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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 11-16-2020, 09:23 PM
DFairbanks DFairbanks is offline
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Default Family heirloom from gun safe 44 S&W SPL

Was hoping to identify the model and may year made for this .44 S&W SPL, hand ejector, with 6 3/8 inch barrel, fixed sight, SN 9780, 5 screws on side, yoke number 3568, on the barre is stamped first patent Mar 94. The serial number on the but plate match the one on the cylinder although the but plate is difficult to read. Pictures attached, any help appreciated.
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Old 11-16-2020, 09:45 PM
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Congratulations! You own an iconic and legendary Smith & Wesson, a .44 Hand Ejector First Model, also known as a Triple Lock.

Barrel length is 6 1/2", probably shipped circa 1914-15.

Last edited by mrcvs; 11-16-2020 at 09:46 PM.
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Old 11-16-2020, 09:56 PM
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Welcome to the forum! It never ceases to amaze me what new members show up with beautiful 44 Triple Lock !
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Old 11-16-2020, 10:02 PM
DFairbanks DFairbanks is offline
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Thanks for the responses, this gun has a long history in my family, a great great uncle owned it and it passed down from my father to me about 10 years ago. The great great uncle worked as a cowboy on the Matadore ranch out in Texas and I have a picture of him standing with the other cow hands around the catch pen, but he has a jacket on and you can’t see if he was wearing the gun.
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Old 11-16-2020, 10:36 PM
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Nice Gun!
Now can we see those Cowboys, please!
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Old 11-16-2020, 10:50 PM
DFairbanks DFairbanks is offline
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Sure I’ll try to post it
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Old 11-16-2020, 10:54 PM
DFairbanks DFairbanks is offline
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The farthest one to the left
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Old 11-16-2020, 11:21 PM
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Hope you don't mind me turning the photo.
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Old 11-17-2020, 06:14 AM
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Awesome gun and history.
Thanks for the extra picture.

Looks like quite a few were wearing iron.
If he was left handed. I'd speculate he was too.
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Old 11-17-2020, 06:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DFairbanks View Post
The great great uncle worked as a cowboy on the Matadore ranch out in Texas and I have a picture of him standing with the other cow hands around the catch pen[.]
DFairbanks—Thank you so much for posting all of this. Your photograph shows a massive corral system, comparable to what one would see today at a major operation. I then looked up that Matadore ranch and that is an enormous spread. 130,000 acres, 3000-4000 head of cattle, even today. I would check with them and see if they have a copy of that photograph, I bet they would love to have one of they don't. It would be easy to get copied.
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Old 11-17-2020, 08:22 AM
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If the records go back that far and you can afford it, get your “Triple Lock” lettered by S&W. Great provenance, treasure it my friend.
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Old 11-17-2020, 09:39 AM
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DFairbanks, that is an outstanding heirloom! The grips on your TL are commonly called "jigged bone".... basically carved cow bone. The Wof & Klar company of Ft. Worth was a major source of these in that part of Texas. W&K was a major S&W distributor and may actually have been the source for the gun. A SW Historical Foundation letter on your gun might be interesting.
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Old 11-17-2020, 10:55 AM
DFairbanks DFairbanks is offline
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I’ve sent off for the letter of authenticity already, thanks for the answer on the grips, my dad had always told me it was a bone handle, the original owner was originally from Louisiana and went to Texas to escape law enforcement over the use of that gun. Which ended badly for the person on the wrong end of it.

Last edited by DFairbanks; 11-17-2020 at 10:57 AM.
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Old 11-17-2020, 11:24 AM
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When you receive the letter, be sure to post it.
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Old 11-17-2020, 12:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DFairbanks View Post
Was hoping to identify the model and may year made for this .44 S&W SPL, hand ejector, with 6 3/8 inch barrel, fixed sight, SN 9780, 5 screws on side, yoke number 3568, on the barre is stamped first patent Mar 94. The serial number on the but plate match the one on the cylinder although the but plate is difficult to read. Pictures attached, any help appreciated.
Can you take some fresh images outside in indirect outdoor Natural light?

