s & w 38 special ctg


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msprezz
November 12, 2006, 10:01 AM
My father left me with an s & w 38 special ctg with the serial number 1K2536 and Made in USA, Springfield, with Marcas Regristradas. It is a 6" barrel, steel, wooden stock. Can you tell me when it was made and what kind of firing power
it has? It is in excellent condition.

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Ron James
November 12, 2006, 12:39 PM
msprezz, open the cylinder and look on the yoke, you should see a model number, and the number will will tell you the Model , it willl look like this, Mod 14-3. With just the serial number I can only tell you it was made in 1970 and is chambered for the .38 Special. Untill we know the model there's not much else can be told about your firearm. The .38 Special was used by every police department in the U.S for close to a hundred years. With some of the more modern loads it is more than effective for self defence. I suppect you have a target pistol such as the Model 14. If so, you have a very accurate handgun that is highly regarded by people that value fine firearms.

msprezz
November 12, 2006, 03:26 PM
Thank you for the quick rsponse. As hoped, your information was very helpful. The model number 14-3 does appear on the yoke. My father always said if I ever owned a gun it needed to be very accurate, as we only get one
shot in a life/death situation. This is the first gun I have owned & I plan to go to a firing range & learn to use it, but it will be passed along to my son. It seems prudent to have a gun these days. Thank you for helping me out.

Ron James
November 13, 2006, 10:28 PM
You're welcome. I also own a S&W Model 14 and it too will be passed to one of my sons. I would suggest that if possible and if there's one in your area to enroll into a beginers firearms class. Vaya Con Dios

jaywolf13
November 20, 2007, 02:34 PM
Ron,

I saw your post regarding a 38 special. I too have a 38 from my father. He was a Washington, DC policeman. This 38 is a S&W 38 SPECIAL CTG serial number 628048 with a 86004 on the yoke. I measured the barrel at 4".

What can you tell me about this gun.

Thanks Jay Wolf jay@denlair.com

Ron James
November 20, 2007, 06:08 PM
.38 S&W Special CTG is a caliber designation, not the name of the revolver. Ctg is short for cartridge:). I will do a bit of assuming here, which is always a dangerous thing. I am well able to stick my foot in my mouth with out the risk of "guessing". The fact that your father was a police officer and this was his service weapon. based on the fact that the serial number has no alpha letters in it, I will say you have a .38 Special Hand Ejector M&P ( Military and Police). The serial number falls with in the range of 1915 to 1942, I would think perhaps 1940-41. The number on the yoke is an assembly number and used only during the manufacturing process. Smith &Wesson and Colt revolvers armed 90 percent of the police until the mid 1960's when the slow swing started toward the 9MM automatic began. Even today the revolver can still be found in police work usually in the smaller rural police departments. You have a very serviceable and valued heirloom from your father. If it is in good condition I would not hesitate to shoot it. Hope that helps. Ron

Tim Garlak
February 22, 2008, 02:34 PM
Well I too have a Smith and Wesson 38 Special that was given to me by my Father - in - Law just prior to his passing on. It is a 38 S. & W. Special CTG with a serial number of 629330. The only identifying marks I can find on the yoke are is the number 1838 which I assume is not the year of manufacture. On the underside of the barrel near the serial number stamp a "B" appears prior to the serial number. the "B" does not appear to be part of the serial number. Barrel length is 5 inches. The weapon is in what I would call "good" condition. Can any one tell me more about this handgun? My knowledge of weapons revolves around the M4 Carbine, M16 Rfle and 120mm Smooth Bore Cannon. Dont know much about 38s

Will5A1
February 22, 2008, 07:31 PM
Tim - check the serial number on the butt of the revolver and let us know if it has any letter (S, C, V, etc.) prefix, and then repost with the confirmed serial number. Can you also describe the markings/printing on the frame and patent dates on the barrel - this will help pin it down. I think you probably have a .38 M&P, but with additional info we can pin it down in a more precise manner. Pictures would help if you can swing them. Weclome to the forum and congrats on getting a nice revolver.

added - those numbers on the yoke are factory assembly numbers and have no meaning for ID, the "official" S&W serial number will be on the butt frame of the revolver.

