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Old 11-11-2007, 07:40 AM
sureshotbob sureshotbob is offline
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I'm starting a new thread on what has turned out to be a second model .455 Hand-Ejector with a 6 1/2" bbl. Not a 1917 comercial. looking at a Standard Catalog of S&W I thought the crossed penants ment Canada ownership but in U.S. Handguns of WWII they show the crossed penants as a military mark and the Canadian mark as a broad arrow circled by a letter C . So now I'm thinking that this is a British gun converted to .45 auto rim that is stamped on the bbl.I ended up getting it for $450.00 I'll post some pictures at the end of the week when I get it home. p/s is there any way to find out who did the conversion as in the book S&W did do some of the conversions ?
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Old 11-11-2007, 07:40 AM
sureshotbob sureshotbob is offline
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I'm starting a new thread on what has turned out to be a second model .455 Hand-Ejector with a 6 1/2" bbl. Not a 1917 comercial. looking at a Standard Catalog of S&W I thought the crossed penants ment Canada ownership but in U.S. Handguns of WWII they show the crossed penants as a military mark and the Canadian mark as a broad arrow circled by a letter C . So now I'm thinking that this is a British gun converted to .45 auto rim that is stamped on the bbl.I ended up getting it for $450.00 I'll post some pictures at the end of the week when I get it home. p/s is there any way to find out who did the conversion as in the book S&W did do some of the conversions ?
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Old 11-11-2007, 10:58 AM
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Don't confuse proof with acceptence or property marks. I have a British TL with crossed flags, so they are probably acceptence marks, more than likely put on by Remington Arms Corp as they were the purchasing agent for the UK during WW1.
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Old 11-12-2007, 02:18 PM
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As Dean says, the crossed pennants are acceptance or ownership marks for England. If they don't have a letter above them, then they were probably put there by the inspector at the remington planr. If there is a letter above the crossed pennants (one of several varieties) the stamp was put there by a specific English armorer at an English armory.
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Old 11-12-2007, 05:10 PM
sureshotbob sureshotbob is offline
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THANKS GUY'S I'll post some pictures as soon as I get it home.
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Old 11-13-2007, 11:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by opoefc:
As Dean says, the crossed pennants are acceptance or ownership marks for England. If they don't have a letter above them, then they were probably put there by the inspector at the remington planr. If there is a letter above the crossed pennants (one of several varieties) the stamp was put there by a specific English armorer at an English armory.
Sorry, but you are wrong guys. The crossed pennants are a military proof mark. Ownership is the Broad Arrow mark, and the inspector's stamp is a crown with the inspector's identity number or letter/number combination below that and the location identifier letter below that (sometimes the last two are the other way round). For example crown above W8 above E.

