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Old 03-10-2015, 10:40 PM
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Click here to see a pre war factory nickel 38/44 Heavy Duty - LETTER HAS ARRIVED! Click here to see a pre war factory nickel 38/44 Heavy Duty - LETTER HAS ARRIVED! Click here to see a pre war factory nickel 38/44 Heavy Duty - LETTER HAS ARRIVED! Click here to see a pre war factory nickel 38/44 Heavy Duty - LETTER HAS ARRIVED! Click here to see a pre war factory nickel 38/44 Heavy Duty - LETTER HAS ARRIVED!  
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Wink Click here to see a pre war factory nickel 38/44 Heavy Duty - LETTER HAS ARRIVED!

While surfing the net recently, looking for high priced common unoriginal S&Ws being sold by dishonest sellers, I found the opposite - a fairly priced, scarce S&W being sold by an honest seller. Factory original nickel pre war HDs are seen, and some members here have them, but they are scarce. Since these were duty guns, there is also a considerable attrition rate to consider. Many were probably replated a time or 3 as well.

When I bought this gun, I shared the acquisition with a fellow collector friend of mine, and he of course thought it wasn't anything to be happy about due to the condition. I pointed out that they are kind of scarce in factory nickel, and that of course, he doesn't have one himself Despite that, he still doesn't care for it - oh well, I bought it for *me* and I like it just fine

My new to me HD has SN - 54497. It has the capital N on the grip frame and wears magnas which are un-numbered. It sports the 5in barrel and gun is not converted to 357. Gun is all matching (sans stocks) and despite a few spots, and some wear, it is an original survivor. Guns like this are a lot cooler than refinished examples IMO so even though it has a lot of character, it is original. I'm excited to find out where it lettered to due to the service history that many HDs had. I hope it got its character for doing something great but I may never know...I've been daydreaming lately that an officer in WWII carried it, and it saved his life on Iwo Jima....hey, a fella can dream, can't he










In the last few months I found a couple pre war factory nickel N frames. They aren't super clean, but pre war nickel N frames aren't easiest to locate either. The top gun is TL SN 13XXX and the middle gun is a 5 in TL SN 69XX. Bottom is the HD of this thread. They are chock-full of character, but the finishes are original...



My Heavy Duty collection is coming along Upper left, HD of this thread - SN 54497. Upper right is SN - 58XXX a somewhat scarce pre war 4in HD which shipped to the Duluth MN PD in 1939. Bottom is a transitional HD which shipped in 1946. If anyone got a pair of worn sharp shoulder post war magnas, let me know! That bottom gun needs a set.



==================================================================

UPDATE - 8-19-15

I mailed my letter request for the nickel heavy duty of this thread on March 16th. I got my letter on Aug 10 or 11. This letter is one of the only surprise letters I have ever gotten. Usually our S&Ws ship to a sporting goods dealer, or a person, such as "James Smith" but this time, I got lucky Of course I was happy simply that the gun lettered correct, but, the gun now has LEO provenance as well. Unfortunately, the SWHF has nothing on the gun. I called the Greer PD and they have not returned my call. I searched on google for "O. McCarter" and turned up nothing. If anyone can search old newspapers online, or has any suggestions to research "O. McCarter" I would appreciate it! I have researched people before, but I have had better luck before. At $50 each, its nice to get an interesting letter now and again No wonder why the gun has character, its because it actually did something

