It had better letter or it is illegal. I would speculate that it has been checked out. The easy way is to measure the bore diameter. If it is land diameter, it is factory. If it is groove diameter, it is not.
Jim Supica is the most reputable gun guy in the business. He's also a 'recovering' attorney.
His descriptions and research are above reproach, and he stands behind each and every item he lists and/or auctions.
I have found his prices on GOOD Colts and S & W's to be fair and reasonable.
Auctions generally 'put me off', because of the bidding fever that can skew prices way north of reality.
Deal with him confidently...He's a straight-shooter.
A smooth-bore revolver created by removing the rifling is manufacturing a NFA weapon, which is illegal without the proper license, and the resulting weapon is illegal unless properly registered. As I understand it, factory smooth bore revolvers such as a New Service are C&R eligible and are exempted from the NFA.
I do not know off hand what the land diameter is for a .44 Special, but it will be smaller than the groove diamenter of .429-inch.
Fair value? Who knows? A SWAG would be $2,000 plus.
Judge, your so smart. In reading my Murphy's book, it states "Federal laws later prohibited sawed-off shotguns including smoothbore revolvers".
Evidently there was a .38 spl made up for exhibition where the factory cut straight grooves (no twist) to comply with the law. It goes on to say that the problem in boring the smoothbore revolver was "to cut an effective choke in it".
I find this to be a very interesting revolver. I believe the final sell price will be in excess of $10k.
trick shooters used them, a few first gen saa`s were ordered as smooth bore. smooth bore rifles were also used by trick shooters of the era. can you imagine shooting a rifle or handgun inside a large circus type tent with regular ammo?? i think the ammo was loaded with very fine shot. i remember see an old movie with annie oakly shooting hand thrown glass balls with a lever rifle, she turned them to dust.
Rare enough that BATFE reclassifies them from NFA to C&R INDIVIDUALLY.
Section III ¬ñ Firearms removed from the provisions of the National Firearms Act and classified as curios or relics, still subject to the provisions of 18 U.S.C. Chapter 44, the Gun Control Act of 1968.
Chinese, Jingal rifle, caliber .60, serial number IRS 9083H.
Colt, Model New Service revolver, caliber .44 WCF, serial number 55125, having a barrel with a smooth bore.
Colt, Single Action Army revolver, caliber .44 WCF (.44-40), serial number 324477, with blue finish, 5-1/2 inch barrel and smooth bore presented by Colt Firearms to Mr. John W. Garrett.