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S&W Revolvers: 1961 to 1980 3-Screw PINNED Barrel SWING-OUT Cylinder Hand Ejectors WITH Model Numbers


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Old 09-17-2008, 09:02 PM
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Can anyone tell me about the "Jack Roy Gun Shop" that was located in Hamtramck, Mi.? I understand that Jack Roy was a gunsmith and his shop was across from the High School? I recently purchased a gun that had been shipped to him in 1959.
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Old 09-17-2008, 09:02 PM
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Can anyone tell me about the "Jack Roy Gun Shop" that was located in Hamtramck, Mi.? I understand that Jack Roy was a gunsmith and his shop was across from the High School? I recently purchased a gun that had been shipped to him in 1959.
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Old 09-18-2008, 04:49 AM
Stinger4me Stinger4me is offline
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Jack Roy's Gun Shop was located on Hewitt in Hamtramck. It was across the street from the high school on the south side of the street. It was situated in the basement of the house where Jack lived. The shop was small and as I recall it looked as though it was not organized. I purchased several guns from him. He was able to get some unique guns in the shop. He frequently wore a machinist apron and carried a brass hammer in his back pocket. I would guess he would have to be in his 90's if he was still alive. There were plenty of hunting stories with his gravelly voice. You brought back quite a few good memories. Not many places like that around anymore. I wish I could tell you when he opened the shop. It was still there in the late 60's.
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Old 09-18-2008, 07:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Stinger4me:
Jack Roy's Gun Shop was located on Hewitt in Hamtramck. It was across the street from the high school on the south side of the street. It was situated in the basement of the house where Jack lived. The shop was small and as I recall it looked as though it was not organized. I purchased several guns from him. He was able to get some unique guns in the shop. He frequently wore a machinist apron and carried a brass hammer in his back pocket. I would guess he would have to be in his 90's if he was still alive. There were plenty of hunting stories with his gravelly voice. You brought back quite a few good memories. Not many places like that around anymore. I wish I could tell you when he opened the shop. It was still there in the late 60's.
Sadly, Jack has left this world more than a few years ago.
You're correct, for a small shop he had some high end merchandise that one would never suspect. I bought a grade III Browning .22 auto which was NIB made in Belgium from him in the mid-70's.
One characteristic of his shop after you looked at the many nooks and crannies was the glass display case which ran perpendicular to the steps that led down to the shop. In the front part of the case facing the steps was a double barrel sawed off shotgun which wasn't kept unloaded[it was somewhat conncealed by other items in the case].
If you robbed him - odds were if he got to the wire set on the triggers - you were going to lose one or both legs in the attempt as you went up the steps!
It was a memorable shop to see - sadly gone forever now.
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Old 09-18-2008, 09:25 AM
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I was able to get a Winchester .22 rifle with a Zebrawood stock. I have never seen one since, wondered if he didn't have an in with some of the sales reps who worked for the gun companies. It wouldn't surprise me if Jack would have had a J frame in his pocket as well. There was a large steel plate door on the front of the shop as well as bars on the windows. I know there weren't too many gunsmiths in the city. He had a good selection of used guns in the place as well.
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Old 09-18-2008, 11:35 AM
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It is because of Jack Roy that I collect S&Ws. I used to hang around his shop up until 1976 when he passed away from a heart attack. Jack was a unique person to say the least.
Jack opened his shop in the late 30s or early 40s. Jack made his "seed money" to open it by bringing Canadian Whiskey across the Detroit River during prohibition. Every second home in Detroit and Hamtramck back then either made or sold booze so the only people who looked at this cross eyed were the feds. Different times.
Jack's shop would be hard to duplicate today. Zoning ordinances would have done him in. This was before the EPA, OSHA and all the other agencys existed. He was, as mentioned, right across the street from Hamtramck High School. He had a test range downstairs that ran under his yard. Ammo performance was sometimes tested on a stray cat or two. The shop itself was in the basement of his residence. The unorganized look to his shop was a facade, Jack knew where things were and he had alot of guns and parts stashed away that people would die for today. If you got to know Jack well enough that he trusted you, he'd let you come behind the counter and hang out. This was a dream come true for a young man like myself.
I started hanging around there and met guys like Tom Webster, (a Detroit Police Reservist), Poopsie, The Hill Billy and many other colorful characters.
Probably one of the reasons I was drawn into police work was through meeting some of the Hamtramck Police Officers and Detroit "Stress Cops" when they came in to get more ammo. (Read that last sentence again)
"Stress" was the Detroit Police Decoy Operations unit acronym for , "Stop The Robberies, Enjoy Safe Streets". The unit was too successful at a time of racial tensions and was disbanded when Coleman A. Young became Mayor.
Jack was slight in stature but huge in character. Jack was a real old time gunsmith, could fix anything and had parts for just about any gun made. I don't think he threw anything out. With Hamtramck being an onclave of Detroit, we saw a hell of a lot of different guns come through his shop. Jack was always buying police auction guns for parts. It was there that you could handle anything from a 20ga Auto Burglar to Colt 1st Generation SAs.
Always a pot of coffee going in the corner, just the other side of that electrically tripped double barrel, which by the way was a prop that he put there after his knuckle was blown off in a robbery attempt on his shop. Street wise people would notice it right off the bat and it probably deterred alot of problems. After the robbery, Jack nailed up holsters all around the shop behind the counters and stuffed them with cocked and locked 45s. I have one of those guns still. As a matter of fact it was the one stuffed in the holster by the coffee pot.
Jack was survived by his son, Rob Roy who was a principal of Rochester High School back in the 70s.
Good god, I could go on and on. Your post really brought back some memories. I would love to hear about that gun that was shipped to Jack and see a picture of it. Small world isn't it?
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Old 09-18-2008, 12:08 PM
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The other posters here know far more than I know about his shop, however I do have a gun that must have been sold by him. It shipped to Williams Gun Sight Co. in Davidson, MI in October 1959, and it has this cleanig rag you can see in the pictures with it.

