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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 01-14-2021, 12:23 AM
Thinnes Thinnes is offline
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Default A Single Look, a Double Take..... a Triple Lock!

It took me a while, but I finally acquired MY triple lock. Iím very pleased. Itís way more fun to beat the bushes and find something cool than it is to buy something off a gun auction.
Itís original, numbers matching, and in pretty good shape. Iím guessing that in general TLs are not as pristine as RMs because they are older and were working guns in their day.

I havenít been able to find much information on TLs. Can someone point me to a good thread on them?

A couple questions:

1. Do we know how many TLs are still in existence?
2. How does mine rate?
3. What would have been a fair price range? I follow various types of Smiths on GB and not many TLs have sold in the last year. I tried to research, just didnít have much to go on.
4. The trigger pulls heavy in double action. Is that normal? I gave the gun innards a good dose of Break Free. Helped a little.
5. How much of a premium is the nickel finish?

The gun came with an ok set of prewar pearls. I dressed it up with a nice set of ivories. Looking forward to your thoughts and comments.

Thanks.
Dave
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A Single Look, a Double Take..... a Triple Lock!-triple_lock-1-jpg   A Single Look, a Double Take..... a Triple Lock!-triple_lock-2-jpg   A Single Look, a Double Take..... a Triple Lock!-triple_lock-3-jpg   A Single Look, a Double Take..... a Triple Lock!-triple_lock-4-jpg   A Single Look, a Double Take..... a Triple Lock!-triple_lock-5-jpg  

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Old 01-14-2021, 04:07 AM
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Old 01-14-2021, 07:35 AM
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There were 15,376 Triple Lock revolvers produced for civilian use. There's no way of knowing how many still exist today, but 75% is as good a guess as any. Slightly over 5000 additional ones were produced in .455 Webley for the British military and being used in the military, their survival rate is less. Even lesser are those that are still in their original .455 Webley configuration as many were converted to .45 Colt. (Many are stamped .45 ACP, but you definitely don't want to fire .45 ACP in a Triple Lock). Despite .455 Webley being rarer, .44 S & W Special brings a premium over .455 Webley.

As far as double action trigger pull, I suppose this is in comparison to other revolvers you may have fired in the past. Being double action, it's designed not to fire easily to prevent accidental discharge.

How did you do? It all depends on what you paid.

So, my question is what did you pay for it and where was it obtained?

Last edited by mrcvs; 01-14-2021 at 09:25 AM.
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Old 01-14-2021, 07:40 AM
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I forgot to answer one of the questions. Even though yours is blued, you ask about a nickel premium. My estimation is that one of every three or four of the original civilian production Triple Lock revolvers produced had a nickel finish. Despite the relative scarcity of these, as compared to a blued finish, they usually don't bring much of a premium, if any. I suppose it's because a 75% condition blued gun still maintains its dignity, whereas the same gun with a nickel finish often looks a bit shabby.
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Old 01-14-2021, 07:50 AM
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I have a nickel TL that I bought 2 years ago for $1000. I don't see many today selling for less that $1500. Yours looks to be in about the same condition, maybe a bit better, than mine was. Congratulations on a pretty nice piece.
A Single Look, a Double Take..... a Triple Lock!-20180825_170747-jpg

A Single Look, a Double Take..... a Triple Lock!-20180822_193031-jpg
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Old 01-14-2021, 08:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raljr1 View Post
I have a nickel TL that I bought 2 years ago for $1000. I don't see many today selling for less that $1500. Yours looks to be in about the same condition, maybe a bit better, than mine was. Congratulations on a pretty nice piece.
Attachment 491594

Attachment 491595
Yours was an excellent buy even two years ago at $1000.

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Old 01-14-2021, 08:40 AM
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Maybe itís my monitor, but the OPs gun appears to be nickel in his photos. I canít tell from the photo if the triple lock cam is plated, or blued. Some better photos will help determine if original, whether blue or nickel. Also is there a B in the barrel shroud by the serial number? If no B, then likely a nickel gun originally.
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Old 01-14-2021, 09:13 AM
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Looks great and a nickel plated 44 Spl. You did alright.
I’ve handled a few but have yet to own one.
And I wouldn’t mine if I found one as good as yours.
It may have been refinished but it has a good refinished.
Most likely an early one and as for the hammer and trigger they look untouched.
I think you did good
Ted
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Old 01-14-2021, 09:23 AM
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I think it's a beauty! Glad you were able to find it.
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Old 01-14-2021, 09:23 AM
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That clarifies things. Hence, asking about nickel finish.

In any event, those photographs appeared to present a blued firearm. Now that I can see them better, with my phone in natural light, as opposed to overhead lighting, I'll be darned, it is a nickel gun! So no wonder why the blued finish looked so bad!

