old s&w DOB


February 15, 2007, 09:28 PM
I have a family heirloom S&W "new" model 3 break top revolver DA.
Serial #42XX chambered 44-40. I used to shoot it quite a bit when I was a kid in the "70's. Can any one tell me when this neat old gun was made?
It will stay in the family, I just want to know.

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February 15, 2007, 09:48 PM
Production was 1886-1913 per the SCSW. They don't break it down any farther than that. Any chance of some pics?

Old Fuff
February 15, 2007, 10:16 PM
The Smith & Wesson .44 Double Action Frontier was made between 1886 to 1913, but all of the frames were made prior to 1899, so it is classified as an antique. It was a top-break, chambered in .44-40 (.44WCF) and intended to be used with black powder cartridges. 6-shot with standard barrel lengths of 4", 5", 6" or 6 1/2". Serial numbers ranged from 1 to 15,340 so you have an early production gun. I strongly suggest that you do not shoot it. Value depends on condition, but in "very good" condition on the antique scale it's worth $650.00. "Excellent" goes to $1,900.

You can obtain the exact details about your particular revolver, including the shipping date and the distributor or dealer it went to, by writing Smith & Wesson's company historian, Roy G. Jinks, who will research the original records and write you an official letter. There is a $30.00 fee (make the check out to Smith & Wesson, not Mr. Jinks) and include a snapshot picture of the the revolver to aid in identification with a description similar to the one you posted. Delivery can take up to 8 weeks as Mr. Jinks is usually jammed up with requests. For more information go to www.smith_wesson.com

February 15, 2007, 10:42 PM
I probably won't shoot this gun except in an emergency. As I mentioned I used to shoot the heck out of it. Mostly home rolled with home made cast bullets, but a lot of "factory" W/metal jackets. In my later teens I even used to load in the higher ranges of the Hornady and Lyman books. Seeing my close friend bulge a cylinder in his old .45 cured me :what: . I haven't shot this gun since New Years eve 1988. Thanks for your timely posts. I hope to be able to add Pic's in the future.


February 18, 2007, 03:00 AM
heres some low resolution pics of the old gun

Old Fuff
February 18, 2007, 09:47 AM
Your pictures are fuzzy, but they seem to show a revolver in exceptionally good condition, with most of its original blue and correct and undamaged black hard-rubber stocks. The current value could be in the $4,000.00 range.

Since you intend to keep in in the family I strongly suggest that you write to Mr. Jinks and get it lettered. Then you can add some very interesting information that is not obtainable anywhere else to what you already know.

And please don't shoot it with modern smokeless powder loads anymore. When it was made smokeless powder, and the pressure they generate in the cylinder, were unknown.

Also you might enjoy a visit to www.armchairgunshow.com

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