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Unusual Model 12
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Shawsheen
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August 13, 2022 - 9:07 am
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We have a number of DW revolvers and we have had this one and have never been able to find information on it. My husband wondered it it was something tried and never went to production. Any information would be greatly appreciated. I has the cylinder release mounted in reverse. 

Thanks

Nancy 

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snake-eye
Fort Myers, Florida
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August 13, 2022 - 12:58 pm
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Shawsheen
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August 13, 2022 - 2:48 pm
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Thanks, I guess I didnt upload it correctly last time so hoping this works

 

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605Dart
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August 13, 2022 - 3:26 pm
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Not an expert by any means but if Model No 12 is it's actual serial # that should give it some kind of provenance????????

Maybe a or "the" prototype for the Model 12.

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snake-eye
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August 13, 2022 - 3:58 pm
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someone more knowledgeable will probably jump in here soon. But I think the serial number is the number on the frame under the crane. If you remove the grip, you may find more info on the grip post. The crane latch is actually the correct shape for the early Dans like this one. The design of the latch changed later.

I'm pretty sure that there were no stainless model 12's. The gun has either been refinished in something like hard chrome or had the bluing removed and is "in the white". If the latter, then it will need constant attention to keep it oiled or otherwise protected to prevent rust.

It will probably be a great shooter!

Dans are also rapidly rising in value on the market.

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3ric
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August 13, 2022 - 10:57 pm
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My guess is that the revolver was nickel plated at some time in its history; could even have been a factory job. A very nice example of a very early DW with seemingly very little wear. Really like the grips also. A great find!

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Ole Dog
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August 14, 2022 - 12:43 am
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You have a very early factory nickel plated model 12. Could be a N for nickel too. The grip is one of the original styles. A Sacremento grip, designed for the Sacremento Police Department. The sloping base of the grip ( lower in the back) lessened the bulge of a holstered gun. The checkering was not common. A later style combat grip was straight across or sloped down in the front for more finger grip.

  Nickel Dans have great triggers due to the reduced friction from nickel on the inside frame and sideplate. With Wolff reduced power hammer and trigger springs they become the slickest, fastest DA hammer of almost any revolver. 

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Charger Fan
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August 15, 2022 - 1:37 am
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605Dart said
Not an expert by any means but if Model No 12 is it's actual serial # that should give it some kind of provenance????????

Maybe a or "the" prototype for the Model 12.

  

That's a model 12, the 4-digit serial number is shown clearly stamped in the frame under the crane.

Nancy, the cylinder release was indeed "mounted in reverse" when compared to Smith's & most other revolvers, which were affixed behind the cylinder. Many shooters who are used to the way S&W, Colt, Ruger, etc. look at DW's cylinder releases as backward. BUT these were intentionally placed at the front to help with the overall strength of the gun...or that's what I've read. Maybe it was merely a strategically placed talking point designed to differentiate DW guns from your "run of the mill" Smiff's. wink

Snake-eye, you are right, not a stainless gun. This gun appears to be a factory nickel gun. No stainless Dans came along until after DW passed away in 1978. I don't remember why, but he didn't trust the strength of stainless material that were in some guns of the period, so while he was alive, all DW's were steel.

The first two models in 1970 were the Model 11 & 12. At some point (I think in 1971) some sales guy (presumably) brought the idea to put "DW" in the model numbers, which introduced the D11 & W12. The D11 had fixed sights, and the W12 had adjustable. After a while they dropped the D&W and just went back with model 11 & 12. The gun pictured is a model 12, probably made in late 1970 / early 1971. At the time, customers could order a gun in satin blue, gloss blue, matte nickel, nickel (shiny), or various themes of engraved guns. Kind of like a Burger King commercial from a while back..."make it your way"? big-grin

Here, for example, are my two sequential numbered 2-digit guns (Ed & Fred...97 & 98 respectively) from early in the 1970 run, both are Pistol Pacs...model 12.

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Top row is my W12

2nd row ED & Fred (yes named by me LOL), both model 12's

3rd row my 1st model 14 in .357, then my model D11, a fixed barrel .38 spl. (The 2nd single rarest gun I have currently)

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Charger Fan
Northern Utah

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August 15, 2022 - 1:47 am
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BTW, my D11 & W12 guns have serial number in 7xxx & 4xxx respectively, if anyone is following the numbers. 

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snake-eye
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August 15, 2022 - 8:16 am
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Thanks to Ole Dog & Charger Fan. I knew we would learn something. Factory nickel is uncommon, some would even say rare.cool

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605Dart
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August 15, 2022 - 2:29 pm
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Thanks Charger fan,

"That's a model 12, the 4-digit serial number is shown clearly stamped in the frame under the crane."

I'm not a big revo guy and that's the only place I have seen the serial #'s on guns, I didn't know they had them under the crane too.big-grin

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Charger Fan
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August 16, 2022 - 1:16 am
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Snake-eye, I agree. Factory nickel DW's are not common, it would be really interesting to know the percentages...but then we would have to pry open the big bear trap government entity known as the BATF to find out those numbers. And WOAH...they can't ever divulge those stats! Nope, never. confused

Dart, I hope you don't feel I "schooled" you too much, that wasn't the intent. There is far too much erroneous info out there on the intwerwebz regarding DW's, that I often feel the need to jump in & set the facts straight as soon as possible. That is much of the mission here at the dwf ... trying to try to keep facts straight. There is too much other garbage info out there on various platforms, at least this place should be as factual as possible. An "oasis of DW knowledge" if you will, all in one stop. lol2

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605Dart
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August 16, 2022 - 5:58 am
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Zedbra
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August 30, 2022 - 8:06 am
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That's a very nice gun and as always, a wealth of information from our members.  

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