Where to find older S&W's?


January 20, 2011, 11:41 PM
Aside from online that is. Whenever I go to a gunshow all I see are new pistols/revolvers, or Mosin Nagant's/PA-64's. I never see any say model 27's or 19's or anything like that. As far as I know you can't sell handguns at pawn shops in Michigan (at the very least I've never seen one at a pawn shop) so that option isn't there either. Where do all of you find your new (to you) prelock Smith's? :D

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January 20, 2011, 11:56 PM
I've found most of mine in the used cases of chain stores or local gun shops. Pawn shops don't even typically carry handguns, or any guns at all for that matter, in my area.

January 21, 2011, 12:03 AM
Gun shows and small gun shops.

January 21, 2011, 12:08 AM

Run search for "Smith Wesson Ejector"

January 21, 2011, 09:20 AM
Really online is the place to find them immediately. Gun shows are hit and miss around here. My advice on that is to start paying attention to who the promoters are. Here in OK we have some real joke gun shows that are put on by the same idiot, and its best to just avoid them. On the other hand, we have a couple of decent to good ones as well.

If you are patient, check your local gun stores in the used section. I'm always amazed at what people trade in for the newest and bestest wondergun. And then I'm amazed with the price the gun store demands for the old gun demands for the trade in... I've ran across a couple of good deals on older smiths doing that. If you find one reasonable, you better jump on it because it won't last long.

January 21, 2011, 09:47 AM
I've found all of mine at one semi-local gunstore. I stop by every week or so to just look to see what they have. The "run of the mill" stuff is hanging on the wall behind the counter. The "good stuff" is in one display case. That's where I've started to look.

January 21, 2011, 09:56 AM
Older revolvers are definitely best to find online or a local shop. I found my 1980 Model 19-4 snubbie at a local shop.

Gun shows lately have definitely swung to newer guns - used to be I could walk around and see some seriously old/well used/cheaper guns. Now most of those seem to be gone and there are new guns everywhere.

I used to go to gun shows to see what I might be able to find.

Now i go to handle some of the recent new guns and see which ones feel best in my hands. Rarely do I consider buying at the show because prices have just been so unrealistic.

Ala Dan
January 21, 2011, 10:07 AM
Mom and Pop gun shops are your best bet, in finding old minty S&W's. Hardly
ever, do I see any of these at large chain stores; or at gun shows. Also, when
looking for older S&W's, it pays to work in a gun shop~! :D ;)

January 21, 2011, 10:17 AM
Found this one just this week in a local classified.

1917 M&P .38 Special

Old Shooter
January 21, 2011, 10:17 AM
Local gun shops have them pretty regularly around here. Too many nice ones to buy, not enough money to buy them....:(

January 21, 2011, 10:20 AM
Gun shows, fellow club members and friends.

Summit Gun Broker usually has good deals on used J, K or L frames.

January 21, 2011, 10:36 AM
I've bought two hand eject and two K-frame Smiths at the same pawn shop in Lanett, Alabama, in the course of a year. But pawn shops sell a lot of handguns around here.

Bush Pilot
January 21, 2011, 12:47 PM
Small (mom and pop) gun shops. It seems the gun shows are getting to be a joke when it comes to finding nice material. When you do find an item the price is thru the roof and the seller won't budge on the price.

January 21, 2011, 12:49 PM
I would start visiting local gunshops so you know what kind of stuff they carry and maybe visit another gunshow or three. They are around.

January 21, 2011, 12:58 PM
IMO: "All of the above"

If you spread a broader net you will catch more fish.

I check the internet (forums, Gunbroker etc), non-gun forums are a good source for the occasional gun as well. I have a group of shops I check on a regular basis, one by my office I stop in 1-3 times a week just to see what they've had come in. The key is getting there before the other guys like me do so you can catch the cream of the crop.

Also, get in with a few of the non-dealer table holders at gun shows. Tell them what you like and to keep you in the loop when they get stuff. You'd be amazed at the old-guy-network that runs behind the scenes in the non-FFL market. I have gotten to be quite good friends with a couple to boot. Some are snakes but some are just good people.

Here's a good discussion about why not more Pawn shops sell guns anymore. More 90's era anti-gun BS: http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=190315

I know of at least 5 in the area that dumped guns all together in the late 90's.

January 21, 2011, 01:10 PM
Put a Want to Buy ad in your local paper - around here, a lot of the older seniors are passing away and their older guns of all types get disposed of by family members. If someone knows you're looking, you might get lucky

Old Fuff
January 21, 2011, 09:24 PM
If you are willing to drive to the other end of the state, try here:


They are located in Kalamazoo, and do a substantial business. A phone call at most any time will let you know what's in stock, but used guns change often.

Oh, and they come "Fuff Recommended." ;)

January 21, 2011, 09:36 PM
Very nice OF thank you for the heads up.

January 21, 2011, 09:38 PM
S&W Forum.
Not cheap, but a lot of nice revolvers available. I have bought and sold a number of nice guns there.
You may find something on the For Sale sub-forum here, or on other forums.
If you have a state CHL forum like the TXCHLforum.com, you may have a resource that is more local to you.

January 21, 2011, 09:41 PM
If you have a state CHL forum like the TXCHLforum.com, you may have a resource that is more local to you.
There is a MI gun forum but I don't see too many S&W revolver's on there unfortunately. What is the URL of the S&W forum you mean, or do you just mean any in general?

