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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 05-22-2024, 12:44 PM
mrcvs mrcvs is online now
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Default Registered Magnum revolvers: Current prices & trends

In another thread it was noted that Registered Magnum prices seem to have softened a bit. I thought I was noticing that a bit as well. At the very least, the stratospheric ascent beginning about a dozen years ago seems to have finally ended. Of course, about a dozen years ago is when I decided I wanted a Registered Magnum revolver in its original box, ideally with accoutrements, but it was difficult to justify when the same thing was available not that much previously for 20% less. Then as not that much time passed and it was available for 40% less and not so much time passed again before where we are at, and these very nice revolvers were available a mere 5000 days ago at prices a quarter or a fifth of where they are now.

And, here we have recent results from Rock Island Auction, ten Registered Magnum results, the other six being NON Registered Magnums. In previous auctions, or so it seems, you wondered why a pre auction estimate was even given as each and every Registered Magnum revolver would blast through the high end estimate.

Premier Firearms Auction #4091 | Rock Island Auction

Only three of the ten exceeded the high end estimate, and none exceeded it very soundly. One exceeded the high end estimate by only $225, the second by less than 10%, and the third hammered at $5875 with buyer’s premium, $1625 greater than the high end estimate of $4250. It had to be the FBI provenance pushing this revolver this high, and, IMHO, someone overpaid for this revolver, as it has been reblued:

Smith & Wesson .357 Registered Magnum | Rock Island Auction

Of the seven remaining Registered Magnum revolvers, all met the low end estimate, which is certainly not surprising, but 4 of the 7 failed to reach the halfway point of the pre auction estimate, even with the buyer’s premium added. Take out the buyer’s premium and one can see the bid on 3 of the 4 was the low end estimate and the fourth revolver was bid to $500 less than the low end estimate.

When is the last time you saw a Registered Magnum revolver hammering at or below the low end estimate, especially at Rock Island Auction?

Last edited by murphydog; 05-22-2024 at 12:49 PM.
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Old 05-22-2024, 01:51 PM
rct269 rct269 is online now
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This very likely is off point given the respective time frames, but my first RM was an 8 3/4" version----as new-----$2300 (sometime between 1993 and 2002)-----and that was the asking price.

The next one was that refinished/rebuilt 5" nickel (#4862) in this most recent auction that went out the door at $8XXX whatever. I can't say for sure, but I bought that one (from RIA) in the later '90's for seems like $1100-$1600---thereabouts. (As an aside, it was billed as "original finish" at the time---and times have changed---thank God for small favors!) There were two others in the '90's I don't remember, but both were under $2000.

The bottom line of all this (especially as respects RM's) is what I'll call the mystique of the RM's and supply and demand. They ain't, as the saying goes, making anymore of these---and there very much seems to be A BUNCH of very high condition guns around to attract the lunatic fringe.

As a complete aside, I'm inclined to attribute the seemingly large number of very high condition guns available today to the mystique/hype surrounding the guns at the time---that they were really something special. Folks bought into that, and those who could afford to do so bought them, and put them in their sock drawers for safe keeping.

Bless their pointy little heads!!

Ralph Tremaine
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Old 05-22-2024, 03:07 PM
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long colt frazier long colt frazier is offline
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I am seeing that they were refinished so really hard to put an expected price as such.
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Old 05-22-2024, 05:43 PM
22hipower 22hipower is online now
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I was a little surprised that the RMs (and NRMs), most of them, didn't go for more money. However, there were other items throughout the auction that surprised in the same way, and others that blew out the estimates. Didn't seem to be the consistent high bidding on most everything that sometimes happens with RIA but they did pull in some $25.7 million in that auction. Perhaps the NRA convention that was held at the same time had some effect on bidding.

I was pretty happy with the two items I won, one hammered at the low estimate and the other at $2250 below the low estimate, neither were RMs/NRMs. A couple Russ Smith engraved 53s though hammered within the estimates but still at prices higher than I was willing to pay.

A really neat Air Crewman display sold for $9400. I hope one of our members got it and that it shows up at a Symposium.

