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Old 03-16-2017, 01:02 AM
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Default M58 TWO-TONE

I am in the initial process of dealing on a M58 (ca.1967). It is nickel plated with gold washed (plated?) trigger, hammer, cylinder release and ejector rod assembly, stated to have been special ordered from Smith & Wesson in this finish. The current owner tells me that it is originally a LEO (specifically, Secret Service) weapon and had been in use as a duty weapon for 20 years. I have no reason to doubt his statements about the revolver, but I have not been provided with any documentation.

Being a service revolver, I am not very concerned about it being pristine, etc. I am just curious about the validity of this being a legitimate factory finish option, or, as I've read elsewhere, that it is more likely to be an aftermarket bling-thing?

Sorry about not posting photos, but I don't want to compromise a deal if it comes through.

Thanks to all.
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Old 03-16-2017, 07:41 AM
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The Secret Service issued the M58 as a duty arm? And all tarted up like that by the factory to boot?

I can't call the guy a liar, but I would have to see a factory letter before swallowing that story.
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Old 03-16-2017, 09:12 AM
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Well as far as I know the Secret Service were never issued the Model 58, but I could be wrong.

I believe there is only 1 known gold and blue pinto that is factory original. I am also fairly confident that they wouldnt have gold plated the hammer, trigger, or ejector rod.

Without seeing pictures I believe it is refinished and should be valued as such. Any N frame in good shootable condition is worth right around $500 in my book. That's where I would start.
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Old 03-16-2017, 10:26 AM
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Hmmm, sorry to say that there are too many things in your description of the piece that just don't line up for me. I'm not calling anyone a liar, but I'd need some real, verifiable documentation on this piece before paying anywhere near a premium price for it. One of the first rules of buying a used firearm is to buy the gun, not the story behind it.

If this was a presentation piece, I would think a Model 57 would have been more appropriate than the more utilitarian Model 58. I just cannot see how this piece was ever a duty weapon.

I've always wanted to dip my toe in the .41 Magnum waters, but have never been able to find an affordable revolver in that flavor. If offered the Model 58 you describe, it would have to be really cheap to tempt me. Handguns of that type just aren't my cup of tea.

I would urge caution, and get verifiable proof of what the seller is telling you.

Good luck,

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Old 03-16-2017, 10:32 AM
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I, too, seriously doubt that the M58 was an ISSUED revolver. However, that's not to say that it wasn't a personal weapon that had been carried by the individual off-duty, after retirement, or, as I've seen before, after taking another position in law enforcement after leaving the one previous.

I have personal experience with one such ex-Secret Service officer who took the position of Police Chief in a nearby small town. This town stages an annual celebration each summer and is usually flooded by a large turnout. I, and a friend who owned a gun shop (former Air Force Security and currently a county sheriff trainer), were recruited by this Chief for crowd and traffic control because we both rode motorcycles, which he thought would be a great idea because of mobility. We did a mini-seminar about what our duties would be, had to qualify on the range, etc., and were given badges for the three-day event. Oddly enough, I carried a blued M58 while carrying out my unpaid, voluntary duties. Anyway, the Chief was somewhat of a cowboy, and definitely did not carry what might be considered an "issue" weapon. I don't know exactly what it was, other than a 4" N-frame Smith magnum...

In any case, the 2-tone M58 appears to be in decent shape, judging by photos. I am going to meet with him tomorrow and will probably make the deal. I'll post pictures if I acquire it.
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Old 03-16-2017, 10:50 AM
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It may or may not be a factory nickel M58, but the gold plate on the small parts is almost certainly aftermarket. I have a Pre M10 in similar livery. Such things were very popular in LEO circles back in the 60's and early 70's, but I have never heard of one coming from the factory that way.
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Old 03-16-2017, 12:38 PM
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Sounds like a nice Cock and Bull story to me.
If refinished , check quality. Those gold plated parts ....that just makes me want to cry.
If it's real shiney , it could be chrome !
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Old 03-16-2017, 12:43 PM
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Normally the gold finish that is applied to firearms is easily removed and wouldn't hold up to much use.
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Old 03-16-2017, 01:24 PM
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From photos sent to me, the M58 has definitely seen plenty of usage. Half of the gold plating on the right side of the trigger is worn down to base metal. The revolver will be gone over thoroughly, checking for the "N" stamped into the frame, especially, to verify it is at least an original nickel gun. Hard to tell from the pics, but all the roll marks appear crisp and not re-nickeled. We'll see... I may have a long drive for a busted deal.
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Old 03-16-2017, 01:57 PM
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Buy the gun, not the story.
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Old 03-16-2017, 04:17 PM
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More research on the two-tone M58: Production ran to about 20,000 units total of the 58s, with 8%-12% finished in nickel, which would make it around 2,000 pieces. The SWSC states that a few rare M58 two-tones were made on the line, as does scuttlebutt from older S&W employees, but no commemoratives. Obviously, the only way to make sure is to have it lettered... and then, maybe not. As noted in other forums here, and elsewhere, there have been many semi-documented "lunchbox gun" stories, and even more "UFO" sightings.

