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Old 06-06-2009, 11:11 PM
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Default Pre-War 357 Magnum Appreciation Thread

My thanks goes out to Lee and the gang for all of the effort that they put into moving this great forum.

With this new forum, I thought that we should christen it with a pre-war 357 photo appreciation thread. I have been a firearm enthusiast for as long as I can remember. However, the beauty and grace of the pre-war 357 Mag, in all its varieties (Registered Magnum, Non-Registered Magnum, numbered pre-war 357 not eligible for registration, etc...) really gets my heart pumping. My favorite threads on this forum have centered around the RM and I have read many of them over and over again. I have drooled at the excellent photography skills of the various members of this forum and I have enjoyed being part of the collective show and tell that goes on here.

My wife just got a new camera and related software, so I of course had to try it out on my favorite subjects - my two RM's. With the wealth of pre-war 357's that are out there with our members, I thought that I would start this thread off with a few new photos of some old revolvers and I would invite you to do the same.

June 1937 7" RM








November 1937 8.75" RM (sporting some Keith Brown wood)





Thanks for humoring me and sharing your guns, photos, observations, questions, and expertise.
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Last edited by RKmesa; 06-30-2009 at 02:05 AM. Reason: Certificate photo added
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Old 06-06-2009, 11:25 PM
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Are those original or period S&W stocks or modern replacements?
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Old 06-07-2009, 12:01 AM
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A KC RM with some serious spiffin' up by Dave Chicoine, Jr., on the steel and Keith Brown on the wood:

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Old 06-07-2009, 12:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SaxonPig View Post
Are those original or period S&W stocks or modern replacements?
The stocks on the 7" are original and number to the gun. The stocks on the 8.75" are Keith's reproductions with original medallions and escutcheons. How 'bout posting a photo of the UT Highway Patrol 357 that you have, assuming that you still have it.

Pace:

That is a beauty! I cannot recall the history, if you posted it before. Please remind me/share.
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Old 06-07-2009, 12:16 AM
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8.75" Registered Magnum, shipped March,1939:


6.5" Registered Magnum, shipped January, 1938:


Kansas City PD Non-Registered Magum, shipped July, 1940.
Grips redone by Keith Brown:
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Old 06-07-2009, 12:28 AM
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Onomea, that is a GORGEOUS restoration. Here's my non-reg magnum, redone by Gene Williams, with stocks by Keith.
Bob


Last edited by OIF2; 06-07-2009 at 12:30 AM. Reason: added additional photo
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Old 06-07-2009, 06:26 AM
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Default Long & Short

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Old 06-07-2009, 06:33 AM
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Default Wartime Ad & Target

Wartime ad for "Handful of Dynamite":


They shoot good, too! 50 rounds 38 special @ 25 yards:
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Old 06-07-2009, 08:24 AM
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".357" Magnum shipped in July 1937...8 3/4-inch barrel, McGivern front sight, deep U-notch rear.

Bill
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Old 06-07-2009, 08:49 AM
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Don't take this personally, but I hate you guys....

Absolutely magnificent revolvers, color me green with envy.
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Old 06-07-2009, 09:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RKmesa View Post
Pace:

That is a beauty! I cannot recall the history, if you posted it before. Please remind me/share.
Not posted here before, RK. This is its coming out photo. It will be on display in Troy. I'll update here after the meeting.
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Old 06-07-2009, 09:52 AM
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Quote:
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Not posted here before, RK. This is its coming out photo. It will be on display in Troy. I'll update here after the meeting.
Whew... I know that I'm getting old, but I'm glad that I did not forget the story of that gorgeous piece. Sad that I'm not going to make it to Troy, so... I'll try and patiently wait until you get back.

Everyone - Beautiful guns!
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Old 06-07-2009, 10:29 AM
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Since RK asked I will post the photos. I just figured everyone's seen it already and is sick of it.

I know that 50 of these were shipped to the UHP 1937-38 in three shipments, and the story I was told when I bought it was that only one other is known to be in a private collection with the whereabouts of the remaining 48 unknown. Anyone happen to know who has the other one?





Shoots pretty good with full power 357 Magnum ammo.

