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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all you great gun gurus!!! I just recieved this Registered Magnum...Yay!!! This one has to have a story behind it. Serial # 59xxx... REG 52xx. It has carved ivory grips, 7 ruby jeweled and gold California Highway Patrol emblem. I believe a king "cock eyed" hammer. I think something has been done to the front sight.

Sorry the pictures are not very good, I will get better ones.

I respect your knowlege greatly on Smith & Wesson fire arms. I would appreciate any information you could give me no matter how small.

Thank you all very much!





 

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Obviously done up as a presentation piece or gussied up by a former owner.

Did the CHP exist using that logo at the time the gun was new? May suggest when it was done if not.

I would start with the letter from Roy (if they are available again yet). But this may one of those interesting guns that you never know the full story on.
 

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bear401
Thanks for a neat and interesting post!
I have that same front sight on a R.M. that was a S&W test-gun.
I note the CHP medallion covers the 'S&W' crest on the r.h. side.
Factory letters are, indeed, available (again) at the cost of $ 50.
If you need the address and/or form, just email me.
My guess on that gun is that, considering the high serial and registration numbers, it's a very late example, and the grips and double-cockeyed hammer make me think 1940's-1950's work.
The trigger shoe would also indicate (to me) 1950's work.
Please keep us posted, as we're big fans of the Registered Magnum!
Don
;)
 

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Bear401,

Welcome to the Forum. That is a very fascinating Registered Magnum. I would echo every thing that Don said and also encourage you to get a letter from The S&W Historian, Roy Jinks. The $50 cost of the letter is actually an insignificant amount in relation to the value of the gun and will add much more than its cost to the equation.

The grips are also very interesting. Can you tell if they are ivory or some synthetic material? Have you taken them off? If so, please tell us if there are any markings on the back sides and also if there are any numbers or markings on the grip frame of the revolver.

Bob
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thank you Don and Rob for taking a look and answering my post. Work keeps me so busy I'm sorry for not getting back to you sooner.

The gun came from a Dear friend of mine, who's father had a large gun collection. I'm sorry to say he past away. When talking to him over the years, he was proudest of his Volcanic and this Smith & Wesson. He was a wonderful collector of many things and had a great eye when it came to collecting. This gun was in his collection for many years. My friend remebers shooting it as a child.

The grips are ivory but sadly there are no markings on the back. There is a "B" or "8" (eyes are not as good as they use to be) stamped on the bottom corner of grip the frame, you can see the stamp when grips are removed. The trigger shoe has H. Henshaw (I believe for Harvy Henshaw)stamped in it. The Grip adapter is a "sure grip" made by Fray-Mershon inc. Glendale Ca. don't think they are in business either. The CHP emblem has no markings that would help identify it. I have shown it to several CHP Officers that I know, who have gun collections, but they have no idea. They just say, "wow where did you get this."

I have printed out the form from the Smith & Wesson web site. I want to compose a letter to Mr. Jinks giving him as much detail as possible. Any information you can give me is very appreciated.

Thank you all very much!

Ron
 

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Ron,
What a neat example!
Your idea of sending a letter to Roy along with the form is an excellent one.
He brings just such an idea up frequently, as the more information he gets the more you'll get back.
Don
;)
 

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Ron, Welcome and THANK YOU for posting the pictures of your beautiful RM.

It's a thing of beauty!! I am sure you will treasure it for many years.

Bob
 

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Ron,

Give Roy all the information that you can in the letter. Give the details that you have given us here including the fact that it came from an old collector who also had a Volcanic. Include the pictures of your gun also. You might even mention the name of the old collector to Roy and it is possible that he was acquainted with him.

Your gun is NOT included in the current list of known Registered Magnums by the S&W Collectors Assoc. so it has not been lettered before by Jinks. These old RM's are a favorite of Roy's and he will give you all the help that he can.

Keep us posted on what you find out.