January 21, 2011, 11:37 PM

January 21, 2011, 11:49 PM
Where I live it's locally owned gunstores and pawnshops. The Cabelas in Boise has many older revolvers for sale in it's Gun Library, but they're expensive.

January 22, 2011, 08:35 AM
small regional shops frequently. There used to be lots of them out there, not so many left for sale now. If you are looking for a shooter rather than a collectable, you might have an easier search-Last year I founs a Highway Patrolman 4" that had been re-blued, but was in great mechanical condition for around $360...I bought it immediately.

I had 3 of them years ago, thought I'd never be able to afford another-they are great to shoot.


Old Fuff
January 22, 2011, 10:03 AM
Dogngun makes a good point:

Collectors are driving up prices on many of the post-World War Two, Smith & Wesson (as well as other top brand) revolvers; and now some are buying for investment purposes. But what these buyers want - and will pay big bucks to get - is examples that are new or like new, and when possible come with the original box with papers and accessories.

On the other hand those that plan to use what they purchase can sometimes literally save hundreds of dollars by buying a gun that is in perfect mechanical condition with a bright bore and chambers, but has some cosmetic wear. Same thing for one that's been refinished and lost most of its interest to a collector.

In and of itself, what condition the finish is in makes no difference in the way a gun shoots, and the wear often simply means it was carried-much-but-used-little. Law inforcement trade-ins often meet this description and represent a great value. Personally I am always on the lookout for these. :evil: ;)

January 22, 2011, 10:12 AM
I love pawn shops although it is important to remember that they are often not run by the most scrupulous people so ALWAYS go in with your own knowledge. (good advice anywhere)

The deals that I have found are in the less prosperous areas of town.

It also helps that revolvers are not popular with "gangster" types.

Go in the morning...pimps and drug dealers have late hours.

When travelling to small towns the local gun shops and pawn shops are also better places to look than big towns. (although the internet has changed that to some degree)

January 22, 2011, 11:04 AM
Collectors Firearms in Houston Texas (on-line)
but bring lots of money

January 22, 2011, 06:46 PM
Experienced local gun shops (and pawn shops that specialize in firearms) get 'em in all the time . . . and have lots of 'em in their safes!

HOWEVER . . . you will NOT see the really good stuff in the display counters!

Sellers learn real fast that you can't put the really good stuff out so all duh masses of yahoos can ask to "look at that cool revolver." Yahoos who don't know any better will be:

Spinning the cylinders (scratching a nasty turn line on the cylinders), dry firing 'em (same problem) and . . . horror of horrors . . . flicking their wrists to slam the open cylinders shut like they've seen on Hollywood movies. No, the good stuff sits safely in the safes, and you have to earn the owner's trust before he's gonna pull them out for you to even know they exist!

What to do . . .

1. Get to know the owners!
2. On your trips into the store, don't ask to look at stuff you aren't willing to buy that day.
3. Practice excessively good gun safety fundamentals and treat his stock like it was something you owned and cherished.
4. Let them know of your areas of interests.
5. Start buying things from him so he knows you are a good and serious customer.
6. Leave him your card and list on the back of the card the kind of things you are looking for specifically.
7. Don't go into the shop unless you have money to spend. As the old saying goes, "Money Talks and Bulls__t Walks." Retailers get really tired of lookers who tie 'em up and aren't serious . . . no matter how nice they may always seem.
8. If their faces don't light up when you walk in the door . . . you ain't there yet. Some of the nicest guns I've bought were those a store owner got in and immediately called me about.

Hope this helps.

BTW . . . here are a couple of recent purchases . . . brought out the back after I started talking to the LGS owner about things I might be interested in at the time. He showed me a bunch of stuff that day . . . none of it on display to the public.

The first is a "C" serial number series (post-war) pre-Model 10 with the desirable 5" barrel, original serial numbered to the gun magna stocks, made about 1950. Not super rare BUT a really nice specimen . . .

and from 1916, an early Model 1903 Hand Ejector with original rubber grips in great condition, coming from the private collection of a deceased pawn shop owner who'd died a few years ago. Actually, BOTH these guns were in the collection of that old pawn shop owner who I'd visited many times . . . guns he never wanted to part with. The new gun shop owner had bought the collection from the man's heirs and was slowly selling off the stuff HE didn't want to keep!

PS: After I paid for them, I made the mistake of mentioning I wanted to find a Colt 1911 made the year I graduated from high school (1969) . . . and he said, "Hang on a minute," and he was back in a flash with a nice '69 Colt .45ACP . . . and I was tapped out that day!!! (Hope he's still got it in the safe!)

January 23, 2011, 07:18 PM
You can find just about anything on Gunbroker...........sellers there are quite reputable all in all. But if you will pay what the market will bear.

In this neck of woods, the only decent bargains are private sales or maybe the occasional deal at a local gun store.
Our gun shows here are all overpriced junk and I only know of 1 pawn shop in Vegas that sells guns to the public. (It ain't the one on TV either)

January 24, 2011, 09:27 AM
Our gun shows here are all overpriced junk

the vendors at our local gunshow have very high prices.

I have not done well there when buying. I have done just fine trading and selling.

The local prices at retailers and gunshows are why I drift through pawn shops :evil:

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