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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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  #1  
Old 03-23-2009, 08:08 PM
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I received this 6-7 weeks ago.
A Bowen .45 Colt Heavy Duty with Keith Brown magna custom grips. It started life as a very early post war 38/44 HD. Now with a new look on life in the big bore .45 it should have been all along
I have a milt sparks holster on order but that will be another 2 months till it arrives.
Anyway desided to take a few quick snaps and will take a few better ones when the holster shows up.
BTW.... I've yet to pull the trigger







Thanks for looking
G
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Old 03-23-2009, 08:08 PM
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I received this 6-7 weeks ago.
A Bowen .45 Colt Heavy Duty with Keith Brown magna custom grips. It started life as a very early post war 38/44 HD. Now with a new look on life in the big bore .45 it should have been all along
I have a milt sparks holster on order but that will be another 2 months till it arrives.
Anyway desided to take a few quick snaps and will take a few better ones when the holster shows up.
BTW.... I've yet to pull the trigger







Thanks for looking
G
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Old 03-23-2009, 08:11 PM
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Very nice.

I have little use for a .38 special N frame either.
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Old 03-23-2009, 08:21 PM
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Beautiful gun gman! I have been reading Bowen's book on custom revolvers and was thinking that I would like to do a conversion like that myself. Just curious as to how long it takes to have that work done though.
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Old 03-23-2009, 08:25 PM
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Nice looking HD!
Bill
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Old 03-23-2009, 08:26 PM
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I like that!
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Old 03-23-2009, 08:32 PM
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That is just grand, you are a lucky man...

Good shootin' to ya!

Su Amigo,
Dave
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Old 03-23-2009, 08:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by gunkook:
Beautiful gun gman! I have been reading Bowen's book on custom revolvers and was thinking that I would like to do a conversion like that myself. Just curious as to how long it takes to have that work done though.
Your looking around 6+ months unless you find Mr. Bowen in the middle of building one that's not spoken for.... he has a 5" for sale now that will complete this spring
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Old 03-23-2009, 08:48 PM
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That is just plain beautiful! Congratulations are due. What do call that finish?

Thanks,

Jerry
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Old 03-23-2009, 09:13 PM
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Absolutly beautiful!
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Old 03-23-2009, 09:16 PM
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That's a gorgeous piece in a real "manstopper" caliber!
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Old 03-23-2009, 10:08 PM
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I have large hands and I don't care for the feel, or the looks of magnas on most N frames. Those KB magnas however, really make that thing sizzle, and really go with the pencil barrel.

Congrats on a beautiful piece!
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  #13  
Old 03-23-2009, 10:27 PM
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I have a 80% finish 38-44 that I have been hesitating to send to Mr. Bowen. Those pictures might just tip the balance.
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Old 03-24-2009, 02:58 AM
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That is definately a KEEPER!!
Can't go wrong with Mr. Bowen or Chicoine.
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Old 03-24-2009, 04:16 AM
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Wow.
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Old 03-24-2009, 05:29 AM
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That is one handsome gun. I am pretty sure that if I had an extra HD shooter-grade gun, I might be tempted to get that conversion as well.

A perfect example of a configuration that S&W should have made as a stock product.

David W.
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  #17  
Old 03-24-2009, 08:33 AM
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Hamilton does some great work, know you're proud of that one.
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Old 03-24-2009, 10:13 AM
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I see that he re-marked the caliber on the barrel. Nice.

I know this is crass, but could you give us a rundown of exactly what all was done, and the cost of the work?
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Old 03-24-2009, 12:14 PM
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The gun and the grips,,both just flat out beautiful work by both gentlemen.
Congrats!
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  #20  
Old 03-24-2009, 12:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Tom K:
I see that he re-marked the caliber on the barrel. Nice.

I know this is crass, but could you give us a rundown of exactly what all was done, and the cost of the work?
No problem......

