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Old S & W 38 spl pearl handled/nkl plate

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by obtusewit, Dec 28, 2006.

  1. obtusewit

    obtusewit New Member

    Dec 28, 2006
    I am trying to find information on an old Smith and Wesson 38 special. THis gun has been in my family since the Spanish American War. The story goes that my great uncle found the gun during the battle of San Juan Hill in the possession of a dead Spanish soldier. There is little doubt that this gun was probably taken from an American soldier, probably an officer. Here is the data on the gun.

    Smith and Wesson 38 special, serial number 246278, nickle plated with solid pearl grips. This gun was found with its holster and has never been fired by anyone in my family. My great uncle died as a result of the war, and the gun was passed on to his brother, my grandfather and then to my Dad and now to me. If anyone can help me with manufacture date or any other information, it would be greatly appreciated.
  2. FPrice

    FPrice Senior Member

    Dec 22, 2002
    People's Commonwealth of Massachusetts
    This sounds like a very interesting firearm. If it does date back to the Spanish American War it would have to be a .38 Double Action. You best bet is to:

    1. Take a few very good pictures of this pistol (say both sides and top), clear enough so that any writing is legible.

    2. Register on the Smith-Wesson Forum (www.smith-wessonforum.com) and post the pictures there. That forum has the most knowledgeable S&W collectors around. They can help you positively identify your revolver.

    Good luck, it sounds like it may be something significant.

    Oh, and post the pictures here for those who may be interested but don't belong to the other forum.
  3. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Senior Member

    Dec 29, 2002
    Los Anchorage
    The .38 Special was not developed until 1902. It's more likely it was in .38 S&W. I'd be interested to see some pics of this revolver.
  4. XavierBreath

    XavierBreath Senior Member

    Jan 6, 2003
    A letter from Roy Jinks is considered to be definitive.

    The battle of San Juan Hill was fought on July 1, 1898. I agree with FPrice. Your pistol is either a .38 Double Action topbreak, or the story is wrong. How about some pics?
  5. RON in PA

    RON in PA Senior Member

    Dec 25, 2002
    S.E. PA, USA
    The birth date of the 38 special cartridge is a bit controversal as some references list it as 1902 and some as 1899 when the Military and Police revolver was introduced. If memory serves me correctly the Spanish American War was over before the introduction of the M&P. The gun could be chambered in .38 S&W, especially if it's a break top. A picture and S/n would help. Are there any patent dates on the gun as well as other markings?

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