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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 07-23-2021, 10:48 PM
22lrfan 22lrfan is offline
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Default Poor Triple Lock!!!

Triple Locks are not common around here. I've only actually seen one and I bought it. I walked in a pawn shop today and thought I had found a gem. At first glance it appeared to be an early 4" Target TL (SN 3183). Got it out of the case and the closer I looked the worse it got. The frame, cylinder, crane, ejector star and barrel serial numbers matched. The grips don't. It has been polished and reblued. A full length rib has been added to the barrel for the pinned front sight. The frame has been milled for the adjustable rear sight. They did a decent job on it other than over-polishing it before the reblue. It's marked $850 so it'll have to stay there.
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Old 07-23-2021, 10:55 PM
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Sure its been bubbad but not as bad as some Ive seen. If the bore/chambers/mechanicals checked out and it was a 44 spl, I would have negotiated a little and brought it home. Im a sucker for guns with patina/character and given the early serial, its probably seen some stuff. At least all of the serials match. It would probably look good with some prewar style stag/elk grips and an adapter.

Thanks for sharing

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Old 07-23-2021, 11:02 PM
22lrfan 22lrfan is offline
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They have a bunch on consignment from a collector. They run from NIB to refinished, bubba'd ones like this. I'm going back tomorrow to look some more.
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Old 07-23-2021, 11:13 PM
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Someone wanted a target model. I've seen far worse the sights actually look well done the over buff job not so much. I bet it shoots good.
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Old 07-23-2021, 11:16 PM
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I can't see any remains of patent dates down the right side of the barrel so it probably didn't start life as a 4" version... probably 6.5" and cut. Still an interesting shooter TL. They wouldn't have to come down much on the price to get my serious interest. I, too, respect survivors.
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Last edited by quinn; 07-23-2021 at 11:17 PM.
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Old 07-23-2021, 11:25 PM
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I didn't notice that about the patent dates. The cartridge inscription on the other side of the barrel seems to be in the right place for a 4". I'm definitely not an expert on these. I figured with it's condition $850 was way to much. I'm sure it's somewhat negotiable. What would be a reasonable price?

Edit: Looks like you're right. I looked at some photos of a 6 1/2" barrel TL and the caliber marking is in the same place. I always thought they were centered on the barrel.

Last edited by 22lrfan; 07-23-2021 at 11:42 PM.
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Old 07-23-2021, 11:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 22lrfan View Post
I didn't notice that about the patent dates. The cartridge inscription on the other side of the barrel seems to be in the right place for a 4". I'm definitely not an expert on these. I figured with it's condition $850 was way to much. I'm sure it's somewhat negotiable. What would be a reasonable price?
Anything lower than $750 OTD would have my interest. What I usually do in your situation is look at the rest of the collection you mentioned and pick out another one (or two even) that you like and bundle them all together, negotiating heavily. If you get this and another, just take one home and come back for the other on the next paycheck so the wife doesnt get pissed

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Old 07-24-2021, 12:32 AM
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Most of the custom work looks to be of the quality seen post-war when reasonably talented gunsmiths built good hunting rifles out of old Mausers and Springfields.
The worst of it, to me, is the botched up sideplate to frame fitting. That's pretty hard to stomach!
But, I've seen people here pay $400-500 to get a "certain well known finishing shop" to do that to any number of nice old S&Ws just because they couldn't live with a bit of holster wear!

If the sight work & fitting looked good on close inspection, I might have succumbed.

Thanks for sharing the photographs. They are interesting and informative!
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Old 07-24-2021, 01:38 AM
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Any TL that goes bang is worth north of a grand in AZ these days as nearly as I can tell.
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Old 07-24-2021, 06:50 AM
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I would have negotiated a bit and carried that one out the door. As stated earlier the quality of the work looks good and you would have a Triple Lock that you can shoot as much as you like. In fact wearing some of the re-blue away would make it look better in my opinion.
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Old 07-24-2021, 07:56 AM
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I’d have bought it for that price!
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Old 07-24-2021, 08:07 AM
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The work on it looks pretty good, the real crime is that utterly atrocious re-finish!
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Old 07-24-2021, 08:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Ruger 1,3 View Post
Id have bought it for that price!
I know I would have gone home with it...My burgeoning accumulation of .38-44 mutts could use a brutish, seasoned cousin to tone down the rowdy parties they throw in my safe at night...I'm getting tired of cleaning up after them......Ben
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Old 07-24-2021, 09:07 AM
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All this haggling over $100 more or less on this gun? When was the last time any of us had the opportunity to buy a solid condition Triple Lock shooter in original Forty Four Special for anything less than a grand? I’m betting the whole discussion will prove academic because somebody will have already snapped it up by the time the OP gets back to it. I know if I were there, I would!

