December 18, 2010, 01:55 AM
This one is nickel plated. 4 1/2 in barrel from rear of cyclinder to end of barrel. Or 3 1/4 in. front of cyclinder to end of barrel.
Serial is 41513 on butt plate. On left side reads 38 S & W CTG.
Top of barrel reads Pat'd Aug 4, 88 -- Dec 22, 98 -- Oct 8, 01 -- Feb 8, 06 --
and Sept 14, 09. If anyone would know approx value and actual date made.
December 18, 2010, 02:16 AM
December 18, 2010, 09:30 AM
This is the best I can do unless someone has The Standard Catalog of Smith & Wesson.
But you may be able to do this as well
If you open the cylinder on the frame where the model number is you can see what model gun you have and this will narrow the age down.
December 18, 2010, 11:34 AM
Unfortunately the information you provided is a bit sparse to make an identification because over the years Smith & Wesson has made a lot of different kinds and models of .38 revolvers, and until after 1968 they didn't have unique serial numbers, and a model number wasn't stamped on the frame until around 1957 and thereafter. However I’m going to take what you did post and run with it, and you can see if I’m right.
The most important thing you didn’t tell us was, “Is this revolver a top-break (barrel tips down so the cylinder can be loaded or unloaded), or is it a hand ejector (cylinder swings out to the left to be loaded or unloaded)?”
After checking the patent dates that are stamped on the barrel I concluded that you have one of Smith & Wesson’s most unusual and scarce revolvers.
The .38 Perfected Model was the last top-break the company made, and was only produced between 1909 and 1920. During that time they made 59,400 of them, serial numbered starting at No. 1 and running to 59400 – which would make yours a middle/late production. What made the Perfected Model unique was that to unlatch the barrel you have to both lift a latch on the top/rear of the barrel, while pushing a thumb piece on the left side of the frame – the same way as a modern hand ejector revolver.
As cataloged it was offered in barrel lengths of 3 ¼, 4, 5 and 6 inches. Standard finishes were full blue or nickel plated with a blued barrel latch. In both cases the hammer and trigger were color case hardened. The stocks were usually molded black hard rubber, but some had checkered walnut or mother-of-pearl. If you want more specific information, and my identification is correct, do the following:
The information concerning historical letters of authentication from Smith & Wesson’s historian, Roy G. Jinks can be obtained from the link listed below.
In exchange for a $50.00 research fee (make any check out to Smith & Wesson, not Mr. Jinks) he will search through the company’s original records until he finds your particular revolver. He will then send you an official letter which usually includes:
A short history of the revolver model’s background.
What the barrel length, caliber/cartridge, finish and stocks were, as well as the exact date it was shipped from the factory – and to what distributor, dealer or individual – as whatever the case may be.
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