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S&W 38 CTG Hammerless

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by Chameleon67, Jun 19, 2010.

  1. Chameleon67

    Chameleon67 New Member

    Like many, I am looking for any information on a S&W 38 CTG.

    It is hammerless, has a SN of 160xxx on the butt plate, is a top break 5 shot cylinder

    The following is stamped on top of the 4" barrell
    "Smith & Wesson Springfield Mass USA"
    "PAT'D OCT 2, 1883 AUG 4, 1884 APRIL 9, 1889"

    This was given to me by a friend serveral years ago and I looking for any and all information avaliable.

    I have attached pictures that I hope will help.



    Attached Files:

  2. rswartsell

    rswartsell Well-Known Member

    You came close to naming it yourself, it's a Smith and Wesson Safety Hammerless in .38 Smith and Wesson, which is an older and much different cartridge from .38 S&W Special. The bullet is a little bigger around and the case is shorter and developed for black powder. You can get newly manufactured ammunition for it IF the gun is still safe to fire. It looks in good shape but only a 'smith can tell you for sure.

    Someone will be along directly to give you date of manufacture, you can tell which "change" it is by the latch at the rear of the cylinder that locks the frame closed. Your pics are too dark for my old eyes to tell. Because of the palm safety that goes down the backstrap of the grip, these fine early concealable revolvers were called "lemon squeezers".

    Late 1800's to just past the turn of the century. They were very popular, Teddy Roosevelt carried one, his driver once related a story that Teddy stopped him and said "Turn around, I've forgotten my pistol. And I'm meeting the Archbishop today!"
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2010
  3. DickM

    DickM Well-Known Member

    Definitely a .38 Safety Hammerless 4th Model, based on the two knurled side nobs on the latch (shared by 4th and 5th Models), and the pinned front sight (5th Model was forged integral with the rib), as well as the serial number. Serial number range was 116003 to approx. 220000, with approx. 104,000 manufactured between 1898 and 1907. Hard to tell condition from your photos, but SCSW lists value of $400 for excellent. As the book is getting somewhat dated, actual value is probably $100 or so higher.

    ETA: Re Johnny's post (following) - the valuation info above is from SCSW, 3rd (current) Edition. They list $235 for Very Good, and again I would add the caveat that prices are up a bit since the publishing date. Hard (for me, anyway) to tell from the photos what condition yours might be.
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2010
  4. Johnny Guest

    Johnny Guest Moderator Emeritus

    Too little, too late - -

    Well, DickM beat me to it while I was doing my research. FWIW, most of my info matches his, except for the valuation. What I'd already written, off line:
    The 160 thousand series serial number and your photographs makes your revolver a .38 Safety Hammerless, 4th Model, made sometime in the 1898 -- 1907 time frame.

    This information is from Standard Catalog of Smith & Wesson , THIRD Edition, by Supica and Nahas. That edition show approx values of 250 for excellent, 215 for fine, 200 for Very Good - - which is how I'd grade yours, from the photos you provide.

    Nice little gun; wish I had one like it.

    Best regards,
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2010
  5. Jim K

    Jim K Well-Known Member

    Once again, "CTG" is not the type of gun, it is an abbreviation for "Cartridge" and indicates the type of ammunition the gun was made to use.

  6. Chameleon67

    Chameleon67 New Member

    Thanks for the information.

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