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  #1  
Old 04-27-2013, 07:36 PM
unn4m3dbr unn4m3dbr is offline
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Default Is this S&W a Triple lock?

Hi,

This weapon belongs to my dad. It was hidden for at least 20 years and as soon as I saw it I became very interested in knowing when it was made. A did a little research on the internet, but I don't know if this weapon really is a triple lock because of the serial number (numbers don't match and I don't know if the serial number in the butt is 2806 or 280632).
I also found 2 .44 cartidges with it.

Can someone with more experience help me?

Thanks.








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Old 04-27-2013, 08:04 PM
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Well, this one is going to cause a lot of speculation! It appears to be a Triple Lock, but the serial number on the butt (280632) is totally out of the range of any TL. The barrel appears to be 7". The books say the TL was made in 4, 5, 6 1/2 and 7 1/2", however anything could be ordered.
What are all the othe marrkings that you can find on the gun?
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Old 04-27-2013, 09:09 PM
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It does not seem to have the third lock.
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Old 04-27-2013, 09:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DWalt View Post
It does not seem to have the third lock.
The third lock is clearly visible in the fifth and sixth pictures.
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Old 04-27-2013, 09:21 PM
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You are correct - I didn't look that far. But there were only about 15,000 of the first models made, so something is absolutely not right with the SN.

Last edited by DWalt; 04-27-2013 at 09:25 PM.
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Old 04-27-2013, 09:22 PM
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DWalt, Pictures #3 and 5 clearly show the third lock from both sides.
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Old 04-27-2013, 09:38 PM
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I think the true serial number is 8963. The preceding and following "2" look to be stamped in a pattern from a different die set.

The gun has been heavily polished and refinished at least once, but it is possible that not all other serial number repeats have been erased. Check the rear face of the cylinder and the front of the ejector rod shroud near the spring loaded pin. Look also on the underside of the ejector star and at the vertical face of the yoke. That last one will be tough, but if you look through one of the charge holes with a strong side light raking across the face of the cylinder, you may be able to make out the number.

Interesting gun. I can't tell if the hammer and trigger have been blued, but if they are that also indicates a refinish. S&W always left those parts with a color case hardening finish, even when they refinished the rest of the gun.

Don't be surprised if a moderator moves this thread to the 1896-1961 Hand Ejector section. Guns with swing-out cylinders are called hand ejectors and represent a distinct class of revolver different from anything S&W made before.

EDITED TO ADD: Based on comments below I also now think this is a copy of a S&W TL rather than an original.
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Last edited by DCWilson; 04-28-2013 at 05:47 PM. Reason: Addition to reflect changed opinion.
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Old 04-27-2013, 10:27 PM
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Always go with the simplest explanation first-

The butt number has been restamped.
The digits:
Are off center toward the top
The line slopes upward on the right
The digits are not aligned well
I don't think the stamps are the right font
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Old 04-27-2013, 10:48 PM
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It looks like the 7" mark on the ruler is on the forcing cone.
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Old 04-27-2013, 10:57 PM
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It would appear from one of the photo's that the Frame is a ROUND Butt also.

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Old 04-27-2013, 11:18 PM
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I had originally thought that the leading "2" looked different from the other numerals. I think it's fairly certain that the original SN has been modified. It's the only possibility that makes sense. But what is the caliber?
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Old 04-28-2013, 11:35 AM
unn4m3dbr unn4m3dbr is offline
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I looked for numbers all over the gun and the only numbers I found were in the third lock and in the ejector rod (183).

I took some more pictures to help identify the gun, but I think it is a triple lock with remarked serial numbers. The reason is the shape of the gun (4 screws, hammer, trigger and grip design and obviously the third lock). Do somebody know other gun with the triple lock design or this is the only one?






Third lock and the ejector rod numbers


The .44 bullets on the cylinder - they don't fit perfectly but I think its because of the rust

the two .44 bullets and a .38SPL for comparison


Thanks for all the help
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Old 04-28-2013, 01:03 PM
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The failure to seat the cartridges fully may mean you do not have the correct ammunition. S&W offered these in .44 Special, .44 Russian, and .44-40 (also .45 Colt and .38-40). So which is correct for this one?
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Old 04-28-2013, 01:45 PM
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Those look like .44-40 cartridges. The headstamp reads "44W"; "W" for Winchester?
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Old 04-28-2013, 01:50 PM
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I agree. They do look like 44/40s which have a taper and won't fit in a 44 Special charge hole. Something about that entire gun looks strange. I wonder if it's a well made copy.
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Old 04-28-2013, 02:01 PM
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After reviewing the additional OP's pictures, several items stand out which I believe leads me to believe this revolver is a highly modified Triple lock.
1st point, the barrel looks to measure 7" which is an anomaly. The front sight would I think need to have been reinstalled if in fact this had been a 71/2" barrel. I'm just guessing, but the barrel with Triple Locking feature intact would indicate that it was original.
2nd point, when viewing the cylinder, the cylinder stops lack the correct
leading recess cuts. I'm only guessing, but, either these were filled in or a cylinder would have had to be machined without them.
3rd point, the frame has been modified by removing material on the bottom of the butt and then contouring it into a round butt and making the grip shorter. This would explain the restamping of a serial number.
The triple lock Yoke "could" be original, but the center pin is "not" or has been modified.
Just my opinion that somebody wanted a "Modified" Triple lock and this is the result.

