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Old 06-24-2013, 08:58 PM
mikepriwer mikepriwer is offline
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Default Rare Pairs : 25th Anniversary

Exactly 25 years ago the S&W Collectors Association held its 18th Annual
Meeting in Bellevue, Washington, June 23 - 26, 1988. At that meeting,
there was a display , by David Damkaer, titled "Rare Pairs". This display
featured revolvers paired together, for this display, that were very
similar, yet different. For example, a 6.5" 38/44 Outdoorsman from 1940
paired with a 6.5" Registered Magnum from 1937. Another pairing was
a .35 Automatic from 1917 paired with a .32 Automatic from 1929.


Clearly, the guns were not factory-identical pairs, but they all had
a lot of underlying similarities, and provided an interesting contrast
within the pairing. The "Rare Pairs" display was accompanied by a
bound document, that discussed each pairing, along with pictures
of the pair.

This concept is a very interesting idea, and provides another way to
think about S&W revolvers. Being the 25th anniversary of that meeting,
and of that display, it seems like an appropriate time to add to the
concept with additional "Rare Pairs" of revolvers.

Post-WW2 .38 Military & Police
-------------------------------------

The pair of guns here, on the exact 25th Anniversary date, are two
2" .38 Military & Police revolvers: one is chambered in .38 Special, and
the other in .32 Long. Both are 5-screw square-butt frames with
magna stocks, and blue finish. The .32 Long was shipped Aug 12, 1949
to Fishman Sporting Goods in Springfield, Ill. The.38 Special was
shipped April 25 1951 to Thomson & Haugue in Concord, NH.

The first picture is of both guns :



The next picture is a close-up of the roll marking on the .32 Long
barrel:



The next picture is a close-up of the roll markings on the .38 Special
barrel:



1899 Military & Police Targets in .38 Special Caliber
-------------------------------------------------------------

The next four sets of pairs are the four barrel lengths offered for
the Model of 1899: 4-inch, 5-inch, 6-inch, and 6 1/2-inch. Each pairing
has a blue and a nickel finish pair of guns, in each of the barrel lenths.

The first set is the 4-inch 1899 targets:





The next set is the 5-inch 1899 targets:





The next set are the 6-inch 1899 targets:





The last set are the 6 1/2-inch 1899 targets:





4-inch 1899 Military & Police in .38 and 32-20 Calibers
----------------------------------------------------------------

The next pair of guns are 4-inch Models of 1899 with service sights
in both offered calibers: .38 Special and 32-20.





Early Model of 1902 6.5-inch in .38 and 32-20 Calibers
----------------------------------------------------------------

These two guns are early Models of 1902, which introduced the
extractor lug under the barrel. With the exception of this lug, the
barrel is the same as the Model of 1899. It has a straight taper with
a flat area hanging down below the barrel, to fill in the gap between
the barrel and the extractor rod.



1902 1st change & 1905 .38's in two butt configurations
-------------------------------------------------------------------

This section has two sets of pairs. One set is 5-in targets,
and the other set is 4-inch fixed-sighted revolvers. The difference
between the 1902 1st change and the 1905 revolvers represents the most significant
development in the K-frame line of revolvers: the introduction of the
square butt, at about serial number 58000. It is not an engineering
change, but rather a separate model. It is known as the Model of
1905, and was produced in parallel with the Model of 1902 1st change.
With the exception of the butt configuration, both guns are identical
4-screw frame revolvers.

The serial numbers of the two models are intermixed; there is evidence
to suggest that small blocks of each model were serial-numbered
separately.









4-inch 1902 1st change .38 with target and fixed sights
------------------------------------------------------------------

These two revolvers are virtually the same gun, but with two different
sight configurations: adjustable (or target) sights, and fixed sights.
These are about 1000 serial numbers apart. When the 1st engineering
change occurred, a shoulder was added to the barrel. For the 4-inch
barrel only, there was not enough room for the patent-date roll
markings on the top of the barrel (using the same die), so they were
moved to the right side of the barrel. This lasted until some time
in 1916.





