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  #1  
Old 01-08-2013, 08:03 PM
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Default S&W colt .32 long revolver? K-32

My wife wanted a shorter pistol to carry for self defense so we went to a local gun store and brought her .32 s&w long revolver thinking we could trade it in plus some cash for a nice small .40 cal auto of one type or another.
They told her they would give her $300 for it and she decided to keep it and bought a glock 23c in .40 cal anyway... she loves it. I really dont like it because its all top heavy and the trigger i just dont like. It doesnt feel balanced etc. but what ever... she loves it and its hers so....

Anyway she decided to keep her .32 long because it was a wedding gift from an older gentleman from her first marriage 30 years ago. He was a large scale international arms dealer that lived here in CT and he had a, well i guess you can say, "huge" collection of personal firearms. He picked this gun out for her as a wedding present and told her that it would be worth a lot of money some day. So she wondered why they offered her only $300 for it. So I wrote a letter to S&W and they sent back a fancy letter and told us it was a K 32 Masterpiece. I dont think it was a very popular gun because it didnt sell well i guess. Anyway it was never fired before she got it and its in perfect condition. She has put a few boxes of ammo threw it over the years. and Ive always kept it clean. Id guess about 3-4 boxes of ammo have been thru it. The last time we took it shooting was in 1997 when we took her 86 year old grandmother shooting with us. She had never fired a pistol before and she wanted to see what it was like. she loved it. she fired 2 cylinders worth with it and thought she might like to buy one. The recoil was just her cup of tea. She didnt like my Astra a-75 .40 as much. she thought it was too powerfull..... lol

Anyway, whats a .32 s&w long worth? i cant find any on the web sites selling guns. I looked at gun trader and gun broker i think it was.... is there a better web site that has more of this type of gun for sale so i can get a real guestimate as to what its worth?

Thanks for any info you can give us.

Jim
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Old 01-08-2013, 08:14 PM
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Welcome to the forum.

S&W made nearly half a million revolvers that chambered the .32 Long cartridge, but only a few were K-32 Masterpieces. A near-new K-32 Masterpiece could be a $2500-3000 gun, or even a little more. Is it just the gun by itself, or does it have the original box and accessories as well?

Please let us know the serial number, and include the K prefix that you see on the butt of the revolver. Based on the number, we might be able to tell you a little more, like the approximate ship date. Replace the last two digits with xx if you would like to preserve some confidentiality. When you swing the cylinder out, do you see a stamp MOD 16 on the frame? Also, please post photos if you can.

S&W sold as many K-22 and K-38 Masterpieces as they could make after WWII, but the K-32 Masterpiece was just not as popular. (Masterpiece was their designation for target-grade revolvers built on their mid-size frame.) Only 3600 or so K-32 Masterpieces were produced, and they are now in demand as rarely seen collectibles.

Do NOT sell that gun unless you desperately need the money. There may be minor fluctuations in price from year to year, but the long term value trend is up.
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Old 01-08-2013, 08:22 PM
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I can add nothing to Mr. Wilson's commentary on your wife's revolver, but let me congratulate her on rejecting the gun store's offer. In the condition you describe, that barely covers the stocks. Box and accessories only enhance the value and should be kept with the gun if you still have them.

I look forward to seeing pictures.
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Old 01-08-2013, 08:23 PM
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Absolutely do not sell it. There is a high demand for K32s due to their scarcity. Any knowledgeable gun dealer would know that and also how valuable it is. It is shameful that a "reputable" gun dealer would offer such a pittance for such a revolver, but that's the way the gun world works. Let this be a good warning to those who don't know what they have in their dealings with gun shops and pawn shops. Always do some research first before selling or trading.
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Old 01-08-2013, 08:24 PM
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Boy I knew this was going to happen quite a stir you have caused and welcome to the forum Jim very glad you didn't sell that gun.
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Old 01-08-2013, 08:25 PM
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wow thanks for the fast response.... let me go get it and look...
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Old 01-08-2013, 08:32 PM
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it says k1366xx

no mod 16 it says 15230 on the frame

wow im glad she didnt trade it in.... this may help... he told her it was not a regular one it was custom made for someone, i think it was him but not sure...

