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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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  #1  
Old 12-24-2019, 05:38 PM
pre64win pre64win is offline
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Default 5-Screw 44-Magnum - what do I have?

Hi S&W experts.

I am here because I am a life-long Winchester collector who happened to end up owning a S&W 44 Mag revolver that came to me as a part of a complete collection I purchased.

I thought it would be a simple matter to figure out exactly what I had purchased, but the more I try to research S&W revolvers, the more I realize this is no easy task. I have been through the sticky on what is needed to identify a S&W pistol and am posting photos here of everything I think will be needed. If the experts here can help me understand just what it is I have purchased, I would really appreciate it.





















If there are other photos you need, please let me know and I'll be glad to post them.

Any information you can provide to help me understand what I have purchased will be greatly appreciated!

Merry Christmas,

Justin
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Old 12-25-2019, 12:37 PM
22hipower 22hipower is offline
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Looks like you have one of the most desirable 44 magnums; a four inch possibly shipped in the first year of production. You'll need to confirm the ship date to know for sure (letter available for $100, see links here on the forum as to how to get one; will provide original ship to address too) as these didn't ship in sequence. I have SN S161859 which shipped in November 1956 (first year). Looks like a very nice gun in excellent condition. Also known to collectors as a "pre-29" as these became the Model 29 in 1957. Did you also get the box and tools? The whole package in the condition we can see is likely valued in the $4000+ range. Only about 200 of these 4 inch guns shipped in 1956. Very, very, nice and welcome to the forum. I noticed your Woodinville, WA location, use to live there back in the early '80s. Any other S&Ws in that collection? Oh, and great pictures too! There's a "search" function at the top of the page, just enter "44 magnum" or "pre-29" there and you'll find many previous threads about the 44 magnums.

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Old 12-25-2019, 12:46 PM
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Welcome to the group Justin.
Your pre 29 is a real beauty.
- Don
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Old 12-25-2019, 12:54 PM
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What, that old thing? It doesn't even have a model number.
I'll give you a couple of hundred bucks for it and take it off your hands just 'cause I like old oddball things.

Seriously though, that's a beautiful pre model number 44 magnum Hand Ejector, with a very desirable set of target stocks in the style known as "Coke bottle" or "Cokes". The stocks alone are worth $500, and I'd venture to say you'll shortly be receiving offers in the $1500-$2000 range for it as pictured.

You made quite an entrance to our community. Welcome aboard.
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Old 12-25-2019, 02:24 PM
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Welcome to the forum and congrats on a very nice revolver.
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Old 12-25-2019, 02:28 PM
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Woodinville, WA huh...I grew up in Duvall and Maltby. My mom was a mail carrier for the Woodinville PO in the late '70s/early '80s. Small world.

The gun? What's more to be said? I would definitely get a letter on it!
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Old 12-25-2019, 03:03 PM
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Justin - Beautiful gun and welcome to the forum. And nice photos, too. I think the only way to truly find out when it was shipped is to get a letter from S&W. Don't try to guess the date from others like it with close serial numbers as they jumped all over back in that time frame. For instance, an earlier poster has serial S161XXX from 1956, and I have a 4" 5 screw with serial S 153037 which shipped in February 1957. So the numbering didn't always match the shipping times. Also, I have seen some postings regarding the 4" 5 screw models that say there were 200 made in 1956 and about another 500 made in 1957. So they are kind of 'rare'. If you get a letter, please let us know what you find out. Good luck and enjoy your new revolver.
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Old 12-25-2019, 03:25 PM
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Woodinville, WA huh...I grew up in Duvall and Maltby. My mom was a mail carrier for the Woodinville PO in the late '70s/early '80s. Small world.

The gun? What's more to be said? I would definitely get a letter on it!
LOL, I didn't even notice that the OP was from Woodinville! I lived in the Kingsgate area of Kirkland less than 5 miles from Woodinville for 16 of my 29 years in The People's Republic of Puget Sound.
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Old 12-25-2019, 03:33 PM
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Oh, wow, guys. Thanks so much for the informative and helpful information. I am actually embarrassed to tell you all this - I paid around $550 for the gun, believing it would be worth $800-$1000. I had no clue.

