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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 03-19-2020, 01:47 PM
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Default Can this be original finish?

I'm looking at these pics of an old prewar M&P 38, and the finish looks amazingly good. But all the indicators I'm seeing seem to point to it being original. Sideplate seam is tight, no buggered screws or dished screw holes, sharp rollmarks, light turn line, case coloring on trigger & hammer, hammer stud is still domed.
It looks too good to be true. What are the expert opinions, is this an original finish on a 90 or 100 year old gun - or just a really good reblue?
And what's it worth either way?

P.S. Obviously the stocks are MUCH newer, what would most likely be the correct ones for it? I'm thinking round top service stocks with medallions?
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Old 03-19-2020, 01:48 PM
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Some more pictures
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Can this be original finish?-p5-jpg   Can this be original finish?-p6-jpg   Can this be original finish?-p7-jpg   Can this be original finish?-p8-jpg  
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Old 03-19-2020, 02:06 PM
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What is the s/n? The knob on the extractor knob would indicate the 1920's but the s/n would nail it down. Your grips are from the mid 60s and later.

All of the following are original finish (or what's left of it) and matching grips.

1914


1924
do betta fish tanks need air pumps

1939


1946
uploadpics

FYI the single line stamp of "Made in USA" was originally ordered in May of 1922. The four line stamp came along in 1948.

I am not a finish expert but if I had to guess I would say your finish is original.
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Old 03-19-2020, 02:08 PM
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Its bluing looks original. As posted above it dates frome the start of stamping MADE IN USA to the discontinuation of the mushroom extractor rod tip. That is such a narrow range that the specific year would only matter to very few people so there's no need for its serial number.

Unlike plastic fantastic gotta have 'em panic pistols, IMO, it is a luxury discretionary item that is primarily of interest to, (how to put this politely?), stunningly hansom senior forum members with wash board abs. As their stored funds plummet into the abyss with the rest of the stock market so will its value. Are you asking us to speculate what it might sell for this week, next week, the week after or ...

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Old 03-19-2020, 02:12 PM
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The pin that the stocks was covering looks nicely domed. ....that's a good indication of original finish.
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Old 03-19-2020, 02:22 PM
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The pin that the stocks was covering looks nicely domed. ....that's a good indication of original finish.
Yeah, the domed hammer stud, the rollmarks, and the side seam all seem to indicate no significant buffing having been done.

I just got the SN from the owner, and it is 5786XX so that should narrow down the year.

So with its age, original finish, and incorrect stocks, what would be an approximate value on this one? Given that there were so many made, and specimens with less finish can be had for $250 +/- I'm thinking maybe $400 tops?
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Old 03-19-2020, 02:32 PM
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Before the virus scare and bear stock market $400 would have been a buyer's dream price. $350 out the door would have bought you a worn police surplus Model 10 or an almost new current production Model 10. Neither is a fair comparison. It's been along time since I've seen a K frame .38 Special for $250 that was not refinished or did not have some pitting. Those that I saw would shoot as good as new but were not much for collectors' items.

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Old 03-19-2020, 02:39 PM
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Before the virus scare and bear stock market $400 would have been a buyer's dream price. $350 would have bought you a worn police surplus Model 10 or an almost new current production Model 10. Neither is a fair comparison. It's been along time since I've seen a K frame .38 Special for $250 that was not refinished or did not have some pitting. Those that I saw would shoot as good as new but were not much for collectors' items.
Well, about 6 months ago I bought one with some finish wear and just a hint of light freckling for $225.

It sounds like you are of the opinion that my "guesstimate" of $400 is low. Having read many of your posts, I believe you have more expertise in this area than I do, so what would you be willing to pay for it?
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Old 03-19-2020, 02:54 PM
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I should have made it clear the $350 for the Model 10s I described was out the door in our high sales tax state.

I buy guns to shoot so I do not shop for guns that have not been used. If I was in the market, $500? Members who seek out high condition Pre-WW II M&Ps can give you a better answer.

Is it owned by the same private party that sold you the adjustable sighted 2" Model 36? If so I'd ask what he wants and pay it with a smile. I can not imagine that the combined price for two would not look great. You want him to continue coming to you to sell what ever he's got.
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Old 03-19-2020, 03:16 PM
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NOT reblued.
Round top service grips with no medallions.
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Old 03-19-2020, 03:17 PM
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I should have made it clear the $350 for the Model 10s I described was out the door in our high sales tax state.

