Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by Agsalaska, Jan 17, 2021.
I guess each of us is either a shooter or a looker. Obviously I’m a shooter.
My 6" half lug GP had been stashed away somewhere in its box when I saved it.
This nickel model 15 had never been fired when it was rescued.
My 24-3 was NIB with all the paperwork and accouterments.
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.
Excellent examples. They need to be used as long as they aren't abused. Which cartridge is the PP/Target chambered for?
That is true, even of a Korth revolver which is made the same way. It isn't a problem.
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.
Go make noise and get that sucker dirty!
Life is too short to not use and enjoy what you have worked for.
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.
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.
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.
And if it's an older collectible, it's going to appreciate more than that amount anyway.
-Destroyed (consficated, chopped down at a police department)
-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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I may go back for it, trade fodder in hand.
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.
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