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Old 11-25-2014, 05:53 PM
durham1976 durham1976 is offline
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Default .455 New Century S&W info

Greetings from Canada! I inherited a .455 S&W New Century revolver (6.5 inch barrel) and I'm looking to sell it to my bro-in-law. I'd like to know some history about it and how much it might be worth (to give him a fair price). I've attached a photo of it. The S/N is 73111. Any info. would be appreciated!
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Old 11-25-2014, 05:58 PM
lebomm lebomm is offline
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What you have there is not a New Century, but a Second Model Hand Ejector. It looks to be in pretty sweet condition, and if still in .455, would probably bring around $1200 around here, possibly more.

Larry
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Old 11-25-2014, 07:57 PM
durham1976 durham1976 is offline
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Thanks for the clarification Larry. Appreciated. It's in excellent condition and, IMHO it's a beautiful revolver. Is it fairly rare or would these be seen pretty regularly? I'm pretty sure it hasn't been adapted at all.
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Old 11-25-2014, 08:41 PM
Hondo44 Hondo44 is offline
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Welcome to the forum.

There were about 75000 .455 2nd models made under contract for the Commonwealth by S&W. Just short of about 6000 New Century .455 models were also produced. Completely original 2nd models, as yours appears to be, I agree with Larry, would realize about that selling price.

However, there are some more unique models with a little extra collector appeal such as those that went to Canada originally. Some went to the military and others to the RCMP, some of those chambered in .45 Colt.

I don't see the usual acceptance and/or proof stamps from being imported/exported from Great Britain which is not surprising considering it's in Canada.

But any other markings that aren't S&W as well as the serial # from the butt, are clues to its pedigree. If no other markings, it was possibly purchased on the commercial market here in the states and made its way North other than by official channels.
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Old 11-25-2014, 09:11 PM
durham1976 durham1976 is offline
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Thanks for the history lesson Jim! I couldn't help but think how the way this revolver was produced and used was foreshadowing the close relationship between the US, UK and Canada in most of the global conflicts since. You've made it a pretty powerful symbolic piece for me! Not sure I want to sell it now!
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Old 11-25-2014, 09:37 PM
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If it were mine I would not sell it.

I have one that is very similar.
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Old 11-25-2014, 09:56 PM
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Some of the .455s are found which were later converted to .45 Colt by several different means. If so, that would have a negative effect upon value. Something you should check.
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Old 11-25-2014, 10:08 PM
Hondo44 Hondo44 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by durham1976 View Post
Thanks for the history lesson Jim! I couldn't help but think how the way this revolver was produced and used was foreshadowing the close relationship between the US, UK and Canada in most of the global conflicts since. You've made it a pretty powerful symbolic piece for me! Not sure I want to sell it now!
Well I have to tell you, some would give their eye teeth for your original condition example! Besides, if you appreciate S$Ws, it's an example of a very early Hand Ejector model's panache. And of the era for craftsmanship and hand work detail we'll never see again.

I can post more history of the .455 models if you'd be interested.
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Old 11-25-2014, 10:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Hondo44 View Post
Well I have to tell you, some would give their eye teeth for your original condition example! Besides, if you appreciate S$Ws, it's an example of a very early Hand Ejector model's panache. And of the era for craftsmanship and hand work detail we'll never see again.

I can post more history of the .455 models if you'd be interested.
I would be very interested. Thanks!
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Old 11-25-2014, 10:24 PM
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Hello,
Welcome from Ontario.
You have a very nice looking .455 2nd Model there. These revolvers are frequently seen up here. Most of the ones I've had a look at have not been converted. I believe I saw your for sale post a month or so ago on CGN. For some unknown reason (to me anyways), they don't seem to be very popular up here. I've seen several in similar condition as yours in the $800 +/- range and not sell.
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Old 11-25-2014, 10:43 PM
Hondo44 Hondo44 is offline
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There are basically three versions of .455 Mk II chambered .455 Hand Ejectors by S&W, (Mk II refers to the cartridge, not the gun as labeled by S&W, however, the 2nd Model was labeled the Mk II model by the British).

They were chambered to shoot both .455 Mk I, the earlier and longer of the two, and the 455 Mk II cartridges (aka .455 Webley).

The 3 Versions of Hand Ejectors chambered in .455 Mk II for the British are:

1. “.44 HE 1st Model”, TL with .455 Mk II chambering: 812* factory reconfigured unassembled or unsold ".44 Spl HE 1st Models", often not .455 stamped, original chamberings unknown, 666 for the British #1104 thru 10417, the extra 146 #9858-10007 for the commercial market; 123 in England and 23 in the US [N&J pgs. 204-205]. These 812 .455 TLs were serial #’d in the .44 1st Model serial # range of 1 to 15375. Shipped 1914-16.

