SOLD FOR: $16,660

Rick Hacker’s Smith & Wesson The .357 Registered Magnum 6 1/2″ Revolver, Certificate, Tube & Box

Make:Smith & Wesson

Model:The .357 Registered Magnum

Serial Number:50859, Registration #2221

Year of Manufacture:1937

Markings:The left side of the barrel is marked “SMITH & WESSON” and the right side is marked “S.&W. .357 MAGNUM”. The sideplate has a S&W trademark logo, the right side of the frame is marked “MADE IN U.S.A.”. The ejector-rod cut in the barrel’s under lug is marked “B” and “50859”. The crane cut is marked “REG. 2221 / 8137”. The crane flat is marked “8137” and the rear face of the crane is marked “50859”. The rear face of the cylinder, the underside of the ejector-star and the butt are each marked “50859”. The left of the grip frame is marked “S” at the grip-index pin, the right is marked “K” at the pin and “B” just forward of the mainspring notch. The rear face of the hammer is marked “REG. U.S. PAT. OFF.”. The right of the front sight blade and base are each marked “KING / PAT.PEND.”.

Barrel Length:6 1/2″ Pinned Barrel

Sights / Optics:The front sight is a King Ramp Reflector White Post sight. The rear sight is a King #112 square-notch white-outlined leaf in a base screwed to the top strap, adjustable for windage and elevation. These sights match the registration certificate.

Stock Configuration & Condition:The grips are checkered walnut magna stocks with smooth diamonds and medallions. The grips are replacement and serial marked “61755”. There are hairline cracks at the corners where the grip frame widens into the frame. The grips have some scattered light handling wear and rate in Fine condition.

Finish Originality:Original

Bore Condition:The bore is bright and the rifling is sharp. There is no erosion in the bore.

Overall Condition:This handgun retains about 92% of its metal finish. There are spots of wear and finish loss. The cylinder has a thin turn line, with some of the line not through the finish. The serrations are sharp, though the knurling on the ejector rod has a few spots of slightly blunted knurling. The screw heads are sharp. The markings are clear. Overall, this handgun rates in about Very Good-plus condition.

Mechanics:The action functions correctly.

Box, Paperwork & Accessories:This revolver comes in a two-piece box with metal-reinforced corners and a label on the bottom of the tray which has the serial number “50859”. Also included is the Registration Certificate with matching serial and registration numbers, barrel length and sight configuration still in its original shipping tube addressed to the same Robert Imse listed on the certificate.

Our Assessment:The grandson of Smith & Wesson co-founder Daniel Wesson, Col. Douglas Wesson, collaborated with Phil Sharpe and Elmer Keith, both renowned handloading experts, and set out to develop a cartridge that could propel a projectile at 1400 fps with muzzle energy of more than 700 ft. lbs. and the .357 Magnum, the first of the magnums, was born. Smith & Wesson developed a revolver around the cartridge on their N frame with initial production being entirely on a special order basis. The revolvers could be ordered with barrel lengths from 3 1/2″ to 8 3/4″ available in 1/4″ increments, choice of sights, grips, finish, and even hammer profile. early production guns were presented to luminaries such as J. Edgar Hoover, John Olin, Phil Sharpe, George S. Patton and Ed McGivern. These early .357s would be built to the customer’s specifications and shipped out with a registration card which could be returned to request a registration certificate, giving the new firearm the name “Registered Magnum”.

This a fine example of the Registered Magnum, with 92% of its original finish, a bore as near to pristine as can be, its original box, registration certificate and the certificate’s shipping tube. The certificate itself is quite Rare with only about half of the revolvers shipped having a subsequent request for the certificate, and the shipping tube is even more Rare, especially more than 80 years later. In many ways, the Registered Magnum is the holy grail of Smith & Wesson collectors, with the custom features offering endless variations which can be confirmed as original when accompanied with their original registration certificate.

This a beautiful example of one of the Rarest and most sought-after revolvers ever made by the world’s premier revolver manufacturer, Smith & Wesson. Additional paperwork included with this gun include 1) a letter from S&W Historian Roy Jinks to gunwriter Rick Hacker confirming the gun’s history and authenticity, copies of factory records showing the original purchase order for this gun from American Sporting Goods Co, and subsequent corresondance between Imse and Smith & Wesson. Imse was a prominent St. Louis businessman who belonged to the elite Missouri Athletic Association, whose membership included Charles Lindbergh, Stan Musial, and future President of the United States Harry S. Truman.