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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just bought a "Triple Lock" .44 Hand Ejector New Century revolver (SN 93xx) that needs some tender loving care. It was nickel plated at one time (not sure if it was factory plated) and has less than 50% nickel remaining. The right side of the revolver is missing a plate screw at the top by the hammer. The hammer won't pull back unless I pull back on the latch first, so I'm assuming that the spring-loaded center rod of the ejector rod is not pushing back on the "thing-a-ma-jig" on the rear of the frame.

Can anyone tell me who might work on these old revolvers. It sure ain't Smith & Wesson "Performance Center" who told me this revolver was too old and the only guy that they used to have that did, apparently died.

Thanks.
 

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Welcome to the forums from the Wiregrass! Congratulations on owning a rare Triple Lock from around 1912. Factory nickel models are exceedingly rare. Look inside the extractor shroud and on the face of the cylinder for a B. If one is there, the gun was originally blued from the factory. Also, post some pictures so we can gauge the condition. These guns are very similar to run of the mill S&W hand ejectors but have some unique parts that are not interchangeable with later .44 Hand Ejectors. So, if you can find a gunsmith that is familiar with S&W handguns, he/she should be capable of working on your gun. If not, there are experts on this and other forums that can walk you through most repairs. I recommend removing the grips and soaking the gun for several days to a week in a 50-50 mix of auto transmission fluid and acetone. You'll need a sealable and chemically impervious container that will hold the gun and chemicals. Make sure the gun is fully immersed in the fluid. Once it has soaked, flush out the action with aerosol carb/brake/parts cleaner until the effluent runs clear. That may fix your cocking issue. If not, we may have to guide you through opening things up and cleaning the internals. But, let's see how this works first.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks! Here are some pics of the TL. I don't see a "B" inside the shroud or on the rear of the cylinder face (nor on the front of the cylinder). If the gun was factory plated, then I'll have it re-plated. The grips are pretty rough, but I'm hoping to find someone to make some "jigged bone" or stag grips for it.




After examining the gun, it appears that the spring-loaded latch on the ejector rod shroud is not pushing the ejector rod back with enough force to depress the latch pin on the rear of the receiver. I'll try the soaking treatment to see if it frees up the ejector rod.
 

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Guy has it, your works are probably gooed up. Nice TL! You might try Naval Jelly on it as it won't disturb the remaining nickel while removing the black corrosion. Don't lose those grips, they're probably original to the gun.
IMHO, the Triplelock was the pinnacle of the gunsmithing art at S&W.
 
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The plating is apparently factory original. Don't even think about having it replated. You'll kill almost all collector value if you do. That is a valuable gun just as it sits and should be cleaned up. Naval jelly may work but Blue Wonder Gun Bore Cleaner will remove the rust without harming the finish. Also, Mother's Mag or Flitz polish will help make it look better. A coating of Renaissance Wax will help preserve the finish after cleanup.

You should seriously consider getting an Historian's Letter of Authenticity. That will confirm it was plated at the factory as well as when it was shipped and to whom. The letter costs $100 but will pay for itself at sale. A link to the letter form is in a sticky post at the top of the forum.

You can find an upper sideplate screw (large head) on eBay. The ones made for the Model 1917 and Victory revolvers should work. You may have to have it plated, though.
 

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Thank you for great pics of an amazing revolver. You should tell us more about where you found it, how much it was, any info you would care to share, that is an amazing find, really good job on your part. Well done.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for your help guys! I got this TL on GB for $981 plus S&H. The seller conveniently didn't include any pics that showed the missing sideplate screw (he only showed 3 pics). Nor did he answer any of my several questions before the end of auction (because he works during the day, he said) and I had to jump on it "as is" as the auction ended. I'm not sure if I made a decent deal or not, but I needed a TL.

