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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,
I have an opportunity to purchase up to 3 revolvers from a gentleman that is thinning his collection.
I have no experience with these older models and would appreciate advice on value/collectability and practicality of shooting them.
The first one is a 38/44 Heavy Duty.
Historical letter states it is a pre-war variation 38 S&W Special.
Shipped from the factory on October 15, 1940 . It came with 5" barrel, blue finish, butt swivel and checkered silver medallion magna grips.
Revolver Trigger Air gun Gun barrel Wood
Revolver Air gun Trigger Gun barrel Gun accessory


The second revolver is according to the Historical letter a .455 Hand Ejector First Model (Triple Lock). A British Gov't contract .455 Webley. It was shipped on January 14, 1915 to Remington Arms - Union Metallic Cartridge Co. In New York. It was shipped with a 6.5" barrel, blue finish, butt swivel and checkered gold medallion grips.
Revolver Air gun Trigger Gun barrel Gun accessory
Revolver Trigger Air gun Gun barrel Gun accessory

The third revolver is the same as the second. I have no pictures of it but it is the same configuration. It is also in much better condition. There is also no Historical letter for this gun but it is only about 70 numbers later, so around the same date I should think.
 

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Those are some interesting N frames. I guestimate the .38/44 at $1400 if the stocks number to the gun and it has not been reamed for .357 Magnum. The 2 .455 BSR's are around $1200 each if they haven't been modified for .45 Colt or .45 ACP and the stocks number to the gun.
 

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I thought the triple locks might value a little higher due to low production numbers.
Do being British contact lessen their appeal?
All things equal, would .44 specials be more desirable (valuable)?
Militaria markings and wear reduce the value when compared to .44 HE triple locks. That being said, the values of .455 HE 1st's has been rapidly going up lately. Values took a dip or pause about 5 years ago and are now recovering, IMO. I'm beginning to see values of modified .455 triple locks passing $1000. Values also depend on where you are and can vary significantly.
 

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The HD has a swivel and what looks like, pre war magna stocks. They alone are worth maybe $500+. Also look to see if they are numbered to the gun. A letter will tell if the stocks and swivel are factory. Most important, as Wiregrass mentioned, has the cylinder been reamed out for the 357? That alone will drop the value substantially. If you get a good value, buy all 3, if not just as an investment. The HD is my favorite as well. Big Larry
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I'm leaning toward the HD if I limit myself to just one .
As I mentioned earlier it does have an Historical letter that states it is a pre-war variation that came with the butt swivel and
checkered silver medallion magna grips.
The stocks are matched to the gun.
 

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Was the butt swivel on the HD applied through the original serial number and the serial reapplied under the grips? With the .455's conversion to .45ACP will require shaving the rear of the cylinder removing the serial number and military proof (crossed flags). Conversion .45 Colt requires deepening the chambers and a slight radiusing around the edge of the chambers to accomadate the thicker rim of the Colt cartridge.
 

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Make sure it does not chamber a 357 round. This is an unusual revolver and probably worth more than a standard HD.
I have a nice one lettered, like so many others, to Wolf and Klar. Probably went to a PD, but the letter does not state that. Further research would be needed. Get that one for sure, and let us all know what you paid after all. Big Larry
 

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If you have little or no experience with these revolvers, I would suggest
1. avoid them
2. have a trusted gunsmith examine them for you

My experience is that I don't have the knowledge to buy these. (Bought a revolver with a "jugged" cylinder; what a pain.)
 
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