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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 03-31-2021, 07:59 PM
David.Hylton David.Hylton is offline
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Default Triple lock .455 help needed. Now with photos

I came across a .455 Triple Lock at a local dealer today. Sorry - no photos. It's probably the only Triple Lock that I've handled that was for sale in over 30 years of gun collecting. I don't know anything about them so I need some advice.

Forward of the grips/stocks the the bluing on the gun looks to be 80 or 90%. The grips show little wear and back strap probably 40% finish . The wear appears to be storage related not hard use.

No military markings, The barrel is marked .455 and the serial numbers match on the cylinder, barrel and grip.

The case coloring on the trigger, hammer and third lock on the frame is amazing.

The bore is pristine as are the cylinders. Overall the finish looks like a new gun that was put away. I don't think it has been refinished. The lettering is sharp and I don't any signs of polishing.

I'm going to go back and look at it again. What should I look for? I intend to pull the grips to get a better look.

The gun is a bit under $1k. What is the normal price range that I should expect? The only example on GB is $4k, .44 and in worse shape.

Thanks in advance,
Dave

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Old 03-31-2021, 08:13 PM
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A Triple Lock in 455, with original finish, matching numbers, as you describe may be worth 2 or 3 times more than the asking price. If there is a serial on the cylinder, then that means the cylinder was not shaved to accept 45 acp/auto rim, which is a good thing. No military or import markings means it's a commercial example, also a good thing.

If you left it there, I'd head back right now and buy it if the store is still open. If it isn't, I'd be there first thing tomorrow morning to buy it. If it's gone when you return, let it be a lesson learned to not leave Triple Locks under 1k at the store/gun table.

We like pics, good luck!

SVT28

PS: Bring a 45 colt round to see if its been reamed. Also, if it has factory target sights, thats a really really good thing.

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Old 03-31-2021, 09:35 PM
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Sounds too good to be true but you never know. I bought a mismarked 3rd Model 4 inch nickel Wolf & Klar for under $1k a few years ago at a LGS, why not a pristine Triple Lock. Please do post pictures and good luck!

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Old 03-31-2021, 10:20 PM
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Take your pillow and a bedroll and camp in front of the dealer’s door!
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Old 03-31-2021, 10:26 PM
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When it comes to these guns, I'm not the sharpest knife in the drawer, but I do believe these guys^^^^^^are steering you right. Buy it if you have the funds available. Even if you have other needs for the cash, you know, stupid stuff like mortgage or car payments, you can always turn it around pretty quickly and probably make a couple extra dollars. Maybe if you go back in the morning, even if you decide against buying it, could you tease us with at least one picture, please?
Your money, your business!
Maybe you could call the owner of the shop if you know him and give him your credit card info to hold it 'till tomorrow!
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Old 03-31-2021, 10:36 PM
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I would go right now to buy that TL.

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Old 04-01-2021, 05:22 AM
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You’ve been given great advice so far. I think that the case colouring on the cam (the third lock) as well as other strong case colouring, makes this one sound particularly promising. It strongly suggests that a reblue has not occurred as often the cam gets blued when the rest of the revolver is reblued. Also, if reblued, there would likely have been wear causing someone to do that and, by that time, the case colouring would likely be muted.

But it and post many photographs! If rechambered to .45 Colt, a run of the mill one used to bring about $825 to $850 all day long, but with the recent run up in prices in Triple Lock revolvers lately, and the condition you describe, it might easily be worth 1k there days. If in .455 Webley, probably at least 2k.
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Old 04-01-2021, 05:45 AM
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Here's a pic of my commercial 455 triple lock for reference. Unfortunately the cylinder was shaved for 45 acp and moon clips, however the finish is original. I bought it for $850, and was happy to do so even with the modifications. Can't wait to see how this thread turns out.

