What is this?


November 16, 2006, 12:33 AM
I have a Smith and Wesson revolver that was my grandfather's, which he had I think in the 1920's and has been sitting in a box for 50 years or so. I only know he kept it when he was a paymaster at a coal mine in West Virginia in the 20's. I am interesting in knowing more about it, and perhaps how best to sell it.

On the barrel it says Smith and Wesson. On the other side it says 08 S.&W. Special CTG.
There is a serial number at the bottom of the handle - 288463.

On the top ridge of the barrel it says:
Smith & Wesson Springfield, Massachusetts U.S.A. Patented

Can someone help me know more about this, and perhaps what would be the best way to find a new home for it? It looks almost new to me. I am sure it hasn't seem much use.


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November 16, 2006, 12:58 AM
Send your query to S&W, or one of the gun magazine writers to get answers.

November 16, 2006, 01:01 AM
If you could post photographs that would help.

November 16, 2006, 01:13 AM
Send your query to S&W, or one of the gun magazine writers to get answers.

An advice columnist is a gun magazine will take 2 months to get you an answer that you can get in two days on THR.

If you could post pics, that'd be ideal. Otherwise, check back here in a day or two, and I bet someone will have some pretty good info for you.

Oh, and if you let us know what part of the country you're in, you might get an offer to buy it from someone in your area who reads this thread.


November 16, 2006, 01:15 AM
There will be someone along soon to give you some definative information based on your SN .

I'm thinking you have an early hand ejector and likely one of the first series of the .38 Spl cartridge revolvers. I'll let a more knowledgable person take it from there .

Several good ways to dispose of an old revolver if that is what you have in mind. Posting it for sale in the proper catigory here on THR is one, Selling on internet auctions, like auction arms, gun broker, or listing on Gunsamerica web site are a couple other ways.

November 16, 2006, 02:31 AM
Smith and Wesson 38 special Military and Police revolver, model 1905 4th change.

Exact dating is impossible with data available to me, but s/n 241,704 was made in 1915 and 1,000,000 was made in 1942. Probably late teens.

If you shoot the gun use only standard pressure rounds, the gun was made for the standard 158 grain round nose lead load.

November 17, 2006, 01:00 AM
Thanks for everyone's response to my question. I'll try to attach some photos I took. I am in the San Francisco Bay Area.

November 17, 2006, 01:12 AM
Looks spiffy, that's for sure.

If I wasn't on the other side of the country from you, I'd try to buy it; nothing like a good ol' Smith. Especially a 6" pencil barrel.

November 17, 2006, 04:16 AM
A collector into mining history might pay a little extra. Mining in WVa got very interesting in the 20's, ie the Mine Wars, the Matewan shootout etc.

If you write up a little provenance and contact a reputable auction house you may indeed find you have a neat piece of history there.



'If you have items of arms, armor, sporting guns or militaria you would be interested in offering at auction, or if you just want to get an idea of the value of your items, we are happy to render free appraisals from photographs, or in person. Please contact at us at the phone numbers or e-mail addresses shown to the right."

We aren't talking about a firearm worth a fortune but $500 wouldn't be unreasonable if the gun wasn't marked as 'property' of the mine.

November 17, 2006, 04:46 PM
Sell it? A piece with family history attached. Dontcha got something else, an old car or boat to sell for extra cash. That there is a pristine example of how things used to be and likely never will be again. Somebody else could have it after I'm dead if it were mine. Joe

November 17, 2006, 04:51 PM
PS: RHE, go on over to the S&W forum and post about it. You will get info, questions, offers etc. The grips are worth quite a bit by themselves. Refuse offers to separate (just my opinion) . Joe

November 17, 2006, 05:16 PM
You own a very nice Model of 1905 4th Change Hand Ejector, also known as a Military & Police revolver. It has a six inch barrel, a round butt, and a nickel finish, which makes it a bit unusual. Your revolver is also in excellent to mint condition, which will place it in the $300-400 price range among interested collectors. If you still have the box, add on an extra $50-75.

These old M&P revolvers are excellent shooters. They exceed the present day S&W Performance Center guns in fit and finish. Indeed, if a similar revolver was produced by S&W today, it would sell for $1500 or so. These old revolvers are priced less in the marketplace simply because of the numbers of them out there.

If you took your S&W to a dealer to sell it, you would be offered around $100 or so, maybe less. You must understand that old guns have no absolute value. They are simply worth what someone is willing to pay when you decide to sell. I would advise you to keep this revolver in your family. The historical significance of this gun within your family cannot be replaced, and that is worth more than $400. Think long and hard before you sell. The $400 is easily found. This revolver cannot be replaced once it's gone.

November 17, 2006, 06:00 PM
+1 to what Xavier said.

November 17, 2006, 06:29 PM
As a fellow Californian I would ask that you not let this particular revolver leave the state. In California today you can only buy old guns like this from a private owner already in California so once a gun leaves the state it is lost to local collectors for good. Post it for sale at www.calguns.net if you must sell it and I'm sure a local person will buy it from you. Good luck.

Phil DeGraves
November 17, 2006, 06:49 PM
Is that nickel or just reflection from the photo flash? On my computer, one picture looks blue and the other looks nickel.

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