S&W .38 Special CTG


July 25, 2011, 07:40 PM
Hello all. Trying to find out any information on this .38 Special for my grandfather (who is 72) and figure that its time to ask the experts. It was originally his fathers and he knows nothing about said gun. Serial number is S 131233. Thanks for any help.

Seems I can't post pictures with first post directly to forum. http://s1225.photobucket.com/albums/ee399/Liar83/?action=view&current=2011-07-25_16-28-59_473.jpg
Here's a quick description in case someone can't view photobucket link. Its a blued revolver with ivory grips (I think, not very familiar with ivory aside from piano keys) and to the right of the trigger says. Made in USA. Marcas Registradas. S&W. Springfield, Mass

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July 25, 2011, 08:39 PM
A Smith & Wesson Outdoorsman revolver, sometimes called the .38/44 - it was made on the large 'N' size frame. The grips are not ivory, but Stag, or a plastic simulation.
PRD1 - mhb - Mike

July 25, 2011, 10:04 PM
It does indeed feel like plastic. I wasn't aware they used plastic in revolvers back then, so assumed it was something else. Thanks.

It has an old leather holster that I didn't include in the picture, is there any use in posting a picture of it?

Jim K
July 25, 2011, 10:33 PM
The grips are not factory original; they are replacements.

I doubt the holster has any significant value.


Ron James
July 26, 2011, 12:51 AM
:DJust for giggles and grins, plastic was invented in 1862, Bakelite,the first use of a plastic as we know it was invented in 1897. Bakelite was used in WWI and intensively in WWII:D

Jim Watson
July 26, 2011, 01:47 AM
It is a post-WWII gun; Great grandpa must've bought it after he was well grown and could afford it.

The plastic "stag" grips are dead common on guns from the 1950s and 1960s.
Pity, the original walnut Magna grips would themselves be worth a bit and if it started with "Coke-bottle" target grips, they would add a lot of value.

July 26, 2011, 07:55 AM
Still a very nice gun, which many shooters would be pleased to own, myself included. Perhaps he will leave it to you some day, many years from now of course. :)

July 27, 2011, 11:04 PM
.38/44 Outdoorsman Model of 1950
S131233 = manufactured in 1954 or 1955. Serial range for those years was S103000 to S139999.
The patridge sight was supposedly deleted in 1952, but it may have been special ordered or simply old stock being used up.

The .38/44 was the predecessor to the .357 Magnum, using a .38 special chambering on the .44 sized frame. It was a hot loaded .38 Special round, also known as the .38 High Speed. After the introduction of the .357 magnum in the 1930s the .38/44 continued in low volume production for a number of years. In 1957 it was given the designation Model 23 and it was discontinued in 1966. There may have been as few as 100 guns made between 1957 & 1966.

value is probably around $550 to $650, the lack of original grips will hurt a bit. The grips on the gun were quite common in the 1950s on pimped out ex military revolvers sold in the maile order trade with cut down barrels and nickel refinish.

July 28, 2011, 01:40 AM
Thank you, gentlemen. I'll pass this information to him along with some praise for all of you.

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