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  #1  
Old 04-07-2012, 10:16 PM
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Default Smith & Wesson Triple-Lock .44 Special? Help Identfiy!

Hey All,

Was up at my in-laws today and took my father in-law shooting. He has an old S&W revolver he got from his father. He had never fired it, so we took it along with my guns and headed out. Nice older revolver, very fun to shoot.

From what I can gather, I think it is a S&W Triple-Lock Target Model 6.5 inch barrel.

My kids were having a meltdown by the time we left so I didn't have time to grab serial #, etc. from the gun. I'll get the specs, but am curious in the meantime.. Am I correct in the model? What dates these were manufactured? Any other info would be appreciated.

Snapped a quick iPhone photo:





Thanks,
Steve
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Old 04-07-2012, 11:52 PM
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I'd try the Smith and Wesson Forum website. Their historian, Roy Jinks, writes the letters of authenticity -- most forum members are up on the S&W's.

http://smith-wessonforum.com/

I have several books; and can research it in the morning -- at least to production years.

Kindest Regards,

Jake

addenda: OK, got out Neal and Jinks Collector's Handbook. Yes, it does appear to be a first model Hand Ejector, known as The Triple Lock. Made from 1908 - 1915.

Should be a 4 screw with a serial number range from 1 to 15375.
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Last edited by littlejake; 04-08-2012 at 12:08 AM.. Reason: addenda
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Old 04-08-2012, 12:12 AM
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Nice!

Thanks so much for looking that up for me Jake. Quite an old revolver. From some quick reading I've done seems like it has a very good reputation.

I'll get serial numbers, etc. from my FIL in the morning and look further into it. I will check the S&W forums as you suggested as well.

Thanks again!

Best,
Steve

Quote:
Originally Posted by littlejake View Post
I'd try the Smith and Wesson Forum website. Their historian, Roy Jinks, writes the letters of authenticity -- most forum members are up on the S&W's.

http://smith-wessonforum.com/

I have several books; and can research it in the morning -- at least to production years.

Kindest Regards,

Jake

addenda: OK, got out Neal and Jinks Collector's Handbook. Yes, it does appear to be a first model Hand Ejector, known as The Triple Lock. Made from 1908 - 1915.

Should be a 4 screw with a serial number range from 1 to 15375.
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  #4  
Old 04-08-2012, 7:20 AM
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A couple of things: if the target sights on this gun are original, it is a rare gun in what appears to be excellent condition. Excellent condition Triple Locks are VERY hard to find. Triple Lock Target Models are rare in ANY condition. If the sights were added, it reduces the value of the revolver, unless it was done by a famous gunsmith or shop like King's.

Personally, I would retire this gun to a vault and NOT shoot it. It is safe with modern ammo loaded with the original 246 gr. lead bullets, but if you stuck a bullet in the bore and "ringed" it, that would be a ring worth putting on Elizabeth Taylor's finger, if you take my meaning. Once broken, you can't repair these guns without costing a fortune and the repair, even done expertly, will greatly lessen the collector value.

And I HOPE you didn't shoot up any of that original ammo. If you did, those were some of the most expensive shots you'll ever shoot!

What a great find, and what a beautiful piece of American history. ENVY!!!!
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Old 04-08-2012, 9:00 AM
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it looks like a 3nd model .44 special target model to me, I cannot see the third locking lug on the crane. Only the 1st model (triple lock) and the 3rd model (Wolf & Klarr) had the shrouded ejector rod. Based on the style of the grips and if they are correct and number to the revolver, it would be made at least 10-15 years after they stopped making Triple Locks, so basically if the grips number to the gun, we can guestimate the date of production from the mid 20's to early 40's give or take.

Before discussing value, you will want to get a factory letter to see if it shipped as a factory target model if so, and if it has the original finish, it will be worth a chunk of change.

Last edited by kurac; 04-08-2012 at 9:09 AM..
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Old 04-08-2012, 11:51 AM
littlejake littlejake is offline
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You cannot see the triple lock unless the crane is open. There is a second pin in the front of the ejector rod lug that is unique to first model.

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Old 04-08-2012, 12:04 PM
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I was just looking at my Standard Catalog of Smith & Wesson.

That be one fine revolver you got. Rare for sure.

Wish I had one of those.
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Old 04-08-2012, 1:36 PM
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Why is it called triple lock?
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Old 04-08-2012, 3:23 PM
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Rojo, it locks in three places...the back pin, the front ejector and in the mechainsm of the pin or hinge at the front of the cylinder (the "crane). Rather like the Redhawk does today. It's an old design, and as you can see from the remarks. VERY desireable.
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Old 04-08-2012, 10:21 PM
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Hello,

Thanks to everyone who has replied to this thread. I really appreciate the information.

The gun is in very good condition. No rust anywhere on it and the blueing is in very good condition (not perfect), compared to some of the photos I have seen in searching Google.. It does not "appear" to have been refinished.

The history I know of the gun is that my FIL has had it for about 20-25 years. He is NOT a gun person. During this entire time it was never fired. Scarily enough, it has been wrapped in that old rag in the photo, stuck in a closet the entire time. He was given the gun by his father when he passed away. Probably in that same rag it's in now. His father was not a gun person either. My FIL told me that if anything his dad maybe fired the gun once or twice.

His dad was born around 1919, so he could not be the original owner. There is no way that either my FIL or his dad replaced the sights on the gun. It's history before that is unknown.

I had him check the serial number on the gun. The serial number on the bottom of the butt of the frame is 26XX.. Given the production years of 1908 - 1915 and 15375 being made, I'm assuming a 4 digit serial in the mid 2000 range is an early year production?

In doing some research I found this article:

http://www.sixguns.com/BookOfThe44/bot44c08.htm

and I had my FIL compare this photo with his gun:



He said they were identical. So, it does in fact appear to be a triple-lock.

I have a couple of additional questions.

1. How can I tell if the sights are original or not? Anything specific to look for?

I don't know if this photo helps any.. another bad low light iPhone photo:



2. How can I tell if the grips are original or not?

There is another photo from that article showing the evolution of the S7W .44 Special, with the first photo being an 1st model Triple-Lock Target Model (I think). The grips seem identical to the ones on my FIL's gun. The photo from article is below:



Once again, thanks for all the help. Any and all information is much appreciated!

Best,
Steve
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Old 04-09-2012, 3:54 AM
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There's the Triple Lock. I think you have a 100% original target Triple Lock .44
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