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Inherited Handguns from My Gun Collector Dad

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by oldestdaughter, Feb 4, 2011.

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  1. oldestdaughter

    oldestdaughter Member

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    I lost my precious Dad nine months ago. He lived in Alaska and his picture could be on any outdoor magazine and be appropriate. He loved land, guns, nature, animals and freedome to enjoy all of it. My greatest regret at this moment, is not appreciating his knowledge, keen sense for a great gun, a great deal. I am the oldest of five girls. Do not recall life without a gun in my hand, but as life would have it, I became busy. My Dad left a ton of guns, and by process of not being greedy, I inherited what was left after the others chose theirs. I would love to know more about the following guns as I intend to type up their story and put them in my new safe for my children, in memory of Grandpa.

    Thank you so much for any input.... I go online, but the info is too much.

    Colt Single Action 45N.P.
    1 Smith Wesson 22 Long Rifle
    1 Ruger 44 Special Custom
    1 Colt Single Action, New Frontier (44S),
    1 S&W Model 18, Ivorys
    1 S&W Model 29, 44MA9
    1 S&W 38 Special Model 14,
    1 German Luger 30 Cal, DW95
    1 S&W Model 41 Extra Barrel
     
  2. cpirtle

    cpirtle Member

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    Cherish those guns. I lost my dad when he was only 59. All of my life he told me his guns would be mine when he was gone, but I never looked forward to that day. When it happened family members were asking for "a gun" and by the time it was over I had a couple left. Only two of them were truly special to me one of which I got and the other went to my sister.

    With your dads buns there's not a bad one in the bunch and some of them will be worth a significant price so they should be protected and insured. Don't store them in a zip up lined pouch or in their holsters if they have them. You can go to the sporting goods store to get silicone impregnated gun sleeves for about $5 which work well but I feel the best bet if you have room is upright in a wire pistol rack, in a humidity controlled safe. None of this is too elaborate or expensive, a 4 pistol wire rack is about $30 and a large dessicant pack about $15.

    You have a list of some great guns there but most of them will need a little more information posted and pictures if you can. The Model 41 Smith is a highly desireable gun and is the cadillac of .22 pistols. I use mine for hunting and plinking but they are just as well suited for local pistol leagues.

    Any Colt Single Action revolver is worth a lot of money and can be anything from brand new to over 100 years old. They are fantastic pistols and worth anywhere from $600 to $30,000+.

    The Model 18, 29 & 14 are some of the best revolvers ever made, value will be based on condition and age will be based on serial number.

    I'm most intrigued by the Smith 22 long rifle. You can have anything there from a great pistol to the holy grail of revolver collectors, very hard to say based on what you provided.

    Sorry to here about your loss, preserving your dad's legacy is one of the best ways you can stay close to him.
     
  3. SaxonPig

    SaxonPig Member

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    Not enough info for detailed analysis. There are various "S&W 22s" and is it a Model 29-2 or 29-3 or some other? Barrel lengths affect value as does age.

    All sound like good quality guns.
     
  4. Colt Smith

    Colt Smith Member

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    Very sorry to hear about your loss. If that list is what was left after the others took the good stuff I wonder what pieces they chose. You have some nice guns there. The details about the specific models or their monetary value is not so important. They were a piece of your dad. Symbols of the ideals he believed in and the way he lived his life. They should be preserved well and treated with the respect and affection your dad probably had for them. My dad is still with me and I tease him all the time about getting his guns when he goes. But he knows I could buy any or all of the guns he has now for myself if I wanted. But my dad and I share a lot of the same ideas about a great many things, one of which is an interest in and respect for firearms. I love my dad dearly. When the sad day comes that I lose him, the guns he leaves me will only be a reminder to me of what a truly great man and dear friend he was to me.
     
  5. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    My condolences for the passing of your Father.

    This is a common sentiment, but I will say that most of those are high quality guns and you and the kids could shoot them regularly and still not wear them out. Which I would think a better memorial than just shutting them away.
     
  6. Joe in fla

    Joe in fla Member

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    My condolences. I went through the same thing a couple of years ago. I inherited all my dad's guns and even though I've been around guns in general for a lot of years I'm still sorting through his stuff and trying to identify some of the unique and collector grade parts and features. Gun value varies widely based not only on the model and condition but also what year it was made, any unusual markings, barrel length, type of sights, types of grips, etc etc etc. Even things like barrel diameter can change the value of a gun. Evaluating a gun can get very complicated. The first thing I'd say is don't refinish or repair anything! You can ruin the value of a gun by refinishing it even though it might be beautiful when it's done. Second, don't let anyone use WD-40 on them. It offers little protection and even that doesn't last long and it can harm the bluing. Go buy a can of gun oil and oil the metal parts down well. Try not to get it on any wood or plastic. I personally like Marvel Mystery oil!! I've used all my life and my father has used it since the early 1940s and it's never failed. You can find it in just about any auto supply store. I also second the suggestion to buy some of the silicon impregnated "gun socks" and store every gun in one. They're keep them rust free longer and will help prevent all the little nicks and dings that they get from handling and you can expect them to get handled a lot as you try to sort things out. Amazon.com sells Allen gun socks for rifles for six for $26. <http://www.amazon.com/Allen-Company-Knit-Sock-52-Inch/dp/B0035LTXUO/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1296864474&sr=1-1-fkmr0>. Socks for pistols costs more for some reason. You can also get gun socks at most large sporting good store but Amazon had the best price that I found. After the socks store them in a dry, temperature controlled location. A previous poster made some good suggestions about that.

