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Old 05-14-2017, 03:04 PM
Ray1970 Ray1970 is offline
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Default Advice for starting my "collection"

So, I've always had an appreciation for nice, double action revolvers. Have had quite a few pass through my hands in the last thirty years or so. Probably should have started buying them back in the 80's and early 90's when they were plentiful and affordable.

Anyhow, I'm at a point in my life where I want to start picking a few up. I'm not really a collector of anything and will be enjoying putting rounds down range with them so I'm not really looking for mint pieces or super rare gems. What I'm looking for are working examples that show a little character and good honest use.

I was curious which models I should be on the lookout for. I am thinking maybe a model 64 or 10 might make a good first piece to get the ball rolling.

I'm also thinking that in the next several years we will be seeing more older revolvers hit the market reasonably priced as the older generation of shooters and collectors begins to leave us and their heirs don't have the same appreciation for the revolver that their parents and grandparents did.
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Old 05-14-2017, 03:13 PM
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Models 10, 17, 24, 27, 28, 29, 57 are good places to start. The older the better.
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Old 05-14-2017, 03:16 PM
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I think your prognostication of the future for revolvers is right on the
money. I don't think you could start with a more representative S&W
DA revolver than the Model 10 with 4" barrel. I like the heavy "bull"
barrel myself, but I know a lot of folks like the pencil barrel.
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Old 05-14-2017, 03:24 PM
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I prefer target sights on a gun I'm going to be shooting. For a shootable collectors piece I'd choose a model 15 over a model 10. Of course beggars can't be choosers so sometimes you just have to jump on good deals as they come up.

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Old 05-14-2017, 03:30 PM
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...Model 14...it's a Model 10 with all the embellishments that earned it the name "Masterpiece"...

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Old 05-14-2017, 03:37 PM
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Well, there are really many, many ways to approach it!

I love S&W revolvers and I know I just cannot have them all, they're simply too many.

Me personally, I'm fond of K frames, blued finish preferred.

My shortest list of "must haves" would include:

J Frame: Model 36
K Frame: Model 10, Model 13, Model 19, Model 14, Model 17
L Frame: Model 586
N Frame: Model 27, Model 29

In there you have a nice selection of .22LR, .38 Special, .357 Magnum and .44 Magnum.

And that's only counting Numbered Hand Ejector Models (post 1957). If you include the tip-ups, top-breaks and pre-numbered hand ejectors, it only gets worse.

Have fun and good luck!
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Old 05-14-2017, 03:57 PM
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I think I'm going to put my focus on things chambered in 38 and 357 for starters. Of course if I stumble across a smoking deal on something in another caliber I'd probably have to reevaluate my plan.

I picked this up a while back and it was pretty rough. Pretty sure it spent most of its life in a nightstand drawer. The action was really "gummy". Nothing a good cleaning couldn't take care of.

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Old 05-14-2017, 04:02 PM
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I bought a copy of The Standard Catalog of Smith & Wesson, and the book by Roy Jinks. I did start again a year ago or so, after being away from shooting for about 30 years. My first purchase was a Model 10-6 that had a light strike issue the seller didn't tell me about. I've since got my C&R FFL, an account at Brownells for parts (lots of mainsprings), and quite a few more K frames. I stick with 38 special and have a few five screws, one a nice K38 and a couple of 1905s, a m14 no dash, and a m17-2.

Good luck.
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Old 05-14-2017, 04:09 PM
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I have to agree with Paradise! Model 14. I think 1 would do you well! My -3. I will have owned it in August for 3 years. It was $410, shipped & insured. Money well spent! Good luck on your hunt! Bob
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Old 05-14-2017, 04:20 PM
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I'd say starting with Model 10/64's is a great place to start!

Best of luck to you in your search!
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Old 05-14-2017, 04:32 PM
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There's a mystery S&W at a local pawn shop. They don't know what model it is. I'm tempted to go check it out and see what it looks like in person.

Here's a link if anyone wants to guess what it is.

ARMSLIST - For Sale: Smith & Wesson Mystery Gun
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Old 05-14-2017, 04:49 PM
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Renickeled M&P

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Old 05-14-2017, 04:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray1970 View Post
I was curious which models I should be on the lookout for.
Accumulate whatever you like and whatever you can afford.

The heck with what others say or think or do. Only YOU have to be happy with what you own.

What you've described is almost exactly what I've done the past 10 years or so. Sure, I've got a few "new in box" but really prefer 95% condition guns I can shoot. Now that I've been at it a while, I find myself getting rid of some duplicates and more common guns in favor of higher-end, more obscure or rare/odd items.