Smith & Wesson .45 Colt Heavy Duty Model:
It started as a nice pre-war, long-action .38/44 HD, features the 4-in. barrel. Original cylinder is chambered with a small-throat/small-body reamer for best possible accuracy and performance. The taller pin-in front sight blade is regulated for Black Hills type cowboy ammo which is gentle on the guns but will give a good account of itself. Gun is completely refurbished with tuning and related action work including yoke and ejector alignment, timing, endfloat and head-spacing as indicated. Completely hand finish and remarked with the hammer and trigger recolored by Turnbull Restorations. The black powder cylinder chamfer completes the cosmetic work. And set of fancy French walnut magnas from Keith Brown.

Hope this helps
G
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  #21  
Old 03-24-2009, 02:56 PM
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gman, nice piece, especially those grips. I have a pre-war that's been refinished before, so is not a collector piece. Been thinking about shipping this one off to Bowen to be made into a 44 special. I prefer the 4 inch tube though,and may have Bowen cut it(ouch) or look for a 4 incher.
The seller said there was some pitting under the re-blue, but I honestly can't see it.
BTW, those grips are not correct, this gun needs magna's.
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  #22  
Old 03-24-2009, 04:36 PM
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Mike,
Your HD looks good with the refinish. The service grips look great too! Did you send me the serial number on this one before? Slips my memory.
Thanks,
Bill
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  #23  
Old 03-24-2009, 07:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by 1Aspenhill:
Mike,
Your HD looks good with the refinish. The service grips look great too! Did you send me the serial number on this one before? Slips my memory.
Thanks,
Bill
Bill,I did, and it's in the database. OK HPD, 514xx. You're right it is purty, and I can't find the will(nor the money ) to convert it. I'll try to find another.
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  #24  
Old 03-24-2009, 08:10 PM
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Mike,
I remember now-I have one 25 numbers from it!
Bill
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  #25  
Old 03-25-2009, 01:16 PM
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Very sharp pistola and stocks!

Don't you just love Mr. Bowen's blackpowder chamfer on the cylinder? A man with an eye for detail.
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  #26  
Old 03-25-2009, 03:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by ladder13:
gman, nice piece, especially those grips. I have a pre-war that's been refinished before, so is not a collector piece. Been thinking about shipping this one off to Bowen to be made into a 44 special. I prefer the 4 inch tube though,and may have Bowen cut it(ouch) or look for a 4 incher.
The seller said there was some pitting under the re-blue, but I honestly can't see it.
BTW, those grips are not correct, this gun needs magna's.
Mike-
That looks great as it is, I understand if you wanted the big bore. Try to find another and leave that one as is...... it's a keeper

G
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Old 03-25-2009, 03:53 PM
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I just found a new wall paper for my laptop. Thats one awesome gun you have. I have a Bowen custom gun and know there is much more to them than a good looking firearm. Now thats a real mountain gun. I like the service grips but I would like them much more if they were ivory which this gun deserves.
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Old 03-25-2009, 04:56 PM
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I recently picked up a near prefect Smith
for that very conversion...I'm leaning a
little towards 44 special.
38/44 cut down to 3.5 inches with modified sight. Work was done in the 50's.
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  #29  
Old 03-27-2009, 06:01 PM
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Quote:
A Bowen .45 Colt Heavy Duty with Keith Brown magna custom grips.
That's a fine looking pistol, you have there.
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  #30  
Old 03-27-2009, 06:25 PM
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There is quite a nice one just like this on the big auction site right now. Only difference is it wears rubber hogues rather than Keith Brown stocks. $600 with two days to go. Search for 1955 45 Colt. Not mine but wish it was.
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Old 03-30-2009, 11:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Duke426:
There is quite a nice one just like this on the big auction site right now. Only difference is it wears rubber hogues rather than Keith Brown stocks. $600 with two days to go. Search for 1955 45 Colt. Not mine but wish it was.
I just checked the auction after its completion - it sold for $1476. I don't know if it was a Bowen gun or not (you'd think the seller would mention it, if it were) but it certainly looked good in the pictures.
http://www.gunbroker.com/Aucti...m.asp?Item=125634976
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Old 03-30-2009, 12:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Tom K:
Quote:
Originally posted by Duke426:
There is quite a nice one just like this on the big auction site right now. Only difference is it wears rubber hogues rather than Keith Brown stocks. $600 with two days to go. Search for 1955 45 Colt. Not mine but wish it was.
I just checked the auction after its completion - it sold for $1476. I don't know if it was a Bowen gun or not (you'd think the seller would mention it, if it were) but it certainly looked good in the pictures.
http://www.gunbroker.com/Aucti...m.asp?Item=125634976
Maybe someone thought that bought a RARE S&W

Nice gun but I don't think I would not of bought it not knowing the builder
G
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Old 03-30-2009, 01:18 PM
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Gman57, very nice!