From that I presume it was sold by his shop. It's a 4 screw Model 27.







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Old 09-18-2008, 09:11 PM
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Wow! This is the "best" post I've ever initiated. I truly appreciate the stories of Jack Roy. They paint the story of a man we probably all wish we'd grown up around, let alone purchased a gun from. I'm glad mine traced to him!
Moosedog: I'd posted a picture of my "May 4th, 1959 SAA 2nd Gen. Nickel Colt .45 w/4 3/4" in the box" a month or two ago. When I return from Dallas, I'll add the link. It's value increased in-measurably to me since reading your comments. Thank you very much!.
Mr. 230grfmj: If ever you wanted to part with that Model 27 - let me know a price! I love that gun rag! (ok and your .357!)
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Old 09-18-2008, 09:43 PM
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Jack Roy's Gun Shop
2446 Hewitt St.
Hamtramck, MI 48212

The building (house) is still there.

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Old 09-18-2008, 09:44 PM
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moosedog,

I loved the short history recap, I'm sure you have a lot of great memories

Thank you
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Old 09-18-2008, 10:17 PM
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Very interesting stories. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 09-19-2008, 09:09 PM
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Mr. White coyote,Thanks for the Google map - what a treat! I'll print save the posts along with my .45 SAA Colt!
I appreciate all your comments & stories!
Thanks,

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Old 09-19-2008, 09:22 PM
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Pre-64,
My pleasure.
Very interesting thread.
We need moosedog to tell more stories about Jack Roy's Gun Shop. I think he's holding out.
Maybe someone out there has interior, or exterior pictures of Jack Roy's Gun Shop. Now that would be cool!
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Old 09-20-2008, 01:51 AM
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This is a great subject thread, having grown up in "Warrendale" Detroit....I remember "STRESS" well and H Rap Brown, who could forget...
was sorry to see it disbanded.

I knew several of the old "Big 4" squads that patrolled Detroit always ready for some action and loved those big 4 door Buick Century's they drove around in...man those were the days...

67 riots that started in a blind pig on 12th street anyone remember those...?

Talk about some stories...wow.

Lotta history in Detroit, good and bad.