It did come with a case:




I really appreciate your expertise!

And for all my fellow and former Pacific Northwesters - Great to find you here! This is far from the nicest time of year here, but you all know this is a great place to live.
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Old 12-25-2019, 03:39 PM
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Outstanding! Looks like you might have some minor staining on the frame from the stocks. Possibly could be removed with Kroil or something similar. We also appreciate pictures of Winchesters which you could post in the Other Guns section.
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Old 12-25-2019, 03:42 PM
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LOL, I didn't even notice that the OP was from Woodinville! I lived in the Kingsgate area of Kirkland less than 5 miles from Woodinville for 16 of my 29 years in The People's Republic of Puget Sound.
Indeed, they do love their socialism out here. It's not easy to be an out of the closet gun-lover in these parts!
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Old 12-25-2019, 03:57 PM
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Originally Posted by pre64win View Post
Oh, wow, guys. Thanks so much for the informative and helpful information. I am actually embarrassed to tell you all this - I paid around $550 for the gun, believing it would be worth $800-$1000. I had no clue.

It did come with a case:




I really appreciate your expertise!

And for all my fellow and former Pacific Northwesters - Great to find you here! This is far from the nicest time of year here, but you all know this is a great place to live.
Hang on to that case and hopefully the tools are in it too; you paid less for the gun than the case/tools are worth. The insides usually look a little ratty if the gun was stored in it, that blue material inside can be replaced. You won the lottery on that one.

Jeff
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Old 12-25-2019, 04:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pre64win View Post
Oh, wow, guys. Thanks so much for the informative and helpful information. I am actually embarrassed to tell you all this - I paid around $550 for the gun, believing it would be worth $800-$1000. I had no clue.

It did come with a case:




I really appreciate your expertise!

And for all my fellow and former Pacific Northwesters - Great to find you here! This is far from the nicest time of year here, but you all know this is a great place to live.
OK, now you're just piling on...

With that box, if the tools are in it, the package is easily worth 4 times what you stole it for. SCORE!
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Old 12-25-2019, 04:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 22hipower View Post
Hang on to that case and hopefully the tools are in it too; you paid less for the gun than the case/tools are worth. The insides usually look a little ratty if the gun was stored in it, that blue material inside can be replaced. You won the lottery on that one.

Jeff
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Thanks Jeff.

The case does have an original blue lining, which is in fair, but far from perfect condition. Definitely some wear from the gun being stored in the case. There are no tools that I have found yet. The gun did come as a part of a complete collection, including many boxes of random firearm related things. I appreciate the photo of what the box should contain so I can go sift through things and see if the tools are tossed in one of the other boxes.

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OK, now you're just piling on...

With that box, if the tools are in it, the package is easily worth 4 times what you stole it for. SCORE!
Honestly, it really does feel a bit embarrassing to come here as a non-S&W collector without a clue and to find out I stumbled by accident into something so desirable. It really should have been one of you... except you all would have felt guilty buying it so cheap!!!

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Any other S&Ws in that collection?
There were two other S&Ws in the lot. Both were modern semi-auto pistols. A 915 in 9mm and a 22A in 22LR. Nice pistols, but not nearly as interesting as the .44 Mag.

Thanks guys, you really have provided a bonus gift to me this Christmas!

Justin
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Old 12-25-2019, 04:41 PM
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Very nice 44 Magnum with its presentation case. Based on the style of the case and the serial number, I would guess your Magnum dates to early 1957. Based on my research of factory records, I have estimated the number of 44 Magnums with a 5-screw frame and 4-inch barrel to be less than 700.

Bill
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Old 12-25-2019, 04:42 PM
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Well....That thar is just a dandy...right thar for sure.

Extra Nice !!!