Have fun and just roll with it!
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Old 05-14-2017, 05:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray1970 View Post
There's a mystery S&W at a local pawn shop. They don't know what model it is. I'm tempted to go check it out and see what it looks like in person.

Here's a link if anyone wants to guess what it is.

ARMSLIST - For Sale: Smith & Wesson Mystery Gun
It's an old M&P - at that price and the way it looks, I'd buy that guy in a jiffy and THEN figure out what it is exactly
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Old 05-14-2017, 05:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray1970 View Post
There's a mystery S&W at a local pawn shop. They don't know what model it is. I'm tempted to go check it out and see what it looks like in person.

Here's a link if anyone wants to guess what it is.

ARMSLIST - For Sale: Smith & Wesson Mystery Gun
The grips on that one look a little rough, but if it is otherwise as good as it looks in the photos and you can get it for around $250 OTD I'd be a buyer on that one.

That would suitably fill the bill for the fixed sight 38 special (model 10/64) that you need in your "collection". That would be a good way to start a collection of shooter-grade guns.
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Old 05-14-2017, 05:27 PM
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Yeah, the grips look rough. Obviously, they could easily be replaced. Based on the condition of the grips though I'd really like to check the rest of it out in person. That particular pawn shop always seems to have several older S&W's so I might try and swing by next weekend and look at some stuff in person. If the only thing rough about that one in the link is the grips and the timing and lock up look decent and I can get it around $250 out the door I just might pick it up to kick off my "collection".

I also noticed there are a couple of model 10's locally for sale. Not sure if they're priced well but I'll definitely keep my eyes open for a deal.

My dad has a nice model 19 that I'm sure will be mine some day.
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Old 05-14-2017, 05:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hittman77 View Post
Accumulate whatever you like and whatever you can afford.

The heck with what others say or think or do. Only YOU have to be happy with what you own.

What you've described is almost exactly what I've done the past 10 years or so. Sure, I've got a few "new in box" but really prefer 95% condition guns I can shoot. Now that I've been at it a while, I find myself getting rid of some duplicates and more common guns in favor of higher-end, more obscure or rare/odd items.

Have fun and just roll with it!
That is about as close to my own "accumulation philosophy " as I have ever seen. Just to add, slightly higher quality may cost a little more up front but if/when you sell it will pay off and then some. Good luck in your search!
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Old 05-14-2017, 06:00 PM
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I laid out my Smith & Wesson revolver collection last night. I'd purchase the next good deal I found, almost regardless of model were it an older Smith. But if I had to name my short wish list it would certainly include 27 or 28 and a 19.

Below are 29-2, 442-2, K22, 686-3, 14-4, and 63 no dash.

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Old 05-14-2017, 10:47 PM
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Sir.
I would suggest that you go to gun shops and gun shows with the attitude that you are looking for bargains. Buy cherries and low hanging fruit. All the S&W's are appealing, buy the bargains. Hunting for a single type of gun will/can take a long time to be rewarding. Buying bargains will cause your collection to increase a little quicker and you will save money. That saved money allows you to keep looking. Once you get 60-80-100 S&W's you will have an idea of what you really like and then it comes time to start selling and trading to get your grail guns.
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Old 05-14-2017, 11:50 PM
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It's a very slippery slope, S&W collecting. I started out looking for a 39-2 like the one I was issued in 1975 by my Department. 47 older S&W revolvers later, I'm now specializing in short barreled N frames and Pre-27's. The prices go way up as the rarity increases. I am always on the hunt. Help! I need an intervention!
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Old 05-15-2017, 03:51 PM
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About 2 1/2 years ago, I decided I would like to have some nice S&W revolvers to go along with the only one I had ever owned, a 17-4 that I purchased new in 1980 and was/is in 99% condition. Since the one I owned was a "Masterpiece", I decided I would start there and obtain all the other "Masterpiece" versions. First one I bought was a 14-1. Paid top dollar for it, but I was happy. Then I followed up with a 15-4 and a 19-4. Each of these were very nice shooter grade, 95%, and I paid a whopping $415 for each one, off of GunBroker no less. Figured I would never be able to afford a 16 (K-32 Masterpiece), but I came across one at a local auction and got it for about 50% of the value. Really lucked out on that one. My next one will probably be a Model 18 variant. Obviously, I like blued K frames.