RROLL
March 24, 2008, 09:11 PM
S & W 38 Special CTG Model 10-8
3D734?? Serial Number

Can anyone help me with the manufacture date of this
38 Revolver S & W Special CTG Model 10-8? 4" BARRELL, COLOR BLUE
6 SHOT

REROLL@COMCAST.NET

THANKS GUYS

RROLL

Old Fuff
March 25, 2008, 01:10 AM
Dates are approximate

The model 10-8 was between 1977 amd 1988. Serial numer 3D734XX was made during 1978 or '79.

BillMa
August 31, 2010, 07:58 PM
I remember first seeing the pistol in the attached pix when I was in grade school, early 1950. Don't know a lot about guns but have had it since my father passed 20 years ago. Do not have any bullets and I've never seen it fired. Dragged it home from bank safety deposit box to take some pix and submit for information. Not sure accurate way to measure barrel, is is 5 or 6 inches? What might be closest determined manufacture date? What is a good way to determine if it safe to fire? Anything else someone might be able to tell me about it.

Thanks very much. :-)

Jim K
August 31, 2010, 08:24 PM
S&W M&P revolvers in the 628xxx/629xxx range would date to 1932 or 1933. 478xxx would probably date to the mid-1920's but I can't get any closer.

Jim

Old Fuff
September 1, 2010, 12:29 AM
Good pictures really help to make a correct identification. :)

Your Father's revolver is a Smith & Wesson .38 Hand Ejector, Model of 1905, 4th change. It was also more commonly caled the Military & Police Model, or simply ".38 M&P."

The 4th change series of this model was made between 1915 and 1942, within a serial number range running from 241,704 to 999,999. Standard barrel lengths were 2, 4, 5 and 6 inches. Your's is the longest, measured from the front cylinder face to the end of the muzzle. The 6-shot cylinder is chambered to use very common .38 Special cartridges. Standard finishes were full blue or nickel plate, with color casehardened hammer and trigger. The stocks are checkered walnut, and should be marked with the revolver's serial number on the inside, as they were individually fitted to each frame. (They don't do that anymore...).

The exact date it was made is hard to determine, because the frames were numbered prior to being assembled into a complete gun, and they weren't assembled in any particular order. However if you are willing to pay a reasonable search fee of $50.00, Smith & Wesson's historian, Roy Jinks, will go back and find the original hand-written shipping records. Details follow:

Information concerning historical letters of authentication from Smith & Wesson’s historian, Roy G. Jinks can be obtained from the link listed below.

In exchange for a $50.00 research fee (make any check out to Smith & Wesson, not Mr. Jinks) he will search through the company’s original records until he finds your particular revolver. He will then send you an official letter which usually includes:

A short history of the revolver model’s background.

What the barrel length, caliber/cartridge, finish and stocks were, as well as the exact date it was shipped from the factory – and to what distributor, dealer or individual – as whatever the case may be.

http://www.smith-wesson.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/CustomContentDisplay?langId=-1&storeId=10001&catalogId=10001&content=25301&sectionId=10504

Two other additional points:

1. Because of the revolvers age, use standard velocity .38 Special cartridges loaded with 158 grain lead bullets. Avoid ammunition marked "Plus-P".

2. While it does have a hammer block, it is not a positive one. Therefore carry the cylinder loaded with no more then 5 rounds, and rest the hammer down on the empty chamber. Can't get safer then that. ;)

BillMa
September 1, 2010, 07:24 AM
Old Fuff & Jim Keenan,

Thanks so much for your quick and very informative replies. Jim it is interesting to know that the revolver could date back that far and Old Fuff thanks for the all the super detailed information and pointer to where to find out the exact date of manufacture. If you are interested I will share the results of Mr. Jinks' efforts.

Most important, Old Fuff thanks so much for the impossible to value safety tip. Was not too long ago I was reading an article where the person spoke about loading only 5 cartridges and could not figure out why. I am now guessing that possibility exists for these revolvers to inadvertently discharge. Now I know and also know how to proceed more safely, THANKS. Also valuable is the tip on correct ammunition, I can easily imagine walking into a store and being thoughtlessly handed the "Plus-P" stuff, after all doesn't everyone always want the latest and greatest! :-)

Old Fuff
September 1, 2010, 11:20 AM
If you are interested I will share the results of Mr. Jinks' efforts.