.
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Old 12-25-2019, 04:49 PM
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Real nice.
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Old 12-25-2019, 05:21 PM
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I had to re-check the date to make sure this was Christmas and not April Fools day!
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Old 12-25-2019, 05:22 PM
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Very nice 44 Magnum with its presentation case. Based on the style of the case and the serial number, I would guess your Magnum dates to early 1957. Based on my research of factory records, I have estimated the number of 44 Magnums with a 5-screw frame and 4-inch barrel to be less than 700.

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Old 12-25-2019, 06:05 PM
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I was able to find a few of the tools, including 2 cleaning rods, but no screwdriver. Here's a photo of the inside of the box.



I am guessing the screwdrivers are pretty hard to come by?
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Old 12-25-2019, 06:27 PM
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I was able to find a few of the tools, including 2 cleaning rods, but no screwdriver. Here's a photo of the inside of the box.



I am guessing the screwdrivers are pretty hard to come by?
You can find one on eBay, not every day but they do show up. You want the 8 ridge aluminum one shown in my picture above I think. There's one for sale there now for $69.99 plus shipping which is about as inexpensive as you're likely to find. And while it is one (screwdriver) folks here call it a SAT (sight adjustment tool).

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Old 12-25-2019, 06:39 PM
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"what do I have?"

A very nice S&W handgun.
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Old 12-25-2019, 06:59 PM
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Welcome to the forum from the Eastside. That is a heck of an entrance, nice tease...first the Pre-29 4" w/Cokes, then the black box presentation case and then an interior shot with tools. Nice score and good for you. Need I say Merry Christmas?
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Old 12-25-2019, 07:34 PM
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That is beautiful.Mine is within 65 digits of yours and letters to have shipped in Nov 1956. But that means nothing in S&W land. In order to know it is a 1st year gun you will have to get a letter. Since you are not a S&W collector you will likely want to sell that for quite a windfall. The $100 letter will be well worth it in a sale for authenticity, especially on an auction site. If it letters to 1956 (it likely will because very very few 5 screw 4" guns were shipped in 1957.) But a few were.
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Old 12-25-2019, 07:40 PM
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Welcome to the forum. Amazing find. I'll give you what you paid for it, plus shipping. No, kidding, again an amazing find.

LOCK IT IN A SAFE
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Old 12-25-2019, 08:05 PM
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Quote:
Honestly, it really does feel a bit embarrassing to come here as a non-S&W collector without a clue and to find out I stumbled by accident into something so desirable.
Pre64Win

I suppose you could have found a Triple Lock or a Registered Magnum. Other than that a 5 screw .44 Magnum is about as good as it gets.

I am certain several people here will be willing to make you reasonable offers should you want to part with it. If you are interested in finding out about local market conditions I would strongly recommend taking it over to DJ's (next to the Bothell Post Office on Beardslee Blvd.) in the next few days. Ask Bruce what he would recommend as a consignment price.
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Old 12-25-2019, 08:18 PM
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Pre64Win

I suppose you could have found a Triple Lock or a Registered Magnum. Other than that a 5 screw .44 Magnum is about as good as it gets.

I am certain several people here will be willing to make you reasonable offers should you want to part with it. If you are interested in finding out about local market conditions I would strongly recommend taking it over to DJ's (next to the Bothell Post Office on Beardslee Blvd.) in the next few days. Ask Bruce what he would recommend as a consignment price.
Thanks for that. I know Bruce well and have found him a good and honest source of info before. I definitely will being him in and show it to him.
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Old 12-25-2019, 09:52 PM
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Originally Posted by pre64win View Post
Thanks for that. I know Bruce well and have found him a good and honest source of info before. I definitely will being him in and show it to him.
Cool. If you would afterwards, come back and let us know what his local market evaluation of it is. I think that would be quite interesting.
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Old 12-26-2019, 12:56 AM
Texas Star Texas Star is offline
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I wouldn't sell that for awhile. You may find it grows on you. You have probably made a singular purchase which you will never duplicate.

Besides, you live in WA, well known as Bigfoot habitat. Wear that in the woods when a Model 70 rifle would be too inconvenient. Just get a good lined holster to avoid further blue wear like that at the muzzle.

