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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 07-15-2020, 07:36 PM
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Default Unique Registered Magnum shipped to King

This 5 inch Registered Magnum, Serial number 55662, Reg. Number 3357 (appropriate for a .357) shipped from the factory on December 15, 1937 and went directly to King Gun Sight in San Francisco. The factory letter notes ďIt was shipped to King for special modification for their customerĒ. It has a very interesting rib, King red dot front sight, a #112 rear sight, and a Cockeyed hammer. According to the registration certificate, the single action pull was set at 3 1/2 pounds and the double action pull at 10 pounds. It was sighted with a dead center hold at 25 yards. It was registered by M.P. Juarez of San Francisco. After quite a bit of research, I believe this to be Moritz Percy Juarez who lived at 134 Joice Street (now demolished) in San Francisco. He later moved to Placerville, California. He was born November 26, 1890 and died April 14, 1970. He came from a prominent family who were influential settlers of Napa Valley. The original shipping tube accompanies the registration certificate. I also have a handwritten sales receipt in the name of W.F. Cobb dated November 29, 1937 with a selling price of $48.00 plus 1.44 tax. About the only thing I can find about W.F. Cobb is a couple of results in shooting competitions where he was competing against Ad Toepperweinís wife, Elizabeth ďPlinkyĒ Toepperwein. Iím not exactly sure how Cobb figures into the ownership of the gun but it would appear, according to the dates, that he owned it for a short time prior to Juarez.
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Old 07-15-2020, 07:42 PM
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It should also be noted the gun was formerly in the collection of Gary Garbrecht, well known Smith and Wesson collector.
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Old 07-15-2020, 07:56 PM
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Beautiful piece
Thanks for sharing.
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Old 07-15-2020, 08:09 PM
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Very interesting RM and provenance! Congratulations and thanks for posting.
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Old 07-15-2020, 08:16 PM
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Wow! Spectacular!
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Old 07-15-2020, 08:35 PM
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Flygas:
post 1 second pic there appears to be two pins in the side of the rib behind the site. in post 2 there are slots" in the top of the rib at the same spacing as the pins. what are these?
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Old 07-15-2020, 08:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shrade View Post
Flygas:
post 1 second pic there appears to be two pins in the side of the rib behind the site. in post 2 there are slots" in the top of the rib at the same spacing as the pins. what are these?
shrade
I was looking at these pictures too. Wondering what the point was for these holes and slots in the rib? To skeletonize? Or maybe was it at one point a place to attach a Supertarget rib which has since been removed?? Such a shame to have the beautiful checkering milled off but thst would create a flat area to mount a one off supertarget rib. ?????
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Old 07-15-2020, 08:51 PM
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Very neat RM. I would say it was modified to mount a scope. Ed McGivern had at least one RM modified in a very similar way I seem to remember, a 8 3/4 inch barrel though I think.

Thanks for showing.
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Old 07-15-2020, 09:00 PM
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Fascinating! Do you mind posting a clear picture of just the certificate?
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Old 07-15-2020, 09:06 PM
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Found it in McGiverns book Fast and Fancy Revolver Shooting, page 419, long barrel RM, caption mentions the holes in barrel for mounting a telescope sight, next page shows the same gun with a Lyman 438 field scope mounted.
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Old 07-15-2020, 10:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flygas View Post
This 5 inch Registered Magnum, Serial number 55662, Reg. Number 3357 (appropriate for a .357) shipped from the factory on December 15, 1937 and went directly to King Gun Sight in San Francisco.

Unique Registered Magnum shipped to King-76614f99-c7be-4cbb-b1c1-41283e8593e6-jpg

Unique Registered Magnum shipped to King-eaf50694-eff9-451c-9c7d-93a5c63bf447-jpg

Unique Registered Magnum shipped to King-72429af0-e34c-4da9-829b-7a1e26bc4e4f-jpg

Unique Registered Magnum shipped to King-ee92fbce-1576-4839-85c9-983b1c06a78c-jpg

Unique Registered Magnum shipped to King-53d6d72b-29c9-4b17-9d24-69d2afddcfa2-jpg

Unique Registered Magnum shipped to King-dd3ff5d6-dc94-46b7-8507-adba92d0dc1b-jpg
I had to display your wonderful photos of that GREAT PACKAGE in a larger format. That is a very interesting RM. As you know, I too am in the "milled for a scope mount" camp.