im taking pics now will post in a few min....
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Old 01-08-2013, 08:33 PM
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the grips dont look original because they cover part of the S&W engraved in the gun...
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Old 01-08-2013, 08:37 PM
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no she doesnt have the original box.... or anything else... pics comming...
i dont see a number on the butt... its all wood
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Old 01-08-2013, 08:46 PM
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A K-32 with a nearby serial number shipped in 1952. Your wife's gun probably did too, or maybe a year plus or minus -- guns that weren't big sellers sometimes languished in inventory for some time, and the company had no policy that required them to ship in SN order. In 1957 this model was designated the Model 16. Guns without that model designation, which were produced from 1949 to 1957, are known as Pre-16s by collectors.

You are describing target stocks. Do they have S&W medallions in them? At the time that gun was shipped, it could have been ordered with target stocks as an option. Standard stocks were somewhat smaller and did not extend forward from or below the grip frame.
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Old 01-08-2013, 08:46 PM
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Yours dates from about 1952. You will need to remove the grips to see the serial number if it has target grips. Also check to see if there is anything written or stamped inside the grip panels.

Those grips themselves can be quite valuable. This is one that you should definitely order a factory letter for.
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Old 01-08-2013, 08:52 PM
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ok here are some pics i just took...







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Old 01-08-2013, 08:53 PM
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Oh Wow - Coke stocks - $300-400 by themselves.
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Old 01-08-2013, 08:55 PM
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i did write them and they sent a fancy letter back... ill go get it...
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Old 01-08-2013, 09:00 PM
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i just got the letter... it says there was 3630 made.... it is a model 16.... 4 screw what ever that means... shipped dec 14 1957 and delivered to remington arms.... 6" barrel blue finish and checkerd walnut grips.... roy jinks sent me the letter...
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Old 01-08-2013, 09:07 PM
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wow you guys are great.... thanks for the info.... even my dad whos been into guns (more so rifles) all his life doesnt know much about it.....
hes more of a target guy... used to shoot on the palma team...
im more of a rifle guy too.. camp perry quantico benning etc for years...
small bore from 10 years old untill i got burned out from it in my mid 20's..... still have my original 1407 anshutz i got as a kid... when i was 14 i think...
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Old 01-08-2013, 09:08 PM
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Strange that the shipping date is so much later than what the SN indicates, but anything can happen with S&W - It may have been in inventory for a long time after manufacture. If possible, can you scan or take a picture of the letter and post it? The fact that it was shipped to Remington won't decrease its value at all.
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Old 01-08-2013, 09:14 PM
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yep ok ill block out my name and the serial numbers....
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Old 01-08-2013, 09:17 PM
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Old 01-08-2013, 09:30 PM
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I'm thinking my wife's friend worked for Remington but she doesnt remember now..... all i know is he was a rather "big wig" international arms dealer and was retired at the time he gave this to her i believe.... and he had a walk in large, large, large vault "Room" in the basement with an incredible massive collection of firearms. she and her first husband used to go trap shooting with him and then exchange stories at the bar after.... i wish i had met him but i didnt even know my wife then.... he had wild stories thou.... he gave a friend of my wifes who also used to shoot with them a pair of custom double barrel shotguns when he got married that were super duper fancy and told him to never ever ever shoot them and keep them in the wooden box that they were in and he could send his kids to college with them some day. he also gave my wife a nice shotgun... and her x some nice stuff too.
This is all going back over 30 years ago now....
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Old 01-08-2013, 09:44 PM
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so what do you think its worth...... she said she might sell it to someone who really would like to have it and appreciate it.... i just told her the wood grips were worth $300 and she gave me a funny look... then i just told her it could be worth $2000 dollars.... i dont know if she really believes it.... im glad that we didnt take the $300 back in 07 when she bought her glock 23c... she would have been very depressed if she traded it then and found this out now.... or was that a fair price back then?
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Old 01-08-2013, 09:55 PM
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i just took the grips off,,, they were stuck on pretty good but with a little wiggle they came off..... i see the serial number on the bottom of the butt... no model 16 thou....
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Old 01-08-2013, 10:12 PM
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That one probably should not be marked Model 16. If it was, it would be so-stamped inside the cylinder crane. Model marking did not begin until 1957, and I'm betting yours was actually made somewhat earlier than that despite the factory letter. Any markings of any kind inside the grip panels? Do not attempt to refinish them.

