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S&W Antiques S&W Lever Action Pistols, Tip-Up Revolvers, ALL Top-Break Revolvers, and ALL Single Shots


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  #1  
Old 02-11-2024, 06:28 PM
fredcoyote fredcoyote is offline
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Default Help with S&W New Model 3??? Brought Her Home...

Hello,
I've wanted a 44 or 45 top break Smith quite a while. Either come across crazy $$$ ones for me or wall hangers. This one popped up and I'm having it shipped to my local Bass Pro. I have 3 days after they receive it to decide weather to keep it. Here's a link to the listing on Gunsinternational. I know there is no address on top of barrel which is a concern. I am looking for something I can load up some light loads and shoot. Spoke to them and they say it functions and is tight. Any info/help and/or advise would be much appreciated.

Smith & Wesson ~ Model 3 ~ Unknown for sale

Thank you guys/gals very much,

Fred

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Old 02-11-2024, 07:01 PM
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Default NM3

Looks like a score.
old nickel finish? worn or cleaned but it looks tight.

44 Russian

Last edited by iby; 02-11-2024 at 07:04 PM.
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Old 02-11-2024, 07:40 PM
fredcoyote fredcoyote is offline
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I'm hoping for 44 Russian since I have 1000 brand new cases to load up!

Thanks,

Fred
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Old 02-11-2024, 08:29 PM
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Stuff to look for------------------

These are black powder guns. If/when these guns are used with smokeless loads they will develop (cylinder) end shake/excessive headspace/excessive cylinder to barrel gap/loose barrel latch---some of which is fixable, some not.

Let the buyer beware!

Ralph Tremaine
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Old 02-11-2024, 10:21 PM
mmaher94087 mmaher94087 is offline
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There are case stops in the cylinder which would suggest that it is chambered for the .44 Russian caliber. I find it interesting that the barrel rib markings are not present, and the lanyard ring is not Smith & Wesson. However, the restamping of the serial number is what the factory would do if they had put a lanyard ring through the serial number of an existing revolver that was serialized and in inventory. The lanyard ring is reminiscent of those installed on S&W revolvers shipped to Argentina or Cuba. The Argentina shipped revolvers usually have "EJERCITO ARGENTINO" stamped on the bottom strap below the cylinder on the left side. This one might be worth a $100 letter.
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Old 02-12-2024, 12:39 AM
wlw-19958 wlw-19958 is offline
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Hi There,


Quote:
Originally Posted by mmaher94087 View Post
The Argentina shipped revolvers usually have "EJERCITO ARGENTINO" stamped on the bottom strap below the cylinder on the left side. This one might be worth a $100 letter.

The pics I've seen show the "EJERCITO ARGENTINO" stamped on
the underside of the bottom strap in front of the trigger guard.


Cheers!
Webb
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Old 02-12-2024, 12:41 AM
fredcoyote fredcoyote is offline
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Glad to hear about the probability of 44 Russian! As for the lanyard ring that's good info.

Still don't understand how all the markings were removed without giving it that rounded refinished look on the pics. It will probably be more apparent in person?

Anybody think it's not a genuine Smith? Copy from one of many countries(Spain, Italy, Mexico, Belgium, UK, Germany, Russia, ...?)

Thanks again,

Fred
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  #8  
Old 02-12-2024, 05:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mmaher94087 View Post
I find it interesting that the barrel rib markings are not present, and the lanyard ring is not Smith & Wesson.

However, the re-stamping of the serial number is what the factory would do if they had put a lanyard ring through the serial number of an existing revolver that was serialized and in inventory.
fredcoyote,

I believe you'll find...Should you decide to "Letter" your new acquisition...You'll find this Revolver was most likely shipped in one of two large shipments for use in Japan by Takata & Co. in 1887!!

As to the lack of any Barrel Rib Markings...Seeing a good photo of what "Isn't" there would be a big help if you could provide one!!

Also...In regards to the Non-S&W Lanyard Ring...This Lanyard Ring is the type installed by one of the Japanese Arsenals upon arrival in Japan...Hope this helps!!
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Old 02-12-2024, 12:38 PM
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Thank you for that info.

I was figuring Japanese since most of them were sent there and the number falls right in those shipped. I did see they installed lanyard loops at their armory but wasn't sure if that's how they renumbered them.