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Old 04-28-2013, 02:10 PM
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BE8888,
That was my very first thought when I originally looked at the pictures but then I saw the logo on the side and was led astray.... It does look like a Frankengun of some sort, whether just a compilation of various S&W parts with a few extras thrown in, or a complete fabrication with a copied logo is beyond my pay grade......
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Old 04-28-2013, 02:43 PM
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Maybe some pictures of the lockworks will help a little. Plus, at the time I believe the serial may also be stamped inside the side plate. I'm leaning toward a copied/counterfeit Triple Lock.
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Old 04-28-2013, 03:57 PM
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My vote is Spanish copy. I have seen some that are much closer to the real thing. This one was made by Trocaola.

Bob

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Old 04-28-2013, 04:14 PM
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Maybe a complete recitation of all stampings would help establish what it is. I now lean toward it being a foreign copy. Most of the Spanish products (at least those that I have seen) are not marked like authentic S&Ws. And while they may be stamped with something resembling a S&W logo, it doesn't look like the real thing. Does the real Triple Lock even have a S&W logo on the sideplate, as this one does? I don't know. If it is a copy, that would explain the strange SN also.
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Old 04-28-2013, 04:16 PM
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It looks like a poor old TL that over the years has been terribly abused. Agree with the comment about the cartridges. They are .44 Winchesters, which are probably not correct for that particular gun.
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Old 04-28-2013, 04:29 PM
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My .455 Mk II 1st Model has the logo on the sideplate. Don't know about the commercial version's as I don't have one to look at.....
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Old 04-29-2013, 07:16 AM
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If the gun is in fact .44 Win (44-40), that caliber is rare in Smith's, but common in Spanish (and Belgian) revolvers of that era.

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Old 04-29-2013, 08:30 AM
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I think this is a replica too - I'm from Brazil and there were tons of spanish guns here from what I could find on the internet, but the only thing that keeps me in doubt is the S&W logo on the side - all the spanish copies I saw on the internet doesn't have the S&W logo.

I want to open the gun to take some pictures of the inside, but I don't know how to do it. Is it very complicated?

Edit: As for the cartidges, they are .44 winchester made by CBC - Companhia Brasileira de Cartuchos (Brazilian cartidges company). Maybe this gun isn't for this kind of ammunition.

Last edited by unn4m3dbr; 04-29-2013 at 08:34 AM. Reason: information about the cartidges
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Old 04-29-2013, 09:16 AM
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It is fairly simple to remove the sideplate. With all the sideplate screws removed, just tap sharply on the opposite side of the frame with a piece of wood, screwdriver handle, plastic hammer, etc. I use a plastic inertia bullet puller as a hammer, but anything like that will work. Do not use anything made of metal, as it will dent the frame.. The sideplate will pop off. Do not attempt prying it with a screwdriver blade. Put a towel down on your workbench when removing the sideplate so it will not be damaged when it falls.

Mu guess is that the revolver is chambered for the .44 Special or .44 Russian cartridge if the .44-40 (.44 Winchester) cartridges will not chamber completely. The .44 Special case is the same diameter as that of the .44 Magnum, but is shorter, but is longer than the .44 Russian case. One can shorten .44 Magnum cases to make .44 Special or .44 Russian cases. The .44-40 case has a slightly larger diameter, so it is not likely to fit into a .44 Special or .44 Russian chamber.

S&W (also Colt) revolver copies were made in places other than Spain. Many came from Belgium. Workmanship ranges from poor to excellent.

CBC ammunition is widely sold in the USA.

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Old 04-29-2013, 09:32 AM
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There are any number of foreign copies of S&W revolvers out and about.
They seem to fall in three categories.

1. Some fairly faithful copies that the maker is proud enough of to put their own name/logo on. (These include those whose "logo" looks in the same style as S&W's.) I also include those that externally resemble S&W's but are different internally.