Peter
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Old 11-13-2007, 01:01 PM
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I still contend that the crossed flags were probably applied at Remington. I don’t know for sure if they actually proofed fired the guns or just inspected them and then stamped them as accepted. [US proofing is pretty much left up to the manufacturer.]
The inspector marks you describe only show up on British guns, not Canadian. The broad arrow within a ‘C’ is the Canadian ownership or property mark. The Brits have just the broad arrow. When a British surplus gun is found that is covered in ‘proof ‘ [i.e. Birmingham,etc.] marks, it indicates that the gun was sold commercially after its release from stores and will also have the opposed broad arrows mark.
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Old 11-13-2007, 08:13 PM
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I think PJGP has it correct in that the crossed pennants is a proof mark (military). Several different slight variations (letters & flag shape) from the different Commonwealth countrys, but all eccentially the same. There is one crossed pennant mark that IS an inspection mark that I know of and that is the Long Branch Arsenal/Canada on #4 Enfield rifles. Might be more. As Peter points out Brit and Commonwealth inspection marks are generally Crown/Letter(s)/Number. The Letter denoting the arsenal, the # being a specific inspector assigned. There are exceptions like the Australian Lithgow Arsenal & Longbranch.
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Old 11-13-2007, 08:34 PM
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I am talking about the plain crossed flags, no letters, no numbers, just the pennants.
I have observed these on 1st British Contract Triple Locks, 2nd British Contract Second Models and Canadian Contract 2nd Models. The British Contract guns additionaly have the crossed flags with letters and numbers. The Canadian guns don't. The only commonality all of these contracts/models have are they all passed through Remington (who was acting as purchasing agent), so it stands to reason that the simple mark may have been applied there.
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Old 11-13-2007, 10:45 PM
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Dean is correct. The crossed flags, all by them selves with no extra crowns, letter or other embellishments are acceptance stamps, not proof marks. British & Colonial ordnance manuals list the various proof marks and the codes for identifying the arsenals or proof houses that applied the proof mark. There is no listing in the manuals for crossed pennants (or flags) by themselves as being a symbol of a proof. There are numerous variations of crossed pennants & flags with the additional crowns, letters, numbers, symbols, etc. of the proof activity, however the naked crossed pennants are not proof marks but are acceptance stamps. Ed.
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Old 11-14-2007, 08:59 AM
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Quote:
p/s is there any way to find out who did the conversion as in the book S&W did do some of the conversions ?
In Neal & Jinks (Revised Ed.), the authors speculate that that some of the 44 First Models which were converted to 455 and then sold commercially to Shapleigh were converted to 45 Colt (45 LONG Colt) before shipment (page 203). Lately, Roy has implied "maybe not"- that 455 ammo WAS available, and the guns may have shipped in 455. We could speculate that Shapleigh may have converted some, and/or may have sold some in 455. Still, Neal & Jinks states that the conversion was offered by S&W and private gunsmiths on 1st and 2nd Model 455's (pgs 215 and 216). However, a factory conversion begs the question of why I have never seen a gun that is NOT refinished, but is in 45 Colt cal, with a star or frame date to indicate FACTORY conversion. In other words, IF the factory converted a gun, would they not mark it to indicate major service? Would they not also have marked the barrel with the caliber? I have never seen one with what I thought had a FACTORY marking for the 45 Colt caliber after being converted.
With that data having been published in Neal & Jinks, Jim and Rick HAD to carry it over into the SCSW. It IS logical to believe that S&W DID convert some guns to 45 LC, but I have never seen one that convinced me S&W had done it. If they did some, I wonder which method they chose?

The 455 has a rim which is THINNER than the 45 Colt, so there are at least 4 ways to accomplish the conversion:
1. Simply rechamber the cyl for the LC, with slightly recessed cartridge rims.
2. Rechamber for LC, and face off the rear of the cyl to provide rim clearance. In other words, remove metal from the rear of the cyl to shorten it and provide rim clearance.
3. Rechamber for LC, and file or grind the recoil shield behind the cyl to provide rim clearance.
4. Combine 2 and 3 above- Rechamber for LC, and face off BOTH the cyl and recoil shield to a lesser degree to provide rim clearance.
Of the 4 methods, I believe S&W would have used the first because it is easiest, quickest, and CLEANEST- that is, it leaves no metal in the white on EXTERIOR surfaces.

Now, if you reread SCSW carefully, it does not really say S&W did conversions to 45 Auto Rim and 45 ACP. Neal & Jinks does not mention such conversions. SCSW merely wants the reader to know he will encounter many converted guns. I have seen many converted, often rather crudely. Cylinders and extractors faced off a large amount for moon clip clearance, and/or recoil shields ground away. I do NOT believe S&W did any of them.