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Old 07-24-2021, 09:53 AM
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A couple things that kind of stand out to me.
One is that the bbl and to a somewhat lesser extent also the cylinder both do not seem to have suffered under the same heavy handed buffing/polishing wheel as the frame has.

Those two components still appear to have been re-blued, maybe they were not on the gun at the same time that the frame received it's buff & reblue.

Also on the left side of the bbl is the caliber marking.
But after the 'CTG' there is a space maybe 1/4"+,,,then there is the partial single letter stamping of what looks like a 'G'.
You can see it in both of the pics of the lettering of the left side of the bbl.
Enlarging the pic helps a lot, but even w/o that you can see it.
Wondering what could have been there prior that would have matched with a 'G'.

That lonesome partially stamped 'G' does not match with the same style as the G in CTG.
I am assuming that the partial stamp is a G of course.

The entire caliber marking itself looks awfully large in letter size especially in the first pic of it. Perhaps just the pic itself,,maybe I'm just not familiar enough with these to judge that well enough.
The width of the tang of the newly installed Adj sight looks extra wide to me as well. But again that may just be camera/picture tricks.

The channel milled into the top of the frame to accept that sight is still in the white. You can see just the end of it at the tip of the tang of the site.
I'd guess the Target conversion was done to an already buffed over and reblued revolver judging from that point.
Maybe the bbl and cylinder were from another gun and just added to the frame in the conversion.
Ser#'s would tell that story easily enough..

The front edge of the frame where the bbl screws in is heavily battered, at least on the left side. Looks like hammer strike marks. Don't know what went on there but I doubt those marks could have been wacked in there w/a bbl in place,,or at least this current bbl being in place and not also marking it up as well.
New bbl pin it looks like, maybe there is some sort of loose bbl issue. The hammer marks mentioned above to peen the frame threads down a little plus an extra size bbl pin to hold the bbl tighter in the frme.
All just a guess of course.

Not much there that couldn't be 'fixed'. It could be brought all the way back to a fixed sight TL too. Probably a decent shooter as-is.
All depends on what you wanted to do with it.
I'd have bought it if the bore/chambers & mechanics were good.
But then I like projects and do my own work.

Haggling over the price is always in order! But if I really want something, 25 or even $100 difference isn't going to make me walk away.

Last edited by 2152hq; 07-24-2021 at 10:01 AM.
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Old 07-24-2021, 09:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Green Frog View Post
All this haggling over $100 more or less on this gun? When was the last time any of us had the opportunity to buy a solid condition Triple Lock shooter in original Forty Four Special for anything less than a grand? Im betting the whole discussion will prove academic because somebody will have already snapped it up by the time the OP gets back to it. I know if I were there, I would!

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I bought one for $650 off of gunbroker a couple months back, no one even bid against me.
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Old 07-24-2021, 11:00 AM
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i have a war time triple, dusty, rusty but quite shootable. it has been modified "for a smaller hand" the back straps have bent together and the original wood grips cut down nicely done. i wounder the history of that.
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Old 07-24-2021, 11:30 AM
22lrfan 22lrfan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2152hq View Post
A couple things that kind of stand out to me.
One is that the bbl and to a somewhat lesser extent also the cylinder both do not seem to have suffered under the same heavy handed buffing/polishing wheel as the frame has.

Those two components still appear to have been re-blued, maybe they were not on the gun at the same time that the frame received it's buff & reblue.

