Old S&W 38 Spl.


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Dan133
April 9, 2010, 12:34 PM
Hello !,
Please bear with me, This is my first Post

a) 38 Spl.
b) 6 in. Barrell
c)Square grips, Mother of Pearl, Left Side:Plain MOP,
Right Side: Long Horn Steer with moving eyes MOP
d)6 Shot
e)I believe, Adj. rear, Fixed front
f) Serial Number: 448654
g) --
Patent Numbers on top of barrell are as follows: Oct 8 01,
Dec 17 01, Feb 6 08, Sept 14 08 and Sept 28 14
Any Info or comments on this pistol will be appreciated

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Jim Watson
April 9, 2010, 12:45 PM
You have a Military and Police Target, the grandfather of the K38/Model 14.

Somebody with the reference books should be along to tell you about when it was made.

It looks in great shape and I love the googley eyes on the steer.

Guillermo
April 9, 2010, 12:46 PM
welcome to the High Road

beautiful old gun

want to sell it?

(btw, Old Fuff will be along and identify the year, month, day of production and perhaps give you the family lineage of the person that constructed it)

Radagast
April 9, 2010, 02:04 PM
You have a .38 Military & Police Model of 1905 4th Change, target variant. It dates to the period between 1920 and 1927. Built on the medium sized K frame, it's descendants is still produced today in the form of the Model 14, Model 67, Model 10 and Model 64.

Yours was manufactured after the introduction of heat treated cylinders so any standard velocity factory load should be safe to shoot and PlusP rated ammunition probably is as well, but I would stay away from anything marked +P+ as there is no industry standard for +P+ pressure.

This gun lacks the modern hammer block safety, so it would be prudent to leave the chamber under the hammer empty if you keep it loaded.

In 2006 the Standard Catalog of S&W gave the following values: ANIB $1200, Excellent plus $450, Excellent $335, Very Good $250, Good $200, Fair $135, Poor $75, with a premium for target sights and a premium for the mother of pearl grips. The rust on the side plate will detract from its value.

Dan133
April 9, 2010, 09:12 PM
Thanks men for your FAST replys, Radacast, I don't think thats rust at all on the sideplates. The gun looks a hol lot better in person, The finish there is a little thinner. You can hardly see the difference when you have the gun in hand. I think it shows that way because of the photo. I'm a pretty good shot but a lousy photographer.
Thanks again.

Dan133
April 9, 2010, 09:18 PM
Sorry, Radagast, I put a C in your user name instead of a G, It won't happen again !I guess I'm not a very good speller either !

Guillermo
April 9, 2010, 09:23 PM
worry not Dan...he has been called worse :evil:

Oro
April 9, 2010, 11:29 PM
The target models are uncommon; that's interesting. Looks like it has a Call bead front sight. Very nice vintage set-up.

He's right about the rust. It's there in the bluing. Enlarged digitial photography can show you things you don't notice easily by eye. I'd remove that then keep it well oiled. The values on his book are from c. 2004 auction sales; keep in mind that was a loooong time ago in the world of gun prices.

Onmilo
April 10, 2010, 03:17 AM
Sweet revolver!
I love mine!
Don't shoot any +P in the gun, stick to mild standard velocity loads and it will outlast you!
http://www.fototime.com/9CF8D6D90CF083B/standard.jpg

ArchAngelCD
April 10, 2010, 04:41 AM
If you reload make up some 148gr Wadcutters over a light 3.2gr charge of W231 and you will see how very accurate those old Smiths really are. Very nice revolvers, thanks for sharing the pictures...

Radagast
April 10, 2010, 05:00 AM
I guess I've finally made it as a Highroader when Guillermo takes time out from ribbing Old Fuff to tweak my nose. :P And he is right. I have been called a lot worse. :P
Oro, what do you think of the Blue Book for currency of S&W values? I may be able to pick up one at the next gun show here in OZ.

