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1889 New Departure

Discussion in 'Firearms Research' started by chm27, Mar 6, 2003.

  1. chm27

    chm27 New Member

    Mar 2, 2003
    Western WI
    Can anyone tell me what an "1889 New Departure" is? I have two pairs of mint condition pearl grips that someone in the S&W forum said looked like they fit one of these. Any ideas where I could find pics or a possible value for the grips?
    Thanks for any help!
  2. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Senior Elder

    Dec 24, 2002
    The S&W “New Departure†revolver is also known as the “Safety Hammerless.†It was the company’s first model with an enclosed hammer, somewhat like today’s model 642. However the New Departure was a top-break, 5-shot chambered to use the .38 S&W cartridge. The “safety†part comes from the fact that it had a grip safety that had to be squeezed before the trigger could be pulled. The butt (and grips) are of the round-butt pattern and usually made from molded black hard rubber, although pearl was available at extra cost.

    If your grips do fit the .38 New Departure they will fit the 1903 Hand Ejector series in .32 (6 shot) or .38 (5 shot) revolvers as well as the very first (but not current) round-butt “J†frame Chief Special.

    There was also a .32 version of the New Departure, but it is on a smaller frame and has smaller grips.

    If the grips are in good shape they would be worth between $50.00 to $75.00. If they have S&W trademark escutions the value might be doubled.
  3. Mike Irwin

    Mike Irwin Mentor

    Dec 22, 2002
    Below the Manson-Nixon line in Virginia...
    Very common name for this gun is also the "Lemon Squeezer."

    This is a .38 S&W New Departure...


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