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Smith & Wesson - Registered Magnum 357

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This historic Registered Magnum, Reg. #2, is the earliest Registered Magnum ever offered for sale, as Reg. #1, which was delivered to FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, has remained in the private collection of the family of the senior FBI agent it was gifted to by Hoover over 60 years ago. Adding to the historical significance of Reg. #2 is the fact that it was delivered to Philip B. Sharpe, the noted handloading expert credited for his work on developing the .357 Magnum, the most powerful handgun cartridge at the time. Its high condition, registration number, and documented association to one of the men responsible for designing the cartridge it is chambered for make this revolver a museum worthy piece, a definite must have for the serious S&W collector wanting only the crown jewels. The accompanying 2004 dated factory letter addressed to collector Gary Garbrecht lists this revolver with an 8 3/4 inch barrel, Call gold bead front sight, "rear sight to match," blue finish, checkered walnut grips, and grip adapter when it was shipped on April 27, 1935 to Philip Sharpe, South Portland, Maine. A 2009 dated factory letter addressed to collector Ray Cheely comes with a CD featuring scans of factory documents related to this revolver: Sharpe's S&W order form and S&W invoice showing the revolver was delivered to S&W Vice President D.B. Wesson. The included original Registration Certificate lists the revolver with an 8 3/4 inch barrel, 1/10 inch patridge front sight, and square notch rear sight and registration by Phil Sharpe of South Portland, Maine. This revolver is documented by its registration number as delivered to Sharpe in Supica and Nahas' "Standard Catalog of Smith & Wesson" on page 133. The revolver is one of 735 Registered Magnums manufactured with an 8 3/4 inch barrel. It has a King blade sight on a mirror base, adjustable square notch rear sight, grip adaptor, "REG. 2" stamped on the inside of the frame, right grip panel numbered "43664," and matching serial numbers on the butt, cylinder and ejector shroud. Sharpe’s home state manufactured alligator skin shooter’s case features a Tronick-McKenzie Co. of Stanley, Wisconsin, retailer label and comes with three unused NRA official 50 feet slow fire pistol targets, Hoppe’s lubricating oil, glass bottle of oil, one piece cleaning rod, and five piece cleaning rod in a travel container. Accompanying correspondence indicates ownership of this revolver transferred from to Paul Humerick to Gary Garbrecht in the early 1990s, then to Ray Cheely in 2005. Philip Sharpe (1903-1961) was an internationally known ballistics expert and noted firearms author who wrote for the NRA and many gun industry publications, as well as the books "Complete Guide to Handloading" (1937) and "The Rifle in America" (1938). During World War II, Sharpe served as a captain in Army Ordnance in the European theater as chief of a small arms unit in the enemy equipment intelligence service, and beginning after the war until his untimely death in 1961, imported custom made rifles designed to his specifications for cartridges developed by his firm Sharpe and Hart, conducted ballistics testing and wrote technical works and fiction. In 1934, Douglas Wesson of Smith & Wesson teamed up with Sharpe and Elmer Keith to develop a new cartridge to compete with Colt's .38 Super Automatic. The result was the .357 Magnum, a cartridge based on S&W's .38 Special with an average muzzle velocity of 1,090 feet per second. The .357 Magnum cartridge was first introduced on the S&W .357 Magnum Revolver, making it the most powerful handgun at the time. Initially, each production S&W .357 Magnum was built to the specifications of the buyer, then registered by number to the owner by Douglas Wesson himself. As a high velocity cartridge, the .357 quickly became a favorite caliber for law enforcement and a new breed of big game handgun hunters. The .357 is generally credited for starting the "Magnum Era," a period of time when larger calibers dominated the firearms market. A fantastic reprinted Life Magazine photo of Sharpe shooting a .357 Magnum and a copy of "D.B. Wesson's Scrapbook" come with the revolver.
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