Am sure there would be substantial interest here on this site in purchasing your K32 should you wish to sell it. $2K should be easy to get, but you might wish to take some high quality and detailed pictures to show its condition better. By the way, yours is actually a 5-screw, not a 4-screw, as the letter says. 4-screw models began in 1955. But there is a little terminology confusion. Yours has a 4-screw sideplate, plus one other screw ahead of the trigger guard, so 5 screws and therefore Pre-55 manufacture. Post-55 manufacture models had 3 sideplate screws and one more, or 4 screws.

Last edited by DWalt; 01-08-2013 at 10:29 PM.
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Old 01-08-2013, 10:19 PM
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so theres nothing written or stamped inside the grips.. whats that mean?

I just picked my wifes brain a little about the guy who gave it to her.... he was late 60's 35 years ago... she doesnt remember his last name but his first name was Ed. He was given the gun at his retirement party from "remington dupont" she said... but i think she is mixing up two companies. But remington must have bought the gun to give to ED for his retirement. If it really matters i could ask her x and see what he remembers about "Ed".
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Old 01-08-2013, 10:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jim02ss View Post
i just took the grips off,,, they were stuck on pretty good but with a little wiggle they came off..... i see the serial number on the bottom of the butt... no model 16 thou....
You won't find "Model 16" anywhere on the gun because it is a "pre-model 16" K-32. As others have said, in 1957 Smith & Wesson began assigning model numbers to their revolvers, and the K-32 became the Model 16. Even though your gun shipped in 1957, the serial number indicates it was manufactured in 1952, so it is a K-32. Also, it is a 5 screw gun, even though the letter incorrectly identifies it as a 4 screw. The gun in the first picture below is a 5 screw K-32 like yours, note the screw at the top of the sideplate near the hammer. The gun in the second picture is a Model 16, note that the screw is not there.
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Old 01-08-2013, 10:35 PM
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The "4 screw" designation indicates there are three screws on the sideplate (with the right stock panel removed) and one at the front base of the trigger guard. As the previous poster noted, yours has the fourth (upper) screw on the sideplate, making yours a 5-screw.

The stocks are very interesting; these usually had a cutout on the top of the left panel to clear the extractor star, and the type without this was only made from about 1950-'53. The checkering pattern is even more interesting, as it is wider than usual. Another poster mentioned they might be a special type of Target stock called the "Coke Bottle", and they may be; these were supposedly made in very small numbers for the K frame guns, and would fit with the story of this being a special presentation gun.
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Old 01-08-2013, 10:36 PM
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thanks everyone who posted.... i really appreciate the input.

dewalt
The stocks and gun are like it just came out of the box... there would be no reason to refinish them. but i do know that refinished guns arnt worth as much as originals so i would never touch any guns finish without talking to an expert.