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Old 06-07-2009, 11:25 AM
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My one and only. This KCPD gun was shipped in September 1939. This was the among the first of three shipments to that agency by S&W and this one carries a REG #5159. I guess that makes it a "non-registered, registered magnum". The grips are not original to the gun, but were purchased from another member and brought back to life by Keith Brown. I enjoy shooting this gun several times a year.

Jerry



Last edited by j38; 12-31-2010 at 12:51 PM.
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Old 06-07-2009, 03:26 PM
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This is photo of my KCPD shipped in 1939. I added new issue grip adaptor and shoot it with
158 grain round nose lead bullets. Also copy of the flyer of KCPD buying the Registered Magnum.

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Old 06-07-2009, 04:31 PM
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Old 06-07-2009, 05:16 PM
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Saxon Pig,

I just noticed the difference in the front sight bases of your RM versus the KCPD guns. It also appears that the barrels of the KCPD guns are slightly longer than your gun - by 1/4" or so, ... or is it just my lying eyes? I guess it could be that the sight base is milled back from the crown of the barrel in the KCPD guns. The KCPD guns are listed as 4" in Roy's letter.

Great photos All! I wish I could get to Detroit this year...

Jerry
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Old 06-07-2009, 06:17 PM
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The UHP guns were originally 6" and were returned to S&W in the late 1940s and early 1950s (I think mine is stamped with a 1952 repair date) to have the barrels cut to 4" and be refinished. The front sight is weird and I guess it's something they made up for this purpose as I have not seen other guns with the same base. Mine has a replacement hammer and I think it was done at this time. Utah sees a lot of snow and cop guns in the snow get rusty hammers from being exposed in the holsters. Think about all those pre-war Magnas they tossed in the trash. Mine has correct but not original stocks.
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Old 06-07-2009, 09:10 PM
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NIce guns, all.

Toyman, did you relieve the Magna grips to add the grip adapter?

Bob
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Old 06-07-2009, 09:10 PM
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One from 1935, two from 1936, and one from 1938.
Don
RM #675, 1935


RM #1234, 1936


RM#1714, 1936


RM#3447, 1938
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Old 06-07-2009, 09:22 PM
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Quote:
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NIce guns, all.

Toyman, did you relieve the Magna grips to add the grip adapter?

Bob
Bob:

If I remember correctly, you have several beautiful pre-war 357's, including, I think, a nickle one that was restored? Would love to see a couple of photos.

Thanks,
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Old 06-07-2009, 09:35 PM
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Bob; I left the grips alone causes a gap but I have not had the web of my hand bit yet.
Roy
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Old 06-08-2009, 05:39 AM
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RK,

I need to spend some time getting some new pictures but I think this is the one (sharing the screen with a close relative) that you are referring to.



The nickel gun was shipped to a Kentucky Highway Patrolman who was also a policeman at Hopkinsville KY. It was one of a relatively few nickel non-registered guns produced and was shipped March 5, 1940. It had had a pretty hard life when I found it in south Texas and the nickel had been replaced with blue at sometime in its life, but has been restored to look like the day it shipped by Gene Williams and the grips are Keith Browns.

The blue gun was shipped to the Dallas Police Department Credit Union on May 17, 1940.

Sorry to learn you won't be at Troy. These and others will be in a display there.

Bob

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Old 06-27-2009, 10:58 PM
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Pace:

Troy is over. I missed it... Please post the story of your RM..
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Old 06-28-2009, 04:15 AM
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i rue the day i passed over a pre war non reg mag for a song just a few years ago. it lettered as a 6 inch but somebody had it cut to 4 and the finish was raggedy..

beuatiful iron fellas
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Old 06-29-2009, 10:00 AM
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Default 1935 rm

Here is my 1935 6 inch Registered Magnum.

Lynn

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Old 06-29-2009, 10:09 AM
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Here is my 1935 6 inch Registered Magnum.
Lynn
Lynn, that's a gorgeous RM!
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Old 06-29-2009, 10:57 AM
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Red face Some more crappy pics

This one has been posted before but I cant let this thread go without boring you guys with my less than stellar photography skills.