Better yet, buy a stainless M-629. It's wet up there until you reach the dry eastern part of the state. Isn't that where the famous wineries are? Ch.Ste.Michelle, Columbia Crest, etc.? (Woodinville.)

Please post some of your astounding photos of your Model 70's in the Other Makes forum here. I'm impressed by CZ and Sako rifles, but the M-70 is my favorite.

Last edited by Texas Star; 12-26-2019 at 01:35 AM.
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Old 12-26-2019, 03:03 AM
pre64win pre64win is offline
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I really can't thank all of you enough. Thanks for the warm welcome and thanks for all the really helpful information.

@mbliss57 - Thank you! For now, the pistol is not for sale. I plan to order the factory letter and learn whatever I can about its history. I also intend to complete the set by finding the missing sight tool. That will give me time to learn more about it and also to figure out its true value. And as Texas Star suggested - this will give the S&W time to grow on me so I will end up collecting more than just Winchesters!

@Kinman - I am so sorry. I agree, it was the most annoying way I possibly could have done it, but please know it was complete and genuine cluelessness on my part!

@Peak53 - thank you! I have not yet cleaned the pistol. But at some point I will and (like you) I have found Kroil a fantastic cleaner for tough stains on bluing. I will definitely take your advice and will give it a try on the stains.

@Texas Star - Yes, we live in wine country. Our town of Woodinville has a population of less than 15,000 and more than 130 wineries!

@Suburbanite & @BC38 - I definitely will come back after talking with Bruce and will let you know what he feels the value is.

Again, thank you all for the nice welcome and the great information. You all know far better than I do that these old S&W pistols are not easy to figure out. You really did me a solid favor with your knowledge and advice.

Merry Christmas to you all,

Justin
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Old 12-26-2019, 04:23 PM
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Welcome to the forum, from another Puget Sound dweller.

Usually just lurk in this part of the forum, but had to congratulate you on the accidental acquisition of a superb pistol!

BruceB
(not the Bruce mentioned in the thread)
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  #32  
Old 12-30-2019, 11:12 AM
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Wanna double your money??

Someday I hope to find something like this, when I'm not really looking for it!
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Old 12-30-2019, 03:34 PM
Rick Bowles Rick Bowles is offline
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I think to complete the experience you should shoot it a couple times! It's been shot, you're not going to hurt it and it's a blast! (pun intended)
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Old 12-31-2019, 12:00 AM
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If you can wait until April when I return North, I have a 29-2 I purchased from "Bruce" and I'd let you shoot it @ Kenmore with either specials or magnums.....Notime2
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Old 12-31-2019, 10:29 AM
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Welcome to the Forum. Tickled pink that you found us.

Congratulations on the score of the century!

May this be the start of a "New" S & W Collection to go with your Winchesters.

WR
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Old 01-01-2020, 06:26 PM
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What a great find, congratulations. Here's my first year 5 screw with the factory letter.
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Old 01-06-2020, 11:28 AM
pre64win pre64win is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moosedog View Post
What a great find, congratulations. Here's my first year 5 screw with the factory letter.
This is very cool. I am definitely going to order the factory letter. Thanks!
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Old 01-06-2020, 06:24 PM
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Here are 2 of my 5 screw 44 magnums. 6.5" barrel and 4" barrels.
6.5" Letters to have shipped July 1956. S/N S166xxx
4" letters to have shipped Nov 6 1956 S/N S 156xxx
I also just had a 4 screw 44 magnum s/n S170xxx shipped June 1957

As you can see s/n is no indicator of when they actually shipped.




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Old 01-06-2020, 08:16 PM
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Gorgeous 5-screws, all. Wish I could find one at a show.
Don't ever sell it, pre64win.
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Old 01-06-2020, 10:01 PM
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The king of the six guns!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 01-08-2020, 03:46 AM
pre64win pre64win is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mbliss57 View Post
Here are 2 of my 5 screw 44 magnums.
They are in amazing condition!

Also they are very growing on me. I have no plans to sell right now
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Old 01-08-2020, 07:59 AM
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Just a wonderful find with the box and all. I have S171XXX that shipped June 3rd, 1957
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