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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello
I have been scouring the area for at least Five years for a nice Pre-27 when I came across my Nickel 3-1/2" Example shown in another thread Here back in May. I then went to The annual S&WCA meeting that was held in Troy, Michigan this year, and the Theme of the Meeting was the Registered Magnum. There was the Most S&W Registered magnums of any meeting at that one, and if the sight of them did not get your blood pumping you had to be Dead ! I came across the One shown which is a First year Registered magnum. It shipped to The Bowen Brother's Hardware Company on December 03, 1935 sighted in at Dead on at 25 Yards with a Full Box of ammo included in the shipment. It was sold to an FBI Agent, and I figure by it's original shape it spent many years resting quietly resting in a Night stand Drawer. They Only made 714 Registered Magnums the very first year and there was only a total of 408 of them made in their 4 Year run with the 3-1/2" Barrel length. This one Oddly enough, came with a Patridge front sight blade and has been shot very Little. It now has a set of Walter Roper Custom grips from that time span, of which I had on hand, awaiting the right Gun... Hammerdown









 

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Absolutely beautiful. Never seen one in that pristine condition before. All of them I've seen had a whole lot of holster wear.

If it was a 4", I'd hunt you down and make you sell it to me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
wwb said:
Absolutely beautiful. Never seen one in that pristine condition before. All of them I've seen had a whole lot of holster wear.

If it was a 4", I'd hunt you down and make you sell it to me.

Hello WWB
You could have ordered any barrel length you wanted when these were being built in 1/4" Increments from 3-1/2"- to 8-3/4". I am Pleased to have this 3-1/2" Barrel to go along with it's Nickel Grandson made in 1954. Now all I need to complete the Pre Numbered-Series Loop would be a Non-Registered magnum of which average $5000.00 mark now a days. I speculate this revolver was bought by Perhaps the FBI Agents widow or him self for home protection due to it's original Bluing shape. I will Probably Never know just who the agent was that owned this as they tend to be very private in nature. It also is one of the few I have seen that has no Five sided star on the guns Butt Indicating it has been back to S&W for service.




It has no date stamps along the side of the grip frame either that would indicate service work again performed at the factory. I have seen other Registered Magnums that had up to 8 date stamps on the side of their grip frame, as we have to remember during War Times many were returned for refinishing or parts replacement as S&W did not sell any new guns during War Time periods. I dug around a Little and found out that a Past owner of The Bowen hardware company is still alive and Lives in Augusta , Georgia.





I called him one evening not too long ago, and we Talked about his Family Involvement with guns for better than an Hour. I asked him to Please Put his thoughts and recollections on Paper and to mail it to me and he agreed to do so. Below is the Letter I received from him along with the Original research I got in return from The Augusta Museum of History which led me to Charles Bowen III's contact Information. Charles shared with me that they sold off The family Hardware business in 1958 and that he took a few of the remaining S&W revolver's they had in stock at that time. Regards, Hammerdown













Dear Sir,

Thank you for your inquiry concerning the Bowen Brothers Hardware Company in Augusta.

The only business papers I can find are an accounts ledger for December 1917 to end of 1918.

I have not found any photos of Charles W. or the business although we have general photos of Broad Street.

I looked the company up in the Augusta City Directories (not a complete set).

In 1883, 1884, 1886, 1888 & 1889 we have a William D. Bowen, gunmaker at 1028 Broad Street, resident 1226 Broad Street

In 1889 William D. Bowen, gunmaker at 1028 Broad Street, resident 1226 Broad Street

Charles W Bowen, clerk W D Bowen, boards 1226 Broad Street

Guy M Bowen, mess. Southern Express Co, boards 1226 Broad Street

In 1892-3 William D. Bowen, gunsmith, dealer in guns, pistols & sporting goods, 1028 Broad Street, resident 1226 Broad Street

Charles W Bowen, gunsmith 1028 Broad Street, boards 1226 Broad Street

Guy M Bowen, clerk 918 Broad Street, boards 1226 Broad Street

Walter J Bowen, clerk 1028 Broad Street, boards 1226 Broad Street

In 1895-6 William D. Bowen, gunsmith, 1028 Broad Street, resident 1226 Broad Street

