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Old 05-28-2016, 06:44 PM
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Default At what point does scarcity override condition ?

At what point does scarcity override condition. Although new to Smiths, I have collected Winchesters in the past and could pretty much tell when an old saddle gun was a worthwhile purchase even though it had no finish left. For example a Model 73 SRC with a factory rifle butt and single set trigger with lots of saddle wear on the forend.
But, vintage Smiths most probably didn't see the kind of that antique Winchesters did on a daily basis.

I find myself drawn to this little revolver, but it is said to have NO finish.



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Old 05-28-2016, 06:54 PM
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Plenty of old Smiths spent more time in a holster than the old Winchesters spent in a scabbard.
I'd be drawn to that old Smith 38 myself,but only because of the sights that it possesses.
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Old 05-28-2016, 07:06 PM
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I'd buy that one unless it was saddled with a delusional price. A four inch target M&P from before WWI? Sure. I'd like to know that the serial numbers matched on all parts because that could be a four inch barrel that was modified with a pinned target sight and attached to a frame that originally sported a longer barrel. Can you share the serial number? I'm guessing between 100000 and 200000 unless it's put together from pieces.

Don't believe the '20s era stocks.

At $450 or less I'd buy. At $1000 or more I'd walk. In between I'd haggle. Since it is a charming oddity, the presence or absence of a finish doesn't bother me.
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Old 05-28-2016, 07:11 PM
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I don't buy many guns anymore, but when I was buying regularly, I considered rarity, condition and price on anything offered. That is why i own several guns that others may have turned their noses up at. An example is my .32 Automatic. Less than a thousand made. Mine is refinished, probably in chrome, and with non-original grips. Usually I would not look at a non factory refinish, especially in chrome, but I was unlikely to find one in good original condition that I could afford, so I bought it. It fills a gap in my accumulation until some thing better that is in my price range comes along.
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Old 05-28-2016, 07:13 PM
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Serial range is 124XXX. Price is reasonable. Odd thing is, if it were a re-blue, I wouldn't give it a second glance. As is, I find it appealing. The barrel markings look legit to me, but then, I know just enough at this point to be dangerous.
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Old 05-28-2016, 07:16 PM
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That is definitely a scarce gun. The serial number would be very helpful in determining just how scarce it is. It looks like a Lyman bead front sight, which while not rare, is probably original to the gun. The gun is before about 1916, because it still has the patent-date roll markings on the side of the barrel. They were moved back to the top of the barrel sometime around 1916. 124XXX is about 1910, so the barrel is probably correct.

The gun looks to have more than zero finish. It may not be much, but it may clean up to be reasonably presentable. Or, there may be a lot of cold blue that will wash off during a cleaning.

While I'd want to see the gun, I'd be a buyer if it were offered to me !

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Old 05-28-2016, 07:24 PM
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So it's a Model of 1905/second change from about 1909, then. I agree that the barrel markings look right. Note the reference to the U.S. SERVICE chambering in addition to .38 S&W SPECIAL. I think the secondary cartridge notice disappeared about this time; it's seen on some 1905/first change guns but as I recall not usually on the second change specimens. Still, if there were a lot of premarked barrels around, the factory wouldn't throw them away.

Looks good to me. If you're happy with the price, buy it.

EDITED TO ADD: I see Mike posted while I was looking up some info. I thought he might like this one! And I see some marks on the side of the front sight that under enlargement can possibly be read as LYMAN, so I concur with his judgment about that.
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Old 05-28-2016, 07:35 PM
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Originally Posted by bruce5781 View Post
At what point does scarcity override condition?
Speaking for myself, it depends entirely on the gun, and how bad I want that particular gun. Collectibility and scarcity really don't figure into my gun buying equation. I've bought some seriously finish-challenged guns. Never regretted it a bit. I'll probably do it again before summer's over.
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Old 05-28-2016, 07:46 PM
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David

s/n 206306 is the latest 4-inch serial number I own with the patent-date roll markings on the side of the barrel. It was shipped in the latter part of 1913. For some reason I think that 1916 was the last year for this marking.

Regards, Mike Priwer
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Old 05-28-2016, 07:49 PM
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I feel there is more to value than condition and rarity. Demand is not always driven by something being rare. Just because something is rare, it does not automatically mean it has high value. Condition is also an inexact science when it comes to equating it to value. A pristine 32 Safety is maybe worth $350, while a pristine 38 M&P is worth $1000 today.