Thanks for sharing,
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Old 07-15-2020, 10:43 PM
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Quote:
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Fascinating! Do you mind posting a clear picture of just the certificate?
Here you are...
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Old 07-15-2020, 10:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shrade View Post
Flygas:
post 1 second pic there appears to be two pins in the side of the rib behind the site. in post 2 there are slots" in the top of the rib at the same spacing as the pins. what are these?
shrade
It was originally sent to a King Gun Sight so Iím sure it was an alteration they performed. Consensus seems to be for a scope mount but I donít know for sure.
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Old 07-15-2020, 10:54 PM
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Now that is great!! The provenance is just as fascinating as the RM!
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Old 07-16-2020, 12:26 AM
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Congrats Shane, I'm glad you got this gun. Looks like you're having some fun researching a special piece! Very Interesting~~
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Old 07-16-2020, 12:57 AM
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Yeah, Cool................
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Old 07-16-2020, 08:49 AM
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Very Cool!

Itís hard to tell from the shape of the slots but it looks like they are the same shape as a front sight relief.

Not sure why you would want to move the front sight around though...
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Old 07-16-2020, 10:46 AM
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It appears that the rib las also been decked, flattened, if that’s the case then I would say it was possibly done for a long mount of some sort. It seems that the early attempts to mount scopes on handguns was done with modified rifle mounts, I think it makes sense because they only had rifle scopes to work with at that time. You were definitely on the fringe trying such things back then. I’m pretty sure the King ribs were attached only at the rear and pinned through the front sight blade, don’t have one though, maybe owners of King modified guns could confirm.
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Old 07-16-2020, 11:27 AM
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NEAT gun!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Keith Brown View Post
It appears that the rib las also been decked, flattened, if thatís the case then I would say it was possibly done for a long mount of some sort. It seems that the early attempts to mount scopes on handguns was done with modified rifle mounts, I think it makes sense because they only had rifle scopes to work with at that time. You were definitely on the fringe trying such things back then. Iím pretty sure the King ribs were attached only at the rear and pinned through the front sight blade, donít have one though, maybe owners of King modified guns could confirm.
Keith,
Correct- King Ribs are attached with a screw in the frame's topstrap and pins through the front sight base.

I agree those cuts are probably for a scope mount.



FWIW-
The certificate says "King RR Red Dot" for the front sight. The RR stands for "Reflector Ramp". Your gun is now wearing a Red Post, not a Red Dot. Not a big deal since the King front sights were so easily changed with the screw retainer.
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Old 07-16-2020, 01:15 PM
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Here is the back of a King rib.
As others mention nothing attaches middle of bbl.


As of now I have only come across ribbed guns that started life with a rounded top bbl.

Even post war guns have been MPs that have the rounded bbl.
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Old 07-16-2020, 01:39 PM
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I'm thinking as younguns, it was for sight experiments. Differing placements of front sights. I think they are too close together to mount a scope. I have a long barrel that was set up for a scope and the only modification was 4 holes tapped into rib for lyman bases.
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Old 07-16-2020, 01:55 PM
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Here are some other pictures from McGiverns book, showing the holes through the side of the rib. Look closely, as the holes are small, and very close to the top edge of the rib.







Regards, Mike Priwer

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Old 07-16-2020, 10:36 PM
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Does it seem odd to mill the rib flat if you are going to install a couple of scope mounts? Why not leave the rib as is? Unless the old scopes didn't have enough adjustment to make up for an uneven rib?
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Old 07-16-2020, 11:05 PM
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The normal ribs are flat when checkered. The checkering was removed, or left off, for some other reason. Maybe the rings would mar the checkering when pulled down tight onto the rib.
The checkering on the rib is so far below the line of sight, it doesn't really do anything but look cool anyway. Maybe the guy just didn't like it.
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Old 07-29-2020, 07:00 PM
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Some trading occurred.

I am now the extraordinarily proud owner of this gun. I'm going to have to see about hitting up the SWHF here shortly for any extra goodies they may have in their wonderful files.