Xfuzz, I agree. That gun of yours is a great candidate for conversion! I like it as is, but 44 or 45 cal would be truly sweet.
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Old 03-30-2009, 01:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by gman57:
Quote:
Originally posted by Tom K:
Quote:
Originally posted by Duke426:
There is quite a nice one just like this on the big auction site right now. Only difference is it wears rubber hogues rather than Keith Brown stocks. $600 with two days to go. Search for 1955 45 Colt. Not mine but wish it was.
I just checked the auction after its completion - it sold for $1476. I don't know if it was a Bowen gun or not (you'd think the seller would mention it, if it were) but it certainly looked good in the pictures.
http://www.gunbroker.com/Aucti...m.asp?Item=125634976
Maybe someone thought that bought a RARE S&W

Nice gun but I don't think I would not of bought it not knowing the builder
G
If that is not a Bowen gun, somebody is doing a pretty good job of copying Hamilton's work. I've got three Bowen HDs, and his jobs are pretty distinctive. Unfortunately, he doesn't sign them. But Hogue rubbers on a Bowen! Damn and yuck!! Ought to give rise to a matter-antimatter reaction! they should look like these (or the OP's-it's MIGHTY nice!):
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Old 03-30-2009, 03:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Xfuzz:
I recently picked up a near prefect Smith
for that very conversion...I'm leaning a
little towards 44 special.
38/44 cut down to 3.5 inches with modified sight. Work was done in the 50's.
I think 44 spec is the ticket for that beauty, Howie. Considering that caliber myself.
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Old 03-30-2009, 05:21 PM
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Hamilton Bowen prefers to work on S&W's that have not been refinished or modified. I sent him an ex-Pueblo P.D. .38-44 for the .45 Colt conversion in 2005. It had been reblued and needed some tune-up action work. He returned it to me and suggested I find a nicer revolver for a conversion as cosmetic repairs are very time consuming (a phrase for "expensive" and "hard to do well"). The extra money spent on a better base gun is usually well spent.

A generous forum member helped me out by selling me a pretty nice transitional 4 incher for a more-than-fair price. I shipped it off to Mr. Bowen. He did a wonderful job. It ran about $1,250 altogether.

Expensive? That is relative, but for me, yes, expensive. Worth it? Again, relative, but yes, it was! I doubt Hamilton is getting rich as there is a huge amount of highly skilled work done on one of his jobs.

This was the sixgun I have always wanted. I don't understand why S&W never made it as a standard catalog item, and still don't understand why, after they made the excellent new Model 22-4 in .45 ACP, they haven't released the same gun in the popular, longer .45 Colt cartridge.

His current price list is on his web site: http://www.bowenclassicarms.com/: .
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Old 03-30-2009, 05:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by 38-44HD45:
If that is not a Bowen gun, somebody is doing a pretty good job of copying Hamilton's work. I've got three Bowen HDs, and his jobs are pretty distinctive. Unfortunately, he doesn't sign them. But Hogue rubbers on a Bowen! Damn and yuck!! Ought to give rise to a matter-antimatter reaction!
The caliber marking on the barrel of the piece on GB looked exactly like the marking on the original poster's gun. I suspect it probably was a Bowen gun, and not a "Smith & Wesson 1955 45 Colt Revolver 1956 NICE!", whatever that is.
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  #38  
Old 03-30-2009, 07:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by BUFF:
Hamilton Bowen prefers to work on S&W's that have not been refinished or modified. I sent him an ex-Pueblo P.D. .38-44 for the .45 Colt conversion in 2005. It had been reblued and needed some tune-up action work. He returned it to me and suggested I find a nicer revolver for a conversion as cosmetic repairs are very time consuming (a phrase for "expensive" and "hard to do well"). The extra money spent on a better base gun is usually well spent.
.

