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S&W Hand Ejectors: 1896 to 1961 All 5-Screw & Vintage 4-Screw SWING-OUT Cylinder REVOLVERS, and the 35 Autos and 32 Autos


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Old 02-04-2018, 01:22 AM
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Smith & Wesson N Frame Stocks / Grips - A Reference Guide Smith & Wesson N Frame Stocks / Grips - A Reference Guide Smith & Wesson N Frame Stocks / Grips - A Reference Guide Smith & Wesson N Frame Stocks / Grips - A Reference Guide Smith & Wesson N Frame Stocks / Grips - A Reference Guide  
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I began accumulating wood stocks made of various wood types, grains, age, configuration, etc. I then decided I wanted an example of each kind of standard issue N-Frame stocks that would have been supplied on the 1st Model .44 Hand Ejector to the Performance Center revolvers of the 1990s. Although I’m still missing a few sets, I have put together an illustrated timeline of N-frame Stocks to hopefully assist in identifying the type/style, date, and material of factory stocks. While this thread is focused on N-frame stocks, most of the information and general time-frames are applicable to K-frame stocks as well. Additionally, I have included a few sections on related topics commonly discussed. Please remember, this is not an exact science and I attempted to utilize commonly accepted date ranges supported by available materials. The rule of thumb is that stocks were used until inventory was exhausted and overlaps or anomalies occur. Lastly, Smith & Wesson publicly advertised “stocks” for many decades and I generally refer to my prewar examples as stocks and more modern examples as grips.

P.S. I’m still learning so please excuse my errors and politely comment below or PM me with suggestions or evidence/documentation to assist with this thread.

A big thank you to Bill (Doc44) for his assistance with some factory directives and information as well as his many stock-related threads over the years.

General Timeline for Introduction of Standard Factory Issued Stocks/Grips:

Non-Target Stocks identified as Service Stocks and later Magna Stocks


1907 – 1911: Checkered Diamond Service Stocks; concave/dished at top; No Medallion




1911 – 1920: Checkered Diamond Service Stocks; Recessed Large Gold plated Brass Medallions added



1917 – 1919: Smooth Service Stocks; no checkering; no medallion (These stocks were used on Model of 1917 Army revolvers)
Early model 1917 revolvers had concave “thumbprint” stocks (serial 1 - 32,000 approx)

Later Style


1919 – 1930: Checkered Diamond Service Stocks; Non Medallion



1929 – 1938: Checkered Diamond Service Stocks; Large Silver Medallion (Pencil serial number for early examples, somewhere in the 33,000-34,000 serial range approx. the serial number is stamped in the wood). Could be ordered and used with factory grip-adaptor.



1935 – 1946: Checkered Diamond Magna Stocks; Large Silver Medallion; Wood extends higher at the top covering part of the frame in what some refer to as the "horn". Introduction of metal stock circle insert or “washer” on inside of panel to secure medallion (Used up supply into early post-war years.) Directive issued September 5, 1935 that Magna Stocks be used on Registered Magnums (*unless ordered otherwise). Directive issued February 2, 1936 that Magna Stocks be supplied on .44, .45, and 38/44 N Frame Models.



1946 – 1967: Checkered Diamond Magnas; Black-Oxide Metal Washer; Small silver medallion becomes standard. *Early Diamond Magnas had a noticeable defined edge at the horn sometimes called “high or sharp shoulder” often <100,000 Serial # (left side in photo). In contrast later examples have a more subtle curve/ridge through the middle of the horn (right side in photo).


Modified Magna Stock (aka "PC Magnas"), please note how the base of the stocks are rounded. Most commonly supplied on Model 58s


January 11, 1966: Directive to remove the diamond center when checkering Magna Stocks

1968 – 1970s: Checkered Magnas, non-diamond (*1971 approximately blued metal washer replaced with bare metal washer on inside)




Target Stocks:

1952 – 1958: Checkered Diamond; Non-relieved left panel; Black-Oxide Metal Stock Circle standard; often found in Walnut; *Examples of “oversize” prototype Target Stocks known as early as Nov. 1951; examples shipped into late 50’s or until inventory exhausted


1956 – 1968: Checkered Diamond; Enlarged Checkered Space and slight palm swell (loosely resembling curves of a Coke bottle…nick named by collectors “Cokes”) Available on .44 Magnum Revolvers and .41 Magnum revolvers. Commonly found in more exotic wood such as Goncalo Alves (Rosewood Very Rare). Shipped concurrently with the other Diamond Target Stocks above.