We, meaning others, and myself are always interested in what these letters contain because they provide additional clues when trying to date other revolvers. Because of the way S&W operated prior to around 1968 the date when your revolver was shipped (production records are not available) could be as early as the late 1920's and as late as 1940. The reason for this is that during the Great Depression them company produced far more parts, including serial numbered frames, than current orders required. They did this to keep their highly skilled and loyal work force. The practice almost drove them into bankruptcy, but they were saved by World War Two when all of these previously produced parts were quickly pulled out of storage and assembled into completed guns. Thus within a very short time period there was a wide range of serial numbers. However the greater likelihood is that Jim's estimate will turn out to be right.

Limited use of Plus-P ammunition wouldn't do serious damage, but more extensive use might, and if the revolver is not being used for defensive purposes there is no reason to push the envelope. Also you will find that the ammunition I specified usually shoots to the point of aim. When that revolver was made each and every gun was targeted at 20 yards.

The revolver does have internal mechanical safeties, but in late 1944 S&W redesigned the hammer's safety block to a much better one (that is still used today) after the U.S. Navy suffered an accidental discharge incident where a sailor was killed. While the chance of something happening is highly remote, there is no good reason to take any chances.

Jim K
September 1, 2010, 01:29 PM
FWIW, my source for some of those dates is Charles Pate's U.S. Handguns of World War II. He reports a number of sales of handguns in the inter-war years, and often has been able to give the serial numbers. For example, he says that 36 M&P revolvers in the 651000 serial number range were shipped to the Secret Service on June 21, 1935. So it would be reasonable to conclude that #651xxx was shipped at about that time.

As Old Fuff says, the best the records will provide is shipping dates, not dates of manufacture. In rare circumstances, those dates may be years, even decades, apart. Sometimes discontinued guns remained in stock for years before being shipped. An example would be the Model 1905 Colt auto pistol. Manufacture stopped in 1911, yet some were still in stock at the factory when the British purchased them in 1940.

Jim

BillMa
September 1, 2010, 01:44 PM
Old Fuff,

I did again read some of the above notes after submitting my response to Jim & you and then realized that I would only be able to find out the ship date. Regardless I am still very interested to know that fact and more than happy to share whatever I find. And thanks for the history lesson on how S&W through the integrity of supporting their loyal employees was also able to be so helpful in quickly supporting WWII along with saving their great corporation. Kind of ironic that on this forum I learned of a corporation that by taking the "High Road" came out in great shape.

I highly doubt that my father purchased the revolver and probably received it from his dad, an uncle or a great uncle in Pittsburgh. Or, from a cousin or uncle in Chicago where I am now thinking one might have been a police officer. There was also a cousin in Chicago that was a WWII fighter pilot who flew with the “Black Sheep” in the Pacific. He was known as “Wild Man Magee” for antics like, when out of other ammunition, throwing unauthorized grenades from his plane into Japanese junks and some purported dead stick landings. There was another WWII pilot who was killed in England, this was Chris Magee the author of the fairly well known poem “High Flight”. And my mother had three brothers that all fought in WWII. Will need to dig the family tree out once I find where the revolver might have been initially shipped.

My dad was not into guns, he never hunted and was a crew dispatcher for the Pennsylvania Railroad which kept him state side for WWII. In fact this revolver was part of a set, one being a smaller caliber, possibly a .22 of some type, if that is possible. To me the set thing suggests it is not of military origin. Possibly the information from S&W could show that a set or revolvers was shipped. But I am thinking the revolvers were purchased from a dealer that received many revolvers at the same time. Still want to know where they went first from the factory. Might well be they were sent to the military.

Unfortunately dad gave the smaller caliber revolver away, and there is nothing wrong with that. The unfortunate part is that years after the recipient used it for suicide, who knows what happened to the revolver?

I did shoot this smaller caliber revolver once or twice (I mean one or two live rounds) with my father standing behind stiffly holding my arms and hands.