Images so far suggest this may be an old and mellowed re-finish.

Are the Hammer and Trigger Nickle-Plated as well as the rest of it? ( Other than for the Ejector star ).

Last edited by Oyeboteb; 11-17-2020 at 02:12 PM.
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Old 11-17-2020, 12:31 PM
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Congratulations on your iconic Triple Lock and....
Welcome from the Commonwealth of Virginia.
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Old 11-17-2020, 01:02 PM
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A 100 year old cowboy Triple Lock migrated from Arkansas to the lower panhandle of Texas, working on a massive ranch, on horseback in the middle of a cattle herd? If it hasn't been refinished at least once I think I would be shocked. I'd bet it may have shipped blue and got a nickel finish and jigged bone grips probably 5-10 years into its working life. Just saying.

Imagine trading down a TL to one cowboy on a named ranch is so far out on the awesome scale in my book...
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Old 11-17-2020, 04:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oyeboteb View Post
Images so far suggest this may be an old and mellowed re-finish.

Are the Hammer and Trigger Nickle-Plated as well as the rest of it? ( Other than for the Ejector star ).
Posted photographs show an obviously nickel plated hammer and trigger. As the hammer, trigger, and yoke cam were colour case hardened--the latter not so evident as to being case coloured due to diminutive size, just that its finish should not match identically the finish of the rest of the revolver, be it nickel or blued--this means the OPs revolver was renickeled. But the renickel occurred very long ago. It now has a patina to it. I would leave it alone as is and not modify it by polishing or cleaning it.

Last edited by mrcvs; 11-17-2020 at 04:36 PM.
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Old 11-22-2020, 04:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrcvs View Post
Posted photographs show an obviously nickel plated hammer and trigger. As the hammer, trigger, and yoke cam were colour case hardened--the latter not so evident as to being case coloured due to diminutive size, just that its finish should not match identically the finish of the rest of the revolver, be it nickel or blued--this means the OPs revolver was renickeled. But the renickel occurred very long ago. It now has a patina to it. I would leave it alone as is and not modify it by polishing or cleaning it.
Seconded. Great gun .
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Old 11-22-2020, 08:51 PM
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Greetings from the Texas Panhandle.
The Matador is about 30 miles from here, next county to the east. Still a working ranch, beef producers. Looks like it might have been blowing dirt when the original picture was made, can't tell for sure. Some things haven't changed much, still lots of that around this part of the world. The current ranch managers/owners are very deep into land care and management, lots of attention to the vegetation system and the grass-wildlife-livestock balance.
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Old 11-22-2020, 09:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 6518John View Post
DFairbanks—Thank you so much for posting all of this. Your photograph shows a massive corral system, comparable to what one would see today at a major operation. I then looked up that Matadore ranch and that is an enormous spread. 130,000 acres, 3000-4000 head of cattle, even today. I would check with them and see if they have a copy of that photograph, I bet they would love to have one of they don't. It would be easy to get copied.
Pretty fair sized for sure but by Texas standards but not quite into "enormous".

A bit dated but for reference: The Biggest Ranches – Texas Monthly
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Old 11-23-2020, 07:24 PM
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Took a few more pictures in better light, hopefully these are a little better quality.
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Old 11-23-2020, 07:27 PM
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Some other’s
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Old 11-23-2020, 09:02 PM
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Bet that gun has many more stories to tell. Thanks for what you have already. Joe
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Old 11-23-2020, 09:54 PM
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Very cool old Triple Lock and a great story to go with it!
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Old 11-23-2020, 10:10 PM
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The serial number is 9780 with a star. This means it went back to Smith & Wesson for something. Is there a date code under the stocks, for example, "3.45" means it went back to Smith & Wesson in March of 1945. The SWHF may be able to detail what this was for once you receive the factory letter.
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