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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 06-08-2020, 08:29 PM
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Default The First 44 HE 3rd/Reinforced/W&K/1926

If you're a member of the SWCA, you're able to access the private forums where Mr. Roy Jinks occasionally posts interesting tidbits and questions for the members. It was one of these threads that came up when I searched for the serial number of a 1926 I found on Gunbroker. His thread described the first shipment of 1926's and that they didn't go straight to Wolf & Klar but to a jeweler in Providence, RI. With that info and a couple emails exchanged with Mr. Jinks, I hit the Buy It Now.

This 1926 shipped on January 22, 1927 (first shipment to W&K was 5 days later). A group of 10 of the first 1000 were pulled out of the first production run to be sent off for engraving at Hudson & Co. From there they went to W&K and it's anyone's guess from there.

Typically the trail goes cold after W&K but this one luckily sports a star next to the serial and the SWHF was able to find service records corresponding to the July 25, 1929 date stamp on the grip frame. This 1926 was sent back for a re-nickle, new hammer, and polishing of the pearl grips by Hampton's Hardware in Port Arthur, TX. Unfortunately the hardware store didn't list the name of the owner, but nonetheless, I know this gun traveled further south and potentially worked alongside the NRM I posted about a few days ago (Port Arthur, TX Police NRM).























First time I've seen the explanation of the star on the butt from the service department to the customer:




Together with my other two 1926's. The chopped nickel one is from the first shipment to W&K and is 11 higher on the serial number. The blued one was shipped September 26, 1941 as a 6.5" and headed over seas at some point (British proofs). It is now chopped to 4.5" and I'm curious if it's in the last shipment of pre-war 1926's. It would be awesome to have one each from the first and last shipment of the pre-war 44 Reinforced model.


Thanks again to the SWCA and SWHF for all the information!!
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Old 06-08-2020, 08:45 PM
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Reinforced? How so?
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Old 06-08-2020, 08:51 PM
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Originally Posted by delcrossv View Post
Reinforced? How so?
Catalog photo courtesy of quinn:
S&W Military Reinforced Model... Anyone Have one? (3rd Mod 44)-100_3681-jpg
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Old 06-09-2020, 12:06 AM
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Reinforced? How so?
The ejector rod shroud was considered to be the reinforcement, as compared to the so called Second Model .44 Military which had no shroud.

Mark
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Old 06-09-2020, 12:26 AM
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Well, now we know where Wolf & Klar got the pattern for their pawn shop engraving!!!
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Old 06-09-2020, 03:33 AM
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LLOYD17,
That's a classic little covey of 3rd models you have there.

The frame top strap also changed in 1926 from round to flat with a larger sq notch rear sight. Only the very earliest 3rd models still have a round top, topstrap. Have you noticed if all yours are the same or do you have a round top hiding amongst them?
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Old 06-09-2020, 08:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Hondo44 View Post
LLOYD17,
That's a classic little covey of 3rd models you have there.

The frame top strap also changed in 1926 from round to flat with a larger sq notch rear sight. Only the very earliest 3rd models still have a round top, topstrap. Have you noticed if all yours are the same or do you have a round top hiding amongst them?
The engraved one is a round top and I assume the chopped one was a round top prior to being cut for the target sight. The British proofed one is a flat top. Perhaps this first run of 1000 could be the round tops made just prior to the change to square? Though in pure S&W fashion, the 44 2nd from Toledo I posted about is serial 26219 and shipped in October 1927 but has a square top.

I also used to own one from the March 1927 shipment that was a round top and took a picture of it next to my PPD one for comparison:
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Old 06-09-2020, 10:07 AM
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Well, now we know where Wolf & Klar got the pattern for their pawn shop engraving!!!
This is a really interesting observation. I wonder how common the wriggle cut engraving of guns was at the time. The one W&K engraved 3rd 44 that I have appears to have been done with the same technique. The big difference is the quality of workmanship and artistry. I have not seen a (reputedly) W&K engraved guns for eras prior to the 3rd model. My 1925 shipped 32-20 got the full W&K treatment otherwise (complete with steerheads) but was not engraved.

Anyone seen a pre 1926 shipped gun to W&K that was beleived to have been engraved by them?

Anyone know of any other Hundson engraved guns?

Inquiring minds want to know. Thanks.
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Old 06-09-2020, 11:03 AM
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Nice purchase Kurt. I looked and looked at this gun. I thought it was pretty awesome. Glad to see you snagged it.
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Old 06-09-2020, 11:56 AM
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The first known 3rd Model .44 was # 28358. Presuming (never a good thing ) that S&W made just 3rd models for a while and in numeric serial number order, I have the 6th one built. It shipped to Wolf & Klar in the first shipment directly to them, on 27 January 1927.

I have had a few discussions with more knowledgeable collectors than I and we believe the 1926 models were available in 1926, but W&K didn't have them delivered until after the first of the year. Maybe they had their capital tied up before Christmas, perhaps in the jewelry line???
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Old 06-09-2020, 12:28 PM
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Did you happen to find any small Eagle's Head inspector stamps on the frame/yoke cutout mating areas? (As may have be present on leftover U.S. contract M1917 production era frames?)

This would be for the round top example(s) and not the later style flat top framed example.

Just curious as to if your "new" nickeled acquisition may have been built on a repurposed leftover M1917 contract frame.

I'd love to eventually snag a "gussied up" W&K example due to the Texas lineage, especially since Fort Worth is so close to where I grew up and now live. Even better if built on a leftover M1917 frame as I collect those as well.

Thanks,
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Old 06-09-2020, 08:09 PM
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Did you happen to find any small Eagle's Head inspector stamps on the frame/yoke cutout mating areas? (As may have be present on leftover U.S. contract M1917 production era frames?)

This would be for the round top example(s) and not the later style flat top framed example.

Just curious as to if your "new" nickeled acquisition may have been built on a repurposed leftover M1917 contract frame.

I'd love to eventually snag a "gussied up" W&K example due to the Texas lineage, especially since Fort Worth is so close to where I grew up and now live. Even better if built on a leftover M1917 frame as I collect those as well.

Thanks,
Dale
No eagle over S2 mark on any of my 44ís. I did own a 44 2nd that was built from a left over 1917 but sold that a while ago.
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Old 06-09-2020, 08:39 PM
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No eagle over S2 mark on any of my 44’s. I did own a 44 2nd that was built from a left over 1917 but sold that a while ago.
Thanks for the added info.

I wonder if there are examples of "early" 3rd Model .44s out there that were built on leftover U.S. military contract M1917 frames?

My apologies if it is common knowledge with regards to the 3rd models, as I knew the there were 2nd models built on the leftover M1917 frames.

Dale
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