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Old 03-10-2015, 11:30 PM
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54497 should be from around 1938, and the pre-war Magnas would be from the same period, even if not original. Very nice.
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Old 03-11-2015, 12:08 AM
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Click here to see a pre war factory nickel 38/44 Heavy Duty - LETTER HAS ARRIVED! Click here to see a pre war factory nickel 38/44 Heavy Duty - LETTER HAS ARRIVED! Click here to see a pre war factory nickel 38/44 Heavy Duty - LETTER HAS ARRIVED! Click here to see a pre war factory nickel 38/44 Heavy Duty - LETTER HAS ARRIVED! Click here to see a pre war factory nickel 38/44 Heavy Duty - LETTER HAS ARRIVED!  
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Wow, very nice! I like the 6 1/2" factory nickel Triple Lock. I
have one also, serial # 11444 in factory nickel that shipped in
1915 with a 6 1/2 " barrel. It came with a factory letter.
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Old 03-11-2015, 12:14 AM
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Click here to see a pre war factory nickel 38/44 Heavy Duty - LETTER HAS ARRIVED! Click here to see a pre war factory nickel 38/44 Heavy Duty - LETTER HAS ARRIVED! Click here to see a pre war factory nickel 38/44 Heavy Duty - LETTER HAS ARRIVED! Click here to see a pre war factory nickel 38/44 Heavy Duty - LETTER HAS ARRIVED! Click here to see a pre war factory nickel 38/44 Heavy Duty - LETTER HAS ARRIVED!  
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Oddly enough,I've seen two of the exact same model in the last week! One locally and one at a shop about 45 miles away. Neither have original grips,although the one locally has a set of elephant ivory service grips attached.
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Old 03-13-2015, 07:08 AM
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There is a certain majesty in grizzled veterans bearing minor scars and blems. Too much dishonesty tied to false beauty these days. Enviable collection my friend.
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Old 03-13-2015, 07:32 AM
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Thanks for the show and tell.
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Old 03-13-2015, 09:29 AM
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Click here to see a pre war factory nickel 38/44 Heavy Duty - LETTER HAS ARRIVED! Click here to see a pre war factory nickel 38/44 Heavy Duty - LETTER HAS ARRIVED! Click here to see a pre war factory nickel 38/44 Heavy Duty - LETTER HAS ARRIVED! Click here to see a pre war factory nickel 38/44 Heavy Duty - LETTER HAS ARRIVED! Click here to see a pre war factory nickel 38/44 Heavy Duty - LETTER HAS ARRIVED!  
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Very nice collection. Much more interesting to me a gun that where used.
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Old 03-13-2015, 10:30 AM
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Click here to see a pre war factory nickel 38/44 Heavy Duty - LETTER HAS ARRIVED! Click here to see a pre war factory nickel 38/44 Heavy Duty - LETTER HAS ARRIVED! Click here to see a pre war factory nickel 38/44 Heavy Duty - LETTER HAS ARRIVED! Click here to see a pre war factory nickel 38/44 Heavy Duty - LETTER HAS ARRIVED! Click here to see a pre war factory nickel 38/44 Heavy Duty - LETTER HAS ARRIVED!  
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I like it!
I think guns with character have a certain charm that the super clean safe queens just don't have. I like both, but guns like yours with some character hold a special place in my heart.



I'm waiting for a letter to come back for the top nickel 38/44 HD serial #55773. I do know it shipped sometime in December 1938

The letter for the one on the bottom with the HBH serial #53114 came back with some interesting information on it. It shipped later (March 2, 1939) than the other one with a much higher serial number to a LT. George Lange. He was in the US Army Air Force and was killed in action in 1944 when his B17 was shot down near Ludwigshafen, Germany.

