Smith & wesson value old 44 spec.


June 13, 2006, 03:08 PM
My father has an old (1950's) revolver that he will sell me and I would like to give him fair value on the firearm.

I think it might be a model 25. It's marked 44 S&W special ctg on the barrel and looks to be a 6". It also has a lanyard loop on the bottom of the grip frame. The serial number is 30603 and it appears to be in 99% condition. I know it hasn't been fired in over 40 years and might never have been fired.

Can anyone help? Thanks, Big Mike.

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June 13, 2006, 03:22 PM
If it is a .44 Special it can't be a Model 25 which denotes .45 ACP/.45 Colt revolvers. We need more information. Does it have fixed or adjustable rear sight? Is the barrel a slim pencil-style barrel or the heavy barrel introduced in 1955 for .44 Magnums and Model 25s.

You may be looking at a valuable collectable here.


Ohen Cepel
June 13, 2006, 03:41 PM
Post a pic if you can.

Also, see if he has the box or any papers, that will help a lot to ID it. Will also preserve some of it's history and increase it's value.

June 13, 2006, 03:57 PM
Lots of S&W fans here but you might have better luck posting on:

That is where the real hard-core S&W collectors hang out (although some do post here also).

A couple of questions come to mind. Did you take the serial number off the butt of the gun or inside the crane area? If the latter, that is not the serial number, it's an assembly number. Look on the butt. Also, is there a letter prefix anywhere before the serial number on the butt? This helps to narrow our search down. Does it have fixed or adjustable sights?

A good quality picture or three (different views) will help immensely.

June 13, 2006, 04:25 PM
The barrel is thin and the sights look fixed. It has a large round front sight. I don't have the firearm in front of me it's with my father in Wa.

I have photos but I'm not sure how to post them.

The wooden grips look small (square bottom) but have a round kinda' inlaid into the frame and are stock. There is no box (bummer)

June 13, 2006, 04:45 PM
It sounds like the gun is a Model of 1950, Military which is also referred to as a pre-21. Very few of these were made and sold. This, of course, makes us Smith collectors crazy for them. Value will range over quite wide area depending on condition....which collectors like me are very particular about and barrel length. If it's as high-grade as you suggest, it's worth at least a $1000.


June 13, 2006, 04:52 PM
I was going to say it sounds like the 1950 Military .44 Special. I think the barrel will be stamped "Model of 1950" or something like that.

In good shape this gun will have considerable monetary value. I think much more than the $1,000 speculated above. The last one of these I saw for sale went for like $2,400. They didn't make many of these and collectors have been beating the bushes for them recently.

June 13, 2006, 05:00 PM
Bob, your the Man!

Bob tells me it looks older than I think and might even be pre- WWII.

The revolver is in fantastic shape.

June 13, 2006, 05:14 PM
Collectors will want to be assured the gun is all original as left the factory, never refinished (or at least done by S&W). Sometimes barrels and cylinders get swapped out to achieve the shooter somebody wanted. Most Second Model Hand Ejectors were made in .455 Webley and .45 ACP for WW I. A gun of that type could be changed by a gunsmith to .44 Special by installing .44 barrel and cylinder.

A factory letter from Roy Jinks, S&W Historian, can be obtained for a $30. fee by downloading a form and mailing it in.


June 13, 2006, 05:36 PM
The firearm was originally my Grandfathers and he gave it to my father. Neither were into guns so I'm sure they never had anything done to it. It's been in the 'sock drawer' for at least fourty or more years.

June 13, 2006, 06:01 PM
I'm not a gun expert by any means but if you can e-mail me a pic I can post it for you. I'd like to see it anyway as I'm sure others here would too.

chuck pullen
June 13, 2006, 06:23 PM
I agree w/ Bob. If this is a pre-21 in 99% condition, it is easily worth $1000. The S&W forum can give a firm estimate w/ pics and serial number.

Jim Watson
June 13, 2006, 06:45 PM
Serial number says it is either a .44 Hand Ejector 2nd or 3rd model, the range overlaps in Blue Book and I don't have a Standard Catalog of S&W. If the ejector rod is shrouded like a Magnum it is a 3rd (1926 model) if it is not, it is a 2nd. Made in 1920s or early 30s.

If as described it is worth a bunch. Figure a thousand until we get pictures or until a real expert estimates.
Inquire at

June 13, 2006, 06:48 PM
With a lanyard ring sounds like a 2nd model Hand Ejector 44 spl.

Jim K
June 13, 2006, 06:52 PM
That serial number can't be a post-war gun, like a Model 1950 Military. The gun can be a second or third model .44 Hand Ejector (the 1926 Model Hand Ejector). The second and third model had a serial number overlap, so the number is not definitive. With a large round front sight, it is not a target model.

Those guns are a bit pricey in top condition. A second model new in the box is worth easily $1200-1500, and the third model will top $2700. Prices are retail, and value declines with condition, of course.


Jim Watson
June 13, 2006, 10:54 PM
He sent me some pictures that I unfortunately cannot transfer here.
It is a Second Model 6 1/2" fixed sight in truly excellent condition, high 90s. There might be a little edge wear on the muzzle or it might just be glare in the lighting. There is a little rub behind the trigger guard where your middle finger rides. The checkered wood service grips are in no-medallion style and are as excellent as the metal. I readily belive this gun has lain in the sock drawer for years and years. Very nice.

June 14, 2006, 07:59 AM

The serial number indicates your gun was probably made in 1930 according to the Standard Catalog of Smith & Wesson. Also approximately 17,510 were manufactured during the period 1915 to 1940. It seems like you have a very nice piece of S&W hardware in your family!;)


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