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Ruger Special Edition 38-40


Dang It Dan 13202
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Looking for a little help.  Recently bought two Ruger Special Edition 38-40's with the .40 S&W conversion cylinders.  The guns appear new or "as new" with all the paperwork and the black box.  I was getting ready to ship them out to be short-stroked and tuned but a buddy of mine said that would not be a good idea due to their potential worth.

 

Now, after searching the Interweb, I know these were built by Davidson's and only about 1,600 were produced.  That was 2005/2006.  I found some old auction sites where these have sold in the past, but the latest I could find was 2016.  

 

I can always shoot blackpowder with .45LC, so before I make a mistake, anybody really know what these things are worth?

 

Thanks in advance.

 

Dan

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It is a Ruger with a transfer bar.  It will never be a really valuable collector piece.  It was made to shoot.  If you are really worried get a short stroke KIT installed not a hack and chop.  Then if you want too at some point in the future it will be easy to put the stock parts back in.  Shoot it and enjoy it.  If you get a hack and chop Ruger parts are readily available.

Edited by Larsen E. Pettifogger, SASS #32933
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I don't know their current value, but at least $1,500 each is believable since they are rare and very desirable.

 

I love shooting them in frontier cartridge, about every match I attend.  I like them so much I had them hand engraved by Texas Jack (Frank Leaman) when he was still around.

 

If I bought another pair, I would shoot them too, but that's just the way I am.  YMMV.

 

 

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I had a custom pair of NMV made in late 2018 by Boomstick Arms, short stroked, SBH hammers and octagon barrels for about $1,200 each.  If you can get $1,500 each for stock pistols, sell them and get a custom built pair.

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Stock NMV 38sp pair with little or no work are going for close to that ($2000 and up). 2018 prices are pre pandemic, pre shortages of guns and ammo.

Dang It Dan... fyi you have the Alias I wanted. I already use dangit in my email address.

2 hours ago, KH24 said:

I had a custom pair of NMV made in late 2018 by Boomstick Arms, short stroked, SBH hammers and octagon barrels for about $1,200 each.  If you can get $1,500 each for stock pistols, sell them and get a custom built pair.

 

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PLUS ONE for Pettifogger.  If you're hanging your retirement hat on them . . . you're going to be very disappointed.YOu just might make a couple of bucks, but shooting them would be lots more funner  :D  

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1 hour ago, Dang It Dan 13202 said:

Thanks to all for the responses....except you Sun.

 

I would still like to find an actual recent sales price.  I am seriously considering selling them and starting over.

 

Thanks,

 

Dan

I think you need to sell those puppies and put the money towards some SxS shooting lessons from Santa Fe River Stan. Of course that’s just one man’s opinion!  :P

 

Kajun

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Search completed auctions - a used 4 5/8" w/both cylinders sold on August 12th on Gunbroker for $1576 + shipping. Another 4 5/8"er w/both cylinders sold on July 13th for $1100 + $35 shipping. A 5 1/2"er w/both cylinders sold on August 10th for $1054.99 + $35 shipping.

 

There were 674 made with 4 5/8" barrels, and 753 with 5 1/2" barrels. All of them were stainless. The big problem with these things is the chamber mouths were way undersize at about .395-.396", and really need to be opened up. For some odd reason, the .40 S&W chamber mouths are correct. Some dies also won't set the case shoulder back far enough to chamber properly. This is an easy fix to take several thousandths off the mouth of the die with a lathe, or even a Dremel or small bench grinder.

 

These, the .32-20 convertibles, and the .44 specials, command a bit of a premium, but it's not like you're messing up a $10,000 collector's item.

 

I paid $1190 for a consecutive pair, ANIB unfired, in 2007, and $650 for a third one four months later - gotta have an identical backup, doncha know. ;) I borrowed a reamer from somebody on here - danged if I remember who - reamed the chamber mouths, wrapped a $20 bill (or maybe a fifty...?) around the reamer, and sent it back. :)

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6 hours ago, Krazy Kajun said:

I think you need to sell those puppies and put the money towards some SxS shooting lessons from Santa Fe River Stan. Of course that’s just one man’s opinion!  :P

 

Kajun

My SXS coach is Christian Mortician.  Taking a lesson from him is like trying to take a sip of water from a firehose.  