Charles W Bowen, mchist., home 1226 Broad Street

Guy M Bowen, clerk, boards 1226 Broad Street

Walter J Bowen, salesman 1028 Broad Street, boards 1226 Broad Street

In 1908 William D. Bowen, gunsmith

Bowen Brothers, hardware, 908 Broad Street

Charles W Bowen (Viola H.), home 1236 Broad Street

Guy M Bowen, 1226 Broad Street

Walter J Bowen, hardware, 1044 Broad Street, home 607 15th Street

In 1912 William D. Bowen, gunsmith, home 1207 Ellis Street

Bowen Brothers, hardware, 908 Broad Street

Charles W Bowen (Viola H.), home Monte Sano Ave

Guy M Bowen (Nannie H.), home 1219 Greene Street

Walter J Bowen (Pearl M.), hardware, 1044 Broad Street, home 1207 Ellis Street

In 1917 Bowen Brothers, hardware, 908 Broad Street

Charles W Bowen, President, (Viola H.), home 2409 Central Ave

Guy M Bowen, Sec-Treas, (Nannie H.), home 1335 Monte Sano Ave

Walter J Bowen (Pearl M.), gunsmith, 1044 Broad Street, home 309 9th Street

In 1935 Bowen Brothers Hardware, (hardware, sporting goods, paint, oil, varnish & radio sets) 905-909 Broad Street

Charles W Bowen, President

Charles W Bowen Jr, manager

Bowen & Hulbert Hardware, 829 Broad Street

Guy M Bowen, VP-Treas

So as you can see from the above, the family were gunsmiths. It would seem William D was the father and the other 3 possibly his sons or other relations who had competing hardware stores.

The Augusta Genealogical Society (1109 Broad St, Augusta GA 30901, 706 722 4073) might have more on the family tree.

Hope that helps.



Guy Robbins

Curator

Augusta Museum of History

706 722 8454 x18

[email protected]










 

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Wow.
How do you find such incredible guns?!?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Roadkill Bill said:
Wow.
How do you find such incredible guns?!?
Hello Road kill Bill
That one was found as a Fluke. I had come acorss a pre-27 5 screw Nickel example shown below in the early spring this year. They made fewer than 10 % supposedly in Nickel in the Pre series revolvers, but I suspect even less as I had hardly ever seen any out there till I came across this one that shipped in July 1955. I Then attended our annual Smith & Wesson Collectors meeting which was held in Troy, Michigan in June and found this same barrel length First Year Registered Magnum for sale, so had to have it. This Years meeting Theme was "The Registered Magnum" so there were more Registred magnums there than I had ever dreamed of. I now have the Grandfather and Grand Son and hope to find a Matching Non-Registered magnum to complete the Trio of revolvers... The Presentatation Cases for these 3-1/2" Barrel revolver's are very hard to find, as they were made for the More Modern 27-2 series with Just a Two year window frame, so I took a 4" example and modified it then Re-Flocked it which is shown below the revolver with all it's paperwork and tools to complete the Package. This Revolver would have come in a Gold & Blue Box in it's time span, but most were shipped with Service grips, and that style Box will not work with this one as it shipped with the Optional "Coke Profile" Target Grips, wide Target Hammer and Wide Target Trigger, and I felt it deserved a Nice Bed to lie in...Hammerdown


















 

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I have never seen a 3.5" S&W before, and it is truly a unique and fascinating design. What an incredible find. Congratulations just doesn't really say enough!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Roadkill Bill said:
I have never seen a 3.5" S&W before, and it is truly a unique and fascinating design. What an incredible find. Congratulations just doesn't really say enough!

Hello Road Kill Bill
I appreciate Your Kind Words. The Pre-Series 5 screw 3-1/2" Barreled revolver's come along a lot less than the newer Dash series revolver's, but Nickel is very scarse in this configuration. Regards, Hammerdown
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Paul F. said:
Kurt, you have the best toys! :wink:

Hello Paul
I appreciate your Kind words. :oops: It took me Years of sifting through Many examples to add the ones I have now. :( Keep looking, they are out there Guys... :mrgreen: Hammerdown
 
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