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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 09-13-2021, 07:42 PM
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Default Clark Custom Model 19-2

I picked up the 19-2 made in 1963 at a local gun show on Saturday. People I showed it to say nobody wants them and they aren't worth much. What do you say?

It was made by Clark Custom, Pikeville, La. It has a Bo-Mar rib with sights. The barrel, cylinder lug and rail standoffs were machined from one piece of steel. It has a beautiful crown. Hammer has been bobbed and has a smooth DA trigger pull. These Rogers grips were preferred by the PPC shooters back in the day so they will stay. It should be a great shooter.

The seller said he had it for 25 years and only fired it 4 times. The original owner was a Sheriff who did PPC shooting. That is all the info I could get.

I also got a Pre 15 from 1955 about 98% with a box and tools. It was a great weekend.
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Old 09-13-2021, 07:54 PM
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Depends on the buyer. Lots of sellers think they should command big bucks because they are "custom". A bullseye shooter may covet one, but as a collector I wouldn't look twice at one. Some classic guns have had their value ruined by these conversions.
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Old 09-13-2021, 08:03 PM
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That’s a fine gun and I’m sure a tack driver. I carried those Rogers grips on my duty model 65. Replaced first set after the wood grain finish wore off exposing the red plastic material. Great grips.
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Old 09-13-2021, 08:15 PM
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I think a Clark Custom would bring a premium, just because.
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Old 09-13-2021, 08:46 PM
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Originally Posted by sodacan View Post
Depends on the buyer. Lots of sellers think they should command big bucks because they are "custom". A bullseye shooter may covet one, but as a collector I wouldn't look twice at one. Some classic guns have had their value ruined by these conversions.
I'm not sure I would say they are "ruined".
There are lots of guys now paying a premium for King's Gunsight modified pre-war Colts and S&Ws. Years ago, they were largely dismissed.
Personally, I don't care for PPC, the game or the guns. But, Jim Clark was a legendary pistolsmith. This conversion looks well done. He made a point of incorporating the ejector rod tip lock-up, when most smiths wouldn't bother.
In it's current configuration, it is a testimony to the times.

By way of comparison, most people don't know that there is only one known extant Stradivarius violin still in its original form. Virtually all the rest were modified, often quite heavily.

If that Clark 19-2 were mine, I'd contact Clark Custom Guns and see if they can provide any history or info, and I'd start gathering old Clark catalogs, magazine articles, etc.
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Old 09-13-2021, 09:30 PM
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I would have grabbed that one too. Coming out of Clark's shop ill bet it will be super accurate.
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Old 09-13-2021, 09:57 PM
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I wouldn’t say that no one wants them, just that the market is limited. I have one I used to compete with, and if I could find a Clark, Glenn, Davis or Power for a reasonable price, I’d grab it.
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Old 09-13-2021, 10:24 PM
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Thats a really nice gun, I love the idea of a 38/357 gun and most of these PPC guns are .38 only...

This would be over the top for me knowing I could blast 357 out of it..

I also think these would fall into a "collector" category as they are of a bye gone era that we will likely never ever see again...
Good find..
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Old 09-13-2021, 11:11 PM
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I'm more of a purist...be it Winchester and Marlin lever guns, military firearms, etc., I want them original. If I was a competition shooter and wanted it for historical significance, I could see that.
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Old 09-13-2021, 11:14 PM
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I'm more of a purist...be it Winchester and Marlin lever guns, military firearms, etc., I want them original. If I was a competition shooter and wanted it for historical significance, I could see that.
I agree with sjbrdn, I want them original.
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Old 09-13-2021, 11:17 PM
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Easy to dismiss these guns until you shoot one. When you feel the trigger glide back with a mere 6 or so pounds of effort and watch 5 or 6 bullets poke but a single hole in the target a spell is cast and you begin to realize that stock original perfect guns are for shooters with no imagination. : )
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Old 09-13-2021, 11:36 PM
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I wouldn't mind owning it, but I'd rather it had kept the hammer spur, and I'd get rid of the factory trigger stop in favor of a plain old pencil eraser glued to the back of the trigger and trimmed as desired. That's what I used back in the late 1970's on an otherwise stock 4" gun, in Service revolver class.
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Old 09-13-2021, 11:50 PM
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I'd have snagged that one too if the price were right. I appreciate custom and bone stock guns for what they are. A registered magnum untouched by a gunsmith other than at at the factory would leave me drooling. Same as a Clark PPC gun. Both represent history.