One thing that struck me about the gun immediately is that despite the top strap having all of the checkering removed, it is blued. The bluing matches the rest of the gun. To my eye it looks original, certainly correct for that era. I'd wager that the barrel was re-finished after the modification was made, and while I see no service department marks I'm wondering if they at least refinished the barrel. I'm pretty excited to see if the SWHF has anything on this...

The service stocks that were on it were not numbered to the gun, and didn't fit right, so it was an excuse to do a bit of grip musical chairs. I'm pretty happy with what has landed where it has...






The pre-war .357 mag collection is coming along. So much so that my little light tent won't get all of them in one shot! I can't say as I'm unhappy about that.








In any case, the gun is kind of a dream with the ropers on it. I'll need to give it a good cleaning, I think it has some wax on it still in the nooks and crannies that maybe needs to be cleaned out and replaced with a bit of renwax.
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Old 07-29-2020, 09:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by handejector View Post
FWIW-
The certificate says "King RR Red Dot" for the front sight. The RR stands for "Reflector Ramp". Your gun is now wearing a Red Post, not a Red Dot. Not a big deal since the King front sights were so easily changed with the screw retainer.
Red post...by any chance does that have a little red dot on the end, circular?



Like the third one in the, uh, the chain of front sights.

Which by the way go in, and the hole lines up perfectly, and as near as I can tell you could move the ramp back to either of the 3 positions if you were to take it out...

I too thought this thing was a scope mount, but now I'm starting to think that it was set up to be able to have 3 different front sight positions?
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Old 07-30-2020, 12:05 PM
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Snapped a few more pictures.

Are there any scope bases that were made to slide into existing sight slots?

I wonder if the notion here was that you could easily switch between fixed sights, and a scope, even in the field if you had the right screwdriver. If the scope base was essentially just connected with 3 standard sight bases?








And one just because it's fun seeing king markings:

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Old 07-30-2020, 02:33 PM
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Very Nice OP. Was it also converted by King to a short action too?

My Reg Mag has a cockeyed hammer and short action:









SixGunStrumpet uploaded some old King catalogs on another thread and it cost $5.00 to convert to a cockeyed hammer and the short action conversion was $10.00. You could purchase a Reg Mag revolver directly from King with King front and rear sites for $60.00.
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Old 07-30-2020, 03:43 PM
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Still a long action, if you go up one post you should see a photograph of it fully cocked, certainly not as far back as your photograph, and exactly the same as my other pre-war magnums.
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Old 07-31-2020, 12:38 AM
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I thought so but pictures can be deceiving.

It’s a real beauty.
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Old 07-31-2020, 05:00 PM
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COngratulations on a superbly researched Registered Magnum! Exciting!
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Old 07-31-2020, 05:14 PM
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Originally Posted by SixgunStrumpet View Post
Some trading occurred.

I am now the extraordinarily proud owner of this gun. I'm going to have to see about hitting up the SWHF here shortly for any extra goodies they may have in their wonderful files.

One thing that struck me about the gun immediately is that despite the top strap having all of the checkering removed, it is blued. The bluing matches the rest of the gun. To my eye it looks original, certainly correct for that era. I'd wager that the barrel was re-finished after the modification was made, and while I see no service department marks I'm wondering if they at least refinished the barrel. I'm pretty excited to see if the SWHF has anything on this...

The service stocks that were on it were not numbered to the gun, and didn't fit right, so it was an excuse to do a bit of grip musical chairs. I'm pretty happy with what has landed where it has...






The pre-war .357 mag collection is coming along. So much so that my little light tent won't get all of them in one shot! I can't say as I'm unhappy about that.








In any case, the gun is kind of a dream with the ropers on it. I'll need to give it a good cleaning, I think it has some wax on it still in the nooks and crannies that maybe needs to be cleaned out and replaced with a bit of renwax.
Give her a good cleaning and make it yours! I like cleaning my guns better than shooting them!
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Old 07-31-2020, 05:21 PM
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I thought so but pictures can be deceiving.

Itís a real beauty.
Yours is too! I'd be a very happy camper to own that gun. I would imagine you are quite pleased with it?
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Old 07-31-2020, 08:14 PM
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sixgun: the top blue magnum in the last photo in post #25, has the finest looking grips I've ever seen! Are these beauties Ropers?
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Old 07-31-2020, 09:54 PM
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sixgun: the top blue magnum in the last photo in post #25, has the finest looking grips I've ever seen! Are these beauties Ropers?
Yeah, that was the first pair of ropers I ever bought, most I have paid for a set.