Does he not "refinish and modify" the gun anyways? New markings and other work require a re-blue, no? If I had a really nice HD, I wouldn't be thinking of a conversion. I'd only convert something that had little collector value.
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  #39  
Old 03-31-2009, 01:31 AM
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He wrote that good, old fashioned natural wear isn't the problem that amateur gunsmithing, polishing and rebluing can be. His caliber conversions include a polish and refinish that is probably the equal of any blue finish leaving any gun maker today. Just because a person charged money to "refinish" or "modify" a gun in the past doesn't mean the work was done properly.

If you were going to spend money on building a custom car, you wouldn't want to start with a rusted, bondo-ed, Earl Scheib-painted car if you planned to use the existing body panels. You would probably spend the extra for a solid, original body car with as little rust and repairs as possible, knowing your final results will be superior. I believe that is what Bowen refers to.

If you plan on replacing a barrel, it probably wouldn't matter that the original barrel is already cut and a funky sight has been installed. It is the condition of the parts that you want to use that matters.

Bowen is duely proud of his reputation, which has been established by the quality of his work. A workman tries to obtain the best raw materials he can when he seeks to do his best work. A nice gun makes a nicer finished product and is usually less expensive than by starting with a lesser gun that needs a lot of draw filing, polishing and welding and cutting to get it back to "nice" condition even before the conversion work begins.

I can't speak for him, just relate what he communicated to me. I am sure that he makes his decisions on a gun-by-gun basis. Your 5 incher in this thread is a very, very nice sixgun, not what we often see when "old, reblued" guns are discussed. It was obviously redone by someone who knew his craft. It is a much higher level of quality than the average, say, police department contract armorer could/would turn out. A gun like yours would likely convert nicely, in my mind, and need a darn sight less work than a beater would to make it the eye candy that Bowen turns out.

I was a bit hesitant to use a really nice .38-44 as a base gun, too. It all depends on how badly you want what Bowen can turn out. There were only a dozen Heavy Duty S&W's made in .45 Colt at the factory. I will never ever see one, let alone get an opportunity to buy one. So, I had one made. I am happy with the choice I made.

I doubt I would go the same route to obtain what is essentially a 1926/3rd Model in .44 Special, though. S&W made, reatively, quite a few of those, and for the $2,000-plus I have tied up in my Bowen .45 Colt, I could probably some day purchase a fairly nice ORIGINAL .44 Special.

Others have differing opinions. None are more valid than another's. It is your gun, your money, your hobby, your desires. Do whatever will make you the happiest.
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Old 03-31-2009, 01:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by BUFF:
He wrote that good, old fashioned natural wear isn't the problem that amateur gunsmithing, polishing and rebluing can be. His caliber conversions include a polish and refinish that is probably the equal of any blue finish leaving any gun maker today. Just because a person charged money to "refinish" or "modify" a gun in the past doesn't mean the work was done properly.

If you were going to spend money on building a custom car, you wouldn't want to start with a rusted, bondo-ed, Earl Scheib-painted car if you planned to use the existing body panels. You would probably spend the extra for a solid, original body car with as little rust and repairs as possible, knowing your final results will be superior. I believe that is what Bowen refers to.

If you plan on replacing a barrel, it probably wouldn't matter that the original barrel is already cut and a funky sight has been installed. It is the condition of the parts that you want to use that matters.

Bowen is duely proud of his reputation, which has been established by the quality of his work. A workman tries to obtain the best raw materials he can when he seeks to do his best work. A nice gun makes a nicer finished product and is usually less expensive than by starting with a lesser gun that needs a lot of draw filing, polishing and welding and cutting to get it back to "nice" condition even before the conversion work begins.

I can't speak for him, just relate what he communicated to me. I am sure that he makes his decisions on a gun-by-gun basis. Your 5 incher in this thread is a very, very nice sixgun, not what we often see when "old, reblued" guns are discussed. It was obviously redone by someone who knew his craft. It is a much higher level of quality than the average, say, police department contract armorer could/would turn out. A gun like yours would likely convert nicely, in my mind, and need a darn sight less work than a beater would to make it the eye candy that Bowen turns out.