Two very scarce 4-inch 32-20 serial-number-series target revolvers
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

These two revolvers are very scarce. Both guns are serial-numbered
in the 32-20 series, which is separate from the .38 series. The
refinished one is from 1907, and is chambered in 32-20. The other
is from 1910, and is chambered in 32 Long. It is a K-frame target,
and it is in 32 Long: its probably the first ( or second ) K-32, and
one of the very very few 4-inch K-32s.





3-inch Two-tone Model 19's in square and round butt
--------------------------------------------------------------

These two .357 K-frames are about serial number K620000. They are
both 3-inch barrels, and show the two butt configurations. The round butt gun
is a very scarce gun; its history is detailed in the factory letter following the
pictures.









Jarvis-engraved 3.5-inch .357 Magnums
--------------------------------------

This is a very special pair of fully engraved guns, by Harry Jarvis. The guns letter as being shipped
in December of 1952, including the special carved grips. The front sight blades are perhaps the rarest
part of these identical guns. It is known as a Blanchard front sight blade, and was only offered for a portion
of 1952. Some conflict occurred between Norman Blanchard and the factory, and it was resolved by
not using the Blanchard design for the red insert. Note the contour of the insert.



The Blanchard sight was described in the first edition first printing of the 1952 Centennial Catalog. Shortly
after, the conflict occurred. The factory issued another version (first edition second printing) of the catalog,
the only difference being the description of that red insert. These next two images are those pages from
the two first-edition printings of the catalog.





5-inch 38/44 Outdoorsman
--------------------------

These two sequentially-numbered guns were built as a factory pair. They were built as a pair because
one of the two has the following engraving on the side-plate: "From Ed McGivern to F W Millington".
When building an engraved gun, it was the policy to build two identical guns, in case something happened
during the engraving. They were shipped on May 23 and May 24, 1933, to Millington and to a Dr Applegate
in Racine Wisconsin. I acquired the Millington gun first, not knowing about the second gun. Years later,
the Applegate gun showed up.



K-22 and K-38 matched pair for Fred Miller, Service Department Manager
---------------------------------------------------------------------

This pair of guns was made up special for Fred Miller, the Service Department Manager and member
of the factory pistol team. They were delivered to him in March 1940. The special grips are carved
Roper stocks.



5-screw and 4-screw 4-inch K-32's
----------------------------------

These are blue 4-inch K-32's, one with a 5-screw frame (K69XXX) and the other with a 4-screw frame (K366XXX).
The 5-screw frame has a narrow-rib barrel with a Patridge sight blade; the 4-screw frame has the wide-rib
barrel with a red insert ramp front sight. The wide-rib barrel was the factories design to have all three
caliber K-frame targets weigh the same when loaded. This significantly changed the OD of the barrels
from what they were with the narrow rib.





2/3's of a pair of 1899 8-inch targets
-----------------------------------

This next picture is one of two known 1899 8-inch target revolvers. The other gun is a nickel gun - and No,
I didn't steal the barrel from that gun - which I do not own. This one was shipped to Dr Sayre, who was
the captain of the US Olympic team in 1908 . The extra nickel barrel comes by way of Jim Fisher, who
found it in a lot of barrels he acquired.




Mike Priwer

Last edited by mikepriwer; 06-29-2013 at 09:09 PM.
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Old 06-24-2013, 09:18 PM
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Wow!! Just WOW!! Thanks for taking time to share..
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Old 06-24-2013, 09:26 PM
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Great story and some beautiful "rare pairs" shown here! I guess I will make a small contribution to the "rare pairs" photos although neither one of my revolvers are rare! I will show them anyway.

A 1960 shipped Detective Special with my 1965 shipped Python.