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Old 03-14-2015, 08:55 AM
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Click here to see a pre war factory nickel 38/44 Heavy Duty - LETTER HAS ARRIVED! Click here to see a pre war factory nickel 38/44 Heavy Duty - LETTER HAS ARRIVED! Click here to see a pre war factory nickel 38/44 Heavy Duty - LETTER HAS ARRIVED! Click here to see a pre war factory nickel 38/44 Heavy Duty - LETTER HAS ARRIVED! Click here to see a pre war factory nickel 38/44 Heavy Duty - LETTER HAS ARRIVED!  
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I've learned a lot on this thread... THANKS
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Old 03-14-2015, 09:00 AM
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Beautiful revolvers guys, do you display them or do they sit in a safe?
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Old 03-14-2015, 11:45 AM
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Click here to see a pre war factory nickel 38/44 Heavy Duty - LETTER HAS ARRIVED! Click here to see a pre war factory nickel 38/44 Heavy Duty - LETTER HAS ARRIVED! Click here to see a pre war factory nickel 38/44 Heavy Duty - LETTER HAS ARRIVED! Click here to see a pre war factory nickel 38/44 Heavy Duty - LETTER HAS ARRIVED! Click here to see a pre war factory nickel 38/44 Heavy Duty - LETTER HAS ARRIVED!  
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They sit in a safe to protect from theft and fire. At some point the benefit of a display is out-weighed by the inherent risk of the display itself. Anytime I want to look at one, I just go into the safe....I don't feel like I'm missing out and I feel better to have them locked away when I am out and about....a big part of it is what you are displaying (value and rarity) and thus I am not willing to display many of my S&Ws.
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Old 03-14-2015, 02:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mojave30cal View Post
Wow, very nice! I like the 6 1/2" factory nickel Triple Lock. I
have one also, serial # 11444 in factory nickel that shipped in
1915 with a 6 1/2 " barrel. It came with a factory letter.
I used to own this one and traded it to a dealer for a well-documented RM. It is an interesting TL with good provenance.
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Old 08-19-2015, 03:03 PM
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Click here to see a pre war factory nickel 38/44 Heavy Duty - LETTER HAS ARRIVED! Click here to see a pre war factory nickel 38/44 Heavy Duty - LETTER HAS ARRIVED! Click here to see a pre war factory nickel 38/44 Heavy Duty - LETTER HAS ARRIVED! Click here to see a pre war factory nickel 38/44 Heavy Duty - LETTER HAS ARRIVED! Click here to see a pre war factory nickel 38/44 Heavy Duty - LETTER HAS ARRIVED!  
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The letter has finally arrived!
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Old 08-19-2015, 07:57 PM
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I also have a pre-war nickel H.D. thanks to 1Aspenhill. like yours mine has honest wear and I would never change it. Enjoy yours as they are are wonderful shooters!
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Old 08-19-2015, 10:51 PM
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Greer, SC is in both Spartanburg and Greenville Counties, so it is not surprising that Greer authorities might not have any knowledge of County Policeman McCarter. My Father started work for the Spartanburg Co. Sheriff's Department in 1937, and retired as chief of the department in 1961, so he would have served with Officer McCarter. The Sheriff in 1938 would have been Sheriff Sam Henry, who I believe served until 1944, and he was followed by Sheriff B.B. Brockman who served until 1961. The current Sheriff is Sheriff Chuck Wright. Sheriff Wright can be contacted through the department web site, and might have some records on Officer McCarter. The Officers in the time period of the revolver's purchase were known as Rural Police rather than Deputies, although they are called Deputies today. In 1961 when my Father retired there were about 30 officers in the Department. They furnished their own guns and equipment, and if they patrolled a district in the county, they furnished their own cars and were paid a mileage allowance. Most cars were unmarked, but had sirens and later, radios installed. Today all cars are county owned, and there are about 300 officers. The County Jail in use during Officer McCarter's time was a 3 story brick building, surrounded by a high brick wall. The Sheriff's house was attached to the jail, and the jail was built with provisions for hanging death penalty inmates. The jail was built in 1892, and was replaced about 1960. The 1960 jail has been replaced by a much larger facility that is located outside the city of Spartanburg, but it is still operated under the sheriff.
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Old 08-19-2015, 11:09 PM
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Click here to see a pre war factory nickel 38/44 Heavy Duty - LETTER HAS ARRIVED! Click here to see a pre war factory nickel 38/44 Heavy Duty - LETTER HAS ARRIVED! Click here to see a pre war factory nickel 38/44 Heavy Duty - LETTER HAS ARRIVED! Click here to see a pre war factory nickel 38/44 Heavy Duty - LETTER HAS ARRIVED! Click here to see a pre war factory nickel 38/44 Heavy Duty - LETTER HAS ARRIVED!  
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So you guys like grizzled veterans eh? I've posted this before but it seems to fit this thread also.
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Old 08-19-2015, 11:11 PM
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Click here to see a pre war factory nickel 38/44 Heavy Duty - LETTER HAS ARRIVED! Click here to see a pre war factory nickel 38/44 Heavy Duty - LETTER HAS ARRIVED! Click here to see a pre war factory nickel 38/44 Heavy Duty - LETTER HAS ARRIVED! Click here to see a pre war factory nickel 38/44 Heavy Duty - LETTER HAS ARRIVED! Click here to see a pre war factory nickel 38/44 Heavy Duty - LETTER HAS ARRIVED!  
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Here's the good side.
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Old 08-20-2015, 01:21 AM
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Click here to see a pre war factory nickel 38/44 Heavy Duty - LETTER HAS ARRIVED! Click here to see a pre war factory nickel 38/44 Heavy Duty - LETTER HAS ARRIVED! Click here to see a pre war factory nickel 38/44 Heavy Duty - LETTER HAS ARRIVED! Click here to see a pre war factory nickel 38/44 Heavy Duty - LETTER HAS ARRIVED! Click here to see a pre war factory nickel 38/44 Heavy Duty - LETTER HAS ARRIVED!  
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I may have found your guy, O. McCarter.