I buy guns to shoot so I do not shop for guns that have not been used. If I was in the market, $500? Members who seek out high condition Pre-WW II M&Ps can give you a better answer.

Is it owned by the same private party that sold you the adjustable sighted 2" Model 36? If so I'd ask what he wants and pay it with a smile. I can not imagine that the combined price for two would not look great. You want him to continue coming to you to sell what ever he's got.
LOL, no, the guy I bought the CST from is a completely different person.

But the guy who sold me the CST is the same one who offered me a refinished 6" round butt M&P for $300.
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Old 03-19-2020, 03:17 PM
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NOT reblued.
Round top service grips with no medallions.
Good info, thanks Lee.
Any input on value?
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Old 03-19-2020, 03:25 PM
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Nice, but not mint with that booger on the sideplate and several tiny handling marks/scratches and it needs grips which will NEVER be original, so it should not bring huge money.
As a dealer, I would not pay 400 and expect to make enough money to be worth my time.
As a collector, I would not pay over 400 and then hunt well fitting grips in high condition.
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Old 03-19-2020, 03:29 PM
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Show us the front of the mushroom shaped extractor rod knob. It is said by many hard-core collectors and experts that ALL were finished without bluing in the white and yours looks like it could be all blue??
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Old 03-19-2020, 03:30 PM
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Looks good, I would happily pay $400.
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Old 03-19-2020, 03:47 PM
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Nice, but not mint with that booger on the sideplate and several tiny handling marks/scratches and it needs grips which will NEVER be original, so it should not bring huge money.
As a dealer, I would not pay 400 and expect to make enough money to be worth my time.
As a collector, I would not pay over 400 and then hunt well fitting grips in high condition.
So if I can get it for under $400 I'd be doing OK. Thanks!
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Old 03-19-2020, 03:48 PM
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Show us the front of the mushroom shaped extractor rod knob. It is said by many hard-core collectors and experts that ALL were finished without bluing in the white and yours looks like it could be all blue??
I don't have that photo to post, just the ones the seller gave me.
I'll be looking at it in person this weekend.
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Old 03-19-2020, 04:02 PM
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It looks legit from the photos. That being said, when you see it in person, the front of the extractor road knob should not be blued. This is the line I pay most attention to when making final decisions as to finish.

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Old 03-19-2020, 04:55 PM
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It looks legit from the photos. That being said, when you see it in person, the front of the extractor road knob should not be blued. This is the line I pay most attention to when making final decisions as to finish.

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That's a new one on me. When did this practice stop?
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Old 03-19-2020, 04:58 PM
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That s/n would put the gun shipping in 1927. s/n 5791xx shipped 12/27.
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Old 03-19-2020, 04:59 PM
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That s/n would put the gun shipping in 1927. s/n 5791xx shipped 12/27.
Very good. Well past the start of heat treating cylinders.
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Old 03-19-2020, 06:27 PM
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That's a new one on me. When did this practice stop?
The extractor rod's front bevel that should be bare metal does not show in bruce5781's picture. The unblued metal part that does show was only used in the 1st Model N frame or Triple Lock. It has case hardening colors. It cammed the third lock in out of the way while the yoke was being closed. The third lock was discontinued early in WW I. I think bruce5781 intended to write that the line he looks at is between the yoke and frame.
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Old 03-19-2020, 06:29 PM
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k22fan,
You are correct, Sir.

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Old 03-19-2020, 06:38 PM
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Original in my opinion.

Here's serial No. 506000-and-something-or-other. It's one of the better pre-war "treasures" in the trash & treasures here.


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Old 03-19-2020, 08:15 PM
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The extractor rod's front bevel that should be bare metal does not show in bruce5781's picture. The unblued metal part that does show was only used in the 1st Model N frame or Triple Lock. It has case hardening colors. It cammed the third lock in out of the way while the yoke was being closed. The third lock was discontinued early in WW I. I think bruce5781 intended to write that the line he looks at is between the yoke and frame.
I got the point you were making about the yoke to frame fit. I suppose you look for the same kind of thing you would with the sideplate seam?
Would you have a picture of what a correct ejector rod would look like? I think I get what you're saying, but a picture would confirm it...