When that Registered Magnum came my way with the wrong grips on it, I knew they had found the right home:





My sleep deprived brain will not supply the owner I purchased them from, but it keeps telling me that he was one of the great posters on this forum and a super nice person. Maybe he will remember them, which I would expect so since they were used in an issue of Guns magazine, March of 2011. The article was written by one of the great folks you find around here (Steven Hughes) about Keith Brown resurrecting the Roper.

The funny thing now that I look at the article is that at the time I bought the stocks I had never met Mr Hughes in person, but now I have and have talked to Keith Brown a bit while he works on filling his back orders. So the article, and the stocks, actually mean a lot more to me now then they did when I bought them.

When I bought them I just thought they were about the grandest thing that I had ever been offered to buy, and couldn't refuse the (slightly) steep price at the time. I believe it was a great decision at the time, and I continue to have zero regrets making it. Especially after this particular Registered Magnum (which the shop thought was just like any other model 27, and I paid a pittance for) came along, in need of some correct stocks.
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Old 07-31-2020, 10:19 PM
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A beautiful combination, something to truly proud of.
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Old 08-01-2020, 12:36 AM
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Yours is too! I'd be a very happy camper to own that gun. I would imagine you are quite pleased with it?
Yes, I am very fortunate to have Reg Mag in nice enough condition to enjoy the beauty of it, but with enough wear so that I can take it out and actually shoot it without negatively affecting it's value.
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Old 08-01-2020, 01:27 AM
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Flygas

That is a dandy RM you have there, with great provenance.

I'm not an N frame collector (have a few) so I'll probably never own a Registered Magnum. Besides, for what I'd have to pay for one in collectible condition, I could buy two or three revolvers that fit my collection! But I do admire them and am always delighted to see a special one. Several of those are represented in this thread!

But I do have a humorous aside for you, related to the title you gave to this thread. ALL RMs are unique, since they were all special order guns.
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Old 08-01-2020, 12:46 PM
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Yeah, that was the first pair of ropers I ever bought, most I have paid for a set.

My sleep deprived brain will not supply the owner I purchased them from, but it keeps telling me that he was one of the great posters on this forum and a super nice person. Maybe he will remember them, which I would expect so since they were used in an issue of Guns magazine, March of 2011. The article was written by one of the great folks you find around here (Steven Hughes) about Keith Brown resurrecting the Roper.
I may be wrong, but they sure look like a pair that I wanted, that were being sold by "handejector" himself.
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Old 08-01-2020, 01:12 PM
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Which by the way go in, and the hole lines up perfectly, and as near as I can tell you could move the ramp back to either of the 3 positions if you were to take it out...

I too thought this thing was a scope mount, but now I'm starting to think that it was set up to be able to have 3 different front sight positions?
Caleb:

Do you have any King sight screws (the little ones that hold in the front sights), if so, do they fit properly in the holes on the rib?
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Old 08-01-2020, 01:49 PM
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It was sighted with a dead center hold at 25 yards.
I just have to ask, is there a standard load, powder and bullet, that it would have been sighted in for?
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Old 08-01-2020, 02:20 PM
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Flygas

That is a dandy RM you have there, with great provenance.

I'm not an N frame collector (have a few) so I'll probably never own a Registered Magnum. Besides, for what I'd have to pay for one in collectible condition, I could buy two or three revolvers that fit my collection! But I do admire them and am always delighted to see a special one. Several of those are represented in this thread!

But I do have a humorous aside for you, related to the title you gave to this thread. ALL RMs are unique, since they were all special order guns.
Not...entirely true in my opinion.

At the end of the RM run they were selling them to distributors. My finish free gun is one such:



I can't imagine if 35 guns went to a single distributor they were all special order...


Quote:
Originally Posted by boykinlp View Post
I may be wrong, but they sure look like a pair that I wanted, that were being sold by "handejector" himself.
Larry
Pretty sure you are right...I thought that was the case. Maybe he can confirm. It's been a while. Hell, I think they may have been the first set of ropers I ever bought.


