Shooting Collectable revolvers

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by Agsalaska, Jan 17, 2021.

  1. J-Bar

    J-Bar Member

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2010
    Messages:
    3,810
    Location:
    Springfield, MO
    My right shoulder blew out right after Christmas. Doc gave me a steroid injection into the joint this morning, so I had to use a rest to test my newest acquisition, a 1971 S&W Model 28 4” Highway Patrolman. It gave me this group at 21 feet this afternoon. My heart sings, even with the flyer at 7 o’clock, which I know was my fault.

    I guess each of us is either a shooter or a looker. Obviously I’m a shooter.

    DFCCB6BA-4D9B-4C8E-96AF-8DF60AD05F74.jpeg
     
    orpington, Rexster, Blue Jays and 2 others like this.
  2. CraigC
    • Contributing Member

    CraigC Sixgun Nut

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2006
    Messages:
    20,340
    Location:
    West Tennessee
    I'm probably a bit weird and maybe a little spiteful. I take great pleasure in buying NIB examples of guns I really want and deflowering them. Not pictured here are long guns like the NIB Winchester 1894 Legendary Frontiersmen I got a few years ago with stellar wood. Along with the unfired 1953 Model 94 carbine I found last year.

    My 6" half lug GP had been stashed away somewhere in its box when I saved it.

    Ropers%20012b.jpg

    This nickel model 15 had never been fired when it was rescued.

    IMG_6658b.jpg

    My 24-3 was NIB with all the paperwork and accouterments.

    IMG_3185b.jpg

    The Police Positive Target wasn't NIB but damned near to it. Somebody hid it away from use since the 1920's. The S&W 2nd Model, on the other hand, has been refinished.

    017.jpg
     
    Rexster, cfullgraf, J-Bar and 7 others like this.
  3. GeoDudeFlorida

    GeoDudeFlorida Member

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2020
    Messages:
    2,107
    ---
    Excellent examples. They need to be used as long as they aren't abused. Which cartridge is the PP/Target chambered for?
     
    LightninST likes this.
  4. CraigC
    • Contributing Member

    CraigC Sixgun Nut

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2006
    Messages:
    20,340
    Location:
    West Tennessee
    It's a .22LR.
     
    GeoDudeFlorida likes this.
  5. Paul7

    Paul7 Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2008
    Messages:
    1,706
    Location:
    New Mexico
    That is true, even of a Korth revolver which is made the same way. It isn't a problem.
     
    GeoDudeFlorida likes this.
  6. Mark 40

    Mark 40 Member

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2016
    Messages:
    268
    Location:
    Poconos, PA
    Same here. Purchased a Detective Special and Diamondback with the above criteria.
    I think it's great that collectors seek out gems they can admire and treasure. And I like when they share them with us here at THR.
     
    wcwhitey likes this.
  7. J-Bar

    J-Bar Member

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2010
    Messages:
    3,810
    Location:
    Springfield, MO
    I’m thinking if you have to ask the question, deep down in your heart you are a shooter, because the a-retentive collector could never bring himself to to even imagine shooting that pristine virginal firearm in the first place.

    Go make noise and get that sucker dirty!

    :)
     
    GeoDudeFlorida likes this.
  8. orpington

    orpington Member

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2014
    Messages:
    814
    I shoot this Smith & Wesson Target Model at the range a few times a year. It will be up to whomever purchases this from my heirs and assigns whether negligible wear, if any, has diminished resale value. 64669347-017D-4779-88FD-60AAB6550039.jpeg 64AA52F1-BE73-4350-A18B-B02077F44C2C.jpeg
     

    Attached Files:

    Rexster, CraigC, J-Bar and 3 others like this.
  9. PzGren

    PzGren Member

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2003
    Messages:
    1,057
    Location:
    Texas
    There is only one revolver that I do not shoot anymore after test firing it and it is one of the Korths in the best condition I have owned. I gifted it to my son for graduation and am keeping it until he is done with his physician specialization program..

    Life is too short to not use and enjoy what you have worked for.

    Korth-Combat-I.jpg

    Mine gets shot but isn't in pristine condition anymore even though they look alike in the photos and only the Korth logo is the big difference.
    Korth-Combat-II.jpg
     
    Blue Jays, Rexster, CraigC and 3 others like this.
  10. AustinTX

    AustinTX Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2010
    Messages:
    556
    What follows is just my opinion, and it doesn't have to be yours or anyone else's. I'm very much into collecting a wide variety of unfired/LNIB pistols and revolvers and keeping them in the condition in which I found them, which most people don't understand. So I understand where you're coming from to a significant extent. From S&Ws to Colts to Korths to Manurhins, I have loads of collectible wheelguns that I acquired in LNIB condition and that will remain that way until I'm gone. Some people can't imagine not shooting those pristine guns -- and I find their thinking every bit as alien as they find mine.