I spent Saturday at a local car show. An original Shelby Cobra had me in a lather. Then there was the '69 Camaro resto-mod. Nothing original except the body. Likely a better car than the original; but certainly not stock. It had me grinning too. I'd have a ball behind the wheel of both cars. People will say "it's only original once" and I'd have to agree. But customized cars and guns also have a place in my heart. They speak to times now gone. I'm a sucker for guns, cars and.... classic wooden boats. Don't let me get started on waterborne teak furniture!
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Old 09-14-2021, 06:31 AM
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Does it have value to a S&W revolver collector? Certainly not as much as an all-original, NIB or LNIB Model 19-2. Does it have value to a target shooter, especially one who competes in PPC matches? Oh, yes. So it is a hard to sell piece to the factory original collector crowd, but it would be of great value to a much smaller group of target shooters.
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Old 09-14-2021, 09:53 AM
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To the right buyer it's a great gun of much interest. To the "average" shooter today they'd be creeped out by the alterations probably. I bet it's a dream to shoot though.

Advertise it on one of the big sites and see what interest you get.
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Old 09-14-2021, 10:03 AM
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I've sold a couple PPC modified S&W's and they brought less than unmodified guns. It would be all about finding the right buyer though.
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Old 09-14-2021, 10:18 AM
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Quote:
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Easy to dismiss these guns until you shoot one. When you feel the trigger glide back with a mere 6 or so pounds of effort and watch 5 or 6 bullets poke but a single hole in the target a spell is cast and you begin to realize that stock original perfect guns are for shooters with no imagination. : )
I'm not dismissing it, series guy, I'm just not a shooter. I collect guns that I am drawn to. If a gun isn't sexy, I'm not interested. I have shooter/self-defense guns that I practice with but they only make up a small part of my accumulation. I like wood, cased colors, nickel, engraving, etc. This is a nice gun with its functional modifications, but it just doesn't make my mouth water. This is a conversation I've had with a lot of my local collector friends. I'll pick up a high condition antique firearm and the first thing they want to do is shoot it!

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Old 09-14-2021, 10:24 AM
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Guns like this one were at one time just a dream for me. They were way out of my price range. I competed with a stock 6” M686 and that one was a stretch to the wallet. These weren’t just used for PPC. Revolvers ruled the range for awhile in NRA Action. (Bianchi Cup)

To say this one was “ruined”.... I guess it’s s shame people actually shoot guns sometimes.

Dan
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Old 09-14-2021, 11:06 AM
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Clark Custom Guns is located in Princeton, Louisiana, not Pikeville. I have been a customer at Clark's for about 40 years starting when they were first located in a log cabin in Keithville, Louisiana. Skeeter Skelton and Bill Jordan would show up there frequently to talk with Jim, Sr. and the rest of the crew. The shop is 15 miles from my home. You have a great gun that was most likely worked on by Tommy Bison or Jim Clark, Jr. According to Jim Jr., his father stopped working on guns around 1975. Tommy Bison had worked for Clark's many years before he retired a few years ago. His work was excellent. I have had several revolvers worked on by him and I would put him up with any other top revolversmith in the country. Yours is kinda special because they made the ejector rod lock-up under the custom barrel instead of a ball crane lock at the front of the frame under the barrel. I've never seen that on a custom barrel by Clark. As mentioned earlier, it now is a specialized gun made for PPC matches. The matches are not that popular as they were years ago. It is a great looking gun and a neat part of firearms history, having come out of the Clark's shop and one I would be proud to own. I buy guns strictly because I like a particular one and don't think of the value of it down the road. Enjoy it in good health.
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Old 09-14-2021, 11:11 AM
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Quote:
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I picked up the 19-2 made in 1963 at a local gun show on Saturday. People I showed it to say nobody wants them and they aren't worth much. What do you say?
Well, it's a niche item. Very small group of buyers, possibly one of the smallest among modern firearms - you never hear of someone buying one just to have it.
If it appeals to you, great. They are a fine example of a precision revolver. You'll just be hard-pressed to find a lot of folks to agree.
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Old 09-14-2021, 11:15 AM
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If you like it, that's all that really matters. I don't see much demand for the PPC guns, even Clark's unless you happen to collect that kind of thing or enjoy shooting it. Don't think it would see much of a premium, where I shop anyway, to an original 19-2. I have a Clark Custom Colt in 38 Super which I like and which shoots really well, but I didn't pay a premium to get it (compared to an original Series 70) and doubt that it would sell for one now. Great work by true professionals. Enjoy it.

