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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 09-25-2008, 11:59 PM
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I have an old Triplelock that has been renickled and customized. If the gun letters as an original nickle gun with a four inch barrel Iam thinking of having a high dollar restoration done to get it back to like new factory condition. It will need the lettering to be restamped or recut by an engraver, including the S&W shield on the side plate redone, then the gun renickled and the hammer and trigger case hardened. Can this work be done, who would you have do the work and whats a ball park firgure on having this work done? I got it very cheap so I would be willing to spend $2000-$2500 to have it done right maybe more. Is this doable? The mechanics on the gun are rock solid and it has a perfect bore. This gun is going to be a keeper, it will be in my safe when I pass so Iam not doing the work to resell it. Your thoughts and info are greatly appreciated.
Thanks
Matt
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Old 09-25-2008, 11:59 PM
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I have an old Triplelock that has been renickled and customized. If the gun letters as an original nickle gun with a four inch barrel Iam thinking of having a high dollar restoration done to get it back to like new factory condition. It will need the lettering to be restamped or recut by an engraver, including the S&W shield on the side plate redone, then the gun renickled and the hammer and trigger case hardened. Can this work be done, who would you have do the work and whats a ball park firgure on having this work done? I got it very cheap so I would be willing to spend $2000-$2500 to have it done right maybe more. Is this doable? The mechanics on the gun are rock solid and it has a perfect bore. This gun is going to be a keeper, it will be in my safe when I pass so Iam not doing the work to resell it. Your thoughts and info are greatly appreciated.
Thanks
Matt
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Old 09-26-2008, 02:47 AM
BuzzardBilly BuzzardBilly is offline
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Matt,

Try,
Bullet N Press
704-853-0265
dave@oldwestgunsmith.com

Dave is a S&W Forum member (oldrussian).
He & his son recently finished a 38/44 restoration for me which I am extreamely proud.
Bill
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Old 09-26-2008, 03:29 AM
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David R. Chicoine is his name, he is one of only a few experts in the field of S&W restoration...

Here's his website
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Old 09-26-2008, 06:22 AM
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Matt

I would think that putting $2500 into a restoration would a little over the top. You'd never get your money out of it. But if recouping your investment is no object, then by all means go for it

I got a 3rd Model 44 a while back for $400 that had been chromed. It had a factory lanyard swivel, 6 1/2" bbl and matching numbered magnas and a humpback hammer. I sent it to Gene Williams and he recut the logo and some markings, stripped the chrome, reblued the gun and case colored the hammer and trigger. Gene also tightened up the action. Keith Brown freshened up the grips and now the gun looks like new. I probably have about $1000 in the gun now including the original purchase price. So your estimates of $2000-2500 may be on the high side. Sounds like a neat gun. Keep us posted on the progress
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Old 09-26-2008, 07:22 AM
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Gene Williams has done both a Triple Lock and a Reg. Mag. for me (Both nickel and blue) that were in similar conditions to what you describe. These included removing old, incorrect finish and re-cutting the lettering. Gary is correct about the approximate cost. Spectacular work.

Bob
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Old 09-26-2008, 12:42 PM
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Awesome guys, thank you very much for the info! Believe me I would be much happier spending $1000 on it and having a good shooting original looking gun too! I will take some pics and start sending them off and getting some wuotes for the work. I really wish I could tell that the gun originally came with a 4 inch barrel for sure before I have the work done though it might take awhile before I can aubmit a letter agin, hoepfully they will start taking them soon. The position of the barrel lettering is correct for a 4 inch....
Thanks again!
Matt
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Old 09-26-2008, 12:44 PM
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I did find out today the gun was originally owned by a Police Officer on the Poenix AZ area, kind of cool.
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Old 09-26-2008, 06:24 PM
mikepriwer mikepriwer is offline
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The pat-dates would be good way to tell, as Steve suggests. That was
done well into the teens , which should cover the production of triplelocks.

