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Old 02-12-2011, 08:48 PM
cprher cprher is offline
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Default More questions about Brazilian Contract 1937s

I've got a 1937 Brazilian contract revolver that came from an estate sale. Supposedly, the gentleman who owned it had it for many, many years. It is in 90-95% condition with very slight edge wear in a few places, perfect bore and cylinder, perfect timing, no end shake, a tight B/C gap and very strong case coloring on the hammer and trigger. According to the Blue Book, 25K were made and 14K were imported. It puts a premium value on the non-imported guns. How can I tell if mine was imported or not? Its serial number is 2080XX and it has the round top frame. The gun came to me wearing a set of magna grips, exactly like the ones that came on the 58 or 520. They are numbered in the 190XXX range so I know they are not original to the gun. But I gather from others that have provided pics of theirs, the round bottom magna type grips are not original to the gun. I'd like to know if this gun was made before WWII or after, and whether it was an import or a non-import gun.

Any help you can provide will be appreciated.
Keith
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Old 02-12-2011, 09:00 PM
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All of the Brazilian 1917s were technically made before WW II. The original contract guns were built in 1937, using the then current flat top frames. After WW II, S&W found a bunch of WW I era 1917 frames and assembled more Brazilians, using older parts.
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Old 02-12-2011, 09:23 PM
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Not at this time.

The 1930s fixed sighted N frame revolvers were flattened on top and had a square notch rear sight.
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Old 02-12-2011, 09:45 PM
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Default Stocks

I believe the stocks should be smooth wood on the Brazilian. Just looking at those stocks tell me they do not match the gun because of the major difference in condition. The import marks on mine were put on right over the serial number on the barrel flat, but may be found in other places.
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Old 02-22-2011, 06:28 PM
cprher cprher is offline
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Default Here are pictures of my 1937








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Old 02-22-2011, 06:53 PM
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The guns I've seen over the years originally had the large medallion service style grips, much like the Registered Magnums, 3rd Model 44s, Heavy Duties and Outdoorsman. Of course most were damaged and ranged from terrible to worse condition.

We often joke the Brazilians packaged them for repatriation by throwing them at barrels across the room. Then filled the barrels with pickle juice for the slow ride back north. Those South Americans didn't believe in treating their guns with respect.

Of course that works to our favor in keeping the price depressed to a reasonable range. Remember these guns were produced to the same high quality as other pre-war N frames. That was very high indeed. Its possible to acquire a very nice shooter grade specimen for around $500 if you look.
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Old 02-22-2011, 07:28 PM
cprher cprher is offline
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What I find striking about this particular example is the superb condition it's in. Whoever owned it before I got it certainly took good care of it. Not only is it in excellent condition cosmetically, but mechanically it's perfect.
Keith
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Old 02-22-2011, 08:16 PM
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The grips on the Gunbroker auction gun are brand new S&W factory N frame pressed walnut handles made by Altamont.

They are similar in style to the ones that came on the original 1937 Brazillian guns. I had two (should never have sold them!) and the grips were really neat. Diamond checkered with S&W medallions on both guns.
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Old 02-22-2011, 09:16 PM
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What is the markings on the lower front left grip frame ? is that an importers mark ?
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Old 02-22-2011, 10:02 PM
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Not that I can tell. It looks more like an inspection mark to me. From what I've been told the import mark was normally stamped over or near the serial number on the bottom of the barrel.
Keith
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Old 02-22-2011, 10:13 PM
bamabiker bamabiker is offline
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That one does look to be in very good condition. I have one that looks like it was thrown in the mentioned barrel with pickle juice. The cylinder has been changed and someone gave it a bad re-blue job but I gave $200 for it and it had some very nice diamond targets on it.
It actually shoots pretty good. Let us know how your's shoots when you get around to it.
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Old 02-22-2011, 10:23 PM
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Most of the CIA imports I have seen were stamped under the barrel over the SN.
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Old 02-23-2011, 07:39 AM
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I had a Navy Arms import that was stamped on the frame under the grip and it appears this one is stamped in the same place. It is the best place to have an import mark in my opinion. The rules have changed now and they can't hide it like this any more. Great looking revolver! Thanks for sharing.
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Old 02-23-2011, 06:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cprher View Post
What I find striking about this particular example is the superb condition it's in. Whoever owned it before I got it certainly took good care of it. Not only is it in excellent condition cosmetically, but mechanically it's perfect.
Keith
That is a fabulous Brazilian you have. They are RARE in THAT condition.
Yes, that is the import mark on the left lower grip frame. I have no idea what is meant by "non-import" when speaking about Brazilians, since ALL of them had to come back from Brazil. The importers may have been a bit haphazard about marking them since I have seen two or three with no import mark.

Your gun should have SMOOTH convex top grips just like WW I US 1917's.
Put a nice set of grips on it, and that gun is worth around $1000, maybe more. A display quality Brazilian is very hard to obtain.
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Old 02-24-2011, 10:12 PM
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For what it is worth, mine is sn 194xxx and has the large silver medalion grips. Also on the backstrap, between the grips, is a stamped number 12374, almost like it is a unit number. I see no importer marking, but have not had the grips off to check.
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Old 02-24-2011, 10:40 PM
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cprher, as I've heard it said in Rio de Janerio............."Nice Brazillian!"

Here's mine. As to comments here I guess it's a nice one. It is in the same condition on the other side as well.

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Old 03-03-2011, 10:07 AM
cprher cprher is offline
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Default 1917 1937 Comparison

Here is a side by side comparison between my 1917 and my 1937 Brazilian. The 1917 was made in Sep 1918 and based on the 1937's serial number (2080XX) it was made very near the end of the 1917 production run, maybe 1945-46. According to Supica and Nahas there is no meaningful difference between the 1917 and the 1937, the latter just being a portion of the 1917 production run made for a specific customer. According to them the 1937's serial number lies outside the range of those shipped to Brazil, which would explain the gun's apparent lack of import marks. What amazes me (yes, I'm easily amazed) is the lack of any meaningful change between 1918 and 1945.







Last edited by cprher; 03-03-2011 at 10:51 AM.
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