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Old 09-14-2021, 11:20 AM
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I have a few and with the extra weight I like to bench shoot it. What twist does the Douglas barrel have?

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Old 09-14-2021, 11:25 AM
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I like them and still have mine from the early 1980s. Value wise I would say that they are worth about the same as an unmodified model, maybe more if it is a Clark or other big name. It is a limited market though and collectors have no use for them.
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Old 09-14-2021, 11:34 AM
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Remember the saying “only accurate rifles are interesting?” This is for those who believe the same thing about revolvers. Blind to its appearance, it would be any shooter’s dream.
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Old 09-14-2021, 12:20 PM
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There are two categories, Shooters and Collectors. This Clark PPC gun is in the Shooter category. As a shooter, it is capable of wonderful accuracy, and "should" be worth in the $800 to $1200 range.

From the collector point of view, it would fall in the butchered up category with worth on the $350 to $500 range, "if" they were interested at all.
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Old 09-14-2021, 12:46 PM
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I have one on a 15-3, built by John Towle ( TNT Arms) in North Conway NH.
His work was the front cover of Gun World Magazine in about 1978.
Slickest DA pull you can imagine. Full length Bomar rib, 6" X 1.2" Douglas premium air gauge barrel, polished trigger and interior. The cylinder was coated with jewelers rouge and spun by air. It rotates like it is on ball bearings. Widened charge holes. Latch milled into bbl. It will shoot.

I put Ahrends on it just before he went under
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Old 09-14-2021, 03:27 PM
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There are two categories, Shooters and Collectors. This Clark PPC gun is in the Shooter category. As a shooter, it is capable of wonderful accuracy, and "should" be worth in the $800 to $1200 range.

