Please help ID this S&W Revolver


September 11, 2011, 06:08 PM
Hi All,

A friend of mine just inherited this revolver that was once his grandfathers.

It looks like an older S&W. The grips are crap plastic put on in the 60s. As he wants to pun nicer grips on we need to know the exact model.

The model designation is not in the usual place (for me) under the crane.

Any help is appreciated.


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September 11, 2011, 06:23 PM
Caliber would help identify the model. Anyway, any grips for a square butt K frame Smith should fit.

September 11, 2011, 06:27 PM
caliber ???
pretty much looks like a pretty typical post war (WWII) model 10 k-frame to me, 38 special, magna grip style
others here far far better than I, at that sort of info, be patient

September 11, 2011, 07:35 PM
Looks to me like a S&W Military & Police model of 1905. They're basically K-frame model 10's. There's a sticky at the top of the page where you can have the gun dated based on the serial number.( this is it... )
I have a file stashed somewhere that you can use to date S&W's yourself ( probably got it here), you can print it and use it as a personal reference, forever (very handy at gunshows). Lemme see if I can fish it up......

edit: not sure of this helps,or not ( hopefully OldFuff will be along shortly !! )

Please note that this list is a general guide and not meant to be exact. There is some dispute regarding the dates on some serial numbers and your gun may actually be a year off from what is listed. The precise shipping date as "lettered" can be several years off depending on model. For the exact date on your gun request the letter from S&W Historian Roy Jinks.

Pre-War N frame.

Year/Beginning Serial

1908….. 1-------------1926….. 25000
1909….. 2050----------1927….. 28500
1910….. 5000----------1928….. 29500
1911….. 7050----------1929….. 30000
1912….. 9100----------1930….. 34000
1913….. 11150---------1931….. 36000
1914….. 13200---------1932….. 38375
1915….. 15250---------1933….. 41200
1916….. 15500---------1934….. 43350
1917….. 16000---------1935….. 45500
1918-1919 None--------1936….. 47200
1920….. 16200---------1937….. 48700
1921….. 16300---------1938….. 52000
1922….. 18400---------1939….. 57200
1923….. 19600---------1940….. 59000
1924….. 20800---------1941….. 62350
1925….. 22000---------1942-1945 None

Post-War S Series N frames:

S62,489 – S67,999……..1946 - Early 1947
S68,000 – S71,999……….Late 1947 – Early 1948
S72,000 – S72,499……….Late 1948 - Early 1949
S72,500 – S74,999……….Late 1949 – Early 1950
S75,000 – S80,499……….Late 1950 – Early 1951
S80,500 – S85,999……….Late 1952 – Early 1952
S86,000 – S94,999…….…Late 1952 – Early 1953
S95,000 – S102,999…….Late 1953 – Early 1954
S103,000 – S139,999……Late 1954 – Early 1955*
S140,000 – S149,999….Late 1955 – Early 1956
S150,000 – S175,999……Late 1956 – Early 1957
S176,000 – S181,999……Late 1957 – Early 1958
S182,000 – S194,499……Late 1958 – Early 1959
S194,500 – S206.999……Late 1959 – Early 1960
S207,000 – S219,999……Late 1960 – Early 1961
S220,000 – S227,999……Late 1961 – Early 1962
S228,000 – S231,999……Late 1962 – Early 1963
S232,000 – S235.999……Late 1963 – Early 1964
S236,000 – S257,999……Late 1964 – Early 1965
S258,000 – S261,999……Late 1965 – Early 1966
S262,000 – S289,999……Late 1966 – Early 1967
S290,000 – S304,999……Late 1967 – Early 1968
S305,000 – S329,999……Late 1968 – Early 1969
S330,000 – S333,454……Late 1969 – Early 1970

*Note that a number of N frames with serials in the S138000-S140000 range (and the range may be wider either way) are seen that were shipped much later than the serial would suggest should be the case. In one known example a gun with serial S136431 was not shipped until June of 1958. It's possible that a large block of serial numbers that appear to be from 1954-55 were not actually used until 1957-58. It at least one case a gun has a 5-screw serial and was built as a 4-screw gun.