I was trying to get a TL to represent the one hanging from the radiator cap in the famous Bonnie and Clyde pictures. I collect representative guns that were either used by B&C or by LEO against them. That "Triple Lock" was taken by Clyde from Motorcycle Officer Persell in Springfield MO in 1933. That's why I'm interested in getting some "jigged bone" or stag grips for this one. It isn't evident in the pics whether his TL was blued or nickel plated, but it definitely had stag grips. If anyone can help in in locating some grips, I'd be appreciative.
 

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Ebay is a good place to look for them: N frame Smith grips
 

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Thanks for your help guys! I got this TL on GB for $981 plus S&H. The seller conveniently didn't include any pics that showed the missing sideplate screw (he only showed 3 pics). Nor did he answer any of my several questions before the end of auction (because he works during the day, he said) and I had to jump on it "as is" as the auction ended. I'm not sure if I made a decent deal or not, but I needed a TL.

I was trying to get a TL to represent the one hanging from the radiator cap in the famous Bonnie and Clyde pictures. I collect representative guns that were either used by B&C or by LEO against them. That "Triple Lock" was taken by Clyde from Motorcycle Officer Persell in Springfield MO in 1933. That's why I'm interested in getting some "jigged bone" or stag grips for this one. It isn't evident in the pics whether his TL was blued or nickel plated, but it definitely had stag grips. If anyone can help in in locating some grips, I'd be appreciative.
Wow, I think you should have passed on that seller.
 

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Not all N frame grips will fit that Triple Lock as the grip frame is longer than post-WWII N frames. I recommend getting Patrick Grashorn or Ken Driskill to make you a set. Patrick's alias is "executioner" and Ken's is "bigmtnman" over on the Blue forum.
 
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I too recommend Patrick Grashorn. I've dealt with him for years and his work is topnotch. Nothing against Ken Driskill, at all. I just don't know him. I've heard only good things about him though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
Not all N frame grips will fit that Triple Lock as the grip frame is longer than post-WWII N frames. I recommend getting Patrick Grashorn or Ken Driskill to make you a set. Patrick's alias is "executioner" and Ken's is "bigmtnman" over on the Blue forum.
Thanks Wisegrassguy for the custom grip maker info..... but what is the "Blue forum"?
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
You can find an upper sideplate screw (large head) on eBay. The ones made for the Model 1917 and Victory revolvers should work. You may have to have it plated, though.
I found a used upper sideplate large head screw on eBay as you suggested... and it's already nickel plated! Thanks again Wiregrassguy!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Not all N frame grips will fit that Triple Lock as the grip frame is longer than post-WWII N frames.
The folks at Grashorn say they think the TL is the same frame as the 1917 and they have a 1917 that they could used to make grips for my TL. I said I need to check with you guys first. Is the Triple Lock .44 1st model grip the same as that of the S&W 1917?
 

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Yes. The triple lock is a 1st model N frame. The 1917/.455/.44 HE are 2nd model N frames. The pre-war grip frames are the same.

That being said, there is a reason why S&W penciled or stamped the gun serial number on the back of the right panel. The grip panels were hand fitted to the frame because frames were not uniformly forged. So, although the grips made for a 1917 will work, they may not fit as precisely as the original grips.

What style of grips are you having made? Round top service grips were typical for the triple lock.
 
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Yes. The triple lock is a 1st model N frame. The 1917/.455/.44 HE are 2nd model N frames. The pre-war grip frames are the same.

That being said, there is a reason why S&W penciled or stamped the gun serial number on the back of the right panel. The grip panels were hand fitted to the frame because frames were not uniformly forged. So, although the grips made for a 1917 will work, they may not fit as precisely as the original grips.

What style of grips are you having made? Round top service grips were typical for the triple lock.
This is the look I'm going for. I sent this pic to Grashorn and they said they could do it with a S&W medallion, using a 1917 as the pattern.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I got my nickel-plated large-head sideplate screw and it fit perfectly. Grashorns is making my stag grips.

Can these old 1st model TL's handle modern .44 Special factory loads or do I need to avoid modern cartridges, and handload instead?
 
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