From the collector point of view, it would fall in the butchered up category with worth on the $350 to $500 range, "if" they were interested at all.
I'm curious, where does a Swenson 1911 fall in your shooter/collector columns? Think it is actually worth less than a factory original Colt? "Collectors" include a wide range of folks, and not all of them are looking for LNIB examples. Personally, I have no use for a vintage S&W that looks like it just left the assembly line.
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Old 09-15-2021, 05:28 PM
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I'm curious, where does a Swenson 1911 fall in your shooter/collector columns? Think it is actually worth less than a factory original Colt? "Collectors" include a wide range of folks, and not all of them are looking for LNIB examples. Personally, I have no use for a vintage S&W that looks like it just left the assembly line.
I wouldn't have a clue about a Swenson, other than I heard a lot about them years ago. But there again, that's a gun for a specific audience. Compared to the general gun owning population, the folks that use and collect these expensive shooters is very small.
Look, I'm not trying to be a pessimist. It's just real-life that in an era of plastic throwaway guns, each one operating identically, these specialized guns aren't going to get more than a passing, "Wow, that's nice! Where are the Glocks?" type of response. Even competitive shooters trend more toward these "race guns" and the like. It's as if the PPC revolver came more or less at the beginning of specialized competition guns, but time and technology has kinda passed them by. A 1938 Indy car in perfect shape might be a masterpiece - but does anyone seriously think it would be competitive today?
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Old 09-15-2021, 06:14 PM
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Nice looking Clark PPC gun. I knew Jimmie Clark and had quite a few conversations with him at Camp Perry during the Nationals over the years. His workmanship was impeccable. I'd buy that in a heartbeat!
I shot PPC from 1969 as a rookie officer until I moved here in 2017. Love the sport, too bad it's still not practiced like it use to be. I had 48 years on the job and spent the last two as the director of training at the Flint Michigan Police Academy. There are now more practical training programs and courses for police officers, but PPC is still a great start for the basics, either with a revolver or semi auto. And nothing like it when shot with a wheel gun!
Anything by Swenson in a 1911 is a classic and another buy in a heartbeat! I'm over plastic guns, they are great for reducing the weight on an officers gun belt which gets heavier as new gadgets come out. But they just don't have the appeal of steel and wood, or Pachmayr/Hogue grips!
Nice purchase, hope you can find a PPC match to try it out in!
Just my opinion.
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Old 09-15-2021, 07:25 PM
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It's just real-life that in an era of plastic throwaway guns, each one operating identically, these specialized guns aren't going to get more than a passing, "Wow, that's nice! Where are the Glocks?" type of response.
I guess my point was that this Clark is a "collectors" gun, not a shooters gun. No one is buying that gun to take it to weekly competitions. Yes, it will likely be shot (maybe more so than a Swenson 1911) but not like someone is going to shoot their tupperware SD gun. So while "collector vs shooter" is a reasonable category breakdown for firearms, just because one "collector" doesn't appreciate a particular firearm (in this case a highly modified one) doesn't mean that there aren't "collectors" out there looking for exactly that. Just because one is a S&W collector doesn't necessarily mean that they are only looking for pristine, original condition examples.
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Old 09-15-2021, 08:35 PM
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I go to and watch A LOT of firearms auctions. That pistol, as nice as it is, is a niche collector pistol. I compare it to the custom rifle market. People spend thousands of dollars having actions bedded, custom wood, etc. and when the family goes to sell them, they receive a fraction of the original cost. The same is true with custom vs. original vintage cars and refinished vs. original antique furniture. Originality, rarity, and condition drive the majority of the firearms collector's market.
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Old 09-15-2021, 09:05 PM
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I go to and watch A LOT of firearms auctions. That pistol, as nice as it is, is a niche collector pistol. I compare it to the custom rifle market. People spend thousands of dollars having actions bedded, custom wood, etc. and when the family goes to sell them, they receive a fraction of the original cost. The same is true with custom vs. original vintage cars and refinished vs. original antique furniture. Originality, rarity, and condition drive the majority of the firearms collector's market.
True, in most cases you will never recoup the cost of modifications. That said, if you have work done by premier gunsmiths, then they will hold their value over the long term. Niche, yes, but if built by the right 'smith, you can get your money out of a custom gun. The reality is that these types of guns are better sold online where buyers that actually know what they are looking at have a chance to bid. Most people at a run of the mill firearm auction wouldn't know a Swenson from Wilson Combat or Hoag or Clark, at best they'd know it was a 1911. But do some searches of completed listings on gonebroker and you'll find that the online community does.
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Old 09-15-2021, 09:18 PM
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I was wondering why the original owner used a Mod 19 for that expensive modification instead of a shorter cylinder .38 spec gun of some sort?
I'd think he'd want the shorter bullet jump and not have to worry about the lead and powder ring that would build up shooting wadcutters in the over long .357 cylinder.
It's a really pretty gun, and I think OP did just fine if he likes it and the price was right for him.
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  #34  
Old 09-15-2021, 09:28 PM
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I don't remember which SWCA annual it was, but somebody had a display of modified S&W's. I also don't remember all the Pistolsmiths represented. I do remember being struck dumb by the quality of each and every gun in the display----and laying in bed dreaming about what it would be like to have all that perfection stacked up in my gun room.

Ralph Tremaine
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Old 09-15-2021, 09:52 PM
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As an old PPC shooter, I find it beautiful. I still have my PPC revolver, plus a back up my wife (wonderful lady!) said I should have in case my primary broke in a match (which never happened). So the back up is still brand new. I too used the Rogers (later Safariland) grips on my duty revolver, PPC leg match revolver, and PPC revolver. Undoubtedly it is a niche piece, but for those in the PPC game at the time, they were the pinnacle of a match gun. Loved rolling back that smooth double action trigger. Given practice and competition, PPC revolvers tended to see a lot of rounds down the barrel, albeit .38 wadcutter. So, many were ridden pretty hard. The one pictured appears pristine. That and the provenance would make it very desirable - to the right buyer.

