Smith & Wesson OTG


June 25, 2008, 09:08 AM
I have a chance to buy a Smith & Wesson 38 special and I have no idea what it is worth. Serial number is 379264 OTG. Any idea what the OTG means?

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Brian Williams
June 25, 2008, 09:21 AM
CTG means Cartridge

June 25, 2008, 01:13 PM
We can give you a better idea if you provide more details then just the serial number.

Right now you are asking the eqivilant of, "I can buy a car. It's a Ford. How much is it worth?"

Is the gun five shots or six shots?

How long is the barrel? Make sure to measure from where the bullet would enter the barrel, not from where the barrel meets the frame. (A 4" barrel looks like a 3" barrel if you measure from where it meets the frame, for instance).

Open the cylinder and look at where the crane meets the frame. There might be a model number there. It would be something like "10-6" or "15", etc. What is the number?

If you could post a picture, that would be fantastic.

June 25, 2008, 03:47 PM
OTG means Overly Tight Gun. S&W would stamp this on guns that ran a tad tight on the manufacturing clearances. These guns are very accurate but are slightly less reliable because they are more prone to jamming when dirty because of the tight tolerances on the moving parts.

Collectors will pay a premium for OTG examples that are in new or nearly new condition.

Old Fuff
June 25, 2008, 05:50 PM
Darn!! I can't find my hip boots... :evil: :neener:

June 25, 2008, 06:30 PM
OTG means Of The Gods. Maybe you have the finest S&W ever made. They made one of these and I've never seen it, but I've heard many old men speak of it with reverence in their voice.


June 25, 2008, 06:35 PM
Darn!! I can't find my hip boots... Tip Toe man, Tip Toe! :neener:

June 25, 2008, 06:53 PM
Collectors will pay a premium for OTG examples that are in new or nearly new condition.
I don't know what all the jocularity is about.

I find that assertion to be far more plausible than someone paying thousands more for a 3" barrel than they would for a 2" or 4".

Or 2,500.00 for a lot of 25 blue cardboard boxes. My first car wasn't 2,500.00.

What firearms collectors will pay big bucks for: where truth is stranger than fiction.


Old Fuff
June 25, 2008, 07:12 PM

Or 2,500.00 for a lot of 25 blue cardboard boxes. My first car wasn't 2,500.00.

My first car didn't either, but by now it's long gone. If the collector in question has mint condition guns to fill those boxes he'll make back his money and then some. Don't underestimate the profit motive. :evil:

June 25, 2008, 07:39 PM
Don't underestimate the profit motive.

Agreed, my friend.

But, of late, I've started wondering about the larcenous profit motive. With, if I might be permitted, "stupid high" prices for cardboard boxes and off-kilter barrel lengths, I guess we shouldn't be surprised to be seeing forged end labels, faked boxes, surplused barrels and the like.

Firearms are getting like currency and art. Unlike currency and art, there's no real safeguard against forgeries. As much as I like to rib collectors some are my friends and I wonder about creative rip-offs if future nutsoid pricing keeps on its current track. Who would've guessed forged baseball cards would be an issue when we were kids? They wouldn't but for people spending bugnuts sums on them.

Actually, my first car was a '67 Mustang that would probably be worth a handsome sum had I kept it "ANIB with papers". :cool:

Old Fuff
June 25, 2008, 08:08 PM
Unlike currency and art, there's no real safeguard against forgeries.

There is a special FBI unit that works, among other things, the gun forgery beat. They put one of our best known Colt and Winchester authorities in the slammer when he got a bit careless. :eek:

In almost any gun collecting field there are detailed reference books, and a small library will give you a lot of protection. In the case of the K-22 Masterpiece under discussion on another thread, a copy of Standard Catalog of Smith & Wesson (3rd. Ed.) would have filled you in on the most important details you needed to know.