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Old 04-01-2021, 09:56 AM
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Sounds like a commercially sold 1st or 4th variation .455 Mk II triple lock, both serial numbered in the .44 TL serial range. Its serial # will tell the tale.
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Old 04-01-2021, 10:23 AM
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Hoping for pics when you can. This sounds exciting! The above members have great advice I would follow them Triple lock .455 help needed. Now with photos


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Old 04-01-2021, 10:21 PM
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I should have listened to the advice. Called camped out or or done whatever it took. I got off work and went to the shop and it wasn't there - when I left. :-)

I bought it as a shooter. The cylinder is not cut for .45 Colt.
As a I described in my original post. The forward part of the revolver is in great shape and the grip frame has issues. The trigger, lanyard loop, hammer and lock are nicely case colored. The serial number 12768. Any guesses to the ship date?


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Old 04-01-2021, 10:27 PM
David.Hylton David.Hylton is offline
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Here are some photos as attachments.
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Old 04-01-2021, 10:29 PM
David.Hylton David.Hylton is offline
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Photos continued.
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Old 04-01-2021, 10:33 PM
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Here are some more photos to show more details.
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Old 04-01-2021, 10:39 PM
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The rust under the grips is disappointing. But I think the case colored lanyard loop is cool. What's the best way to remove the rust?
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Old 04-01-2021, 11:05 PM
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That's a purty gun! Get some Blue Wonder Gun Bore Cleaner. It will remove the rust but not the bluing. I'm not sure that gun ever left the US. I see no British proof marks on it.
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Old 04-01-2021, 11:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David.Hylton View Post
The serial number 12768. Any guesses to the ship date?


Congrats!

No guesses needed, as I posted above, the serial # tells the tale on these British Service Revolvers, it's a 4th variation:



4. “.44 HE - 1st Model”, ‘Triple Lock’, same as #1. above, but not likely converted .44s, just assembled into .455s:

“As the Brit contracts were finishing up in April, 1916, [H of S&W pg. 203] S&W found enough [HE 1st Model TL frames, possibly already numbered as .44s, and .455 barrels and cyls] to build 691 .44 HE 1st Model [per Roy Jinks in various letters] Triple Lock frames [for chambering in .455* like #1. above]. These guns are numbered in the .44 Spl serial number series. I have no idea why they were not just numbered in the .455 series. Perhaps it was .455 barrels and cylinders that the factory found, and they simply turned again to existing 44 HE 1st Model TL frames to use them up. They were sold commercially.” Lee Jarrett

*Although the last 691 TLs are likely numbered too high (12000 to 13000 and higher) and with caliber stamped on the barrel), to be the version #1. above not cal stamped, they are the same. And not likely or possible to have a duplicate number in the .455 HE 1st Model TL Brit contract serial range #1 to at least #5800, but we don’t know much with certainty about these.

11/3/15 “In April, 1916, the Factory found enough parts to assemble 691 Triple Lock 455s. They were assembled from April to Oct of 1916. They were numbered [late] in the 44 HE series. All I have seen are numbered from the 12,000 to 14,000's. [in 1916 and 1917 - 325 were sold to Shapleigh Hardware Co. and some to Simmons Hardware Co., St. Louis, MO.]
Some lettered as being commercial sales, but I have long suspected that S&W simply slid many into the last of the British shipments at the standard price for the 455-2nd Models. I say that because I have observed several now with Brit ordnance marks and/or commercial proofs.” Lee Jarrett

For an exact "shipping" date you can order an Historical letter for $100, or the dates above are close enough for you.
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Old 04-02-2021, 01:08 AM
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To my own glance, this looks to be a re-finished / re-Blued example, and, not an original finish.

Screw Holes of Side-Plate, very slightly rounded over on the edges, Texts and S & W emblem very slightly likewise...striations in odd directions here and there in the underling Steel of the Frame...

Might be the lighting, but, over-all color also looks not-quite-right.

