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Old 06-30-2017, 07:45 PM
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Default 1956 Pre 25 W Main Spring And Neat Story on Stocks

1956 Pre Model 25. W Main Spring. Non Relieved Diamond Target Stocks. Stocks are numbered to a super early 44 Magnum that is owned by SWCA Member Jim Hill.

As they were trying to get the first 44 Magnums out they were made on pre 25 frames. At that time they had numbered Non Relieved Diamond Targets. At the beginning of shipment of the first 44's they decided to switch to Coke Targets. This revolver has numbered stocks to a 44 Magnum owned by Jim Hill. A very early model to boot. Anyways the SWCA consensus is these stocks are indeed original to this gun. As S&W didn't throw anything away.















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Old 06-30-2017, 07:52 PM
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Beautiful gun, unusual W main spring, and cool story. So, this begs the question: Does Jim Hill's 44 Magnum have cokes with the same serial #? Thanks for sharing.
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Old 06-30-2017, 07:54 PM
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It has the original Cokes. Not numbered. I offered to sell the above stocks to Jim to kind of make a neat display package if he ever displayed. But he was happy having it in its original condition.
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Old 06-30-2017, 07:55 PM
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We passed this gun around at the SWCA Symposium. This is where the info above came to light. Thank you to Bill Cross and Lee Jarrett and everyone else who passed along the info.

And thanks to Charlie Sides for a neat Revolver.
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Old 06-30-2017, 09:19 PM
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Jim:

Great photos of a very fun gun. Thanks for posting,
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Old 06-30-2017, 11:01 PM
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Very nice revolver. Were there many made with the W mainspring? I do not believe that I have seen a picture of one before.
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Old 07-01-2017, 09:11 AM
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Bob L...A few 1955 45 Target revolvers were made with a W mainspring and fewer with a U mainspring. The so-called alphabet mainspring project was not successful and abandoned shortly after it started. I suppose it was really more of an experiment by S&W to try and smooth and lighten the trigger pull on its flagship target revolver. However, reported misfires were its downfall (or so I have read).

Bill
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Old 07-01-2017, 06:29 PM
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One of my favorite Smith & Wessons. Congratulations and thanks for posting.
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Old 07-02-2017, 01:04 AM
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Recently picked one up in similar condition, no box, but with non-relieved targets. The serial number is S 159774. The targets are numbered 130820.
The main spring is of the standard variety. Apparently they started with the standard variety, switched and then switched back.
For a big heavy revolver it shoots like it had eyes
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Old 07-02-2017, 01:17 AM
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That's an outstanding Pre 25 and one that illustrates a S&W production anomaly as you shared. It would be cool to have the two "sister" guns related by the stocks, side by side with a single owner.

The 1950s was an era of much evolution and changes due to production efficiency for S&W, as we well know. The U and W springs trial clearly did not work out and may have been an experiment to eliminate the tension screw and it's associated incremental production cost.
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Old 07-02-2017, 10:35 AM
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Have owned N frame revolvers with the "W" mainspring in the S104XXX
serial number range.
Long gone though.
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Old 07-02-2017, 11:32 AM
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Excellent post! I have heard Mr. Cross explain this on the forum in the past and I'm glad you all discussed this at the symposium. I have owned 3 sets of Non-Relieved Targets with serial numbers. I'm fairly certain one or two of them were in the .44 Magnum serial ranges. The only way I know to verify is to send in the serial number to Roy and find out if it's a .44 Magnum. Or you have a mint boxed gun like your Pre-25 and find the owner of the .44 Magnum with the same serial number!
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Old 08-09-2017, 02:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoosier45 View Post
Excellent post! I have heard Mr. Cross explain this on the forum in the past and I'm glad you all discussed this at the symposium. I have owned 3 sets of Non-Relieved Targets with serial numbers. I'm fairly certain one or two of them were in the .44 Magnum serial ranges. The only way I know to verify is to send in the serial number to Roy and find out if it's a .44 Magnum. Or you have a mint boxed gun like your Pre-25 and find the owner of the .44 Magnum with the same serial number!
You are close. When I purchased the gun I was surprised that it had any number at all on the targets. Trying to find the owner of the gun that matched the stocks, figuring I had his original grips, I ran a search on the forum (maybe google ???) on 130922 that got a hit on Jim Kings very early 44 magnum. this was a month or two before the SWCA meeting, so I PM'd Jim and told him I would bring it to Charlotte. As Jim B. mentioned above, Roy and Bill Cross sorted out the mystery pretty fast.

Charlie
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Old 08-09-2017, 09:31 PM
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Looks like a keeper, thanks for showing us.
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Old 08-09-2017, 09:53 PM
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I have S166105.
Regular spring!
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Old 08-09-2017, 11:56 PM
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Gentlemen, I was the winner of this fine Pre-25 Model of 1955 on the last auction. It is indeed a very fine specimen and probably the first firearm I have ever purchased that I do not intend to shoot the bejasus out of, although it does have a "breaking glass" kind of trigger that just begs to be squeezed. . The stocks match the serial number posted in the picture but look very much like the non relieved diamond targets I have on an Outdoorsman, although they seem to have more of a swell in the palm.
My FFL dealer really had a hard time not drooling all over it. I do intend on getting it lettered. I cannot take better pictures than those that were posted and currently am trying to figure out a way to get around the loss of PB, I have tried a few and none are what I would call easy. I have posted a picture via my computer but the quality is not a nice as what I was getting via PB.