Guillermo
April 10, 2010, 10:39 AM
Radagast is absolutely right when he says (although I fixed his sentence and took out the word "probably".

Yours was manufactured after the introduction of heat treated cylinders so any standard velocity factory load should be safe to shoot and PlusP rated ammunition probably is as well,



The "+P" of today is a marketing gimmick. The +Ps of today are less powerful than the standard cartridges of yesteryear.

Again Radagast is correct when he advises
but I would stay away from anything marked +P+ as there is no industry standard for +P+ pressure.

It is probably fine to shoot them but like him, I too would err on the side of caution

While Oro is more qualified than I am to answer the query concerning Blue Book values, I opine that they are rough estimates at best. Not that it is their fault. It is impossible to react to the market and account for regional price differences (and other factors) with a yearly publication.


As to Radagast ...I am wondering what his name means. My guess is that he thinks that he is so cool as to discombobulate people. If such is accurate, CoolFreak would be a better screen name (or name of a garage band)

But I digress...frequently :neener:

Radagast
April 10, 2010, 12:56 PM
Radagast the Brown was a wizard in the Hobbit/Lord of the Rings saga, only mentioned in passing.
As Smith & Wesson don't recommend the use of PlusP in pre 57 guns I'm not going to give it two thumbs up, although I acknowledge that Saxon Pig has recently completed a high round count test using PlusP in a pre '57 K frame with no ill effects.

Guillermo
April 10, 2010, 01:04 PM
Saxon Pig has also pointed out that the pressures of standard 38 specials of the past were higher than todays "+P"s

Not believing me is understandable but not believing the pig is just crazy. :what:



(Rad= radical or cool Aghast= repulsed or freaked-out..

therefore Radagast = Coolfreak. Come on...it is a great screen name!!!)

Onmilo
April 10, 2010, 02:45 PM
Your Gun, shoot all the +P 125 hollowpoints you want, right up until it breaks,,,,,

Guillermo
April 10, 2010, 05:03 PM
Dan

Here are the facts. When your gun was built the standard 38 Special was loaded to 22,000 SAAMI

Today "+P" ammo is 20,000.


Some people drink the marketing kool-aid and think that "+P" is a hot round when in fact, it is LESS POWERFUL than the standard 38SPL ammo that your gun was made to shoot.

If today's "+P" were marketed back when your gun was new they would have to call it "low recoil" or "38SPL lite".


Ignore the hype and shoot what you want out of it however as SaxonPig pointed out, there is no industry standard for +P+ so THEY might be hotter than your gun is rated for.

So shoot standard or "+P" but avoid +P+

ArchAngelCD
April 14, 2010, 04:59 AM
Guillermo,
I'm sorry to have to disagree with you but the current SAAMI pressure limits for the .38 Special are actually only 18,500 PSI. :p Hardly standard pressure let alone "plus" anything, no??

Can you believe that are actually calling a .38 Special with 18,500 PSI a +P round? It was bad enough when they lowered the limits to 20,000 PSI...

Jim K
April 14, 2010, 02:04 PM
AFAIK, the standard .38 Special pressure has been 17,000 psi for many years. The .38 Special +P is now spec'd at 18,500. These are SAAMI maximum average pressures, piezo measurement.

That being said, I have no doubt whatsoever that many of the .38 Special handloads I fired in the older guns (back when they were new guns) exceeded those figures by a whoooole lot and I never blew up any guns.

Jim

Maj Dad
April 14, 2010, 09:56 PM
Gentlemen,
Were the old pressure standards in CUP or PSI? It seems that of late all measurements are in PSI (I've not seen any new CUP values), but at some point there was an interpolated mix and things were apples & oranges. Many of the loads in the old manuals (e.g, Lyman =/< #43) were a good bit hotter than current editions and cause me considerable anxiety reflecting on the load-liberties I took when my brain was functioning at the mud skipper level of reloading intelligence :eek:

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