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S&W Revolvers: 1961 to 1980 3-Screw PINNED Barrel SWING-OUT Cylinder Hand Ejectors


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  #1  
Old 03-03-2014, 08:28 PM
Gentges1 Gentges1 is offline
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Default Smith & Wesson 27 2 Full engraved Questions

First off let me say hello I am new here. Some of the members at another forum told me this is the place to come for information about Smiths.

I am looking for information on these two pistols. The pistols are Smith And Wesson 27 2 they are fully engraved. They have what I believe to be bullhorn grips and they are sequentially numbered. I was wondering what the value of a set like this might be. Also should I get a factory letter on these? Is there any way other than a factory letter to find out who engraved these? Thanks for the help I just got these today from a LGS I feel I got a dam good deal on them.
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Next, I was able to see enough of the scroll work to determine that the engraving was done by one of the Japanese engravers who were working in the US during the 1970's. REI Engravings of Illinois employed Hiroo Ogawa and other Japanese engravers who all worked in the style evident on your guns. Also, Ken Eyster who owned Heratige Gunsmiths in Ohio employed Sam Kinamuchi who also worked in the same style. Unfortunately, it is very rare for any of the Japanese engravers to sign their work.

The style of ornament on your guns is based on German black leaf scroll. Because of the type of graver and method of cutting, the work of Japanese engravers is distinguishable from similar work done by German engravers. Some of my fellow engravers have speculated that at some point a Japanese engraver was trained in Germany and later taught other Japanese the style. However that idea has never been confirmed.

I hope the foregoing has been of help in determining the provenance of your revolvers.

Sincerely,

C. Roger Bleile

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Old 03-03-2014, 09:23 PM
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Amazing first Post! Welcome to the Forum!
Those are gorgeous - what is barrel length, 41/2"?
With the price of gold, those have to have some good value.
This is totally out of my knowledge, but they have to be worth $7500 as a minimum for the pair.
Yes, a letter is a must!
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Old 03-03-2014, 09:36 PM
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Very interesting. A factory letter is the only way to tell for sure if they were factory engraved. The barrel length is more than 3 1/2 but looks less than 5". Please measure from the end of the cylinder to the end of the barrel and let us know. I would guess the guns shipped in 1968 or there abouts, as the serial number is very close to my Model 29. Standard barrel lengths of the 27 was 3 1/2, 5, 6, and 8 3/8th at the time. There were a very few made in 6 1/2 as well, but not in 4". From the pictures, your guns appear to be non standard barrel length. If so, that would make them even more valuable. I think you should be very excited about them!!
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Old 03-03-2014, 09:43 PM
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Holy cow!
Those are two exquisitely engraved Model 27's.
A $50 (for each gun) factory letter from Smith & Wesson will confirm the shipping configuration.
Several of the members here are knowledgeable about S&W factory engraving, I'm sure they will be along and add their opinions.
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Old 03-03-2014, 10:05 PM
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The barrel measures 4.5 inches I sent off the paperwork to Smith and Wesson today. I paid less than 2 grand for the set. I am really excited about these I really like engraved guns it is amazing the level of detail a engraver is capable off.
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Old 03-03-2014, 10:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gentges1 View Post
The barrel measures 4.5 inches I sent off the paperwork to Smith and Wesson today. I paid less than 2 grand for the set. I am really excited about these I really like engraved guns it is amazing the level of detail a engraver is capable off.
You hit a homerun - CONGRATS!
Please be careful with your mail
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Old 03-03-2014, 10:20 PM
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As to value, who knows? As to the factory letter, I vote to get one. I hope they shoot as well as they look.
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Old 03-03-2014, 10:33 PM
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Welcome to the Forum! What an intro! Regardless of factory engraving or not, you made a great deal. The engraving is, to my untrained eye, reminiscent of Alvin White.
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Old 03-04-2014, 12:22 AM
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Wouldn't that be cool if it was an Alvin White I will have to look for any initials that may tell who the engraver was. Thanks for all the information
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Old 03-04-2014, 12:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gentges1 View Post
The barrel measures 4.5 inches I sent off the paperwork to Smith and Wesson today. I paid less than 2 grand for the set. I am really excited about these I really like engraved guns it is amazing the level of detail a engraver is capable off.
Less than $2k from a LGS?? Where they going out of business or does the owner have a heroin addiction? Seriously, its tough to believe any gun peddler in business today with the interweb and forums like this would so undervalue 2 guns such as those. Kudos to you but I need the name of the shop to see if he has any original prewar 1911 or other unicorns I can get for a wooden nickel.