I also have now started looking and learning about the older Hand Ejectors, more specifically .22/32 HFT and .32 HE. I have purchased the newest edition of the Standard Catalog of Smith & Wesson, and spend quite a bit of time on this forum, trying to soak up as much information as I can. The knowledge that presents itself on this forum is incredible. When in doubt, ask the folks here and you will get an honest answer. I also spend time on Gunbroker, looking at what prices the guns I am interested in are selling for, not what the asking price is.

The one thing you might want to consider is getting the more expensive ones you desire first. These will always be more expensive and the least expensive ones will always be the cheapest. And it seems to me that the more expensive ones go up in price faster and farther.

At any rate, it is a very enjoyable "hobby" and it keeps me out of trouble. Enjoy it and have fun.
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Old 05-15-2017, 04:01 PM
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I have to laugh because of what is in store for you. I see you getting quite a collection before you know it. There is a lot of S&W eye candy out there and how much disposable money you have at the time and place will fill the gotta have it.
Centerfire services has Model 10 and Model 64 police trade ins for $279- $319 right now.
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Old 05-15-2017, 04:04 PM
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A model 10 is a great first step.....decedent of where..... today's Smiths all started; 118 years ago with the M&P model of 1899.....................

Two other centerfire K frames that are a "must have" IMO are a 15 (or 14) and a Model 19.357

.22lr are great...... Model 18 or 17 (also K-frames)...... 4" vs 6" barrels

An N-frame ......... 27 if you can afford it ($1000+) these days or a 28 Highway Patrolman ($500-700)

Finally a J-frame..... Model 36


Basic bases all touched on.... IMO...... from there the Skies the limit!

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Old 05-15-2017, 04:26 PM
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Well, I started my "collection", maybe "accumulation" is a better term, by accident. Many years ago I bought my first revolver, a 4" Model 19 (which I blew up almost 20 years later, in the late 90s), and about a year, maybe two, later, I bought my second, a 2" Model 10. As time passed I bought another Model 10 here, a Model 15 there, a Model 19, then a Model 586, then a 686+, a Model 27 Classic, and so forth. Before I knew it I had quite an assortment of S&W revolvers and then one day I bought an old, quite gorgeous, .38-44 HD and the LGS owner says to me, "You ought to join the Smith & Wesson Collectors Association".

So I did.

And then I focused on all things .38/.357 and doubled my collection hanging around this campfire and a few other places. It's not as impressive a collection as some might have but it has been fun putting it together!

Model 10s are likely the easiest of the bunch to find, and less pricey if you stick to standard barreled models. You will find a wide assortment of prices depending on where you buy a gun, e.g., a gun show, an LGS, or an on line auction. If you want to call it a real collection try to stick to a theme - my accumulation does consist of a variety of .38s and .357s. Offhand, the only variable is my Model 25 in .45/c and that was a "grail gun" I had to have. .38 S&W, .38 Special, .357 Magnum, .38-44, etc. Nice theme.

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Old 05-15-2017, 04:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray1970 View Post
There's a mystery S&W at a local pawn shop. They don't know what model it is. I'm tempted to go check it out and see what it looks like in person.

Here's a link if anyone wants to guess what it is.

ARMSLIST - For Sale: Smith & Wesson Mystery Gun
Make sure it has a factory stamped serial number on the butt. There have been a fair number of revolvers posted on this forum that haven't had the proper serial number.
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Old 05-15-2017, 04:59 PM
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A Model 10 or 64 is just something everyone should own, I think. I prefer a four-inch standard (tapered) barrel for the way it looks and balances, but the heavy barrels are more to many people's likeing.

A Model 15 is a wonderful thing. I'm not sure why they are so special, but they are.

A snub 10, 15 or 64 would be a very nice gun to have.

But I'm also a J-frame fan, so I'd be looking at 36's, 40's and 49's.
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Old 05-15-2017, 09:58 PM
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I normally keep an eye out for good deals on here and more so on my local forum. I like my rimfires and big bores. But if it's a good deal I say grab it up, if you dont some one else will. Just my point of view. Good luck in your addiction I mean collection.
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Old 05-15-2017, 10:11 PM
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Thank you all for the advice. It is much appreciated.