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Old 06-24-2013, 09:43 PM
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Great presentation!
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Old 06-24-2013, 10:34 PM
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I don't know if they're "rare" or not, but here's a pair of round butt 6-inch 1905 .38 HE's circa 1918. Grips number on both guns:



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Old 06-24-2013, 10:52 PM
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those (2) 3" pinto 19's get my heart pounding a little TOO much!
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Old 06-24-2013, 11:03 PM
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Thanks for sharing. The presentation fuels my desire
for the older revolvers.
TACC1
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Old 06-25-2013, 01:16 AM
mikepriwer mikepriwer is offline
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Quote:
I don't know if they're "rare" or not.
John

Those are very nice guns, and as far as I am concerned, they fit the "Rare Pairs"
concept, particularly since they are the same year. Individually, like some of mine,
the guns are not 'rare'. But, you seldom see two nice guns like that, from the same
year, in identical configuration except for the finish.

Regards, Mike Priwer

Last edited by mikepriwer; 06-25-2013 at 11:45 AM.
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Old 06-25-2013, 02:41 AM
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This is why I love this forum.
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Old 06-25-2013, 08:37 AM
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Nice post Mike. Sometimes I wonder if you have too much time and too many S&Ws on your hands, but that's just envy (I am the Green Frog, after all! )

The one that turns my crank the most is that early K-32... that could be placed with just about anything and qualify as a rare pair! Thanks for sharing.

Froggie

PS I marked it "LIKE" only because there is no tab for "ADORE!"

Last edited by Green Frog; 06-25-2013 at 08:38 AM. Reason: Add PS
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Old 06-25-2013, 01:38 PM
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Are the two model 19's original Pinto guns?
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Old 06-25-2013, 02:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikepriwer View Post
Those are very nice guns... you seldom see two nice guns like that, from the same year, in identical configuration except for the finish.

Regards, Mike Priwer
Thanks, Mike.
The nickel is serial# 284704 from June, 1918, the blued is serial# 285221. Only 517 numbers apart. I'm guessing they made a run of round butts around that serial number and date range.
The interesting thing is that I bought one from a collector in Virgina, the other from a table at the Tulsa Gun show run by a Missouri guy.
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Old 06-25-2013, 04:05 PM
mikepriwer mikepriwer is offline
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05Carbon

Yes - the guns letter exactly as you see them. The round butt is especially interesting -
Here is the letter for the round butt gun.





Regards, Mike Priwer

Last edited by mikepriwer; 06-25-2013 at 06:57 PM.
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Old 06-25-2013, 04:55 PM
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WOW,A factory 3" RB Pinto model 19! That is the stuff dreams are made of.
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Old 06-27-2013, 11:54 AM
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Yes - an interesting gun.
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Old 06-27-2013, 04:39 PM
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I'll take the 1899's. You can keep the rest.

Great stuff, Mike!
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Old 06-27-2013, 05:49 PM
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Mike

Both of those Model 19's were shipped the same year. I have to find out if the
barrel for the square-butt is another one of the original 10 that they made up.

Regards, Mike
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Old 06-27-2013, 09:19 PM
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Excellent post, Mike. Beautiful guns.

That gives me some ideas to pursue for another display.

Bob
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Old 06-27-2013, 09:41 PM
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Wonderful, Mike! Thanks for taking the time to put this thread together.

Jerry
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Old 06-27-2013, 09:48 PM
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Bob, Jerry

Appreciate the comments.

Regards, Mike
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Old 06-27-2013, 11:09 PM
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Great thread! Still catching my breath. Excellent spread and well presented!
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Old 06-27-2013, 11:59 PM
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Those are some very nice revolvers, the grips are really nice on several of them. To get grips of that quality now you would have to have Keith Brown make them. Thanks for posting the pictures.
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Old 06-28-2013, 01:23 AM
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I appreciate all the comments. I have two more additions to the thread, that I will
do tomorrow.

Regards, Mike
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Old 06-28-2013, 01:37 AM
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Gee Mike,

I love the concept of similar gun pairings. And it's obvious that you've focused your collecting on the scarce target models. Quite an accomplishment. I've not seen so many early targets in one place before.