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Old 03-04-2014, 12:34 AM
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No the shop is still in business I believe someone took out a loan on them and never returned to pay the bill. They seldom have old guns but they had just put these two out today and I just happened to have a snow day since I teach and they called school do to the cold weather. I new it was to good of a deal to pass up so I bought them.
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Old 03-04-2014, 12:58 AM
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Interesting, my snow days never turn out like that.

You did very well, regardless.
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Old 03-04-2014, 01:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gentges1 View Post
The barrel measures 4.5 inches I sent off the paperwork to Smith and Wesson today. I paid less than 2 grand for the set. I am really excited about these I really like engraved guns it is amazing the level of detail a engraver is capable off.
I think you just scored the deal of a lifetime. Congrats!
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Old 03-04-2014, 10:22 AM
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I think this is a deal of a lifetime also and to think if school would have not been called I would have never found it. Thanks for all the info on this set.
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Old 03-04-2014, 11:51 AM
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Your investment is worth several thousand dollars more than you paid.
Congrats on a great score.
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Old 03-04-2014, 12:30 PM
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Very nice set!! I am sure the two 27-2s were engraved after they left S&W. The barrel length is certainly unique and it will be interesting to see what the factory letters say about that. The engraving and the inlays remind of the work of Angelo Bee.

Bill
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Old 03-04-2014, 12:50 PM
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this has to be the nicest first post of all time, I think you could only top it with a newly found RM in the box.

Pinning a value is going to be tough, you know they are worth at least what you paid for them. a nice 27-2 goes for what $750 + then you add the cost of engraving, I have no idea what that is but I would suspect $2-3K per revolver. If you can find some provenance or if they were engraved by someone well know, the price will increase. I think the only real way to find out how much they are worth is to put them up for auction. If you want a replacement value for insurances purposes, I would say $10k is safe.
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Old 03-04-2014, 01:12 PM
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So the factory letter will tell me who they shipped out to and off they where shipped in the white specifically ordered to be engrave. And with any luck they will have been shipped directly to the engraver. I have no intentions of selling theSe they are to darn nice and I know I would regret it. I am going to look over the pair with a magnifying glass tonight.
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Old 03-04-2014, 02:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gentges1 View Post
The barrel measures 4.5 inches I sent off the paperwork to Smith and Wesson today. I paid less than 2 grand for the set. I am really excited about these I really like engraved guns it is amazing the level of detail a engraver is capable off.
You sir, have just blown my mind.

Congratulations and deep, hard, green envy. And welcome to the forum. It's going to be difficult to top your first post!
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Old 03-04-2014, 05:03 PM
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So Gentges1, buddy, you wanna make a couple hundred bucks....quick?!?!?!?!

Seriously, that was an amazing snag and proves the ol' adage that "timing is everything". I would definitely get an S&W letter. And then dig into the interweb to see if there is anything out there that is similar or would determine who, when and where of that beautiful engraving.

Wonderful first post. Thank you for sharing and welcome to the forum from the frozen north.
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Old 03-04-2014, 05:15 PM
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Great find, sounds like you may have already sent the letter requests to s&w but if not I would print a copy of your pix and include them with the letter. Who knows what Roy may be able to tell you.
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Old 03-04-2014, 05:31 PM
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Alvin White inlaid a small gold or silver block in the left side of the grip frame on revolvers he engraved. It has A. A. WHITE ENGR. in raised letters, or A. A. WHITE ENGRS. if it was done by one of the engravers working for him when he was part of A. A. White Engravers, Inc. and R. L. Wilson was the manager.

