Inherited a 44 mag dirty harry gun what's the value?

3 years ago #1
confused
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I inherited a smith and wesson 29-5 44 magnum with a 8 3/8inch barrel from my dad. it is numbered 447 of 500. it's serial number is #ber2431. can you give me an idea of what it is worth so i can add it to my insurance policy? thanks so much, michelle

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3 years ago #2
JP@AK
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Hello
Calling a Model 29-5 .44 Magna Classic a "Dirty Harry gun" is a bit anachronistic. "Harry Callahan," Clint Eastwood's character in the movie series, carried a Model 29-2 with a square butt stock and a 6 1/2" pinned barrel.
The Model 29-5 had a round butt stock and an 7 1/2" non-pinned barrel with a full length lug under it. The two guns, although in the same line and built on a similar N target frame, are really quite different revolvers.
Okay, now that I have had my "purist" rant let's talk about your revolver.

The dash 5 Magna Classic was only made in 1990. But your description does not seem to match that revolver. As mentioned above, it carried a 7 1/2" barrel with a full underlug. It also had a round grip frame. The serial numbers were in a special series with an MAG prefix. The serial number you gave fits the time frame perfectly (1990) but does not seem to correspond with the special edition Magna Classic, which as far as I can tell was the only Model 29 to carry the dash 5 designation. So, I'm wondering if this may have been a Performance Center gun. Or perhaps S&W made a short run of dash 5 revolvers that were not cataloged and were fitted with more standard length barrels.
In any case, it might be worth your while to get a factory letter on this piece. You can order one from the Smith & Wesson web site. It will cost you $50.
By any chance do you have the original box with this gun? If so, the product code is probably listed on the end label. That would be helpful. Of course this gun could also have been shipped with a walnut presentation case. If so, you probably don't have the original shipping box or the standard blue box for it.
Sorry I can't be of more help. If you do get the gun lettered, would you drop me a note here and let me know what you found out?
Regards,
JP

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3 years ago #3
confused
Guest

Thank you for answering! I did find the blue box! pretty good shape. I attached a pic of the sticker that's on the box, maybe that will help! thanks again, michelle

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3 years ago #4
JP@AK
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Very good, Michelle!
I was able to identify your revolver from the product code. You will notice the notation "Special" in the upper right corner of the label, under "Features."
This was a special edition gun (only 500 manufactured) made in 1990 for Ellett Brothers, a South Carolina firm. There were to be twelve different unique revolvers made, one released each month of 1990. They were sold by subscription only. The first of them (the January issue) was a Model 29-5, called "The Hostiles." It had an 8 3/8" barrel (unlike the the other dash 5s, which had 7 1/2" barrels) and carried a scene from an early S&W poster - "The Hostiles."
Your revolver should have an etched scene on the side plate of a mounted cowboy looking back in his saddle at some pursuing Indians. The cowboy has a gun in his upraised hand.
Comparable sales for this revolver are very difficult to find, since there were so few made and they do not change hands very often. But it would not be unreasonable to put a value of around $1,000 on your revolver for insurance purposes. Special editions, like commemoratives, do not have a large collector following, so this estimate is probably pretty close. It is worth more than a run-of-the-mill .44 Magnum of this era, but less than some of the more collectible, earlier, Model 29s.
Regards,
JP

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3 years ago #5
confused
Guest

You are sooooo awesome! Thank you soooo much! This was my last resort, no one seemed to know anything about it! You described the gun to a T. He only shot it a dozen times (he has the targets in the case!). I was debating trying to shoot it myself, but I'm not sure. I'm not very big and don't want to drop it! Well thank you again for your time and knowledge! Michelle

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3 years ago #6
JP@AK
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You are quite welcome, Michelle.
I'm glad I could help you.
Regards,
JP

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2 years ago #7
dug
Guest

hi,
I too have a hostiles 44 mag and was wondering if someone makes a no tap no drill scope mount for it ?
thanks for your time
dug

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2 years ago #8
Rob62
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dug - look here for an assortment of mounts (drill and no drill)
https://www.brownells.com/UserDocs/Miscellaneous/Cat66RingsBasesSection.pdf

Also check out the main web <email>

FWIW on a heavy recoiling revolver such as this its been my experience that no drill mounts are not the best way to go. They shoot loose and also have a propensity to mar the finish.

With a gun potentially as valuable as yours, even in used condition, the more the original finish is damaged the more its value will decrease.

Regards,

Rob

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1 year ago #9
dug
Guest

thanks rob , I didn't think a no tap mount would come loose , but if they do it would mar up the finish .
so is that md 29 -5 tapped ?
if I understand the early post , if I take off the rear sight it'll either be tapped underneath or not ?
since this md was before 1993 .
thanks again
dug

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1 year ago #10
Rob62
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As far as I know all older model 29's have at least a single drilled and tapped hole - that is needed for the factory adjustable rear sight.

With a no drill and tap scope base one removes the rear sight and then uses that drilled and tapped screw hole to initially attach the scope base to the gun.

Depending on which "no drill" mount you get there will be a clamp like system that grips the top strap of the frame and holds the mount in place along with the previously mentioned screw.

Rob

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