Of course someone who didn't know better might mistake an unblued ejector rod knob as a sign of wear and try to do a "touch up" with cold blue.
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Old 03-19-2020, 08:43 PM
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[...] Would you have a picture of what a correct ejector rod would look like? [...]
Now that you've taught yourself to look for it the picture that shows the extractor rod nob in your original post should show you the bare metal front bevel obvious as the nose on an elephant's face. Presumably the bevel was finish cut to fit the rod so the cylinder closed with the desired amount of side pressure.
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Old 03-19-2020, 09:09 PM
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Now that you've taught yourself to look for it the picture that shows the extractor rod nob in your original post should show you the bare metal front bevel obvious as the nose on an elephant's face. Presumably the bevel was finish cut to fit the rod so the cylinder closed with the desired amount of side pressure.
Are you talking about the photo below and almost the entire area outlined in red? Or just the center part where the front locking pin makes contact with the end of the rod. I can't tell from this photo whether either of those areas are in the white - or not.
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Old 03-19-2020, 11:48 PM
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The entire area outlined in red should be in the white. I guess you could call it a rounded bevel.
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Old 03-19-2020, 11:56 PM
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The entire area outlined in red should be in the white. I guess you could call it a rounded bevel.
Very good, thanks for the confirmation. At least I know exactly what I am looking for. Though with the reflection in the photo, I can't say one way or another about this one, whether it is or isn't.
Guess I'd find out this weekend.
I'd still like to see a photo of one that is correct, but if I don't I can at least know what to check.
Thanks,
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Old 03-19-2020, 11:57 PM
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Something about the pitch black ejector rod strikes me as odd looking ... but if that gun ie refinished someone worked a miracle.

Can't quite see the front of the rod cap , but I have to say original.

I do think that the references made to the likelihood of the market for old iron bring affected by recent events are probably going to prove out. If you are near retirement or close to it , and seeing the net worth slashed by 30% in a week , one more revolver may slip on the priority list. The guys lined up out on the sidewalk at gun shops these days are not there for 90 year old revolvers.
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Old 03-20-2020, 12:01 AM
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Something about the pitch black ejector rod strikes me as odd looking ... but if that gun ie refinished someone worked a miracle.

Can't quite see the front of the rod cap , but I have to say original.

I do think that the references made to the likelihood of the market for old iron bring affected by recent events are probably going to prove out. If you are near retirement or close to it , and seeing the net worth slashed by 30% in a week , one more revolver may slip on the priority list. The guys lined up out on the sidewalk at gun shops these days are not there for 90 year old revolvers.
LOL, true, true.
On the other hand, now is the time to buy stocks, because the stock market will come back once this madness passes.
Same with old revolver prices I'm thinking.
Unless the virus kills off all us older guys who like 'em
Bad joke, I know. But I'm including myself in that group too.
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Old 03-20-2020, 08:33 AM
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Default Ejector rod tip

Here's a picture of the ejector rod tips from much newer revolvers, but maybe you can get the idea.

Can this be original finish?-sw29-2ejectortip2928ann525-copy-jpg

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I'd still like to see a photo of one that is correct, but if I don't I can at least know what to check.
Thanks,
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Old 03-20-2020, 08:41 AM
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I have always believed that there are lots of guns out with reblues that we cannot even tell if original or not. As a matter of fact, often only those guns with scratches or rust even need any surface preparation. Holster wear will leave no damage to the metal and honest use for a well cared for revolver is the same. Those can be stripped and simply reblued without any prep-work, or at least only need the lightest and finest buffing.

The key is to know the very fine points of factory finishes in order to find reblued guns and if the gunsmith knows those procedures, the finished product can often be undetectable. Also, older refinishes can often show enough soft wear to look very convincingly original. The only thing that has changed in more recent times is that Carbona blue has disappeared, so color are often slightly different with processes like caustic blues. What bothers me about the OPs gun is that the color looks off. No blue color and mostly black brings up some questions, but metal is perfect and stampings are clear.

