Whats this revolver and whats it worth?


February 27, 2011, 06:30 PM
Id like to know what this revolver is and how much its worth.
I was told its a smith and wesson model 40 snub nose .38. Im looking to purchase it but cant seem to find a value in my Gun Trader Guide.

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General Geoff
February 27, 2011, 06:35 PM
Do you have a higher resolution photograph? The one you attached doesn't provide many details.

February 27, 2011, 06:53 PM
i added a few more pitures. I dont know how to change the resolution.

February 27, 2011, 07:23 PM
Swing the cylinder out and the S&W model number will be stamped on the frame where the crane seats.


February 27, 2011, 07:27 PM
Looks like a 36.

February 27, 2011, 07:33 PM
The cylinder on my screen has six chambers, which makes it neither a 40 nor a 36.
Or any other J-Frame.

February 27, 2011, 07:37 PM
Maybe a Model 13? Short Model 10? Hard to tell, I can't get the photos to enlarge.

CSA 357
February 27, 2011, 07:43 PM
looks like a mod 10 or pre 10 cant tell pics are too small

February 27, 2011, 07:44 PM
It's definitely not a Model 40, which is an enclosed hammer J-frame. By the looks of it (what I can make out from the photos), it has no ejector rod lock. My money is on a cut down K-frame M&P with aftermarket nickle plate.

February 27, 2011, 07:47 PM
Nearly impossible to tell from the tiny low res pics.

If it's a S&W , it should say Smith & Wesson on it somewhere.

Could be a Spanish clone ?? M&P or Model 10?

Best I can say is it's Smith & Wesson-ish.

What do the markings (if any) say?

Definitly NOT a model 40

Old Fuff
February 27, 2011, 07:51 PM
As others have said the pictures are too small to be much good, but I think it's a S&W Military & Police model, also known as the model 1905 Hand Ejector, If so, it will not be marked with a model number, and could have been made anywhere from 1902 to 1946. The serial number should be stamped on the bottom of the butt, the rear face of the cylinder, and on the bottom of the barrel above the ejector rod. To see the last two numbers you will have to swing out the cylinder, and they should match the one on the butt. That number may have a letter prefix such as "V".

I also think that the barrel has been shortened from one that was longer, and the front sight replaced - followed by a nickel plating job.

I would advise that you don't buy it for any price until you have a correct identification.

February 27, 2011, 07:54 PM
Yeah. im lost as to what it is. Its not in my possession, im looking into purchasing it but was gunna try to have a general idea of a price range in mind. The guys out of town so thats all the pics i can get right now.

February 27, 2011, 08:11 PM
Maybe a .32 of some flavor. Joe

Old Fuff
February 27, 2011, 08:14 PM
The problem is that no one can give you an accurate price range without knowing what exactly the gun is. It could range anywhere from $75 (value of it for spare parts, to $400, with a lower value being more likely. Buying anything without knowing what it is, is almost always a dumb move.

Jim Watson
February 27, 2011, 08:25 PM
A lot of guessing going on here, guys. Fuff has it.

Small pictures and all, I would be willing to bet that it is a WWII vintage S&W Military & Police, sawn off to two inches, with loss of the front latch lug; nickel plated and fitted with plastic fake stag grips. All meant to appeal to the 1950s-1960s detective novel and tv series fad for "snubnose .38s".

I suspect it is a British Lend Lease or contract gun; reamed out from .38-200 (.38 S&W) to .38 Special for the more common ammunition in The Colonies; but it might be a US substitute standard service pistol originally in .38 Special, munged up as above.

Dollar value and shooting utility is low.
I would not be interested in it at any price unless I needed it for long action parts as described by Fuff. Which I do not.

February 27, 2011, 08:35 PM
Im deffinately not gunna over pay for it. I dont need it either but i havent needed alot of the guns ive bought.

Old Fuff
February 27, 2011, 09:21 PM

"Need" has nothing to do with it. If you want it, and can afford it, buy it.

But don't buy anything before you know exactly what you're getting. Take my word for it because over a long lifetime I seen too many folks taken to the cleaners.

Hint: If the seller really thinks that revolver is a S&W model 40, and has priced it as such, he doesn't know anything either. Up or down, whatever else he has may be way off too. This may set up an opportunity, but only if you know what you're doing. :evil:

February 27, 2011, 09:40 PM
Besides which, you don't know what else may have been done to it, it could be thoroughly butchered inside.
At the very least, it'd be wise not to buy without seeing it in person.

February 28, 2011, 12:50 PM
This looks like one I had in the '60's. After the war,there were many surplus Model 10's in .38 S&W that were cut down,nickeled,converted to 38 Special and plastic stag grips added.I don't remember which distributer sold them ,but the one I had shot fine. The .38 specials were a little loose in the cylinder if I remember.Sorry,I didn't see the previous post.

February 28, 2011, 01:12 PM
I keep seeing virtually the same Gun over and over on GB'r and on the S&W Forum and even the Colt Forum.

The only thing which seems to differ, are the shades of the Franzite Stocks.


Cut-down pre-model 10, or 'M&P' of either .38 S & W or maybe, .38 Special, or the latter having been acheived form the former.

Aftermarket Nickle which includes Hammer and Trigger.

