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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 09-13-2021, 07:12 PM
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I am a history teacher, and a new gun owner. I started with a Taurus 856 Ultralite (Yes, I know it was a mistake, I traded that snappy thing in a hurry). Since then I got a S&W 686-1 that I absolutely adore, and quickly became a huge fan of the .357 magnum round it shoots. Well doing a little bit of digging, I found out Smith and Wesson also happened to make the first .357 magnum revolver and called it the "Registered Magnum" before renaming it the Model 27 later. I also found the first one was given to FBI director J Edgar Hoover.

My question is this, where could one find a Registered Magnum from the original 1930's run, particularly 1935 if possible? As such a huge fan of the .357 magnum and Smith & Wesson from my admiration of my 686, this would be the only other gun I would want, and purely for my personal history museum.

Thanks in advance!
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Old 09-13-2021, 07:22 PM
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The classifieds on this forum are a good place to start, but realize the pre-war magnums are the ultimate collectibles and even a ragged example will be in the low to mid 4 figures. A first year production gun is the holy grail. Post war examples are much more affordable and numerous.
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Old 09-13-2021, 07:28 PM
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Your easiest, not least expensive, source are the auction sites. There were several available last time I checked; between$9k and $18k as I remember. They show up fairly often if cost isn't a factor.

You could post here in the "items wanted" sub forum. Many Registered Magnums are owned my members here and someone might be willing to part with one. Your post here may get you a PM from one of those owners.

If you're not in a rush you can check gun shows and gun stores. It only took me 25 years of looking to find one that way. Good luck.

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Old 09-13-2021, 07:48 PM
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I love registered and non registered magnums! I though I would never own one, and now, I have 4. Prices vary widely on condition, configuration, condition, originality, and condition. MY RMs and NRMs (1938-40) were working guns... all 4 of mine are LEO used--one even from the FBI. My best advice is to find a knowledgeable helper to give you a second set of eyes when you are considering a gun. The most expensive are high condition, all original and have a box. Less expnsive are the later guns that have been refinished and not wearing the original stocks. Even less expensive would be one with a shortened barrel or other mods.

This forum is an excellent place to start. As suggest above you might post a 'want to buy' listing in the classifieds section.

Good luck. Half the fun is in the search! I can honestly say I have never met a pre-war S&W 357 that I didn't like.
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Old 09-13-2021, 07:59 PM
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Your easiest, not least expensive, source are the auction sites. There were several available last time I checked; between$9k and $18k as I remember. They show up fairly often if cost isn't a factor.

You could post here in the "items wanted" sub forum. Many Registered Magnums are owned my members here and someone might be willing to part with one. Your post here may get you a PM from one of those owners.

If you're not in a rush you can check gun shows and gun stores. It only took me 25 years of looking to find one that way. Good luck.

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Something to get if my book becomes a best seller, 1,000 copies sold so far... Need to hit that million sold to afford that though hahaha. Time to start saving and searching, someday I will make it happen!
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Old 09-13-2021, 08:10 PM
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You are going to need about $5000 in cash and patience.

They crop up on gunbroker, various auctions, and gunsamerica regularly. A decent shooter grade gun should run you about that in the current market, but run the gun by some of us (over Private Messages, lots of cool people here won't bid against you and will provide good advice) before you spring for it. There is a lot that can be wrong with them that can cost you a lot of money if you ever go to resell it, and worse yet may displease you when you get it in hand.

If you are really lucky, and can watch gunbroker very closely, sometimes you can find one just labeled "pre-27" or something even weirder. Shops to this day sometimes don't know what they are. The last one I bought was $1000 because it was just labeled 'Model 27'. It can happen, though that takes a hell of a lot of luck and good timing.

If you like I will PM or email you any candidates I see when I am poking around online between dealing with my kiddos.

Edit;

Also, as an owner of 4 pre-war .357s now I would say it's a dang good gun to set your sights on. I continue to think that even at the prices they are now commanding they are a good buy and if you care for it the gun will only increase in value in the coming years.

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Old 09-13-2021, 09:05 PM
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You are going to need about $5000 in cash and patience.

They crop up on gunbroker, various auctions, and gunsamerica regularly. A decent shooter grade gun should run you about that in the current market, but run the gun by some of us (over Private Messages, lots of cool people here won't bid against you and will provide good advice) before you spring for it. There is a lot that can be wrong with them that can cost you a lot of money if you ever go to resell it, and worse yet may displease you when you get it in hand.

