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PostPosted: Sun May 15, 2011 2:12 am 
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Joined: Mon Jun 20, 2005 4:48 am
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Location: Smokey Mountain's
Hello
I at One time had a Model 25-2 S&W revolver chambered in .45 ACP Caliber, but I could not get it to shoot tight groups no matter what I tried to load for it, so I let it go as I had Heard that the Early Pre-25s were the ones that really shot tight, so I have been looking for a decent Model Pre-25 S&W revolver for a while in my area to No Avail. :( Evidently most that have them, are not willing to let them go if they shot good, so the Market was soft with examples available out there. I wanted a Good Shooter so that I could enjoy shooting it without worry of Killings it's collectible status as the few that I had been seeing out there appeared to be New in Box examples price accordingly at around $1300.00 or so. In the catagory of good shooter examples that were available, The ones I did see out there were well enjoyed and more or less Very Hard used shooters that were kind of worn in their original finish and loose in their actions, which did not fit into what I was Looking for to add to my collection. I stopped in to one of my local Honey holes close to my House just into the New Year, and spotted a Nice Five screw example S&W revolver sitting in the glass case. I could tell by the Rather Large hole that it had in the end of the barrel, that it had to be either a .44 or a .45 Caliber Gun so I asked to see it. I was delighted to see it was a Model of 1955 .45 Target revolver, Just what I had been looking for & Apparently it had been there for a week and no one had bought it, which to me was hard to believe as good as this gun appeared to be. For the vintage of the gun, it looked really Great only showing one small spot of bluing loss being on the left side of the guns frame, just down under the cylinder release area were apparently it had been riding in a Holster and the Holster rivet had rubbed the guns frame removing some Bluing from it. :( Other than that, I could not find anything wrong with it other than the fact that the barrel looked a little short for a Pre-25, as I checked the guns action and lock up which appeared to be tight and smooth with no end shake or cylinder slop Present, which told me that it had Been shot, but Not shot to Death like some I had bene seeing out there for sale. Given most of this model were shipped with a 6-1/2" Barrel, this one looked a Tad bit short to me, so a quick measurement of it showed my suspicions to be correct as it measured Only 5-7/8" from the end of the barrel to the face of the barrel's forcing cone. I was Not alarmed at this, as S&W used all the parts that they made for these guns at that time and I had seen other guns with shorter than advertised barrel's on them ship out of the Factory, and this one was Very eye pleasing to me with it's slightly shorter barrel on it




I looked a bit closer at it's barrel and felt that it had not been changed nor docked, as it looked to be way too perfect for any changes of that Nature done to it, this one looked to be factory original and matched the rest of the guns finish. it's barrel pin appeared to be Unmolested and the crown looked factory cut and machine dressed, removing my suspicions of a possible barrel change done to this gun. The factory Barrel stampings appeared to be a Little later of design than the 1955 time preiod as the "Smith & Wesson" stamp on the side of the barrel was more of a Broad block design that we saw come along in the late 1950s- to the Early-1960s time span, Rather than the Thin latter design used prior to this time span. The caliber stamp strike looked right as Later ones being the ones they used in the Early 1970s to Early 1980s differed from this one as the ones we saw used on the later made Model 25-5 revolver's chambered in .45 Colt caliber had the More Broad style larger format block lettering used. I felt the front Patridge sight blade looked right as it's Pin's that hold it in place were Polished flush in design and again not Molested in any way, But the Height of the front Patridge sight blade appeared to be a little higher than the ones used on the longer 6-1/2" Barrel examples which it should have Been due to the slightly shorter barrel length, it would seem Reasonable that this barrel's sight Height would be slightly Higher in Profile. The frame factory stamped Four Line address looked correct for a Gun from the Mid 1950s time span being the 1955 Period time span as it had the Lazy Ampersand between Smith & Wesson call out on it, but it differed slightly than the Ampersand seen on the Factory barrel Stamp of S&W which they had slight design changes back then of this feature as time wore on, seen in the later produced guns, of the Very Late 1950s to Early 1960s time span. The guns finish on the Frame & Barrel was of that Deep Black shinny Carbonna style that we all learned to love which coincided with a Mid 1950s built gun. It had a Target Trigger, Hammer and Diamond stock's on it that were all Optional on this model as it was Marketed a a Full target version gun and commonly seen on these Target .45s, so I suspected them to be original factory Installed Parts on the gun when it was made.