Bob
 

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bear,
One thing I do for my older ivories that really helps preserve them:
A soaking in clear mineral oil.
The stuff is available at drugstores, it's food-grade pure, won't distort or discolor the grips, and it'll do a great job of preventing cracking caused by dryness.
Lots of old-timers use this trick, and I highly recommend it.
Use a small ziplock baggie w/just enough mineral oil in it to cover the grips thoroughly.
Leave overnight, then take the grips out and wipe them down.
Real ivory is keratin-like, and it gets real brittle with age and low humidity.
Nice cleaning job, by the way.
All the patina is still there.
Don
:ymapplause:
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks Don,
Great information about the care of ivory. I went on line to find out the best way to clean them. The site said to use a salution of 50 percent warter, and 50 percent ethyl alcohol. Now getting 200 proof alcohol posed a bit of a problem...lol. I thought about building a alcohol still, all in the name of cleaning my ivory grips of course!!! But decided to use a small amout of distilled water and a soft brisal toothbush instead. Drying them often so the ivory would not absorb the moister.

Not ruling out the alcohol still thing yet though. We must save the history and beauty of our past. Don't worry before I put anything on the grips, I would sacrifice myself and taste it first!!! Dang I love my guns!!!
 
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When you request your letter, be sure to send pictures of all pertinent non-standard items as well as overall picture.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Received my letter back from Mr. Roy Jinks today.

Reg. No. 5295, was shipped from our factory on September 19, 1939, and delivered to O.J. Johnson, San Francisco, Ca. The records indicate that this revolver was shipped with 3.5 inch barrel equipped with Baugham quick draw front sight, square notch rear sight, blue finish, and checkered walnut Magna grips. This revolver was sighted in .357 Magnum ammunition at 25 yards using a 6 o'clock hold. This revolver was ordered through William H. Hoegee Co., Los Angeles, Ca one of Smith & Wesson large California distributors.

If anyone has or can point me towards a set of Pre War Magna Grips. I would be grateful!!! (I know they are a bit expensive but would like to have the right grips on the gun).

Thanks
Ron
 

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Ron,
What a neat bunch of information in that factory letter.
Now, I'd sure like to be able to hit anything at 75 yards with
a 3-1/2" barrel!
You'll be able to turn up a set of prewar magnas...just carry some smelling salts to revive yourself when you see the price. :lol:
FWIW, those ivories belong on the gun, just like the crest!
Like Roy is fond of saying, though, if you need something for your collection, you buy it.
Neat gun!
Don
;)
 

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Don,

I think the distance that Ron's gun was sighted in for was 25 yards although some guns were sighted in for the longer distance.

What has always confused me was that the shorter barrel lengths were sighted in with a "6 o'clock" hold. I know that was the proper form for the guns which were to be used for target work, however, the shorter barreled guns which were mostly carried by lawmen and others for self defense, would have been sighted with a center of target hold.

BTW, Ron, you may have set a record in getting your letter back in such a short time. Congratulations on a great gun and I agree with keeping the ivories on the gun.
Bob
 

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Hey, Bob
An untimely 'brain fart' disrupted my thinking.
I have a 6-1/2" R.M. that was sighted in at 75 yrads.
And, frankly speaking, I need a car to see that far! :lol:
Touche` on that 6 O'Clock hold. Since most gunfights occur at 8 feet or less, I'm not sure what the point of a target-type sighting-in was!? :shock:
As to the record time on Ron's factory letter, I suspect several forces are at work here:
1) The general state of the economy.
2) The increase in price from $ 30 to $ 50 for a letter.
3) Numbers of 'occasional' collectors decreasing.
I sent for a letter on Saturday, March 31st. It'll be interesting to see what the wait time is.
Don
;)
 
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What a terrific old .357, congratulations on your find. Obviously someone thought a lot of this gun to put so much work into it (including those wonderful grips). I agree with what others here have already said, those grips belong on that gun! It would also be interesting if you could find anything about the gun’s original owner mentioned in the letter. Perhaps he was in law enforcement and is the connection to the CHP.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Don,
I think you already have a three weeks head start on that letter. Today is only march 10th :wave:

This is a wonderful forum with wonderful people!

Ron
 

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Let's see..."30 days has September, April, June, and November. All the rest have 31 except for February..."
UH OH :shock:
Either I meant February 28th, or I was experiencing some kind of 'time travel'. kljng; kljng; nfiofnp kljng; kljng;
nvpAN
FWIW, I once received a factory letter in a tad over three weeks.
Longest wait was four months.
Glad you like the forum, Ron!
Don
 
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