Might take me a bit to get started as my schedule doesn't leave me much free time but once I start buying things I'll be sure to post up some pictures.
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Old 05-15-2017, 11:46 PM
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Buy what you like and can afford! You will start to figure out a trend or interest in the guns you buy and that is when you become a collector and not an accumulator. Keep it simple, one caliber... one model in all its variations, or K frames Model 10-19, fixed sight or target sight guns, police guns. My collection has become .45 Colt S&W's and target .45s. Enjoy and good hunting
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Old 05-15-2017, 11:54 PM
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Ray,

Once again as a novice accumulator of S&W's there is not much I can add to what has already been posted. Find a niche you like and concentrate on that. For mine it is pre-lock, .32, .38/357, with 4" or shorter barrels, with a slight (OK, large) affinity for ones from LE service. That said, I do have a Model 59 that suddenly fell in my lap. It had the honor of having been owned and carried by a now deceased Houston Police Dept detective. I have resisted the lure of those in .22LR only because I haven't found any that fit my champagne appetite on my beer wallet. In addition I like shooters as opposed to safe queens. Collecting/accumulating S&W's is addicting. Never say you weren't warned. Best of luck. hardcase60
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Old 05-16-2017, 01:53 AM
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Congrats on your decision to begin again. I thoroughly enjoyed your original post. Reminded me of somebody I know pretty well.

Your first purchase (at post #7) is a dandy. Nice start.

I have developed a particular affection for .38 M&Ps and .32 Hand Ejectors and Regulation Police (don't think anyone else mentioned the .32s), especially postwar and 1950s before there were Model numbers. My favorite .38s are M&Ps in 5" -- just a real nice balance. I've got a few that are simply too nice to shoot, but I do anyway. Most of mine have a bit of character and likely have some great stories locked away in their histories.

Thanks to inspiration from some of the adventuresome here on the forum I have a couple "projects" in progress. They'll cause purists to avert their eyes, but I'm okay with that.

Two considerations: this isn't a race, and have a fun time!

Sharing a few of my favorite .32s and my WWII Victory (M&P).

Cheers,

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Old 05-16-2017, 07:23 PM
Ray1970 Ray1970 is offline
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With all of the advice about focusing on my efforts on a particular caliber or frame size or something, I did a little thinking about what I would really like to collect.

My ideal passion would be to seek out just about any model with a three inch barrel. I've always thought the three inch barreled revolvers were just about the sexist things out there.

Unfortunately for me, I know the three inch barrels are a bit harder to come by and usually command a higher price. Having a family, a home, and other not so cheap hobbies likely isn't going to afford me the luxury of spending around a thousand dollars a piece right now.

I think for now I am going to focus on anything in 38 Special or 357 Magnum with a four inch barrel and see how things play out from there.

Not that I wouldn't snatch up something with a three inch barrel if I found the right deal.
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Old 05-16-2017, 08:11 PM
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I was done with revolvers, switching to Glocks, Wait now I'm going to 1911s, Ok just one revolver, a nice blued 36 J frame, Brother it is a very slippery slope. I am now starting to look for another gun safe. I find S&W revolvers more addictive than anything.
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Old 05-16-2017, 08:25 PM
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I find S&W revolvers more addictive than anything.
I'm actually hoping that chasing them down and trying to find a particular model or a good deal is going to provide me with kind of a cheap level of satisfaction. Hopefully the thrill is in the chase and I won't actually be just buying one after another after another.

We'll see how that plays out.
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Old 05-16-2017, 09:52 PM
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I'm actually hoping that chasing them down and trying to find a particular model or a good deal is going to provide me with kind of a cheap level of satisfaction. Hopefully the thrill is in the chase and I won't actually be just buying one after another after another.

We'll see how that plays out.
Don't hold out for that to happen, Ray. Once you start getting them you will be actively looking to get more and more and it is addicting as heck! Ask me how I know. I've finished off my model 27 collection but I find myself thinking about model 28's and model 29's now.
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Old 05-16-2017, 10:28 PM
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I'm thinking you guys are all a bunch of enablers. :-)
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Old 05-17-2017, 12:42 AM
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My Smith Family and I just started collecting last year 2016. All are just good shooters the Model !5 I have is the most fun to shoot because it's a tack driver and my ugly gun that gets to the range the most. I only bought one of them new the 638 snubbie, it's my wife's house gun for home defense when I am not around.
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Old 05-17-2017, 07:34 AM
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As gman51 mentioned, Centerfire has Police Trade-ins M10 and M64s. I picked up a M64 a couple of weeks ago, dirty but mechanically sound. Smooth trigger and accurate. I'm very pleased with the service and the gun.

Will
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Old 05-17-2017, 07:56 AM
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So............OP.........you have been lurking around this forum since 2009. I congratulate you sir for resisting the addiction this long. I have found that while this forum and the members are the most experts in anything S & W you will ever run across, they are also "fellow addicts" and every post with a photo just immediately reaches out and says " you gotta get one of these"....and off I go on another hunt.