Looked up Spartanburg County obituaries...and found an O. R. McCarter; 85 when he died (born by my math in 1885) which would have made him 44 when he got the gun. Probably too old for the Army and a deferment for LEO?
Here's the web site page with his obit: (He died 6-27-1970)

Obituaries 1970 M-N

Here's what I got from ancestry.com

Name:
Oliver R. McCarter Sr

Birth Date:
10 Jul 1884

Death Date:
25 Jun 1970

Cemetery:
Hillcrest Memorial Gardens

Burial or Cremation Place:
Greer, South Carolina, USA

Has Bio?:
N

Spouse:
Mae McCarter

Children:
Oliver R. McCarter Jr

Found his obit in the 6/27/1970 Spartanburg Herald. Seems he wasn't an LEO but spent 37 years as the mill policeman at Appalache Mill, at least according to his obit.

Here's the link:
https://news.google.com/newspapers?n...rontpage&hl=en

This was kinda fun.....let me know if you want any of the links via email (pm me here and give me your email address and I might be able to copy what I found.)

Great gun by the way. I have a post war HD that was plated aftermarket(trigger and hammer not case hardened). Not a collector piece, but I love shooting it.
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Old 08-20-2015, 08:51 AM
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Click here to see a pre war factory nickel 38/44 Heavy Duty - LETTER HAS ARRIVED! Click here to see a pre war factory nickel 38/44 Heavy Duty - LETTER HAS ARRIVED! Click here to see a pre war factory nickel 38/44 Heavy Duty - LETTER HAS ARRIVED!  
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Appalache Mill doesn't exist anymore. It closed and the mill has been demolished. The Spartanburg County Sheriff's Office is still a possible source of information on McCarter. The mill policemen were hired and. paid by the mill company, but they were sworn officers of the Sheriff's Office, with their jurisdiction limited to the mill property which usually included a mill village in addition to the mill itself.
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Old 08-20-2015, 09:26 AM
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Click here to see a pre war factory nickel 38/44 Heavy Duty - LETTER HAS ARRIVED! Click here to see a pre war factory nickel 38/44 Heavy Duty - LETTER HAS ARRIVED! Click here to see a pre war factory nickel 38/44 Heavy Duty - LETTER HAS ARRIVED! Click here to see a pre war factory nickel 38/44 Heavy Duty - LETTER HAS ARRIVED! Click here to see a pre war factory nickel 38/44 Heavy Duty - LETTER HAS ARRIVED!  
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Awesome !

But what gives.... either prices jumped $7.28 in the 3 days between the two letters or Lt Lang didnt get a discount ?
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Old 08-20-2015, 09:46 AM
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Click here to see a pre war factory nickel 38/44 Heavy Duty - LETTER HAS ARRIVED! Click here to see a pre war factory nickel 38/44 Heavy Duty - LETTER HAS ARRIVED! Click here to see a pre war factory nickel 38/44 Heavy Duty - LETTER HAS ARRIVED! Click here to see a pre war factory nickel 38/44 Heavy Duty - LETTER HAS ARRIVED! Click here to see a pre war factory nickel 38/44 Heavy Duty - LETTER HAS ARRIVED!  
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What a great letter Jim
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Old 08-20-2015, 11:32 AM
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You have brought back memories. My first issue handgun as a Texas Trooper was a nickel pre war 4" HD. I went to work in 1959 and the revolver was beginning to show wear even then.

After my probationary period ended, I was issued a new blue Colt trooper. Somewhere, I came up with a set of the original Python grips that were checkered, all the way to the top. My lieutenant liked the grips and asked about them. This led to my suggestion that we trade revolvers. I left with his lightly used Highway Patrol model and he had a lighter piece.