Reg. #1898 8 3/8"



And a pretty interesting letter

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Old 06-29-2009, 12:48 PM
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Great old advertisement. Thanks for posting!
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Old 06-29-2009, 08:55 PM
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Lynn, that's a gorgeous RM!
+1. Beautiful 6"er.
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Old 07-03-2009, 01:37 PM
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RKmesa, your 7-inch RM with all of its extras such as the box and certificate is really excellent. I had to do a double-take in looking at the certificate showing a 3-digit serial number and a two-digit REG number - coupled with other pictures showing the late-style S&W logo on the right (off) side. Then I realized that you had done a quality job of obliterating two digits of the serial and REG numbers. Did you use PhotoShop or some other package?

I am wishing that I could have made it to Troy this year because of the RM theme (my favorite along with the TL) and the presentation on photography that I heard was given. I hope that the photography presentation can be summarized in a future S&WCA publication, because a lot of us need to build our knowledge about taking pictures of our collections.

Last edited by tftech1; 07-07-2009 at 06:29 PM. Reason: clarify use of word "obliterating"
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Old 07-03-2009, 01:44 PM
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Shipped in 1939 as shown with blue finish, 3 ˝ inch barrel, King red bead front sight and “U” notch rear and humpback hammer…

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Old 07-03-2009, 02:03 PM
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Quote:
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Shipped in 1939 as shown with blue finish, 3 ˝ inch barrel, King red bead front sight and “U” notch rear and humpback hammer…

Now THAT catches my attention: the hammer, the front sight, the barrel length, the oversize checkered field on the stocks -- everything about it says "Look at me."

What a beauty! VERY nice.

David W.
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Old 07-05-2009, 01:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J Wilson View Post
Shipped in 1939 as shown with blue finish, 3 ˝ inch barrel, King red bead front sight and “U” notch rear and humpback hammer…
I've got to get me one of those 3.5" RMs!!! Beautiful!
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Old 07-05-2009, 02:44 PM
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J. Wilson's gun is one serious looking RM, for sure!

Jerry
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Old 07-08-2009, 07:47 PM
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I have 2 of those...the first is an 8 3/4 inch RM in factory box, shows almost no use, no recoil shied wear, very slight cylinder burn, and faint drag line. The picture shows a bit of glare at the muzzle. No factory letter on this yet.

The second is a 6 1/2 inch RM with factory letter stating it was sent back to the factory for King Sights, has "Star" on butt. Currently has after market faux ivory grips. Have a pair of 44 frame prewars somewhere in a box?
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Old 07-08-2009, 08:13 PM
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I have 2 of those...the first is an 8 3/4 inch RM in factory box, shows almost no use, no recoil shied wear, very slight cylinder burn, and faint drag line. The picture shows a bit of glare at the muzzle. No factory letter on this yet.



The second is a 6 1/2 inch RM with factory letter stating it was sent back to the factory for King Sights, has "Star" on butt. Currently has after market faux ivory grips. Have a pair of 44 frame prewars somewhere in a box?

Tabs:

You are a lucky man to have 2. Very nice, especially the 8.75" in that beautiful box. I would love to hear a little bit more about them (REG number range, SN range, front and rear sight config, etc...) and maybe a few more photos...


Thanks,
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Old 07-08-2009, 08:27 PM
panamajack310 panamajack310 is offline
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OK, I have been looking at all of the pictures of these prewar magnum and registered magnums. I dont mean any disrespect to any of you but I HATE YOU GUYS!!!!

All of you have some beautiful revolvers...THIS IS COMING FROM A VERY ENVIOUS PERSON OBVIOUSLY,,,OH AND JEALOUS...lol GREAT LOOKING REVOLVERS GUYS AND GALS!!!!
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Old 07-08-2009, 08:37 PM
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The 8 3/4 is 46,6XX RM Reg #462, square notch

The 6 1/2 is 47,0XX RM Reg #500, King Sights, factory letter stated it came with fixed sight and was shipped to a police captain in Pennsylvania.

I just posted a Thread in the Lounge..What Happened to Gary Grbrecht? where I describe how I was bidding on the RM that was sold for 17K at a Jeff Faintich Auction back in 98. That was the first RM that made the jump into hyper space.

