Pawn Shop Circuit: Dry Runs and Past Finds
This old Smith was priced at $89 by an unimpressed pawnbroker. I did not even try to haggle. I performed Jim March's Revolver Checkout on the gun, and everything checked out. An old holster that was very well made came with the wheelgun. This revolver had something special about it. It had a five inch barrel, and was basically unused. The serial number, S 845XXX, placed it around 1946-1947 as the year of manufacture. It had the long throw hammer, and had survived unmolested by anything other than the elements. The action was still as slick as greased ice. I paid my money and tried not to let on how fortunate I felt.
I took the old gun home, removed the grips, and soaked it for a few hours in automatic transmission fluid. Then I removed the sideplate. Fortunately, the lockwork of the gun was devoid of rust. Inspection of the inside of the gun confirmed my assessment that it had seen very little firing. I oiled the lockwork, and reassembled it and popped on the sideplate. I took some copper ScotchBrite and Ballistol and went to work on the exterior rust. Almost all of it cleaned up nicely. Finally I replaced the cylinder, sideplate screws, and the grips.
Supica lists this revolver at $125 in poor condition. He also calls the 5 inch barrel scarce. I think I got a deal. This revolver has a story to tell. It is a typical gun that was apparently purchased new, and put away for almost 60 years. Thankfully the long gone rust drove the price down to the range of easy affordability and justification. The finish history also makes the gun a shooter. So much the better if you ask me!