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Old 08-10-2017, 02:31 AM
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Really a great gun you purchased. I hated to let it go, but you can't own them all. If you do have issues with light primer strikes, you can convert the gun to a regular mainspring set up with the addition of a mainspring, mainspring screw, and a trigger return spring.

Charlie
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Old 08-10-2017, 03:41 AM
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Default 1955 Pre 25

Hello all, I have a 1955 with serial S165160. It has the standard mainspring. It came to me with King cockeyed hammer and trigger.
Grips were non S&W with a San Francisco Police Marksmanship club emblem.
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Old 08-10-2017, 09:09 AM
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I have a W mainspring Pre 25 and have not had a single light strike.I don't shoot military ball ammo though,Just reloads with Winchester LP Primers(still not the softest in the World).
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Old 08-12-2017, 04:27 PM
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So, do the ones with either of the alphabet springs have a threaded hole for the strain screw?

Mark
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Old 08-12-2017, 09:27 PM
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Quote:
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So, do the ones with either of the alphabet springs have a threaded hole for the strain screw?

Mark
Yup. To go back to standard, you need the flat main spring, the strain screw and a rebound spring.
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Old 08-12-2017, 10:01 PM
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Yup. To go back to standard, you need the flat main spring, the strain screw and a rebound spring.
That's what I figured. I probably knew the answer, but since I don't have one of those guns, I must've filed the info away in the area of my brain where I keep the "honey do" list.

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Old 08-13-2017, 06:25 AM
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Quote:
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Yup. To go back to standard, you need the flat main spring, the strain screw and a rebound spring.
I presume there's a filler screw in the tension screw hole when the gun came with a W spring.
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Old 08-13-2017, 07:40 AM
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Wow cool gun a W main spring now there is something you don't see everyday as a matter of fact this is the first time I ever even heard of it .You guys come up with some interesting and cool guns thanks for posting .
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Old 08-13-2017, 10:36 AM
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Well, then, you'll fall out of your chair when somebody shows you a V mainspring!
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Old 08-13-2017, 01:06 PM
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Quote:
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I presume there's a filler screw in the tension screw hole when the gun came with a W spring.
I meant to ask that too. Guess my mind wandered off thinkin' about the lost "honey do" list.

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Old 08-13-2017, 04:16 PM
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No filler screw in my 1955 45 Target with a W mainspring.

Bill
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Old 08-13-2017, 06:01 PM
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Wink Two pre-25s

I have Serial # S160584 which has the W-mainspring. I don't believe I ever have fired it. I also own S 165574 which has the normal mainspring, screw and rebound spring.

Interestingly, the serial of the gun beginning this thread is S166616, a number later than both mine. I think this points out the perils of dating any gun purely by serial number(Yes, I know we all do it anyway).
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Old 08-13-2017, 07:32 PM
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True, but we only estimate dating by serial # to in most cases get it in the ballpark. Features of any gun in question can usually help do that as well and support estimates of the gun's vintage.


This is still useful and appreciated by the owner who has no idea within a 40 year time frame.

Not everyone needs a $75 answer.
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Old 08-13-2017, 08:07 PM
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The revolver that started this thread does not have a filler screw and does not look as if one were ever run into the threads. I am taking it to the range tomorrow to see how it runs, nothing fancy just mainly out of curiosity.
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Old 08-13-2017, 08:40 PM
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That's a little surprising to me but I shouldn't be with some of the things I've
seen from smith!

I'd be tempted to make a filler screw from a tension screw if I owned one that was just a shooter.
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Old 08-14-2017, 08:50 AM
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Jim...I am curious as to why you would do that. I have shot my 1955 Target for the last fifteen plus years and never had a problem of any kind.

Bill
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Old 08-14-2017, 09:29 AM
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I'm sure this question has been answered before, but I don't recall. Did the "alphabet spring" project discussed here extend to K-frames as well, or just N-frames? I seem to recall early 20th Century I-frames and/or K-frames using some such arrangement. Was this a sort of retrofit idea in the '50s?

Froggie
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Old 08-14-2017, 06:36 PM
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Quote:
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Jim...I am curious as to why you would do that. I have shot my 1955 Target for the last fifteen plus years and never had a problem of any kind.

Bill
Purely aesthetics. Every time I gripped it with Magna stocks I'd feel the hole.

Target stocks no problem, but I'd still know it was there. And the filler screw could always be removed to return the gun to original.

Frankly just a fixation to fill an empty hole, call it OCD, obsessive compulsive disorder.
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Old 08-16-2017, 05:58 PM
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1956 Pre 25 W Main Spring And Neat Story on Stocks 1956 Pre 25 W Main Spring And Neat Story on Stocks 1956 Pre 25 W Main Spring And Neat Story on Stocks 1956 Pre 25 W Main Spring And Neat Story on Stocks 1956 Pre 25 W Main Spring And Neat Story on Stocks  
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Spokantucky
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If I were ever to use it with magnas I could see filling the hole not only for ascetics but also to keep dust, etc. out. I took it to the range on Monday and it performed beautifully just as it should, I have another Pre-25 that I shoot quite often. This one will in all likely hood be the first firearm I own that does not get shot more than once a year, followed by a thorough cleaning and another year long rest.
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