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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 09-10-2021, 09:01 PM
waelkhntr waelkhntr is offline
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Default quintessential models for collection foundation

What models are considered quintessential as a foundation for a collection?
I realize that there will be varying opinions but guess that for the most part a general consensus can be met. Maybe a few prewar, some pre model number, and some post name model number. Thinking of a Victory, K22, k32, k38, model 10, 14, 15, 17, 19, 25,27,29 etc...

I have some of the above mentioned ones just not sure with to look for.

Looking foreword to responses

Thanks Terry
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Old 09-10-2021, 09:20 PM
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Welcome to the addiction!

Here are some thoughts for you to ponder:

While there are people who are eclectic collectors (N frame here, I frame there, prewar K frame elsewhere . . . ) many of us have chosen to develop more narrow collections.

For example, I started out wanting to collect one high condition example of every major variation of the K-38 Masterpiece from 1947 to 1982. It took me years to complete that task, but I finally got there.

Meanwhile, I became fascinated with the evolution of minor features on the immediate postwar K frame fixed sight guns (.38 M&P). I now own about two dozen of those, including several in each of the four barrel lengths. I'm still looking for good examples in two subgroups, but a couple years back I was able to acquire a 98% example of the rare .32 M&P from 1948.

Sure, I have the odd N frame, J frame and I frame or two or three in the safe. But my actual collecting interests are more narrow.

Since money and time are both issues for most of us, I recommend that you consider some specific parameters for your collection. Set goals and go for it.
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Old 09-10-2021, 09:27 PM
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Thank you for that insight. lots to think about.

Terry
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Old 09-10-2021, 09:30 PM
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Decide what you like.
Collect that.
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Old 09-10-2021, 09:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by handejector View Post
Decide what you like.
Collect that.
Good advise….. but I am to much of a butterfly as well as a shooter, so I flit here and there and pretty soon I have a collection. 😎😁
Not a lot of anything in particular, but a nice representation of S&W’s of different frame sizes and cartridges and years. A lot of fun.
The real serious collectors here might scoff, but if you are having fun it really doesn’t matter all that much.
I am starting to lean towards M&P’s, but pretty sure something else will catch my eye. 😂
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Old 09-10-2021, 09:43 PM
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Originally Posted by waelkhntr View Post
What models are considered quintessential as a foundation for a collection?
Thanks Terry
Terry,
The quintessential models are those that have a common meaning to you.

Perhaps in your case that is one of each model family.

For the last several decades my collection has revolved around the Model 27/327/627 family of revolvers and the Model 57/357/657 family of revolvers and other 41 Magnums.


41 Magnums

Additionally, I like LEO duty weapons and commeratives

I do not own and have no desire to own Model 10s, 13s, 16s, 24s, 28s or several others.

While not a fan of the 44 Magnum cartridge, I do own a few because of that cartridges place in the Smith & Wesson Universe

I have other models, but more of a general accumulation than a pathway to a collection

So find the ones that bring you joy and buy more of them Lots More

You might also look to a nicely embellished version of one of your favorite models. Perhaps something to put in a case on the edge of your desk as a conversation starter

BTW, 95%+ of my Smith & Wessons are post 1961 firearms

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The real serious collectors here might scoff, but if you are having fun it really doesn’t matter all that much.
I am starting to lean towards M&P’s, but pretty sure something else will catch my eye. 😂
No one will scoff
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Old 09-10-2021, 10:02 PM
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Jack nailed it.

When I was in my late 20s -- 40 years ago -- my buys had to be N-frames with the 3T's. They're long gone.

When I got back into the fold about 20 years ago I focused on fixed sights on I-frame .32s and postwar .38 M&Ps. My sole remaining .32 is a 1958 I-frame .32 Regulation Police, like the one my Grandmother taught me to shoot in 1959 when I was 7.

Then I wound up falling for Chiefs Specials and their 1950s derivatives (primarily the Bodyguards) because I find those models history and evolution fascinating.

I don't yet have one of the 19 .38 Chiefs Specials S&W shipped in 1950, but I'm ever on the lookout. My herd does a fairly good job of representing Chiefs and Bodyguards from 1951 through 2000.

Model numbered examples include 36, 36-1 3" Heavy Barrel, 37, 38, 49, 50, 60, 60-1 3" Heavy Barrel square butt, 60-1 2" Target, and a smattering of 36- and 60-numbers from 1989 till the end of the millennium.

There are lots of holes in the herd, and that's what keeps me interested.

