info & value


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69R1
January 24, 2011, 09:53 PM
Hello.. im new to hand guns and have recenty purchased my first revolver. The previous owner didnt know much about the gun except that it was his grandfathers and he had it prior to WWII. He passed away 40 yrs ago and the gun was recently found in the attic. Its a 38 s&w CTG,,,6 SHOT,,, Serial # 6866xx. Any info and the value would be greatly apreciated..
P.s. it has aftermarket plastic grips. Id like to get a set or the original maple wood grips or anything close but im having a hard time finding these mostly because im not sure where to look so info on this would be great too!
Thanks in advance.

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Old Fuff
January 25, 2011, 04:39 PM
We have a problem...

The marking on the side of the barrel (.38 S&W Ctg) refers to the ammunition used in the revolver, and has nothing to do with the model. Smith & Wesson never marked the model name on its revolvers, and until 1957 they weren't stamped with a model number. Most .38 S&W chambered revolvers were 5 chambered, not 6 - but they did make one model that was. This may be what you have but we need much more information, and if possible a picture, to make anything close to an identification.

First of all, check the marking again to be sure it doesn't say .38 S&W Special Ctg.

Then we'll go on from there.

Radagast
January 25, 2011, 10:45 PM
That serial number is correct for a 1940/41 production British Service Revolver in .38 S&W (Not .38 S&W Special) for Great Britain or one of the British Empire nations such as Australia, Canada, New Zealand or the South African Union.
The standard cartridge for the empire at that time was a 176 grain FMJ bullet in a .38 S&W case. Modern 145 grain lead .38 S&W ammo is safe to shoot in your gun, but may shoot a little low.
If you want original grips then they were smooth walnut without medallions or checkered walnut with a round top, silver S&W medallion and an uncheckered diamond around the grip screws.
Grips from a .38 Military & Police Model of 1905 4th Change will fit, these will be checkered.
Grips from a S&W Victory Model will fit, these will be smooth walnut. Both the .38 M&P and Victory Model were manufactured at the same time as the British Service Revolver, the only difference being the caliber. Both style of grip were used, based on the serial number the checkered variety are more likely to be the style shipped on your gun.

Radagast
January 25, 2011, 10:47 PM
That serial number is correct for a 1940/41 production British Service Revolver in .38 S&W (Not .38 S&W Special) for Great Britain or one of the British Empire nations such as Australia, Canada, New Zealand or the South African Union.
The standard cartridge for the empire at that time was a 176 grain FMJ bullet in a .38 S&W case. Modern 145 grain lead .38 S&W ammo is safe to shoot in your gun, but may shoot a little low.
If you want original grips then they were smooth walnut without medallions or checkered walnut with a round top, silver S&W medallion and an uncheckered diamond around the grip screws.
Grips from a .38 Military & Police Model of 1905 4th Change will fit, these will be checkered.
Grips from a S&W Victory Model will fit, these will be smooth walnut. Both the .38 M&P and Victory Model were manufactured at the same time as the British Service Revolver, the only difference being the caliber. Both style of grip were used, based on the serial number the checkered variety are more likely to be the style shipped on your gun.

69R1
January 26, 2011, 01:25 AM
Thank you so much for the info! Like i said im new with hand guns and apoligize for not providing enough info but seems the serial number got what i needed. I was having problems trying to post pictures..
Any clue if its somewhat a rare gun to have today and where can i find maple grips for it??
I plan on keeping it. Its a good shooting and pretty accurate gun. Very pleased with it except for the grips :(
Thanks again! Y'all are the best!

Radagast
January 26, 2011, 05:07 AM
I've no idea on where you can get maple grips for it, as the standard grips are walnut. If you do a google search for custom grip makers you may find one willing to make a pair for you.
http://www.gunpartscorp.com/ probably have original second hand grips, but you take a punt as to condition.
There are several online gun auction sites such as Guns America, Auction Arms, Arms Bid, etc that will usually have photos of what you are bidding on, so I would look there.
It's not a rare gun, as roughly a quarter million were made. Many however were nickeled, the barrel cut back and the cylinder bored out to take a .38 Special cartridge, which pretty much ruined their value to a collector or a shooter (.38 special has a narrower cartridge than .38 S&W so .38 special brass will crack or bulge when fired through one of these converted guns).
If it hasn't been refinished and is in excellent original condition (you will need original grips) then value may be as high as $350, but photos are required to confirm that. If it has been converted then $150. Not converted and externally worn but mechanically fine, then maybe $250.

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Sample photo is from the 1920s, the checkered grips you are looking fior are basically the same, but with a silver medallion in the circle at the top of the grips.

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