S&W "Flight Crewman'''s Revolver" Manufacturing Process Display | Rock Island Auction

Jeff
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Old 05-22-2024, 06:27 PM
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Without going going back and revisiting each of the RM/NRM/Transitional listings again, I would say that, with possibly one exception, none of those guns in that RIA auction were what I consider top condition highly desirable packages. Many were refinished, many had replaced grips, only 1 or 2 had boxes, only 1 had a certificate, and many didn’t even have a factory letter. Possibly RM/NRM prices have stabilized a bit, but I don’t think you can really draw any general conclusions on RM/NRM prices from the examples in this last RIA auction.
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Old 05-22-2024, 07:24 PM
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I saw a RM for sale at The Southern Side by Side Classic and Exhibition in North Carolina last month. The guy had a factory which stated it was shipped to Abercrombie & Fitch, 6 1/2” and incorrect stocks. The asking price was $17k, just the gun nothing else. I wasn’t interested, but in a very short period of time he said he would take $8k, told him I thought it was worth $4k. At that point he stopped talking to me.
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Old 05-22-2024, 07:54 PM
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I have been surprized at the eratic behavior of pre war magnum prices. I'm not sure whether the administration or economy has anything to do with it. All it takes is two optimistic folks wanting the same gun. At the other end I didn't bid on a gun (not this most recent auction) because I felt I'd never even get near being in the running. I should have bid. Just saying... I don't think these prices would fit in a multiple regression analysis.
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Old 05-22-2024, 08:32 PM
mchom mchom is offline
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Erratic is accurate. I bid on the two sequential # 3.5 NRMs. I hoped pricing might be soft since non factory refinish, no # stocks although MOP (But the revolvers looked pretty good by all accounts ) and I really wanted both or neither. The first went for $4750 what I thought was a decent price all things considered. I do pine after LE, Pre-War Mags, and seq # guns. But as luck would have it 30 seconds later the second one naturally went for $7k. Add RIa fees. If the first of the pair to go to $7k I probably would not have pursued the pair.
Prob not the best deal but I’m happy.
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Old 05-22-2024, 09:10 PM
TheTinMan TheTinMan is offline
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I thought I might be able to join the club with lot #586 because of the 1975 factory refinish, replacement grips, and no documentation. It is a 4”, pre-WWII non-registered magnum but the bidding went past what I was willing to pay. $5,875 seems a bit high for that gun.

Frankly, I didn’t sign up to bid in any of the other registered or non-registered magnums because I thought they would price well out of my comfort zone. Learned a lesson there.
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Old 05-22-2024, 09:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gjamison View Post
I saw a RM for sale at The Southern Side by Side Classic and Exhibition in North Carolina last month. The guy had a factory which stated it was shipped to Abercrombie & Fitch, 6 1/2” and incorrect stocks. The asking price was $17k, just the gun nothing else. I wasn’t interested, but in a very short period of time he said he would take $8k, told him I thought it was worth $4k. At that point he stopped talking to me.
I came across my first RM in the flesh at gun show 15 ago. No letter,average shape,nothing out of the ordinary and he wanted 12 grand. Would not even discuss how he got there.

Fast forward last summer I come across another. No letter,average shape, a modern stainless cylinder release, but did have a Mcgivern front bead. 10 grand No discussion how he got there.

Both guns the seller had no want to get a factory letter.

Some days I wonder if someone paid it.
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Old 05-22-2024, 11:51 PM
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Never considered 'collecting' Reg mags, but I wanted one. A nice one.

Here it is.

enjoy,

bdGreen

Tap on image to enlarge.

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Old 05-23-2024, 12:08 AM
younggun22 younggun22 is online now
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Maybe I was born too late or too poor but I’ve given up on my hunt for a registered mag.

I have a 4in non reg mag and I paid more for it than any other handgun purchase it in my accumulation.

I still keep an eye open for one hoping to find a deal but I’m not betting on it. I even have a barrel in case I find a frame or a RM with a post war barrel to swap out.

I do love the pictures though.
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