1958 – 1968: Checkered Diamond; Relieved cutout the shape of a “football” is recessed into the left panel at the horn and becomes standard. Primarily made of Walnut



December 28, 1967: Directive to remove the diamond center when checkering Target Stocks

1968 – 1983: Checkered; Relieved football cutout (1971 approximately black washer replaced with metal “silver” washer on inside of grips) Goncalo Alves most commonly used wood


1983 – 1992: Checkered, Speed loader cutout (relieved “football” cutout is now fully removed); between June-July 1985 the metal washers are removed



Combat Grips[/B]
1982 – 1990s: Smooth with Finger Groove contour. Found on both Round Butt and Square Butt frame configurations (*commonly seen models 24, 624, 629 and Lew Horton variants)




Mid ‘90s – 2000s: the overall shape and contour of the finger grooves is less defined, the sides are more flat than rounded (some refer to as flat-side combats). Wood appears to be more generic. (Often found on Performance Center Models)



1990 into 2000s: Many third party grips are used with Hogue rubber grips being quite common on N-frames as well as other wood, laminate, rubber grips from makers such as Ahrends, Altamont, and Eagle to name a few.


Smooth, Plain, “Presentation” Stocks:
Smith & Wesson offered smooth (non-checkered, non-diamond) stocks with the same shape, washers, and escutcheons relative to the timeframes of the Stocks outlined above. They can be found in the Service, Magna, and Target configurations. Smooth Stocks became more prevalent in the post-war era and are most commonly found in the Target configuration (both relieved and non-relieved). Smooth Stocks are often called “presentation” stocks as many special order, commemorative, engraved guns can be found in this configuration. As a result, many smooth grips are also found in more scarce or exotic wood offerings ranging from standard Walnut to Goncalo Alves, Cocobolo, Rosewood, Maple, Birdseye Maple, etc.

Non-Relieved Smooth Presentation Targets made of Goncalo Alves:


Later 1960s - 1970s Relieved Smooth Targets - Goncalo Alves and Rosewood:


Smooth Magna Stocks


Types of Wood/Material:

Pre-War Stocks are generally found in American Walnut and Circassian Walnut.
Post-war Stocks are generally made of Walnut or Goncalo Alves. Magnas were made of Walnut and early Targets were made of Walnut. Goncalo Alves was introduced in the mid-1950s and became the standard choice by the 1960s through the 1980s. This is commonly associated with the introduction of many new models in the mid 1950s – 1960s in which more exotic woods were used on certain models like the Model 29 and 57. One of the more sought after wood types by collectors is Rosewood which can be found in different types of N-frame stocks starting for the most part in the early 1950s with Non-relieved Smooth Target Stocks and subsequently used in Relieved Smooth Target Stocks and Smooth Magnas into the 1970s.
Special Order or Scarce Materials: Maple, Cherry, Cocobolo, Birdseye Maple, Pearl, Ivory, Stag

Rare Configurations/Materials:
Nearly anything you wanted... Pearl, Ivory, Stag/Bone, Engraved and Inlaid stocks all known to exist. "Never say never” applies when discussing Smith & Wesson.

Prewar Service Stocks, large medallion, non-checkered, “smooth”, (1930)

Pre-War N Frame Medallion Service Stocks Smooth “Presentation” - Rare

Tuskoid – Faux Ivory Diamond Magna Stocks 1930s (.357 Magnum) Estimated < 10 made, *1 in black reportedly
.357 Magnum with &quot;Tuskoid&quot; Stocks...pics added

Roper Stocks could be factory ordered with .357 Magnums (Rare)

Non-Relieved, Diamond, Large Checkering – Coke style Target Stocks

Non-Relieved, Checkered, Non-Diamond Target Stocks dating from 1969-1974 (Courtesy Doc44) 1 known
I like stocks...
Fancy Stocks


Serial Numbers
The serial number of the revolver would be placed on the inside of the right stock panel. A general rule of thumb is stocks pre-1930 have the serial number written in pencil located towards the top and rear edge of the panel. In the 1930s serial numbers were then stamped under the stock circle/washer (est. 35,000-38,000 serial range?). This practice carried through into the post-war stocks. At some point perhaps in the mid-1960s the stamped serial number was relocated to the bottom of the right panel.



