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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Yesterday I picked up the only S&W I have truly lusted after for some time. A post war, pre Model 27 .357 magnum with the 3 1/2" barrel and the old five screw frame for a whopping $320 out the door. Cosmetically it could use help but it's not horrible. My '61 Python was in worse condition when I got it.
The action could use some work and will get it but otherwise the gun is in solid mechanical shape and no serious dings or pitting. Mostly it's just holster worn. The serial number is S 98XXX so I think it may be pre-1958 and I don't know that S&W would work on it or refinish it. If they won't work on it is there anyone else you could recommend handling the restoration of the finish should I decide to have it done? Thanks!
 

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It's definitely pre-1958 so can't be returned for Factory work. I'd love to see a photo of it. There's a fellow who's name is bandied about the S&W forum who is said to do good work. Actually there's more than one.

I find blued guns with honest holster wear to be attractive. I'd be tickled to have your 3 1/2-inch N-Frame .357 as is.

Great price for a desirable variation!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I'll check the S&W forum and maybe call Fords and see what they have to say. Lemme find some suitable grips (this one came with pachmayers) and I'll try to snap a pic of the gun and post back here at a later date. I'm going to have the action worked on soon to correct a slight out of timeness and to have a general good bill of health passed on it so I can shoot it! Got some old Federal .357 158gr SWC High Velocity rounds to check it out with. As far as the finish goes I'm going to try the minimalist approach first with Renaissance products to clean and shine and maybe I'll just leave it at that. Some original or modern duplicate coke bottle target stocks and a Tyler T-grip adapter are going to be next on the list of things to get.
 

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Ricks, s&w was from early to mid 50s. 3 1/2" most desireable length among collectors. 1st thing get it lettered for $30. Could ave went to somone well known or some agency. Should be interesting. Wouldnt reblue it yet. From a $ standpoint you would be ahead to leave as is! Are grips original? We need a picture! Nice find! I am "feralmerril" on S&W site. Those guys over their can give a little better info then me. Congradulations!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
bogusbill, great idea about the letter. Will do that for sure, right now it has aftermarket Pachmayrs for grips so I'll have to hunt down some correct or close to correct grips. I am having the timing corrected since it's off and the action will be slicked up to as close to how it would have been when it was new. Might forgo the finish restoration as like you said, it might be better off $$$ to just leave it as is. But I'm still gonna shoot it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
P.S. my gunsmith is also recommending recutting the forcing cone since I plan on shooting the gun. Is this allowable on a collector piece that I plan on shooting or should I tell him to leave the forcing cone as is?
 

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Ricks, I know a lot of posts I have read that guys get the forceing cone cut to 11 degrees, I believe. I would ask the guys on the smith site, real experts there. I might shoot it first and decide. If it is a real valuable piece, like if you find it was sent to a well known law officer or something, it dont know if the forceing cone would even be noticable or not. Do you want me to ask the guys, or can you post their? I do know that that gun, barrel length etc, is a hot item and sought after! I would be careful of reblueing it though unless you want it done for just you for life! Consider this: You paid X amount, a blue job plus postage is another $200 or so, and if you resold it to a sharp S&W collector he would give you less then it is worth as is! My guess is it is now worth $500/$600 as is. A set of cokes would be nice! Your letter will tell you what it was shipped with. I am a smith collector I guess, as I own about 18 or so old smiths.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
bogusbill, if you wouldn't mind posting on the S&W forum I would appreciate it as I can't get registered on the site. Says my web address (aol) is banned?? Can't login on my Pistolsmith forum either so that's why I've come to this forum which has members who are tolerant of classic old timey S&Ws too. Let me know the consensus over there about recutting the forcing cones when you can, thanks!
 

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Recutting the forcing cone to 11 degrees only benefit in shooting cast bullets. Otherwise the forcing cones are fine. Why is your gunsmith recommending the cutting (any dammage)? Also you do know you can't use a Tyler-T and Cokes? Cokes are target stocks that cover the frontstrap. You need a set of Magnas to use with the Tyler-T.
I also have a holster worn 5 screw 3 1/2" Pre-27. It's about 90% and I paid $450 some time back, but mechanically it's tight. They are great little shooters. It would have been nice if they made the M28 in 3 1/2" instead of 4 ".
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
The gun in the above post is the same vintage as my Magnum but mine is quite a bit more blue worn all over and I'm not sure it hasn't already had a reblue in it's past. Still a nice gun though.
 

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Ricks, I just posted on the smith site for you. You can find my post under revolvers from 1945 to present. Keep checking there, I am sure it will bring some response. And no, those arent "cokes". If you look on smith threads there are pictures posted. They are like what you would call the bigger target grips but if viewed from back they have a coke bottel swell, finer checked and used on your era gun and are highly sought item. Lets watch the fun!
 

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Your Pre 27 was manufactured in 1953-54 according to the SCSW.

I would leave as is right now until it is lettered.

Coke Bottle Grips have the shape of a Coke Bottle when viewed from the rear. They will also have the "diamond" and cost upwards of $400 depending upon condition.

Nice find!



These are "Service" or Diamond Magnas on this Pre 27 of mine. Not Cokes......
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Steve, that gun looks beautiful. I'll get a hold of the gunsmith tomorrow and tell him to make a note to leave the forcing cone alone. He's not going to start the action work for a couple of weeks anyhow. The gun needs that work to operate correctly. I'm not having the gun *tuned* or anything just slicked up, cleaning and polishing the moving parts surfaces and adjusting the timing. This guy does excellent work on S&W actions and I trust him implicitly with a S&W, not with my Colts however.
The rear sight is slightly bent and he's going to try to repair it without replacing it if he can. The front sight is rather rough looking in the ramp area and he's going to straigten that out, again without having to replace it per my instructions. And for now that's all that will be done.
 

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Cokes were a specific type of target stocks. As others have said they when viewed from the rear the palm swell had a Coke bottle curvature. The checkering area was greater and when viewed from the bottom they have an oval shape. All of this is different from the standard target stocks from the same era. They supposedly only came from the factory on early .44 magnums (Pre-29s) and early M57s. They have a different(and very good) feel to them vs the standard Targets and have been put on many N-frames over the years by owners. Today a set of Cokes are quite expensive no matter the condition.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Ok I get it about the coke bottle grips now. I once read a review about the Eagle coke bottle grip repro's and the schmow who wrote it said they were cokes because of the diamond in the middle of the checkering. Like on the old coke cans. Whatever, either I get something like what is shown on Steves gun or I get the later version without the diamonds or maybe some ivory colored Ajax grips with the T-grip. Thanks for the info on the Cokes though, them would be great on a Model 29. I just saw a pair on ebay going for over $400.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
bogusbill, I've read with interest the replies on the S&W forum and I can assure you and them that my gunsmith is more than qualified to take care of my gun. He's on the American Handgunners top 100 best pistolsmiths list, a member of the APG and one of his shops specialties is S&W revolver tuning for target, PPC and duty guns. All of the local and county Police officers I've spoken with over the years have rated his shop as the best. All of the local sporting goods shops that sell guns rate his shop and his work as impeccable. He doesn't charge extra for the recut forcing cone and he said he includes the work as part of his standard action job. He said it's an accurizing step that will help shrink my groups. I will have him not do it unless it's absolutely necessary based on what happens when I do shoot it, ie that it spits lead or something. He's no hack and his work holds up for years, sometimes better than from the factory from all that I've been told. But I do appreciate the S&W members concern and most likely I will leave the finish as is. At least in it's current state I wouldn't be afraid of it's getting more holster worn should I occaisionally wear it concealed.
 
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