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Help Identifying a Smith & Wesson .38 Special Snub Nose

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by The Don, Dec 3, 2012.

  1. The Don

    The Don Well-Known Member

    I need help identifying a Smith & Wesson .38 Special Snub Nose I just picked up for $100. She is a little rough on the outside but mechanicals feel like new. Lock up and timing are great, bore and chambers are clean with the exception of a small area of fine pitting at the muzzle end about 3/8 inch in. It has no model on it any place that I can find.
    Identifying marks are as follows:
    Ser. # 50499
    On the inside of the frame behind the cylinder crane there is an H over the numbers 29038 which are over the number 8
    Also if anyone would know an approximant date that would be great. Thanks in advance for any help!

    Last edited: Dec 3, 2012
  2. the fool

    the fool Member

    what you have is a chiefs special (pre model 36) made between 1953 and 1955
    you got a real good deal
  3. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Well-Known Member

    Yep, that looks like a flat latch Chief's Special alright.
  4. otasan56

    otasan56 Well-Known Member

    Nice little .38
  5. Skribs

    Skribs Well-Known Member

    I was going to give it my identification prowess and tell you: yep, it's a S&W snubnose!
  6. Hardtarget

    Hardtarget Well-Known Member

    Its fun to find a little jewel thats looking for a home and a bit of TLC.

    I am still looking for that jewel... just lookin' . :D

  7. evan price

    evan price Well-Known Member

    A flat-latch Chief's Special for $100? That's not a ball of rust and mud?

    Man, the Franklin would have caught fire from air friction as fast as I would have peeled it off and handed it over.

    That old gal has what they call "Honest Patina"...Good score.
  8. The Don

    The Don Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the help guys! Oh and if anyone was wondering I took it out and shot it yesterday and boy was I shocked at how well it shoots. Shot 10 rounds into the center of a paper plate at 10 yards in double action.
  9. BCCL

    BCCL Well-Known Member

    Sweet score!
  10. just for fun

    just for fun Well-Known Member

    Got a soft spot for any and all snubs with the exception of Rugers, they're too fat and heavy! This affair started as a child when Dick Tracy carried and used one in Sunday's comic section! (Who?!) :eek:
  11. krupparms

    krupparms Well-Known Member

    You done good! What a find! A treasure & a good story! ;)
  12. Slamfire

    Slamfire Well-Known Member

    $100.00 for a five screw S&W snubbie! Why can't I get in on these deals :cuss:
  13. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Well-Known Member

    That is an old and somewhat uncommon version.
    I'd be thinking about paying S&W to reblue.
    It wouldn't be a "restoration" and it wouldn't likely raise the value enough for you to make your money back, but it would make the little gun feel better about itself.
  14. The Don

    The Don Well-Known Member

    just for fun,
    It just so happens I know who Dick Tracy is. In fact that was my first thought when I seen it. Ya I am really liking this little guy.

    Jim Watson,
    I have also thought about that and maybe getting some screws for it too as the ones on it have been tore up.
  15. just for fun

    just for fun Well-Known Member

  16. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Well-Known Member

    I agree completely. When the original manufacturer does the gun over it's not getting the gun re-blued, it is a restoration because it's "original" to that handgun.

    I became the owner of a great shooting Colt DT last year but the poor pony is really beaten up. I have been trying to scrape the money together to send it back to Colt and have them put that beautiful Colt Blue back on that fine old handgun. As you can see my Colt is in much the same shape as the OP's fine old Chief's Special. I think both deserve a trip back to their point of origin to be brought back to their original glory.


  17. Alnamvet68

    Alnamvet68 Well-Known Member

    OP, I would have that gun restored/refinished by www.ronsgunshop.com and have them Carbonia Blue that revolver the way they used to be done before WWII...I have 2 Colt 1911's that I had them do, and they are stunning. BTW, they (Ron's) did do the carbonia bluing on the initial batch of the WWI Repro Colt 1911's.
  18. rswartsell

    rswartsell Well-Known Member

    There is a guy I know by the name of Hugh Clark in Texas that can restore the grips for you too. Let me know.
  19. Dr_2_B

    Dr_2_B Well-Known Member

    I'm interested to know what you decide to do to the thing. Part of me would do what I could with it myself and then just carry it with pride - especially since it seems to function so well. I might put new grips on it just because grips are better designed these days.

    But I also understand the interest in having it restored a bit. Do keep us informed.
  20. NeveraVictimAgain

    NeveraVictimAgain Well-Known Member

    DAMN! Did you get a deal! ( Turns green with envy. ) My LGS had a 36 at three times that price. It wasn't there for long before someone snagged it out from under me.

    There's also the fact that your CS was "born" right around the same time I was. How I would love to own a gun like that. Congratulations!

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