Escutcheons
The escutcheon and escutcheon nut were flush with the wood surface until 12-28-1967 to remove the diamond center on stocks. With the removal of the diamond center the escutcheons are recessed thereafter.

Metal Stock Circles “Washers”
Starting with the Pre-War Magnas the medallions would be fastened by a metal stock circle found on the inside of the grip panels. These early washers were steel/metal in color and generally had Patent date information on them, although examples without patent dates have been observed.



Metal washers finished in Black-Oxide were used from Post-War to the early 1970s (Approx. ’71-72). Plain metal washers were substituted and used until approximately June-July 1985. At which time the use of washers ceased with the exception of early combat grips.

Sticker/Labels
During the 1980s guns can be found with a numbered sticker on the Target Stocks. I don't know why these were used or their meaning, but they were used.



Accessories - Part Orders
Stocks were available for purchase from Smith & Wesson as an accessory parts order. Each panel (right-hand and left-hand) was given a part number: The left-hand part number was LH5913 or 5826 and the right-hand part number was RH5912 or RH5828.
It appears that in the 1960s – 70s Target stocks were often stamped with the corresponding part number and marked “NT-430” on the inside of the stocks. The “NT” designated N-frame Target stocks and “430” indicated the bore/caliber of revolver. Although, it appears most Target stocks from the late 60s and early 70s were stamped NT430 regardless of what model they were put on. I have seen “NT-38” and “NT-357”. This same terminology can also be found in some literature to differentiate between revolvers made by Smith & Wesson. Per previous posts on the forum: “these designations were used internally by the factory and are descriptive of the revolver being made. NT-430 is the 44 Magnum or Model 29, NT-357 is the .357 Magnum or Model 27. The Highway Patrolman (Model 28) is NTM-38. The Model 58 is N-410. The Model 66 (stainless version of the Combat Magnum) is FT-357. Some of the early parts sheets had the model name and number on them, but this was prior to the introduction of model numbers. –Doc44.”
In some instances the wood type was stamped on the inside (WAL). For example a set of “NT-WAL” stocks would be for an N-frame Target made of Walnut.




Early Non-Relieved “NR” Target Stocks and Serial Numbering


Approximately 1953-‘54, Smith & Wesson began offering Target Stocks as a special order feature or accessory to accompany their many adjustable sight revolvers such as the 1950 Target Model, 38/44 Outdoorsman and .357 Magnum. This was an interesting time period for not only the development of revolvers but the stocks themselves. Many people have debated whether or not early Target Stocks were serial numbered to guns as well as the rarity of serial numbered versus non-serial numbered Non-relieved (NR) Target Stocks. I hope to shed some light on this…

First, lets begin with serial numbering and why early Target Stocks may not be serial numbered. During this time frame Magna Stocks were the standard issue and therefore serial-numbered to the revolver being shipped. An individual could also order Target Stocks as an accessory item to their order, and in this case it appears that the revolvers would be shipped with the Magnas serial numbered to the gun and the Targets were included but un-marked. Meanwhile in some examples revolvers could be explicitly ordered with Target Stocks and the revolver would have shipped with only the Target Stocks attached. In theory the Stocks would have been serial numbered to the gun but it is commonly accepted for them to be non-marked. Lastly, an individual could simply order Target Stocks as an accessory item (parts order) and have the stocks shipped directly to them. Due to the special order nature of Target stocks being supplied while Magna Stocks were standard issue, it is rare to have a revolver with matching serial numbered NR Target Stocks. In review, it appears that only special ordered guns explicitly requesting Target Stocks may have been serial-numbered to the revolver.

