The first project encompassed 150 boxes of documents covering the years 1935-1941. These boxes contain information about the “.357” Magnum revolver, introduced in 1935, and many other interesting handguns including the “Outdoorsman” series and the pre-war K-22 and K-32. The digitization and indexing of these 150 boxes of records was completed in December 2009 at an approximate cost of $210,000. During the process a digital backup was made and is now being stored at CVHM, ensuring our records are preserved for future collectors. Further projects are now planned including the records for the period 1930-1934.
A database application has been created to enable the SWHF to search the records and reproduce documents of interest to S&W collectors. To demonstrate how this system will work we have researched three firearms:
Pre-war Registered Magnum Registration #2968. Factory letter states it has a very rare 4 ¼” barrel and was sent to Sheriff Tom Fellers of Newberry SC. The database search shows 4 documents relating to this gun. These are displayed below as examples #1 – 4. As can be seen, we now have a copy of the original order for the firearm and we've discovered that it was part of a 2 gun consecutive Registration # order. Now the collector who owns #2968 can spend the remainder of his days seeking #2969 to reunite the pair.
Pre-war Registered Magnum Registration #409. Factory letter states it was sent to S.D. Myres of El Paso Texas, engraved as “Sighted in by D.B.Wesson”. Myres was considered by many to be the premier pre-war holster and leather goods manufacturer in the USA . The database search produced 5 documents relating to this gun including a fascinating correspondence between Myres and Douglas B. Wesson. These documents are displayed as examples 5 -9 below.
Pre-war K-32 Target revolver serial #675715. This gun letters as sent to Ed McGivern of Montana , famous demonstration shooter and trainer of innumerable law enforcement offers. McGivern still regarded as the fastest revolver shooter ever recorded. The search produces only one document, but an important one. The original factory invoice for the gun showing it was gratis from the firms advertising account, specifying it was “for demonstration work”. See example #10 below.