Other traps to beware of: Pass up every WWII Victory you come across, no matter how low the price because this will instantly open up the WWII bug and then you'll just have to have a Garand, a 1911A1, a M1 Carbine...and don't forget a Luger.

Now you find yourself on half a dozen different forums and you are never finished, satisfied or done accumulating/collecting, investing, or whatever buzz word you use to support the addiction.

I have seen it so many times on this forum and other places that "I am only getting one more gun and then I am done"

Like posted above, get whatever floats your boat today, shoot the heck out of it, always watching for the next one and who knows you may just stumble across that Registered Magnum that was only shot a few times on Sunday by the little old lady from Pasadena (Texas...not California) and is up for sale for $500 with box and docs, etc.

Just do not forget to set aside enough money and floor space for that second safe (or third) as Smiths for sure seem to multiply on their own just sitting there.

Best of luck in "growing" your collection
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Old 05-17-2017, 09:52 AM
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This ones has been in my possession for roughly 35 years, been refinished more
than a few times along the way. The model 15 is a great place to start in my
opinion.
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Old 05-17-2017, 11:03 AM
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So............OP.........you have been lurking around this forum since 2009. I congratulate you sir for resisting the addiction this long.


I didn't realize it was that long ago that I registered here. I have owned a handful of S&W's over the years and like to stay up to date with useful information. While I've likely owned a couple of 686's and a few J-frames since I registered, I probably have or had more pistols than revolvers.

My current firearms pretty much cover all of my needs for carry, home defense, competition, hunting, general range enjoyment, and any zombie situation that may arise. So, at this point I really can't justify buying any more stuff for any practical use so thought now would be a good time to buy things just to have them. Since I've always been fond of the craftsmanship that goes into producing a quality revolver I thought starting to accumulate pre-lock S&W's seemed like the way to go.
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Old 05-17-2017, 11:24 AM
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Quote:
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My current firearms pretty much cover all of my needs for carry, home defense, competition, hunting, general range enjoyment, and any zombie situation that may arise. So, at this point I really can't justify buying any more stuff for any practical use so thought now would be a good time to buy things just to have them. .

That's a whole different perspective.....................I'd look around for guns from about 1930 to the 70s. To me; kind or the Golden Age of S&W craftsmanship.


Do you have a copy of the Standard Catalog S&W 4th Ed. If not that should be your first step....... buy and read.

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Old 05-17-2017, 01:41 PM
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I too am new at this. I have always been fond of handguns. I appreciate
the quality of manufacture, intricate mechanisms, etc. I have always bought what looks good to me( i.e. PPK over Makarov, S&W over Ruger, etc.).Got back into shooting last year after a long time out and decided to get some more guns. Hard to know exactly what I want so I bought a few different S&Ws. Still not sure which direction I want to go with collecting....so many choices! 3" is good, or .38 specials, or ??? Good luck!


P.S. apologies to Makarov and Ruger owners.
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Old 05-17-2017, 01:52 PM
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The mechanical aspect is what attracts me to firearms the most. Same reason most of my other hobbies involve things like internal combustion engines. I've been known to get rid of a firearm if there's something about the design that I don't like. Recently dumped a Sig P320 once I got a good understanding of how it worked.
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Old 05-17-2017, 11:32 PM
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... I probably have or had more pistols than revolvers.
There most certainly is a cure for that.
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Old 05-19-2017, 09:41 AM
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If you happen to come across a nice 586, snag it. They are not often seen in the flesh.




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Old 05-19-2017, 09:50 AM
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Man, with those grips I bet you can shoot lights out with that 586.
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Old 05-20-2017, 01:33 AM
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Start out with the K frame 38's and work your way up in caliber to the N frames. Or do what I did a bunch of years back. Always wanted a nice 44 special. Wasn't really looking for one at a local gun show. Found a 6.5" bbld 624 and it went home. Then a 3" 24-3 and then a 4" 24-3. All in the space of about a year and a half. it's like potato chips, you just can't have one. Frank
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Old 05-20-2017, 05:25 AM
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Let's see... A Model 28, a Model 586, a model 19 and a Model 36. Then you can go wherever your little old heart desires.
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Old 05-20-2017, 06:07 AM
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Default I like the....

I like the 'having one of each frame size' thing for starters. Plenty to choose from any frame in .38/.357. One thing that makes it harder is getting a barrel with some lengths and type of sights.

You gotta get a 586/686 at some point.
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