Bottom line is that the gun is worth $400 either way, if it had original stocks. Don't think I would buy it with those post-WWII stocks since original stocks are getting hard to find and more expensive as time goes by.
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Old 03-20-2020, 10:21 AM
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Very black indeed.
That said , the underlying metal looks quite unadulterated.
Then you have to factor in the possibility of variations of different electronic imaging devices.
Tough call.
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Old 03-20-2020, 02:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skeezix View Post
Here's a picture of the ejector rod tips from much newer revolvers, but maybe you can get the idea.

Attachment 439977
I appreciate the effort, but I know what the ejector rods look like on newer guns. I've got lots of them.
I just don't have any that are this old to look at and see what the front of a mushroom ejector rod is supposed to look like.
Thanks for taking the time to post the picture though.
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Old 03-20-2020, 02:30 PM
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I appreciate the effort, but I know what the ejector rods look like on newer guns. I've got lots of them.
I just don't have any that are this old to look at and see what the front of a mushroom ejector rod is supposed to look like.
Thanks for taking the time to post the picture though.
Here is a mint 1924 Target M&P. Knob is in the white on the bevel and the front face.
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Can this be original finish?-p1010002-jpg   Can this be original finish?-p1010004-jpg  
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Old 03-20-2020, 03:31 PM
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Here is a mint 1924 Target M&P. Knob is in the white on the bevel and the front face.
PERFECT! Thanks Gary!
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Old 03-20-2020, 03:38 PM
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Knob Class-
(meaning a class about knobs, not a class for knobs )


Here are other views of what Gary beat me to. These blue knobs are part of the ejector rod, meaning they are one piece, made with the rod:


Can this be original finish?-img_0387-jpg




Can this be original finish?-img_0388-jpg


Can this be original finish?-img_0386-jpg


Originally, the knob was a separate piece which was case hardened.



Can this be original finish?-img_0383-jpg



You can see the joint between the two pieces on the end-


Can this be original finish?-img_0385-jpg





That was dropped with the 1905-3rd Change which appeared in 1909.

And HERE we have a point that can be made for the Neal & Jinks classification system- ALL Mod 1902 and Mod 1902-1st change guns would have a separate knob. So, if you replace the ejector rod in one, I would be sending you a two piece rod. If you insist your 38 M&P made with a round butt made in 1938 is a Mod 1902, you need a totally different shaped rod with the barrel shaped knob, not the mushroom knob. If you order a Mod 1902 rod from a knowledgeable supplier, you'll get the WRONG rod.

You 1902ers are welcome to show me how I'm wrong.
.
.
.
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Can this be original finish?-img_0387-jpg   Can this be original finish?-img_0388-jpg   Can this be original finish?-img_0386-jpg   Can this be original finish?-img_0383-jpg   Can this be original finish?-img_0385-jpg  

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Old 03-20-2020, 04:43 PM
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Interesting info! I always assumed all the mushroom knobs were a separate piece screwed onto the ejector rod. So starting in 1909 the knob and rod were one machined piece, and the bluing stripped off the front of the knob.
Los of nuances to learn. I appreciate the education guys.
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Old 03-20-2020, 08:18 PM
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Default 45ACP Model of 1917 Extractor Rod Variants

The first of this model had a two piece extractor rod. S&W changed it fairly-on to a one piece part. They also moved the front latch point about 3/16 inches forward so that a two piece rod doesn't fit. I know this because I just tried to replace a bent rod in a serial # 35xxx gun recently. Numerich did not have a one piece rod available, so I figured a two piece one would work just as well. It didn't work because the front latch milled area on the barrel had been moved forward.

I doubt S&W reverted to the two piece rod after WWI.
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Old 03-20-2020, 08:36 PM
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45ACP Model of 1917 Extractor Rod Variants-
The first of this model had a two piece extractor rod. S&W changed it fairly-on to a one piece part. They also moved the front latch point about 3/16 inches forward so that a two piece rod doesn't fit. I know this because I just tried to replace a bent rod in a serial # 35xxx gun recently. Numerich did not have a one piece rod available, so I figured a two piece one would work just as well. It didn't work because the front latch milled area on the barrel had been moved forward.