I consider myself a prime example of not picking a focus for a long time. Since the Chiefs bug finally bit me, I haven't deviated.

Have fun with whatever direction you decide to take. That's the key.
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Old 09-10-2021, 10:02 PM
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I started by buying guns like ones I sold regrettably in the 80’s. Then I saw people posting about guns they had purchased and sometimes I said to myself “ I need one of that Model”. Sometime later I found one. And bought it. Kind of a rolling grail gun list.
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Old 09-10-2021, 10:52 PM
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K22 - has a better 22 revolver ever been made?
Model 19 - the ultimate evolution of the K frame
M&P 38 spl - just because
triple lock - do you really need a reason ?
honorable mention / want list - 25 - 28
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Old 09-10-2021, 10:55 PM
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I probably am more accumulator than collector. I erased three previous answers, because i realize I am not qualified to give collecting advice. Buy what you like and if buying every variation of one model or line works for you then do that.
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Old 09-10-2021, 11:05 PM
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Many interesting replies that I had not expected. I have way more to think about than I expected. I was expecting a list to sift through then continue my search. Lots to ponder

Terry
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Old 09-10-2021, 11:17 PM
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Triple Lock
Wolf & Klar (3rd 44)
Reg Mag/NRM
Baby Chief
Outdoorsman
29/pre 29
19
M&P snubby

would be my list
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Old 09-10-2021, 11:22 PM
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I've got a bunch of different revolvers in J,K,L & N frames. But my focus shifts now and then. I'll start in on a certain Model/type and get what I think are decent examples of its variations. Once satisfied, I move on to something else. However, I've never liked the long barreled guns (8 3/8"), so I pass them by.
Absolutely no reason to limit yourself as you can focus on several different types at the same time. And then add whatever happens along and suits your fancy.

.38/44s


3 .357 Magnums (pre-27s) from the 1950s and a 4" HP just to round it out.


My first love. .44 Specials. Always looking for more of these.


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Old 09-10-2021, 11:49 PM
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I think it’s hard to get the right answer here because it isn’t quite so clearly defined what the goal might be. As well, you very well may not truly know what your goal is. And the word “collection” also needs to be defined… as that word means different things to each of us.

I’ve often said that there exists a certain group of S&W guns that are exceptionally good for folks to chase. These are the models that were so well designed and so well received by the buying public that S&W made -MANY- which keeps the collectible price/value in check as they are not rare, unless you chase odd (but original) variations that are hard to find.

Those models include the ubiquitous Model 10, the Model 15, the 17, the fantastic Model 14, the ever popular Model 19, the solid Model 28 and the Model 66. At this point, the 686 has earned a place here too.

Yes, fantastic arguments can be made for other models, but I have listed these specifically as guns that were SO GOOD and so wanted by the buying public, so tons of them were made. Getting high grade examples of each of these can be done without a second mortgage.

If that idea isn’t exciting and isn’t the right answer then… sell your car and get a high grade Registered Magnum. After that, it’s all down hill.
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Old 09-11-2021, 12:00 AM
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I have been collecting for roughly 10 years now and my focus has changed three times now. I think you have to vary some in your buying just to experience what is out there.

Your variables can help steer you to start.

Your budget
Whats available to see in your area.
Caliber and Frame size if your shooting
Lastly consider why you like S&W in the first place.

I ended up focusing on having a pretty lean collection of Target guns and grips that have character and are a bit uncommon.
Also I want great condition but not necessarily perfect as I like to shoot them occasionally. I also decided to stick to two calibers to help keep ammo costs down.
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Old 09-11-2021, 09:36 AM
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What do you like about collecting?

Completely unrelated to S&Ws, just collecting itself?

Answering that question may give the forum a better idea on where in the many awesome S&W niches you may want to look into.
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Old 09-11-2021, 10:29 AM
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This question ranks right up there with what kind of clothes should I buy. Most of us don’t go to so many formal affairs that buying a tux makes sense, but probably all of us, regardless of age or station in life, own a couple of pairs of blue jeans.

For guns, the question becomes even more unanswerable because once you get past a good self defense weapon and perhaps something to put meat in the pot, it’s all personal preference. I wrote an article years ago that suggested most of us should be able to “get by” with three handguns. At the time I suggested a 22 (revolver or semiauto) a mid caliber revolver such as a Model 19 or 66, and a 45 ACP based on the 1911 pattern. I still think I could “get by” on these three if I had to, but for the foreseeable future I expect at least one or two 32s to be in my safe as well.