    But I also love to shoot fine guns, and I always want to know what it's like to shoot any gun (or family of guns) that I own. That doesn't mean I have to shoot all of them -- that's what "shooter" duplicates are for. I love tracking down the rare, pristine collectibles that I'll never shoot, but I also love hunting for high-condition duplicates that are not in truly collectible condition (some evidence of firing, no box/papers, more common variant, less sought-after year of production, etc.).

    You might find it liberating to designate a small number of representative guns that are not in LNIB condition as your zero-remorse shooters -- or to buy a few guns to fit that bill -- and decide that you don't care if they accumulate additional evidence of use. It doesn't sound like we're talking mostly about guns individually worth several thousand dollars or more, so the very worst that happens is that all the fun you have shooting a few designated guns costs you, say, $100 or $200 per gun in resale value. No big loss, and, to my mind, vastly offset by the fun that comes from shooting them without dreading the inevitable wear that they're accumulating. I would shoot the living hell out of that Model 57, for instance. No box/case/papers, no S-series serial number, no regrets.

    Just consider dispensing with worrying at all about inevitable signs of use for a small number of guns. Allowing yourself to shoot just a scant few rounds per year out of any gun, worrying all the while that you're adding a little wear with every shot, sounds like a perfect way to not really enjoy shooting.

    Anyway, not really answering your specific question here. Just providing one perspective to consider, as someone who shares much of your firearms OCD.
     
  11. 5whiskey

    5whiskey Member

    Joined:
    May 13, 2009
    Messages:
    63
    SHOOT. THEM.

    With moderately loaded ammo, and clean with care. But seriously if they aren’t un-fired shot them. At least a little.

    I will second that I probably avoid a holster if they are 98-100%. Holster wear can developers surprisingly fast on blued guns.
     
    GeoDudeFlorida likes this.
  12. CraigC
    • Contributing Member

    CraigC Sixgun Nut

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2006
    Messages:
    20,340
    Location:
    West Tennessee
    Lordy mercy! :eek:
     
  13. Paul7

    Paul7 Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2008
    Messages:
    1,706
    Location:
    New Mexico
    And if it's an older collectible, it's going to appreciate more than that amount anyway.
     
  14. Heir Kommt Die Sonne

    Heir Kommt Die Sonne Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2018
    Messages:
    784
    Location:
    Texas
    Every gun, somewhere down the road, will either be :
    -Destroyed (consficated, chopped down at a police department)
    or
    -Fired and used as it's intended use
    Even if it's 100 years from now, 200 years from now, stored in a museum for some time, every gun is gonna be fired. It'll take a post-apocalypse for some guns to be fired, but they all will be. So it might as well be you to enjoy that experience of shooting your guns while you still have them.
     
  15. Dave T

    Dave T Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2003
    Messages:
    1,418
    Location:
    Mesa, AZ
    I've never owned a gun I couldn't shoot. I've never purchased a gun I wouldn't shoot.

    YMMV,
    Dave
     
    DR505, nofendertom and CraigC like this.
  16. Driftwood Johnson

    Driftwood Johnson Member

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2011
    Messages:
    5,102
    Location:
    Land of the Pilgrims
    I have.

    Lots of them.

    I will probably never fire these little S&W 22 Rimfire Tip Ups because modern 22 Shorts are too hot for their iron cylinders. The one at the top of the photo left the factory in 1859, dunno when the middle one shipped, the one at the bottom of the photo shipped in 1870.

    po6xIaWMj.jpg




    The same with these little Ladysmiths. Modern 22 Longs are too hot for them. Left to right, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd models. Ship dates 1903, 1907, and 1910.

    plHWXm26j.jpg




    On the other hand, these antique S&W New Model Number Threes have been fired lots of times at Cowboy Action matches. With cartridges loaded with Black Powder of course.

    pojp5d3pj.jpg




    This one left the factory in 1882, refinished at the factory in 1965. Yes, all #3 Top Breaks tend to shoot high because the front sights are so short.

    pnolao3uj.jpg




    This one was part of a large shipment to Japan in 1896. I was probably holding at six O'Clock for this target. The flyer was my fault.

    pmI8qRJSj.jpg




    My Merwin Hulbert Pocket Army usually makes it to a match once or twice a year too. Difficult to pin down the year it shipped, as all the records burned at one point. Probably sometime between 1881-1883.

    plEwrV4fj.jpg

    pnwLij08j.jpg




    I had a great time the day I took this Triple Lock from 1907 to the range. I got it for a ridiculously low price because almost all the blue has been worn off and the grips are really worn. None of the other 'serious' collectors was interested, but it was right up my alley and I grabbed it. It still locks up tight and shoots like a dream. Boy, did those guys miss out on this one.

