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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi there! This is my first post here, so be kind...

I've chosen to hunt down a 1905 M&P Target in .38 (and preferably a 6"), and need some help in doing so.

Change doesn't matter - it will probably be 4th change, seeing as those will be the cheapest.

It may sound like sacrilege to some, but refinished would be fine. I want a pretty shooter!

However, what recommendations may anyone have in going about searching this? What should I expect to spend on something with at least 90% original blue or refinished? I've found exactly what I'm looking for priced at $475 (refinished, orig. sights) - and they're unwilling to move. I'm in CA and will have to pay transfer online, but no tax.

Do I wait? Or take it?

I've heard stories (here, coincidentally) of people getting beautiful all-original targets for bottom prices like $150 or even $200. Also, that $300+ for any 1905 is regrettable (unless it has some rare characteristic - hammer, grip, victory model, 4", etc...)

Any advice is appreciated!!

-Drew
 

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Welcome to the forum, we're kind to everyone around here... (well, usualy);) $350 would be more reasonable in my area but I haven't been to California in around 30 years (& no intent of ever going again) so I don't know if your price is a good one or not. i guess it all depends on what it's worth to you. If the other Drew is around he or RadarBill can give you much better information than I can. Let us see some pictures when you find your 'dream gun'.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I figured after posting that "it's what it's worth to you" would show up sometime. Which, truth be told, it may well be. (Got a decent paying job and this money seems to be getting hotter by the day, which only serves to rile up my conservative sensibilities). I suppose I'm really asking how common 1905 deals come around - and if this is a deal that I should snag, or let it go knowing something better will come around (which is what I'm starting to believe is the case). I'm really in no rush, and will absolutely be posting pictures once I get it.

Oh - and I thought $350 too - offered $375 and got shot down. Gotta keep my limits I suppose...

Thanks for the advice - and if anyone else is reading this, more would definitely be appreciated!
 

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Hi and welcome, Drew
There are several choices in the M-1905 world, and they may serve to determine the price you'll have to pay.
The most desirable version(s) are the 'target' models...they have adjustable rear sights.
As far as the finish goes, the earlier versions (1st, 2nd and 3rd) generally have the older, black finish that has a tendency to flake off as it gets used and abused.
That 4th series is probably the most up-to-date AND the most likely to still have a nicer finish remaining.
They're a beautifully-made revolver, well-balanced and sound.
Anything circa 1923 or later will be capable of handling modern ammunition.
Avoid '+P' ammo like the plague.
How much to spend?
Around here, a pretty decent example (non-target) 4th can be had for $ 400 or so.
Spend as much as you possibly can, and buy the absolute best gun you can find.
You'll be real glad you did.
Pictured below is a third change target that shipped in 1911.
Real pretty, but a great shooter as well, with 148gr wadcutters.
Hope you enjoy this wonderful forum!
Don
;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the info! I'm curious - is there any quick way to determine if what I'm looking at on a store or online is post-1923 (or can I safely assume that it probably is?)

Thanks for the welcome - and that's a beautiful third change!
 

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Pick up a copy of "The Standard Catalogue Of Smith & Wesson" third edition. E-bay, or Amazon can both help you. It is filled with tons of info, 432 8 1/2X11 pages, to answer most any question. If it isn't there ask on here. You will always get an answer, and sometimes it will be the right one.mnga;;;
 

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Welcome aboard Gunny, all good advice, mine is study, observe and watch. You will be more likely in my view to see examples on auctionarms or gunbroker. With patience you may see one in a true auction (penny start, no reserve) or failing that a reasonable start. As has been pointed out target model are desireable and usually draw a premium-and-get in a hurry and you will end up with something that may not be the right something.

In addition to the above simply google the model and you'll likely see hits from Cabelas, Simpsons, Gunsamerica and others. Your chances of encountering one of these at a yardsale, fleamarket or the local pawn keep diminishing in this information age.
 

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"Did you know that there are 16 unknown K22's out there, the first 16 seem to be out of circulation to the general collecting community. The 17th K22 is owned by a gentleman from Maine. Many of us would love to find one of the first 16. It is a rooster thing. If you find a K22 serial numbered K101 thru K116, you have found an interesting gun. Call me at 928 305 9020, I would buy it from you.

[email protected]"
My Lord... some guys will go to any depths to find the gun they want... :)

Speaking of Depths... Where you been Brother Bill?

I was rather thinking that you were out searching for K105....





Now to the question at hand... I would think that $400 is waaaaay too much to pay for a refinished M&P Target. I see 5 or 6 of them a year for sale, and they usually don't bring much money or move along to fast. If you look around on the internet you can find original, "high-condition-shooter" grade guns for not too much more than that. If you try to sell, or trade later, refinished guns are all but useless to anyone except perhaps another new guy that doesn't know better. Even an 60% holster worn, but otherwise sound example would be better than a gussied up, over polished, reworked gun. (ask my Brother Bill... he's got a BUNCH of worn out shooters...) :)

These guys are pirates, but look over their listings of Pre-War Smiths and I think you will get a better idea.

Collectors Firearms

There are 4-5 M&P Targets near the bottom of the page. If you decide to deal with them, it's a fore drawn conclusion that they will deal as everything they have is at least 25% overpriced...

One last thing... these are OLD GUNS. As such I think that the Kalifornia import laws are somewhat relaxed and you may find it easier to get one shipped to your dealer.

Good Luck in your search.

Signed,

The Original, Grumpy Drew.



 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
I suppose I'm just a buyer stuck in the middle of the market - Not a collector demanding original finish + unique qualities (Victory model, or even original grips for that matter), but I'd still like something pretty as well. I understand it won't carry much value if I intent to sell it or use it in trade, but I don't plan to have the want to. Furthermore, I think my place in the market may serve to benefit me once I find something I'd like.

But thanks for all the comments. I've decided to take a seat, cool my jets and wait. Search shows, stores, etc. I think I'll stay away from pistols on the net - and that which I can't put in my hands. After talking to you guys I have faith something out there exists - maybe a bit out of my range right now, but with time that too will grow.

I've got a lot more to learn, so expect to see more newbie questions from me in the future! :D

-Drew :cool:

-Going to the shop today, I'll let you know if I find anything! (I'll look for those K22s too... :D)
 

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Gunny, don't be too hard on the net. If there are a lot of pictures and a good honest description along with the typical 3 day non-firing inspection period, it ain't so bad. Paying the occassional return freight isn't as bad as gas for a 50 mile round trip.

We of the economically challenged league call them Shooter Class. That's why we buy them!
 
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