The shop owner and I are Good friends so after a bit of Fierce Haggling between us of his advertised price of $799.00 I took it home for $600.00 Cash out the door of which I felt was a great price as ones I had been seeing in far less shape than this were priced around or close to a Grand. I got it home and asked a sage S&W collector what he thought of this shorter barrel ? He shared with me that S&W made about "a Dozen" guns in the Late 1959 time span that had the "very rare 5" Barrels" on them, that shipped to Rex Firearms of New York City and these guns were considered Ultra Rare to find out there. He also added with the barrel stamps seen on it, that he felt it was not of an early 1955 design as the guns Five screw configuration suggested, as that Most Five screw frames were switched to the newer style Four screw variation in the 1956-1958 time span as we saw commonly on the Pre-29 models of .44 Magnum caliber revolver's, dropping that Upper side Plate screw but he felt it may have been a Late one that slipped out of the factory in the very Late 1950s time span as those very Rare Rex Firearms gun did in the 1959 time span. I had the serial number checked and found out that this gun Indeed shipped very late for a Five screw Frame example being December 1959. It also fell into the serial number sequence of those Dozen guns made with the rare 5" Barrels that shipped to Rex Firearms, but this one was definitely a 5-7/8" Barrel, leaving me to believe that it was Not one of those Rare dozen that shipped to Rex Firearms, but still was a Very Unique Barrel length here, that I had not seen before nor Neither had he. I had on hand some .45 Auto-Rim cases, so I loaded up some 200 Grain Rainier Semi Wad cutter bullets and used some Accurate Arms #5 Powder and a standard Winchester Large Pistol primer with a medium crimp. I then took it to the range to see how well it shot and was Pleased with it's 6 shot group shown beside the gun after I adjusted the sights to my Liking, shot at the 20 Yard line. This gun has filled a hole in my Big bore collection of S&W revolver's and shows how scary accurate these older models were from back then....












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"Yeah, though I walk through the Valley of the Shadow of Death, ... I shall Fear no Evil, as I carry with me My Trusty Loaded S&W"..


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PostPosted: Sun May 15, 2011 2:14 pm 
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Joined: Fri Dec 24, 2004 7:15 pm
Posts: 291
Beautiful piece, Kurt! One to be proud of.


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PostPosted: Sun May 15, 2011 11:45 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 20, 2005 4:48 am
Posts: 201
Location: Smokey Mountain's
BBBBill wrote:
Beautiful piece, Kurt! One to be proud of.



Hello BBBBill
Thank you, I appreciate your kind words. These are very hard to find in my area due to a Lot of Past now retired Service guys and several Millitary Posts being here, that Grab them as soon as they Pop up for sale. I can't believe this one lasted a Full week in my Buddies shop. While I was filling out the Paperwork on it, A Guy entered the store and asked my Friend if he had any .45 ACP caliber revolvers ? My friend told him that he did have one Fifteen Minutes ago and the guy saw it Lying there, on the glass case top and asked me if he could look at it ? I Obliged him and he was kind of sore he was a day Late and a Dollar short in getting there ahead of me on the sale of it. When I walked out with it, he followed me to my Truck and asked if I was inclined to sell it ? I told him I had wanted one like it for a while so it was not for sale. He then said that everything has a price on it & Offered me a Grand for it, and I Politely Turned his offer down by telling him "Not this one" leaving him standing there in that big Parking lot as I drove off, scratching his head in disbelief that I had turned down his offer being glad that I stopped Early there that Morning indeed... Kurt

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"Yeah, though I walk through the Valley of the Shadow of Death, ... I shall Fear no Evil, as I carry with me My Trusty Loaded S&W"..


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 22, 2011 2:29 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jan 09, 2006 9:48 pm
Posts: 49
Location: Cincinnati, OH
This revolver is super-cool. I love 45ACP revolvers.

Regards,
Greyson


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