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Old 03-18-2017, 01:35 PM
aceh22 aceh22 is offline
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Hello,

i am brand new to this forum and to revolvers for that matter. i have always liked revolvers but being in college i never had the money to get a smith. I found this one local for a price i could afford and after getting it home and doing some research (googling ) i believe i have a pre stamp model 19 combat magnum in .357. serial # is k 262308. i called smith and wesson and they told me is was shipped in 1955. i was hoping someone could help me out by letting me know what i have and maybe an approximate value.

thanks in advance for the help
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Old 03-18-2017, 01:52 PM
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It definitely dates to 1955 so you have yourself a very early Combat Magnum there...a "pre-19" to some.

Grips are much newer, probably from the 1980s.

With the wear I see and the incorrect grips I'd say you have a $500 gun in my neck of the woods.
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Old 03-18-2017, 02:06 PM
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thats great to hear. thank you for the fast response. I'm glad i didn't over pay for it. I'm really enjoying it and it may have started a revolver addiction for me. is there anyway to find out what style of grips would have come with gun originally? id love to try and make it look like it did from the factory?
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Old 03-18-2017, 02:12 PM
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Welcome! See post #9 in this link; note the uncheckered diamond around the stock screw and the smaller cutout on the left upper panel as differences from the set on your gun.

Non relieved target stocks

Enjoy your new .357, and post photos when you buy more revolvers .
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Old 03-18-2017, 02:57 PM
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Welcome to the forum. You know how to make an entrance!. Yes, pre 19's are a delight to own and pretty darn scarce. Enjoy.
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Old 03-18-2017, 03:37 PM
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Welcome to the Smith & Wesson Forum from Arizona. Great Start!
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Old 03-18-2017, 03:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hkcavalier View Post
It definitely dates to 1955 so you have yourself a very early Combat Magnum there...a "pre-19" to some.

Not 1955. 'Nearly definitely' 1956.
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Old 03-18-2017, 06:10 PM
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Hmm, my source says 1956 picks up right around 2661xx.
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Old 03-18-2017, 06:16 PM
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Quote:
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I'm really enjoying it and it may have started a revolver addiction for me.
You've come to the right place for help with that addiction.
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Old 03-18-2017, 07:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hkcavalier View Post
Hmm, my source says 1956 picks up right around 2661xx.
First, you always have to remember that published serial number cutoffs are only approximations, they are never firm. Moreover, the K prefix numbers were used on more than one model.

With respect to the Combat Magnum, only one or two left the factory in 1955, and not until December of that year. The first one produced was serialized at K260003 and it was assembled on December 15, 1955. Combat Magnum number K260001 was completed in January, 1956 (note: it was assembled after serial number K260003). By April, 1956, only 100 examples had been made. So, there probably were at least several with serial numbers below K266xxx that didn't leave the factory until sometime in 1956. In any case, just about any Combat Magnum you find was shipped after the first of the year, 1956, not in 1955.
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Old 03-18-2017, 07:49 PM
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IIRC the serial numbers between K260,000 and K265,000 were reserved for the first run of Combat Magnums (Pre 19) ,
Commercial Combat magnum shipments begin after the Christmas holiday in 1956 but seem to ramp up in April to July 1956 and I would bet a pretty penny your gun shipped sometime around July 1956.

The earliest Combat Magnums mostly shipped with football relieved checkered diamond target stocks like the ones pictured below:


Condition is paramount in a collectible S&W and your barrel shows a fair amount of holster wear but pre Model 19 Combat Magnums are starting to appreciate in value even in less than perfect condition as the supply of clean examples dries up.

While I would hesitate committing to a "what its worth price" guessing it would easily sell for quite a bit more than you paid and perhaps double.

Last edited by Engine49guy; 03-18-2017 at 07:52 PM.
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Old 03-18-2017, 08:34 PM
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I rather doubt any of these were shipped with non relieved stocks. Some are even numbered and are low numbered, and still diamond center stocks with the cut out. Mine is 28 numbers higher than the posters. I am waiting for pay day to send for a letter.
These guns are very collectible right now. Finding one for $500 is pretty much an impossibility. I just paid over double that for a 99% gun with 50 rds. through it. No box or tools. I would advise him to find a set of Goncalo Alves diamond center stocks for it. Any 4 screw M19-0 or Combat Magnum is a collectors prize. In my case, it was a Grail Gun. Big Larry

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Old 03-18-2017, 08:42 PM
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I should have been more clear instead of simply stating :
"The earliest Combat Magnums mostly shipped with football relieved checkered diamond target stocks"

Some would have shipped with football relieved smooth "Presentation" stocks"

Last edited by Engine49guy; 03-18-2017 at 08:44 PM.
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Old 03-18-2017, 08:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hkcavalier View Post
Hmm, my source says 1956 picks up right around 2661xx.
I would suggest you get a new source.
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Old 03-18-2017, 09:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Engine49guy View Post
I should have been more clear instead of simply stating :
"The earliest Combat Magnums mostly shipped with football relieved checkered diamond target stocks"