One thing this revolver has going against it is that it is a 38 M&P S&W. What I mean is that there were millions of this revolver made and therefore so many more 38 target guns are out there today than compared to let's say a 32-20 Target revolver. 38 M&P targets are not really not rare at all. I have some references that suggest a 4" 38 M&P could have been 2% of total production. 2% of a million pre-war revolvers still results in 20,000 targets probably made.

The 32-20, on the other hand would yield only 3000 4" targets made. Even with that small number they are not rare, and the value is still relatively low today. I only have a couple of what I would call rare revolvers. There may be only a few hundred short barrel Model 1 1/2 tip-ups made, but a worn example is worth only a few hundred dollars.

I remember the term "emotive" value from my working days and think it applies well to gun collecting. It is basically an undefinable basis for demand that can drive prices up for certain guns with certain attributes that have nothing to do with rarity or condition.

Your revolver should have been made between 1905 and 1908. The square butt revolver was the basis for the 1905 nomenclature and the "US SERVICE CTG " barrel stamping should have ceased by 1908. With the serial number you provide, 1908 would be likely very close to a ship date. I agree with David on what price I would pay for a target M&P with no finish and might actually limit myself to a number below $450.
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Old 05-28-2016, 08:11 PM
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This old 1917 don't look like much. The finish has seen better days and the grips are pretty worn. As a run of the mill 1917 it wouldn't be particularly valuable.




But....






According to the SCSW there were maybe five made. Conversation with Jim Fisher indicates maybe 10-15.




So not the greatest condition but definitely scarce. Value? I dunno - I ain't selling it anytime soon.
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Old 05-28-2016, 08:15 PM
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"RARE" with target sights. Most of these pre war revolvers the prices are all over the place. Have you checked the online prices?
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Old 05-28-2016, 08:44 PM
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I want to thank y'all for enabling me in this decision. $475 shipped & transfered.
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Old 05-28-2016, 08:48 PM
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This old 1917 don't look like much. The finish has seen better days and the grips are pretty worn. As a run of the mill 1917 it wouldn't be particularly valuable.




But....






According to the SCSW there were maybe five made. Conversation with Jim Fisher indicates maybe 10-15.




So not the greatest condition but definitely scarce. Value? I dunno - I ain't selling it anytime soon.
I would give that one lots of love. Good honest wear does not deter me. Its the target sights that float my boat.
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Old 05-28-2016, 08:54 PM
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$475 is a very good price for the gun.

Regards, Mike Priwer
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Old 05-28-2016, 09:02 PM
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I want to thank y'all for enabling me in this decision. $475 shipped & transfered.
Excellent.
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Old 05-28-2016, 09:12 PM
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I want to thank y'all for enabling me in this decision. $475 shipped & transfered.
You did just fine I think.

One of the things about the gun is that it's just charismatic, it's easily worth what you paid for it just because so many of us would like to have it.
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Old 05-28-2016, 11:14 PM
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Just a couple more shots till I get it in hand.


Thanks again for everyone's help.
Bruce
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Old 05-29-2016, 12:49 AM
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I want to thank y'all for enabling me in this decision. $475 shipped & transfered.
You did well, brother. I'd have bought it for that.
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Old 05-29-2016, 03:26 AM
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....only mechanical condition counts to me as I'm a shooter rather than a collector.
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Old 05-29-2016, 07:39 AM
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I am no expert, but like many others here, I would have bought that gun at that price. Congratulations on your buy.
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Old 05-29-2016, 08:08 AM
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Thank you. I really didn't have much hope of finding an affordable ( to me ) 4" to add to my fledgling Target collection at this point.
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Old 05-29-2016, 08:14 AM
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I feel there is more to value than condition and rarity. Demand is not always driven by something being rare. Just because something is rare, it does not automatically mean it has high value. Condition is also an inexact science when it comes to equating it to value. A pristine 32 Safety is maybe worth $350, while a pristine 38 M&P is worth $1000 today.

One thing this revolver has going against it is that it is a 38 M&P S&W. What I mean is that there were millions of this revolver made and therefore so many more 38 target guns are out there today than compared to let's say a 32-20 Target revolver. 38 M&P targets are not really not rare at all. I have some references that suggest a 4" 38 M&P could have been 2% of total production. 2% of a million pre-war revolvers still results in 20,000 targets probably made.

The 32-20, on the other hand would yield only 3000 4" targets made. Even with that small number they are not rare, and the value is still relatively low today. I only have a couple of what I would call rare revolvers. There may be only a few hundred short barrel Model 1 1/2 tip-ups made, but a worn example is worth only a few hundred dollars.