This is so cool to get real time info... we go thru spurts of interest in buying, and shooting and guns in general over the years. every so often we go on a buying spree and shooting spree and then cover the dillon press and lock up the safe for a while. we dont have much time to go shooting but were just going into another one of those "spurts of interest" right now.
I'm gonna get some black rifles before we cant buy them any more. The black ones are dangerous according to the media. So i better hurry up and get some before we cant. All thou here in CT we cant have many of the black guns as it is right now. We have had a black gun ban for almost 20 years now. i just dont know what these nitwits here in CT put on the on the "dangerous black gun" list. So i need to research that as well.
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Old 01-08-2013, 10:51 PM
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Ok thanks guys. this is getting more and more interesting my the minute.

my wife just also said that "ed" told her there was somthing special about the guns serial number...and not to ever sell the gun. I'm sure "ed" is long gone by now...he would be 100 or so now i guess.... she said he was a great guy and they had a blast going shooting with him. she would make a bug bucket of chili and they would go shooting all day long. Ed would bring a bunch of different stuff for everyone to try. Damn, i really wish i could have met this guy and found out more about this gun.
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Old 01-08-2013, 10:55 PM
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What a way to join the forum!! Hold on to it and pass on to the grand kids!!
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Old 01-08-2013, 11:02 PM
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Re Remington-duPont. At that time, Remington was a division of duPont (E. I. duPont de Nemours), the large chemical company. duPont bought Remington back during the Great Depression of the 1930s. If you look at Remington products from back then (and later), they will always have the duPont symbol on the packaging and any printed materials (duPont inside a lozenge).
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Old 01-08-2013, 11:07 PM
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a few more things i noticed... it has the serial number stamped on the back end of the cylinder,,, it has 56 and an L stamped on the frame under the grips at the bottom of the butt on the side... the last digit of the serial number on the butt is spaced out like it was added later or somthing...

K 1366X X

and 15230 is stamped on the frame on the inside where the arm that swings the cylinder out covers up...

Last edited by jim02ss; 01-08-2013 at 11:09 PM.
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Old 01-08-2013, 11:14 PM
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Nice gun.

The grips are not Cokes.
They are merely the normal, non-relieved Walnut Target grips that would fit right in with a 1952 gun. Nothing should be written or stamped inside them.

Note also that the gun has a Target Hammer with a standard trigger. That was also commonly seen around 52-53 before Target Triggers came out.

Two distinct possibilities:
A. - the letter is wrong. This would definitely be worth asking about.

B. - they sold even slower than we thought!

I really tend to think the letter got crossed with another gun. Roy KNOWS K 136XXX would be a FIVE screw!
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Old 01-08-2013, 11:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peyton View Post
What a way to join the forum!! Hold on to it and pass on to the grand kids!!
yea i guess i should have posted a thread saying hi first and introduced myself. Nothing really interesting there thou.

So you think this gun will go up more in value? I just never thought is was a popular caliber all these years. id show it to my friends and they would say... "its a what? a .32?... and then, hey whats that one over there!!!"
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Old 01-08-2013, 11:18 PM
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and I forgot-
We need better pics to be sure, but If the gun is as clean as I think it might be, it should be priced between 3000 and 4000 if truly 99%.

It WOULD be wise to get more data on "Ed".
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Old 01-08-2013, 11:24 PM
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so Handejector, you think i should write to him again and ask him to recheck his info on it? Is he still working there?

I don't even remember where i got the address to write to them last time. He gave it to her in a leather holster that i have on the shelf. My dad told my wife and i almost 30 years ago not to put it in or store it in the holster.
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Old 01-08-2013, 11:31 PM
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OMG $3000-$4000? now thats getting crazy. I cant imagine anyone paying that kind of money for this gun. You know how book values on things are.... you still need to find someone willing to pay that kind of money.... sounds to good to be true.

I could buy that .50 cal rifle ive been eyeing.... oops, its my wifes gun..... i forgot.... lol she could buy that .50 cal ... oh never mind.
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Old 01-08-2013, 11:37 PM
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Yes and Yes.
He still does the letters.

Send him a copy and describe the gun as:
a 5 Screw with Target Hammer and non-relieved Target grips.
Send pics if you can print them out.
Of course, give the full serial number from the butt.

Roy will probably want the original letter back if he corrects it.
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Old 01-09-2013, 12:20 AM
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If it truly is in 99% or better condition, $3000 is no stretch. And things in the gun market are getting crazy now, so even more is certainly possible. As I said, an easy sell for $2K. I'm surprised you haven't already received some Personal Messages from members wanting to buy it.