Last edited by RetCapt; 09-15-2021 at 09:56 PM.
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Old 09-15-2021, 10:04 PM
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A gun bro send me one on the block today, only I musta read wrong or dident pay attention to its end time, I want one of these pretty bad, I can't stop thinking about them, he talks them up all the time and now I have to have one and load for it toooo...

I can't stop thinking about it !
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Old 09-16-2021, 12:22 AM
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OP here. Thanks for the comments, they have been interesting. Like Newtons 4th law on buying guns, we all have a reaction, not always equal. Newton would be rolling his eyes right now at my misquote.

I have a few S&W's and favor the post WWII guns. The prices on a 19-2 are stupid these days. I paid $500 for this one and appreciate it for it's design and craftsmanship. I will get some wadcutters and shoot it some day. For a paper hole puncher I bet it will be spectacular.

And I really do like it!
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Old 09-16-2021, 12:46 AM
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Mine was built on a model 66 because that was the cheapest gun I found at a gun show at the time. A 10 or 15 would have been fine for me. $500 for a Clark would suit me just fine. Nice score.

As for a Swenson, I’d probably pay as much as $1,500 for one if I knew it really was a Swenson creation and in good condition.
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Old 09-16-2021, 01:22 AM
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s3dcor,
Don't let my previous comments take away from your enjoyment of this pistol. It looks to be very well done and I'm sure you will have a blast shooting it. Thanks for posting the purchase price. I feel it proves what some of us have been saying about the customized market...you can get quality modified guns at less than the cost of the firearm plus the improvements. The man who has a car completely restored will almost never get his money back when he sells it. I have found the same to be true with guns. Congratulations on a good buy.
Steve
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Old 09-16-2021, 08:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by s3dcor View Post
OP here. Thanks for the comments, they have been interesting. Like Newtons 4th law on buying guns, we all have a reaction, not always equal. Newton would be rolling his eyes right now at my misquote.

I have a few S&W's and favor the post WWII guns. The prices on a 19-2 are stupid these days. I paid $500 for this one and appreciate it for it's design and craftsmanship. I will get some wadcutters and shoot it some day. For a paper hole puncher I bet it will be spectacular.

And I really do like it!

Wow 5 beans ! I would have probably paid double for that or close to it just to get ahold of one.... I think that's a hecka deal
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Old 09-16-2021, 10:17 AM
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If you can’t get $500 worth of enjoyment out of that gun, s3dcor, I think I can say without fear of contradiction that you will have zero difficulty finding a buyer who will give you your money back with maybe even a bit of profit!

Thirty plus years ago there were a couple if informal PPC leagues around here and I was fortunate enough to purchase a full house PPC gun by the less known Fred Schmidt. I say less known, but his patented short cylinder guns (for flush seated wad cutters only, with no “jump”) was as accurate as anybody’s.

Anyway, as bottom stuffers took over as service weapons for LEOs, the PPC game as we played it sort of faded. I will mention that these highly modified guns were used for other games such as steel plate matches, bowling pin matches, etc, but the push to automatics, at least around here, was too strong and the revolvers faded. I sold mine to someone who had known Fred and wanted it for his collection.

Froggie
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Old 09-16-2021, 06:21 PM
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Let me try to put some perspective on the collector (who values originality above all else) vs the shooter (who values function above all else), and the factor of time. Back in the 60s and 70s, when we were coming up with revolvers to have modified for PPC use, these now collectible survivors were just revolvers that we carried in our holsters. Most of us valued our revolvers highly and took excellent care of them. But they had a purpose, so they were carried regardless of environment, and were shot, often monthly, for training and qualification. We did not then look at them as future survivors and collectibles. When we wanted a PPC revolver we selected the base from what was available, with no thought given to the future value (or lack of) of our PPC revolver relative to what the value of the base gun would have been if not modified. Any critical appraisal of a PPC revolver should be done with an understanding of that context. I am never going to sell any of my firearms. So value is immaterial to me. As I said in my original post, at the time, these PPC revolvers were the pinnacle of a competition gun for this discipline. If properly maintained, they are still great shooters. Mine still are. Given the situation with the firearms themselves, the enjoyment of the matches, and the overall great memories of those times, the cost was a bargain. I would not trade it for anything. That is what goes through my mind when I look at my PPC revolver. That, to me, is something of value.