If you are really lucky, and can watch gunbroker very closely, sometimes you can find one just labeled "pre-27" or something even weirder. Shops to this day sometimes don't know what they are. The last one I bought was $1000 because it was just labeled 'Model 27'. It can happen, though that takes a hell of a lot of luck and good timing.

If you like I will PM or email you any candidates I see when I am poking around online between dealing with my kiddos.

Edit;

Also, as an owner of 4 pre-war .357s now I would say it's a dang good gun to set your sights on. I continue to think that even at the prices they are now commanding they are a good buy and if you care for it the gun will only increase in value in the coming years.
That would be epic man! PM me and Iíll share emails for sure, other than my 686 I only want one Gun and thatís it. I only want two, as I donít collect anything but that original 27 is my holy grail!
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Old 09-13-2021, 09:09 PM
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. . . . other than my 686 I only want one Gun and thatís it. I only want two, as I donít collect anything. . .
Yeah, right, that's what we all say.

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Old 09-13-2021, 09:23 PM
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I'm just one gun away from having every gun I want. Unfortunately this condition has persisted for many years. If you want to enjoy shooting and owning an N Frame .357 a pre model 27 would give you pretty much the same shooting experience and help keep your interest up while waiting for that golden opportunity.
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Old 09-14-2021, 04:47 AM
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Something to get if my book becomes a best seller, 1,000 copies sold so far... Need to hit that million sold to afford that though hahaha. Time to start saving and searching, someday I will make it happen!
What is your book?
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Old 09-14-2021, 09:33 AM
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Stainless6Shooter: The idea that you will buy only one more S&W revolver is almost laughable. The reality is that once you purchase one or two of these fine revolvers, you're hooked. You quickly become addicted. You want more...you can't get enough. And there's no 12-step program to help you. Just ask any Forum member how they got started and where they are now!

Just kidding, of course... but based in truth. I hope that you're able to find your RM. They are scarce, highly sought after by collectors, and pricey. The RM is a "grail gun" to many of us, and well outside most of our budgets. The same goes for the Non-Registered Magnums, which followed the RMs. Good hunting!

Speaking of books, you may want to purchase a copy of the "Standard Catalog of Smith & Wesson, 4th Ed." by Supica and Nahas. It's the "bible" for S&W Forum members and collectors. Jim Supica is an expert on S&Ws, and a Forum member who is always available to provide some insight and guidance.
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Old 09-14-2021, 10:35 AM
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If you can't spring for a Registered Magnum, non-RM, or a Transitional long action .357 Magnum, then seek a pre-model .357 or Model 27-x as these are much more common and have a lower cost of entry. One of my first S&W acquisitions is a decent shooter grade "Pre-27" S&W .357 Magnum, blue, with 6.5" barrel shipped in 1952. Be forewarned: You will not be satisfied with just one.
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Old 09-14-2021, 12:04 PM
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Stainless6Shooter: The idea that you will buy only one more S&W revolver is almost laughable. The reality is that once you purchase one or two of these fine revolvers, you're hooked. You quickly become addicted. You want more...you can't get enough. And there's no 12-step program to help you. Just ask any Forum member how they got started and where they are now!

Just kidding, of course... but based in truth. I hope that you're able to find your RM. They are scarce, highly sought after by collectors, and pricey. The RM is a "grail gun" to many of us, and well outside most of our budgets. The same goes for the Non-Registered Magnums, which followed the RMs. Good hunting!

Speaking of books, you may want to purchase a copy of the "Standard Catalog of Smith & Wesson, 4th Ed." by Supica and Nahas. It's the "bible" for S&W Forum members and collectors. Jim Supica is an expert on S&Ws, and a Forum member who is always available to provide some insight and guidance.

You are likely right as when I got my 686-1 I thought this is the only gun Iíll ever need! For home defense and carry I still feel confident in that. Even so, learning more about the history of S&W, in particular the history of the registered magnum has me coveting a pre-war .357! Very pricey but Iím patient and can hunt for years! Once I do get one, Iíll probably find another one I like, such as the Model 66, man you are right it is an addiction hahahaha!

I definitely need to get a copy of that book because as a historian Iíd love to learn more about firearms history (a weak area for me) especially S&W history/.357 magnum history, I adore my 686-1 and the .357 magnum round it shoots. As weird as it may sound I find shooting .357 magnum easier than I did shooting .38 out of the Taurus 856 ultra lite I had. Maybe 🤔 not weird but .38 hurt my hands and I have zero issues shooting .357 out of the 686, probably because itís heavier but it just works so well for me regardless of the reason it just seems like the 686-1 and .357 magnum round were meant for me.