Also on the left side of the bbl is the caliber marking.
But after the 'CTG' there is a space maybe 1/4"+,,,then there is the partial single letter stamping of what looks like a 'G'.
You can see it in both of the pics of the lettering of the left side of the bbl.
Enlarging the pic helps a lot, but even w/o that you can see it.
Wondering what could have been there prior that would have matched with a 'G'.

That lonesome partially stamped 'G' does not match with the same style as the G in CTG.
I am assuming that the partial stamp is a G of course.

The entire caliber marking itself looks awfully large in letter size especially in the first pic of it. Perhaps just the pic itself,,maybe I'm just not familiar enough with these to judge that well enough.
The width of the tang of the newly installed Adj sight looks extra wide to me as well. But again that may just be camera/picture tricks.

The channel milled into the top of the frame to accept that sight is still in the white. You can see just the end of it at the tip of the tang of the site.
I'd guess the Target conversion was done to an already buffed over and reblued revolver judging from that point.
Maybe the bbl and cylinder were from another gun and just added to the frame in the conversion.
Ser#'s would tell that story easily enough..

The front edge of the frame where the bbl screws in is heavily battered, at least on the left side. Looks like hammer strike marks. Don't know what went on there but I doubt those marks could have been wacked in there w/a bbl in place,,or at least this current bbl being in place and not also marking it up as well.
New bbl pin it looks like, maybe there is some sort of loose bbl issue. The hammer marks mentioned above to peen the frame threads down a little plus an extra size bbl pin to hold the bbl tighter in the frme.
All just a guess of course.

Not much there that couldn't be 'fixed'. It could be brought all the way back to a fixed sight TL too. Probably a decent shooter as-is.
All depends on what you wanted to do with it.
I'd have bought it if the bore/chambers & mechanics were good.
But then I like projects and do my own work.

Haggling over the price is always in order! But if I really want something, 25 or even $100 difference isn't going to make me walk away.
Thanks for all the info. I've got a near mint 4" TL that I rarely shoot. I wouldn't try to restore this one. I would shoot is just as it is. As noted in the original post all the serial numbers match except for the grips. I went back and looked at the original photos I took before they were reduced in size. I think what look like a G is just a scratch. If it's still there this afternoon I'm going to look at it a lot closer. I may be able to work out a package deal for it, the Outdoorsman and maybe more. They are supposed to be getting more in from the collector today. The store owner told me there may be another TL coming.
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Old 07-24-2021, 12:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Green Frog View Post
When was the last time any of us had the opportunity to buy a solid condition Triple Lock shooter in original Forty Four Special for anything less than a grand?
For me, the answer is February of 2019.

Heres a thread I created about that very topic: Proof you can still get a decent Triple Lock in 2019 for under a grand

And the original listing:

Lot Detail - (C) SMITH & WESSON HAND EJECTOR 1ST MODEL TRIPLE LOCK DOUBLE ACTION REVOLVER.

I guess it was even more of a deal since it included a factory letter, which would have been an additional cost (although a worthy cause).
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Old 07-24-2021, 02:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2152hq View Post
The entire caliber marking itself looks awfully large in letter size especially in the first pic of it.
That is not the original caliber mark for a TL. Font and size are wrong. Dingbats are missing.

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Old 07-24-2021, 04:21 PM
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Quite a conversation piece to say the least. That would be a fun one to take to a bar-b-que if you were around anybody that recognized it for what it was, I think it needs a pair of seasoned stag stocks and a well worn vintage holster to top off the picture. Price is steep for me, I'm passing on a similar 2nd model because the work was not done by King. The work appears to be done as mentioned by a well intentioned operator, the over buffing bothers me more than the other work.
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Old 07-24-2021, 05:57 PM
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Hard to resist a "FrankenSmith".........even one like that!!
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Old 07-25-2021, 12:21 AM
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Needs something besides those big ugly grips . Buy it and get some new shoes , it'll make a nice shooter . I'd get it to hunt with if nothing else.it would look good with a set of stag magna grips
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Old 07-25-2021, 07:37 AM
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I've never owned a triple lock but love some Frankensmiths. I'd buy that one for a shooter in a heartbeat since I load for 44 SPL. What did you say the phone number of the seller was?
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