Need help ID'g Old S&W revolver


December 27, 2006, 03:00 PM
Like many other's, I've just acquired my Grandfather's S&W 38 spl.
From reading the related posts, I'm guessing she's an oldie but goodie.
Here's the description;
Barrel markings- '38 S&W Special CTG'
Patient dates start with March 27 94
end with Sept. 14 09
Serial Number 178055
Yoke number 2201
4 inch barrel, Blue finish, Wood checker grips-w/S&W brass ID, rounded butt
fixed sights -big blade upfront, small grove & notch on frame rear.
I'm told my Grandfather had it from at least 1919.
Am I safe to assume this is an early Model 10?
What frame might this be - 'J' , 'K' ??
Does anyone know if /how I might get a copy of the original Manual?
P.S. - The frame is pleasently aged, bore slightly pitted, and it shoots like
a dream.
Thanx for any help.

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Old Fuff
December 27, 2006, 04:01 PM
Welcome to The High Road.... :) Now to get down to business.

Grandpa's revolver is a Smith & Wesson .38 Military & Police Model 1905, 3rd. Change. The 3rd. Change variant was made between 1909 and 1915, within a serial number range of #146,900 to 241,703, during which approximately 94,803 guns were manufactured. # 178,0xx was most likely made during 1910, but it could have been shipped much later. The checkered walnut stocks on a round butt frame are a bit unusual, as molded black hard-rubber were standard. The gold trademark logos were introduced in or about 1910, and used through 1917. It is built on the K-frame, and The Military & Police became the model 10 in 1957. At the time it was made they didn't have a manual as such, as the instructions were printed on a large label that was pasted to the inside lid of the box.

You can obtain a full and more exact history of the gun by writing S&W’s factory historian, Roy G. Jinks. Enclose a check in the amount of $30.00 made out to Smith & Wesson (not Mr. Jinks), a complete description identical to the one you posted, and a small snapshot of the gun to help with identification. In about 6 to 8 weeks you will receive a letter from Mr. Jinks with an overview of the model, followed with what information he could find in the original shipping records. This should include the exact date it was shipped, and to what distributor or dealer. It will also itemize the barrel length, finish, and may note the walnut stocks among other things. For additional details go to:

December 27, 2006, 04:32 PM
Old Fuff,
Thank you for all of the background information. I did try the S&W websight,
and tried to call Mr.Jinks (I think they may have a holiday shutdown (good for them).
Thanx again

Old Fuff
December 27, 2006, 04:52 PM
I think you are right about the holiday shutdown. Don't be disappointed if you don't reach him on the phone. It sometimes seems like the whole world is trying to pick his brain, and he really can't help you until he looks in the old records - which are neither in numerical order, or computerized.

Part of the problem is that during those times S&W would make frames and serial number them, but might not build them into finished revolvers until weeks, months or even years later. When they did make them into guns they might be shipped in non-numerical order. So tracing a gun isn't like making a quick check in a database. That’s the reason for the $30.00 search fee, which under the circumstances is a bargain.

One thing you might consider is buying a copy of his book – History of Smith & Wesson – that costs about $15.00, plus shipping and contains a lot of good information. I believe he autographs them for free.

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