Is your old S&W a top break type? It may be possible to identify it by supplying some of the following:
1. Barrel length.
2. Barrel stampings such as address and patent dates.
3. Serial number.
4. Cylinder length (1 7/16" or 1 9/16").
5. Square or round butt.
6. Extractor housing length.
7. Grips: Wood or hard rubber.
8. Finish: Blued or nickel plated.
9. Pinned front sight?
10. Single or double action?
11. Spurred trigger guard?
12. Humpback gripstrap?
There are many more variations but the above are enough to get it in the ball park.
Bore dimension doesn't mean much, I have a S&W .44 Mag Mountain Gun which slugs .435. It was one of the early EDM rifled barrels, I hope their quality control has improved since then!
There are basically three models your gun can be, assuming it is S&W manufacture. All .44 cal. S&W guns have the same nominal bore dimensions and twist so far as I have been able to determine in research over the past 45 yrs. The models and calibers are:
Model 3 Single Action (top break), this can be of several sub-models. Calibers can be .44 American, .44 Russian. Cylinder length will be 1 7/16"
Model 3 Double Action (top break), this could be either of the same as above. Cylinder length is also 1 7/16". There is a third possbility in the Double Action, and this is .44-40 or .44 W.C.F. With this one the cylinder will be 1 9/16".
Last is the .44 Hand Ejector series. These are virtually identical to current production "N" frame S&W revolvers and were the first of this frame size. They began with the .44 H.E. First Model referred to as the Triple Lock. This was followed by the .44 H.E. Second Model and the .44 H.E. Third Model. This line began in 1907. These guns can be found in virtually any .44 caliber cartridge. Most common was .44 S&W Special. The 1st Model was the gun that introduced this cartridge. S&W lists .44 Spl, .44 Russ, .44-40, .44 Webley. Probably over 95% were the .44 Spl. No guns were made in the .44 American.
On the .44 American Single Action guns, these can be recognized easily as the charge holes are bored straight, just like a .22 rimfire. All of the top break guns were round butt. Some will have a spur on the bottom of the trigger guard as were designed for the Russian Contract production. Of these, some have a regular frame with a rounded "knuckle at the top of the grip, and some will have a very sharp and pronounced "knuckle". That last feature distinguishes the First and Second Model Russian production.
Thanks CB Hunter for your reply. this pistol is not a top breck it has no caliber marking on it. the only marking is crossed flag on the top of the frame. right above the triger is two swords tighting. A friend of mine thought that it could be one of the models s&w made for the Brits in the 20's. the only other markings is a patend date of Fed. 02 1908 . If that helps any. I can not find any thing in my books. that will help identify what caliber and model this is.thank again. mark
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