In contrast to the prior paragraph there appears to be a group of serial-numbered NR Diamond Checkered Target Stocks that were used from approximately 1955-1958 on Model of 1950/1955 .45 Target Revolvers. Approximately, March 1955 the Model of 1955 Target Revolver became the first N-frame revolver to have all Target configurations (Target Stocks, Hammer, Trigger) standard and were supplied with NR Diamond Checkered Target Stocks that were serial numbered to the gun. However, later that year with the approaching introduction of the .44 Magnum and the Combat Magnum a decision was made to relieve the top of the left grip panel to aid in loading/extraction of cartridges. Furthermore, the introduction of these new models resulted in the decision to provide them with Target Stocks made of Goncalo Alves instead of Walnut. As a result existing NR Target Stocks in inventory were not to be used on the new .44 Magnum. To make things more interesting, it appears some NR Diamond Target Stocks had already been serial numbered to existing frames to be used for Model 1955 Targets but these frames were instead used in the .44 Magnum production. These Target Stocks and .44 Magnums were in the 130,XXX serial range. Since nothing was thrown away, it is believed that these serial numbered NR Diamond Targets were subsequently shipped with the Model 1950/1955 revolvers in the 143,000+ serial range until the miss-matched supply was exhausted. As such, I believe there were a number of Target Stocks supplied with serial numbers non-matching to the gun they shipped with due to the .44 Magnum Target Stock switch. (*As a collector of .45 caliber models from this time period, I believe this to be yet another S&W anomaly and not necessarily a “red-flag” when assessing .45 model revolvers with miss-matched stocks.)

Additionally, it is unclear what serial number or when serial numbering of Target Stocks stopped although I can confirm NR Diamond Targets with serial numbers of at least 165,000+ serial number range (*lowest serial I have recorded is 120,108) . I estimate that Target Stocks from 1955-1957 account for the bulk of serial numbered Target Stocks. Outside of this time-frame it would be considered rare for Target Stocks to have a serial number. “Coke” bottle Targets supplied on the .44 Magnum were not serial numbered. Relieved Diamond Target Stocks (Walnut) begin to appear around 1957-58 and were not serial numbered.

Last edited by Hoosier45; 10-07-2019 at 07:42 PM. Reason: Restoration
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Old 02-05-2018, 03:53 PM
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Great reference material.. Thanks for posting.
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Old 02-05-2018, 03:59 PM
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Wow! You put some work into this. Thank you!
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Old 02-05-2018, 04:06 PM
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Lots of good information in your post.

Bill
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Old 02-05-2018, 04:28 PM
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This is some great info. Thanks a lot. I learned a little about my non-relieved targets. I will definitely mark this page for future reference.
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Old 02-05-2018, 04:37 PM
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The seminal work on K-frame grips is an article in the Vol 20 No 4 Winter 1986
S&WCA Journal by Dave Damkaer, subtitled K-frames from 1899 to 1970. Its an
outstanding resource for everything about K-frame stocks.

An earlier article is about I-frame stocks, and it is Vol 19 No 3 Fall 1985 by Dave
Damkaer. It is a very complete reference for I-frame stocks from 1896 to 1961.

He had intended to do J, M, and N frames as well, but that did not happen.

Regards, Mike Priwer
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Old 02-05-2018, 04:52 PM
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wouldn't this be appropriate to put in Notable thread? it is too valuable to be lost with all the work that went into it
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Old 02-05-2018, 05:07 PM
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Thank you for this well laid out information with photos.
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Old 02-05-2018, 07:02 PM
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Great Job!!!! A ton of work to pull this thread together.

Thanks for sharing,
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Old 02-05-2018, 07:04 PM
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This is the kind of info that was posted up back when I first joined the forum!

Well thought out and well photographed, thank you.

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Old 02-05-2018, 07:19 PM
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NICE work!
Looks like you need a pic.
Feel free to use this one on this board, please.





//////////////////////////
2-10-18 Edit to add data:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoosier45 View Post
P.S. I’m still learning so please excuse my errors and politely comment below or PM me with suggestions or evidence/documentation to assist with this thread.
As we discussed via PM, I think I can add some good data and suggestions that you are certainly welcome to incorporate into your text if you wish. Any suggested edits I make are made in good faith for the benefit of all. As I said above, you've done some NICE work here.


Serial Numbers:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoosier45 View Post
1929 – 1938: Checkered Diamond Service Stocks; Large Silver Medallion (*First Style of Stocks to have the serial number stamped on the inside of the right panel).
I agree with you because I can't recall seeing non-medallion grips with a stamped number. But, I've seen so many N silver medallion grips without numbers I have to think the earliest ones were written in pencil.



