Smith & Wesson Model of 1891

Discussion in 'The Ask the Pros & What's It Worth? Forum' started by dianalv, Nov 16, 2009.

  1. dianalv

    dianalv New Member

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    I have an opportunity to buy a S&W Model 1891 Second Model single shot, 22lr. with 10 inch barrel. Blueing is 95% with light pitting around the muzzle. Bore is excellent, clean and bright. Rear sight is missing the aperture, but the gun smith says that can be fixed. Asking price is $795.00. Is this a good price for this gun in this condition?
  2. pinecone70

    pinecone70 Active Member

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    One auction site had a listing for $899, and it has sold.
  3. deadin

    deadin Well-Known Member

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    How much of the rear sight is missing? Just the blade or is it the whole thing?
    I would pay $795 for it if it the finish is original. That's a very fair price.

    BTW, if you find a rear sight blade for it, pick up two. I also need one.
  4. dianalv

    dianalv New Member

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    The finish is original. I haven't seen the gun yet, so can't say exactly on the rear sight. I've been on the lookout for a Model of 1891 for some time, so it's one of the "gun experts" I've had looking that found it.

    How does yours shoot, deadin?
  5. deadin

    deadin Well-Known Member

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    Mine is an 8" and it shoots just fine. It is more of a collectable than a shooter to me as I have more modern and more accurate guns if I want to get serious.;)
    For instance, it's not going to outshoot this: :D:D

    [​IMG]
  6. dianalv

    dianalv New Member

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    Just talked to the seller and it's just the blade on the rear sight, which is evidently an easy fix. 95% blueing, very light pitting on the muzzle, 85% case hardening, all original. Very early serial #. Great trigger pull, fully functional. Generous return policy if I'm not happy with it. Think I'll take it!
  7. dianalv

    dianalv New Member

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    deadin, that is one ugly, ugly gun, but I bet it shoots pretty!:D
  8. Claude Clay

    Claude Clay New Member

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    i think that is a free gun----

    untill you want one:cool:
  9. deadin

    deadin Well-Known Member

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    It's called a Free Pistol and could be considered a Great Grandson of the S&W 2nd Model Single Shot under discussion. Just as the S&W could have shot in the 1906 London Games, this Hammerli could have been used in the more current games. The function has changed very little and the rules are still pretty much the same. Just the technology has grown up.:D
  10. FloridaFialaFan

    FloridaFialaFan New Member

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    As there was no picture of your Model of 91, what determined that it is a Second Model?

    I have a 91 with factory letter and they didn't mention there being First, Second, etc., variations. Here's pic of mine, which came from one of the Greg Martin auctions in Nov. '07 for $871.

    [​IMG]

    Be sure the serial numbers all match. I found them on the bottom of the barrel release latch, and on the back of the extractor, as well as on the frame. According to Kull's book on S&W there were only 862 of 'em made in .22rf, which my gun is.

    The factory letter states it was shipped out to a Philadelphia dealer in 1901.

    Best regards ~ ~ ~ FFF
  11. Alpo

    Alpo Well-Known Member

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    There were four models of single-shot 22s. Model of 1891, 2nd Model, Perfected and Straight Line.

    The 1st Model, the 1891, has a recoil shield on it, like a revolver, like yours appears to have, in the picture.
    The 2nd Model did away with the recoil shield.
    The 3rd Model, the Perfected, has a double action trigger.
    The 4th Model, the Straight Line, has a grip frame that looks like an automatic, instead of a revolver.
  12. FloridaFialaFan

    FloridaFialaFan New Member

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    Thanks for that info, Alpo.

    Next question is, were those others stamped the same as this one is, along top of barrel? I was impressed by how crowded the MODELOF91 designation is in the center...

    [​IMG]

    Yes, mine has the recoil shields. Here's a better photo which shows those.

    [​IMG]

    Best regards ~ ~ ~ FFF
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2009
  13. deadin

    deadin Well-Known Member

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    Jack,
    That's a nice looking 1st Model! You did miss one of the serials. It's on the back of the barrel extension between the ears. They can be kind of hard to see, so here's a picture of one: (Much bigger gun, but still the same place)
    Sometimes the serial is split between each side. Also sometimes you will find one without the serial and that means that the barrel is a replacement. S&W made extra barrels for this model so those that had a M1891 .38 SA or a .22 with a different length could order a .22 Target barrel for it. These barrels were unnumbered.
    They also made .32 and .38 Single Shot barrels. Finding a matched set with all three barrels (and matching numbers) is a real coup. With the wood case and tools the last set I saw sell went for close to $10,000.00

    [​IMG]
  14. FloridaFialaFan

    FloridaFialaFan New Member

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    deadin you are correct, the serial number is also in that location. My gun being only five digits, each stamping is the FULL serial number.

    Here's a pic of another interesting, very similar, old timer from the same era, made by a well-known revolver manufacturer: Hopkins & Allen. This is their short-lived Single Shot Target, 2500 made between 1906 and 1915. It was available in 6,8, and 10" barrel lengths.

    [​IMG]

    When Marlin bought H&A they stashed away some of the parts inventory and years later assembled one dozen of this model with their own stamping along the top of the barrel. They were all blued with 10" barrels. One recently was offered at Rock Island Auctions.

    Best regards ~ ~ ~ FFF
  15. deadin

    deadin Well-Known Member

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    Jack! You da Man!!

    Could I talk you into sending me as many close up pictures as you can of the adjustable rear sight on your H&A??
    I have one in blue with a 6" barrel. It has the rudimentary fixed rear sight but all the adjustable parts are missing. I'm afraid I going to need to fabricate them and need as much info as I can get.

    If you don't have my email, PM me and I will send it.

    Dean
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