Want to start a real collection? As others have said, pick a model, type, caliber, or whatever strikes your fancy and start hunting. It’s not unusual for tastes and interests to change, and I’m sure I’m not the only one to sell a collection of one sort and start another. It’s the thrill of the chase for many of us.

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Old 09-11-2021, 10:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by handejector View Post
Decide what you like.
Collect that.
WHAT HE SAID!!!!!!!!!!!! Why ask here? Your $$$. Your preferences.
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Old 09-11-2021, 10:49 AM
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I started out admiring and collecting N-frames: 25, 27, 28, 29, 24, 629, 624, 625, etc. Never was interested in the .41s, though. Then I fell into some really nice and handy K-frames, and whoops, here we go again!

If a certain class of guns appeals to you, go for it. You'll have a lot of fun for sure.

John
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Old 09-11-2021, 11:28 AM
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I just buy what I like and often when I see it….some things are out of reach because of practicality as I have other hobbies too….some firearms I would and will only purchase because I stumble on to a very good deal….mine is kind of generic, a 1918-19 model of 1905 .38 special being my oldest, a model 58, 4 combat masterpieces to include a .22 and a snub within those…a 29 mtn gun(with unliked lock) 617, 34, 2-686’s, 586, 17, 3 different 10’s, 65, 2-m28’s,a swve40 & a 5906, a 3” 36 & a 642….my want list is kinda short with a .38/44 outdrsman, a 4” 29-2, and maybe an outdoorsman k22…..and undoubtedly more will come if I fill those spots…buy what you like!

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Old 09-11-2021, 11:43 AM
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Thank you everyone for your time and interest to reply. I think "Sevens" reply (post #14) is the rout I'm trying to go just didn't know it. I could have used better terminology and explained what I was looking for better.

Terry
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Old 09-11-2021, 11:47 AM
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I was less selective, I set out to have one example of S&W from every decade they had been in business. Not as easy as expected, and most were just shooter models. Not until I finally scored a Mod1, 1st Issue1, 3rd type (only 1870 made), did fill in the 1850 slot. Once completed, I just looked at shooters that I wanted to shoot.
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Old 09-11-2021, 12:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by waelkhntr View Post
I think "Sevens" reply (post #14) is the rout I'm trying to go just didn't know it.
Good for you, Terry. Seems like we were able to help you out.

From Sevens' Post #14:
Quote:
Those models include the ubiquitous Model 10, the Model 15, the 17, the fantastic Model 14, the ever popular Model 19, the solid Model 28 and the Model 66. At this point, the 686 has earned a place here too.
The Model 10 is a fixed sight gun, and is, indeed, "ubiquitous." But don't limit yourself to the actual Model 10. This line was built as the .38 Military & Police for more than half a century before it got the Model 10 designation in 1958. Keep your eyes open for nice M&Ps from earlier decades. Those would nicely round out a collection of fixed sight revolvers.

All the other guns mentioned in that post have the adjustable rear sight, and having one of each would make a nice collection from that genre. But, again, keep an eye out for examples from the period before model numbers came into use. For example, a five screw, narrow rib K-38 Masterpiece would nicely augment a couple of Model 14s from the 1958-1982 period.

Be aware that once you start, there is no end to the money you will end up spending.
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Old 09-11-2021, 12:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by handejector View Post
Decide what you like.
Collect that.
The only answer that passes the "common sense" test.

Why would you want to collect "stuff" you don't "LIKE"??????
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Old 09-11-2021, 12:48 PM
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Very few of us can own them all. Therefore I have collected and recommend the following for a diversified group: models 15, 19, 27, 29. I like 4” and 5” barrels because I carry them all in a holster.
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Old 09-11-2021, 01:00 PM
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For collecting, a more focused endeavor, it totally depends on your interest. For accumulating you don’t need a foundation, just buy a few of everything.
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Old 09-11-2021, 02:11 PM
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Whatever direction you choose, consider spending the premium to get the best condition available. That will slow things down a bit, but make your acquisitions much more rewarding. And when the time comes to liquidate, you will realize maximum return.
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Old 09-11-2021, 03:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SS336 View Post
... I flit here and there and pretty soon I have a collection. 😎😁 Not a lot of anything in particular, but a nice representation of S&W’s of different frame sizes and cartridges and years. A lot of fun...
I think that is how a lot of us start out... BUT after a while, some of us find there are certain models that we get out of our safe more often than others... Then we find that those are the models that we read everything about on the forum... Then we find ourselves interested in all of the paperwork, ads, boxes, etc. that accompanied those guns... Then we find ourselves focused on the different barrel lengths, configurations, and minor nuances of that model... Eventually some of us find ourselves, like Jack and some of the others above described, with a safe that's weighted and filled with one or two particular models, or calibers.