Not sure what I intend to do with the revolver. I've recently retired from the IT world and pursuing a love for fine art photography. In doing so I purchased a 19 foot trailer that I haul off, by myself, into the National Forests here in Colorado for days and weeks at a time. I dug the weapon out of the safe deposit box wondering if first it was useable and might be good to take along on my lonely forays. So I will be thinking how to go about assuring the revolver is safe to shoot and getting some at least introductory training.

Again, thanks for all your input. It is appreciated and I will share what I learn.

rondog
September 1, 2010, 02:01 PM
Billma - Just my opinion, but I see NO reason why that revolver shouldn't be perfectly safe to shoot! I'd say get some basic .38 Special target ammo and go have fun! Either round-nose lead bullets or semi-wadcutters, should be easy to find. Don't forget to buy ear and eye protection too. Don't shoot it without ear protection at the very least. Eye protection is a must too, but revolvers don't kick out empty cases in your face.

Old Fuff
September 1, 2010, 02:08 PM
As Old Fuff says, the best the records will provide is shipping dates, not dates of manufacture. In rare circumstances, those dates may be years, even decades, apart.

Under ordinary circumstance I'd say you're right, and I'll admit that the strongest possibility is that the shipping date will turn up in the date range you specified. However the 1930's decade wasn't ordinary because the company produced (and serial numbered) frames in quantities that far exceeded current orders. When orders did come in, frames were taken and completed into finished revolvers, but not in any particular order. When the English placed a major order in 1940 Smith & Wesson started making K-frame M&P revolvers as fast as they could by pulling those previously made parts out of inventory. So while a revolver with a middle-late 600,000 serial number might have been shipped in 1935, the next one in sequence might have gone out in 1940. Not likely but possible. That's why those letters from Roy Jinks are so interesting - and important for researchers.

Concerning the factory letter. They are expensive, but besides the shipping date they confirm that the revolver is, or isn't in its original configuration, and where it was shipped to. When it was actually made is a moot point, because nothing relative to it happened until it was shipped. If it is passed down to future generations this information might be useful, and if the company should decide to discontinue the service sometime in the future this information might become unavailable.

BillMa
September 1, 2010, 06:56 PM
rondog, thanks for your input and cautions pertaining to ear/eye protection. My purpose for possibly bringing the revolver into service is to take along when going off into the National Forests in my trailer alone and hopefully at very most used to scare off a possible problematic person. Not that shooting doesn't sound like great fun but I am not able to find enough time to pursue my fine art photography career.

The plan, first per Old Fuff, keep only 5 rounds in cylinder with hammer down on empty chamber. I am then thinking that the next round be a blank. This way if at night and someone is trying to get into my trailer, the blank would be fired first. This should send most would be intruders scurrying. The next 4 rounds should be enough to stop someone more persistent. Kind of doubt the next 4 rounds will ever be used, since I really doubt that the blank will ever be fired. Peace of mind though!

I got this idea from a friend that keeps a fully loaded 9mm in his home and intends to, and likewise instructed his wife to, always first fire a shot into the ceiling which should scare most intruders off. He dismissed any damage as being a cheap way to avoid having to shot someone. I just modified his plan a bit by using a blank, really don't want a hole in my trailer roof.

Does this sound like a reasonable approach?

Also need to figure out what needs done to make the revolver legal, any input on that?

Jim Keenen, I apologize for not including you name in my last response to Old Fuff. Apparently we were composing our messages at the same time so I did not realize you had new input. :-)

Old Fuff
September 1, 2010, 08:03 PM
I've recently retired from the IT world and pursuing a love for fine art photography. In doing so I purchased a 19 foot trailer that I haul off, by myself, into the National Forests here in Colorado for days and weeks at a time.

I would suggest, and strongly so, that you rethink your self-defense strategy. At one time I would have agreed, but today our National Forests have become attractive to the kind of people who grow or make controlled substances, and have a very narrow opinion of someone who might unintentionally come across one of their operations. If you have a revolver that is limited to six-rounds, have one chamber empty, and a second loaded with a blank, you have 4 rounds left. If the intruder isn’t scared off, it is quite possible that that person will hose down your little trailer with a semi-automatic rifle loaded with a 30-round hi-cap magazine. Without question the trailer is not bullet proof.