Okay, so it is difficult in your photographs to discern a dulled case coloured cam from the nickel finish, but I think the finish is original. Valuation: Well, it lacks the original N frame stocks but I would still think it's a $1300 to $1500 gun.
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Old 01-14-2021, 09:46 AM
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In my humble opinion, I think the OP's gun is original finish. Look at how sharp the small pins are on the right side of the extractor shroud.

Robert
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Old 01-14-2021, 11:25 AM
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Keep an eye of eBay for a set of correct stocks/grips. They appear there from time to time. You may find a set on there right now (hint - hint).
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Old 01-14-2021, 11:35 AM
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Keep an eye of eBay for a set of correct stocks/grips. They appear there from time to time. You may find a set on there right now (hint - hint).
Where? Everything on eBay right now is incorrect for various reasons, from what I can see, no pre war appropriate N frame grips at this time. Plus they tend to run high on eBay. A seller had a nice set awhile ago and offered them at $260 as an opening bid. Make an offer was an option. I made reasonable offers and got nowhere. Come to find out his idea of an offer was anything greater than $260. You just can't reason with some folks.
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Old 01-14-2021, 11:37 AM
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Best option for appropriate pre war N frame stocks is to check the accessories for sale section of this forum.
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Old 01-14-2021, 12:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raljr1 View Post
In my humble opinion, I think the OP's gun is original finish. Look at how sharp the small pins are on the right side of the extractor shroud.

Robert
As I understand it, those little pins aren't the test, it's the pin back by the grip that's usually flattened on a refin. In any event , looks righteous to me. Good catch!

None of mine have an extraordinarily heavy DA pull, I'd try a partial disassembly and deep clean if that's an issue. Probably some dried gook in there still.

Here's mine:

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Old 01-14-2021, 12:38 PM
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Where? Everything on eBay right now is incorrect for various reasons, from what I can see, no pre war appropriate N frame grips at this time. Plus they tend to run high on eBay. A seller had a nice set awhile ago and offered them at $260 as an opening bid. Make an offer was an option. I made reasonable offers and got nowhere. Come to find out his idea of an offer was anything greater than $260. You just can't reason with some folks.
Maybe I am wrong. Do these look correct to you?

They are the ones I was hinting at.
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Old 01-14-2021, 12:45 PM
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Maybe I am wrong. Do these look correct to you?

They are the ones I was hinting at.
Yep, avoid that set! I was afraid that was what you referenced.

They are home made. Note the depression in the wood surrounding the medallions of the stocks on the Triple Lock revolver I have posted. This is absent on the set posted on eBay. Also, the checkering pattern isn't quite correct.
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Old 01-14-2021, 01:17 PM
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Terrific catch. Congratulations.

I have had stiff DA trigger pulls on some older S&W revolvers, and the main problem in a couple of them was a fouled coil spring and channel in the trigger return slide. With the microgravel and hardened oil cleaned out, the action was much smoother. Another thing to look out for is a fouled center pin in the cylinder assembly.
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Old 01-14-2021, 01:19 PM
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You are correct. I must need to clean my glasses or eyeballs one.

Here is a set I received a couple of days ago. I have a better set in the mail to me, but they are hanging out in a bar in Kerney, NJ according to USPS.
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Old 01-14-2021, 06:22 PM
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The gun came with an ok set of prewar pearls.
I did not catch this earlier. These might have been put on by the distributor. A nickel Triple Lock with MOP stocks is showy and classy! I might be inclined to put them back on yours. I purchased a very nice Triple Lock with mother of pearl stocks in October, also nickel with a 6 1/2" barrel and I paid $1568 for it.
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Old 01-14-2021, 06:23 PM
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Also, what's the serial number and do you have a letter on it?
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Old 01-14-2021, 06:46 PM
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SN 11423. Just picked it up and I plan to letter it. I will post better pics tomorrow when I have some sunlight to help me. Itís nickel, and original finish. But you guys can take a looksee at better pics.
Thanks for your input everyone. I am looking at some TL grips I see for sale currently. But maybe the ivories are correct for the gun.
Iíve been buying guns and odds and ends from this guy for awhile. He had his wife along and I got the instinct impression she wants him to start selling off. Super nice guy and knowledgeable about Smiths. He had a couple Bekearts for sale but they were reblued. I plan to go visit him to look at his 4 inch TL. Hopefully heís ready to part with it. Dave
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Old 01-14-2021, 06:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lamarw View Post
You are correct. I must need to clean my glasses or eyeballs one.

Here is a set I received a couple of days ago. I have a better set in the mail to me, but they are hanging out in a bar in Kerney, NJ according to USPS.
Well, this certainly deserves more eísplainin!!!
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Old 01-14-2021, 08:16 PM
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Mine is 53 earlier than yours. A bunch of these nickel ones with a 6 1/2" barrel seemed to have shipped 1915 in the 10,000 and 11,000 serial number range. YMMV.
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