S&W .38 Special CTG


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jsm69
April 10, 2007, 09:13 AM
My grandfather left me a BEAUTIFUL nickle plated .38 special. Unfortunately I don't know much about it. Walnut grips, 6 inch barrell, no model number (which leads me to believe it was made prior to 1952).

The serial number is C 272495. It truly is in really nice condition; not quite mint, but really nice. I think it's a military/police issue, but I'm not sure.

While I'm not interested in selling it because of its sentimental value, I would be interested to know if it's worth anything for insurance purposes.

I attached some photos in the hopes that someone might be able to give me some background and a "bset guess" value. Thanks.

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XavierBreath
April 10, 2007, 09:30 AM
Your grandfather gave you a beautiful nickel Smith & Wesson M&P (Military & Police) revolver. It is also known as a "Pre-Model 10" or a Model of 1905 4th change, Post-War. It was made in 1953. These became the Model 10 when numerical designations were assigned by S&W in 1957.

Looking at the quality of the revolver, it may be likely that the original box and paper is still be around. If so, re-unite them. I'm guessing, as well, that the grips are original, no reason to think otherwise. There will be a serial number stamped into one of them to identify them to the gun. I have little doubt that the nickel is original.

Do not use ammonia based cleaners on this gun. Do not use copper solvent type cleaners on this gun. These will ruin the finish.

Value of your gun is around $350 or so, I would think, assuming original grips. It is in superb condition, and the nickel plate adds to the desirability. The "fast action" reduces desirability to some. If you have the original box and papers, you can add $50-100 to the price. Old Smith & Wessons vary in price regionally across the US, and depending on who is in the room when one is for sale.

Your revolver can still be shot using .38 special ammo. I would avoid +P stuff. The cylinder is hardened, but expansion of it can result in loss of nickel, in chunks. As a precaution, if you are unfamiliar with firearms, have a gunsmith check it out first, or use Jim March's Revolver Checkout (http://www.thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=57816).

Because of the sentimental value of your gun, and because it is such a nice example, you may want to get a factory letter on it from Roy Jinks (http://xavierthoughts.blogspot.com/2006/01/collectors-treasure.html).

Radjxf
April 10, 2007, 09:40 AM
Very nice 5-screw pre-10 there. I've got the blued version, a few years older, much worse shape. IMO that gun would bring up to $450 even without the box. Definately hang onto it.

Trebor
April 10, 2007, 10:46 AM
The "fast action" reduces desirability to some.

What's this? I'm not familiar with this term in regards to S&W?

Will5A1
April 10, 2007, 11:27 AM
"Fast Action" = "Short Action" or "Short Throw" vs. "Long Action"

Nice revolver, IIRC the proper box would be the two piece gold and the only papers, I think, would be the "Helpful Hints" brochure. Probably should have the clenaing rod and brush in the box also. If you've got all that I'm thinking $450 also.

XavierBreath
April 10, 2007, 12:16 PM
The "fast action" was introduced during a post WWII transitional period, prior to the numbering of revolvers in 1957. It is also known as the "short action". These revolvers have a trigger that resets quicker, and are distinquished by a hammer spur that is flat with coarse checkering on top as opposed to a curved top hammer spur with finer checkering and a "fish hook" bump underneath. The early "long action" trigger is often a smoother, seemingly lighter trigger in double action due to increased leverage in the action.

Exact dates and serial numbers of the change are difficult to pinpoint because Smith & Wesson had a habit of using up available parts. Some say the change occured in 1948, others in 1950. Your hammer appears to be the first type of "short action" hammer used.

Dorryn
April 10, 2007, 12:22 PM
It looks like the barrel needs a good cleaning, in the pictures...

Essex County
April 10, 2007, 01:10 PM
I once took in trade a 4" SW Regulation Police marked " WPD no 1. A call to Smith turned up it was one of five sold to the Walingford Conneticut Police Dept back in the late twenties. The no. 1 indicated it was the Chief's gun. In ignorance I traded it off a couple of years later. Essex

Trebor
April 10, 2007, 02:47 PM
Thanks for the clarification. I'd never heard of the "short action" being refered to as the "fast action" before. I was aware of the differences between the "long action" and the "short action" though.

My understanding is the "short action" is the lockwork still used in S&W revolvers until now, correct? Or have they updated it again?

XavierBreath
April 10, 2007, 04:31 PM
I may be wrong on this Trebor, (wouldn't be the first time!) but I think S&W billed it "fast action" when they made the change.

They have only changed the shape of the hammer spur a bit since.

vynx
April 10, 2007, 04:44 PM
IS it me or does that look like a 4 inch barrel?

XavierBreath
April 10, 2007, 05:17 PM
Looks like a 4 incher to me too.

Sistema1927
April 10, 2007, 06:47 PM
Beautiful revolver, and yes, it is 4".

makanut
April 10, 2007, 09:03 PM
Reunite that revolver with the box. It's in such nice condition, I would clean it and probably not shoot it. Do not use Hoppe's or other copper solvent type cleaners on that gun. I have a nice 10-5 nickle, and I use flitz metal polish for the exterior, and to clean the barrel as well. Enjoy your revolver, it is a fine example. :)

jsm69
April 11, 2007, 08:01 PM
Thanks everyone for the replys; especially the advice on cleaning.

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