N Series N Frames:

N1 – N60,000………….......1970-72
N60,001 – N 190,000…...1972-74
N190,001 – N430,000…...1975 – 77
N430.001 – N 550,000…..1978
N550,001 – N580,000….. 1979
N580,001 – N790,000…...1980
N790,001 – N932,999...…1980-83

Post-War S Series K Frames:

S811,120 – S999,999…….1946 – 48

C Series K Frames: (Fixed Sight Models)

C1 - C233,999………….....1948 – 52
C236,004 – C261,483…….1953
C277,555 – C314,031….…1954 – 56
C402,924 – C405,018…….1957
C405,019 – C429,740…..1958 – 59
C429,741 – C474,148…….1960
C474,149 – C622,699…….1961 – 62
C622,700 – C810,532…….1963 – 65
C810,533 – C999,999…..1966 – 67

D Series K Frames: (Fixed Sight Models)

D1 – D90,000…………….....1968
D90,001 – D330,000……..1969 -70
D330,001 – D420,000………1971 – Early 72
D420,001 – D510,000………Late 1972 – Early 73
D510,001 – D659,901………Late 1973 – Early 1974
D659.902 – D75000………..Late 1974 – Early 1975
D750,001 – D870,000………Late 1975 – Early 1976
D870,001 – D999,999………Late 1976 – Early 1977
2D00001 - 2D80,000……….1977
2D80,001 – 2D99,999………1978
4D00001 – 6D10,000……….1979
6D10,0001 – 7D10,000……1980
7D10,001 – 9D44,500…..1981
9D44,501 – 17D8,900………1982
17D8,901 – 21D0883……….1983

K Series K Frames (Adjustable Sight Models)

K101 – K614……………......1946
K615 – K18,731…………....1947
K18,732 – K73,121……..…1948
K73,122 – K84,149……..…1949
K84,150 – K104,047…...1950
K104,048 – K136,690...1951
K136,691 – K175,637...1952
K175,638 – K210,095...1953
K210,096 – K231,255...1954
K231,256 – K266,154...1955
K266,155 – K288,988...1956
K288,989 – K317,822...1957
K317,823 – K350,547...1958
K350,548 – K386,804...1959
K386,805 – K429,894...1960
K429,895 – K468,098...1961
K468,099 – K515,478...1962
K515,479 – K553,999....1963
K555,000 – K605.877....1964
K605,878 – K658.986....1965
K658,987 – K715,996....1966
K715,997 – K779.162....1967
K779,163 – K848,781....1968
K848,782 – K946,391....1969
K946,382 – K999,999....1970
1K1 – 1K39,500.........1970
2K1 – 2K22.037.........1970
1K39,501 – 1K999,999...1971
2K22,038 – 2K55,996....1971
3K1 – 3K73,962.........1971
2K55,997 – 2K99,999....1972
3K31,280 – 5K6,616.....1972
4K1 – 4K1,627..........1972
4K1,628 – 4K54,104.....1973
5K6,617 – 5K73,962.....1973
4K54,105 – 4K99,999....1974
5K73,963 – 6K58,917....1974
7K1 – 7K26,043.........1974
7K26,044 – 7K70,577....1975
6K98,918 – 8K20,763....1975
8K20,764 – 9K1.........1975
8K20,000 – 9K100,000...1975
9K1,001 – 9K99,999.....1976
10K001 – 24K9,999......1977
25K001 – 56K9,999......1978 – 79
57K001 – 91K6,800......1980
91K6,801 – 124K000.....1981
125K000 – 269K9,999....1982
270K000 – 311K273......1983

1980 Three-Letter Prefix Series Begins at AAA000

Old Fuff
September 11, 2011, 08:32 PM
Well most everybody is right. It's a pre-war Smith & Wesson 1905 Hand Ejector. I can't make out the first number in the serial number, but it's fairly late production from the middle 1930's to 1942 at the latest. It's most likely chambered in .38 Special, but the serial number is apparently high enough so that it could be .38 S&W. It will likely say on the left side of the barrel.