I'll post a pic as soon as possible of the top of the barrel. Supica had a big collection of these including many copies from all different countries that went to auction. I have not been able to find many pictures but still looking.

Thanks again for the info. Man I can't wait to run a cylinder of 44 Russian(BP) through that old Smith!!! Fingers crossed it's right and tight(enough!).

Fred
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Old 02-12-2024, 01:11 PM
rct269 rct269 is offline
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It's for you to decide how tight is "tight (enough)!".

The specs are .005" to .008" for barrel to cylinder, .006" for headspace, and the latch is either as tight as a bank vault, or it isn't.

I say "specs", these dimensions are those observed on as new guns by experts----who say .012" is about it for headspace.

Ralph Tremaine
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  #11  
Old 02-12-2024, 02:27 PM
iby iby is offline
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IMO it is not a copy
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Old 02-12-2024, 03:28 PM
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Well good deal. Glad to hear no one thinks something looks wrong.

I'll post a few pics when I pick up.

Thanks,

Fred
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Old 02-15-2024, 01:18 PM
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Default Update!

So it finally arrived at my local Bass pro and they were able to send me a picture of the top of the barrel. All markings are there! Have to run out of town so I can't pick up till Tuesday but it's looking promising.

Post a couple more pics when I get back. Thank you all for your help.

Fred
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Old 02-15-2024, 01:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fredcoyote View Post
So it finally arrived at my local Bass pro and they were able to send me a picture of the top of the barrel. All markings are there! Have to run out of town so I can't pick up till Tuesday but it's looking promising.

Post a couple more pics when I get back. Thank you all for your help.
Fred,

Thanks so much for posting the photo...Very glad to hear the Barrel Address was still intact...Looking forward to hear how it "Letters"...Good Luck!!
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Old 02-15-2024, 09:08 PM
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Photo resized and rotated. Looks nice!
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  #16  
Old 02-15-2024, 10:31 PM
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Great find! The Japanese armorers did install non-S&W lanyard rings. They would then stamp a serial number on the butt, but it may not be more than three numbers not related to the factory serial number. The Argentine shipped revolvers also had a non-S&W lanyard ring installed. I'd get a letter just to settle my curiosity.
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Old 02-20-2024, 08:23 PM
fredcoyote fredcoyote is offline
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Default Picked it up today!

Got the old girl this morning on the way to work. So...

I think I got a shooter... She has zero play when locked up. Timing is better than some of my newer ones. Cylinder gap is tight .010. Serial number on butt, cylinder, latch, barrel by latch, and scratched inside of right grip. Bore is surprisingly crisp and shiny even without cleaning. About the only finish is in the flutes and a little under barrel rib.

I'll try to get my first letter requested tomorrow.

Funny thing, Gun vault guy at Bass Pro said no guns will ever leave the store without a 4473 which I argued a bit but said fine. He started the form but ran into a problem adding the Smith since the smart Vegas BPS guy entered it as an antique so they ate crow and just gave me a release without 4473! All good guys though.

More on it later since i'm tired from travel and work!

Fred


Help with S&W New Model 3??? Brought Her Home...-1000004696-jpg

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Old 02-20-2024, 08:31 PM
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Old 02-20-2024, 09:08 PM
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Nice Fred. I love the #3's
It may be a factory lanyard ring .
Your letter might say
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Old 02-20-2024, 09:36 PM
mmaher94087 mmaher94087 is offline
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Interesting to see a five-digit number AND the same as the serial number. The lanyard ring is not from S&W. It is typical, as is the reserialization, of revolvers sent to Argentina. A letter is in order, and I would be very surprised if it was sent anywhere but Argentina. I'm envious. I want one for my collection.
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Old 02-20-2024, 09:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iby View Post
It may be a factory lanyard ring.
iby,

I'm "Very" familiar with these Japanese-Shipped NM3#s & I can most definitely assure you the Lanyard Ring was installed by one of the Japanese Armories after it arrived in Japan...Not by S&W!!!
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Old 02-20-2024, 10:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mmaher94087 View Post
Interesting to see a five-digit number AND the same as the serial number. The lanyard ring is not from S&W. It is typical, as is the re-serialization, of revolvers sent to Argentina. A letter is in order, and I would be very surprised if it was sent anywhere but Argentina. I'm envious.
Mike,

I rarely disagree with your analysis,"But" in this particular instance I'm going to have to...Sorry!!