Moosedog, thanks for the history on the gun store...
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Old 09-20-2008, 06:16 AM
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Well being born in 1970 I naver had the chance to go here but grew up going to shops like this with my dad. I miss the old time gun shops as they seel to be dying around here and not being replaced with new ones. It is not the same going to Bass Pro Shop, Dunhams, or Gander Mountain.
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Old 09-20-2008, 06:58 AM
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Great posts, thanks guys.
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Old 09-20-2008, 11:40 PM
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Pre-64,
Found the link for you.
http://smith-wessonforum.com/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/5301039...661022013#2661022013
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Old 09-21-2008, 06:53 PM
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Mr. Moosedog; Mr. Whitecoyote, thanks again for adding to the post. I appreciate your help!
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Old 09-22-2008, 10:35 AM
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Thanks for sharing the pics of the 4-screw Model 27. Love seeing things like that.
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Old 09-22-2008, 01:21 PM
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I had an hour to spare today.
So I got out the GPS, plugged in 2446 Hewitt St., Hamtramck,MI 48212, and went on a road trip.
This is what I found.
Enjoy.
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Old 09-22-2008, 01:37 PM
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Thanks for the memories. If I recall correctly there was a sign on a large pipe in the ground. I was never lucky enough to get a parking space right in front of the place. My cousin lived just down the street towards Brombach.
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Old 09-22-2008, 05:46 PM
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Ah yes, that was the place.
I wonder what they did with the basement? Used the range for a wine cellar? That would be cool.
I was in the old "hood" friday night. We went to the "Polish Yacht Club" on Jos Campau in Detroit for a perch dinner and a few beers. It was the only building on the block on the west side. We then went to Brombach and Edwin to the "Polish Sea League".
Cold beers and an open pool table.
This tread started me looking though my old receipts to see what I bought from Jack in the 70s. How about a 2nd model HE in 455 loaded with British proofs with a case of original 455 ammo for $45? Or a mint pre 39 four digit serial number of 1431 for $137.50? I remember the pre 39 was sold to Jack by a polish fellow who decided to move back to the old country and couldn't take it. He had it stored in a safe deposit box at People's State bank on Jos Camapu and Holbrook since he bought it. I still have these guns plus a few others. I'll try to shoot some pictures in the near future.
I still have a good supply of Remington 45 Auto Rim ammo which Jack always made sure he had in stock as the 25-2 was very popular with the Detroit Police and Stress guys. I remember one officer from the 13th Precinct carried a 1950 Target pre 26 that was factory chambered in 45LC. I was in awe.
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Old 09-22-2008, 07:30 PM
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Moosedog, Makes you wonder if the family that lives in the house now knows it had a "shooting range" under their backyard!
Thanks again for sharing all the stories....
Here's a photo of my "Jack Roy" .45 Colt shipped May 4th, 1959.....
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Old 09-22-2008, 09:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Stinger4me:
Thanks for the memories. If I recall correctly there was a sign on a large pipe in the ground. I was never lucky enough to get a parking space right in front of the place. My cousin lived just down the street towards Brombach.
Stinger4me,
It looks like after all the years, someone still has your, "parking space right in front of the place".
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Old 09-25-2008, 12:46 PM
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Pre 64, that is one beautiful Colt SA. If you ever decide to sell it, let me know.
I was digging through some old boxes and found receipts from Jack Roy's for guns that I had bought from him. Here's my model 49 that has served me well as a backup gun and as an off duty carry gun. I've gone through two pairs of wooden grips and finally put some stags on it. I keep it stoked with the 158 gr SWCHP Treasury Load. I had to give $120 back in 1976 for it but it's been the best insurance policy i've ever had.
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Old 09-25-2008, 03:12 PM
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Nice 49 moosedog. I like those round top stags.
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Old 09-26-2008, 07:30 AM
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Moosedog, Again Thanks for the picture of the "extras!"
I've added your pictures to the SAA Colt .45 file in the safe...
I'll find one of those "Jack Roy" gun cleaning rags someday... my new "Grail" rag...
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Old 09-26-2008, 04:38 PM
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WOW, the memories. I bought a m 13-1 or -2 from Jack in 1974. The picture that coyote posted doesn't quite tell the story of the "gun store"

Hamtramck has a lot of resturants and stores below homes in front entrances basically called "walk downs"

His store was under the house accessed by a front door walk down. Kinda like brownstones in New York.

Anyway it was a small store "packed" with gun stuff. The most unusual thing he showed me one day was a barrel for a reminton rifle in 218BEE. He had all kinds of unusual gun related things in that shop.

He was a cordial, sometimes gruff fella but always willing to impart knowledge to newbies like I was back in 1973/74.

He also had a "testing" range/bullet trap in the store. You'd walk in, no Jack in sight, then "boom" he was test firing something. He come around the corner, take the muffs off and the good conversation would begin.

My memory tells me the walk down was in the brick home in the photo.

Thanks for the memories!

