38 s&w ctg


March 11, 2012, 11:24 PM
I was given a 38 S&W CTG by my father who had it from his dad. I'm trying to get some info on the gun. It's chrome plated, is the 5 shot top load, hammerless with the safety grip. It has a white plastic grip with the diamond around the single pin. The barrel is 2 inches long. Serial number on the grip and under the cylinder is 213606. Any idea when this was made and what the value may be?

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March 11, 2012, 11:39 PM
This very popular topbreak revolver was made in the 1890 to 1920(?) period. The shiny plating is probably nickel rather than chrome, if it was done at the factory. The grips may be replacements, because of the material used the factory grips are often found cracked.
The guns went through a number of changes relating to the latch mechanism, so you will see reference to 1st Model, 2nd Model, etc.

Value depends entirely on the condition and originality. The .38 caliber is less common than the .32, so would have more value. I sold one for a friend with a very good bore and 80% bluing for $140, if the gun had been in like new condition that could have been upward of $500.

March 12, 2012, 01:53 AM
You were given a revolver that fires the .38 S&W Cartridge.
CTG is not a model. :)
Ed has kindly given you the actual model so you can discuss it with people who'll know what you're talking about.

March 12, 2012, 02:36 AM
Good quality photos would help us to identify it.

March 12, 2012, 09:00 AM
.38 Safety Hammerless 4th Model manufactured between 1904 & 1907. Chambering is .38 Smith & Wesson (not .38 S& W Special). Treat it as a blackpowder only gun, use of smokless ammo may reduce its life. The original grips would have been black or red hard rubber. Mother of pearl was also an option. White plastic grips are aftermarket replacements, probably from the 1950s or 60s.

Old Fuff
March 12, 2012, 12:21 PM
If the barrel is actually 2-inches long, and is original to the gun and not cut down to that length from a longer one, It would have been made at S&W as a special order item. As such it would be worth twice or more then the usually quoted values. If it was cut down from a longer lengths there should be patent dates stamped on the top of the barrel rib.

The following would confirm the original length of the barrel, but you would have to risk $50.00 to find out. We can't help you further without clear photographs, especially of the top of the barrel rib.

Information concerning historical letters of authentication from Smith & Wesson’s historian, Roy G. Jinks can be obtained from the link listed below.

In exchange for a $50.00 research fee (make any check out to Smith & Wesson, not Mr. Jinks) he will search through the company’s original records until he finds your particular revolver. He will then send you an official letter which usually includes:

A short history of the revolver model’s background.

What the barrel length, caliber/cartridge, finish and stocks were, as well as the exact date it was shipped from the factory – and to what distributor, dealer or individual – as whatever the case may be.


March 12, 2012, 11:34 PM
Here are some pictures.

March 13, 2012, 12:32 PM
That is a GREAT revolver and I would hold on to it forever since it's been in your family so long. Thanks for sharing the photos...

March 13, 2012, 12:58 PM
Very,very nice. Grandpa done good, a keeper for sure.

Old Fuff
March 13, 2012, 01:11 PM
Having looked at your pictures I now think that the barrel was longer and then cut down to its present 2" length. The grips are replacements that probably were made between the late 1930's to the middle 1960's. Market value is likely around $300.00 or a bit more because the 2" length is popular, cut down or not, but I don't suggest you sell it. If you can afford the fee I suggest that you get a historical letter from S&W, just for grins, and the fact it belonged to your grandfather.

Deaf Smith
March 14, 2012, 10:51 PM
That Lemon squeezer looks cool!

I'd use light handloads or just factory S&W ammo. Sure a box now cost alot but then I sure would not shoot it all that much.


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