Later, Mike Priwer
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Old 09-26-2008, 09:46 PM
Bat Guano Bat Guano is offline
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My restored 4" TL was done by an individual noted for other quality work, as a personal favor and a "different" project. Very nice work, but the bore and internals are not as nice as yours. Still, I did want a 4" and this will suffice. It's definitely pretty. I have yet to get it lettered but we went for a blued finish.

I spent too much, as I suspect you will also. But what's common sense got to do with it?
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Old 09-26-2008, 09:54 PM
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The writing on my gun is on the top of the barrel so does this in itself mean its not an original 4 inch gun? The markings on the side of the barrel seem to be right for a 4 inch gun, they start way up close to the barrel. Maybe like a half inch away from the barrel to frame seam. By the serial number my gun was made in 1914. I'll try posting some pics in a fe min so you can see what Iam working with. I guess if Iam going to restore it to what I want and plan on keeping it forever I can just make it a 4 incher.
Matt
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Old 09-26-2008, 10:55 PM
mikepriwer mikepriwer is offline
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Matt

Nothing is forever.

The thing you have to keep in mind, for better or for worse, is that
even if you don't letter it, someone else, years down the road, may
get a letter.

It may be that the records don't say what the barrel length was,
and in that case, this is all moot. On the other hand, that information
may be there. I would suggest you wait until you can get a letter.
Then, you will know where you stand vis-a-vis the barrel length.

At this point, I would think that it is not the original barrel,
just because of its lack of patent date roll-markings on the side. I'd
still be inclined to get the letter first. If the gun is not original,
and needs a lot of work, I would think you should give that some
serious thought. With enough patience, you will come across another
triplelock that is original.

Later, Mike Priwer
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  #13  
Old 09-27-2008, 12:50 AM
Bell Charter Oak Holsters Bell Charter Oak Holsters is offline
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Like a fair number of other fellows who have replied to this thread, I have "rescued" a few TL's over the years and had them restored. I agree with the others, you should letter it first to try and confirm it's original configurations. I tend to think the barrel is not original.

I also agree with some of the other fellows that your estimates on the retoration/refinish is rather high. Some of the very best names in quality restorations have already been mentioned and I doubt the cost would approach your highest estimate. Personally, I think you should do as you please and I don't believe you will regret that, if you proceed carefully.

Finding a TL in original mint condition today would be a herculean task, if possible at all. Although your revolver would be a refinished example, if done right, at least it would represent the original vision of the manufacturers. I wish you the very best luck with your project and please keep us informed.
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Old 09-27-2008, 01:48 AM
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Thank you all for the great comments.I just dont think even if I spent $1000 or more on this gun I only have $400 into it. So if I had $1400-$1600 into it in the config I would like it to be with a perfect bore and super tight action and looking Like a good orignal 4 inch triplelock, I would have to spend like twice that to buy one outright if I took the time and found one in great condition. So Iam going to get this one restored for sure, I will just have to decide if I go with a 4 inch barrel even if the gun did not originally come with it or I try and find the correct length barrel for the gun after I get a letter. My dad has an extra 6 inch blue triplelock barrel but Iam pretty sure its .45 caliber. So if it came with a longer barrel and I would have to find one and pay for it its just another reason to make it a four inch gun using the barrel I have which is what I want anyway. Even if it did not match the factory letter of what the gun came with I still think it would be worth what I mention above after the restoration. What kind of price range have you guys seen for four inch .44 triplelocks in any condition? What would I expect to pay for one in 95% condition, at least $3k? Thanks again!
Matt

P.S. Now the next question, nickle or blue! :~) It looks like the gun was orignally nickle and I love nickle guns and already have a four inch blue third model .44 HE, I think nickle is what I would go with. lus it just looks so cool in the above pic too! Thanks!
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Old 09-27-2008, 02:22 AM
Bell Charter Oak Holsters Bell Charter Oak Holsters is offline
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If you only have $400 into the revolver, it doesn't much matter what you do, really. If you simply want to get it back into presentable/shootable condition, go with your gut instinct. For example, Ford's could do the refinish for a few hundred bucks or so, replace the logo and recut the lettering, for a few dollars more. The details/prices are on their web page. I think a modest estimate might be below a thousand dollars for what you've said you want done.