Magnas:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoosier45 View Post
Directive issued September 5, 1935 that Magna Stocks be used on Registered Magnums (*unless ordered otherwise).
Quote:
Originally Posted by rct269 View Post
UH-----the September 5, 1935 directive I'm looking at treats with making Magna stocks---doesn't seem to instruct their use on .357's.
As Ralph points out, I think you could state this more clearly. Here is the order, which says to make magnas for the 357:


The order form for the 357 continued to let the buyer choose Magnas or service stocks with grip adapter. They even wanted the buyer to state whether he wanted the grip adapter attached, or just shipped with the gun!


Stock Circles:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoosier45 View Post
These early washers were steel/metal in color and generally had Patent date information on them, although examples without patent dates have been observed.
They are plated steel. Probably chrome plated like the medallions.


Quote:
Originally Posted by rct269 View Post
And the unmarked Magna metal stock circles are the early version---those stamped with the patent dates the later---and I have no idea when the change occurred. I reckon a quick glance at the patent paperwork would more or less answer that question.
Here is the patent- Patent US2081438 - Pistol - Google Patents published May 25, 1937.

In the pic above, we see serial number 54310 has the date.
Here is serial number 53347 (963 numbers lower) without a patent date. It shipped Oct 9, 1937.
So, I'll GUESS patent dates appear in very late 37 to early 38.



I also have magnas that do NOT have patent dates with numbers:
48022
49440
49559
52229
There is almost certain to be some mixture of numbers with and without dates between 53347 and 54310 seen above.


Walnut-
You ever thought about this?
On the commercial Triple Locks we have beautiful Circassian Walnut. This continues all the way through the 455 TLs and 455-2nds. Then BLAM! We get the 1917s with the plainest American Black Walnut ever grown.
Can you imagine how WW I must have depleted the supply of walnut worldwide? Tons of it was used for rifle and handgun stocks. Many, many trees were probably destroyed by the war through shelling and just common use like building trenches. Much was probably burned for firewood.
After WW I, we see that same plain American Walnut used on the commercial guns.
Walnut was probably in short supply after the War, and S&W took what they could get. The earliest post-war stocks can do anything! I have seen them warp. I have seen them shrink and become slightly smaller than the grip frame, most likely because it had not yet been properly dried. I have seen them swell, and stand proud (hang over) the grip frame, probably because it had been overly dried in a kiln and later soaked some moisture back in. Gunstock wood is always traditionally AIR dried for years to stabilize, but after the War, I would not be surprised if they simply could not wait that long.
The wood again improves by the 1930s.

Coming later:
Fancy Grips-

Numbered Target Stocks-
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Old 02-05-2018, 07:25 PM
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A wonderful and educational article. I learned much from your knowledge. Great job.Thanks for sharing.
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Old 02-06-2018, 12:50 AM
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It got lost for awhile.

Now restored
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Old 02-06-2018, 12:53 AM
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Thank you, I'm not even close to being knowledgeable when it comes to grips and this should really help.
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Old 02-06-2018, 12:58 AM
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Thanks for all your effort and time. This is a great reference and has already helped me with my stock collection.
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Old 02-06-2018, 01:09 AM
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UH-----the September 5, 1935 directive I'm looking at treats with making Magna stocks---doesn't seem to instruct their use on .357's.

The only reason this caught my attention is my observation of pre-war Magnums over the years showed both styles in use long after the directive date. That, and the fact that the gentleman who ordered my first year RM (shipped 12/19/35) had originally specified standard grips with adapter, learned about the availability of the Magna's after the fact of his order---and wrote in changing it.

Ralph Tremaine

And the unmarked Magna metal stock circles are the early version---those stamped with the patent dates the later---and I have no idea when the change occurred. I reckon a quick glance at the patent paperwork would more or less answer that question.

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Old 02-06-2018, 01:30 AM
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Thank you so much for this reference. It should be made a sticky.
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Old 02-06-2018, 01:47 AM
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Outstanding contribution to the forum
Thanks
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Old 02-06-2018, 01:49 AM
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wow, outstanding!
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Old 02-06-2018, 07:25 AM
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Thank you for posting.
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Old 02-06-2018, 07:27 AM
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Excellent post! Thank you!
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Old 02-06-2018, 08:21 AM
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Good work and thanks for presenting it to us this will help us new guys greatly
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Old 02-06-2018, 09:09 AM
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Did I miss the part about non relieved smooth targets and when they were used?
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Old 02-06-2018, 10:29 AM
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Fantastic information! Thanks for the considerable time I'm sure it took to compile it all.
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Old 02-06-2018, 10:37 AM
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Whew, that's a relief. Yesterday I thought I was in the Twilight Zone -- everybody was oooing and ahhing about something that I couldn't see. I was wondering "Did the Emperor get new clothes?"

Today I can see it. Thanks for all the work it took to put that together.
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Old 02-06-2018, 10:46 AM
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Thanks for taking the time to get all that together in one place.
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Old 02-06-2018, 11:52 AM
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Great work! You beat me to it. This has been on my to-do list for a while. I also have spare examples of pretty much every stock/grip variety you show. I have them spread out on a table in my shop. I got as far as taking pics of all seven pre-war N varieties and a few of the post-war targets. You saved me a ton of effort. Maybe I'll so the same with K or I sometime.
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Old 02-06-2018, 12:26 PM
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Fantastic Post! I enjoyed reading the information and certainly appreciated the time and research you have invested.
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Old 02-06-2018, 01:21 PM
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Thanks to Hoosier45 for putting that great reference material together and doing such a good job of organizing and describing it. And thanks to Handejector for getting it back on this page for all of us to see. I also think the information is worth of a "sticky". I can imagine wanting to refer to it often!
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Old 02-06-2018, 01:26 PM
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Major league attaboy.
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Old 02-06-2018, 02:44 PM
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BRAVO!
Hopefully it will be pinned for reference.
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Old 02-06-2018, 03:30 PM
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Outstanding work! This should be published in the Journal.

Bob
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Old 02-06-2018, 03:52 PM
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Great job! I appreciate all the work you put into it. In answer to Combat, I have quite a few non-relieved,smooth rosewood,presentation target stocks. They all letter and are all on special order and engraved N frames. They date from 1953 to 1956. They may have started earlier. Doc44 May have an earlier example. The photo is a special order two toned 357 Magnum shipped in 1955. Bill
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Old 02-06-2018, 04:10 PM
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Terrific Job, I can truly appreciate how much effort something like this takes...it took ME a good five minutes to figure out how to copy it and put it somewhere on my computer...I screwed up and had to redo it a couple of times. Thank you
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Old 02-06-2018, 04:29 PM
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Outstanding information. I am grateful for your sharing the knowledge.
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Old 02-06-2018, 07:27 PM
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Excellent. Thank you for your efforts!
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Old 02-06-2018, 09:18 PM
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Quote:
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Outstanding work! This should be published in the Journal.

Bob
Definitely should be published.
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Old 02-06-2018, 10:17 PM
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Great information thread! To the OP or anyone else. football targets..what time frame did the part of the stock that curls up to the trigger guard get shorter .Also when did the front part of the butt ( toe ) have a more of a flare than a somewhat straight downward slope.
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Old 02-07-2018, 12:17 AM
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Laketime...Target stocks with less wood in the trigger guard area started to be used in 1973-1974. I don't know the answer to your second question.

Bill
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Old 02-07-2018, 12:32 AM
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Quote:
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Laketime...Target stocks with less wood in the trigger guard area started to be used in 1973-1974. I don't know the answer to your second question.

Bill
Thank you Bill
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Old 02-07-2018, 02:46 AM
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Remarkable work. Thank you.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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Old 02-07-2018, 11:50 AM
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Great info. Thanks.

Moderators, this needs to be "stickied"

Adios,

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Old 02-07-2018, 12:37 PM
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Wow!!!!!! Thank You, Thank You!!!!!!
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Old 02-10-2018, 02:48 AM
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Comments added in Post 11
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Old 02-10-2018, 01:06 PM
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In the from-the-factory "fancy stock" category, this set letters as shipping in 1952 on a 3.5" pinto engraved 357.





It is widely believed that these were carved by Alvin White.
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Old 02-10-2018, 01:11 PM
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Just excellent! Thanks for a great post.

One question I have that remains unanswered is a description of the various original stock finishes used by the factory, particularly on the Target stocks. Would you please offer up some information on that subject as well?
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Old 02-10-2018, 02:06 PM
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Just discovered this thread and am glad I did. I love the older N-frames and this clears up a lot for me.
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Old 02-10-2018, 02:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RKmesa View Post
In the from-the-factory "fancy stock" category, this set letters as shipping on a pinto engraved 357 in 1952.