I remember the term "emotive" value from my working days and think it applies well to gun collecting. It is basically an undefinable basis for demand that can drive prices up for certain guns with certain attributes that have nothing to do with rarity or condition.

Your revolver should have been made between 1905 and 1908. The square butt revolver was the basis for the 1905 nomenclature and the "US SERVICE CTG " barrel stamping should have ceased by 1908. With the serial number you provide, 1908 would be likely very close to a ship date. I agree with David on what price I would pay for a target M&P with no finish and might actually limit myself to a number below $450.
Funny you should mention that. I was looking for a 32-20 Target when I ran across this one.
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Old 05-29-2016, 09:08 AM
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Funny you should mention that. I was looking for a 32-20 Target when I ran across this one.
They are out there and if you are patient, a decent one will show up at a good price. I found a 1910 - 5" 32 Winchester last year for $550 and was very happy with the gun's condition when it arrived, showing no abuse, little wear, some plum, gold bead, and nice circassian walnut stocks. As I can gather, it is probably made in similar quantities as the 4" barreled targets, maybe 5% of total production.
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Old 05-29-2016, 09:55 AM
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Wow ! Just, Wow !
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Old 05-29-2016, 11:03 AM
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I am more of a pre64 Winchester 70 collector than a S&W one but it is the same idea. Last year I picked up #11 it is to say the least used but it is original and as it came from Winchester so the condition is secondary.
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Old 06-19-2016, 07:27 AM
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After all the striking targets that have shown up in the last couple of days, I'm almost embarrassed to show the additional photos of my little target. But I have it in hand and I love it. Mechanical condition is excellent and I hope to shoot it this afternoon.

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Old 06-19-2016, 07:48 AM
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Numbers match.

Except the stocks. If anyone has No. 139310, give me a shout and I'll hook you up.
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Old 06-19-2016, 07:50 AM
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Rear sight blade fits the ivory bead perfectly.
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Old 06-19-2016, 08:01 AM
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I wouldn't be embarrassed one bit. I would be proud to own an interesting piece of American firearms history and the patina on your gun just show that it lead a working guns life. No signs of real abuse, rust pits or ding marks, but obviously has some mileage.

Looks great for being around 100 years old and a working gun. Plus you got it at a decent price. You couldn't buy a modern equivalent model 15 for the same price unless it was missing just as much blue and it wouldn't be anywhere near as interesting or shoot any better.
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Old 06-19-2016, 08:42 AM
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Add a full flap holster...... and you're ready for a Father's Day Adventure.....


Great find at a good price.....................
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Old 06-19-2016, 09:25 AM
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Add a full flap holster...... and you're ready for a Father's Day Adventure.....


Great find at a good price.....................
You mean like this one ?

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Old 06-19-2016, 10:22 AM
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You have a very nice gun and a cool holster!
What's not to like.
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Old 06-19-2016, 10:32 AM
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No, don't get me wrong. I love it, and will probably never get rid of it. It's just that I'm also in awe of these other targets that have been recently posted.

Just to clarify, my earlier comment when posting photos was simply a compliment to the other fine Targets which have graced the Forum in the past few days. I am proud to add this to my fledgling Target collection and quite frankly, would envy anyone else who had it.

Thanks,
Bruce

Last edited by bruce5781; 06-19-2016 at 11:42 AM.
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Old 06-19-2016, 10:40 AM
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Fire up the grill.

Congrats on a great find.
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Old 06-19-2016, 12:21 PM
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I bought this 2nd model H.E. at the Columbus, Ohio S&W meeting. I was aware of blemish on the side plate and I discussed it with the seller. We agreed on a price many might think is high for condition but the gun is in 44/40 caliber and not many to be found.
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Old 06-19-2016, 12:24 PM
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I bought this 2nd model H.E. at the Columbus, Ohio S&W meeting. I was aware of blemish on the side plate and I discussed it with the seller. We agreed on a price many might think is high for condition but the gun is in 44/40 caliber and not many to be found.
Rare (scarce) find, congratulations.

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Old 06-19-2016, 01:40 PM
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Hi
I have the twin to your gun. Mine was shipped to a foreman at the factory.
A little more blue but the same sights.Grips are numbered to the gun.
The 4 inch guns with target sights are not seen very offten.
The serial number on mine is 113217.
Jim Fisher


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Old 06-19-2016, 01:42 PM
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Quote:
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You mean like this one ?