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Old 04-02-2021, 04:39 AM
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Quote:
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To my own glance, this looks to be a re-finished / re-Blued example, and, not an original finish.

Screw Holes of Side-Plate, very slightly rounded over on the edges, Texts and S & W emblem very slightly likewise...striations in odd directions here and there in the underling Steel of the Frame...

Might be the lighting, but, over-all color also looks not-quite-right.
I agree. A quality refinish and recasecolouring, but refinished nonetheless. Also some rounding at frame near outside surface of cam.
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Old 04-02-2021, 08:21 AM
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Ya looks like a reblue but aside from that it’s still an unmodified triple lock in the sense not hacking up the sight or barrel or some stuff. Nice gun. Too bad she sold before u got there. Seems to happen all to often.


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Old 04-02-2021, 09:44 AM
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Ya looks like a reblue but aside from that it’s still an unmodified triple lock in the sense not hacking up the sight or barrel or some stuff. Nice gun. Too bad she sold before u got there. Seems to happen all to often.
It sold AFTER he got there...to him!
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Old 04-02-2021, 10:38 AM
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Talking TL .455

Be still my heart! Brother, I would have paid a grand for that piece in a heart beat. I have a bevy of theses guns and all are refinished due to being work guns, you did GOOD!!!
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Old 04-02-2021, 11:06 AM
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It sold AFTER he got there...to him!

Oh ***** Triple lock .455 help needed. Now with photosTriple lock .455 help needed. Now with photos my bad. Good score then Triple lock .455 help needed. Now with photosTriple lock .455 help needed. Now with photos


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Old 04-02-2021, 01:22 PM
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Looks like Mr. WB scratched his initials inside the stocks. Those are probably worth well over $200 by themselves.

Anybody here would have gladly bought it for what you paid, reblued or not. If you have buyer's remorse, shoot me a PM!

One caution about anyone taking a cartridge to the gun shop to see if it chambers:
Just make sure the clerk, owner, and anyone else around knows what you intend to do and clear it with them first. I was in a gun shop once and someone asked to see a revolver. When it was handed to him, he pulled out some cartridges and started to load it. I don't know what he was thinking, but suffice it to say he shouldn't have done that!
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Old 04-02-2021, 01:39 PM
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I'll bet it was awkward, and sorta stinky, after the swishing sound of all those guns clearing holsters.
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Old 04-02-2021, 09:14 PM
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Thanks for all of the responses. I usually look for post war N Frames so this one was a stretch. Now to get the rust taken care of and to find some ammo.
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Old 04-02-2021, 09:40 PM
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The good news, it’s amazingly in stock. The bad news is the price. $73.99 a box!

Fiocchi Ammo 455 Webley Mark 2 262 Grain Lead Round Nose Box of 50
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Old 04-02-2021, 10:24 PM
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That is a beautiful Triple Lock. Thank you for showing it. I wish I had one like it
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Old 04-02-2021, 11:03 PM
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The good news, it’s amazingly in stock. The bad news is the price. $73.99 a box!

Fiocchi Ammo 455 Webley Mark 2 262 Grain Lead Round Nose Box of 50
Grafs has On Target Ammunition 455 Webley MK-II 262gr Coated LR-Nose, New Production, Box of 50 for $37.

As long as it goes bang, it will meet my needs.
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Old 04-03-2021, 04:59 PM
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Starline sell 0.455 "short" cases and Jet Bullets in Canada (Alberta i think) sell the HB 265 bullets, so all you need are some primers and powder. Dave_n
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Old 04-04-2021, 02:12 PM
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A coupla years ago I lost my mind at the same time as Fiocchi made a run of this ammo I bought more than I will ever shoot and then Midway cut the price on theirs. I think they were clearing the warehouse for new stock. They dropped the price several times and had free shipping on most weekends. I bought a lot more. They also had the same thing going on WW .357 145gr ammo. I went long on my credit cards. Lookin back I may have made the right decision................
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