Jack
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Old 08-31-2015, 11:09 PM
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I have a nickel 38/44 that is very close to yours. Serial number 54499. It has the N stamped on the frame and three numbers which may be factory rework stamps. The 4" barrel and ejector rod has been replaced and the grips are post war magnas. It has not been rechambered for 357mag. I'm not a serious collector but got this on a trade. I have about $300 in this HD so I thought a letter would be in order just to satisfy my curiosity. Rich.
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Old 08-31-2015, 11:39 PM
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I'm sorry but you guys amaze me. I was born in '62 and grew up around WWII and Korean War vets. The firsthand accounts of soldiers and officers that come up frequently on this site remind me of my youth and growing up with stories that come up here. All I have to say is," Thank you for your service!"
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Old 09-01-2015, 01:12 AM
iskra iskra is offline
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Click here to see a pre war factory nickel 38/44 Heavy Duty - LETTER HAS ARRIVED! Click here to see a pre war factory nickel 38/44 Heavy Duty - LETTER HAS ARRIVED! Click here to see a pre war factory nickel 38/44 Heavy Duty - LETTER HAS ARRIVED! Click here to see a pre war factory nickel 38/44 Heavy Duty - LETTER HAS ARRIVED! Click here to see a pre war factory nickel 38/44 Heavy Duty - LETTER HAS ARRIVED!  
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Please excuse that I haven't followed every post here. Recently too much 'good life' happening! Just the thought that you might wish to check such as the 1940 Census, available online, for some further information on your purchaser. Thanks for sharing this very interesting scenario!
My take.
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Old 07-19-2018, 09:55 AM
Sodapop69 Sodapop69 is offline
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Click here to see a pre war factory nickel 38/44 Heavy Duty - LETTER HAS ARRIVED! Click here to see a pre war factory nickel 38/44 Heavy Duty - LETTER HAS ARRIVED! Click here to see a pre war factory nickel 38/44 Heavy Duty - LETTER HAS ARRIVED! Click here to see a pre war factory nickel 38/44 Heavy Duty - LETTER HAS ARRIVED! Click here to see a pre war factory nickel 38/44 Heavy Duty - LETTER HAS ARRIVED!  
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I have a W&K 38/44HD, serial number is just 91 off from yours. Mine was shipped to W&K in 1-31-1938. It left S&W nickel'd & was factory refinished in Nov of 1974. Wish i hadn't been but take 'em as you can.
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Old 07-19-2018, 11:57 AM
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Click here to see a pre war factory nickel 38/44 Heavy Duty - LETTER HAS ARRIVED! Click here to see a pre war factory nickel 38/44 Heavy Duty - LETTER HAS ARRIVED! Click here to see a pre war factory nickel 38/44 Heavy Duty - LETTER HAS ARRIVED! Click here to see a pre war factory nickel 38/44 Heavy Duty - LETTER HAS ARRIVED! Click here to see a pre war factory nickel 38/44 Heavy Duty - LETTER HAS ARRIVED!  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sodapop69 View Post
I have a W&K 38/44HD, serial number is just 91 off from yours. Mine was shipped to W&K in 1-31-1938. It left S&W nickel'd & was factory refinished in Nov of 1974. Wish i hadn't been but take 'em as you can.
I think the S&W Factory Refinished are respectable and no longer carry the extremely lesser values that they did years back.

Over the past 20 years Factory Refurbished S&Ws have slowly earned respect and overwhelming approval of mainstream collectors, noting that I have seen Factory Refurbished RMs (and other hot model S&Ws) sell on line for prices that were truly AMAZING, and seems to keep proving Factory Refubs are in high demand with collectors paying prices that are almost unbelievable.

I rarely turned down a S&W factory refinished revolver if the current condition and price were right. You must watch out for older dated work to examine well. Some unscrupulous dealer might have a 3rd refinish done, then try to pass it off as the S&W Factory Refub. Once you qualify it "is" the S&W refinish, it's all good.

