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Old 12-18-2010, 01:07 AM
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Default 1907 Ladysmith Revisited (New Pics)

May I re-present .22 Hand Ejector (Ladysmith) 2nd Model #5356, which was shipped in February 1907. All parts, including the hard rubber stocks, are numbered alike. This is the same gun that Dan M posted a couple of weeks back after he found it at a gun show. I expressed interest in it to Dan, who seems to have noticed it would be tough to convert to .44 Special and decided to let it move along. When he contacted me I jumped at it.





There was some discussion about whether the gun had been refinished. I believe it has definitely been reblued, but by somebody who knew what he was doing. Since the evidence seems to go in two directions, let me review it. First, the case for the gun NOT being a re-blue.

Note that the metal edges at the sideplate to frame seam are not rounded over and that the screw holes are not dished. You can also see that the leading edges of the frame and crane are barely rounded and seem quite sharp.



Note that the rollmarks on the barrel seem sharp and barely buffed, if buffed at all:





But the refinish is given away by the right side of the frame, where the hammer stud end is buffed flat to the surface and the S&W logo is very shallow with no raised edges. Note also that the cylinder stop lug is quite worn, despite showing a fresh blue finish:



Also, look back at the barrel photo which shows the ejector rod knob; note that the beveled face is not in the white, as is typical for unrefinished revolvers, but has been blued.

I guess I should show the serial number. If the stock panels look slightly sprung, they are. While there are no through cracks, the inner surface of one grip is radially cracked from overtightening the grip screw on one occasion. I will just leave the screw snug but not cranked down.



As noted earlier, the same serial number is seen on all parts. Under the barrel it is accompanied by a B for, I suppose, blue. There is also a B stamped next the the serial number on the part of the crane that faces the cylinder. I didn't see a B in other locations, and there is no rework date stamp on the frame under the left stock panel.



Further evidence of the gun's not completely pristine condition came from its action, which was stiff and gritty. I opened it up for cleaning and found that it was a little dirty, though far from filthy. I took everything out, gave it a toothbrush and CLP treatment, and put it back together. I also cleaned up the cylinder assembly, which seemed a little draggy. After cleaning and reassembly, a timing problem I had observed was no longer there. Some dust, lint and carbon had been impeding free movement of the hand and cylinder lock, and with the detritus gone the action functions smoothly. (Though it is of course still horribly stiff, as all small actions must be; I backed the strain screw out half a turn just to reduce the stress on the hammer and trigger assemblies.) The bore and chambers are not as smooth as the exterior of the revolver might make you expect, but they are just a little rough -- not pitted or scored.




This is my second Ladysmith. I lucked into an early first model (S/N 632) at an auction a couple of months back. I suspected it was in better shape than the auction description made it sound, and I was right. (Though it still has some minor issues and the wrong ejector rod.)



I'm not sure I want to keep collecting these because they feel like miniatures to me rather than real tools. But I confess I am fascinated by the complex design that makes the small parts move properly. Fun fact: when you remove the crane (which is held by a pin rather than the front sideplate screw), you will see that the button on the end of the shaft is actually a spring-backed plunger rather than part of a solid piece of steel. When the crane is inserted, the button and spring are what tension the cylinder stop. If you look at the interior photo above, the small indistinct gray patch just in front of the cylinder stop is the plunger on the end of the crane shaft.


And finally, just to give you a sense of scale, here's a pic of the new Ladysmith with a .455 Triple Lock. This looks like a publicity still from Take Your Daughter to Work Day.




Just a couple of final points. The gun has had some repairs. The trigger return spring is a new spring with a shiny and polished outer surface; it looks rusted in the photo above, but it is actually a very shiny plum color. The hand may also be a replacement. I suspect the sideplate screws are not original. I can't imagine century-old screws would look that good, and I believe the sideplate has been off a few times.

The barrel appears to be unringed and the forcing cone seems uncracked.

My thanks to Dan for the transaction. I like this little revolver a great deal.
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Last edited by DCWilson; 12-18-2010 at 08:31 AM. Reason: Pick a clearer thread title
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Old 12-18-2010, 01:18 AM
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David,

Thanks for sharing and I like the comparison report of size with the Triple Lock.

I have never seen a LadySmith in person, but I would love to add one to the collection. They may be a bit out of my price range at this time, unless a real great deal coms along.
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Old 12-18-2010, 07:54 AM
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Dave,thank you for the education.You gave us some fine points on what to look for on a reblue.Regards Mike
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Old 12-18-2010, 11:50 AM
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Thanks for the in-depth review. Especially the interior view. I have held a couple and appreciate the tiny size. I don't think I would have the "courage" to try and get into the innards of one even though I am very comfortable inside a J or K frame. How many total were made?
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Old 12-18-2010, 12:11 PM
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How many total were made?
About 26,000 over 20 years beginning in 1902. In round numbers, about 4500 First Models (1902-1906); 9400 Second Models (1906-1910); and 12200 Third Models (1911-1921).
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Old 12-18-2010, 06:06 PM
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I took my daughters to work that day David!!! *S*

a 6" Mod 19, and a Third Model Perfected Ladysmith.