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Old 03-04-2014, 06:08 PM
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I remeasured the pistols today and it measures 5 inches not 4.5
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Old 03-04-2014, 06:17 PM
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Under the grips they both are stamped with and X on the on the left side of the gun in the lower right corner of the grip. Both are stamped with a 6 on that same side and both have two circles that over lap each other. One has the number 81794 and the other has 82428 stamped on it. Other than that I am not finding any Initials or identifying markings.
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Old 03-04-2014, 08:13 PM
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This is a factory engraved Smith that has alot of the same charetistics of my set.
Engraved Gold Inlaid North American Big Game Special Smith & Wesson 357 Magnum Double Action Revolve
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Old 03-04-2014, 10:44 PM
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I still cannot fathom a gun shop owner not realizing that those two guns are worth so much more than he was asking. I mean, seriously, two non-engraved S-serial 27-2's would be worth more than that. A single 27-2 with average engraving would bring that much. Those two are the kind that every gun owner would look at slack-jawed, and know that he shouldn't even bother asking "how much" because he can't afford them. And my congratulations as well on your good fortune, pun intended! I sure hope this story doesn't end the way of the California buried gold coins discovery...
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Old 03-04-2014, 10:55 PM
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Beautiful guns!
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Old 03-04-2014, 10:58 PM
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It is a chain of pawn shops were the manager does not know allot about guns, someone had these on pawn and the person did not pay for 3 months so they became property of the shop he doubled what he had in them so the where happy. I could not believe it myself. I sure hope the government does not come after me for money that would suck. Wouldn't I have to sell them for the Fed to collect capital gains tax? The original owner has been dumping a ton of engraved guns at the local gun shops.
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Old 03-04-2014, 11:00 PM
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I think you paid twice what they are worth, I will send you 1000 dollars and pick them up from you next week. Seriously I think you probably got the deal of the year. Those are some very nice revolvers and even if they are not factory engraved I would be shocked if they were worth less than 5k for the set. Thanks for posting the pics and let us know what you find out about them.
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Old 03-04-2014, 11:57 PM
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I think you paid twice what they are worth, I will send you 1000 dollars and pick them up from you next week. Seriously I think you probably got the deal of the year. Those are some very nice revolvers and even if they are not factory engraved I would be shocked if they were worth less than 5k for the set. Thanks for posting the pics and let us know what you find out about them.
Oh yeah shoot me your info and we can work something out.
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Old 03-05-2014, 01:31 AM
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I don't know anything about the value of your new guns, but I do know they are two FANTASTIC looking model 27's. I guess this is where you need to be thankful for the snow day! Congrats to you and hope everything turns out in your favor. Ray
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Old 03-05-2014, 01:46 AM
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Beautifuly engraved revolvers. Now I must tell you to run out and get a bunch of lottery tickets. Thanks for sharing. Frank
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Old 03-05-2014, 10:18 AM
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I will have to go get some lottery tickets. I am vary thankful for the snow day the best one I have ever had.
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Old 03-05-2014, 10:49 AM
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I almost wish I had not seen this post, it generates too much envy!
You obviously got an unbelievable deal on these revolvers. Either one is worth much more than you paid for the pair. The serial number you posted indicates a 1966 manufacture date. In normal model 27's, the S prefix increases value and the 5" version is the second most valuable. You guns are far above normal and should be treasured. Keeping them unfired will insure that the value continues to rise.
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Old 03-05-2014, 10:56 AM
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I have no plans on firing these or even pulling the hammer back. I would like to build a presentation case for these
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Old 03-05-2014, 07:20 PM
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I have no plans on firing these or even pulling the hammer back. I would like to build a presentation case for these
Excellent idea about the presentation case. One very important caveat, however, about storage of those beauties. Great care must be taken to avoid damage and deterioration while a gun is being stored. Where it is kept, what type of surface it is in contact with, temperature and humidity are all capable of ruining a gun. Several members here have collections with guns in the same category as yours, and their advice would be invaluable in helping you avoid any tragic mistakes.

