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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 09-09-2020, 02:27 AM
Mikekulaga Mikekulaga is offline
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Default pre model 29?

i inhereted a smith and wesson 44 magnum with a 8 and 3/8 inch barrel blued steel six shot i believe to be a pre model 29. It has coke bottle grips and the gun is in excelent condition. It has 10 grooves on top of the barrel and on the rear butt. It has matching numbers on the butt of the gun and on the inside of the crane when the cylinder is open. the serial # reads s181428. I would like to know what model this is because ive gotten conflicting answers and id also like to know what price range something like this would bring thanks in advance, also i have a wooden display box with no markings wondering if it came with gun originally
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Old 09-09-2020, 02:45 AM
Mitch95 Mitch95 is offline
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i inhereted a smith and wesson 44 magnum with a 8 and 3/8 inch barrel blued steel six shot i believe to be a pre model 29. It has coke bottle grips and the gun is in excelent condition. It has 10 grooves on top of the barrel and on the rear butt. It has matching numbers on the butt of the gun and on the inside of the crane when the cylinder is open. the serial # reads s181428. I would like to know what model this is because ive gotten conflicting answers and id also like to know what price range something like this would bring thanks in advance, also i have a wooden display box with no markings wondering if it came with gun originally
I understood anything under 184k Serial to potentially be a Pre-Model 29. Is there a screw under the trigger guard as well as two other visible screws on the frame?
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Old 09-09-2020, 02:45 AM
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Looks like an exceptional 4-screw pre-29. If it's not model marked it can't be a Model 29, plain and simple.

Those are target grips, not Cokes, but very nice.

If it's as described and there's nothing else going on with the gun I can see it fetching around $2k. If you want to sell here or an auction site you'll need much better photos.
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Old 09-09-2020, 02:52 AM
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Stocks do not look like cokes to me. The display case has no provision for the cleaning kit or SAT. Not a 5 screw gun. Can not see the 4th screw in front of the trigger guard in your picture.
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Old 09-09-2020, 03:38 AM
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Welcome! It's official name is ".44 Magnum" and fits the definition of a pre-model 29, as it is the same gun as one stamped MOD 29 but minus the marking.

Doc44 is the local expert on these and will be along shortly, but the Target stocks are period correct but not the original style on this gun; the case is from much later (1980 era), and it would be a relatively early gun with an 8 3/8" barrel. If you are interested a letter of authenticity would confirm the original barrel length, as well as giving you its ship date and destination:

http://www.swhistoricalfoundation.com/swhf_letter.pdf

The current wait time on a letter is probably about 3 months. Hope this is helpful.
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Old 09-09-2020, 06:43 AM
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Welcome to the S&W Forums and what a grand entrance you have made!
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Old 09-09-2020, 07:35 AM
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Very nice. The serial number puts it in the 1958 time frame.
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Old 09-09-2020, 07:36 AM
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Nice piece. The 8 3/8" barrel could be original.

According to Early .44 Magnum Information by Bill Cross (Doc44) and Roy Jinks, S184060 had a factory 8 3/8" barrel and left Springfield on December 11, 1958. It was not a Model 29.

The closest serial numbers to this one that are listed in that book are S181425 (shipped May 15, 1963) and S181488 (shipped March 10, 1958). Both of those had 4" barrels. Neither was model marked.

For reference, the lowest serial number listed for a .44 Magnum with the long barrel is S177349, that shipped on August 17, 1959. The earliest shipment I could find was on a non-model-marked Club Gun that shipped on November 20, 1958. The serial number was S184740.

I'm sure Bill will be along at some point to further enlighten us.
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Old 09-09-2020, 08:23 AM
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Your revolver is a 44 Magnum. From the photos, I cannot give an opinion on whether or not the 8 3/8-inch barrel is original or not. The stocks are diamond targets which are replacements for the originals that were coke bottle style and made of Goncalo alves. The mahogany case has been relined at some point. Better photos would help with an opinion as to originality.

