Louis...s/n is S192841, shipped on August 8, 1963 to J. S. Oshmans Sporting Goods in Houston, Texas. It is stamped MOD-29 in the yoke cut. Yours missed that manufacturing stip as dates to late 59 or early 60, but could have been shipped later as this one was. Most 44s were stamped MOD-29 after s/n S184000, but a few were not.
Two absolutely breathtaking guns in one day...you guys are gonna have me taking nitroglycerin if this keeps up :shock: I actually have my eyes on a .44 Mag for sale locally. Yet another factory engraved gun. Too bad it's a Ruger :mrgreen:
Again, it is nice to be reminded of the high-art form that can be accomplished on a piece of steel. The engravers that also were accomplished carvers and matched the stock to the gun brought this to the next level. It is a pleasure to view these Art Guns, and wonder at the hundred of hours that the craftsmen spent in their creation.
SP...the serial number of the Model 29 would date it to very late 1959 or in the first half of 1960. Often, guns were allocated directly to the engraving department and may have remained there for several years until engraved or an order was placed. Quite a few of the early 629s (those whose serial number begins with N629) were given to the engraving department and engraved from the late 70s until 2000 when the last two were auctioned by S&W to members of the S&WCA.
I can tell you I worked at a S&W distributor in the 70's. We were one of two LE and sporting goods distributors that Smith had. Dave Simmons who was the President of the LE division would come out to see us a couple of times of year, mainly to shop for Indian jewerly. Because we did not overcharge for the guns( which wsa quite common J&G offered to buy Smiths at retail and resold them higher. We would get stuff from Smith's vault a couple times a year. Several times it was engraved guns that had been ordered and not delevered for some reason or I was told that new engravers would work on guns to improve their skill. We got a varity of guns that Smith did not want to see in the Shotgun News. We got model 45's, 520's, 147-a's, square but 3" heavy barrel 60's and even some 60's with a Saudi crest on them. Some very unusual stuff eith non catalogued or discontinued years earlier.