Some would have shipped with football relieved smooth "Presentation" stocks"
Yet another fact I did not know. Why would anyone want an old Combat Magnum anyhow. Anyone who would must b flat crazy. ;-)
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Old 03-18-2017, 09:16 PM
hkcavalier hkcavalier is offline
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Quote:
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I would suggest you get a new source.
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To be fair, it looks like S&W needs a new source as well
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Old 03-18-2017, 09:22 PM
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I agree its rough but I would pay 600.00 to 650.00 fer that there gun. They do come up but not every day. The lowest I was able to pick one up for was close to 800.00. It was not as rough as yours. But it was still in rough shape in a couple of places. Very nice way to start a collection. Congratulations.
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Old 03-18-2017, 09:22 PM
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Thank you everyone for the information! I plan on looking to get correct factory grips for my combat magnum. are there any good tips someone could pass on to help me find a pair? After a quick search on gun broker i believe i found a pair but they were well over $200. is this to be expected?
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Old 03-18-2017, 10:22 PM
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My best advice is do your homework first , we are all waiting for that perfect pair of diamond targets to appear at a bargain price so competition is fierce on excellent condition period correct stocks priced reasonably.

Copies and crappy condition examples appear much more frequently.
I would rather spend $200 for a set of "Perfect" stocks than a poorly refinished set for $100.

One more tidbit is that not all diamond target stocks are the same, there is the material ie Walnut, Goncalo Alves, Rosewood etc, additionally the checkering pattern changed around 1963 from this:


To this:


Hint look closely at the checkering near the heel where it makes its turn from horizontal to vertical.

We all started with zero knowledge , this hobby is pricey and addictive but ALOT of fun and learning is alot of the enjoyment
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Old 03-19-2017, 01:14 AM
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Quote:
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Commercial Combat magnum shipments begin after the Christmas holiday in 1956
Ummm, I believe you meant "after the Christmas holiday in 1955."
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Old 03-19-2017, 01:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JP@AK View Post
First, you always have to remember that published serial number cutoffs are only approximations, they are never firm. Moreover, the K prefix numbers were used on more than one model.

With respect to the Combat Magnum, only one or two left the factory in 1955, and not until December of that year. The first one produced was serialized at K260003 and it was assembled on December 15, 1955. Combat Magnum number K260001 was completed in January, 1956 (note: it was assembled after serial number K260003). By April, 1956, only 100 examples had been made. So, there probably were at least several with serial numbers below K266xxx that didn't leave the factory until sometime in 1956. In any case, just about any Combat Magnum you find was shipped after the first of the year, 1956, not in 1955.

Case in point - SN K260035 shipped 6/14/1956...

[Edited to correct my typo...]
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Last edited by RKmesa; 03-19-2017 at 10:09 AM. Reason: Fixing my "fat finger" mistake ... Whoops ("56" vs "36")...:0
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Old 03-19-2017, 08:58 AM
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The first Combat Magnum was shipped to Bill Jordan on January 5, 1956.

Bill
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Old 03-19-2017, 09:30 AM
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Quote:
Case in point - SN K260035 shipped 6/14/1936...
I seriously doubt that since K101 shipped in 1946. In another thread you posted the date as June of 1956.

Guys, please make sure that you don't have typos in your replies as folks read these posts and take them as gospel.
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Old 03-19-2017, 10:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JSR III View Post
...In another thread you posted the date as June of 1956.

Guys, please make sure that you don't have typos in your replies as folks read these posts and take them as gospel.
It is June of 1956 (corrected above)... Sorry guys, I just "fat fingered" the date when I typed it in... Thanks for keeping me straight.
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Old 03-19-2017, 11:42 AM
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I have a 2-1960 shipped M19-0 that letters with checkered Goncalo Alves target stocks. I also have a 6-1961 shipped M53-0 that was shipped with checkered walnut target stocks. Both are diamond centers. No serial numbers on either. Sometimes the factory letters are dead on, and sometimes not. I have a early 8 3'8" M48 4 screw with three T's. It lettered as a 6" K-38. That is not possible. A recheck with Mr. Jinks proved it to be a factory ledger error. Don't believe all you read. Big Larry
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Old 03-19-2017, 12:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JP@AK View Post
Ummm, I believe you meant "after the Christmas holiday in 1955."
Jack, Your are correct , I had to read it a few times but my wording was indeed poor.... I should have said:

"The first Combat Magnums began shipping after the 1955 holiday season ended and work resumed in January 1956"

It is interesting to note that IIRC a similar situation occurred with the first post war K-22's where a handful went out in Dec 1946 to VIP's then after the holiday regular shipments began to go out in January 1947
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Old 03-19-2017, 01:57 PM
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I have a letter from Roy stating my nickel,ser#264772 was shipped June 14 1957.
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