Dave
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Old 09-26-2008, 06:27 PM
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Moosedog, thanks for the recap. My first visit to Jack Roys was back in 1968. I was 18 yrs. old & had a single shot 20 ga. that had a broken firing pin. At that time I knew nothing about guns & could only explain to Jack that it didn't shoot. He got a kick out of me because of my lack of knowledge of guns but he treated me nice. He fixed it while I waited & charged me a dollar for the repair if I remember correctly. I lived in Hamtramck for 27 yrs. before finally moving, but a gunshop like that is hard to find today. It's odd I ran across this post, I was at a party back in July, and one of my relatives who was a Hamtramck officer, brought up the subject. He had known Jack very well & had nothing but kind words for him..
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Old 09-26-2008, 06:41 PM
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I've never been to Detroit and certainly didn't know Jack, but threads like this are what make this forum great.
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Old 09-26-2008, 06:56 PM
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Steave, You hit the nail on the head!!! I love the stories...the recollections..the memories - they add tremendously to the value of my .45 for me.....
Thanks Again,,,,
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Old 09-27-2008, 06:52 AM
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Fantastic trip back in time guys. Hamtramck is in my working territory so I drove by the other day just to get a little closer to the story and history. Great memories shared. Thanks.
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Old 09-27-2008, 01:11 PM
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This ones for 44 Special Dave. The top gun is a 2nd model HE in 44 Special that I kept looking at when ever I got behind the counter of Jack's shop. It's five inch barrel was badly pitted and the finish was 50%, maybe. Still and all it was all there. It was in a drawer that housed some of Jack's parts guns. These were guns that Jack bought from people for parts or bought at police auctions. Back then Detroit, Highland Park and Hamtramck PDs all had auctions of their "crime guns" which Jack often bid on. I used to look at it alot and wonder where it had been. Jack didn't think much of it and told me "You don't want that". "I will cost more to fix it up than it's worth". Of course he was right. But I talked him into selling it to me for $75 of which I had to make payments since the economy was in the toilet at the time. I bought a new five inch barrel from Smith since the bullets tipped when fired out of the pitted barrel. I had S&W install it and refinish it the best they could as it had some bad pits it the finish, especially the cylinder from someone shooting black powder loads and not cleaning it. Cost me another $75 at the time. Jack was right.
Factory letters were free and I found out that this gun, serial number 14828 had been shipped to L. Hoffman Hardware, which I believe was in Tennessee? The letter doesn't state. It had been shipped on December 19th 1916. The grips are numbered to the gun and have carved intials of "D L L" on the back of the left grip panel.
Some Purple Gand thug? A farmer in rural Macomb County? Who knows.
The other is my "Hastings Street 44" it's a 44DA Russian serial #26682 that used to be nickel. I bought it in the mid 90s from an older black fellow who told me that his father used to "keep it with him when we lived on Hastings Street in Detroit" From the looks of it, keeping it with you meant carrying it. The finish is maybe 5% and the main spring has been replaced. It has about a 50lb trigger pull in DA. When I got it it came with a cylinder full of Silver Tips. WOW. Those from the Detroit area will recognize Hastings Street as the original turf of the Purple Gang and later it was the main drag for Detroit's "Paridise Valley" or "Black Bottom" as it was known. As it turns out Hastings Street was only a few miles from Jack Roys.
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Old 09-27-2008, 02:39 PM
Roddy B Roddy B is offline
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What a great thread.

I grew up on the other side of the border. Point Edward,On, across the river from Port Huron Mi.

I spent a lot of time during my early years in the city of Detroit. This has brought back lots of good memories.
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Old 09-27-2008, 02:55 PM
The judge The judge is offline
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Hastings street 1950's-60's was best known for prostitution,mostly black prostitution, if a guy wanted to get laid and had $5.00 he and his buddies visited Hastings St, don't know about after the 60's because I moved away...
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Old 09-27-2008, 06:21 PM
Stinger4me Stinger4me is offline
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mc350; Ask the Hamptramck PD guy if he knew anyone with the last name of Lerczak? I think the father and the son were both on the PD there. They lived in an upstairs flat on Lehman for awhile.
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Old 09-28-2008, 05:40 AM
NT430 NT430 is offline
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A poor picture of the Colt Factory Letter...but it places this gun in "Jack Roy's" basement gunshop! By all acounts, not a finer nursery could be found...Thanks for the comments everyone!
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Old 12-23-2008, 07:00 PM
rmroyjr rmroyjr is offline
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Hello everyone, my name is Rob Roy Jr, Grandson of Jack Roy. My father is Rob Roy Sr, and I have a son Robbie Roy. I also have a sister named Sheryl. We as a family cannot express in words what emotions reading the postings have brought to our family. Jack was a great man that you either loved or hated. We obviously loved him with all of our hearts and miss terribly the place known as Jack Roy’s Gun Shop. My dad grew up in the house upstairs. I grew up visiting Grandpa Roy, and running to the candy drawer with my sister as soon as we arrived. Grandpa always had silver dollars stashed away for us, as well as a cold bottle of coke in a real glass bottle for us. Now at 44 years old I still miss it. I learned to shoot in the tunnel at the back of the shop, and how not to be organized from Grandpa. Somehow, even thought it could be considered an organized mess, I could probably find everything in the store in my mind some 30 years later. Have a wonderful holiday. We as a family will try to upload some pictures of the store after the first of the year.
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Old 12-23-2008, 07:20 PM
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Mr. Roy, This is great! You're finding this posting on the S&W Forum....and your wonderful, meaningful reply. We look forward to your pictures and anymore you can tell us about "Jack Roy". The Colt I have that was purchased at your grandpa's shop will always have a special place in my collection.
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Old 12-24-2008, 08:07 AM
moosedog moosedog is offline
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Merry Christmas Rob Jr. I remember you coming by with your mom and dad when your grandma was liquidating the shop.
44 years old, wow, I'm ancient! It's good to hear that you share grandpa's interest in firearms.