    pnu8oWpvj.jpg




    I have not fired this S&W 1st Model Russian yet, but I intend to. I bought it because the 1st Model Russian looks exactly like the American Model, but is chambered for 44 Russian, not the 44 S&W American cartridge with its heeled bullet. I am not set up to load cartridges with heeled bullets, but I have been loading 44 Russian for quite some time. I got it for a good price because the barrel has been cut down from the original length, and it is 'in the white' all the blue having been polished off at some point, which also involved over polishing the side plate so the joint stands out like a sore thumb. The grips are kind of funky too. Notice the old coin that has been substituted for the original front sight. Looking just like the American Model, this 1st Model Russian nicely rounded out my collection of #3 Top Breaks, even though it really is not an American Model. It shipped in 1873.

    pne7YNc8j.jpg
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jan 26, 2021
    DR505, LoonWulf, Blue Jays and 6 others like this.
  17. GeoDudeFlorida

    GeoDudeFlorida Member

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2020
    Messages:
    2,107
    ---
    Absolutely beautiful.

    Question: I was under the (perhaps mistaken) impression that S&W was proofing for smokeless starting around 1905. Would not the 1907 and 1910 .22's also have been nitro-proofed? Just curious. I always figured, if you don't know, ask an I don't know. :)
     
  18. Driftwood Johnson

    Driftwood Johnson Member

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2011
    Messages:
    5,102
    Location:
    Land of the Pilgrims
    I have no definitive answer on when S&W was proofing with Smokeless powder. I have reprints of some very old catalogs, one printed in 1900 is advocating against shooting smokeless powder cartridges in any or their revolvers.

    Anyway, everything I have read about the early Tip Ups and the Ladysmiths says not to try to fire them. Modern rimfire ammo is more powerful than the stuff being used when they were made.

    By the way, after looking at it more closely I am starting to think now that the 1st Model Russian is actually nickle plated, not polished and 'in the white'. Which kind of makes sense. If somebody went to the trouble to polish all the blue off, and perhaps some minor rust and/or pitting, it makes more sense that they did so in preparation of plating for with nickel.

    Here is another photo of the 1st Model Russian with some of my ammo I plan to shoot through it.

    pnLaw4AYj.jpg
     
    GeoDudeFlorida likes this.
  19. tark

    tark Member

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2013
    Messages:
    3,558
    Location:
    atkinson, ill
    How about low velocity LRs for the Ladysmiths? They are loaded pretty weak
     
    GeoDudeFlorida likes this.
  20. GeoDudeFlorida

    GeoDudeFlorida Member

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2020
    Messages:
    2,107
    ---
    No sense taking chances, then. Centerfire can be loaded with BP - I do it for .32S&W and .38S&W and it's not exactly rocket surgery - but rimfire is another ball game. They're artwork at this point. Very nice artwork.
     
  21. CraigC
    • Contributing Member

    CraigC Sixgun Nut

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2006
    Messages:
    20,340
    Location:
    West Tennessee
    This afternoon I looked at a NIB 2nd generation Colt SAA. Its original owner bought it new and never fired it. I came close to bringing it home as the price was reasonable. My thoughts were centered on who to get to tune the action along with replacing the grips and could I load some ammo and shoot it before dark. :D
     
    Dave T, LoonWulf, ontarget and 2 others like this.
  22. Zygodactyl

    Zygodactyl Member

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2020
    Messages:
    36
    probably the only modern 22 that can be shot in the early revolvers would be BB caps. They contain no powder besides the priming charge and shoot a round ball. CB caps are less powerful than shorts but may be too much for the early guns.
     
    GeoDudeFlorida likes this.
  23. Driftwood Johnson

    Driftwood Johnson Member

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2011
    Messages:
    5,102
    Location:
    Land of the Pilgrims
    So did you buy it? There are lots of guys who can tune it. You can look some up on the Single Action Shooting Society Wire.

    https://forums.sassnet.com/index.php?/forum/12-sass-wire/
     
    GeoDudeFlorida likes this.
  24. CraigC
    • Contributing Member

    CraigC Sixgun Nut

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2006
    Messages:
    20,340
    Location:
    West Tennessee
    No, I got a Puma .454 instead. I wasn't pondering who I 'could' send it to but who I 'would' send it to. ;)

    I may go back for it, trade fodder in hand.
     
    GeoDudeFlorida likes this.
  25. tark

    tark Member

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2013
    Messages:
    3,558
    Location:
    atkinson, ill
    Shooting BB caps in a revolver usually results in a bullet stuck in the bore just ahead of the forcing cone. At least that's what happened to me with my High Standard Sentinel. I was expecting that result and I removed the stuck bullet without incident. I did it as an experiment.
     
    GeoDudeFlorida likes this.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice