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Old 05-16-2018, 06:37 PM
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Default .44 HE 4th model target (letter update)

I can't get enough of these N frames. Noticed this one while searching and had to have it and just got it home. Numbers match (S 161xxx), except on the magnas. Barrel is 5 " and wonder if anyone would like to guess if it's been cut or not. I'll be sending a letter request out tomorrow. I'll be happy with the purchase either way.

Thanks for looking.


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Old 05-16-2018, 06:39 PM
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Very nice. Looks original to me (but what do I know)?
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Old 05-16-2018, 06:42 PM
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Beautiful, Just from the look of the balance of the rollmarks I'd feel safe to say it was an original barrel, that appears to be the most common way to tell if they've been cut. I have a 25-2 that was cut from 6" to 5" and the marks don't center on the barrel, other than that it can be hard to tell if the guy doing the work did a nice job.
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Old 05-16-2018, 07:29 PM
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Perhaps a five inch gun would have had that type of front sight but definitely not like the 6.5 inch versions. Someone will be along who knows. Nice gun.

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Old 05-16-2018, 07:42 PM
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Looks legit to me. The S/N is in the range of others known to have shipped with the rare 5” barrel. Good luck with your letter!
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Old 05-16-2018, 07:42 PM
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Close-up photos of the muzzle and front sight base from different angles would help for an opinion about the barrel.
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Old 05-16-2018, 07:56 PM
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Looks good from here, but only letter to be sure. Is there a "b" inside of diamond near SN in barrel shroud? Any service dates on frame under grip?
Not much better than a 5" 44!! This pic in Sixguns cost me a chunk to finally get one, lol. Had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Keith, when he spoke to S&WCA in Boise, and he got a chuckle out of that.
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Old 05-16-2018, 09:11 PM
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If it letters, it is an EXTREMELY rare revolver. It is in the serial number range of a couple of known examples. The ramp front sight matches a couple of known guns also. I’d say it is original.
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Old 05-16-2018, 10:06 PM
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I'm sorry to see you'll be happy either way. You should be adamant in your quest for textbook examples----made the way God intended. Should you wish to come to your senses, I'll be happy to trade you an as new PROPER example---complete with the "Bright Blue" finish, target grips, complete with a Patridge sight---as God intended.

As an aside, and in response to those commenting on the position of barrel roll marks, know that were one to whack 1 1/2" off my 6 1/2" barrel, the roll marks would be almost perfectly centered on the remaining 5" barrel.

The moral of this story is: Roll marks, schmroll marks!!

Let us know what the letter has to say---unless it's bad news---or no news.

Those are maddening----I have an 8" 1st Model .32 caliber Single Shot--letters as a 10" .22; a 6" 2nd Model Single Shot---letter says they don't know what the barrel length is; a New Model #3 Target (Those made ONLY in 32-44 and 38-44 S&W.) This one is chambered for, and marked "38 WINCHESTER CTG" on the numbers matching barrel. The letter says they don't know what the caliber is. Here's hoping you don't get a letter like these.

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Old 05-17-2018, 08:28 AM
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I have owned two 1950 44 Targets with a five inch barrel and one 1950 45 Target with a five inch barrel; each has a ramp front sight blade. A rare gun as S&W shipped approximately sixty 44 Targets with a five inch barrel between June 1950 and June 1956 and approximately ten 45 Targets with this barrel length.

Bill


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Old 05-17-2018, 10:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jay73 View Post
I can't get enough of these N frames. Noticed this one while searching and had to have it and just got it home. Numbers match (S 161xxx), except on the magnas. Barrel is 5 " and wonder if anyone would like to guess if it's been cut or not. I'll be sending a letter request out tomorrow. I'll be happy with the purchase either way.
I'd say your's looks to be an original 5 inch.

Lord knows I've cut a bunch of 1950 44 Spl & 45 acp barrels to 5"....


I acquired this lettered 5" several years ago..It now resides with a close personal friend.






.
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Old 05-17-2018, 01:56 PM
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he needs some wolf & klaar steer heads for that.

why is it that nobody can make those things. how hard can it be. id buy 5 sets right now...

or one original if i could ever find a set
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Old 05-17-2018, 03:17 PM
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Front sight blade looks too tall. Base should be higher with a shorter blade. my guess is that it has been cut.
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Old 05-17-2018, 03:43 PM
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The front sight blade on this 1950 44 Target is similar to the one on the 5-inch revolver. This 44 letters with a red ramp front sight and white outline rear sight. It was shipped in November 1955. The stocks are by Keith Brown, but I have the original rosewood target stocks it was shipped with. The bright blue finish is original. The TT and TH were installed by a prior owner. Click on the photo for a better look

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Old 05-17-2018, 06:31 PM
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Thanks for everyone's opinions and thoughts on this. Much appreciated. There aren't any markings suggesting it went back to S&W.

Posting a few more pictures of the sights and muzzle. Thanks everyone.



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Old 05-17-2018, 07:17 PM
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Looks correct to me.