2. Similar to the above, but use a little "deception" like a barrel inscription that reads "for SMITH & WESSON cartridges" or such. Sometimes found with the actual makers name or logo, but usually in an unobtrusive marking when compared to the S&W cartridge mark.)

3. Finally, outright counterfits similar to the one under discussion.

They all are quite interesting and there are some collectors that will seek them out as a inexpensive addition to a collection.
(Note the word "inexpensive". i.e. Nobody will pay much for them unless they are fooled by the markings......)
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Old 04-30-2013, 02:13 AM
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Welcome to the forum unn4m3dbr. And thx for a very interesting piece.

The matching "183" pointed out in the photos on the TL cam plate and the yoke, may be the entire original serial #. Both of my TLs are stamped in those two locations with the complete serial number including a 'B' for blue finish as well on the yoke as on the barrel.

However both TLs also only have 4 digit serial #s. So perhaps some of you TL owners with more digits in your serial #s could confirm whether 5 digit serial#s are stamped in their entirety in those two locations or perhaps just the last 4 or 3 digits.

In addition both #s are stamped upside down from normal S&W protocol and in a different font.
Although not conclusive evidence perhaps, that and several other reasons already pointed out indicate this gun could be a copy. A very diligent one it would seem, but difficult to confirm with the refinishing it exhibits.

It would be interesting to know if TL #183 is accounted for in any database with a 44-40 chambering.
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Old 04-30-2013, 09:50 PM
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I just tried to chamber a .44-40 cartridge in my 1926 Hand Ejector. It sticks out just like the one in the OP's picture.

Pretty sure that revolver is a .44 Special.
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Old 04-30-2013, 10:28 PM
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Muley Gil,

Was it reloaded 44-40s?

I could not get the rims of any brand of factory loaded 44-40 within 3/8" of the chamber mouths in my Triple locks and pre model 24s.
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Old 05-01-2013, 04:13 PM
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Here's real TL, renickeled by S&W, so marked and dated under the left grip plate. The lettering on the right lower was added at the time of refinish, 1960s.

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Old 05-01-2013, 09:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hondo44 View Post
Muley Gil,

Was it reloaded 44-40s?

I could not get the rims of any brand of factory loaded 44-40 within 3/8" of the chamber mouths in my Triple locks and pre model 24s.
It was newly manufactured Georgia Arms rounds, made up in R-P cases.
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Old 05-02-2013, 01:03 AM
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Take the grips off,,that's easy to do.
See if it has S&W type mainspring in there. Many Spanish copys of S&W's use a Colt type lockwork and you'll see a V mainspring and rebound lever.
In any case it may give a better idea by a look inside if you have a S&W or a copy of one.

The S&W medallion on the side plate is hand cut IMO.

It's a decent job but it's got obvious flaws. Isolate the picture and enlarge it.
The lettering of 'Trade Mark' is the biggest give-away. Crooked letters, uneven, some of the lines don't meet. The border lines around the words don't meet the circle in places and the main circle itself has flats in it.
Other small hints at being hand done like the small diamonds at 3 and 9 oclock not close to matching are also plain once you take a look at it closely.

The dies back then were hand cut and small differences between dies are expected. As well there will be better die cutters than others. But this looks hand cut to me.

But there is another possibility.
That is that an original (S&W) imprint was re-cut by hand to restore it after polishing removed most of it from the surface.
Then the quality of the what you see would only be as good as that of the skill of the engraver that re-cut it.

Just some thoughts on what I see of the medallion on the side plate.

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Old 05-02-2013, 02:30 PM
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I know very little about the Triple Lock, but it looks to me like the locking notches on the cylinder don't have the "ramp" or indention on them. Did S&W ever do that with the TL?
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Old 05-02-2013, 03:46 PM
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Trocaola & Aranzabal, Spain. Caliber is .44 Russian
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Old 05-02-2013, 04:29 PM
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Originally Posted by wbraswell View Post
I know very little about the Triple Lock, but it looks to me like the locking notches on the cylinder don't have the "ramp" or indention on them. Did S&W ever do that with the TL?
Never! Nor on any other of their hand ejector models.
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Old 05-02-2013, 04:34 PM
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Is this S&W a Triple lock? Is this S&W a Triple lock? Is this S&W a Triple lock? Is this S&W a Triple lock? Is this S&W a Triple lock?  
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Originally Posted by 500SWArg View Post
Trocaola & Aranzabal, Spain. Caliber is .44 Russian
If it were for 44 Russian and has 'chambers' with a shoulder or even if it has 'charge holes' (bored straight thru), there's no way the 44-40 cartridge could enter that far into the chamber as shown in the original poster's photo.

Unless they are grossly oversized for the 44 Russian; enough to bulge and or split the cases.
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