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Old 04-19-2024, 11:10 AM
Gazz Gazz is offline
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Default Approximate value of No3 DA?

A friend owns this and wants to sell it but has no idea what it might be worth. The bore is very good and the action cycles properly but there is some looseness in the latch. I believe is is .44 Russian as I can see a step in the chambers. What do you folks think?
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Old 04-19-2024, 11:49 AM
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Default Frontier

Itís either a very late 44 Russian DA (serial number above 50,000???) or itís a 44/40 Frontier DA. Need to know the serial number. I like the pearl grips and long barrel.
Really good candidate for a quality restoration would increase value considerably. The blotchy finish at present hurts value significantly.

Murph

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Old 04-19-2024, 01:14 PM
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These sell for a wide range of prices.
There are much better ones available.
Refinishing rarely increases value but an inexpensive reblue might help
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Old 04-19-2024, 07:26 PM
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Oil it up real good and leave the finish alone. A reblue will decrease the value.
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Old 04-20-2024, 12:09 AM
Gazz Gazz is offline
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Yes, the value?
The serial number is 11647
It's odd that I get email notifications with a partial response as though someone has replied yet the response is not shown on the forum. Weird.
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Old 04-20-2024, 12:25 AM
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Default Frontier

That serial number along with the long frame/cylinder 1 9/16thĒ makes it a Frontier 44/40.
I did not suggest a re-blue. I suggested a professional restoration in nickel finish. Anyone that thinks it wouldnít look excellent has never been involved with a restoration of this type.
The OPís gun is a perfect candidate for this type of restoration.

Murph
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Old 04-20-2024, 09:55 AM
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Okay, value. Hmmm. I'll take a shot at it. $500-700?
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Old 04-20-2024, 02:06 PM
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$500-$700 sounds good as is. After an expensive restoration, $500-$700.
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Old 04-20-2024, 04:20 PM
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Default Value

Iím always working on restoration primarily. Value increase is proven not opinion.
See photos. Iím actually doing some nickel work for the next week. Mostly parts restoration.
Itís my personal favorite chore and I only restore to preserve not to fool or destroy original condition. So I only go so far as seen in the photos.
SAA scarce 41 LC antique cylinder before and after restoration. I left the original drag marks alone and some of the surface abrasions but did add more nickel finish and arrested rust.

If you leave that type of corrosion on the surface it will worsen pretty fast. Rust is actually like bacteria that consumes metal so leaving it is a bad plan. Just like that rust spot on the OPís gun on the side plate? Thatís a bad thing.

So the Same thing goes with the OPís Frontier 44/40. If you leave that finish like it is it will worsen over time no matter how much oil or what type of oil you use? It will worsen. It has to be removed.

Murph
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Old 04-20-2024, 04:31 PM
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I would be pleased to have that drop in my hands for $500, if the mothership was still in business, I would then consider sending it off for a refinish which in my opinion would then increase its value. Every factory refinish I have ever seen is an improvement over what there was before without truly knowing how it looked. I have one factory refinished #3 and it quite possibly is my favorite S&W. I have seen the work done by other professionals and although very good, does not have the inferred professional quality and value of having those stamps on the frame.

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Old 04-20-2024, 04:58 PM
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Hold on, "rust" is a bacteria? Need some definition and clarification on the definition of rust.
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Old 04-20-2024, 06:12 PM
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Default Rust

You have to go beyond ďbasicĒ or singular definitions in order to fully understand why rust actually progresses even in a dry environment. Not by chemical reaction by definition but ďheavily assistedĒ by bacteria often hiding and thriving within the rust. Causing the chemical reaction to continue. They are buddies working together to disintegrate iron. Singular definitions often fail to reveal why something is taking place when the singular definition claims it shouldnít. In other words there is more than one actor in this play.
Thatís why rust must be removed in order to arrest the process.


Murph

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Old 04-21-2024, 12:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kinman View Post
I would be pleased to have that drop in my hands for $500, if the mothership was still in business, I would then consider sending it off for a refinish which in my opinion would then increase its value. Every factory refinish I have ever seen is an improvement over what there was before without truly knowing how it looked. I have one factory refinished #3 and it quite possibly is my favorite S&W. I have seen the work done by other professionals and although very good, does not have the inferred professional quality and value of having those stamps on the frame.
Does the factory still refinish?
I don't think so
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Old 04-21-2024, 07:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BMur View Post
Iím always working on restoration primarily. Value increase is proven not opinion.
See photos. Iím actually doing some nickel work for the next week. Mostly parts restoration.
Itís my personal favorite chore and I only restore to preserve not to fool or destroy original condition. So I only go so far as seen in the photos.
SAA scarce 41 LC antique cylinder before and after restoration. I left the original drag marks alone and some of the surface abrasions but did add more nickel finish and arrested rust.

