A couple of questions on a PRE-MODEL 10

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by ROK'N THUNDER, Jan 26, 2020.

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  1. ROK'N THUNDER

    ROK'N THUNDER Member

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    New member on the road. I am new to handguns having owned only semi-auto long guns. I recently purchased a pre-model 10 according to SN #C3762xx. I liked it's look and probably paid too much for it. Anyway to my questions. #1 does anyone know when S&W changed their front sight to a ramped half moon? #2 The bluing on the barrel looks different from the frame why? Here is a couple of pics. pix874156162[1].jpg pix674206040[1].jpg
     
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  2. ontarget

    ontarget Member

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    The bluing on the barrel looks like it matches the cylinder. The frame is probably a slightly different steel so took the bluing differently.
    No big deal in my book. I would never accept a new gun like that but yours is more than a couple of years old and probably matched when it was new.
    And welcome to THR. Beware of enablers. This place is crawling with them. Including me! LOL.

    BTW nice revolver!
     
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  3. ROK'N THUNDER

    ROK'N THUNDER Member

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    Thanks the most important thing to me is that it works. S&W has a very good rep. so I bought it seeing only pictures. I get my hands on it this week. have a Rok'n good day.
     
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  4. boom boom
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    boom boom Contributing Member

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    Welcome to the THR,
    It was a post WWII thing on the sights but remember that Smith & Wesson fabricated revolvers out of parts bins (which is why some parts have assembly numbers and letters often mistaken for serial numbers. Yours was made approximately from 1954-56 by its serial number sequence. So you have a late pre-model 10 apparently. Numbering models did not take place until about 1957 or so. Some specialists will be along later that I am sure will give you more.

    You can also see oddball out of sequence older parts used on newer guns which can happen when you allow for special orders or the factory wanting to get rid of surplus parts stock. The no. 10 became the workhorse firearm issued for the policing industry which cared often about having a firearm at a decent price rather than the specific makeup of a firearm. S&W tried to give the customers what they wanted even if it might cause collectors to puzzle over the oddball variations later.

    The long and the short of the posts below is that the older Smiths allowed the half moon front sight to be carefully bent to deal with windage like the old SAA's. New manufacturing techniques post war allowed precise machining of the revolver barrels with the front sight in perfect conformity with the rear and so the old half moon bending trick was no longer needed.
    https://www.smithandwessonforums.com/forum/s-w-revolvers-1945-present/7512-model-10-front-sight-question.html

    Regarding the different coloring, due to long service lives of these things, it is possible that the barrel is not original to the gun, that someone reblued it, that the holster/container affected blueing on the barrel, your revolver was made up at S&W from a mix of older and newer parts, or that you are seeing cold bluing, etc. If you get a whiff of sulfur, it is probably cold bluing along the barrel to dress it up but that test is not perfect as some cold blues do not have that odor.

    Leather Holsters were hard on the barrel sides and the cylinder causing finish wear on the finish in those places. I notice that your barrel and cylinder appear closer as a match in color than the frame which might be an explanation. Leaving a revolver in a leather holster that has whatever leather treatment in it can also cause some color changes long term in the bluing.

    As long as the revolver is sound mechanically, the K-Frame is a historic and well built firearm that will serve you well regardless of the parts issue. The one that you are showing has a nice finish and hopefully a good bore and cylinders. The good news is also that there are a fair amount of gunsmiths that can work on your K-Frame versus a Colt of a similar vintage and spare parts are readily available.

    You have a classic revolver made during S&W's peak time for excellent manufacturing techniques, modern steels, and good finishing. Enjoy it.
     
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  5. ROK'N THUNDER

    ROK'N THUNDER Member

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    Thanks a lot for such a through explanation. I will be able to inspect it this week. The seller said it was in perfect working condition. Rok on R.T.
     