Regarding Coke grips, technically those were used only on N frames, not Ks. Nonetheless, yours look like Cokes and maybe they actually are if it was a presentation revolver. If "Ed" was someone of importance and prominence in the Remington organization, that would be a big plus, so some research there is in order.

I think getting an "Improved" factory letter would be a very good idea.

Last edited by DWalt; 01-09-2013 at 12:27 AM.
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Old 01-09-2013, 01:32 AM
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Thanks again for the info. I am going to contact S&W again and get clarification on this as well as get more info on "Ed" and who he was and the whole story of this gun.
My wife just said the partial box of ammo she had for it when i met her was the only box of ammo she ever had for the gun. This is where i can now take over on memory... we finished off that box of ammo the first time we went shooting together when we were first dating. That was a box of 25. I bought her a box of 50 one Christmas after that and we used some of that with her grandmother in 1997. I just found pics of my wife shooting it that day as well as Ruthie shooting it that day. And thats the last time it was ever fired.
We always just shoot all the big guns really.
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Old 01-09-2013, 07:02 AM
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Welcome to the forum Jim. Seldom do we get such a grand entrance as yours!~Well, I guess I'm the one late to the party. So I can't add much except to say the last one I heard of selling recently went over $3500 and wasn't as nice as yours (eerrr, your wife's) but may have had the original box.

By the way, where did the "S&W Colt 32 Long" come from in your thread title...was that a mis-reading of the 32 Long CTG (means, Cartridge) on the side of the barrel? Because this gun will not interchange ammunition with Colt 32 Long, only .32 Colt New Police. No worries, you won't find either Colt cartridges on a store shelf anywhere...for display maybe, but not for sale.

I don't think it was specifically said but you probably connected the dots....depending on who Ed can be documented as being to Remington, the reason for obtaining the provenance. I would start with your wife writing down everything she can remember including the gun's s/n like...in the morning tomorrow, signing and notorizing it. She is the only one with 1st hand knowledge of Ed, w/o her letter, Ed could be the King of Siam but no one can tie the gun to him in the 1st person except your wife.

The only other thing I can ask is....how do you spell H-o-l-y G-r-a-i-l? Congratulations and enjoy the hunt for provenance.
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Old 01-09-2013, 09:36 AM
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Thanks Hondo, I wasnt thinking when I wrote the thread name.... i have a .32 colt auto from 1904 or there abouts and mixed them up...
My wife had surgury yesterday and it was a long day. During the day while i was waiting for her to come out of surgury i was bored and was looking at new guns to buy, mainly the AR style like the AR30 and AR50 etc. and i stumbled across a link to this forum. You know how you get sucked in for hours researching stuff... just as i got the bright idea to look into info on the k32 the beeper thing FINALLY went off and they called me in to see her... so i had to stop playing on the internet. so i book marked the forum and as soon as we got home and i had a chance I posted this thread.

I guess the topic kinda morphed a bit once good info started to come in...
Is there a way I can change the title to something that makes more sense to the topic?
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Old 01-09-2013, 09:58 AM
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I have some other stuff i need to get info on... my dad is getting older now and he doesnt remember everything he used to about a lot of this stuff. We sat down on monday and went over a lot of stuff and i wrote down as much as i could about what he could remember....

Have you guys ever seen a Rubin rifle? it was a rifle that was converted to a 12 ga shotgun.... it looks early 1800's my dad thinks it was a fairly common conversion a long long time ago. I would never even think about fireing it but it looks cool, well kind of.

Or a bolt action stevens 39a .410 shotgun? Thats a strange puppy. My dad got a lot of quail as a kid with it.

I think ill have to start searching for different forums to find out more about this older stuff.
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Old 01-09-2013, 01:01 PM
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Very nice gun! Hondo44 is probably very close with that $3500 value. I would recommend you take a few pictures of it showing the side plate (4) screws and along with a copy of your original letter and the S/N form the gun butt sent to Roy Jinks C/O S&W and ask him if this was an error in the letter. The picture should resolve any question.