    Also I'd strongly advise you not to sell or lend any of the guns until you truely know what they're worth. There are a LOT of unscrupulous gun dealers out there that will try to take advantage of your lack of knowledge.

    There are people out there that can appraise guns but so far I have had very poor luck with them. Most either just look up an approximate value in one of the gun "blue books" and consider the features and condition of the gun OR they low ball you on the estimate then try to buy everything for 1/3 of what it's worth! As I said earlier there are a LOT of unscrupulous dealers out there looking for easy pickings! If you post your approximately location to this forum then someone can probably tell you where you can get an honest appraisal in your area.

    If you post some good quality pictures on this site there are plenty of knowledgeable people here that will tell you what you have and give you an idea of what each one is worth.

    One last thing, you need to find out what the laws are in your state regarding transferring guns before you sell or give any away. I'm in Florida and I don't think Ga's laws are very different but every state is different. Also don't let some dealer convince you that you can only sell to a dealer or that you have to register the guns. AFIK Ga doesn't require any registration despite what most of our Yankee transplants think. There's a Legal section on this forum and I think it has links to various websites that explain the laws for every state.

    Good luck, Let us know if you have more questions.
     
  7. Radagast
    • Contributing Member

    Radagast Moderator Staff Member

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    My condolences, I hope the following info is helpful.

    S&W didn't have model numbers until 1957, so no model number means pre 1957. As design changes occurred a -1, -2, -3 etc were added to the model designation, for example, Model 14-1. If there is no -1, etc after the model number, then they are earlier guns.
    There is a S&W Date of Birth thread stickied at the top of this sub forum if you would like the approximate age of the S&Ws.

    The S&W Model 18 K22 Combat Masterpiece was introduced as the .22 long rifle companion of the .38 Special K38 Combat Masterpiece (Later the Model 15) in 1949 & continued in production until 1985. In excellent condition they seem to bring around $500-$550 at the moment. Mine is my most used firearm at the range. It is built on the medium sized K frame. At the moment S&W are producing the Model 18 again with a MRSP of around a $1000.
    The Model 14 K38 Masterpiece was S&Ws .38 Special K frame target revolver, introduced in 1946 & produced until 1982. Normally produced with a six inch barrel, if it has a four inch barrel it may be one of a couple of rare variants.

    The .44 Magnum Model 29 was introduced in 1956 and has have several variations, with differing values. The earlier guns up to the Model 29-3 should be shot a little with magnum loads as they wore out quickly. The Model 29-3E and later guns had modifications for durability. You can shoot lower powered .44 specials through the Magnum, if you have an early gun this may be advisable for regular use.

    The Model 41 is S&Ws quality .22 target pistol and on my wish list. They are reliable, accurate and well fitted.

    The .30 Luger may be a Swiss gun, as the .30 Luger was introduced by Germany in 1898 & replaced by the 9mm luger in 1904. The Swiss continues with the .30 Luger as a standard issue round. A good source of info is here: http://luger.gunboards.com/

    If the .22 long rifle S&W revolver is the same size as the Model 14 then you have a K22 Masterpiece, the companion to the Model 14. Prior to 1957 there was no model number designation, so the gun predates that. Depending on the variant it goes from being a desirable collectors and shooters firearm to highly desirable. Pics are needed to ID it.
    If it is smaller than the Model 14 or Model 18 then it is a variant of the the .22/.32 Hand Ejector built on the small I frame between 1915 & 1957. Again pics are needed for a positive ID.

    I can't help with the Ruger or Colts.
     
  8. tekarra

    tekarra Member

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    Your father would be proud of you and I hope your children will appreciate the legacy. You are doing a fine thing.
     
  9. oldestdaughter

    oldestdaughter Member

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    Thanks so much

    Thanking you again and I plan to learn more.
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2011
  10. oldestdaughter

    oldestdaughter Member

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    Sorry I meant the Colt 45.
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2011
  11. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Member

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    Your dad had good taste. RIP.
     
  12. Joe in fla

    Joe in fla Member

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    With a serial number (and model number) someone would probably be able to date most, but not all, manufacturer's guns. There are also a number of websites that have SN vs production date info available. Just search for "Marlin model 97 production date" for example and you should find them quickly. As pointed out above, S&W didn't put model numbers on many of their earlier guns so you may have trouble identifying them but if you post some pictures some here someone can almost certainly tell you the correct model name or number. If you don't feel comfortable posting the complete SN you can just X out the last couple of digits.