In the end, it's will alway's be a non original specimen. The only question is how far do you want to go? An all original, high end condition TL, especially those in any of the rare or scarce barrel lengths will set you back 3, 4 or more times than the type of restoration project you've suggested. I have little doubt of that.

Consider that any quality restorer is going to point out additional issues you might overlook. To correct every one of them translates into added expense, and justifiably so. Stripping the re-nickle, carefully repolishing to avoid further deterioration of rollmarks, removing deep pits, recutting rollmarks and logo, re-nickel or blue finish, color case hardening the hammer and trigger. Much of this is a tedious and very precise process that requires a good deal of expertise and if that's what you wish, you will pay a premium for it. Gunsmithing, tune, time, repair/replace parts, equals more expense.

If the gun is in very good cosmetic condition underneath the renickel job, you'll save a few bucks there. I suppose what I'm saying is that you need to decide whether you want a restoration, a simple refinish or something in between? It seems clear that you find it's present form unacceptable, and I don't blame you for feeling that way. That decision is entirely yours to make. Personally, from your description, whatever you decide to do will likely be an improvement over it's current condition. Continue discussing this and ask for opinions before you make the leap. There are many good people here who will offer their experiences from which, you may find some helpful guidance. Once again, good luck.
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Old 09-27-2008, 03:01 AM
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Thanks Lefty, all sound advice. I know I want something more in line with a restoration not just a refinish. The hammer and trigger will need to be recased since they are currently gold plated, yuk!

On another note I do know for sure that the barrel is not orignally four inches long so I would need to find a new barrel if I went back to factory length. Below is a pic of how it looked when I got it,you might have seen this pic in another thread. Tonight I removed the front sight and barrel sleeve, also cut the barrel down to exactly 4 inches and recrowned it.Also removed the trigger shoeTomorrow I will solder on a correct style front blade just for the hell of it and will post pics when thats done. It has a very cool and very well done beavertail customized hammer.I dont think I will use it on this gun but its so cool I think I will use it in one of my other modded shooters and use one of their original hammers in this gun.
Matt
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Old 09-27-2008, 03:43 AM
Bell Charter Oak Holsters Bell Charter Oak Holsters is offline
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Man, that is really bizarre!

It looks like the influence might be contemporary with the old Buster Crabbe, Flash Gordon movie serials. Looks more like a space gun than a race gun to my eye.

I have to say that I like the beavertail hammer and wonder if it came from King's Gun Works? Maybe someone can comment on that. I think it's cool looking, maybe you might consider having it stripped, color cased and leave it on the gun? What was under the trigger shoe? Smooth, checkered or serrated trigger?

As horrific as it appears in the photo, and it does to me at least, I realize someone went to great lengths to doll this one up. There is no accounting for bad taste you see. But I have to admit they spent a few bucks to pimpify that old six gun. I'd leave it as it is and name it "Ming The Merciless" or something like that, but it would have to wear a set of pearls with lightning bolt inlays in 24K gold. Man, I'm LMAO, that is one disturbingly bizarre image. Cheers!
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Old 09-27-2008, 05:26 PM
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Hey lefty, how's she lookin now? I soldered on a new front sight today, then threw on my spare set of grips, made a big difference!

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Old 09-27-2008, 06:32 PM
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Boy it looks alot better,You done GOOD.
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Old 09-27-2008, 07:52 PM
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Gene Williams restored a Triple Lock for me that was in horrible condition ... if you do a search you will find before and after photos here...

I was delighted at the work he did and with the very fair price...

FWIW

Chuck
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Old 09-27-2008, 09:53 PM
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I went and shot it this evening and man does it shoot great! I think it will bench rest under 1 1/2 inches at 25yards, but it needs a taller sight! Using a 6 o'clock hold its still high.
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Old 09-28-2008, 02:00 AM
Bell Charter Oak Holsters Bell Charter Oak Holsters is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Pontiaker:
Hey lefty, how's she lookin now?
Much....much better!
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engraver, gunsmith, hardening, keith brown grips, lock, rollmarks, serrated, triplelock

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