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  6. evan price

    evan price Member

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    One of the finest examples of a Smith revolver ever produced in my opinion. I have a soft spot for pre 57 models. And an even softer spot for pre-ww2 models but that's not relevant in this thread.
    Smith changed the front sight in 1952.
    Your cylinder and barrel are what we call "plum". I've seen this before in guns that had the barrel and cylinder refinished due to wear.
    However, the hot blueing process is very dependent on the temperature and concentration strength of the salts and the preheat temperature of the parts and time in the bath. Since the frames weren't blued with all the matching parts, the parts can fade differently over time with factory finish.
     
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  7. ROK'N THUNDER

    ROK'N THUNDER Member

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    Thanks very much. I was looking for a victory model. They were using them when I was in the Army. They want a good deal of money for one in good condition. I am looking at a WW2 Shoulder holster for it.
    Have a Rok'n goodtime,
    R.T.
     
  8. Jonesy814

    Jonesy814 Member

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    Your gun is most likely a 56 or 57 date of manufacture. I have C 3414xx and it was shipped in the last half of 55. The half moon front sight was changed to what yours has in the early 50’s.
    E9E9A789-ACA2-4EF9-B2B7-DB79E92A0642.jpeg
    I have never seen one with that distinct if a plum color on just the barrel & cylinder.
    You can check on the barrel flat under ejector rid and the face of the cylinder for a serial number that marches the frame
    8F0808A5-A662-4D7F-9297-3351BE0DC5CD.jpeg
    55806C34-B111-49A3-BDE9-C88D130A9321.jpeg
     
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  9. ROK'N THUNDER

    ROK'N THUNDER Member

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    Thanks a million! I am looking forward to inspecting it.
    Rok steady,
    R.T.
     
  10. Tallball

    Tallball Member

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    Plum is wonderful. I would inspect it carefully and be prepared to pay near to asking price if necessary.
     
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  11. ROK'N THUNDER

    ROK'N THUNDER Member

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    Thanks for the info. I like it because it's also around my age.
    Rok hardy,
    R.T.
     
  12. Jonesy814

    Jonesy814 Member

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    My cylinder has a wee bit of plum coloring but it doesn't show in the photo. I have only seen it in outdoor lighting
     
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  13. Jonesy814

    Jonesy814 Member

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  14. Eddietruett

    Eddietruett Member

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    Some people will tell you the plum color is a sure sign of a refinish but @ontarget is spot on. I have been told by several notable gunsmiths and one former S&W customer shop gunsmith that it is the way that the metal accepted the blue. Its usually a cylinder or barrel or both that have the plum color. Rugers at one time had a bunch these. Frames are usually blued separately from the other parts according to the former Smith employee and you almost never see a frame plum. I think its sort of cool looking in a case like your gun where the barrel and cylinder match. I'd love to find a vintage Smith and Wesson where the entire gun turned the plum color. I think it would be beautiful. I had a model 19-5 recently that had a plum colored cylinder and had a tough time selling it because of the odd cylinder. The eventual buyer saw it and loved the way it looked!
     
  15. ROK'N THUNDER

    ROK'N THUNDER Member

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  16. ROK'N THUNDER

    ROK'N THUNDER Member

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    Many thanks! I think there might be a SN under ejector rod on the barrel. I hope to find out soon.
    Rok on & on
    R.T.
     
  17. Alte Schule

    Alte Schule Member

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    That's a great find. I hope you enjoy it.

    I bought this 1948 manufacture Military & Police Pre Model 10 with period correct leather holster in December of '18. It's a great shooter. It's a semi safe queen though as are all my older S&W's.
    M&P.jpg M&P2.jpg
     
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  18. ROK'N THUNDER

    ROK'N THUNDER Member

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    Howdy from SoCal! Very nice the grips look like they came with it and the holster fits. They say their fixed sights are right on.
    Rok'n in the USA
    R.T.
     
  19. Jonesy814

    Jonesy814 Member

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    the black one is out of stock there. You might find them on Amazon. Pretty sure I have seen them there
     
  20. ROK'N THUNDER

    ROK'N THUNDER Member

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    I like the WW2 brown. I have a photo of my dad somewhere wearing one, but it was for 1911.
    R O K in USA,
    R.T.
     
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