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Discussion Starter #1
Hey Guys,

I just came across this forum today and I hope you guys can help me. My uncle has a 44 Smith & Wesson Special CTG that he got from his uncle 60+ years ago. He does not know anything about it and is at the age that he would no idea on how to find that out. I am trying to help him and I hope you guys can help me! I'm not a pro at guns, but I will do my best to describe and post pictures. We would like to know the year it was made, if possible and what it's value may be worth, if possible. Pretty much any information you can give us would be greatly appreciated, in addition to the year and value.

Details: (check pics out too)
Nickle or stainless? Need help, not sure.
Grips appear to be pearl?
looks like cylinder to end of barrel is 5.5 inches
S/N 16660 (I think that's the right number)
Model 41343 (I think that's the right number)
Letter "A" above the model number in inner frame
Looks like "S2" below the model number. Either that or "Sg". Is this the inspector stamp? Also, what is the marking above it?
See pics for inscriptions on the barrel

I hope I gave all the information you guys need to help us out. Again, we would love to know everything about it that we can. Only thing we do know is that it came from his uncle and its a S&W. Sorry some of the pics are vertical. They are horizontal and easier to read on my computer, but for some reason when I post them here, it rotates them.














 

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make mine 45 acp 馃槑
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welcome y'all.. 44 hand ejector, 2nd model, early. 1915/18 or so.. very nice..
 

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Post WWI, built on a surplus frame inspected by Springfield Armory. This a factory gun, just the frame was an over run or the military contract was cancelled, however you choose. Some would call it a .44 Military. I would get a butt swivel and pin to fill that hole. It's a standard size a Victory, Colt or M1917 will fit.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the responses thus far. Any idea about the finish and the grips? Also, any idea of value at all? Even a round about value range?
 

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M1917 Commercial.jpg This should give you an idea of the factory correct appearance, I only wish I owned it. The Mother-of-Pearl grips have marketable value to some. I'll leave comment on that to others. In today's market I would say you have a $500+ gun, with confidence. Again opinions are like belly buttons. You will only learn the value by a sale.

Given that your hammer and trigger are not plated, I imagine nickel is correct and original.
 

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While I don't claim to be an expert, it looks like everything is factory correct except the stocks. MOP stocks can be quite costly when they are perfect, however yours appear to have some chipping/cracking issues. A nice desirable Smith.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Can you guys give me a little bit of history of what the "A" in the inner frame signifies what the "S2" stamp is? I assumed the inspection stamp? Also, Blazermark mentioned the date being from 1915-1918, which would be WWI era, yet Waidmann mentioned it being post WWI. Those 2 comments seem a little conflicting. Anyone more certain of a date?
 

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I'm no expert on these old era revolvers, but you've got a pretty nice revolver there. I agree with the values in general, but around here it'll go for slightly more. Probably $550-600. Sometimes values are regionally driven, so it's hard to always judge a value solely based on general information. The MOP grips are the biggest detractor to the price. Sometimes shipping dates are quite a bit seperated from the cycle when guns were expected to be assembled. More than likely this one sat around in a pile of frames that had been ordered, but the orders got cancelled after the war, so they were assembled later with whatever correct parts they had to build them with. So the shipping date could actually be years away from the initial builds, since the guns were only built to order, instead of being built and sold to distributors they way it's done now.
It's a great piece of history, and it will hopefully serve you well for years to come.

Regards,
Gearchecker
 

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Very nice older gun and they go for big $$$ around these parts. I agree with Gearchecker and Waidman. Your gun was built on a frame left over from WWI production when the Govt. took over production at the Smith & Wesson factory. The marking is a U.S. military inspection stamp and the marking above the number should be a side profile of an eagles head. These "N" frames were used in the production of the 1917 .45 ACP military revolver. S&W used up older parts after the war and a letter from S&W will tell you the original finish, grips, caliber, where shipped, etc. but the "date of birth" of the gun will be when the gun was shipped, not when the frame of the gun was made. I have a Brazialian contract S&W .45 ACP with the same frame markings as yours that was assembled with a commercial barrel & cylinder. Like yours, all serial numbers on the frame, barrel, and cylinder match. However my WWl frame was not shipped from the factory until the second shipment to Brazil in 1946. ALso, some folks will pay big prices for the pearl grips alone. I think your gun looks great just as she is, is a very desirable collectable S&W, and would get a letter from S&W if she were mine.
 

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The A and numbers inside the yoke are assembly numbers and don't mean anything. There are no model numbers for guns made prior to 1957. The S2 is an inspector's stamp and I think the mark above is an ordinance mark. I believe that is why Waidmann said it is military. S&W made overruns into commercial guns after the war. They did that with the 1917s which were .45 calibre N frames. This probably was a 1917 frame with .44 barrel and cylinder made up after the War, as Bill suggests. Military guns were blued as well.

I'm going to disagree with my friends on the value. These old .44s in good condition are selling for a lot more than $500-600. Maybe two years ago you could buy one at those prices, but they have been selling for $1000 or more lately, especially in the condition your uncle's gun is in. Just my mytwocents. Also, those pearl grips are worth $200-300 all by themselves.

EDIT: Jerry beat me to it :D.
 

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For its age the pearl grips are in pretty good shape. I shoot a 1931ish 3rd Model .44HE with carved pearl grips. They look alright, slippery as hell, not sure why anyone would want them on a working gun. Mine was a "dress" gun for my wife's grandfather, his "working" gun was blue and walnut.

In that condition around my part of the country the shops would easily charge $1200-1500 for your revolver. If you remove the grips and inspect the frame around the pins, you'll see what the original finish should have been, N for plated, B or plain for blued. Factory plated is worth double or better the value of a refinished.

They are decent guns, shoot it in good health.
 

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Late getting back, all the usual suspects and as per the norm I agree with them all, until we get to pricing them. Perhaps plain English would have been better. Your frame was created during the S&W period of the Model 1917 contract. Spingfield Armory's Inspector #2 approved the frame, appears a lot of them. War ends contract is cancelled. S&W has a pile of frames with funny stamps. S&W resumes commercial work. They build soft parts assemblies: frame/side plate/crane these receive a provisional number applied to these parts. There is tedious, hand fitting required; this work is continuous. An order is created: size/caliber/finish. The order is for a .44 Special, nickeled. A frame assembly is pulled off the shelf as barrel and cylinder are machined. The revolver is serialized within it's model, finished then shipped. Given the range of shipping dates it took a while to exhaust these S2 marked frames.

Hope this clarifies an WWI frame/post WWI manufacturing comments.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
That does help. Thank you guys for all the information. I have filled out and sent in the Authentication paperwork to send to the Historian at S&W. I will keep you guys posted when I get the paperwork back in a couple months. Thank you again for all of your help!
 
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