S&W Idenfication?


.44 magnuholic
December 19, 2010, 02:30 PM
It has no model or caliber markings on it, yet looks identical to a S&W 38/44 HD. Only problem is, I can't find any indications that 38/44s ever came in 2" snubby. Also considering it could be a Model 10-2. Have seen a few that don't look anything like this one though.

The front sight and muzzle look really well done so I'm not certain it was a chop job.

Any info would be greatly appreciated, gents. Thanks for the great forum :D

- Is it a 3 screw, 4 screw, 5 screw?
- Model?
- Caliber? (fwiw .38Spcl seems to fit well but wondering if it could be .357)
- Are the faux stag grips factory?





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December 19, 2010, 02:37 PM
I think it is a chopped barrel, because S&Ws should have a locking cylinder rod at the front.

This almost looks like a franken-colt-smith to my untrained eyes. Maybe one of those foreign made S&W copies?

I'm hoping someone more knowledgable comes along because you've made me curious.

.44 magnuholic
December 19, 2010, 02:45 PM
I've heard about post war Model 10s being chopped down. I found it interesting that it doesn't have a model or caliber listed anywhere. Also, usually there is more than just "Made in USA"

Also, it has the S&W logo near the grip. I'm definitely puzzled as well.

Messenger Guard
December 19, 2010, 03:01 PM
I've seen "victory" models chopped and chromed like that. Does it have a "V" under the crane? I'm betting on a chop job since the ejector rod is free.

Old Fuff
December 19, 2010, 03:18 PM
Look on the bottom of the butt for a serial number, and particularly for a letter "V" prefix. Two things are unquestionable.

1. It is a Smith & Wesson Military & Police model, not a .38-44 Heavy Duty.

2. Someone cut off the barrel and soldered the front sight back on.

December 19, 2010, 03:39 PM
Hi 44 magnuholic,

Yes...as Old Fuff mentions...

May have been chambered for the .38 S&W Cartridge, for Lend Lease, rather than being .38 Special.

Can you tell us the Serial No? Last digits as "X"s is fine.

Serial No. should appear on the Butt, on the Cylinder Face, and, on the flat area under the Barrel, close to the Frame.

Appears to have been heavily refinished as well as that the Barrel was shortened, which also removed the ejector Rod's locking Lug aspect...but, otherwise, would seem to be a K-Frame 'M&P' of the 1930s or 1940s.

The plastic Stocks would not be a Factory accessory or option.

.44 magnuholic
December 19, 2010, 04:18 PM
The serial number when I pull the cylinder out, I see "M" and then below it, separate is 27XXX

Same serial on the actual cylinder arm as well. There is a V on the underside of the butt but it has a different number :rolleyes:

One more question, the cigar box it was in for probably the last 30-40 years also had some 38 S&Ws in it. It came with a Gabilondo y Cia (aka early Llama) 38 Special FTG pistol as well. The reason I ask, is there were loose rounds in the box (both 38S&W and 38spcl)

I'm kinda wondering if the Smith has even been converted. :banghead:

December 19, 2010, 04:51 PM
It's a refinished Frankengun made from an odd assortment of leftover parts. Barrel has been chopped off and a front sight added.

The serial numbers inside the frame, on the crane, rear cylinder face, and butt should all match.

Since they don't, somebody cobbled it together out of spare parts.

You can tell if it is .38 S&W or .38 Special buy trying a .38 Special cartridge in the cylinder.

If it is still a .38 S&W, a .38 Spl cartridge won't go in all the way.


December 19, 2010, 05:41 PM
Inside the Crane, is an assembly Number, it is not the Serial Number.

Smith & Wesson Revolvers of that time period did not have serial Numbers in the Crane.

The Serial Numbers are found -

On the Butt...

On the Cylinder Face...

On the 'flat' underside area of the Barrel.

'V' Prefix was War production, some of which was for Lend Lease.

.44 magnuholic
December 19, 2010, 05:51 PM
a 38 special cartridge fits perfectly in the cylinder. They slide in and fall out easily.

Oh well. I didn't pay much for them and the Llama is actually in fine condition.

December 19, 2010, 09:20 PM
Your Revolver should be a so-called "Five Screw":

The 4th Screw, is under the top of the Stocks.

The 5th Screw, is in the front top outer side of the Trigger Bow.

As a 'Victory Model' it originally would have had Round Top, plain, Walnut Stocks, with no Medallian, and no checkering.

Jim Watson
December 19, 2010, 11:05 PM
After WW II and up into the 1960s while a Free American could still mailorder a cheap gun, there were a LOT of these guns. They are surplus Lend Lease and Victory models that have been sawn off to "snubbies" like Sgt Friday and Richard Diamond carried, nickel plated, and fitted with plastic fake stag grips. They are easily recognized by the lack of a front extractor rod latch.

British surplus was .38-200 = .38 S&W Super Police but many were reamed out to take .38 Specials so as to help them sell in the Colonies.
US surplus was mostly .38 Special to start with, although there were some .38 S&Ws, and a lot of them were reamed out, too.

They cost $30-$40 50 years ago and have not kept up with inflation. Mismatched parts are even worse.

If this is a family heirloom, keep it in memory of its original owner.
If not, well, it is not a fine gun.

.44 magnuholic
December 20, 2010, 12:32 AM
Thanks for the great feedback, Jim.

Jim Watson
December 20, 2010, 09:52 AM
I wouldn't call it good feedback since I am describing it as cheap surplus, cheapened even more for sale in the marketplace of a different era.

As rc says, it is a parts gun. Looking at the left side of the barrel in your third picture, punch marks are visible where they peened the barrel shoulder back so it would screw in snug.

.44 magnuholic
December 21, 2010, 11:57 PM
The reason I appreciate the comments is because I don't know if it's even safe to shoot. Again, even if it's not good news, it's still good to know.

December 22, 2010, 06:00 AM
If you want to put a longer barrel on it, they are available and fairly inexpensive.

December 22, 2010, 06:02 AM
.44 magnaholic:
If it passes the revolver check out thread test then it is safe to shoot with standard pressure lead only loads. Accuracy may not be great and you may get some bulged or split cases. as the .38 S&W case is wider at the rim than the .38 special. These cpnversions usuaaly involved running a reamer in to the chamber to get the needed depth, making a sloppy fit at the cylinder face.
You have an interesting curio, but it has no real value. Even in excellent condition these conversions are usually only worth around $150.
I managed to spring the crane on a model 60 that lacked the barrel locking lug with only 5 rounds of PlusP, so stick to standard pressure lead.

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