While the revolver is an excellent one, and in my view they don’t come better, I think that for the role of self protection in remote areas you would be better off with a more modern pistol that has a magazine capacity of at least 10 rounds. I would point out that these are now commonly carried by police officers and our military that long ago abandoned revolvers. In addition I would equip the trailer with a short-barreled/12 gauge shotgun with an extended magazine tube.

I dug the weapon out of the safe deposit box wondering if first it was useable and might be good to take along on my lonely forays. So I will be thinking how to go about assuring the revolver is safe to shoot and getting some at least introductory training.

If you chose to use it, I see no reason to think the revolver (within the previously discussed limitations mentioned in earlier posts) wouldn’t be safe to shoot, and a short talk with someone in a local gun shop might direct you to where you could obtain training. Also starting a thread in the “Strategies & Tactics” sub-forum of THR asking for information might be productive.

BillMa
September 4, 2010, 09:50 PM
Old Fuff,

Again THANKS for your time to respond to my requests for information. Did see your last response just before leaving for another foray into the National Forests. No, not yet implemented a self-defense strategy. But you really got me thinking, and that is extremely valuable to me since even my sons have great difficultly in achieving such a feat. For sure it does take some effort to get this matured brain rolling. But with time and experience comes weight (vast weight), and thus momentum that most times gets out of control, so please bear with me on these extremely heavy thoughts. But before I start, again THANKS for your extremely valued concerns and timely responses.

First, my initial thought for self-defense was to have a way to possibly scare off the way-ward person that was possibly the result of consuming the drugs of the person that you said I would need a reasonably modern semi automatic weapon with extended clip sizes to defend against their relatively super powerful semi-automatic rifle capable of shredding my little trailer, and me, before I even had a chance to even think to fire back. (long sentence, yep, but that is the result of the gravity mentioned above, I just keep rolling!) So for sure, in previous years this was not even a concern, but times enhanced by drugs and poverty, make for drastic individuals that I truly believe a blank round fired would send scurrying. Most are just trying to feed their family or, for whatever reason, acquired drug habit.

As far as appropriately defending against the drug lord with the semi-automatic rifle, I think your prescribed defense needs a bit of enhancement. Possibly the only sure defense is an M1 but not the M1 Garand semi-automatic rifle but the M1 Abrams Tank. Might, at this point in time, be reasonably safe sleeping in an M1 tank.

Gotta wonder where it will stop, possibly someday I will need a personal weapon capable of delivering nuclear rounds while my camper/trailer will be required to stand of the delivery of such a round, and from an automatic weapon capable of “hosing down my little trailer” with a storm of nuclear rounds. I guess the M1 tank will have a limited lifetime for being a reasonable defense, but for now it might do. More important, the drug lord will have the advantage of picking the time of attack, I do need to sleep sometimes.

So bottom line, I can only defend against the crazy that is demented by drugs and/or inability to earn a living and possibly support his family. I believe the blank shot is the best way to preserve the most valuable thing we have, that being human life. If the drug lord gets me, then I will have to write that of to “What God Intended, I feel confident of a warm greeting at the pearly gates”. Not a whole lot else I can do, the drug lord seems to have the upper hand. My prayer, we create an environment where people do not consume drugs and can reasonably easily find a way to earn a decent living. Yea I am a dreamer, but one needs to first dream before ever having a slim chance of reaching a somewhat difficult goal.

Please don't take this as sarcastic, but, just the heavy thoughts of a person with many years of experience in thinking through pragmatic solutions to extremely heavy problems. Think, an “Eye for an Eye” only creates a blind world. Just an analogy for saying that our attacker, given more financial resources through taking advantage of lack of control and poverty, can always buy a bigger more powerful weapon. Where does it stop?

For sure I will share the information returned from S&W about the revolver that you and others on this volunteer site have overwhelmingly defined as a great revolver that I am am now even more proud to be the owner of. And I will use it as defined above to hopefully save some human life, even if it is not my own.

But above all, THANKS FOR YOUR EFFORTS, THEY ARE VERY MUCH APPRECIATED!

Old Fuff
September 4, 2010, 10:33 PM
Well, living as I do rather close to the U.S./Mexican border the folks around here do have some knowledge and background experience when it comes to those who are in the drug smuggling or production business. You are probably correct when it somes to some users, but those that are "in the business" don't scare easily, and have no qualms about disposing of someone that might accidentally discover something, and so become a threat to their generous, if illegal profits.