The 3" 19s are particularly interesting. I notice the round butt also has the relieved trigger guard as Roy described in the letter, so in essence you have an exact specimen of not only a rare revolver but one exactly like the presentation model to Roy.

It also hadn't occurred to me how traditional, what we call pintos today, actually are. I kinda' prefer the term 'Traditional' finish as applied to two tone guns, more than pinto.

Thanks for the 'show'.
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Old 06-28-2013, 01:59 AM
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I'm kind of in awe right now of that collection.
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Old 06-28-2013, 04:48 AM
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What a great show! I've always appreciated finding two that are nearly identical, but in different finishes. The RMs are both law enforcement guns; the 27-7s are consecutive serial numbers.



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Old 06-28-2013, 07:48 AM
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To follow Mike's theme of "similar, but different" here are a couple of NRM's that were carried by lawmen in KY and TX.

Bob

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Old 06-28-2013, 11:47 AM
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Quote:
In essence you have an exact specimen of not only a rare revolver but one exactly like the presentation model to Roy.
Jim

The gun is not exactly like the presentation gun - it is the presentation gun. That letter
is about that gun.

Regards, Mike
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Old 06-28-2013, 11:59 AM
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Michael

The RM's are a really nice pair of guns, right down to the HB hammers. The 27-7's
are interesting for several reasons - one being the cylinder finish on the blue gun,
and another being what looks like two different front sight blade configurations. They
appear to be dimensionally different.

Bob

NRM's were one of Gary Garbrecht's absolute favorites. He liked them because
they are much rarer than RM's. I like them too !

One thing that is interesting about the RM's and NRM's vs the 27-7 is the difference
in the depth of color of the finish. From the pictures, at least, the pre-WW2 guns
look to have a beautiful color in the finish.

Regards, Mike
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Old 06-28-2013, 01:32 PM
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Mike, the reason for the odd cylinder on the blued 27-7 is that the original cylinder cracked, and when I sent it back to S&W, they told me that they had only stainless steel cylinders to replace it with. It definitely did not come that way!
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Old 06-28-2013, 04:10 PM
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Michael - still a nice pair, even if its had an intervention !

Regards, Mike
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Old 06-28-2013, 04:10 PM
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I've added some more sections to the original posting.

Mike Priwer
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Old 06-28-2013, 05:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikepriwer View Post
Jim

The gun is not exactly like the presentation gun - it is the presentation gun. That letter
is about that gun.

Regards, Mike
Oh, 'thee' gun formerly owned by Roy Jinks!
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Old 06-28-2013, 06:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Stern View Post
Mike, the reason for the odd cylinder on the blued 27-7 is that the original cylinder cracked, and when I sent it back to S&W, they told me that they had only stainless steel cylinders to replace it with. It definitely did not come that way!
George Roghaar will blue it to match.

Firearm Refinish and Restoration
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Old 06-28-2013, 06:28 PM
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What a beautiful display. These pictures, stories, anecdotes, and, most of all, these incredible works of art make this Forum the most enjoyable corner of the internet. Scrolling down the threads of the S&W Forum is easily as enjoyable and educational as strolling through the galleries of any of the world's fine museums. Thanks to mikepriwer and his colleagues.
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Old 06-28-2013, 07:34 PM
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Jim

Yea - 'thee' gun . In the flesh .

Regards, Mike
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Old 06-28-2013, 09:02 PM
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Mike:

You have outdone yourself. Thanks for taking the time to share some of the great rare pairs in your collection (I know that that presentation took a long time to photograph, document, organize and present).

I might have to get the camera out and see if I can cobble together a few photos of a rare pair or two...

Thanks again!!!
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Old 06-28-2013, 10:27 PM
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The round butt pinto 19 is so beautiful. If Roy let that one go i would really be interested in what he has kept through out the years !
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Old 06-28-2013, 11:00 PM
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I appreciate how much time it took for you to put together this posting Mike. Thank you very much.
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Old 06-29-2013, 09:11 PM
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I added another pair of rather rare guns: a 5-screw and a 4-screw 4-inch K-32's .