P.S. A sincere thanks to all of you experienced gun owners helping an ignorant noob learn here. I bought my first gun only half a year ago (Taurus 856 I traded) and since then shooting at the range has become my favorite past time. This community has been so overwhelmingly positive & helpful to me in spite of my lack of experience. Thank you all from the bottom of my heart, you are all wonderful and kind people!

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Old 09-14-2021, 12:19 PM
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First off, welcome to the Forum. I am really glad that you are in pursuit of your "grail gun" and it's not a .44 Special Triple Lock. Leave those for me! I only have 7 and need more! As stated above it is an addiction, whatever your focus, it will grow, like a weed in a cornfield. You are in the right place to begin your search. Lots of friendly help here. Lots of luck in your hunt, which is really the fun part of this hobby. It took me a number of years to find my first TL. GOOD HUNTING!!!
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Old 09-14-2021, 12:26 PM
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Once upon a time, I also lusted for a primo condition Registered Magnum. However, with a champagne taste and a beer budget, I had to grudgingly admit that such an RM would be way beyond what I was willing to pay.

Accordingly, I had to settle for this Model 27-2. I think I'm darn near as happy as if I had sprung for an RM....



...and I had enough money left over to acquire these gems of pre-war S&W craftsmanship!

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Old 09-14-2021, 12:38 PM
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You are likely right Paladin! As a teacher 👨‍🏫 I probably canít afford one, unless I get really lucky 🍀 Iíll at least look for two more years, until Iím 35. I will look in all the places I can hoping someone is selling one and doesnít realize it is pre-war. If I canít find my 1935 Registered Magnum by age 35 it would seem destiny is telling me to find a Model 27-2 or -3. You are also likely right that Iíd enjoy shooting it just as much (maybe more, because Iíd be less worried about ruining it). I am Just such a huge fan of S&W/.357 now, that once I found out the original .357 was made by S&W it made me want to find this holy grail gun so badly, even if it is ultimately beyond my grasp. Iíll at least try for two years and turn over every stone I can before I settle.

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Old 09-14-2021, 12:43 PM
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If you can't spring for a Registered Magnum, non-RM, or a Transitional long action .357 Magnum, then seek a pre-model .357 or Model 27-x as these are much more common and have a lower cost of entry. One of my first S&W acquisitions is a decent shooter grade "Pre-27" S&W .357 Magnum, blue, with 6.5" barrel shipped in 1952. Be forewarned: You will not be satisfied with just one.
That's a good idea. A nice Pre 27 is a great gun. Truth be told, unless you really notice the difference between long action and short action, I'm not too sure you'd be able to tell the difference at the range.

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Old 09-14-2021, 12:52 PM
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I've been collecting for over a decade and do not own an RM. Haven't even bid on one. As noted above, I hold out hope I can run across one for "regular guy" money from someone who doesn't quite know what they have --- and I'm not willing to cheat grieving widows.

I settled for a 5" 27-2, a mid-1960s gun that needed some work (new cylinder stop), for about 1/10th a nice RM. I recommend doing the same and keeping your eyes out for your white whale.
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Old 09-14-2021, 12:59 PM
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Stainless, I think you would probably enjoy this book tooÖÖ it includes a lot of information not found in the SCSW.
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Old 09-14-2021, 01:28 PM
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That would be epic man! PM me and Iíll share emails for sure, other than my 686 I only want one Gun and thatís it. I only want two, as I donít collect anything but that original 27 is my holy grail!
Exactly! Definitely a slippery slope, especially if you spend much time on this forum. I've bought guns merely because others here have one, not because I have a need or use for it.
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Old 09-14-2021, 01:45 PM
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Now that we know you have an interest in history I'll mention that in addition to admiring the pre-war quality of Registered Magnums sometimes there is a good story in researching their history.

Here's a link to the story I uncovered when I finally found my first Registered Magnum.

First Registered Magnum - S&W Letter Received

Good luck in your search, hope you have as much fun finding/researching one as I did.

