This is an extremely rare Commercial S&W Model 1917 revolver in nickel finish. It is one of only three .45 Colt caliber Model 1917 Commercial Models known to have been nickel plated. Adding to it's extreme rarity is that it once belonged to the famous Texas Ranger M.T. "Lone Wolf" Gonzaullas (1891-1977). The accompanying factory letter lists this revolver with a 5 1/2 inch barrel in .45 Colt, nickel finish, and checkered walnut grips when shipped on February 7, 1929, and delivered to Wimberly Thomas Co. of Birmingham, AL. The letter also confirms the revolver "is a very rare variation for this model." The back strap is inscribed "Capt. M.T. Gonzaullas/Co. B. Texas Rangers". The left side of the barrel is marked "S&W .45 DA", the top of the barrel has the standard two-line address/patent marking, a small S&W logo is below the cylinder latch, (indicating commercial production). It has the round blade front sight, notch rear sight, unshrouded extractor rod, casehardened hammer, trigger and a lanyard ring mounted on the butt. It is fitted with stag grips with S&W medallions. Gonzaullas served as a Mexican Army major at age 20, then worked for the U.S. Treasury Department for five years, and joined the Texas Rangers in 1920. During the '20s and '30s he enforced the law in the oil fields and on the border. Known as "El Lobo Solo", or "the Lone Wolf", he pursued bootleggers, gamblers and drug runners most often alone. Gonzaullas was later Superintendent of the Texas D.P.S. Bureau of Intelligence and created a crime lab second only to that of the F.B.I. In 1940 he resigned from the Bureau and rejoined the Rangers as Captain of Company B in Dallas and retired in 1951. During his career he was one of the best known Texas Rangers and reputedly killed at least 22 men in the line of duty. He spent the latter part of his life as a technical consultant for radio, motion pictures, and television shows such as "Tales of the Texas Rangers" and helped found the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum in 1968. Gonzaullas died in Dallas at age 85 in 1977 and is in The Texas Ranger Hall of Fame. Included with this lot is a copy of his biography "Lone Wolf" by Bronson Malsch, Gonzaullas' personal inscribed copy of "The Armed Forces Prayer Book" and consignor research and photos.
Excellent. The revolver retains 95% of the original nickel finish with some wear on the muzzle and cylinder and scattered minor flaking. The hammer and trigger retain almost all of the bright case colors. The grips are excellent showing very little wear and only the slightest handling marks. All markings and inscription are clear. Mechanically excellent. A rare Commercial variation of the Model of 1917 in .45 Colt made even more rare with a nickel finish and having been owned by the famous Texas Ranger Captain Manuel T. Gonzaullas.
There are currently no customer product questions on this lot