Need Some Help Identifying This S&W Revolver


cbr rob
February 28, 2012, 08:06 PM
Hi all,

I've done some searching on the forum and found an article that speaks to identifying S&W Revolvers, but I'm still not sure what I've got. This particular piece has been in the family as long as I can remember. Many years ago we shot it, but I don't recall what the exact round was. .38 special, .38 S&W.... I don't recall.

Anyway, I was looking to find out a little bit about the piece as it has been handed down to me after all of these years. Pics are below. The only markings are shown on the frame "7776". Nothing on the butt of the revolver, nothing on the barrel. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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February 28, 2012, 08:12 PM
Welcome, to THR!

You have some variation of a S&W "Military & police" with a cut-down barrel. It has been refinished in nickel after considerable buffing of the markings. The butt appears to have a filled-in spot where a lanyard ring may have once mounted, so perhaps the gun was once a "Victory" model. Lots of Victories in .38 S&W were reimported from the UK after being reamed for 38 Special and similarly refinished. From the pictures alone I can't be too sure yours was one of them.

February 28, 2012, 08:16 PM
Well, it's either a badly defaced S&W with the serial number removed from the butt, and the barrel and ejector rod cut off, homemade grips, and then dipped in a plating tank?

Or, judging by the unfinished casting appearance inside the frame crane cut?
A Spanish copy of a S&W with the same treatment.

A real S&W that age would show machining striations under the plating, not a cobble-stone cast appearance there.


Jim K
February 28, 2012, 08:18 PM
The 7776 is an assembly number, not the serial number. I am pretty sure that gun used to be a Victory Model which has had the barrel and the front latch cut off and the ejector rod head removed. The lanyard loop was removed and the hole welded up, then the butt polished down, removing the welding signs and the serial number. And THAT is a major problem because mere possession of a gun from which the serial number has been removed (no matter who removed it or when) is a federal felony.

Your choice, but the gun has no collector value and little value even as a shooter, so just turning it in to the cops might be the best way of staying out of trouble.


cbr rob
February 28, 2012, 08:20 PM
Just found another number under the barrel.

So you think it has been cut down and refinished? Never would have thought that. Is there a way I can tell what this is chambered for? .38 special or .38 S&W?

Thanks so much for the welcome to THR.

cbr rob
February 28, 2012, 08:32 PM
From the other responses, it sounds like I might be better off getting rid of it as it's quality is an unknown.

February 28, 2012, 08:41 PM
No doubt at all it has been cut & refinished in nickel or chrome.

The barrel serial #17094 would be an early (1899 -1902) S&W .38 Special Hand Ejector number.

The defaced serial number on the butt would be a concern to me.

However if you can find a matching 17094 on the rear face of the cylinder, or inside the side-plate, that is a S&W serial number, and it would be legal.


Jim K
February 28, 2012, 08:49 PM
The last digit looks to me like a 2, but either way that gun is certainly not M&P number 17094. The number seems to be missing the first digit. Even if the number is found on the barrel, cylinder or extractor, it is not on the frame, so the legality is still a problem. The butt serial number might be raised but that in itself is destructive, using acid to eat away the uncompressed metal leaving the number standing up (the reason the process is said to "raise" the number).


cbr rob
February 28, 2012, 08:58 PM
Just gave the revolver another inspection..... no other numbers found. What a bummer.

February 28, 2012, 09:20 PM
Even if the number is found on the barrel, cylinder or extractor, it is not on the frame, so the legality is still a problemThis is correct.

My mistake.


David E
February 29, 2012, 12:12 PM
Value is minimal, even if it had a proper serial number. Pass on this one.

Jim K
February 29, 2012, 12:42 PM
The OP is not buying the gun; it has been in his family. The problem is the legality and what to do about it.


February 29, 2012, 12:47 PM
seeing a gun like that makes me sad

February 29, 2012, 02:31 PM
The gents who have questioned the legality of this thing know of what they speak. I'd be getting rid of that ASAP...which is a shame but better safe than sorry.

February 29, 2012, 03:41 PM
bury it

cbr rob
March 1, 2012, 09:58 AM
Thank you all for the replies and advice on this revolver. It really is a shame that it has been worked over like this. I agree that it should be done away with. Now to find the best way to dispose of it.

Any suggestions on the best way to go about it? I'm in California if that helps at all.

Thanks again for all the help. The bright side is that I have about 5 other pieces to play with. None of which have been "modified" haha.

March 1, 2012, 11:25 AM
you can part it out too. ditch the frame, keep the cylinder and any other parts that can be removed. those can be sold.

March 1, 2012, 01:50 PM
That's a perfect piece for a police "buy" program. Check with your local LE agencies and see if any have a buy for disposal program. If not, strip off all the parts and cut up the frame. Anyone you know with a welder?

cbr rob
March 1, 2012, 07:48 PM
I have a welder. What should I be welding?

March 1, 2012, 08:03 PM
If you have a welder, you should have something to cut metal - an abrasive saw, a band saw, an o/a torch - that you can cut the frame with, eliminating the liability (if any) associated with possession of said firearm....

March 1, 2012, 08:06 PM
You need a cutting torch to cut it up! Keep all the parts off of it to sale.

cbr rob
March 1, 2012, 09:08 PM
Gotcha. O/A torch sounds like a great idea.

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