In addition, a visit to certain Internet sites can bring a lot of detailed information. It's getting harder for an honest crook to pass off a ringer. :uhoh:

Old Fuff
June 25, 2008, 08:15 PM
I failed to mention:

If you proposed to buy the pair of 3" Pythons, a call to Colt's customer service department with the serial numbers would confirm if they built them or not. They'd also provide this information to any court or law enforcement agency. :evil:

I presume if the seller insisted on not revealing the serial numbers you'd pass... ;)

June 25, 2008, 08:26 PM
I don't believe it's there yet but it's getting closer. The K-22 could easily be rationalized as around 900 to 1,000 based on the current MSRP in the 800s plus a little for no lock, minus a little less for 6 shots - that sort of thing.

When it gets to 5K in 2008 dollars is when the more proficient larcenists will come out of the woodwork. As of right now, in post-war S&Ws, they just don't seem all that nutsoid ... yet.

I still don't have the SCoSW but I was intending to throw it into my first Supica purchase. I just haven't had a first Supica purchase yet.

The way things are going, I may never. But I keep looking nonetheless.

Old Fuff
June 25, 2008, 08:55 PM
Dear Boy...... :)

The time to prepare is BEFORE a likely buy comes along, not after; Ignorance is not bliss if as a result you get taken to the cleaners. Besides, the book is inexpensive for what it represents and interesting as well as educational.

The only thing between you and disaster is my knowledge, and my outrageous dishonesty is well known on this forum… :evil:

Go buy the book and save The High Road a lot of bandwidth. :cool:

June 25, 2008, 09:14 PM
But master,

I is not a collector.

I'm not trying to give anyone ideas but I'm of the belief that the creative thieves are just over the horizon. If the only thing standing between a 10,000.00 3" barrel revolver and a 1,500.00 3" barrel revolver is a serial number, how long before somebody invokes the tech to change a serial number?

It's not like the "good" serial numbers aren't published where everyone can see them or that Colt balks in the face of multiple letter requests for the same number... yet ...

A stay in club fed and the cost to tweak a serial number may not be worth 8,500.00 but it might be worth 18,500.00.

I see interesting times ahead regardless of due diligence.

It's a natural and inevitable part of pricing going too far beyond creatively rationalized intrinsic value. It has a history going back 10,000 years and probably won't respect the fact that most collectors are gentlemen. On the contrary, it will probably prey on the observation.

Old Fuff
June 26, 2008, 12:21 AM
You is too new to the game. Folks have been making fake collectable guns since Hector was a pup, and getting caught at it.

One of the more common tricks is to take Italian Single Action clone, work off the proof marks and such, and then rebarrel the piece with a genuine (old) Colt barrel. Age the whole package and go looking for a sucker. I would go into the business, but suckers are getting harder to find. I think my problem is caused by some jerk on the Internet. :evil:

I know you is one of them low-life people that go out and shoot perfectly good guns, But the forementioned book is also useful for shooters, and anyone else that buys S&W guns and needs to identify whatever they are looking at, and if there are any warts to discover. :uhoh:

June 26, 2008, 12:27 AM
The SCoSW is a must have. I believe it's about $26 shipped at Amazon. And it is $26 well spent! It is invaluable; sometimes I will just sit and read sections. But of course the best part is learning about guns you've already got. The real problem with the book, though, is learning that there are so many more good S&Ws to get.

Old Fuff
June 26, 2008, 12:37 AM
I'd hate to do anything that might lead Hawk out of his state of complete ignorence, but another great deal is to write Roy Jinks at Smith & Wesson and buy a copy of his book: History of Smith & Wesson.

Last I knew it was $15.00 plus postage, and autographs are free.

Such a deal I have for you...... :D

June 26, 2008, 08:01 AM
...and if there are any warts to discover.

Really? Well, I may ratchet up the priority then. I would not have guessed that the "Bangor Punta 'Nam Era Pinned and Recessed but still sucks gotcha" existed anywhere other than in the Fuff's personal repository of good to know stuff.

Such things could be very helpful to us vandals - save us hauling the thing off to be repaired as the first order of business. We could get right down to the serious work of generating a turn line.



Old Fuff
June 26, 2008, 09:22 AM
You may read the book, but I didn't give you permission to turn any cylinders until I decide if I want to steal anything you get. I keep in mind that even the most ill-informed sometimes hit pay dirt. :evil: :D

Perhaps you've taken note that the Old Fuff doesn't get stuck with lemons. He steals only the best...

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