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Smith & Wesson Clarification

Discussion in 'Handgun Discussion' started by slyguy, May 3, 2011.

  1. slyguy

    slyguy Eugene Member

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    Can anyone help me identify a 357 Magnum? The number on the bottom of the frame and inside the cylinder under the barrel match and are a five digit. It's also stamped REG247 and another four digit number under that. I know it's a six inch barrel, six shot, but would love to know exact model and birth date.
    Let me know additional info required.
    Thanks for all your help.
    Cheers,
    SLYGUY
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    Last edited: May 31, 2011
  2. Kaltbluter

    Kaltbluter Eugene Member 2015 Volunteer

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    Do you have a picture?

    Sounds like you have a Registered Magnum. If it has original finish, grips, sights and such it could a worth quite a bit.

    Even in pretty bad shape it could be worth more than most new guns. You'd need a certificate of authenticity to prove that it isn't a counterfeit. Maybe that $50 is worth it.

    There is currently one on Gunbroker for $5999. There aren't any bids on it but it does show an example of what the letter from Roy Jinks looks like.


    Here is a bit of an article I found online:
    In developing the revolver for the new cartridge, the factory did not consider the revolver would have wide sales. In fact, they planned the new revolver would be a custom-built handgun registered to each of the individual purchasers. The customer had a choice of any barrel length he wanted from 3 1/2" to 8 3/8". He could chose from seven different front sights and it would be zeroed at the factory for any range out to 200 meters.

    To me, the finish of the revolver is most striking. The top of the barrel and frame are hand checkered at 48 lines per inch and the blue is that gorgeous deep-blue produced by the carbona or hot oven process. Jinks explained the polished gun went into an oven packed with bone, pine oil and carbona wax and was then heated to 750 degrees. The temperature was then reduced to 400 and held for several hours. Afterwards, the gun was quenched in oil.

    Of course the secret to any beautiful finish is the polishing. In any gun factory of the old days, polishers were among the highest paid workers because a job done wrong could ruin a gun. Jinks also mentions that during the Depression era of the '30s when the Registry Guns were made, jobs were scarce, and the men took great pride in their work.

    Stocks were selected from the best walnut available; this was before the arrival of "target" stocks that were so popular later. So Smith & Wesson designed a grip adapter to help fill the space in the grip area. If the customer wanted a grip adapter the gun would also be shipped with a shorter grip screw should the owner wish to remove the adapter. Even the box was special. Blue and gold with the identification ".357 Magnum Revolver" on every aspect. Inside was bright red with printed instructions in English and Spanish.

    In short the gun was the best Smith & Wesson could make at the time, and they charged accordingly. At a time when the most expensive gun cost $45, the .357 was $60. I don't know what that would work out to in Y2K dollars but I'm sure it would compare to the finest of custom work today.

    Smith & Wesson's idea was to "register" each revolver to the original purchaser, and a fancy certificate would be issued for each gun when the owner returned the warranty registration. In addition to the serial number, which was in the normal location on the butt, cylinder and barrel, there was a separate "REG" number on the frame in the yoke cut.

    The Gun Is Born

    The first .357 Magnum was finished on April 8, 1935, and given to FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover. Jinks reports orders far exceeded the company's ability to produce guns, which was at a rate of about 120 per month. In 1938, the registration procedure was dropped after approximately 5,500 guns were made. The revolver continued in production until World War II converted S&W to war work. Total pre-war production was 6,642 guns. The magnum returned in late 1948. When S&W adopted model numbers in 1958, it became the Model 27.
     
  3. slyguy

    slyguy Eugene Member

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    Pics to share should be up this weekend.
    Thanks to all of the responses.
    SLYGUY
     
  4. slyguy

    slyguy Eugene Member

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    Pics up
     
  5. ron

    ron Vancouver, Washington Silver Supporter Silver Supporter

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    OMG !!! It is a 'Registered Magnum' the ultimate magnum. Not the pre-27 model. The grips do not appear to be original from pictures I see on the web. But one blog states that no 2 registered magnums were alike? BIG bucks!! You are very fortunate I am so jealous.
     
  6. orygun

    orygun West Linn Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    This gun is more than worthy of getting the letter from Mr. Jinks. This is the "Holy Grail" of 357s.

    Lucky you!
     
  7. Browning55

    Browning55 Seattle-Everett Area Active Member

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    And looks to be in very good shape, too. Can't wait to hear what the historical department tell you. Hope you have a good safe, too.
     
  8. asiparks

    asiparks PDX Active Member

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    :eek:ffwall::eek:ffwall::eek:ffwall:

    that's pretty much every S & W collectors grail gun.

    There's been a few on auction arms lately sold by Jack the Dog....2 sold for over $6.5K the other for about $4.5 if I recall....
    Documentation is a must, so as said above, get the letter from Roy Jinks
     
  9. Browning55

    Browning55 Seattle-Everett Area Active Member

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    Have to keep checking back to see if there's any news from the historian. Why am I so excited? It's not my gun.
     
  10. slyguy

    slyguy Eugene Member

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    Don't worry - I'll post the letter from the historian as soon as it shows up. I already have a nice story developing on this handgun with info and documentation going back two owners.
    Cheers,
    SLYGUY
     
  11. madcratebuilder

    madcratebuilder Ardenwald, OR Well-Known Member

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    Maybe the S&W letter well show it has something special about it. Otherwise a nickle plated 6" is about 2.5k. Maybe Elmer owned at one time$$$$.
     
  12. Taurus 617 CCW

    Taurus 617 CCW Northern Idaho Member

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    Definitely a gun worthy of further research.
     
  13. Oohrah

    Oohrah NorthwestSouthern Oregon Coast Member

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    It looks like a polished version of a duty gun I bought in the sixties, called the Model 28 Highway Patrolman. It was a bit cheaper than the Model 27 due to not being as highly polished. Both being built on the Smith's N frame it handled heavy 357 loads with ease. The Registered Magnums pre dated the Model 27. My Model 28 came with some little dinky grips, so I bought the target grips as shown from a brother officer, as he went to a custom type.
     
  14. slyguy

    slyguy Eugene Member

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    Letter came today - it is certified!
     
  15. Nutty4Guns

    Nutty4Guns Portland ADHD Superstar

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    Gravy!
     
  16. orygun

    orygun West Linn Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    :worship:
     
  17. oasis618

    oasis618 Tacoma, Wa Active Member

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    So how did you come across this treasure you knew so little about? I take it you didn't pay anywhere near what it seems to be worth?
     
  18. Browning55

    Browning55 Seattle-Everett Area Active Member

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    That is sooooooo sweet!

    Hang onto that baby and never let 'er go! :thumbup:
     
  19. Oohrah

    Oohrah NorthwestSouthern Oregon Coast Member

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    Congrats on the letter!!! Always nice to find out values have increased or become more valuable and still be able to use it without decreasing the value.