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Old 09-14-2021, 02:43 PM
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While your at it, Stainless6Shooter, keep an eye peeled for a Highway Patrolman and/or Model 28-2 at a decent price. I shoot my 28's and 686's more often than the pretty blue ones.
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Old 09-14-2021, 02:57 PM
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Where are you in OHIO .... the NE Ohio Bunch is getting together outside of Cleveland on Oct. 2nd The the thread in the Lounge.... should be at least one RM there been as many as 3or 4 IIRC>
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Old 09-14-2021, 03:15 PM
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You sir, are on the path down a slippery slope. Enjoy it!
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Old 09-14-2021, 05:34 PM
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Where are you in OHIO .... the NE Ohio Bunch is getting together outside of Cleveland on Oct. 2nd The the thread in the Lounge.... should be at least one RM there been as many as 3or 4 IIRC>
Cleveland, and I saw that. May go just to see if I can find a lead.
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Old 09-14-2021, 05:49 PM
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Cleveland, and I saw that. May go just to see if I can find a lead.
Great bunch of folks.......... come on over.... planning to bring my RM
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Old 09-14-2021, 08:01 PM
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I am a history teacher, and a new gun owner. I started with a Taurus 856 Ultralite (Yes, I know it was a mistake, I traded that snappy thing in a hurry). Since then I got a S&W 686-1 that I absolutely adore, and quickly became a huge fan of the .357 magnum round it shoots. Well doing a little bit of digging, I found out Smith and Wesson also happened to make the first .357 magnum revolver and called it the "Registered Magnum" before renaming it the Model 27 later. I also found the first one was given to FBI director J Edgar Hoover.

My question is this, where could one find a Registered Magnum from the original 1930's run, particularly 1935 if possible? As such a huge fan of the .357 magnum and Smith & Wesson from my admiration of my 686, this would be the only other gun I would want, and purely for my personal history museum.

Thanks in advance!
Since you said older 27, Iíd look for a nice 27-2 because theyíre usually easier to find and at a more reasonable price, $1000 to $1500, the shorter the barrel the more expensive. If that doesnít scratch your itch, you can keep looking.

Hereís a 3.5Ē pre 27, 3.5Ē 27-2 and 5Ē nickel 27-2 from the Florida Highway Patrol.
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Last edited by CH4; 09-14-2021 at 09:45 PM.
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Old 09-14-2021, 09:15 PM
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Originally Posted by The Gila Bender View Post
While your at it, Stainless6Shooter, keep an eye peeled for a Highway Patrolman and/or Model 28-2 at a decent price. I shoot my 28's and 686's more often than the pretty blue ones.
This is what I wanted to suggest, but GB beat me to it.

A first year (1954) Highway Patrolman ("pre-28") would be a lot more affordable and way easier to find. I don't know if mine got a post-factory action job, but it has the best trigger I have ever experienced on a revolver. Also, the six inch barrel is a lot better for shooting full-power .357s.

Something to have and shoot while you're chasing your dream.

Where to find old Model 27's?-hp_pre28_orig-jpg
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Old 09-14-2021, 09:24 PM
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Originally Posted by CH4 View Post
Since you said older 27, Iíd look for a nice 27-2 because theyíre usually easier to find and a more reasonable price, $1000 to $1500, the shorter the barrel the more expensive. If that doesnít scratch your itch, you can keep looking.

Hereís a 3.5Ē pre 27, 3.5Ē 27-2 and 5Ē nickel 27-2 from the Florida Highway Patrol.

Can I get a link to where that is being sold, that is gorgeous! I love the finish on that!!!
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Old 09-14-2021, 09:51 PM
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Can I get a link to where that is being sold, that is gorgeous! I love the finish on that!!!
Thanks, but those are a few of my 27s, not thinking about selling at this time. Hereís another from the 27 family, the 627-0 and another picture of the nickel FHP 27-2
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Old 09-14-2021, 09:53 PM
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CH4, you officially have the most beautiful blued gun I have ever seen in that pre-27! I wouldn’t sell it either so I don’t blame you �� I hope I can find one that beautiful �� someday to pair with the 686! Until then, looking at your fine example will keep me motivated thanks for sharing the epic photos of those priceless masterpieces!
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Old 09-14-2021, 09:56 PM
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CH4, you officially have the most beautiful blued gun I have ever seen in that pre-27! I wouldnít sell it either so I donít blame you �� I hope I can find one that beautiful �� someday to pair with the 686! Until then, looking at your fine example will keep me motivated thanks for sharing the epic photos of those priceless masterpieces!
Thanks, but youíll think differently after you see RKMesaís insane 27 collection. There are also others who have many more than I do.
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Old 09-15-2021, 02:36 AM
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If it was me, and I was going to look for a registered magnum over the next five years, I'd look for an early 27, or pre-27 in the short term. You could find one much more easily, and enjoy it while you look for the harder to find gun...then when you do find it, you can sell or trade the model 27 to help buy the registered magnum. Or by then, you'll likely want to keep both.
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Old 09-15-2021, 06:04 AM
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The history of our country is closely tied to firearms. From the settlers to the modern day. I'd think you'd need to take a look at Colts....and Winchesters....uh-oh. Sorry about that.
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