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Old 03-05-2014, 08:41 PM
Gentges1 Gentges1 is offline
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Bill,
Thanks for the information this got me thinking of what would be the best way to store the guns. I was reading and a guy that works at a museum said to wax them for long term storage would this be a good idea or what would be the best way to store these.
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Old 03-05-2014, 09:50 PM
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A product called Renaissance Wax, Ren Wax for short, is used by many gun collectors, and is widely considered to be the premier product of its kind. Its very easy to use, just wipe it on with a soft cloth and wipe it off immediately with a clean cloth. Just Google it for lots of places to buy it. Display boxes are beautiful, but when a gun lays on the same surface for long periods, the material can cause marks or blemishes. If they are kept in a safe or similar enclosure, moisture and temperature control are critical. Forum member Doc44 would be your best source for further particulars on how to store your guns. He can be contacted by clicking on his ID at his post about half way up this page. Good luck.

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Old 03-06-2014, 01:14 AM
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I agree it looks a lot like Rentschke's work . Both the style of scroll and the gold work (Not that he is exclusive to that style in all of his work, he certainly isn't.)

Are the gold ovals on the bottom of the trigger guards left open (un-engraved) ?. Just wondering.
Sometimes that's done with the idea of a future presentation in mind. A specific time/date/name to be engraved when determined by historical events.

Very nice find!
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Old 03-06-2014, 08:54 AM
Gentges1 Gentges1 is offline
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2152hq,
I also feel that it is his work, the ovals on the trigger guard are open nothing has been engraved in them. Does any one know books that future Rentschke's work or anyplace that I can find information about him.
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Old 03-06-2014, 10:10 AM
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Sigfried Rentzschke engraved for Smith & Wesson for a couple of years in the late 1950s before going independent. He did a lot of work for Winchester from his home in Massachusetts. I was contacted by his neighbor several years ago about a 44 Magnum I was researching and he arranged for Mr. Rentzschke to look at photos of the gun. If I can find his contact information, I will send it to you.

Bill
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Old 03-06-2014, 10:57 AM
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Quote:
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Sigfried Rentzschke engraved for Smith & Wesson for a couple of years in the late 1950s before going independent. He did a lot of work for Winchester from his home in Massachusetts. I was contacted by his neighbor several years ago about a 44 Magnum I was researching and he arranged for Mr. Rentzschke to look at photos of the gun. If I can find his contact information, I will send it to you.

Bill
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That would be awesome if I could contact him about these.
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Old 03-06-2014, 03:21 PM
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Welcome to the forum! That is a heck of an entrance! As the saying goes they are worth as much as someone is willing to pay. But I would expect to pay $2000 for 2 consecutive 27-2s without any engraving in the condition they are in. If it turns out they were factory engraved you will more than quadruple your money. If it is a well known engraver after the factory you will double your money.
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Old 03-06-2014, 08:27 PM
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If you are serious about a custom case you should look at Huey custom cases. Home - Huey Gun Cases Their cases are really nice. Good call on the other posters suggesting not storing them in the case though. Let us know what you find out about these nice revolvers.
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Old 03-06-2014, 10:34 PM
Gentges1 Gentges1 is offline
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With the help of Doc44 I was able to contact Rentschke's neighbor and he has agreed to show him the pictures and see if it is one of the guns he engraved.
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Old 03-07-2014, 01:39 AM
trooplewis trooplewis is offline
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What kind of moron would have pawned those for $1000?
And how does someone that stupid have ownership of nice pieces like that in the first place?
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Old 03-07-2014, 04:20 AM
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What kind of moron would have pawned those for $1000?
And how does someone that stupid have ownership of nice pieces like that in the first place?
Probably inherited by some oaf....fortunately rescued!
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Old 03-07-2014, 11:20 AM
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I am pretty sure he inherited these. He has been selling a lot of engraved guns to shops in town some have been shot a lot and put away dirty. I am glad he did not shoot these.
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Old 03-07-2014, 06:54 PM
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Beautiful !!
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Old 03-07-2014, 07:00 PM
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I am pretty sure he inherited these. He has been selling a lot of engraved guns to shops in town some have been shot a lot and put away dirty. I am glad he did not shoot these.
I would be following him around Town buying them,Even if they are dirty.
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