Smith & Wesson Regulation Police


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poolboy
April 10, 2010, 04:03 PM
My mother has a nickel smith and wesson handgun that was her uncles who was a chicago policeman in the early 1900's

It is very clean, I thought it was chrome but I realized after reading this forumn it must be nickle.

It has smith and wesson on one side of the barrel and regulation police on the other side. On top of the barrel it has "smith and wesson springfeild mass usa pat'd oct 8 01, dec 17 01, feb 6 08, sept 14 08, dec 20 14"
the serial # is 9660 it has the #349 on the "yoke" . wood knurled grips. pat June 5 1917 on the bottom of the butt.

The letters on the side of the barrel are very worn and barlely legible. but the gun is very clean

Do you know what 'size' gun it is and is it worth anything? Should I register it somewhere?

Ther is also a box of ammunition "Western center fire cartridges" "38 Smith & Wesson 145 grain lubaloy, nickle plated case, inside lubricated - oilproof 50 cartridges.

Please excuse my ignorance, I am not familiar with guns at all and any help is sincerely appreciated

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Radagast
April 10, 2010, 09:11 PM
Poolboy:
Firstly, most states do not require registration of firearms, so it depends upon the state you are in. Chicago requires registration of handguns but doesn't allow new registrations. There is a court case before the Supreme Court of the United States, McDonald Vs Chicago, which will hopefully overturn that law and force all states to allow the keeping of handguns in their home. We will know for sure later in the year.

The box of ammunition is from a defunct company. Western ammunition became Winchester Western which became Winchester ammunition. It probably dates to the 1950s. As long as it hasn't been wet during that period it should be perfectly safe to fire. I've personally shot ammunition from the 1960s in that caliber with no problems.

The Regulation Police was built on the small 'I' frame, which is slightly smaller than the 'J' frame that replaced it and is still in production today. J frame grips will not fit an I frame gun.
If you take off the grips you will find that the grip frame has a round butt, the timber grips are cut to fit around the butt and extend past it to give a square butt profile. The patent date stamped on the grip is for this design.

The I frame was introduced in 1896 and was the first swing out cylinder revolver produced by S&W, originally in .32 S&W long caliber. It was later modified to take .38 S&W cartridges. The .38 S&W is an expensive round today and sometimes hard to find as it is not commonly used for self defence, having been made semi obsolete by the more powerful .38 special chambered in a J frame gun. As a result the Regulation Police was discontinued in 1969. For the last 8 years of it's production the Regulation Police was built on the J frame. From 1957 to 1969 it was known as the Model 33.

Your particular example was manufactured sometime between 1917 & 1938, serial number range over that time was 1 to 47440. Because the Great depression greatly reduced demands for new guns, it's probably safe to assume that your version was manufactured in the 1920s or earlier.

There is an interesting discussion on developing loads for the .38 S&W here: http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=505640

The .38 Regulation Police is not a particularly desirable gun for collectors, in 2006 the Standard Catalog of S&W gave a value of $295 in very good condition.

Guillermo
April 11, 2010, 12:06 PM
btw,

while I am not suggesting that it is valuable, I would check around to see if the ammo and box are collector items

you never know!

poolboy
April 11, 2010, 03:58 PM
Thank you very much for your input

tekarra
April 11, 2010, 07:50 PM
poolboy,
Hello and welcome to the forum. I hope you will post a photo of your revolver.

poolboy
April 11, 2010, 11:05 PM
I've attached a few photo's

poolboy
April 11, 2010, 11:21 PM
Forgot the flip side picture

tekarra
April 12, 2010, 08:41 PM
poolboy,
Nice revolver, thanks for the pics.
May I suggest you post this on www.smith-wesson.com.

Old Shooter
April 12, 2010, 09:07 PM
It seems to be a nice old gun and I am sure it will be worth a good bit to a collector.

If you are interested in selling, I wish you luck, but does the family history mean enough to keep it?

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