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Are they $100 now? Still worth it if you have that special S&W. I've got a very special model 66 lettered.
I doubled checked and the cost is $100.00. As I understand it the letter may include all references to the guns number any time it was in the factory.

I had gotten interested in the King modified Smith 1917. I was told that the letter would only include when shipped to the government. There was a world of information on King modified guns. I'll pass on a letter for that 1917. There are still two others.I be saving up for a letter.

I'm no collector but do end up with unusual Smiths from time to time. If you like high condition vintage Smith&Wesson check out the photos on the Smith&Wesson forum.
 

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Chain: Usually, if a gun made it to the bumper shop trigger and hammer were plated. Also, on Smith's there are refinish marks on factory guns.

Years ago I had a nearly identical 38 M&P hand ejector. The rear of the gun was pristine. The front part had been in a holster since when. The front of the gun was heavily rusted. Gun was shootable but cosmetically a wreck.

When doing research on any Smith I consult the Smith&Wesson forum. That's one of those forum with no discussion portion. Search that forum for information on refinish etc. I loafed on getting a factory letter on two of my Smith's. The price the last time I checked was $100.00.for a letter.
I have an old S&W gun I would like to know more about but not to the tune of $100. Not to the tune of $50 when that was the cost not that long ago. It tells me they don't a) have good records and b) don't want to research what they have. It's an old company with old thinking.....except for quality and the atrocious lock. They have changed, just not for the better.
 

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It's an old company with old thinking.....except for quality and the atrocious lock. They have changed, just not for the better.
I recall when the S&W letters were free for asking. Seriously, check out the Smith&Wesson Forum. It's possible to get good basic collector information there.

Frankly, I think the description of the new made Smith's is too kind. One comment I read someplace is that Smith wanted to toss the revolvers for the more profitable self-loaders. In our weekly match we had fellow shooter show with a new in the box K frame magnum. The gun jammed up in the first relay. I want no part of these new ones.
 

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I have an old S&W gun I would like to know more about but not to the tune of $100. Not to the tune of $50 when that was the cost was not that long ago. It tells me they don't a) have good records and b) don't want to research what they have. It's an old company with old thinking.....except for quality and the atrocious lock. They have changed, just not for the better.
Yeah, it was hard enough ar times to justify sending $10 in to Ruger, for one of their COAs, and letters. Only did it once, when I bought my Government barreled Mini 14, so I would have proof of it being preban, when i lived in NY, that I could keep with me (back in 2011, and it had been questioned by members of LE a few times when i had it out. I knew it was made before the cut off date, proving it was the issue. )

Ended up doing the same for my post ban production GBK/10 BAO (stainless, government barreled, 10 round, bolt action only) Mini 14, as well. Letters gave month and year, and listed the 94 as being a BAO, straight pull, so the flash hider and bayonet lug were a non issue.

As both listed the SN, and were on company letterhead, it removed all doubt of legality. Kept the originals at home, and always kept a copy in the pocket, when I had them out.

$50 to $100, would be far harder to justify.
 

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I have an old S&W gun I would like to know more about but not to the tune of $100. Not to the tune of $50 when that was the cost not that long ago. It tells me they don't a) have good records and b) don't want to research what they have. It's an old company with old thinking.....except for quality and the atrocious lock. They have changed, just not for the better.
That letter only pays off if you have a highly collectible piece. I don't own any highly collectible pieces. My most expensive firearm may bring $2,000. on a good day. Most of my stuff is in the three to seven hundred dollar range.

However, if you had the piece that is the subject of this thread and a letter from Smith and Wesson stating that it was sold to Alphonso Capone, of Chicago, then the letter would be worth it's weight in unobtanium.
 

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$50 to $100, would be far harder to justify.
Most of the research on Ruger's here is to look date of manufacture. There's a list of serial numbers and dates in the customer service portion of their website.. If the gun was made before the computerized numbers there is no help. I ran into this glitch looking a gun where the number could not be provided. I do not recall the exact Ruger firearm. This, for me, is nice to know information. Your request for information was for totally different circumstances.

I ran into the value of a factory letter fiddling with the 1917. Some of the Registered 357's showed up with King modifications. The values tank on modified guns. As it turned out factory letters showed some of the first 357 Magnums were shipped to King for sights, ribs etc. That turned that modified deal around PDQ.That letter was a good investment. I had paid $250.00 for my Model 29 no dash in the day. I got some sort of sticker shock on the letter based cost of the gun-maybe forty years ago. This is not right thinking but the gun was not a collectable.
 

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Most of the research on Ruger's here is to look date of manufacture. There's a list of serial numbers and dates in the customer service portion of their website.. If the gun was made before the computerized numbers there is no help. I ran into this glitch looking a gun where the number could not be provided. I do not recall the exact Ruger firearm. This, for me, is nice to know information. Your request for information was for totally different circumstances.

I ran into the value of a factory letter fiddling with the 1917. Some of the Registered 357's showed up with King modifications. The values tank on modified guns. As it turned out factory letters showed some of the first 357 Magnums were shipped to King for sights, ribs etc. That turned that modified deal around PDQ.That letter was a good investment. I had paid $250.00 for my Model 29 no dash in the day. I got some sort of sticker shock on the letter based cost of the gun-maybe forty years ago. This is not right thinking but the gun was not a collectable.
Correct. It was about covering my *** legally, under the laws of my state, at the time.

Far better than having LE take the rifles in, and fighting charges. especially post Unsafe Act, with that BAO, as they could claim it was semi, and broken, without said letter.

Ruger look up on the site, used it with a couple of mine, starts to switch to charts, with the Security 6 series.

I do get the difference, and have done the same thing with a couple of mine, from Colt, owned by my grandfather, two of which were ones he carried while in LE. Found out his New Service went back twice, as well as DOM, and the DOM on his Python, NS for repair, never a refinish, while the NYSP still owned it.

But, as Chain pointed out, in his case, also in mine, I don't own collector pieces, I own well preserved shooters, with one exception when it comes to S&W, with a model 3, that has been handed down in my family, for the last 100 years. That one has documentation from then forward. Starting at a NYC pawn shop about 103 years ago.

If I ever need to try to know more, I'll use the S&W source.
 
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