Bill
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Old 05-17-2018, 11:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doc44 View Post
Looks correct to me.

Bill
I'll have to go with Doc's diagnosis. He's forgotten more than I'll ever know!
I think you found a keeper!!!
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Old 05-18-2018, 10:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jay73 View Post
Thanks for everyone's opinions and thoughts on this. Much appreciated. There aren't any markings suggesting it went back to S&W.

Posting a few more pictures of the sights and muzzle. Thanks everyone.



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It looks great, but what about the flat pins?

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Old 05-18-2018, 10:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CptCurl View Post
It looks great, but what about the flat pins?

Curl
I have seen lettered guns that had exposed rounded pins and also flat polished ones as on the OP's. Just shift in production methods? Also seen in other models. Thats my SWAG. When the letter comes back is only way to know. For many years you could have barrel shortened and sight moved by the Factory for small fee. Service marks were not always stamped.
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Old 05-18-2018, 10:44 AM
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The finished condition of the two pins securing the ramp base to the barrel rib is variable. Some revolvers have the pins polished flush and some do not (i.e. proud). The variation is probably a result of who was working on a particular revolver. Note the pins on the 1950 45 Target shown in the photo below (click on it for a better look).

Bill


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Old 05-18-2018, 11:59 AM
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The flush polished pinned ramp & sight blade were blued with the barrel.


Those with 'proud' pins in all likelihood were not.


* Be advised to watch those with polished flush pins, for bluing salts to leech out between the rib and the ramp....
A shot of penetrating oil from time to time helps to eliminate this problem.


A lot of the 6 1/2" barrels I have cut suffered from this malady.




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Old 05-18-2018, 03:45 PM
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I always accept Doc44's assessment. Although to be honest he's right only about 99.97% of the time.
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Old 05-18-2018, 05:20 PM
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Roy Jinks has been asked about flush vs. domed pins in this period. He posted that we should not get hung up on this detail and confirmed that the inconsistency is normal.
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Old 05-18-2018, 06:18 PM
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That's good to know.

Learning every day! Thanks for sharing all the knowledge.

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Old 06-04-2018, 04:36 PM
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Letter arrived today. 6.5 inch barrel with Patridge front sight. Disappointed a bit, but still pretty to look at (and shoot, eventually).

Yours thoughts and opinions are welcome.

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Old 06-04-2018, 04:49 PM
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I think that barrel was cut at the Factory even though it did not ship that way. I also think the Factory probably reblued the gun.
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Old 06-04-2018, 04:57 PM
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I have a 27-2 that was converted to a 5", .44 Special that I paid over a grand for. A really professional job with an original S&W Patridge sight barrel, counter-bored chambers and a quality rust blue. I'm delighted with my revolver as you should be with your really professional job.

I only regret not buying a Pre-27, 5" .44Sp. conversion a few years before.

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Old 06-04-2018, 05:11 PM
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I'd be thrilled with that gun, originality not withstanding.
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Old 06-04-2018, 05:13 PM
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jay73, how many revolvers were in that shipment to HH Harris? That part was cut off in your post.
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Old 06-04-2018, 05:30 PM
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Quote:
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jay73, how many revolvers were in that shipment to HH Harris? That part was cut off in your post.
10 units. Didn't notice that was cut out.

Perhaps, I've over looked something, but I can't find marks that would suggest factory rework/refinish. I assume there are instances when the factory did not label them as refinished?
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Old 06-04-2018, 08:19 PM
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You are correct about the factory not marking every revolver returned for work. I have the factory work order to cut the barrel of a M29 that shipped with an 8 3/8”to 5”. There are no markings on the frame that it had been returned. Like yours it looks like it shipped that way.
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Old 06-04-2018, 08:52 PM
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Looks like factory work to me. I do NOT believe the factory (or anybody) refinished the gun, there is no indication. I'd be of the opinion that the gun is a legit 5" that was cut at the factory to fill an order ( or at an employees personal request) and the invoice mistakenly (or intentionally, to save extra costs for an employee) left unaltered. No way to prove it but the work is too good and with no rework marks on the gun I'd bet it's what happened. FYI, a former forum member has the same issue - a perfectly legit 5" in appearance but letters as a 6.5". I wonder how close they are in SN?

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Old 06-04-2018, 09:55 PM
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I tend to agree with Kris, sorta. If a revolver was in the vault and was inventoried as 6.5" taken out and altered to 5", it might still show on the invoice as 6.5".
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Old 06-05-2018, 02:47 PM
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I appreciate everyones feedback and information on this one.

Many thanks.
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Old 06-05-2018, 06:14 PM
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That is a beautiful elegant revolver in an excellent configuration regardless of what the letter states.

I would certainly be honored to own it.
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Old 06-10-2018, 12:35 PM
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I don't agree or disagree with any one about the barrel being original or not - I'm just amazed that the "Factory Letter" is always considered GOD (the final authority) unless of course it happens to disagree with what you want it to be.

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