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S&W Hand Ejectors: 1896 to 1961 All 5-Screw & Vintage 4-Screw SWING-OUT Cylinder REVOLVERS, and the 35 Autos and 32 Autos


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Old 04-22-2011, 02:44 PM
Texas Star Texas Star is offline
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Default Sasha Siemel's's .44's

Although famed jaguar hunter Sasha Siemel had a .357 and later, a .44 Magnum, his books show hm using other S&W .44's. He didn't mention the models or the exact .44 cartridges.

Do any members of the collectors' assn. or anyone else know what they were?

Given the time frame, I suspect that they were Triple Locks or Second Model Hand Ejectors. A photo of him shows a holster likely made for a gun with 6.5-inch barrel. The holster had a flap, so we can't see the gun's butt.

They could well have been .44 Specials. But Siemel owned a short-barrelled Winchester .44-40 M-92 carbine, and may have ordered the S&W's in that caliber, which may have been better distributed in Brazil. The Winchester has been very popular there, and Rossi still makes a copy of it.

Siemel mentioned keeping his guns in good condition, and deplored the way in which many Brazilians maintained their firearms. He repaired many, as a living.

Some may wonder about his non-Portuguese name. He and his brother emigrated to Brazil about the time that Russia seized their native country of Latvia, circa WW I. The Triple Lock was discontinued just a couple of years before, and he may have found one or two for sale. I'm not sure how soon the Second Model in .44 Special became commercially available, as the war was on.

Nor can I say if he ever encountered the Third Model, which was not catalogued for years after being introduced. But he seems to have had contact with Wesson himself, and might have been told about the Third Model. In those days, he could have ordered one, without violating either US or Brazilian laws. But I'm quite sure that he was carrying S&W .44's before the Third Model arrived in 1926, if memory serves. He COULD have had a top-break gun, but I think he'd prefer the newer Hand Ejector. He was mechanically inclined, and would know the advantages of the newer guns.

Although his chief claim to fame was spearing big jaguars, this giant of adventure certainly carried and used at least several S&W revolvers, and became a friend of Col. Doug Wesson, who presented him with two long-barrelled Magnums.

We know that some Argentine fellow ordered a pair of Triple Lock guns in the 1930's, and they were assembled from old parts on hand. So South Americans presumably had access to .44 Special ammo.

T-Star

Last edited by Texas Star; 04-22-2011 at 02:46 PM.
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Old 04-22-2011, 03:00 PM
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A 1950 Target 44 with a 4-inch barrel was shipped to him in January 1955. The serial number is S118225. It showed very little use (if any).

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Old 04-22-2011, 03:30 PM
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Bill-

Thanks! That gun may have seen more use than shows. I keep my guns in top shape, and a gun store where I used to trade was amazed that they looked so new when they knew how long I'd had some. Carry in the right holster helps a lot. But this may have been a spare gun, or just carried when not hunting.

It does show that he had access to .44 Special ammo, unless lack of same caused the limited use! I doubt that.

I sure wish that he'd been more specific about his early .44's. He seems to have been satisfied with them. I guess that factory .44 Special ammo hits about as hard as .45 ACP, with less velocity and more bullet weight.

I don't know that he ever shot a man. His main enemy was consumed by piranhas. The .44's may have been used on snakes and such animals as capybara, agouti and smaller deer, if a rifle wasn't handy. Don't know how a .44 would perform on caimans. Saw a photo of one that his (much younger, US-born) wife killed with a bow.

I really appreciate your post. Very interesting! Wonder if he read US gun magazines and was aware of Keith's admiration for the M-1950 S&W? I'm sure that he wouldn't order one if he didn't like it. It may have been a nightstand gun. He was certainly fluent in English, and both wrote and lectured in that language.

BTW, I tremendously admire your collection and the fine photos that you post here!

T-Star

Last edited by Texas Star; 04-22-2011 at 03:33 PM.
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