Ambiguous or absent Barrel texts/Calibre designation, or lost in the cut-down.

Given that many of these began life as .38 S & W and were re-chambered for .38 Special, they will never be 'right' as for either Cartridge.

March 2, 2011, 08:32 PM
Ok. well im still looking at this gun. I was just told that it has no words on it but has a serial number and the smith and wesson imprint. I was told the serial number is 904586. Thanks for any help.

March 3, 2011, 05:50 PM
I think Oyeboten might have nailed it.

Is the seller in Fairfield Texas?

if so it didn't get any bids and started at 285.

:what: this one kind of scares me.

March 3, 2011, 11:24 PM
$75 would be too rich for my blood.

Deaf Smith
March 4, 2011, 07:53 PM
It looks like a M10 S&W that someone cut the barrel short so the ejector rod housing does not latch into anything, the front sight reattached, and the gun nickel plated.


March 5, 2011, 09:49 AM
It's a butchered up Victory Model. Started out as a 5" 38 S&W (not 38 Special) made during WWII for the British. After the war, many of these guns were ruined by having the barrels cut back so far the lug supporting the ejector rod is removed and being reamed for the incorrect 38 Special cartridge. Then they did a fast and crappy nickel plate on them and slapped on a set of cheap plastic "stag" grips. This gun is a typical example of this butchery.

Sorry. The gun is utterly worthless. I wouldn't take one as a gift. They are unreliable, horribly inaccurate if they fire at all, and just a bit unsafe to shoot.

BTW- Here's what your gun looked like before the monkey with 10 thumbs took a hacksaw to it.


PS: Just noted the serial in a previous post. Collectors would call this a "Pre-Victory" made before the V serial prefix started. Essentially the same gun. If for sale avoid it like the plague.

March 5, 2011, 09:25 PM
What the serial number does tell us is that it is almost certainly a British Service Revolver made under commercial contract in .38 S&W as per Saxon Pig's pic. It was manufactured in 1940 or 1941 when most of S&Ws production was going to the British Empire.
Maximum value is around $150. I wouldn't buy it.

March 5, 2011, 09:31 PM
No locking lug under the barrel can result in a sprung crane - I sprung the crane on a Model 60 with a lugless custom barrel with 5 rounds of .38 Special +P.
The base of the .38 S&W case is wider than the .38 Special case, so chambers that have been bored through to accept the .38 Special will bulge the bottom of the case and potentially split them.
Its a surplus gun that survived 5 years of war and has been refinished, If there are no other markings than the ones mentioned then its been heavily buffed, I would say ground down, as there should be .38 S&W markings on the barrel, and lots of British proof & ownership stampings.
Again, I wouldn't buy it, but if it tickles your fancy then $150 is the maximum value I would put on it.

old gun
July 13, 2011, 06:17 PM
I can understand why a .38 S&W cylinder and barrel might not give a .38 Special cartridge fired through it after the .38 S&W cylinder was modified to accept the .38 Special cartridge much accuracy, but it has been stated that reaming out the .38 S&W cylinder ruins the accuracy of .38 S&W fired from the altered gun too.

Why is this? Aren't the chambers still sized for the larger diameter .38 S&W bullet? Isn't there a stop in the normal .38 S&W chamber that prevents loading a .38 Special cartridge, and isn't it just that stop what is reamed out of the chamber?

I ask this because I have a pre-victory HE in .38 S&W in which the chambers will not accept a .38 Special cartridge, but also have another pre-victory with a Parker-Hale front sight change that will. The only difference I can see, besides the replaced front sight, is an area beginning before the ridge in each chamber that's function would appear to be to stop a cartridge with a greater OAL than the 38 S&W, that is ground down along with the ridge, that would then allow a .38 Special to be fully loaded in the chamber.

I guess the assertion is that the ground down segment is what ruins the .38 S&W's accuracy, is that correct?

Jim Watson
July 13, 2011, 06:51 PM
The theory on accuracy is that the original cylinder delivered a .361" bullet into a chamber throat hopefully the same size or only slightly larger which lined it up with the barrel. That is the recipe for revolver accuracy.

Reamed out to .38 Special means the .361" S&W bullet has to "jump" through about .4" of Special chamber at .380" or so before it gets to the throat. This is not good for bullet alignment and uniformity.

Shooting Specials, at least the bullet goes straight from case to throat but now is undersize, a .357" bullet going through a throat meant for .361", with potential for distortion and misalignment. Not to mention the extra .006" of chamber diameter letting the brass bulge.

All that is somewhat theoretical.
Have you SHOT those guns? Or plan to?
Sign on a compressive strength machine in the concrete/ceramics lab next door to my old phostphate fertilizer lab: "One test beats a thousand expert opinions."

old gun
July 13, 2011, 09:30 PM
Thank you for your response. I have not fired either but intend to.

Of course at one time I intended to be retired by the age of twenty & one.

The idea of firing a 200gr round from a .38 S&W has some appeal for me, so I guess I'd better find a place to shoot before I run out of gas.

Luckily, though not a sharpshooter, I can still see, although I had to sell fourteen assorted firearms to pay for my new lenses.

If the reamed out .38 S&W/.38 Special shoots better than the original, historic, relic, I'll plan a trip to Reno.

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