You'd be hard pressed to find a nicer "legitimate" refinished S&W than a pre 1970s S&W Factory refurbished older (antique and RC) S&W.
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Old 07-19-2018, 03:18 PM
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Click here to see a pre war factory nickel 38/44 Heavy Duty - LETTER HAS ARRIVED! Click here to see a pre war factory nickel 38/44 Heavy Duty - LETTER HAS ARRIVED! Click here to see a pre war factory nickel 38/44 Heavy Duty - LETTER HAS ARRIVED! Click here to see a pre war factory nickel 38/44 Heavy Duty - LETTER HAS ARRIVED! Click here to see a pre war factory nickel 38/44 Heavy Duty - LETTER HAS ARRIVED!  
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McCarter may have been a clerk in the department who did the supply requisitions. Or he may have been the chief.
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Old 07-19-2018, 03:20 PM
Sodapop69 Sodapop69 is offline
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Click here to see a pre war factory nickel 38/44 Heavy Duty - LETTER HAS ARRIVED! Click here to see a pre war factory nickel 38/44 Heavy Duty - LETTER HAS ARRIVED! Click here to see a pre war factory nickel 38/44 Heavy Duty - LETTER HAS ARRIVED! Click here to see a pre war factory nickel 38/44 Heavy Duty - LETTER HAS ARRIVED! Click here to see a pre war factory nickel 38/44 Heavy Duty - LETTER HAS ARRIVED!  
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I've showed my factory refinished to a few. They said their value on this old Smith is about $700. I wish I could find more factory refinished 38/44's at that price.
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Old 07-19-2018, 03:31 PM
policerevolvercollector policerevolvercollector is offline
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Click here to see a pre war factory nickel 38/44 Heavy Duty - LETTER HAS ARRIVED! Click here to see a pre war factory nickel 38/44 Heavy Duty - LETTER HAS ARRIVED! Click here to see a pre war factory nickel 38/44 Heavy Duty - LETTER HAS ARRIVED! Click here to see a pre war factory nickel 38/44 Heavy Duty - LETTER HAS ARRIVED! Click here to see a pre war factory nickel 38/44 Heavy Duty - LETTER HAS ARRIVED!  
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Here's another pre war nickled HD. It letters to Durham NC PD in 1937. I put the correct stocks on it after this photo was taken.
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Old 07-19-2018, 04:17 PM
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Click here to see a pre war factory nickel 38/44 Heavy Duty - LETTER HAS ARRIVED! Click here to see a pre war factory nickel 38/44 Heavy Duty - LETTER HAS ARRIVED! Click here to see a pre war factory nickel 38/44 Heavy Duty - LETTER HAS ARRIVED! Click here to see a pre war factory nickel 38/44 Heavy Duty - LETTER HAS ARRIVED! Click here to see a pre war factory nickel 38/44 Heavy Duty - LETTER HAS ARRIVED!  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Redcoat3340 View Post
I may have found your guy, O. McCarter.

Found his obit in the 6/27/1970 Spartanburg Herald. Seems he wasn't an LEO but spent 37 years as the mill policeman at Appalache Mill, at least according to his obit.
According to the 1930 U.S Census for Spartanburg County, SC, Oliver Randolph McCarter was also a Magistrate in the county.


Jim
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Old 07-31-2018, 08:28 AM
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Click here to see a pre war factory nickel 38/44 Heavy Duty - LETTER HAS ARRIVED! Click here to see a pre war factory nickel 38/44 Heavy Duty - LETTER HAS ARRIVED! Click here to see a pre war factory nickel 38/44 Heavy Duty - LETTER HAS ARRIVED! Click here to see a pre war factory nickel 38/44 Heavy Duty - LETTER HAS ARRIVED! Click here to see a pre war factory nickel 38/44 Heavy Duty - LETTER HAS ARRIVED!  
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The .38/44 HDs have been long passed over by most collectors and I cannot reason ...why ? Yes, many are found with heavy use because most were service guns, I believe.

I wouldn't pass up a decent original condition or a factory re-furb as a fair price.

On the .38/44 Outdoorsman, I have 2 pre-war and a few post war. I like taking the pre-war .38/44 ODs to the range most of all. I found, many years back. the 38/44 ODs don't like standard target reloads. With standard target reloaded .38 Specials a shooter might think something seriously wrong with the OD however, switch loads to a factory pack +P and shoot the black out of the center of a NRA Pistol target all day long. And, that gorgeous old Outdoorsman (Daddy of the .357 Magnum) doesn't even crack a sweat. It just keeps going.
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