I also have a few other S&W's that should blow yer boyz dresses up...
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Old 07-09-2009, 12:54 AM
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I also have a few other S&W's that should blow yer boyz dresses up...
Post away! (thanks for the additional information on the RM's)
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Old 07-09-2009, 11:26 AM
sks-75 sks-75 is offline
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I just received a S&W 357 Magnum from my step father and as near as I can tell it is a non registered pre war 357. I have been searching the web for any information that I can find and was hoping someone here could direct me to a good source for information (books or websites). This is my first Smith so I know nothing about them, this particular revolver has a 8 3/8 inch barrel and the serial number is 62XXX. I am courious about the age and quantity of them made with 8 3/8 inch barrels.

Thank You,
Shawn
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Old 07-09-2009, 11:43 AM
Muley Gil Muley Gil is offline
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Welcome to the Forum, Shawn. A pre-war .357 for a first post is impressive.

You'll get lots of info here.

Please post pictures.
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Old 07-09-2009, 12:29 PM
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Thanks for the welcome Muley Gil. I will try my best to post a picture as I have never posted a picture to a forum before.
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Old 07-09-2009, 06:03 PM
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sks, that is a fine lookin' gun.
Registered Magnums have the registration number in the cylinder crane/yoke area, and it's visible when you open the cylinder.
Does your have one?

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Old 07-09-2009, 06:34 PM
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Originally Posted by sks-75 View Post
I just received a S&W 357 Magnum from my step father and as near as I can tell it is a non registered pre war 357. I have been searching the web for any information that I can find and was hoping someone here could direct me to a good source for information (books or websites). This is my first Smith so I know nothing about them, this particular revolver has a 8 3/8 inch barrel and the serial number is 62XXX. I am curious about the age and quantity of them made with 8 3/8 inch barrels.

Thank You,
Shawn


A great resource is the Standard Catalog of Smith and Wesson, Third Edition. Here is a link to Amazon: Amazon.com: Standard Catalog of Smith & Wesson (Standard Catalog of Smith and Wesson): Jim Supica, Richard Nahas: Books

With a 62XXX SN it would have most likely shipped in mid to late 1940. It appears to be a pre-war non RM 357 (same gun as a Registered Magnum, but with no registration available). One of the differences between the RM and the non-RM is that the sight rib on the non RM (and some later RM's) is undercut right above the barrel. Your stocks are not factory, but look great (are they plastic or wood - please post a couple of close up photos). The sides of the hammer on the pre-war 357's had concentric grooves cut into the sides. I cannot tell if yours has that or not. I do not know how many 8.375" barrels were on the non RM's. I know that a lot of the non-RMs were sent to police departments and had much shorter barrels.

Great Gun. Thanks for posting!
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Old 07-09-2009, 10:18 PM
sks-75 sks-75 is offline
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JayCeeNC,
Mine does not have the registrartion number.

RKmesa,
Thanks for the info, My stocks are unfortunatly not wood.

Does anyone know of any reproductions of the original stocks?

Shawn
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Old 07-09-2009, 10:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sks-75 View Post
JayCeeNC,
Mine does not have the registrartion number.

RKmesa,
Thanks for the info, My stocks are unfortunatly not wood.

Does anyone know of any reproductions of the original stocks?

Shawn
Those grips are period post war "POINTER" by W. Murad, San Carlos, Calif. They came with three or for different styles of thumb rest's. Also in four different colors. Very A'vent guard for the day.
DW
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Old 07-09-2009, 11:47 PM
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sks-75 the Non-Registered Magnums are actually a bit rarer than the RM's because not as many were made.
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Old 07-10-2009, 01:00 AM
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sks-75,

Neat gun! You should definitely letter that old Magnum. Long barrels didn't (generally) go to Police Depts. That means yours most likely went to an individual who could afford a high-end revolver, which was certainly the case for this gun in the 1939-40 period. It could prove interesting.

Thanks for the post,

Jerry
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Old 07-10-2009, 09:42 AM
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Quote:
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RKmesa,
Thanks for the info, My stocks are unfortunatly not wood.

Does anyone know of any reproductions of the original stocks?

Shawn
Keith Brown makes some of the most beautiful reproductions - all hand made one at a time - here's a link:
http://www.keithbrowngrips.com/galleryroper.html

Also, here's a link to a Jan/Feb 2003 American Handgunner article on the RM:

S&W's rare registered model: elegant and deadly, this unrivaled statement of the gunmaker's art will always hold court as the first "magnum" - Magic | American Handgunner | Find Articles at BNET

Enjoy,
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