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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I'll let the pictures tell the story. Apologies for the dust and lint. I never see that stuff in the real world, but it sure shows up in photos.












No corrosion or staining on the forestrap or trigger guard...



... or on the backstrap.



No high point wear on the sight to speak of...







Minimal wear on barrel and slide channels.



Crisp stampings.



I'm calling this one 99%. I didn't realize I was looking for one of these until I saw this one. I have always kind of liked the simple and unornamented design of the 1900 and 1902 semiautos, but I didn't realize that they looked this good with most of the blue still on them. Sam Lisker's published 1902 Military production table dates this specimen to 1923.
 

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It is absolutely stunning! All of mine look like they've been around the block many times in comparison. I will print off pics and put them in my safe and pretend.
 

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That is a beautiful pistoi. I did not realize that they were still making that model as late as 1923, but I know nothing about them either. I know they are not recommended for firing, but even as pristine as that gun is I would probably have to run a magazine or two through it. You can get some .38 Super ammo, pull the bullets and reload with a mild charge appropriate for the .38 Automatic. I would look for an old, vintage box of .38 auto ammo to go with it too for display. Amazing that it survived for 90 years in that condition.
 

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The Consummate Collector
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David. That is outstanding and the best that I have ever seen. May I ask where you found that beast? It looks like it has been stored in a vault since it was made. Great find.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
David. That is outstanding and the best that I have ever seen. May I ask where you found that beast? It looks like it has been stored in a vault since it was made. Great find.
This was completely a right place/right time situation. When I get out of Orange County I try to hit a gun store here or there if time permits. There is a small store in Santa Barbara County that I visit if I happen to drive through during his hours of operation, and he often has a couple of historically interesting old specimens on his consignment shelf. On average, I probably buy a gun from him about every eight or nine months. That 1904 Officers Model I have previously posted in the revolver section here was also a consignment gun from his store. I have picked up a couple of really nice old S&Ws from him as well. There is another gun store a few miles up the road in Goleta that also has interesting pieces from time to time. I think there must be a lot of hiqh quality old firearms in and around Santa Barbara that occasionally leak out as estates are settled and old timers tune their collections.

The gun looked so good at first glance that I was sure it had to have been refinished. But the more I looked at it the more I could see no evidence of a secondary polish or reblue. I don't know how guns can survive in this condition outside of their original boxes, but this one did -- no box or accessories, alas. I don't understand it. I'm just pleased that I found it when it was available and managed to make a deal for it.
 

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I hate you! Just kidding but I am extremely jealous. Very Fine pistol, sir. I have recently become obsessed with these after selling one that was part of a large collection we handled. Unfortunately, by the time we got to the longslide, I had purchased too many pieces for myself and had to focus on profits. On the hunt but I suspect it will take some time to find one at a price I'm willing to pay.
 
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