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S&W Hand Ejectors: 1896 to 1961 All 5-Screw & Vintage 4-Screw SWING-OUT Cylinder REVOLVERS, and the 35 Autos and 32 Autos


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Old 01-26-2012, 01:28 AM
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DCWilson DCWilson is offline
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Default Two more Ladysmiths...

Recently I have been adding some of the small M-frames to my safe as they become available at semi-reasonable prices. They remind me of puppies or kittens, with disproportionately large features attached to a tiny frame; some people call them cute. If they had whiskers they would probably be adorable.

Yesterday I picked up two more, a first model in about 60-70% condition and a refinished second model whose reconditioning was handled fairly well.

Here's 1117, the First Model Ladysmith, which shipped in 1906.





The cylinder release on the first model Ladysmith was the dome on the left side of the frame. Rather than pushing it forward to release the cylinder, you pull it back -- the way Colt cylinders open.

That gun has a three-inch barrel. The photo is merciless in revealing thin blue; the gun looks a little better in the hand. The action is sound, the forcing cone is undamaged, and I would not hesitate to shoot this one with appropriate ammunition. I got some subsonic Aguila Colibri rounds (primer only, no powder) to try it out.


The next gun is 12480, a Second Model Ladysmith from 1907 with a 3-1/2 inch barrel. In the Second Model, the frame mounted cylinder release has been abandoned. A front locking lug has been added under the barrel, and there is a pull knob in front of the lug to release the cylinder.





This particular gun also has a sound action and uncracked forcing cone, though there is some odd flaring at the breech end of the barrel. It almost looks as though it did not get a final trim before installation. I'll look at it closely with a magnifier and see if I can figure out what is going on. Rats! I see I failed to hide my toothpick prop on the far side of the gun. OK, these are just preliminary snapshots. I'll rephotograph the guns seriously at a later date.

This gun has been refinished. The rollmarks were handled carefully and remain legible and deep. Offsetting that, the rounded end of the hammer stud has been polished flat, and there are still a few tiny pits on the left side of the frame. That makes me think the gun must have suffered from corrosion and semi-serious pitting there, but perhaps not so much damage elsewhere.

I have yet another Ladysmith coming, a semi-distressed Third Model that I bought as a parts gun. Perhaps it will be worth building out to full utility if I can locate the few parts that it is missing. But if not, I can use it as an organ donor for another Ladysmith I picked up as a barreled frame and sack of parts several weeks ago. That one had serious problems which are slowly being dealt with. I think I can return it to shootable condition.

Appealing as these little guns are, I have to acknowledge that their actions are stiff, stiff, stiff. As parts get smaller, the geometrical reality is that you must use more thumb muscle to cock the hammer or forefinger muscle to pull the trigger. A Ladysmith with light enough springs to feel good as you operate it will probably not have enough potential energy in its springs to detonate the primer or return the trigger to its proper position.

The refinished gun above has some kind of sealer over the surface that looks almost like a cured film of some sort. Is that just wax? Has anyone seen guns that have been coated with a shiny clear material like lacquer? I really don't know how to think about it.


Just for grins, and to show how small these guns are, here is one posing wtih a .500 Magnum round.



We haven't had a good Ladysmith thread for a while. People with M-frame revolvers in their safes or lockboxes are invited to post pics here. Let's see how much variety we can demonstrate in the world of these tiny .22s.
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Last edited by DCWilson; 01-26-2012 at 09:08 AM. Reason: fix number
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Old 01-26-2012, 01:51 AM
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I am sure some people must know the wonderful womens name who I met at the Vegas show this past weekend. She had the most awesome collection of ladysmith's I have ever seen and she was proud to show them and answer any questions, a very nice person to chat with and I am sorry I forgot her name. She had incredible pieces in about all known barrel lengths and very nicely engraved and gold inlayed guns. I should have asked to take a couple of shots to share here. They were the coolest thing I saw at the show! I also saw a first model Lady that was missing parts and was selling for about twice what I would have paid for it. A couple more for sale at what I would call full retail but nice examples. Iam always looking for the bargain since I already have one to fondle and shoot now, Lol! I plan to take some new shots of my little Lady along side my .500 soon, will post some fun shots when I do.
Matt
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Old 01-26-2012, 02:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pontiaker View Post
I am sure some people must know the wonderful womens name who I met at the Vegas show this past weekend. She had the most awesome collection of ladysmith's I have ever seen and she was proud to show them and answer any questions, a very nice person to chat with and I am sorry I forgot her name. Matt
Matt,

I wasn't present at Vegas, but I'm sure you must be referring to Liz Shuter!! She is a delightful lady & has the most impressive collection of Ladysmith's I've ever seen!!
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colt, engraved, ladysmith, primer, rollmarks, subsonic

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