, and hold the grip ferrules. Those brass ferrules would pull right through lead when you tighten the grip screw.

If they are lead, you can dig deeply into them with just your fingernail.

Linotype or one of the other typesetting alloys could possibly hold that level of detail and still be hard enough to do the job.
One of those or pewter are very likely candidates based on the time period.

BTW, I like them. Would be cool to cast a pair of grips for something from pewter or one of the typesetting alloys.
I bought a coffee can full of typesetting alloy (Linotype?) from a scrap yard about 15 years ago. Got it cheap.
Not ingots. Actual typeset. Ready to be used for printing.
I couldn't pass it up.
Hmm.


The cracks look like the right grip was poured at too low of a temp, and/or poured too slowly.

Any way you slice it, they're kinda cool.
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Last edited by Jaymo; 12-03-2021 at 08:54 PM.
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Old 12-09-2021, 11:14 PM
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This is a consignment gun for a customer. If anyone cares to acquire it . . .
Smith & Wesson Model of '91 Single Shot 22Lr Target Gun - Antique Guns at GunBroker.com : 918353634
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