Getting new stocks is easy. Look for those listed to fit a Square Butt/Model 10 or M&P Smith & Wesson revolver.

P.S. Model numbers were not used or stamped on the frame until 1957, which is the reason you didn't find anything.

September 12, 2011, 08:42 AM
Serial number appears to be 650102, guns in the 6505xx range shipped in 1935, so that gives a rough idea, bearing in mind that S&W were stock piling frames during the Great Depression and shipped guns in the 680000 range in 1940, so it may have sat around for a while.
Keep in mind that this gun lacks the modern internal hammer block safety. If dropped there is the chance it could fire, so leave the chamber under the hammer empty.

Guns exported to Great Britain during WWII were chambered in .38 S&W, many of these were re-imported after the war and converted to .38 Special by boring out the chambers. Yours is probably too early to be a British gun.

September 12, 2011, 04:03 PM
Firstly, one cannot bore out a 38 S&W to a 38 SW, this would result in a step in the chambers as the shell of the 38 S&W is of larger diameter than the 38 Spec.

The Revolver looks like one of the old long pull DA revolvers. The rounded front sight also indicates this. For fast and accurate DA shooting these old actions are better than new types, but few people remember this.

Put proper grips on, and it will last forever. Even if this revolver has no hammer block, it can only fire when dropped when either the guide pin of the rebound slide or the pivot pin of the Hammer shears off. Since it is fast on the left in the frame and in an good fitting recess in the side plate, these parts cannot just break, they must shear off.


Jim Watson
September 12, 2011, 04:08 PM
Firstly, one cannot bore out a 38 S&W to a 38 SW, this would result in a step in the chambers as the shell of the 38 S&W is of larger diameter than the 38 Spec.

One certainly can. As Radagast says, it was done to a lot of British surplus .38-200s to make them more salable in the Colonies. It is not desirable and I certainly would not do it to a gun that had survived this long without being reamed, but it was routinely done pre GCA 1968 when mailorder surplus was cheap.

September 12, 2011, 09:46 PM
Thanks for all of the helpful responses.

Yes it's a .38 special.

We tried to put a set of k frame grips on this gun and it was just a bit off all around. Hence my original query. The grips on the gun are of cheap plastic and very ill fitting.

September 13, 2011, 02:15 AM
Make sure you get square butt grips and not round butt grips, like old fuff said its an old M&P .38 spec. Model 10.

Old Fuff
September 13, 2011, 10:30 AM
We tried to put a set of k frame grips on this gun and it was just a bit off all around. Hence my original query. The grips on the gun are of cheap plastic and very ill fitting.

Back when your revolver was made, Smith & Wesson hand fitted a pair of stocks to each frame before both the frame and stocks were finished (blued or whatever). The stocks were serial numbered to the particular frame and then lacquered. When the frame was assembled into a complete revolver the individually fitted stocks were united with it. The result was a perfect fit.

Of course this sort of quality is long gone, but it explains why replacement stocks are not always an ideal fit. Consider something that covers the backstrap, frontstrap, and butt. You will not be able to see the serial number on the butt, but it should also be stamped on the back of the cylinder, and the bottom of the barrel, toward the back, above the extractor rod.

September 13, 2011, 07:25 PM
You are correct that the chambers would have a step. But it was still done. Such guns are prone to bulged or split cases as a result.

September 13, 2011, 10:07 PM
Thanks Old Fuff,

I concur: they don't make em like they used to!

We tried a set of grips from one of my K frames to see if it would be a drop in fit. It was close enough that if those grips (Ahrend's square butt finger-groove) did not have to go back on my gun we could have made it fit perfectly with a bit of judicious sanding here and there. My friend will probably just fit a set of his own depending which ones he picks.