    There are some good postings on this forum about the best way to clean up neglected guns. You can search for them or someone can probably point them out to you. You MAY be able to clean them up a lot better than you think.
     
  13. oldestdaughter

    oldestdaughter Member

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    Thanks

    Yes, he had great taste, sorry but he did. He could scope out a deal a mile away. Me I go to a sale and stare blindly.... he was the same way with knives, jewelry etc.,
    I have tried with the SN's but I get nowhere. I will take some photos soon just so yall can go oooh and ahhhhh:):) It is almost like an addiction ... at least Dad was like that. I don't recall not having guns under the beds, in drawers etc., just thought as a kid that is the way it was in all folks homes. lol
     
  14. oldestdaughter

    oldestdaughter Member

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    Thank you
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2011
  15. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    When you list the serial numbers "xx" out the last two or three numbers so no one will have the real numbers. (can never be too safe)

    Sorry you lost your Dad.
     
  16. oldestdaughter

    oldestdaughter Member

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    Thanks ... I did not know that. I have alot to learn.
    I sent what I thought to be one on a PM... I just have to still believe in the basic goodness of folks I guess. Well, I am curious, the Long Rifle SW is K651xxx and the 41 S&W is 217XX So does this help? I am actually saving alot of this info as my 13 year old son is a major gun enthusiast like his grandpa, he can tell you tons about the WWII weapons... so I want to tell him all I can on these precious guns.
     
  17. Lucky Derby

    Lucky Derby Member

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    I am sorry for your loss. God Bless.
     
  18. otisrush

    otisrush Member

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    oldestdaughter:

    So sorry to hear about your dad. I can very much relate. I grew up with guns and spent a lot of time shooting with my dad and also spending time with him learning about guns. He died about 20 years ago, but my mom didn't want us kids to take them. When she passed away we split them up, and I'm amazed at how having just a few of them provide a really cool connection with the past. And one of the really fun things now is to pass it on to my son. He learned on the Savage .22 single shot bolt action that my dad taught me on.

    Enjoy them and enjoy the connection they give you to your dad and your memories with him.

    OR
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2011
  19. Gord

    Gord Member

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    My condolences for the loss of your Dad. Glad his guns went to someone who will appreciate and cherish them instead of viewing them as "just stuff," or worse, as distasteful things to be sold, given away or destroyed.
     
  20. cpirtle

    cpirtle Member

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    oldestdoughter, I just replied to your PM, looks like you figured that out as well ;)

    Just for the record, I'm not advising you get prices for resale, you need to know what you have for insurance and just to know. More on that in my PM.

    As for the mystery 22, it's a 1965 Model 17 - very nice gun!

    I also second the advice on replacing the last 2 digits of the SN with xx if you post them, don't need some scumbag pouring out of the woodwork saying one of them was stolen from him 20 years ago.
     
  21. leadcounsel

    leadcounsel member

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    Sorry for your loss. I have nothing much to add to the above, except a $4 Walmart style white plastic coated dish rack works perfectly for storing handguns vertically in a small space. I use them in my safe and they are just perfect and inexpensive.
     
  22. OldCavSoldier

    OldCavSoldier Member

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    You are the living evidence that your father did a great job raising you!
     
  23. lawboy

    lawboy Member

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    Sorry about your loss.
    On the S&Ws, contact the manufacturer, for a small fee they will send you a letter authenticating the each gun, date of manufacturer, date of shipping and to whom it originally shipped from the factory, and the configuration of the gun when it left the factory, ie., barrel length, type of finish, any options, etc.
    I believe Colt will do the same. The letters are worth several times what you pay for them down the road.
    Also, get on amazon.com and purchase the second and third editions of The Standard Catalog of S&W by Supica and Nahas. These reference books will teach you a tremendous amount about the guns.
    Finally, on the S&Ws, the definitive internet boards are found at www.smith-wessonforum.com.
     
  24. Jaymo

    Jaymo Member

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    Here in GA, you can sell any of your guns to any private individual you want. You don't have to go through a gun dealer. A dealer is just going to screw you out of money in order to maximize his profits.
    There is no registration in GA, so don't get conned by anyone who claims there is. GA is one of the best states for gun owners, IF we can keep liberal transplants out of the state government. We don't need to be another Chicago or New England.
     
  25. 19&41

    19&41 Member

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    Visit some of the gun shows here and go to the book tables and look at the ones that concern themselves with the firearms you own. Also get on the internet ant find the specific forums for each. Each good forum will have their resident experts that can answer questions in detail. Take pictures of each of your firearms, close ups, and show serials and identifying features. Store them to a cd-rom and store in a safe place (not with your guns) to provide identification in the event of theft. Remove those photo files from your computer, though. Cherish and enjoy your legacy.
     
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