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Discussion Starter #1
A guy I know out my way recently decided to sell his shooting master. Its a common (as shooting masters are concerned), plain jane 38 special BUT he has a factory letter. What got my wheels turning was that the gun ORIGINALLY was a 44 S&W and apparently had a barrel and cylinder swap. The gun is nice otherwise. My question is, would this be worth buying in case I find the 44 S&W cylinder and barrel? Were the parts all serialized? I know they would be rare parts, because around 125 (IIRC) of the Shooting Masters were made in 44 S&W. I also realize that many 44 S&W cylinders were reamed to accept 44 special, so I would want a blued one, thats not reamed. Talk about a needle in a haystack!

Since its kind of an odd / rare opportunity, I figured I'd ask you all about this one. I do also know that the parts would be pricey, but for such a rare gun, I would pay for the parts. Now of course, if the parts all serialize, then its not worth it. However, I don't know Shooting Masters well and I never owned one so I hope someone here can give me some advice.
 

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Shooting Masters are hard to come by. That said I don't believe parts are numbered to the revolver, except the crane and frame, like the SAA are. IF the price is right for you get it and then worry about the .44 afterwards. I'm the glass is half full kinda guy :)
 

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I'd get it too, those are nice guns & not being made anymore.
If it's a decent buy, I'd grab it.
Frank
 

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By the time a shooting master was built, I don't believe Colt chambered any in 44 S&W (russian). If it has a 38 special cylinder, that could be rechambered to 44 special. I suppose a 38 special barrel could be bored and rifled to 44 special. Then all you would have to do is remark the 38 into a 44 on the barrel. I don't know if the outside of the 44 barrels had a different contour.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the advice. I didn't realize I could bore the cylinder and barrel but the bigger issue is the seller wanted $1500 or more for it. He put it on gunbroker without telling me his bottom dollar, and it had a reserve. What would be a good price for one that was re-chambered? $700?
 

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i agree that is has been refinished to Nickel. I also don't think the stocks are original to a Shooting Master. I'd pass on this one.
 

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this does appear to be a refinished gun, while there is no mention of the gun having been rechambered to 38 cal the rust and all the other factors do not add up to a $1500 gun in my opinion. With all these issues had you been able to pick it up for $700 to $1000 and have Colt reblue it then it may have been an ok deal.
But definitely not a steal or bargain by any stretch. Any 80% or greater Shooting Master even in 38 cal (which is most common) is worth at least $1500 in todays market. Correct me if wrong on my value assessment...
 

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midrange, was it a factory change? are there factory rework numbers on the underside of the barrel? i'm no gunsmith but i don't think the tapered barrel of a .38 is thick enough to drill out to .44. if you found .44 shooting master barrel the finish might not match the rest of the gun. i would just find a .44 new service.
 

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The gun that the OP is describing sounds like the one that was on Gunbroker last week. The auction showed a Colt letter that stated that the gun was a New Service Target from 1909 in 44 special. It had been rebarreled and had the cylinder changed at some time. It would probably have made a great shooter, but the $1200 selling price seemed quite high for an altered gun.
 

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Let's get back on track ... The renickled gun is NOT the topic .

Thanks .
 
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