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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 01-25-2009, 07:16 PM
rchall rchall is offline
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I would like to know what the rarest barrel length in a Registered Magnum would be. How common are these
in the 5" length?
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Old 01-25-2009, 07:16 PM
rchall rchall is offline
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I would like to know what the rarest barrel length in a Registered Magnum would be. How common are these
in the 5" length?
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Old 01-25-2009, 07:19 PM
jspick jspick is offline
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I have one that has a 5" barrel that went to the Butte, MT police dept.

John
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Old 01-25-2009, 09:59 PM
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S&W supposedly made 869 "Registered" Mags in 5" according to S&W Historian Roy Jinks in a 1989 article on the RM. Given they made 5200 odd in total, 5" was not exactly a rare option.

The rarest are supposed to be some of the 1/4" variations - such as 5 3/4", 6 1/4", 7 1/4" and 7 3/4". There were only 1 of each manufactured, again according to Roy's much quoted article.


Hope it helps.
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Old 01-26-2009, 05:35 AM
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Well, this one isn't as rare as the "one off" lengths that Dave mentioned since there were ostensibly 3 of them built. But it is, as far as I know, the only existing 5 1/4" one still around.

The hammer and front sight modifications which were made by an early user have been restored since this original picture was made.


Bob
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Old 09-10-2023, 02:30 AM
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I have a RM with a barrel that measures 5 5/16". I wonder if yours is exactly 5 1/4". I'm currently waiting on a factory letter.
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Old 09-10-2023, 04:24 PM
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Dr. Roy Jinks wrote at least two articles on the Pre-war .357 Magnums. The barrel length info in post 4 is from the 1989 article.
Another article was presented at the 2009 S&WCA Annual Meeting.
The barrel length data differs in the two articles. The 1989 article says there were 5224 Registered Magnums. Records were available on 4371. The chart shows the known barrel lengths and estimates the others.
There were 727 known 5" guns. A calculation was made that another 142 5" barrels were estimated. Estimated total 869.
The 2009 article says there were 5422 Registered Magnums. Some more records had been found, so now the unknown barrel lengths number was about 293. Known 5" guns 787.
I have included both charts so you can look at what is known for all lengths.

Registered Magnum barrel lengths-20230910_145434-jpg

Registered Magnum barrel lengths-20230910_143356-jpg
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File Type: jpg 20230910_145434.jpg (88.6 KB, 107 views)
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Old 09-10-2023, 05:40 PM
mtgianni mtgianni is offline
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While certain bbl lengths may be more desirable, the rarity and collectability of these revolvers make bbl length a very secondary issue, IMO.
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Old 09-10-2023, 06:41 PM
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Default Barrel Length

Interesting question.

I did a little survey of barrel lengths for a paper for school.

I examined the first 500 RM's produced by Registration # and came up with the graph shown below.

Of the first 500 RM's, I could only find details on 429, so the results may be slightly off but I think they give a good indication.

There is, within the first 500, a one-off barrel length of 5.750", which I think is pretty uncommon.

The final numbers by my count were:
Barrel length:
3.500 13
4.000 12
4.500 11
5.000 17
5.500 5
5.750 1
6.000 65
6.500 121
7.000 4
7.500 16
8.000 6
8.375 1
8.500 2
8.750 159

Unknown - 14

The 8.375" entry is the first of the USRA 8 3/8" barrels after the notice of the 10" rule.

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RM Vivas
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Old 09-10-2023, 07:06 PM
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RM Vivas,
Wonder what the source of your info is?
Terry Lester is the administrator of the Pre-war .357 Magnum database.
I'm pretty sure he does not have info on 429 of the 1st 500.
Would be great if you could share your info with Terry. He could add to the database the guns you know about that are not listed.
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Old 09-10-2023, 07:34 PM
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I'll suggest the collect-ability is first dependent on condition, then on condition, and finally on condition.

Needless to say, the odd-ball barrel lengths serve to break ties given equal condition; as do any of the 7 guns shipped with Pearl grips, 4 shipped with Ivory, 3 shipped with Stag, and 6 shipped with Ropers.

Then there's the 11 with full coverage engraving--and the 7 done by Kornbrath would have to lead that pack------by a WIDE margin!

When you sit and stare at all the different variables, you're pretty much guaranteed to go blind before you can convince yourself you've found THE ULTIMATE RM---and if you do find it, you can bet somebody---somewhere, is going to disagree with you----maybe even 2 or 3 somebodies.

I once owned a 6" specimen, which had been shipped to a Doctor somebody, who dropped it into a lake; and left it too long before mounting a retrieval effort. Unfortunately that effort was successful, and this pitiful specimen was returned to the factory for needed repairs and refinishing----which were less successful.

The lesson to be learned here is look and see before you buy, lest you go into shock when you see what you bought. The good news is the auction folks finally saw the wisdom of taking it back as opposed to the several alternatives given to them to choose from.

Ralph Tremaine

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Old 09-15-2023, 04:04 AM
1869 1869 is offline
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So true. THE ULTIMATE RM is the one you're fortunate enough to have. High condition is definitely a plus!
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