Regardless, they are nice revolvers, and if purchased, it will be for the gun and not the story. Anything beyond being original nickel is just gravy.

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Old 03-16-2017, 05:58 PM
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If it turns out to be an original nickel 58, all the gold parts are easily replaced, giving you a more rare version of a really great revolver.
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Old 03-16-2017, 06:13 PM
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It's pretty already been said but doubtful on the factory 2 tone, the 58 was never issued by the Secret Service and the gold plated parts scream of aftermarket dressing. Sondes like a mess and hopefully you don't buy into all the BS and pay a premium. I would just walk... it easy enough to find a real 58.
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Old 03-16-2017, 06:39 PM
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This stirred up an ancient memory of reading in a magazine article of the time that some of Richard Nixon's security detail were carrying .41 Magnums. Since he authorized those gosh-awful "Imperial Guard" marching band uniforms for the uniformed Secret Service I don't put nickel M58s outside the bounds of possibility, but add me to the list of skeptics on the gold wash being factory.

I knew an agent a few years after that who kept a Sig in .38 Super in his go bag, so there was apparently some level of tolerance for POWs in the USSS.
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Old 03-16-2017, 11:47 PM
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To Buford57:

Weren't those marching band uniforms great?!!! Apparently Alice Cooper thought they were so cool that he bought a few from the govt. for his band, back in the early '70s. Seems that most of them went to a marching band in Iowa for a few bucks apiece. I wonder if those duty rigs went with them? Can't tell if they're K or N frame size, but it sure looks like revolver butts peeking out from under the full-flap holsters!
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Old 03-17-2017, 12:15 PM
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"I just cannot see how this piece was ever a duty weapon."

I knew a small town po-leece chief that had a pair of Colt 1917s. He would, on occasion, carry both. They were nickel plated with gold hammers, triggers and cylinder releases.

We have a member here who carried his Registered Magnum as an FBI agent, so I imagine it is possible that a Secret Service agent could have carried a personally owned .41 Magnum.

I once owned a factory nickel M58 that was carried by a Birmingham AL police sgt. B'ham PD back in the day had a policy of not allowing Magnum revolvers, but did allow the .41 Mag S&Ws so long as the lead police load was used.
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Old 03-17-2017, 06:06 PM
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I believe I have seen one nickel/blue pinto 58 and it was at a SWCA meeting and had a factory letter with it.
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Old 03-19-2017, 12:07 AM
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UPDATE ON THE M58 TWO-TONE

It is now in my grubby little paws. Ser. #S295XXX (1967 production), matching numbers, target grips stamped "N". No "B" OR "N" stamped on the grip frame. Here's the big one... a funny little capital "R" stamped on the grip frame just below the alignment pin!

Check out p.496 of the SWSC. Quote: "R stamp indicates an "in house" rework of a revolver that never shipped and therefore would not have a date as opposed to a rework on a customer gun returned to the factory." End quote.

Holy N-frame, Batman! A special order Smith & Wesson nickel-and-gold two-tone just isn't possible, is it? What's Gotham City coming to?

Photos to come, oh ye of little faith.

The M58 WILL be lettered ASAP!
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Old 03-19-2017, 02:09 AM
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Hopefully the letter will state what grips it shipped with. Normally they came with PC magnas shown below instead of targets. Sounds like you got one you will enjoy! Mine shown is from around 1967.

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Old 03-19-2017, 09:44 AM
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Years ago I read the bio. of Lyndon Johnson's lead Secret Service agent. This gentleman carried a pair of .41 Magnum revolvers in shoulder holsters. So, I assume the senior agents were given the "wink & nod" about the use of personal weapons.
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Old 03-21-2017, 04:59 PM
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Sorry for the poor pics. My camera is almost as old as I am. As I couldn't get clear photos of the stampings I scribbled a couple illustrations.

This is how I received the M58. All I've done is wiped off fingerprints. The worst of it is a bent stock pin, the washer is missing from the right stock panel (both easy to remedy) and a bit of wear of the nickel at the muzzle and the inside of the trigger guard just beneath the trigger. And, of course, wear of the gold plating from LEO use of over 20 years. This beautiful N-frame has definitely been shot quite a bit...
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