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Caleb:

Do you have any King sight screws (the little ones that hold in the front sights), if so, do they fit properly in the holes on the rib?
I do, they do not fit in the holes on the rib, they are smaller.

The screw holding in the front sight base does however work.

It's sort of like a screw/pin (?) as in it's only threaded near the slot, the rest of it is a pin which will go through the hole in a base or King sight (I happen to have a little Registered Magnum base also, not reflector just something to get the height proper).

So the screw that holds the front sight can be taken out, and any other King sight or base I have will be held in place properly by this pin/screw.

If you had a scope base that had 3 standard King sight bottoms (the half moon with a hole through it) that scope base could go on to the gun by simply screwing in 3 of these pin/screws. The front sight would first be removed, which is easily accomplished by taking out this screw and just pulling it out.

The more I have looked at it the more I am sure that's what they did here. Since adding the cuts/threaded holes for a sight base was already something they had tools for, this seems like the logical way to add a custom scope base.

From other guns I have I know King's guys would accomplish a custom order the quickest/easiest way possible, using whatever they already had on hand. For example:

This gun:



used an off the shelf ramp front sight:



but more importantly, instead of fabricating something for the upgraded rear sight as other non-driftable/fixed rear sight upgrades like this had:



they just grabbed a sight blade off the shelf and put it in. Hilariously, to me at least, they put it in backwards because they actually didn't want the white outline.

Or this gun:



where they just grabbed a banded rifle reflector base, and tossed it on the gun. I'm guessing because it provided the right height for the super police night sight, and maybe because it just looked cool / was ordered to look cool. Damn me but I would love to find a cache of King records...
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Old 08-01-2020, 02:46 PM
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Not...entirely true in my opinion.

I can't imagine if 35 guns went to a single distributor they were all special order...
Hey there, young fellow! How's that baby doing???

As for your comment, perhaps it depends on how you define "special order." But barrel length, sights and sighting, et al. were all part of securing a shipment of the RM.

Consider the penultimate sentence in the main paragraph of the letter you posted:
This revolver was sighted in at 25 yards with .357 Magnum ammunition using a 6 o'clock hold.
The order for an RM included a spec as to the ammo and sighting distance, to which the company complied and certified.

Then there is the ultimate line in the same paragraph:
This shipment was for 35 units in several different configurations.
How would they know to produce "several different configurations" if the requester did not so specify?

A final point: A "special order" does not necessitate an individual purchaser. A distributor could equally place a special order and it might be (and often was) for multiple units of the same model.

Anyway, that's my case. You are free to disagree if you like! For now anyway, this is still America.
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Old 08-01-2020, 03:22 PM
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Hey there, young fellow! How's that baby doing???

As for your comment, perhaps it depends on how you define "special order." But barrel length, sights and sighting, et al. were all part of securing a shipment of the RM.

Consider the penultimate sentence in the main paragraph of the letter you posted:
This revolver was sighted in at 25 yards with .357 Magnum ammunition using a 6 o'clock hold.
The order for an RM included a spec as to the ammo and sighting distance, to which the company complied and certified.

Then there is the ultimate line in the same paragraph:
This shipment was for 35 units in several different configurations.
How would they know to produce "several different configurations" if the requester did not so specify?

A final point: A "special order" does not necessitate an individual purchaser. A distributor could equally place a special order and it might be (and often was) for multiple units of the same model.

Anyway, that's my case. You are free to disagree if you like! For now anyway, this is still America.
Hmm, I think someone actually told me that my gun was part of when they were just working on selling off extra Reg Mags. I'd have to search for where I found that. I don't think this order was any more special then any distributor order in that it was for 35 guns in several configurations.

What I should do is see about getting a copy of the invoice, given that the SWHF has started to make that possible since I lettered this.

My understanding was that the end of the RMs had the Reg #, but were essentially being sold as the NRMs. That is to say the factory was offering them in a few of the popular configurations.
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Old 08-01-2020, 03:29 PM
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My understanding was that the end of the RMs had the Reg #, but were essentially being sold as the NRMs. That is to say the factory was offering them in a few of the popular configurations.
Well, that certainly could be true. It would be interesting to find out. Let me know if you learn anything else definitively.

Regards,
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