We also have a fair number of resident or visiting hikers, birders, and yes - even photographers - that have decided after some frightning event to carry a lightweight, semi-automatic pistol (not a maching gun) with a large magazine capacity, so that they can lay down a field of fire while they run as fast as they can to get away. In my experience the tactic has some revelence considering the nature of the kind of people one might run across (or the other way around). This past winter we had one rancher who was shot in the back and killed, while two law enforcement officers were seriously wounded in unrelated incidents.

Anyway, I wish you luck with your hobby, and will wait for your report from Smith & Wesson. Expect the time may be 8 weeks or longer, as the service offered by Mr. Jinks is very popular, and the nature of the research is slow.

rhino1121
September 15, 2010, 04:43 PM
I just inherited a S&W 38 special model 14-3 serial starts with K93 it has the 6 inch barrel and is excellent condition. Anyone have an idea about what year this was made. My grandfather owned it and passed to my dad who passed it on to me. I have owned my S&W 38 undercover for 30 years. If you have an idea as to year it was made I would aprecate it very much. Thanks

Radagast
September 15, 2010, 10:40 PM
rhino1121:
Your Model 14-3 was manufactured in 1969.
The Undercover, IIRC was a Charter Arms gun. If your gun is a S&W I'll need the model number and serial number to identify and date it. If there is no model number then if it has an exposed, partially covered or enclosed hammer, is it stainless, nickel or blued? Steel or aluminum? .38 S&W or .38 Special? Pics will help as well.

rhino1121
September 16, 2010, 02:11 AM
I really thank you for the info as far as my small 38 is concerned I know its history well. I bought it 1989 when I was stationed at Fort Benning. It is a S&W I carried it as my back up for many years now. Thank much for the info on the model 14-3. I know when the times comes for me to pass it on to my son he will love knowing all there is to know about it. Thanks again.

superjdub
January 27, 2011, 04:49 PM
I was just given this 38 S&W special U.S service ctg by my Grandmother. It belonged to my Grandfather. Anything you can tell me will be greatly appriciated.Also I know he had this gun for long time and he died in 99. So why do they post date patent dates and why are there so many?last date reads JUL 7 03.Thats what those are right? serial # starts 996XX

Ron James
January 27, 2011, 05:56 PM
Your serial number falls with in 1905-1906, 38 Special Hand Ejector, Military and Police. Your revolver also has been refinished, either Nickle or it looks like chrome so I won't even guess at a value.

rlash
February 3, 2011, 07:20 PM
msprezz, open the cylinder and look on the yoke, you should see a model number, and the number will will tell you the Model , it willl look like this, Mod 14-3. With just the serial number I can only tell you it was made in 1970 and is chambered for the .38 Special. Untill we know the model there's not much else can be told about your firearm. The .38 Special was used by every police department in the U.S for close to a hundred years. With some of the more modern loads it is more than effective for self defence. I suppect you have a target pistol such as the Model 14. If so, you have a very accurate handgun that is highly regarded by people that value fine firearms.
I also have a S&W 38 special - inside yoke 017013 - other side 454 or 404 - hsrd to read - serial # is 4692 - I have my fathers safety registration paper from 1928 - any info you might be able to give me would be appreciated.

Radagast
February 4, 2011, 07:44 PM
rlash:
The numbers under the yoke are assembly numbers, used to track parts in the factory.
If the complete serial number from the bottom of the grip is 4692 then you have a .38 Military & Police Model 1st Model manufactured between 1899 & 1902.

Value varys greatly with condition, in 2006 the Standard Catalog of S&W gave a value of $150 in poor condition to $1200 for excellent+, with a premium of 50% to 100% for army or navy marked guns.

Some quality pics will help with confirming the ID.

Your gun lacks the modern hammer block safety, if dropped it could fire. For this reason the hammer should be left down on an empty chamber.

Your gun also predates heat treatment of cylinders. Only use lead standard velocity loads, no jacketed, semi jacketed, PlusP or +P+. Otherwise you risk a bulged or cracked cylinder.

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