It is widely believed that these were carved by Alvin White.
Oh my goodness, Richard!! They are the prettiest stocks I have ever seen! If someone ever asks you what they are worth, I have the answer for you. They are definitely priceless!!!
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Old 02-10-2018, 03:33 PM
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Richard,

Here is similar pair of carved target grips which came on an engraved Reg. Mag. that I have. Not quite the detail of yours and missing the medallions and inlays but still a pretty nice hand. I have no idea who might have done the woodwork or metalwork.

Bob
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Smith &amp; Wesson N Frame Stocks / Grips - A Reference Guide-carved-grip-lt-jpg   Smith &amp; Wesson N Frame Stocks / Grips - A Reference Guide-carved-grip-rt-jpg  
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Old 02-10-2018, 05:40 PM
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Smith &amp; Wesson N Frame Stocks / Grips - A Reference Guide Smith &amp; Wesson N Frame Stocks / Grips - A Reference Guide Smith &amp; Wesson N Frame Stocks / Grips - A Reference Guide Smith &amp; Wesson N Frame Stocks / Grips - A Reference Guide Smith &amp; Wesson N Frame Stocks / Grips - A Reference Guide  
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Default Smith &amp; Wesson N Frame Stocks / Grips - A Reference Guide

Thank you all for the positive feedback. I had been working on this for a while and was at the point where I needed more feedback/opinions/research as I had exhausted my sources. I wanted this to be a fairly comprehensive overview and hoped that other knowledgeable collectors could assist in taking this a step further. It is somewhat intimidating to post something like this, as there is not really a bona fide correct answer for some of the items and dates discussed. Hopefully I have provided a good starting point and now we can refine some details, but I’d prefer that we don’t get caught up in the minutia. Although some would say we’re already in the minutia...

My goal is to establish some generally accepted time-frames and share information. If someone would like a more deep dive into a specific topic, may I suggest you start a new thread to discuss and we can revise this thread later. For example, the idea to discuss factory finishes used on wood stocks? Excellent idea and this is something I have long wondered about too. Also, I plan to start a separate thread on Custom Stocks, Sandersons, Ropers, Farrants, Hurst, etc. But that is another can of worms!

To Ralph and Lee, in regards to the Directive on Magna Stocks...
Thank you for your input. I will revise the language to reflect this. I know that customers could order and specify what they wanted including magnas vs. service stocks with(out) grip adaptor. What I meant in my original statement above was that Magna Stocks were to be made and supplied with the .357 Magnum but not that they replaced the Service Stocks. Both types were used and correct for the .357 Magnum.
I find the Sept. 5, 1935 Directive to be a little confusing. Was this a directive to start producing Magna Stocks OR to start producing Magnas with metal stock circles? I interpret this to mean that the Magna Stocks were built exclusively for the flagship .357 Magnum and were to be used as standard issue unless specifically ordered with Service Stocks. If a large law enforcement agency were to place an order for 50 .357 Magnums in the late ‘30s would they ship with Magnas or Service Stocks? As you know the .357 Magnum is a little different as you could specify almost any option you wanted which makes this somewhat of endless debate… but what is the more common/likely scenario

Serial Numbers:
“1929 – 1938: Checkered Diamond Service Stocks; Large Silver Medallion (*First Style of Stocks to have the serial number stamped on the inside of the right panel).”
I meant that it appears this style of stocks were the first style to have serial numbers stamped on them. The early ones appear to have pencil written serial numbers and at some point the stamped numbers emerge. Was hoping someone would have a “low” stamped serial number to share… I’m guessing an early 38/44 in the 3X,XXX serial range is a good guess?

Stock Circles:
Thanks Lee and Richard (RKMesa) for further guidance on stock circles. The early ones did not have patent dates and at some point they emerge with patent dates in the late ’37-38 time period. I think we’re all in agreement!

Lee (Handejector),
Great point on Walnut Stocks!!! You bring up some very good observations. Looking forward to any more photos or primary resources you have at your disposal. Especially from the WW1 period to WWII.
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Last edited by Hoosier45; 03-27-2018 at 11:00 PM.
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