Mike Priwer
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Old 07-21-2013, 11:24 PM
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Mike - fantastic S&W pairs. Thanks for sharing them. I'm sure you spent a ton of time to track down such rare and interesting variations.

Probably the best "rare pair" I have is "first year magnums" - a 1935 357 Registered Magnum SN 46696 REG 492 which shipped 9-26-35 and a first year 44 magnum, S130937, which shipped 4-2-56.



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Old 07-22-2013, 02:02 AM
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Jim

Yes - that is the concept. It needs an underlying theme between the two guns. First
year magnums is important, because both guns were the subject of a lot of
development effort within the factory, and both guns involved newly-developed
ammunition. They are different technologically, given their age difference, but they
share that developmental effort.

Regards, Mike
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Old 07-22-2013, 03:12 PM
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Hi
The Two Pre model 26 45 ACP,s shown below are the only Known pair of Factory Nickel 1950 45 Cal. model 26,s that exist. They were a special order and shipped as a pair. I have owned them since 1984 they were ordered for a Town Marshall and used by him for special functions. See information below on the background of these Rare Revolvers.
Enjoy the story and the Pictures.
Jim Fisher










Last edited by bmg60; 07-22-2013 at 03:47 PM.
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Old 07-22-2013, 05:20 PM
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Now, that's an old boy who knew how to dress up a parade!

Great pair and history, Jim.

Bob
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Old 07-22-2013, 05:22 PM
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Jim, thanks for sharing.
We can always count on you to dust off the uniquely rare and unusual trinkets and bring them out into the light for us to see!
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Old 07-25-2013, 12:59 PM
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Jim

That is a beautiful pair of revolvers. Reminds me of Sheriff Eugene Biscailuz of
Los Angeles County. He had a pair of "dress" revolvers that he wore in parades, etc.
Here is a picture of him at a 1950's rodeo in LA County. I don't recall what the
guns were.



Regards, Mike Priwer

Regr

Last edited by mikepriwer; 07-25-2013 at 06:57 PM. Reason: Mis-spelling
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Old 07-25-2013, 06:17 PM
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Mike--

Many thanx for yr efforts in posting all the photos. I use dial-up and have not been able to view any of yr pix following the 6" bbl 1899 pairs. All the rest of your photos just show a red X in a small box. I did go thru yr captions and the posts of others & just wish I could see all the photos.

You are obviously a very advanced collector and have acquired some very fine pieces. I respectfully take one small exception to your statement that the first square butts should be termed "1905 models." My belief is the square butt frame forgings were introduced ca November 1904 and were otherwise identical to the 1902 models (same lockwork). I think the 1905 lockwork came in ca May of that year & was used for both frame types thereafter.

I make the foregoing statement as the owner of a 1902 square butt with lockwork identical to that of the round butts as shown in the Neal & Jinks book. Years ago I visited Bob Neal & showed him my revolver, as he'd never seen a 1902 square butt and that model is not pictured in the book.

As you know, the square butt serials were mixed in with the round butts, as they continued to be throughout manufacture of both frame types through subsequent model changes. My estimate is that perhaps 3,000 or so of the square butts were made before the change to the 1905 lockwork. Do you have any more detailed info on this point?
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Old 07-25-2013, 07:16 PM
mikepriwer mikepriwer is offline
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JW

As to the pictures, you'll find them all in my MLP10 picture album. Just click on the
tab "Pictures and Albums", then search through the list page by page, until you find
MLP10 : Rare Pairs. Clicking on each picture will give you a larger image.

As to the 1902 vs 1905 question, it depends on what you think the reality is.
There are two frameworks of thought: the names/descriptions of the guns in the
catalogs and circulars, which is how the guns were sold, or the internal notes
primarily for the parts and service departments, which were trying to keep track of
the engineering changes, for obvious reasons.