If you leave that type of corrosion on the surface it will worsen pretty fast. Rust is actually like bacteria that consumes metal so leaving it is a bad plan. Just like that rust spot on the OPís gun on the side plate? Thatís a bad thing.

So the Same thing goes with the OPís Frontier 44/40. If you leave that finish like it is it will worsen over time no matter how much oil or what type of oil you use? It will worsen. It has to be removed.

Murph
So you do this for yourself or professionally?
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Old 04-21-2024, 11:12 AM
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Default California

I would really like to support the collectible ďantiqueĒ world but unfortunately California makes that basically impossible.
I canít tell you how often Iíve dreamt of leaving this state. Almost daily.

Murph

Last edited by BMur; 04-21-2024 at 11:15 AM.
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Old 04-21-2024, 02:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BMur View Post
Iím always working on restoration primarily. Value increase is proven not opinion.
See photos. Iím actually doing some nickel work for the next week. Mostly parts restoration.
Itís my personal favorite chore and I only restore to preserve not to fool or destroy original condition. So I only go so far as seen in the photos.
SAA scarce 41 LC antique cylinder before and after restoration. I left the original drag marks alone and some of the surface abrasions but did add more nickel finish and arrested rust.

If you leave that type of corrosion on the surface it will worsen pretty fast. Rust is actually like bacteria that consumes metal so leaving it is a bad plan. Just like that rust spot on the OPís gun on the side plate? Thatís a bad thing.

So the Same thing goes with the OPís Frontier 44/40. If you leave that finish like it is it will worsen over time no matter how much oil or what type of oil you use? It will worsen. It has to be removed.

Murph
A Pre-Model 40 Centennial "lemon squeezer",4 screw, flat latch, pinned bbl, smooth trigger, with Spegel boot grips just adopted me. Its not "purist collectible" as it was plated in chrome or nickel w/o orig grips or box, but it looks like it was done yesterday, no cylinder drag lines, 98%(but not original finish- i assume) ...so maybe chrome?
(No factory "N" stamps). looks like someone wanted a top shelf weatherproof pocket gun before stainless. Ser #100XX (early 50's?)
I looked so good I couldn't walk past at $550. (but I,m a hammerless j frame guy so it fits my nitch.
It seems too "matte bright" to be nickel, was chrome a thing back in the day? (could have a jewler use an XRF to determine)
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Old 04-21-2024, 04:17 PM
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Default Chrome/Nickel

Nickel finish is the old fashioned plate that is applicable to antique firearms. It has a more yellowish tone where as chrome has a more bright silver with a slight blueish tone.

Iíve never worked with chrome. Itís my personal preference but I like a cloudy nickel finish on antique firearms. To me it radiates the 1800ís era.


Murph

Last edited by BMur; 04-21-2024 at 04:20 PM.
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Old 04-21-2024, 05:10 PM
wlw-19958 wlw-19958 is offline
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Hi There,


Nickel is traditional on firearms. Nickel plating became popular
in the period shortly after the Civil War and was prized for its
ability to protect the surface from rust as well as its luster.

Chrome became popular in the 20th Century and was embraced
by the Auto Industry because it was superior to nickel in resisting
tarnishing. Chrome, by itself doesn't have the reflective luster
of nickel so, decorative chrome is a actually a very thin plating
over nickel. This made sense for automobiles because, for the
most part,they are left outside to suffer the ravages of the
environment.

Chrome is much harder than nickel and is/was used to coat in-
dustrial tooling to improve wear characteristics. Industrial type
chrome plating doesn't involved nickel and the surface is a dull
or satin finish. There were some firearms manufacturers that
did offer industrial chrome finish as an option but this was very
late in the 1980's and 1990's.

Light that reflects off the surface of nickel goes through a slight
phase shift. This gives the nickel a faint yellow hue. Chrome
also causes a phase shift but in the opposite direction. It has a
slightly bluish hue. This has been mentioned before.

I don't know if your pre-Centennal is nickel or chrome. There
are chemical tests that can determine which one you have. You
can have a spot under the grips tested so there isn't any chance
of injuring the finish where it shows.

To determine if your finish is original, you can get a Factory Letter.


Cheers!
Webb
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Old 04-21-2024, 06:46 PM
JMD999 JMD999 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wlw-19958 View Post
Hi There,


Nickel is traditional on firearms. Nickel plating became popular
in the period shortly after the Civil War and was prized for its
ability to protect the surface from rust as well as its luster.