For me, the models are the N-Frame .357 Magnums (particularly the short ones and the long ones, and of course any engraved ones) and the K-Frame .22s.

Over the years, here's how they start filling up the safe:

3.5" Barreled N-Frame .357 Magnums:



Some K-22s:



Good luck!!! We look forward to seeing your collection as it grows and evolves.
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Old 09-11-2021, 05:10 PM
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I've put some thought into this and there are really only a few "must" haves.

1. A J-frame 2": this is the quintessential snubby. Every body should have at least one.
2. A M&P/Model 10 4": the quintessential service revolver. Millions have been made. Just pick one you like.
3. A K or maybe a L frame .357. Everybody needs a medium sized .357.
4. A N-frame .357. The original. The older the better.
5. A N-frame big bore. .44 or .45. Just because.
6. A .22 revolver. Just for fun.

I think that with just these 6 guns, you've pretty much got all the basics covered. Then you can start sub-dividing into specifics such as target guns, barrel lengths, etc.
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Old 09-11-2021, 09:26 PM
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I'm an accumulator and I've got a bit of everything S&W. I'd probably suggest:-

1. J Frame - Model 36 .38 special
2. K Frame - Model 17 or 18 .22lr
3. L Frame - Model 586/686 .357mag / .38 special
4. N Frame - Something in .44 mag
5. 3rd Gen Semi-Auto - eg 5906, 4006, or 4506

Something from all 5 food groups.
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Old 09-11-2021, 10:04 PM
waelkhntr waelkhntr is offline
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RKmesa,
I get weak kneed every time you post a picture.

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Old 09-12-2021, 12:17 PM
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I am a "born again" history buff with a tendency towards collecting guns involved in the history of American conflicts, however guns during other periods also find my attention. The "winning of the West", the Civil War, WWI, WWII are all represented in my collections. There are periods in your life where access to guns and the availability of funds meet to form the perfect storm. I have guns ,that represent America, hanging on the walls of my office. Some of those include a Springfield 45-70 carbine, the infantry musket with fixed baonet in the corner, 2 Colt .41s, 7 S&W pocket revolvers, an 1873 Winchester and Civil War swords, etc. I surround myself with history. It is the core of my collection philosophy. It started slowly with purchases that started to form a pattern and proceeded from there. Honestly, there is no set plan anywhere. It evolved thru our subconscious mind and morfed into the addiction that we all share. Go with what feels right, because that's right for you at your time and place in history.
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Old 09-12-2021, 12:49 PM
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I think you start with a K frame .38 S&W Special revolver, 4” barrel. It can be an early M&P, a Victory, or a Model 10. If you like that, you’ll find other things you like . . .
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Old 09-12-2021, 02:04 PM
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Up front, I'm a shooter-grade N-frame accumulator/opportunist. I have a few really nice collectibles, but it's mostly shooters and what I like in the common calibers .38 Special, .357 Mag, .44 Special, .44 Mag. My picks for a representative N frame collection:

Model 1917 Army .45
38-44 Heavy Duty
38-44 Outdoorsman
.44 Special 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 1950 Models (Military, Target, and Model 24 or 24-3)
.357 Magnum (and the Model 27)
Highway Patrolman (and the Model 28)
.44 Magnum (and Models 29/629)

There is broad range of time, finishes, barrel lengths, calibers, engineering changes, and conditions to choose from. My collection is almost equally divided into Pre-war, Transitional 1946-1949, 1950-1980, and 1980+ periods, predominately blue, with common barrel lengths 4"-6.5". 40% of the collection are .44 Special. Half the N collection, primarily post 1950 models, have target sights.
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Old 09-12-2021, 09:12 PM
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What all the guys above said..

Leave the M and I frames for us.
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Old 09-13-2021, 06:58 AM
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Not a single mention of a model 39 or 59?
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Old 09-13-2021, 10:15 AM
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There are many ways to start collecting Smith & Wesson handguns. My path was a long one, starting with antique S&Ws because they were cheap and no FFL was needed to purchase. Plus, they just showed up at your house. There were many models to choose from and I had a great time finding and then shooting those models. What did it eventually learn? I was not that excited about them long term.