It's a pleasure to hear from you and I have your e-mail.
Wish your parents a Merry Christmas.
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Old 12-31-2008, 05:13 PM
moosedog moosedog is offline
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Some where around late 1974 or early 1975 I asked Jack Roy if he could order me a Smith & Wesson K-32 Masterpiece. I had read that they were to stop or already stopped making them.
Jack Roy knew alot of people who could pull alot of strings but even with those connections, a K-32 could not be found.
One day Jack says to me that we had pretty much hit a dead end on the search for the K-32. If we would have found one it would have been a 16-3.
Not wanting to disappoint a customer, especially a younger one, Jack said that he had something that I might be interested in. Then he went in back and pulled out this brand new in the box model 35-1, 1953 Kit Gun Target. This one was shipped 2/74 so it must have sat in back of Jack's shop for a while.
Jack told me that it was a scarce item to be found and that they were going to stop or already did stop making the model 35s. He could have very well sold it for a premium but allowed this young shooter to put it on lay away for the list price of that time. I still have the receipt some place.
Remember layaways?
I did finally get a K-32. Finally found a pre 16 after posting an ad in Shot Gun News in 1999, some 23 years later. And that K-32 model 16-3. If I could have ordered one I would have ordered it with full target accessories TT, TH, and TG. Found this one which was shipped in 1972 to Petersborough Guns in Ontario Canada.
I think Jack would have approved.
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Old 12-31-2008, 06:31 PM
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I just want to say that I have truly enjoyed this topic.
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Old 12-31-2008, 10:18 PM
NT430 NT430 is offline
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Mr. Aug, Welcome to the "Forum"... It's a great place to hang around - good discussion, intricate facts and outstanding pictures!
This has been the most interesting post I've initiated - Turn's out that my Colt's SAA's birthplace has stirred up a lot of memories for a lot of the members particularly of those old gunshops us old timers remember from our childhood. Jack Roy fits the mold perfectly!
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Old 01-02-2009, 07:15 AM
pawncop pawncop is offline
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A grand thread for sure. Would anyone have another set of stories to add in a new thread? I maintain that what we have shared here is the essence of of our gun culture. Happy New Year to all.
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Old 01-02-2009, 01:05 PM
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What a great thread. As a histroy teacher this is right up my alley. It just goes to show you how the acts of a person can be remembered for many years. Now that this thread is running its course, and a family member knows about it, many future generations will have an idea of what their relative meant to so many.


Man this was a good reading.
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Old 01-04-2009, 09:37 AM
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Greenberry,
Quote:
As a history teacher this is right up my alley. It just goes to show you how the acts of a person can be remembered for many years.
Mr. Greenberry...Your comments speak to many of the posts on our Forum...One in particular, that by Chuck Odom (29-1) also a History Teacher... Chuck continues to share his collection, his learnings, his insights, and his photographs for all.. Check out this recent post...
http://smith-wessonforum.com/eve/for...4/m/6961012833
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Old 01-04-2009, 06:22 PM
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Wow! very cool thread. All I want to know is where can I go in this state to see a great collection of wheelguns for sale anymore. Is there anywhere to go that has a lot of wheelguns in the inventory.I get so discouraged when I walk in a shop and the revolver shelf is down low and off to the side. You tell em what your after and they just kinda shrug and look at ya like your weird or something. I will be checking this thread every day now for more to the story.I am very jealous of those that were there. Thankyou all for this account.Dale.
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Old 01-04-2009, 08:09 PM
Gun 4 Fun Gun 4 Fun is offline
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Go to Williams Gunsight. They usually have a good selection, but are down right now due to all the rush over the new administration coming, and, they always sell down before doing inventory.
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Old 01-04-2009, 08:37 PM
Nygma Nygma is offline
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Pitdog,
You may also want swing through Fenton to check out Guns Galore if you head to Williams Gun Sight.

Guns Galore
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Old 01-04-2009, 09:04 PM
Gun 4 Fun Gun 4 Fun is offline
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Nygma- where are you at in MI to know where GG is located?
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