As I noted to "iby" a short time ago...The Lanyard Ring was most definitely installed by one of the Japanese Armories after it's arrival in Japan!!

Also...The way the 5-Digit Ser. No. is relocated on the Butt is also identical to all of the Japanese-Shipped NM#3s I've ever owned or encountered over the years...Not typical of those shipped to Argentina...Again sorry, but I know these Japanese -Shipped Revolvers pretty well!!
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Old 02-20-2024, 10:15 PM
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Good info!

As for being Japanese is it common to not have any of their marks(anchor or character)? If it's definitely Japanese a letter seems a bit of a waste since not much info other than Takata is given?

Fred

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Old 02-20-2024, 10:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fredcoyote View Post
As for being Japanese is it common to not have any of their marks(anchor or character)? If it's definitely Japanese a letter seems a bit of a waste since not much info other than Takata is given?
Fred,

To answer your inquiry regarding the lack of any Japanese Markings...I've found a large portion of the NM#3s shipped to Takata & Co. I've owned or encountered are lacking any of these markings...Not all, but most!! Nevertheless...If it were mine I'd "Letter" it regardless...Just my opinion!!

One other question I've been meaning to ask given some of the photos are a bit misleading...What "IS" the Finish on Your Revolver...Blue or Nickel!! Reason I ask...A couple of the photos lead me to believe it's Nickel in areas that generally show no wear...In particular the area under the Cylinder on the Lower Frame Strap as well as the Recoil Shield...Just Curious!!
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Old 02-20-2024, 11:28 PM
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Hi There,


My first No: 3 was a New Model that was shipped to Japan via
Takata & Co. It does not have any Japanese marking at all.


Cheers!
Webb
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Old 02-20-2024, 11:41 PM
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Masterpiece, while I agree that it might have been shipped to Japan as most were, I still have my doubts as there are only a few in the serial number range of 22,000 that are known (published) to exist that were sent to Japan. The lanyard ring, whether installed in Japan or Argentina, look to be the same and not S&W. The Japanese installed lanyard rings are usually installed in the center of the butt while the Argentine installed ones were installed at the heel of the butt as this one is. I'd love to see the letter.
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Old 02-20-2024, 11:53 PM
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I was assuming it was blue but under the grips and when you crack it open looks silver to me. I found a couple other marks, a tiny 5 and P under the cylinder and a 2 between the ears of the latch. Mean anything?

I'll send off for a letter in the morning when I'm on my computer and not my phone.

I'm hoping it's not Japanese! But either way I'm shooting her...

I have a n Uberti copy and it feels like a boat anchor next to this girl. I'm afraid. I just opened up a new rabbit hole, ughhh. Been working on a local friend that might have another model 3 for me. This one might be a bit older and more expensive though.

Fred
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Old Yesterday, 01:00 AM
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After another look at the lanyard ring I agree that it is not a typical S&W
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Old Yesterday, 06:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mmaher94087 View Post
Masterpiece, while I agree that it might have been shipped to Japan as most were, I still have my doubts as there are only a few in the serial number range of 22,000 that are known (published) to exist that were sent to Japan. The lanyard ring, whether installed in Japan or Argentina, look to be the same and not S&W. The Japanese installed lanyard rings are usually installed in the center of the butt while the Argentine installed ones were installed at the heel of the butt as this one is. I'd love to see the letter.
Mike,

I'll have to agree they're aren't many found in the 22,000 Ser. No. Range, but they do exist!! I've attached a few photos of a couple along with their accompanying Factory Letters!! (See Pics) There is also another one in Nickel (Ser. No. 22958) also in that same Dec.29th,1894 Shipment which I lost the photos of in my last computer crash or I would have posted them as well...Sorry!!

One thing you have to remember most, but not all, of these Takata Revolvers that shipped to Japan were randomly pulled from existing inventory which further confuses the serial number issue which scatters the Ser. No. Ranges all over the place!!

Also...Regarding the Lanyard Ring location...Most all I've found (Blue or Nickel) with Japanese Arsenal-Installed Lanyard Rings are located in the Toe of the Grip Frame not in the Heel!! As an aside the ones found located in the center are, more often than not, Factory S&W Lanyard Rings...Just my personal findings!! I'm also very interested in to see the Letter when it arrives to see if my assumptions were correct!!
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