By the way, I hope you have shot your Anschutz 1407 more recently than I have. It's been over 8 years and it was at a 200 yd SB prone match at my local club. I couldn't do it any more, as at 71 I can't get down in prone then get back up any longer.
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Old 01-09-2013, 01:39 PM
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Richard, no, sadly i just dont have time to use the 1407 anymore. I own a small company now and i have little time.... I used to practice mondays and thurs and shoot in matches on fri and many saturdays from 10 years old to mid 20's... it hasnt had a round threw it in about 20 years now.... or at least 15 anyway. But thats how much time you have to put into shooting to be any good really.

I got into local hi power 200 yd leagues and also longer distances at perry, quantico, benning, cheery point, etc etc in my mid teens and then got out of competition rifle shooting all together. The time to reload with a rock chucker and travel to matches wasnt available any more and i was getting burned out of it. My father and I were very into it for many years.
I knew some of the guys in the army marksmanship unit and also kernel kennella who ran it for many years... my sister was Denise kennellas room mate in college when she shot for ETSU, anyway, they did a lot of work when i was a kid to my garrand in there mobile man cave shop they had at the time in the late 70's and early 80's. That trigger was really nice after that. Then they wished they hadn't tweaked it... it was very competitive shooting against those guys, they were all much older than i was...

anyway, enough reminiscing about the old days.
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Old 01-09-2013, 03:44 PM
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"Have you guys ever seen a Rubin rifle? it was a rifle that was converted to a 12 ga shotgun.... it looks early 1800's my dad thinks it was a fairly common conversion a long long time ago."

The only ones I am familiar with were the Swiss Schmidt-Rubin straight-pull military rifles, and I have never seen nor heard of one being converted to a shotgun. After WWI, a great many German Mauser military rifles were converted to cheap bolt action shotguns in Germany by various shops for export. Maybe that is what you are thinking of. They were once very common, but I haven't seen one for a long time.

Read more about them here: http://texastradingpost.com/militaria/geha.html

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Old 01-09-2013, 06:59 PM
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I just looked at a picture of a rubin on line and its nothing like that....

Its more of a musket type gun... it had a large ornate hammer on an angle and used a percussion cap type thing.

I'll have to take some pics of it..... it looks 1700's to early 1800's
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Old 01-09-2013, 07:09 PM
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If it's a percussion-type rifle or musket, the use of shot in them was very common after the U. S. Civil War when cartridge rifles were adopted. A huge number of percussion rifled military muskets such as the Springfield Model 1861 and the Enfield Model 1853 (and many others) had their barrels bored out smooth for use as shotguns. I assume the same thing happened in Europe and elsewhere.
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Old 01-09-2013, 08:11 PM
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Id say it is a percussion that used a cap of some type. I dont know if it actually had a rifled barrel or not.

I dont have that one here right now or i would take some pics.
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Old 01-10-2013, 03:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jim02ss View Post
Or a bolt action stevens 39a .410 shotgun? Thats a strange puppy. My dad got a lot of quail as a kid with it.

I think ill have to start searching for different forums to find out more about this older stuff.
The Marlin bolt action 410s were a good gun. They also had a 410 lever action repeater in the same period that was finally dropped, only to be resurected by Winchester in their Model 94 as the Model 9410.
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Old 01-10-2013, 03:45 PM
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Ok, I sent off pictures, a copy of the original letter S&W sent me, and the whole story of the gun, as i know it, to S&W.

Lets see what they come back with.... it might just be the same letter with the updated description of the gun as a 5 screw.?

I got thinking, Remington may have bought a bunch of these to keep in stock to give to valued employees. They may have bought several in a group?
Or they may have, in December 1957, asked for one from S&W with a low serial number and these grips and hammer as a "special gift" for Ed?

I doubt that S&W will be able to give us any more to the story thou.
I suppose contacting Remington would be a better direction, that is if there is anyone who works there that could answer any questions about it.
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