Smith & Wesson Clarification

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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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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.
 

ron

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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.
 
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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
 
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S
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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
 
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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.
 

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