I was a bit hesitant to use a really nice .38-44 as a base gun, too. It all depends on how badly you want what Bowen can turn out. There were only a dozen Heavy Duty S&W's made in .45 Colt at the factory. I will never ever see one, let alone get an opportunity to buy one. So, I had one made. I am happy with the choice I made.

I doubt I would go the same route to obtain what is essentially a 1926/3rd Model in .44 Special, though. S&W made, reatively, quite a few of those, and for the $2,000-plus I have tied up in my Bowen .45 Colt, I could probably some day purchase a fairly nice ORIGINAL .44 Special.

Others have differing opinions. None are more valid than another's. It is your gun, your money, your hobby, your desires. Do whatever will make you the happiest.
Well said....
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  #41  
Old 03-31-2009, 01:46 PM
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Hot damn! Yet another chance to brag on my Bowen gun!

A 1954 Pueblo, CO, PD HD before Bowen & friends Paul Persinger and Dan Love got a hold of it:



And here’s after in .45 Colt:



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Old 03-31-2009, 01:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Onomea:
Hot damn! Yet another chance to brag on my Bowen gun!

A 1954 Pueblo, CO, PD HD before Bowen & friends Paul Persinger and Dan Love got a hold of it:



And here’s after in .45 Colt:



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  #43  
Old 03-31-2009, 02:16 PM
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Momma-Mia !!! .Onomea..best lookin hangun
if seen in awhile..

That knida made my decision for me.
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Old 04-01-2009, 05:31 AM
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OMG...... All I can say is where is the BBQ!!!

Outstanding
G
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Old 04-01-2009, 01:36 PM
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Ono, that may be the prettiest revolver of any kind I've ever seen! Thanks for sharing the photos!
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  #46  
Old 04-02-2009, 04:45 AM
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Well, boys, and in my best Elvis imitation: "Thank you. Thank you very much."

It was a saga, putting that gun together, and it took a while. And it makes no economic sense whatsoever.

But, I didn't think about this gun as a financial investment. It was an investment in something that made me happy. And it still does.

It cost a pile of dough that I could never recover if I wanted to sell it. (Which I do not. I will probably give it away to a son when I get truly old and it is time to do such things.) No collector value either, to serious gun collectors, I don't think.

Maybe has value to guys who collect artists, like Persinger and Love, which most fellas do not.

But here's the thing: Everybody, in my opinion, if one is fortunate enough to reach a place in life where all the bills are paid up and one's dependents all in good shape, ought to allow himself, at least once, something that you just want, that is beautiful, that you like.

We spend our lives, most of our lives, anyway, fulfilling our responsibilities to others, so if we get to a point where we can come up for air, look around, and things are lookin' pretty good, everybody's covered, all things considered, well, have at it. Make yourself happy.

I did.
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Old 04-02-2009, 07:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Onomea:

We spend our lives, most of our lives, anyway, fulfilling our responsibilities to others, so if we get to a point where we can come up for air, look around, and things are lookin' pretty good, everybody's covered, all things considered, well, have at it. Make yourself happy.

I did.
How true.
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Old 04-02-2009, 11:53 AM
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Onomea,

Thanks for the post and picture of what could easily be the most tastefully customized revolver I have ever seen. Your words ring true - and I should mention that I am available for adoption.

Best Regards,

Jerry
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Old 04-02-2009, 12:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Onomea:
No collector value either, to serious gun collectors.
Not to argue, Ono, but that's the only thing you've said with which I disagree. If a "serious collector" is only someone who appreciates and will pay for "factory original" guns, then obviously, you are correct. However, if the category includes those who appreciate genuine quality of workmanship and aesthetic appeal (a much less stuffy category, then! ) I think it has tremendous collector value. Were I you, though, I'd have the same kind of plans for it you do. My Bowens are all going to my kids and grandkids someday.
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Old 04-02-2009, 02:18 PM
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Thanks Dad!
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