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SWEEEEeeeeeeeet......................

LOL

That would be the one..... ......

Were you looking for a gun to fill that holster?????
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Old 06-19-2016, 03:03 PM
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An example of scarcity over condition, a .44 HE 1st Model, shipped November 1916, original finish, matching numbers, unbuggered screws.
TL's are not especially scarce but, except for the easily replaced 1920's era stocks, the originality makes it scarce in my estimation.
Note the excellent internal condition after a _little_ cleanup.






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Old 06-19-2016, 03:11 PM
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As another example of scarcity trumping condition, last week I was watching an older episode of Pawn Stars on the History Channel. A man had brought into the shop a Colt Patterson revolver which looked like a basket case. If it is possible for a gun to have less than zero cosmetic condition, this one would qualify. It also had indications of some later parts replacement. As usual, Rick called in his "Expert" gun buddy for an assessment. The expert felt it would easily bring $22,000.

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Old 06-19-2016, 03:26 PM
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Hi
I have the twin to your gun. Mine was shipped to a foreman at the factory.
A little more blue but the same sights.Grips are numbered to the gun.
The 4 inch guns with target sights are not seen very offten.
The serial number on mine is 113217.
Jim Fisher

That's a nice one , Jim.
This is my first with less than a 6" barrel.

Bruce

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Old 06-19-2016, 03:29 PM
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An example of scarcity over condition, a 1916 .44 HE 1st Model, original finish, matching numbers, unbuggered screws.
TL's are not especially scarce but, except for the easily replaced 1920's era stocks, the originality makes it scarce in my estimation.
Note the excellent internal condition after a _little_ cleanup.




I would have jumped on that one. I have yet to remove my sideplate but I should soon. The timing and lock-up is great, but it does seem a little sluggish.

Bruce

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Old 06-19-2016, 03:36 PM
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Bruce5781, the action of the gun was super sluggish and it was easy to tell that it was caked with decades of gooey grime.
I couldn't see the numbers on the yoke until it was dismantled and cleaned:


This pivot pin was loose, too. Easily tightened.


This TL is going to be a shooter, so it is getting all the attention it needs.
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Old 06-19-2016, 03:37 PM
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As another example of scarcity trumping condition, last week I was watching an older episode of Pawn Stars on the History Channel. A man had brought into the shop a Colt Patterson revolver which looked like a basket case. If it is possible for a gun to have less than zero cosmetic condition, this one would qualify. It also had indications of some later parts replacement. As usual, Rick called in his "Expert" gun buddy for an assessment. The expert felt it would easily bring $22,000.
The lack of finish on this one confounds me. What appears to be a minimum of finish in the photos is patina. It does not appear to have been buffed or scrubbed, so I would expect to find remnants of blue in the protected areas. But aside from the screwheads looking like they may have been blued and the tiniest bit on the thumblatch, there is no blue. When I cock the hammer and look down into the frame - you guessed it, no blue. Is it possible to dip a gun in some solution and remove the blue ?

Thanks,
Bruce

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Old 06-19-2016, 04:26 PM
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Bruce:

Great photos of a great gun. For under $500, I would have scooped up that beauty in a heartbeat!

Thanks for sharing,
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Old 06-19-2016, 04:39 PM
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Bruce:

Great photos of a great gun. For under $500, I would have scooped up that beauty in a heartbeat!

Thanks for sharing,
Thank you, the 6" you posted left me speachless. What a great package.


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Old 06-20-2016, 11:48 AM
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Bruce

Blood will remove the bluing. Typically one would not dip a gun in blood, but sometimes it happens when hunting, or an accident, or some kind of shoot-out. I think, but am not sure, that grapefruit juice will remove the bluing.

Regards, Mike
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Old 06-20-2016, 12:19 PM
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Vinegar will remove the bluing - that is what my engraver friend uses to strip blued guns before they are engraved... They look just like your gun once they are stripped. Since there is no original finish on that beauty, it is now a perfect candidate for an Oscar Young pattern engraving project. If it were mine, it would be on the way over to Phil Quigley as we speak with photos of Oscar's work as an example of the engraving pattern I would like cut.

From the RIA Auction: Cased Documented Special Order Factory Engraved By Oscar Young Gold Smith & Wesson New Model 3 Single Action Target Revolver with Factory Letter











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Old 06-20-2016, 12:31 PM
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Hmmmmm....food for thought.

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