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Identity and Date of Manufacture of S&W Revolvers

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by Brian Williams, Jun 21, 2008.

  1. 788Ham

    788Ham Well-Known Member


    I'd written you back in Sept about a Smith I'd picked up, a S&W 38-44 HD, serial # left off, my mistake. Serial # is 401**, thanks again for your help!
  2. Trailb78

    Trailb78 New Member

    This is my great grandfather's gun which I've had for quite some time. Any dates or value would be appreciated! That's him in the photo on one of SLPD's Harley's, and I guess he stayed there til the 50's when he moved to Florida and became a Police Chief of a beach community until retiring in the 60's.

    38 special ctg
    s & w
    4 1/2" barrel
    nickel finish/wooden grips
    "POLICE DEPT. ST. LOUIS, Mo. No. 680" engraved on backstrap of grip
    serial # B 564169

    Attached Files:

  3. Radagast

    Radagast Well-Known Member

    The barrel length is measured from the muzzle to the forcing cone in front of the cylinder. You will probably find it is a 5 inch barrel.

    The serial number you have given is taken from the underside of the barrel. The B Prefix indicated a barrel. Check the underside of the grip frame, you may have to take off the grips to see the actual serial number.
    The gun has a long action, so it predates 1949.
    If the serial number is 564169 then it it s .38 Military & Police Model of 1905 4th Change manufactured 1926 or 1927.
    If the serial number is V564169 then it is a .39 Victory Model manufactured 1943 or 1944.
    The grips appear to be early diamond targets from the 1950s, there may be some collectors value.
    This particular gun predates the internal hammer block safety introduced in 1944. If dropped it could fire, so leave the chamber under the hammer empty.
    Generally value is low on well worn examples, possibly $250. Because of the provenance and the grips you may find a collector willing to pay a bit more. I suggest you check at www.smith-wessonforum.com if you are considering selling.
  4. Radagast

    Radagast Well-Known Member

    The Standard Catalog of S&W does not give year by year break downs for that period. Best I can give you is between 1931 & 1935. Serial number 38309 shipped November 1931. Serial no 45808, one of the first .357 Magnums, shipped early 1935. So somewhere roughly in the middle. 1933 would be my guess.
  5. Radagast

    Radagast Well-Known Member

    Just to follow up, there appears to be a slight palm swell to the grips, which means they may be 'coke bottle' grips and potentially more valuable than the gun. I suggest you take some good resolution photos and post them in a new thread. Hopefully one of the more experienced members will be able to confirm or deny.
  6. headshok

    headshok Member

    model 617-2 .22lr
    6'' barrel
    10shot aluminum cyl
    front partidge/ rear adjustable sites

    #cbd30xx, with a "128" on the inside of the crane itself

    much thanks in advance
  7. Trailb78

    Trailb78 New Member


    Thanks for the 43. Also, the serial number is 564169.

    I added some other pics in reference to the handguards.

    Attached Files:

  8. Radagast

    Radagast Well-Known Member

    I'm fairly certain they are early diamond target grips and not cokes as they lack the flair at the bottom. They may still be of value to a collector with a gun from that period with non original grips.
    Lacking a V prefix, it dates to 1927-1930.

    The 617-2 was manufactured between 1996 & 1998. Guns in the CBDxxxx range shipped in September 1996.
    128 is an assembly number, used to track parts in the factory it has no meaning after the gun was completed.
  9. Trader Ray

    Trader Ray Active Member

    Radagast, thank you for your time on my post. I think all of the people asking truly appreciate the work you are doing.
  10. WoodchuckAssassin

    WoodchuckAssassin Well-Known Member

    Looking at this beauty:

    Model 40-1
    38 special (+P)
    Bright blue
    Fixed sights
    Serial Number DCT5***

    Any info would really help me out. Thanks guys/gals!
  11. Radagast

    Radagast Well-Known Member

    Woodchuck Assassin:
    The Model 40-1 Centennial Classic was reintroduced in 2008/2009 and is now discontinued. Unfortunately I can't tell you which year it was manufactured, the Standard Catalog of S&W only lists dates up to 2004.

    Personally I would grab it. The original Model 40 & 42 were discontinued 1974, not PlusP rated and only 40,000 or so were made, so they are not that common either. The classics were a short run as well so will be hard to find in the future.
  12. DammitBoy

    DammitBoy Well-Known Member

    I just picked up what I hope was a deal on a;

    Smith & Wesson Model 36, nickel plated - five shot, .38 Special Chiefs Special with round butt grip

    sn: AFK475x

    What can you tell me?
  13. WoodchuckAssassin

    WoodchuckAssassin Well-Known Member

    Thanks Radagast! Believe me, I wanna "pull the trigger on it," (sorry bout the pun), but it would mean trading in my Official Police. Choices...choices.

    I always thought the 40-1 was a little older than the 2000's. I appreciate the info.
  14. Radagast

    Radagast Well-Known Member

    Your gun was manufactured in late 1984. I'm in Australia so my knowledge of current American prices is uncertain. I believe that gun is worth around $350 in excellent condition.
  15. DammitBoy

    DammitBoy Well-Known Member

    Thanks Radagast! I paid $300 for it out the door and I think it's gonna clean up real nice.

    Been looking for a decent one for the right price for a while now...
  16. birddog2

    birddog2 Well-Known Member

    c=squared butt
    d=6 shot
    e=adj sights
  17. Slimbo

    Slimbo Well-Known Member

    Thank you sir, the grips do have medallions and as far as I know they are original, it belonged to a friend's dad, she ended up with it when he passed a few years ago.
  18. Radagast

    Radagast Well-Known Member

    Your Model 14-3 K38 Target Masterpiece was manufactured in 1977.
  19. DammitBoy

    DammitBoy Well-Known Member


    I don't know if this is a good way to judge current pricing, but I've found six on gunbroker in similar or worse condition.

    The lowest was priced a $499 with the average being $625 and the highest being $799.

    I polished it up last night and it looks great after I got all the dirt and grime off of it. It was in better shape than I had hoped! I never understood why somebody would not take the time to clean a gun before they sell it?
  20. Remllez

    Remllez Well-Known Member

    .38 caliber
    3 inch pinned barrel
    Round butt
    5 shot
    Fixed sight
    Serial number...J349065
    Model 36... J-frame

    Thanks in advance !!!!



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