S&W model 10 help


July 15, 2010, 09:30 AM
I was at LGS & found a butt ugly model 10-no bluing bad timing,front sight worn down to almost nothing.Don't know why but the gun is calling to me,if you know what i mean! Anyway its a .38 with a 3'' barrel serial #C5539. On the bottom of barrel its marked C.A.I.-VT. On the backstrap are the words Guardia De Cundinamarca. Any ideas on how old & where this pistol has been? Thanks for any help.

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Jim Watson
July 15, 2010, 09:37 AM
C.A.I-VT = Century Arms International, Vermont

Guardia De Cundinamarca = Guard (police, security) of the state of Cundinamarca, Colombia, South America. Bogota, the capitol, is in Cundinamarca.

I don't have the S&W book, but think a C-number is early post-WWII.

July 15, 2010, 09:39 AM
Cundinamarca is a state or "department" in central Colombia, so I'll take the leap and say it was one of their police-issued guns.

S&W went to a model #ing system in 1957, and the 10-1 was introduced in 1959, I believe, so yours dates between this. I don't have my Std Catalogue handy, but someone will give you a better estimate of the age.

July 15, 2010, 10:52 AM
I forgot to add the model # is on bottom of barrel next to C.A.I-with what i would guess is there import serial #915971-i don't know if that helps.

July 15, 2010, 10:53 AM
Is it actually marked "Mod 10" in the frame cutout? If so, then there's an inconsistency with that SN - as MrBorland pointed out, S&W didn't start using model numbers until 1957, at which time they were up to approximately SN C400000.

If the low SN is correct then it's technically a .38 Military & Police (pre-Model 10) and would date from 1948.

ETA: I see we were posting at the same time. What's the serial number stamped on the butt? - that's the definitive S&W SN.

July 15, 2010, 12:16 PM
No # on frame cutout-by the crane.Serial#C5539 is on the butt-also on the cyclinder.The guy wants $200. for it.I might offer $125 & see what happens. Yes it is marked Model 10.

July 15, 2010, 01:13 PM
Well, with that combination of characteristics it can't be a "real" S&W Model 10 because they weren't made prior to 1957 and the SN is too low for that. It still could be a .38 M&P from around 1948 that was modified sometime after 1957 and stamped "Mod 10" at that time. But I guess the first question is . . .

Are you sure it's a Smith & Wesson product? It should have the intertwined "S&W" trademark on the sideplate. On the right side, i.e., the same side, of the frame, it should have four stamped lines reading "Made In U.S.A., Marcas Registradas, Smith & Wesson, Springfield, Mass." If it's the original S&W barrel, it should say "Smith & Wesson" on the left side and ".38 S&W Special CTG" on the right side.

Given that you don't actually own the gun yet, I guess you can't post pics, but that would sure help.

July 15, 2010, 01:22 PM
DickM, yes it has all the markings you mention except it only says MADE IN USA. Maybe the importer stamped model 10 on it?

July 15, 2010, 01:48 PM
The single-line "Made in USA" is consistent with early production Model 10s - the four lines that I quoted in the earlier post were used on the postwar M&Ps and then again on later Model 10s. But the SN is still inconsistent with it being an actual Model 10, and the lack of a model number stamping in the yoke cutout also indicates it wasn't manufactured as a Model 10.

I have to confess I'm stumped - the majority of the markings would appear to confirm that it started life as a .38 M&P/Model 10, but the other stampings on the barrel indicate that it was subsequently altered. I suppose it's also possible that it's just an outright forgery. As an added issue, 3" barrels were not standard on M&Ps or Model 10s until the 1980s, so it appears that the gun was either shortened (are the stampings on the side of the barrel centered?), rebarreled, or (again) is simply a forgery.

July 15, 2010, 02:01 PM
I will have to inspect gun more closely. It did occur to me that the barrel was cut down as the front sight appears to be silver solderd on-and not avery good job. Might look at it again friday-will post what i find!

evan price
July 15, 2010, 03:05 PM
Not worth more than $100 in that condition imho. You can get decent Mod 10s for $200-$250.

July 15, 2010, 03:08 PM
Sounds like it would have to be really cheap before I would buy it.

Too many things wrong, or don't add up, to make it any kind of a good deal at normal used S&W asking prices.


July 15, 2010, 07:02 PM
Sounds interesting...

Be nice if you could get some images, but I realize it would not be convenient.

July 15, 2010, 07:47 PM

If the revolver on the right side says "made in USA" then the revolver is probably a M&P 38 special made on or before 1947. These are the long action old school revolvers. A picture would help some of us to ID the revolver. Does the revolver look like this?

July 15, 2010, 09:49 PM
If the revolver on the right side says "made in USA" then the revolver is probably a M&P 38 special made on or before 1947.

According to SCSW, .38 M&Ps had SNs that were just numbers (no letter prefix) until 1945, "S" prefix SNs from 1945 to 1948, and "C" prefix SNs from 1948 to 1967 (with the Model 10 designation starting in 1957), before changing to a "D" prefix and eventually to other formats. There were also the "V" and "SV" prefixes used during the war for the so-called Victory models.

A "C" prefix with four numerical digits would place the gun around 1948, nearly 10 years before M&Ps became Model 10s, yet it has that model number stamped on the barrel (which is not where S&W stamps them).

July 15, 2010, 10:20 PM
Eactly what is stamped on or under the Barrel?

If someone had hand stamped 'Model 10" under the Barrel, this would have no bearing on the actual Model in S&W terms.

Does indeed sound like a late 1940s M&P with the "C" Prefix...and the one liner Frame Stamp of 'Made in USA'.

July 15, 2010, 10:59 PM
roaddog, yes it looks like that-nowhere near that nice! Oyeboten see post#1&4.

July 16, 2010, 12:04 AM
You had best be getting it for a song because it sounds like it'll cost a pretty penny to fix it. Even if you leave the "patina of casual abuse and neglect" that it sounds like it has the timing issue will cost to repair.

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