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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 07-30-2018, 07:40 AM
mrcvs mrcvs is offline
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Default Triple Lock "Target" Model question

I know of a Triple Lock that contains a star indicating refinishing or at least a trip back to Smith & Wesson for one reason or another. The factory letter indicates that it was returned twice for "rework" or "refinishing". The letter does not indicate for what reason the revolver was returned. Presumably, these dates are stamped under the grips.

The present configuration is a Target Model. Presumably, the "rework" in the late '40's or early '50's was to convert to Target Model configuration. But this cannot be proven...

So, value? In my opinion, a real conundrum!!!

Should this be valued as a Target Model, more in line with this being standard configuration, or even knocking a considerable amount off due to the potential for this being a non factory after market alteration?

Since it cannot be proven that alteration to Target configuration occurred at the factory, only surmised, I might be inclined to value it as the last of the three options.

Thoughts?
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Old 07-30-2018, 08:22 AM
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Depending on the rework dates, the SWHF may have documentation regarding what was done with a records search. Of course, you have to have the letter of authenticity first and may not want to spend the money for this on a gun you don't own, but this would influence its value.
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Old 07-30-2018, 08:31 AM
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I'm guessing by the timeframe of returns to the factory it's a post war target set-up? If so, definitely not in TLT money range. If it's got pre-war sights, I don't see the factory installing those even in the late 40's.

I've got a 1917 factory converted to a nickel 45 Colt. Though cool, I wouldn't consider it one of the rare 45 Colt 2nd models. I've also got a 1926 that got pre war sights added, not at the factory. Another cool one but valued as a unique shooter.
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Old 07-30-2018, 08:41 AM
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If the sights are post war style, very big impact. Pre war sights, not so big.
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Old 07-30-2018, 09:16 AM
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Yes, post-war. Sent back to factory in 1949 & 1950.
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Old 07-30-2018, 09:21 AM
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Depending on exactly what was (re) done and its current condition, I would guess it is worth at somewhere between 50 and 75% of the original (fixed sight) gun. Big help, I know
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Old 07-30-2018, 09:36 AM
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Yes, but are the sights post-war?!! If so, then this becomes a moot point-------but

An original pre-war target will carry sights numbered (on the bottom) to the frame. A standard pre-war gun returned for conversion to target---or a pre-war target returned for updated (but still pre-war sights) will not.

The reason is simplicity itself. Such work is performed by the Service Department. The Service Department works on one gun at a time. As such, there is no need to number the sights---so they don't. This from Jinks about 20 years ago when I was sweating out the authenticity of a prospective acquisition.

Ralph Tremaine
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Old 07-30-2018, 09:57 AM
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Would love to see a picture!
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Old 07-30-2018, 02:55 PM
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mrcvs,

Obviously there's no easy answer to this. But I would certainly get more evidence, especially since it already has a letter, before coming up with a price. You didn't state but presumably the letter confirmed it shipped as a fixed sight gun, correct?

Can you confirm the rework date(s) on the grip frame?

One easy observation, however, a member mentioned above; are the sights post war? If so, it's just a fixed sight shooter price.

Also if it has a pre war sight, the conversion was likely done pre war and not by the factory since the pre war sight likely dates it earlier than the factory rework dates. But not positively since that early after the war, S&W may have still had a pre war sight in old inventory.

If you can obtain a copy of the letter, and print it or email it and apply to the SWHF for paperwork on the reworks. If they don't have anything, it won't cost you anything.

Finally, it comes down to how much you like it and what it's worth to you. Then if that price can be negotiated with the seller. If I liked the gun and especially if had pre war sights professionally installed, I could pay close to a refinished fixed sight TL in like condition.
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Old 07-30-2018, 08:45 PM
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The letter states this was not a Target Model as originally shipped. I would presume the dates of rework are under the grips on the grip frame but cannot confirm this. The sights appear to be post war and this is confirmed by the owner. However, I am excusing myself from considering this any further as the modifications, even if factory, are not something particularly appealing.
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Old 07-30-2018, 10:37 PM
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Ian, consider it a "modified" Triple Lock, which would include the consideration of a refinish. In the "modified" grouping it's really worth whatever the eyes of the beholder deems.

A few members, especially SixgunStrumpet, come up with modified N Frames that are just drop-dead gorgeous that I wouldn't mind paying a heavier price for.

As far as "book" value goes, on modified guns, I cannot say there is such an animal.

Use your wit and your instinct but first ask yourself if you feel you just HAVE to own it.

Unless it is a King conversion or other well known gunsmith work, I'd take a pass on it. but that's just me.
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Old 07-30-2018, 10:42 PM
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I am curious about the front sight. Was it replaced also and if so what configuration was used? I believe a taller one would probably be necessary.
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Old 07-31-2018, 01:09 AM
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Target conversions are not necessarily a bad thing, even if non-factory.
Triple Lock target conversion (not King) - Tulsa, April 2014





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Old 07-31-2018, 06:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by model3sw View Post
Use your wit and your instinct but first ask yourself if you feel you just HAVE to own it.
I had already decided before starting this thread that I didn't think I really wanted it unless others chimed in that the documented return to the factory twice would place this in the category of at least an "acceptable" Target Model. Responses confirmed what I already thought. But I had to ask, as this is something I had not encountered before and my instincts could have been wrong. Had the letter and/or the grip frame not indicated a return to the factory, the answer would have been obvious.
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Old 07-31-2018, 07:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cjpetracca View Post
I am curious about the front sight. Was it replaced also and if so what configuration was used? I believe a taller one would probably be necessary.
Yes, replaced with a taller one, a Partridge front sight with an undercut rear portion of the blade, this making this revolver unattractive, IMHO. It just doesn't look like a Target Model Triple Lock should!
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Old 07-31-2018, 07:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom K View Post
Target conversions are not necessarily a bad thing, even if non-factory.
Triple Lock target conversion (not King) - Tulsa, April 2014
]
Oh, Tom ! I feel so bad you're stuck with that nasty old King conversion in that awful .45 Colt caliber. Ship it to me and I'll pay you a few hundred for it. Never let it be said I didn't help a friend.

Seriously, now. Very nice and very unusual. You've got a unique TL there.
Congrats. Sal
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Old 07-31-2018, 11:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrcvs View Post
I had already decided before starting this thread that I didn't think I really wanted it unless others chimed in that the documented return to the factory twice would place this in the category of at least an "acceptable" Target Model. Responses confirmed what I already thought. But I had to ask, as this is something I had not encountered before and my instincts could have been wrong. Had the letter and/or the grip frame not indicated a return to the factory, the answer would have been obvious.
But especially w/o the confirmation of factory rework, that would guarantee the post war sight was not a factory installation or re-finish. I'd much prefer factory work to that.
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