We just wanted to be sure that, before ordering a set of square butt model 10 grips, there wasn't a more specific set we should get. Now that we know what to order, fitting will be simple enough.

If it were up to me I'd put on a set of slim elk scales and a Tyler T grip.

September 14, 2011, 05:48 PM
Of course this sort of quality is long gone

Old Fuff,

How can you say that?!?!?!

The new guns have MIM parts which are far superior to ones made the old blacksmith way. The barrels are crush fit so they can't crossthread. The 3 piece barrels are better than ever. And think of the safety that we now have because of the IL. All this and unmatched quality control.

These are the good old days.

Old Fuff
September 14, 2011, 06:12 PM
These are the good old days.


I just read Smith & Wesson's latest financial report, and business is booming.

Does you think I should sell my old junk and use the money to buy stock? :uhoh:

September 14, 2011, 06:15 PM
Does you think I should sell my old junk and use the money to buy stock?


being the nice guy I am I will buy it from you before it blows up

Old Fuff
September 14, 2011, 06:47 PM
You have a good point, but since they are so old, and were made before the company started using modern manufacturing materials and methods, I hesitate to sell them 'cuz I wouldn't want anybody to get hurt when they blow.

And ya' know, it's hard to find black powder ammunition for my 3 1/2 inch, engraved registered .357 Magnum...:eek:

Thanks for the generous offer though. :D

September 14, 2011, 07:43 PM
I wouldn't want anybody to get hurt when they blow.

but you don't like me

September 15, 2011, 07:21 AM
3.5 inch, engraved, Registered Magnum? I'm sure you don't like me even more than you don't like Gulllermo!

Brian Williams
September 15, 2011, 07:29 AM
Probably wasn't factory, so it is just somebodies nail scratching.
ruins the resale value.

September 15, 2011, 09:45 AM
It's a good thing there are people like y'all who are willing to do your part to keep those dangerous old guns out of the unsuspecting publics hands.

Just leave a few around for me. ;)

September 15, 2011, 10:13 AM
Well Old Fuff is a good guy, a real boon to the gun community.

I am willing to do my part to keep him alive and with digits intact.

He just says the word and I am going to trade him a brand new Smith 686, the best gun ever made, for his gun collection.

Yes...I know...I am a great guy

Old Fuff
September 15, 2011, 10:17 AM
Well I do the best that I can.

My problem with Guillermo is that I've repeatedly offered to convert his small collection of Colt Diamondback's into Fitz Specials, using my unique methods and a bench grinder... :what:

But he won't go along with the project.

So considering my prefered modifications I'm not sure he would want to buy my collection... :uhoh:

Now you take that old S&W .357 (registered) Magnum. I'll admit that the grinder was a bit rough on it, but it's O.K. 'cuz I was able to touch it up with cold blue... :evil:

September 15, 2011, 10:41 AM

This is not about is about you and your well being.

We have to get those old, unsafe guns out of your valuable hands.

Pack everything up and I will bring you a shiny new 686. Then all w b well with the world.

Old Fuff
September 15, 2011, 10:44 AM
Well considering my prefered modifications, I think my old guns are still safe...

So long as I stick to black powder... :cool:

September 15, 2011, 11:04 AM
So long as I stick to black powder

Think how safe a new 686 would be w black powder!!!

Or we could get you a Ruger...unlike the 686 (the greatest gun ever produced) Rugers cannot be broken with a nuclear blast.

September 15, 2011, 07:40 PM
Old Fuff, I'll do better! I'll trade you a gun that creates nuclear blasts! The Nuke 50 is the ideal for when grinding your own black powder no longer gives you an andrenaline rush.

Now about that beat up old Registered Magnum, you know S&W no longer has the skills, um I mean is no longer willing to work on pre war guns, so its only a matter of time (couple of life times?) before it breaks and is useless. Best to unload it while you can. If you send it to me now I'll only charge you the cost of shipping!

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