Last edited by RetCapt; 09-16-2021 at 06:29 PM.
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Old 09-16-2021, 11:50 PM
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I still have a Clark colt 1911 made 1964. I used to put them all in the black at 25 yds.
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Old 09-17-2021, 10:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by s3dcor View Post
OP here. Thanks for the comments, they have been interesting. Like Newtons 4th law on buying guns, we all have a reaction, not always equal. Newton would be rolling his eyes right now at my misquote.

I have a few S&W's and favor the post WWII guns. The prices on a 19-2 are stupid these days. I paid $500 for this one and appreciate it for it's design and craftsmanship. I will get some wadcutters and shoot it some day. For a paper hole puncher I bet it will be spectacular.

And I really do like it!
I used Winchester full wadcutter mid range match ammo. Think I still have a few boxes in an ammo can. The one I posted was built on a 15-3 that was my duty gun, but then I changed to a 4" M65. I don't suppose I paid more than 115 for the 15 new. I know the 65 was 135 ( first day they hit the shelf ). All the work that was done to mine was 100.00 even. I just wish sometimes I had gotten a used shooter to do this and not used my fine condition M15. However, I have the rosewood targets still, and they are on a mint 15
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Old 09-17-2021, 12:18 PM
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PPC guns are going up. I occasionally shoot with a friend who got into collecting King/similar modified colts and smiths a couple years before the rest of em, when they were still cheap, and a few times we discussed our opinions on what would go next.

I said PPC guns. This was at a time when nobody shot PPC, and the guns were $200-400 all day long. I was right! Now obviously, with such foresight, I bought and held onto all manner of high end makers guns, right?

No. I'm an idiot. I bought Boozer (carved into the grips) for $190.



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Old 09-17-2021, 01:02 PM
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Quote:
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No. I'm an idiot. I bought Boozer (carved into the grips) for $190.
Ehhhhh... not the sort of nickname I would want.
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Old 09-17-2021, 01:14 PM
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Quote:
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PPC guns are going up. I occasionally shoot with a friend who got into collecting King/similar modified colts and smiths a couple years before the rest of em, when they were still cheap, and a few times we discussed our opinions on what would go next.

I said PPC guns. This was at a time when nobody shot PPC, and the guns were $200-400 all day long. I was right! Now obviously, with such foresight, I bought and held onto all manner of high end makers guns, right?

No. I'm an idiot. I bought Boozer (carved into the grips) for $190.



I like that, what is it built on?
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  #48  
Old 09-17-2021, 06:49 PM
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I bought a beautiful Bill Davis PPC revolver built on a model 64 on this site about 6 months ago since I shoot PPC. I wanted Aristocrat 3 position sights and did not want the hammer bobbed......Its a beautiful well built custom revolver and will shoot a ragged hole at 15yds on a full cylindet of 38 wadcutter. Ive shot it once before 38s went thru the roof so now its too expensive to shoot @ 60c rd......Im really happy with it... and I got it at a great price..
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Old 09-17-2021, 07:02 PM
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A little embarrassed to say I don't know what PPC is . . . what type of shooting is it?
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Old 09-17-2021, 08:46 PM
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Police Pistol Combat. It uses the B-27 silhouette target and was about the only other pistol match besides Bullseye back when the dinosaurs were becoming extinct. Most police departments used that target to qualify and train on, and many departments had shooting teams that would have matches between the locals, and the good ones went to the Nationals. PPC is mainly a revolver sport, although autos can compete in it too. PPC kind of faded out after everyone switched to semi-autos for the police departments.

Now there are many different kinds of pistol matches. Most of them are shot with semi-auto pistols.
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