So, to finally answer your question- NO, there is no way to find out who converted it, unless the artist signed his work. Without a factory letter statng they converted it to 45 Auto Rim, I will never believe they did it.
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Old 11-14-2007, 02:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by opoefc:
Dean is correct. The crossed flags, all by them selves with no extra crowns, letter or other embellishments are acceptance stamps, not proof marks. British & Colonial ordnance manuals list the various proof marks and the codes for identifying the arsenals or proof houses that applied the proof mark. There is no listing in the manuals for crossed pennants (or flags) by themselves as being a symbol of a proof. There are numerous variations of crossed pennants & flags with the additional crowns, letters, numbers, symbols, etc. of the proof activity, however the naked crossed pennants are not proof marks but are acceptance stamps. Ed.
The use of a proof mark consisting of just crossed pennants (no #s or letters was used on bolts bodys & bolt heads of pre WW1 & WW1 Enfield rifles. I haven't seen a Brit 'inspector mark' consisting of the pennent (exceptions noted above post), but I am always more than willing to learn. Never say never in this or any collectors field. I have given some thought to the idea of the assignment of a generic proof mark of the crossed pennents w/o numbers/letters to the US factory for the duration of the British contract. The Brits most certainly would have wanted their guns proofed to their specs and marked as such. Guns going on to Commonwealth countrys were usually not to receive any additional proofing there, so the marking at least would indicate an acceptable British proof... But I'm probably wandering aimlessly about as usual again
Great discussion and info. Thanks!
>
>
(FWIW but of no consequense here really , the little known 38cal WW2 Enfield revolver maker in Australia, Howard Auto Cultivators, used a crossed pennents proof mark also, no letters or #s.)
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Old 11-15-2007, 11:01 AM
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In my post above about rechambering, I forgot to mention one more key factor:
When a cylinder is faced off on the rear surface, it will obviously be shorter than it originally was. This fact means there is usually some "slop"- forward-aft motion of the cyl when the cylinder is open because it can move rearward an unusual amount before contacting the frame lug. The frame lug is the little "retainer" at the bottom rear corner of the frame window. This would be another indication that such conversions are not factory.
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Old 11-15-2007, 11:23 AM
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Lee,
I'm with you and your assessment.
With the glut of .455's post-WW I, I can not imagine Smith & Wesson wanting to rechamber all the .455's coming back.
Surely every distributor and (re)importer had the wherewithall and contacts to have cylinder conversions done VERY quickly and reasonably.
As far as the re-stamping of caliber goes, the first series .455(triplelock) guns had no caliber markings from the get-go, so there was nothing to change.
Yes, IMHO 'option 1' was the best method by far, and I can see where it might raise the question of 'factory' conversions.
Don
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Old 04-30-2010, 01:51 AM
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Just found this old thread and will bring it back from retirement because it is germane to the TL with S/N 358 that I posted in its own thread.
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Old 04-30-2010, 07:22 AM
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My Canadian second model has proof marks at the rear of each chamber (see photo in prior thread "Canadian 2nd model HE- 45 Colt?" Would these marks have been applied at Remington, in Canada, or in England?

Bob
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Old 04-30-2010, 07:35 AM
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Good question......
Those are not British Commercial proofs. I've never seen that particular type of mark on a Brit Military pistol, so they must be Canadian of some sort. Years ago I had a Canadian .455 2nd and I don't remember that marking, so I will guess they are Canadian commercial proofs. Maybe done when the gun was converted??
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Old 04-30-2010, 08:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2152hq View Post
... The use of a proof mark consisting of just crossed pennants (no #s or letters was used on bolts bodys & bolt heads of pre WW1 & WW1 Enfield rifles. ...
That's what I was basing my comments on (in other threads).

If you can locate a copy of Ian Skennerton's The British Service LEE, look at page 397, under the heading "Proof Marks". You will see plain crossed pennants, as well as crossed pennants with crowns, royal cyphers, etc.

I did make the assumption that if the crossed pennants were used as proof marks on rifles, then they would have the same meaning on handguns, especially if done at the same facility, at the same time.

Besides this, you often see the crossed pennants on each chamber of a revolver accepted into British service in the early 1900's. If these are ownership marks, why repeat the marking (unless the Brits wanted to show that they really, really, really owned the gun ). Doesn't it make more sense that they are proof marks and they show that each chamber was proofed?

I too am always willing to learn, and trying to make sense of something the Brits did almost a hundred years ago can be a truly daunting task!
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Last edited by Jack Flash; 05-01-2010 at 07:48 PM.
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