I then obtained a C&R FFL and set out to collect M, I, K, and N frame early models along with many post-1898 top breaks. Collected and shot them for years and started to find that I never took out my I frames and did not shoot my N frames as much as the good old K frames. Time for another adjustment.

I am now narrowing down to mostly Pre-WWII K frame Target revolvers. There is a wide variety of models & changes, choices of three calibers and one can shoot them all day if you want.

The bad news of my progression? There was none!! I had a chance to shoot revolvers from as far back as 1860, learned much about every tip-up and top-break that would have never been accomplished without all these guns in my hands. It helped me decide what to try next and funded my new direction as I sold those guns. I am still selling top-breaks and excess K frames in order to concentrate on my very narrow field of interest, those K frame Targets that show up for sale from time to time. I am now at a point that I am accumulating a fair number of these guns, and out of the corner of my eyes looking ahead to expected rewards someday when I decide to sell them all. The money is not the big issue, but I believe that Pre-WWII Targets will always be in demand and easy to sell when the time comes.

Bottom line is that you will not be making a mistake entering the collectors market with any choice you make, but rather you will eventually channel your desire on what to collect over time and learn a lot on that journey.

Good luck!
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Old 09-13-2021, 10:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Muss Muggins View Post
I think you start with a K frame .38 S&W Special revolver, 4” barrel. It can be an early M&P, a Victory, or a Model 10. If you like that, you’ll find other things you like . . .

Even that can be a slippery slope... Your pocketbook will probably be the driving force, once you decide on an area; but then, once that is accomplished, do you stop or carry on with a new focus.....
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Old 09-13-2021, 11:07 AM
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Not a single mention of a model 39 or 59?
My collection has three times the number of S&W semiautomatic pistols than S&W revolvers however here in the S&W Hand Ejectors: 1896 to 1961 All 5-Screw & Vintage 4-Screw SWING-OUT Cylinder REVOLVERS, and the 35 Autos and 32 Autos forum… no, I’m not suggesting a 39 or 59. (Heehee got four of those and three 52’s! )
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Old 09-13-2021, 12:22 PM
Tntcwg3 Tntcwg3 is offline
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another point to consider; depending on what you decide to collect, what's your plan for the future disposition of the collection? Are you planning on passing these on to your heirs or selling them off yourself to fund a retirement home or other endeavor? If you choose to collect the rarer specimens which generally sell for lofty prices, you will have a lot smaller market and number of prospective buyers with the means to acuire the higher end guns. This might also recquire the use of one of the large national auction houses or professional representation in order to realize their maximum potential. My biggest fear is that my son, who is not a gun enthusiast, will sell my collection off based on what similar appearing, readily-available, production guns are selling for.
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Old 09-13-2021, 06:12 PM
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My biggest fear is that my son, who is not a gun enthusiast, will sell my collection off based on what similar appearing, readily-available, production guns are selling for.
That is why I have a binder with all pertinent paperwork for each gun I own, along with a spreadsheet that includes the serial number, model name, date of purchase, ship date, how much I paid and from whom, along with a conservative market value that I update every year. And Mrs Raljr1 and son know right where to look to find it.

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Old 09-13-2021, 06:51 PM
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Quote:
I'm an accumulator and I've got a bit of everything S&W. I'd probably suggest:-
I'm an accumulator, too. The closest I was to having a significant "collection" was before my 2018 fire when I had a nice number of 2" K frames but I sold most of them as shooters after they were all water and foam stained inside my safe. The safe withstood the heat, not the liquids!

But, still, I "collect" what I like. Okay - accumulate!

I don't like .44 Magnums so I don't own any. I'm not interested in .22 revolvers, so I don't own any. And so forth. So I only have, I think, 13 S&W revolvers now. It's an eclectic accumulation - and I like it - see handejector above.

See, but that doesn't include a somewhat similar number of S&W pistols, all 3rd Gen, because that's what I like.

And so it goes. Because my accumulation is much bigger than just S&W firearms.
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Old 09-14-2021, 12:22 PM
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That is why I have a binder with all pertinent paperwork for each gun I own, along with a spreadsheet that includes the serial number, model name, date of purchase, ship date, how much I paid and from whom, along with a conservative market value that I update every year. And Mrs Raljr1 and son know right where to look to find it.

Robert
Robert, I've done much the same, I've got an inventory program with the data recorded the same as you, as well as a list of recent sales prices. I've also given them a couple of names of some very knowledgable and trusted collectors to contact if they need help selling them.
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