I doubt S&W reverted to the two piece rod after WWI.
I am not sure what you are dealing with on your particular 1917, but I can tell you that the Military 1917s never had a two piece rod. I own #75, and it is like all the others- a one piece rod, and the front locking lug is located just like all the others.
My guess is Numrich sent you the wrong rod.
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Old 03-20-2020, 11:45 PM
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Dagnaggit! Now I'll have to get my 1924 nickle out and look at the knob.

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Old 03-21-2020, 12:13 AM
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.....What bothers me about the OPs gun is that the color looks off. No blue color and mostly black brings up some questions, but metal is perfect and stampings are clear.
Coming a bit late to this party, I'll skip over the knob issue and come back to the OP's finish question.

Gary's comment reflects exactly my reaction to the OP's picture. The finish is off. To me it looks more like an early post-war matte low-polish finish, but not what I'm used to seeing on 1920s M&Ps, especially the series of photos attached to the first post. However, I can find no fault with the stampings, and I can't exclude that the issue is one of photography rather than finish.
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Old 03-21-2020, 12:39 AM
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HEY! This thread made it into the Weekly Update. First time a thread I started ever did that AFAIK!
Kinda' cool that so many shared so much good info it got included! Thanks guys!
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Old 03-21-2020, 11:02 AM
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The color is correct on the gun. You guys are not allowing for the oil/grease/grime that can obviously be seen on the gun which plays with light reflection, which messes with the perceived color. Combine that with unknown lighting type and unknown camera settings.
One just has to learn what the right color looks like when presented in differing conditions.
Sometimes, I wonder if some of the judgements are being made on a phone sized screen. I use a 24" monitor. That helps.
So-
The knob on this gun has a white bevel.
The color looks right to me.
I see NO sign of buffing.
One more thing-
Know the finishes. 1920s guns are very, very slightly less high polish than Pre WW I guns and 1930s guns. They were very high polish before WW I, but they came back after the War slightly less polished. They again became very high polish in the 30s, but probably one grit less on the polish in the 20s, or most of the 20s. I've never tried to pin down the exact year it went back to high polish, but it seems to be roughly about the time the decade changed.
Don't believe it? Lay a HIGH condition 1923 M&P beside a HIGH condition 1933 M&P. Put a 10x loupe on the two surfaces.
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Old 03-21-2020, 11:45 AM
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Default original finish

I'd say yes. Value? $400 easy But add FFL transfer fee $25-$75 then Wa. state sales tax 10% and possibly shipping costs,now we are getting close to $550-$600 Not a great deal.
I'm applying for a C&R FFL to save $ on all those creeping fees. This one would apply.

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Old 03-21-2020, 12:49 PM
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I'd say yes. Value? $400 easy But add FFL transfer fee $25-$75 then Wa. state sales tax 10% and possibly shipping costs,now we are getting close to $550-$600 Not a great deal.
I'm applying for a C&R FFL to save $ on all those creeping fees. This one would apply.

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Well, yeah, IF I were buying it from an auction house or internet business.
But since it is for sale from a private party there would be no sales tax in my state - thankfully (since sales tax is almost 9%), and I have two local FFLs who do transfers for $20.
I'll probably pay less than $400 for it too. We'll see...
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Old 03-21-2020, 05:11 PM
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Well, I may have made a mistake, but I couldn't resist.
I bought it - for $200 + $20 transfer fee.
After a thorough inspection I'm convinced it is all original except the stocks, which actually turned out to be black washer N-frames in not perfect, but very good condition.
The ejector rod tip is in the white as it should be, right in line with all the other indications of an original finish. There are a few little freckles and handling marks, plus the scratch on the sideplate and a small spot of muzzle wear.
The one problem and the reason I got it so cheap, is that it has pushoff and an extremely light SA trigger. As in dangerously light.
I'm thinking someone may have tried to do a trigger job and just went too far with it. The seller said he had the sideplate off and with it off the pushoff/light trigger issue goes away, which seems really strange to me.
So, once I get it out of BGC jail, the first thing I'll be doing is taking the sideplate off to confirm what he's saying and probably taking it to the local gunsmith to have the sear re-stoned.
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Old 03-21-2020, 07:24 PM
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Looks like you got a nice revolver, especially for the price.
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Old 03-21-2020, 11:20 PM
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Anybody got any theories why one of this vintage would have pushoff and a really light SA trigger with the sideplate on but not with the sideplate off?
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