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P. 299

    LOT 1407
Smith & Wesson Keith-King Sighted Non-Registered
.357 Magnum Double Action Revolver with Factory Letter
- Serial no. 61466, 357 magnum cal., 6 1/2 inch solid rib bbl., blue finish, walnut
grips. The non-registered .357 revolvers are much more rare than their Registered Magnum
model counterparts with only about 1,400 manufactured compared to about 5,400 Registered Magnums. The accompanying factory letter states the revolver was shipped on May 8, 1940 and delivered to E.K. Tryon Co. of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania with a 6 1/2 inch barrel, blue finish, and checkered Magna grips. This was a single gun shipment billed at the
wholesale price of $35.45. The revolver is fitted with a rare Keith-King long-range front blade sight (a tri-level gold bar style designed by
Elmer Keith) and an adjustable white outlined notch rear sight. A legend in the gun community, Elmer Keith (1899-1984) had a long and
highly successful partnership with S&W. In 1934, Douglas Wesson of Smith & Wesson teamed up with Phil Sharpe and Keith to develop a new
cartridge to compete with Colt’s .38 Super Automatic. Taking full advantage of stronger revolver frames available by the 1920s, such as the .38-44, Keith was instrumental
in hand loading a .38 Special cartridge far beyond its accepted limits. The result was the .357 Magnum, which was first introduced on the S&W Registered .357 Magnum
Revolver, the most powerful handgun at the time. The high velocity cartridge quickly became a favorite caliber for law enforcement and a new breed of big game handgun hunters. The
.357 is generally credited for starting the “Magnum Era,” a period of time when larger calibers dominated the firearms market. Keith went on to develop the .44 Magnum and .41 Magnum. The development of the .44 Magnum started as a joint venture between Smith & Wesson and Remington Arms Co. with Keith being the most outspoken advocate for such a big bore handgun cartridge. His long-range front tri-level sight allowed for varying elevation holds to compensate for bullet drop trajectory. Matching serial numbers on the butt, right grip panel, cylinder, and ejector shroud.
CONDITION: Excellent, retaining 97% original blue finish with some scattered high edge wear and a cylinder drag line. 99% plus original case colors remain on the hammer and trigger. The grips are also excellent with some minor handling marks mostly on the bottom and overall crisp checkering. Mechanically excellent. One of the very few S&Ws ever equipped with the Keith-King tri-level sight. Provenance: The Dave Ballantyne Collection.
Estimate: 9,000 - 14,000
LOT 1408
Well-Documented Early Smith & Wesson .357 Registered
Magnum Double Action Revolver with Rare 5 1/2 Inch Barrel and Factory Letter
- Serial no. 46454, 357 magnum cal., 5 1/2 inch solid rib bbl., blue finish, walnut grips.
Offered here is one of only 140 S&W .357 Registered Magnums manufactured with a 5 1/2
inch barrel. The included factory letter from 1974 states the revolver (reg. no. 229) was
shipped on July 5, 1935 and to Sutcliffe Hardware Co. of Louisville, Kentucky, as ordered by Brent
Hart of Middlesboro, Kentucky. Other included related documents: the S&W order form and invoice which confirm the 5 1/2 inch barrel and Call gold bead front sight, handwritten order from Sutcliffe Co. which confirms the 5 1/2 inch barrel and Call sight, and S&W letter to Sutcliffe acknowledging the order. The aforementioned S&W factory documents confirm without a doubt the barrel length and type of front
       According to "The Blue Book of Gun Values", only 140 Smith & Wesson Registered Magnum revolvers were produced with a 5-1/2 inch barrel.
sight as exhibited on this revolver. Fitted with a trigger shoe and a set of nicely figured double ribbon Roper grips. Matching serial numbers are on the butt, cylinder and ejector shroud.
CONDITION: Excellent, retaining 97% original blue finish with minor muzzle wear, a cylinder drag line and scattered handling marks. The grips are fine with a couple small surfaces chips near the bottom, a few minor handling marks, and crisp checkering. Mechanically excellent.
Provenance: The Dave Ballantyne Collection.
Estimate: 8,500 - 12,000

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