Now that I'm back in the house after our flood, it's almost like normal around here. At least I've recovered from the initial shock. *S*

Congrats on your Ladysmith. I like her, re-blue or not.
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Old 12-18-2010, 06:43 PM
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Thank you for showing the internal work of a ladysmith. Very intresting.
I want one. I do own about 25 Smith and Wesson revolvers. But the Ladysmith is still on my list. Lack of money is one problem.
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Old 12-18-2010, 07:10 PM
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Very interesting and educational, especially the comments about whether or not a reblue.

Thanks and enjoy.
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Old 12-18-2010, 07:17 PM
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it is a beautiful little revolver , reblue or not! i love it!
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Old 12-18-2010, 08:26 PM
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Red face

What a neat way to open the cylinder on those revolvers. I notice no latch on the left side, must be the little knob in front of the extractor rod.

Don't laugh at me David... I've really never seen one like that before.

GF
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Old 12-18-2010, 08:32 PM
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Exactly right, Gail. And the advantage is that if you pull the knob forward with thumb and forefinger of your left hand, you can use your middle finger to push on the ejector rod at the same time you push on the front of the cylinder with the forefinger of your right hand. That really reduces stress on the cylinder assembly and yoke as you swing them out, which is no small matter in these fragile little guns.
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Old 12-20-2010, 01:58 PM
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Quote:
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....And finally, just to give you a sense of scale, here's a pic of the new Ladysmith with a .455 Triple Lock. This looks like a publicity still from Take Your Daughter to Work Day.



.
Here are my versions of your picture, from my thread: The Incredible Shrinking 1917!!! (also in nickel!)

First, "The Incredible Shrinking 1917":




And, "The Lawman and The Lady"

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Old 12-20-2010, 10:34 PM
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Good photos, Tom. Now that I see them again, I remember them from before.

I like that little Ladysmith Third Model with the pearl grips.

Come to think of it, I like the blue Ladysmith/Third with the checkered medallion stocks as well.

I am starting a data base of these little guns. Would you be willing to PM me the serial numbers of yours?
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Old 12-20-2010, 11:12 PM
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Default Third model stocks

The only other Ladysmith paraphernalia I have would be these smooth walnut Third Model stocks. I'll have to ask you to trust me that the number 23491 can be read written on the back of the right-side panel; it took me 20 minutes to tease it out with high-intensity light and a magnifying glass, but I'm sure of it. These would have been mounted on one of the later Third Model revolvers, as the serial number range reached only a little over 26,000.

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Old 12-21-2010, 12:53 AM
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Very informative post Mr. Wilson, thank you. What does that little beauty weigh?

I seem to recall someone here had posted a pic of a three inch Ladysmith with target sights some time back. It too was beautiful.


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Old 12-21-2010, 01:42 AM
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What does that little beauty weigh?

I seem to recall someone here had posted a pic of a three inch Ladysmith with target sights some time back. It too was beautiful.


Cat
Just under 10 ounces.

I know there were adjustable sight Ladysmiths, but most sported six-inch barrels. They looked like miniature Buntlines. I need to go looking for the picture of that shorter barrel target LS you mentioned.
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Old 12-21-2010, 08:42 AM
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Good photos, Tom. Now that I see them again, I remember them from before.

I like that little Ladysmith Third Model with the pearl grips.

Come to think of it, I like the blue Ladysmith/Third with the checkered medallion stocks as well.

I am starting a data base of these little guns. Would you be willing to PM me the serial numbers of yours?
Sure thing David, I'll send a PM your way.

I got the nickel Ladysmith in March 2009 via a Gunbroker auction at a really low price, even though there were 18 bids. It's an old renickel that was buffed over hard, but still looks reasonably nice. The forcing cone is intact but the inside of the barrel looks like three inches of bad road. I have yet to shoot it (I have some Colibri Hummingbird ammo that is just primer-powered).

I'm not generally a fan of either nickel or pearl, but still there it is - and the Triple Lock as well.

The blue Ladysmith came from a forum member in January 2010 and while it cost double what the nickel one did, it was still a bargain. It appears all original and aside from a scratch on the left side from the extractor star, is in terrific shape. It really does deserve its own thread and pictures. It seemed to garner the most comments in the "Shrinking 1917" thread. Hey, what's not to love?

I haven't fired it either - so many things on the "to do" list.
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Old 12-22-2010, 09:33 PM
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David,

If you find the pic, please post it. I'ver searched for it in vain, and it was absolutely stunning.


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S&W Hand Ejectors: 1896 to 1961 Thread, 1907 Ladysmith Revisited (New Pics) in Smith & Wesson Revolvers; May I re-present .22 Hand Ejector (Ladysmith) 2nd Model #5356, which was shipped in February 1907. All parts, including the ...
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