The factory letters use the methodology of the engineering change notations. I believe
that it does not follow reality: when the model of 1905 was introduced, that is what it
was called: Model of 1905. Plain and simple , that is what it was, and that is what
customers bought. Its worthwhile noting that something like 50 factory employees
was the largest number of people that knew anything about the engineering change
notations. No one else in the factory had any reason, or need, to know. It was,
in some sense, a secret society !

On the other hand, there were about 800,000 commercial K-frames made between
1900 and 1940. ( I purposely am not counting the sales for WW2. ) Just for fun,
assume that each buyer of those 800,000 guns bought two of them. So, this means
that 400,000 non-military people read some kind of factory advertising, and based
on that, bought a couple of these guns. In a lot of cases, the guns were ordered
from a distributor, or dealer, or the factory, and so great care had to be taken to
make sure that the order was clear about what was being requested.

In other words, that is how the guns were known to the commercial market. People
thought they were buying either a Model of 1905 or a Model of 1902, up until about
1920, when those two names were changed to Square Butt Model and Round Butt
Model. This, to me, is the reality of the naming, and that is how they ought to be
described.

As a side-note, it's worthwhile mentioning that from 1904, for the next 60 years, the
catalogs and circulars always had two separate pages for the .38 M&P: a page for the
round-butt model, and a page for the square-butt model. You can see all these pages
in my MLP11 : 1902 vs 1905 picture library.

As to your square-butt gun, in my view its a model of 1905, not a 1902. That is probably
why Bob Neal has never seen a square-butt 1902. The 1905 was introduced before the 5th frame screw.
It was started at serial 58000 - the fifth frame screw comes at 62450. These two concepts
are not related - one is a new model introduction, and the other is a subsequent engineering
change. The engineering change definitions distort things - purposely - by combining them.
The reason they do this is to avoid the confusion of two different models that are otherwise
identical. Ie, if they kept them separate, then at 62450, that would be the 1st engineering
change for the 1905, but the second engineering change for the 1902. This, to me, is the
crux of the problem.

Another way to say this is that, as they did with the early pre-WW2 K-22's and K-32's, they
ran two models simultaneously in the same serial number series. That is, the Model of 1905 is
intertwined with the Model of 1902, as it relates to serial numbers. This would present no
problem if there were no intermediate engineering changes. Unfortunately, the Model of 1905
is introduced towards the end of the Model of 1902 1st change. Its unknown how many 4-screw
square-butt 1905's were produced before the introduction of the 5th frame screw, but there were
4450 serial numbers used before the 5th frame screw. It would be another 6 months or so until
the next engineering change revised the lockwork.

Regards, Mike

Last edited by mikepriwer; 07-25-2013 at 09:43 PM.
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  #49  
Old 03-20-2018, 12:13 AM
bwdilli bwdilli is offline
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Just in awe of Mike's collection.

Since we're nearing in on 30 years though, I thought I might join in with a recent rare pair I just came up with.



Two 38M&P Model of 1905, 4th Change. One with wooden stocks and the other with black rubber. Lettered the one with wood. Shipped in May 8, 1936. Just received the one with black rubber. I'll be lettering it soon.



What beats a pair? 2 pair!



Picked up a second pre WWII terrier earlier this year. Not something you see everyday.

Let's end with a wheel of wheel guns.



Sorry for the Zombie thread. Just thought I'd bump a neat subject up a bit instead of starting a new thread.
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Old 03-20-2018, 09:14 AM
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Being new to the forum I am glad this thread was brought back to life as it is even more interesting today than in years past .I see a lot of mikepriwer posts as I see many SWCA members posts and I try to give y'all compliments and thanks for shareing the information but also shareing your collections with us .Im not a wealthy guy just a regular retired now working guy and although I don't live in poverty I do have limits on my budget and I will ever have a collection more valuable than my home but I get a great deal of enjoyment looking at pictures of your firearms and the stories behind them .So thanks mike for doing all this work years past and thanks to the guys who added to it and thanks bwdilli for finding it and bringing it out of hiding .Great subject great guns great information !
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