Bill
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Old 09-09-2020, 09:54 AM
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I will post more pictures later on. As far as I know the barrel is original my grandfather bought the gun long ago and was not into Gunsmithing. Thank you for all the information I will post more pictures later today
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Old 09-09-2020, 09:55 AM
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Also there is a screw on the front of the trigger guard if that is helpful
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Old 09-09-2020, 09:58 AM
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There are two visible screws on the frame and one on the front of the trigger guard
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Old 09-09-2020, 09:59 AM
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Quote:
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There are two visible screws on the frame and one on the front of the trigger guard
Yes. A fourth screw is hiding under the stocks.
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Old 09-09-2020, 10:05 AM
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The mahogany case has been relined at some point. Better photos would help with an opinion as to originality.

Bill
I agree with Bill on the case and the OP has the gun displayed on the top liner. Who ever did the relining done a good job!
Joe
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Old 09-09-2020, 06:34 PM
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here are some pics let me know if you need any others to narrow down any doubts on the originality of the barrel and the gun in general including the grips I'm not to knowledgeable about these items. as far as I know this is how it came from factory
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pre model 29?-20200909_152228-jpg   pre model 29?-20200909_145930-jpg   pre model 29?-20200909_145740-1-jpg  
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Old 09-09-2020, 06:40 PM
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more pics of the pre 29? still looking for exact year and model and any other info I can get
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Old 09-09-2020, 06:44 PM
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Talking pics

here is a couple more pics
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Old 09-09-2020, 07:06 PM
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"...still looking for exact year and model and any other info I can get".

Before 1958 all S & W handguns had a name but no number; therefore this is a ".44 Magnum". Not long after this one was made it was given the model number 29, but it would be stamped as such if it fell into being a model numbered gun.

The barrel has the same appearance to the finish as the rest of the gun that 'suggests' it is original, but the only way to be certain of this (and its exact age) is to request a letter of authenticity. See post #5 above.
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Old 09-10-2020, 12:27 AM
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I have S1780xx that shipped 10/58. Not model marked, 4 screw frame, with serial number stamped on the crane rather than the ejector rod housing. I suspect that both of our guns were late shippers, while S&W was depleting their supply of the older frames and transitioning to the model numbers. I agree that the original coke stocks have been changed to target stocks.
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Old 09-10-2020, 08:29 AM
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I will go out on a limb and say I believe the 8 3/8-inch barrel is a replacement for the original. I base this on two things. First, a check of serial numbers shows most of the S181000 44 Magnums shipped in the first half of 1958 which is too early for a revolver with this barrel length, and second, from the first photo in post #1 it appears as though the windage adjustment screw is crowned. A screw with a flat head was used until 1959. This suggests the rear sight blade was changed to accommodate the longer barrel.

Are there any indications on the grip frame the 44 Magnum was returned to S&W? There could be a diamond stamped on the grip frame along with a month and year code (for example, 2 59 would indicate a gun was returned in February 1959).

I may be proven wrong by a letter of authenticity, but these are my current thoughts. Still a nice example of a 44 Magnum.

Bill

Last edited by Doc44; 09-10-2020 at 08:31 AM.
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Old 09-10-2020, 09:25 AM
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I'm with Mr. Cross. The barrel was changed. It's a late example of a non model marked .44 Magnum.
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Old 09-10-2020, 02:18 PM
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I clearly lack the forensic quality 'tech' employed here! But I do wonder about that box. My early Model 29, no-suffix, S193xxx, is in a black covered box. Such which I 'understood' to be first era original pattern. That certainly wouldn't comport with the box itself as shown; inserts regardless!
Just my take
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Old 09-10-2020, 02:40 PM
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If I recall, the black/blue boxes were only made for the 4" and 6.5" guns. They went to the wooden boxes about the same time as the 8.375" barrel was introduced.
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