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Back when Ruger was just introducing the New Model Vaquero, I had been anxiously been waiting to buy a pair in 38/40, but when I realized that the NMV wouldn't be offered in that caliber (physical size limits, although I know there are folks that make it work) I bought a couple of pairs.  One pair had been reworked to remove the transfer bars by welding up the hammers, but I don't think they were short-stroked.  I had new hammers and transfer bars installed taking it back to factory (although slick as all get-out) and am sure I still have the parts laying around somewhere.  I will see if I can lay my hands on them in my junk room (parts were in little baggies 'cause I don't through anything away...:rolleyes:).  If I can find the parts, I will post a picture in this thread.  If after seeing them you want them, they are yours.

 

As far as value of the OMV in 38/40, they are worth whatever anybody is willing to pay for them.  To me, they are worth more as shooters than as display pieces.  I wanted a set because, back in the day, to me to was the best caliber out there for Cowboy as it could be used in any category.  Even got a '73 and a '66 to match.  Never shot them once! :blush:  Made a deal with the wife that if I bought them I wouldn't shoot them until I got caught up life.  10+ years later, and I am down to the home stretch, I hope!  I do occasionally take them out and fondle them though, just to keep me inspired! :P

 

Edited by Dogmeat Dad, SASS #48563L
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I had a pair.  I liked shooting them with the .40 S&W cylinders installed, but the accuracy was poor with the .38-40 cylinders.  They were short stroked with SB hammers installed.  I had the original hammers with the guns and they could have been converted back to original condition with no problem.

 

I agree with Larsen, shoot them and enjoy them.

 

 

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13 minutes ago, TN Mongo, SASS #61450 said:

I had a pair.  I liked shooting them with the .40 S&W cylinders installed, but the accuracy was poor with the .38-40 cylinders.  They were short stroked with SB hammers installed.  I had the original hammers with the guns and they could have been converted back to original condition with no problem.

 

I agree with Larsen, shoot them and enjoy them.

 

 

 

There was an issue with the production 38/40 cylinders.  I don't recall the exact numbers, but Ruger machined the cylinder so that it exit side was too small by a few thousandths.  This squeezed the bullet down so that it didn't fully engage the rifling in the barrel.  The cylinder's need to be reamed out to the correct size to get the accuracy back.

 

Edited by Dogmeat Dad, SASS #48563L
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Well, they're sold.

 

I am working on a pair of custom 38-40's that I am converting out of pair of old model .357's.  The cylinders have been reamed and now I am waiting on my "smith" to make the barrels.  

 

I guess I'm getting sentimental .... just can't bring myself to destroy a classic.

 

Thanks again.

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Dan,

I bought a pair back in '03, only because I couldn't find any 38-40 OMV's in blue. I don't like shiny guns. One shot pretty good poi/poa, the other one you had to hold about 3-4 ft. off to the right to hit I was on the dark side ( they had cookies).But,,,,,,, I lucked into a pair of Colts 3-4 years later, used them while looking for a pair of OMV's in .357 to convert to 38-40. Found them , got them converted, said I'd switch up between the Colts and OMV's. But I'd been shooting the Colts for so long I'd gotten used to them, so, I stuck witth the Colts for about ten years. But did shoot the OMV's  once and a while. It worked out ok. When you say "waiting on your smith to make the barrels", are you having brand new barrels made ?? I just had the .357 barrels bored and rifled, worked great for me.

YMMV, have fun.

Isom

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Another 5 1/2"er w/both cylinders just sold on Gunbroker for $1399 + $45 shipping, and there is currently a 4 5/8"er listed @ $1795, Buy It Now, + $35 shipping, with the bid currently $866 and reserve not met. 

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