* SCSW reports "over 800", but by serial # count, it’s actually 812, 146 of which are commercial guns [S&WN&J pgs. 203, 204 & 205].

NOTE: Of the 146 .44 HE 1st Models that were converted/built as .455s assembled some time after the first 666 military .44 1st Model .455 TLs and sold commercially, 123 were sold to the British, shipped to Wilkinson Sword 10/1/14 and 23 sold in the US, shipped to Shapleigh Hardware in St. Louis, MO. shipped on 1/1/1918.

The 23 at some point were converted to .45 Colt and it’s unknown if by the factory before shipment to Shapleigh or after delivery to Shapleigh. However even IF converted by the factory (as suggested in the September 2013 Rock Island gun auction narrative), the revolvers would not have a star on the butt or a rework date on the grip frame because they did not go back to the factory for conversion as rework, they were converted before they left the factory.

2. “.455 Mk II HE 1st Model”, TL in the new .455 British serial # range 1 to #5461 [H of S&W pg. 201] made 1914-15; thus creating a possible ~ 68* duplicate serial #s of the 812 “.44 HE 1st Model TLs, also in .455 chambering in 1. above.

3. “.455 Mk II HE 2nd Model” (with slightly different cylinder/frame window dimensions from the 44 and 455 HE 1st Models) continued in the .455 1st Model TL Brit serial range beginning #5462 to #74755, made 1915-17. Feb 1916 724 manufactured for the Canadians, chambered in 45 Colt, presumed for the RCMP [H of S&W, pg. 203]. Canadians also bought 14,500 2nd Models. And 1105 2nd Models released for commercial sales in the US, shipped Dec 1917 to Shapleigh Hardware in St. Louis [S&WN&J pg. 216].

“As the Brit contracts were finishing up in [April] 1916, S&W found enough [44 HE frames and 455] parts to build 691 .455 HE 1st Model Triple Locks. These guns will be numbered in the 44 serial number series [could be the 1st or 2nd Model 44 serial numbers; H of S&W, pg. 203]. I have no idea why they were not just numbered in the .455 series. Perhaps it was .455 barrels and cylinders that the factory found, and they simply turned again to existing 44 HE 1st Model frames to use them up. They were sold commercially.” Lee Jarrett

*About Duplicate 44 HE series serial #s with Brit contract series S/Ns:

Duplicate numbers of the 666 .44 HE .455 TLs (#1104-10417 44 HE range-not all inclusive are known and published) + 146 (#9858-10007 .44 HE range- not all inclusive are published as well), can exist with 68 of the .455 HE 1st Model TLs (#1–5461 in the Brit contract # range), and with the .455 2nd Models (#5462 and up to #15375-the last .44 HE 1st Model serial #) in the Brit range.

Although the last 691 TLs are likely numbered too high (12000 to 13000 and higher, sold in 1916 and 1917)---many were sold to Shapleigh Hardware Co. and Simmons Hardware Co., St. Louis, Mo.--- to possibly have a duplicate number in the .455 HE 1st Model TL Brit contract serial range #1 to #5461, we don’t know anything with certainty.
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Old 11-25-2014, 10:52 PM
durham1976 durham1976 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 824tsv View Post
Hello,
Welcome from Ontario.
You have a very nice looking .455 2nd Model there. These revolvers are frequently seen up here. Most of the ones I've had a look at have not been converted. I believe I saw your for sale post a month or so ago on CGN. For some unknown reason (to me anyways), they don't seem to be very popular up here. I've seen several in similar condition as yours in the $800 +/- range and not sell.
Thanks for the info. I've not put up a for sale post, so it couldn't have been mine. If I did sell it, it would be a private sale to my Mountie brother in law. Curious about the lack of interest. Given the history of the revolver, its nice lines, etc. etc. 800 CAD seems quite low. Beats me! Thanks again.
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Old 11-26-2014, 12:15 AM
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"The S/N is 73111"
That s/n should put its date of manufacture somewhere in mid-1916.

I do not know the market like some others here do, but I would not be at all surprised if they sell for less in Canada than they do here in the US, simply because they are more common in Canada. There may be other factors as well.
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Old 11-26-2014, 02:49 AM
Hondo44 Hondo44 is offline
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How ironic; we in the states hunger for these in original condition but usually find them converted to US cartridges like 45 ACP or 45 Colt, with cut barrels, replacement stocks, etc.

In Canada, they're usually found in original configuration and chambering, and are less expensive!
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