Chrome became popular in the 20th Century and was embraced
by the Auto Industry because it was superior to nickel in resisting
tarnishing. Chrome, by itself doesn't have the reflective luster
of nickel so, decorative chrome is a actually a very thin plating
over nickel. This made sense for automobiles because, for the
most part,they are left outside to suffer the ravages of the
environment.

Chrome is much harder than nickel and is/was used to coat in-
dustrial tooling to improve wear characteristics. Industrial type
chrome plating doesn't involved nickel and the surface is a dull
or satin finish. There were some firearms manufacturers that
did offer industrial chrome finish as an option but this was very
late in the 1980's and 1990's.

Light that reflects off the surface of nickel goes through a slight
phase shift. This gives the nickel a faint yellow hue. Chrome
also causes a phase shift but in the opposite direction. It has a
slightly bluish hue. This has been mentioned before.

I don't know if your pre-Centennial is nickel or chrome. There
are chemical tests that can determine which one you have. You
can have a spot under the grips tested so there isn't any chance
of injuring the finish where it shows.

To determine if your finish is original, you can get a Factory Letter.


Cheers!
Webb
Thanks so much for you detailed response. Maybe this was "Fancied up" in the 80's? -Craig Spegel didn't start making grips until the early mid 70's "I started producing my original "BOOT GRIP" design in December of 1978". I'll get her lettered anyway as interesting period in S&W and these j frames.
Thanks again, Mike
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Old 04-21-2024, 08:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iby View Post
Does the factory still refinish?
I don't think so
If they do anything it is only on modern stuff, they haven't touched these older top latches for years.
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Old 04-21-2024, 08:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wlw-19958 View Post
Hi There,


Nickel is traditional on firearms. Nickel plating became popular
in the period shortly after the Civil War and was prized for its
ability to protect the surface from rust as well as its luster.

Chrome became popular in the 20th Century and was embraced
by the Auto Industry because it was superior to nickel in resisting
tarnishing. Chrome, by itself doesn't have the reflective luster
of nickel so, decorative chrome is a actually a very thin plating
over nickel. This made sense for automobiles because, for the
most part,they are left outside to suffer the ravages of the
environment.

Chrome is much harder than nickel and is/was used to coat in-
dustrial tooling to improve wear characteristics. Industrial type
chrome plating doesn't involved nickel and the surface is a dull
or satin finish. There were some firearms manufacturers that
did offer industrial chrome finish as an option but this was very
late in the 1980's and 1990's.

Light that reflects off the surface of nickel goes through a slight
phase shift. This gives the nickel a faint yellow hue. Chrome
also causes a phase shift but in the opposite direction. It has a
slightly bluish hue. This has been mentioned before.

I don't know if your pre-Centennal is nickel or chrome. There
are chemical tests that can determine which one you have. You
can have a spot under the grips tested so there isn't any chance
of injuring the finish where it shows.

To determine if your finish is original, you can get a Factory Letter.


Cheers!
Webb

The early radiator shells on Rolls Royce autos was solid Nickel. The radiator shell on my early '29 Ford Model A is Nickel plated, it does have a different look than say the bumpers that were chrome plated.
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Old 04-21-2024, 08:55 PM
mmaher94087 mmaher94087 is offline
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Gazz, I'm baffled by how the cylinder length was determined to be 1 9/16" as I don't see a reference to the length in any post made by you. Also, disregard most of the posts between #9 and 19 as this drift has nothing to do with your revolver in question. You stated that you could see the step in the cylinder that indicates a chambering in .44 Russian. Since the majority of this model was .44 Russian, I believe your specimen is a .44 Double Action, 1st Model, in .44 Russian. The finish is challenged, and I believe the revolver might fetch $1700 at auction.
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Old 04-21-2024, 11:22 PM
wlw-19958 wlw-19958 is offline
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Hi There,


Quote:
Originally Posted by Kinman View Post
The early radiator shells on Rolls Royce autos was solid Nickel. The radiator shell on my early '29 Ford Model A is Nickel plated, it does have a different look than say the bumpers that were chrome plated.

I too had one of those. A 1929 Model A Tudor firewall date 4-2-29.
I sold it to buy an engagement ring around 40 years ago.

Chrome didn't become that widely used until after WW II. Chrome
was a "strategic material" during the war and the demand was
high and the sources of supply were increased. When the war ended,
chrome supply was good and the technology to plate it improved.

Nickel is not that reactive but will corrode if not kept clean and
polished. Usually, this takes a long time unless subjected to
some chemical reagent. Chrome, isn't as reactive or at least,
what corrosion forms on chrome is very thin and is invisible.
And acts as a barrier to further corrosion.


Cheers!
Webb
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