Trying to date a S&W .44 Special CTG
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Thread: Trying to date a S&W .44 Special CTG

  1. #1
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    Trying to date a S&W .44 Special CTG

    Hello everyone, I inherited a S&W .44 special CTG and I am attempting to identify the date of manufacturer as well as anyone’s presumed value of the item if you all can assist.

    The gun had two sets of numbers, there is 34304 stamped on the bottom of the handle of the gun and also on the frame underneath the barrel. There is an “A” stamped inside on the frame as well.
    And then a second set of numbers stamped 80746.

    Any help would be appreciated! See pics!
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    Waidmann, Leo918, Cliff and 3 others like this.

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    3rd Model (pre-war) 44 Special.....

    .
    Leo918, Injunbro and Oldgungeezer like this.
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  3. #3
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    Thank you brother.

    Any indication on year?

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    Welcome to the forum!

    That's an old shooter fer sure. .44 Special Hand Ejector. That's what they called it. First third of 1930 it looks like - April/May likely. The 34000 range was made in 1930, 35000 in 1931. Production rates aren't linear, not like "10-a-day, every day". They came in lots. But 1930 for sure, likely first third of the year. The 80746 number is an assembly number. They'd hand-fit the pieces so the gun worked right, then stamp the assembly number as they took it apart to get its finish. That way they could reassemble the same, now finished, pieces they'd just hand fitted. Those numbers mean nothing at this point.

    "CTG" is just the abbreviation for "cartridge".

    She's definitely finish challenged. The grips (stocks) might be worth a bit on their own. if you want, carefully remove the stocks. The best technique, since they may be a bit glued to the gun, is to loosen the screw about half-way, then gently tap the head. That should pop off the right panel. Then remove the screw and right panel. Then you can tap on the inside of the left panel to loosen it. You may find the serial either stamped or penciled onto the right panel. If they match the gun, that's great.

    You didn't ask, but will offer this - refinishing won't add anything to the value of the gun, likely detract from it. Collectors look for original finish, and a refinish means you've stripped off the entire original finish. You didn't say, but if it's a family pass-down, I'd just keep it oiled and cleaned. For resale, condition is paramount (along with original finish), so it isn't going to fetch much. The grips alone might be worth $200+ on their own.
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    Welcome to the forum!
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    Bill, my eyes may not be any better, but that sure looks like the remnants of gold plating. Good catch! Hank
    Oldgungeezer likes this.

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    Yep, either gold or TiN plating. Looks like that one's been to the refinisher already. Some of us say any N frame is worth $500 but I'd be willing to wager a confectionery that that one wouldn't bring that except to someone desperate for it. You might want to drop that into a vat of auto trans fluid to loosen up the rust, then go over it with bronze or copper wool. A light coat of gun oil will keep it rust free. If it came with a holster, store the gun in a sock or rug. Leather holsters can hold water and contribute to rust.
    Oldgungeezer likes this.
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