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Smith and Wesson Model 14 – Which "dash" to take?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by jc223, Nov 9, 2010.

  1. jc223

    jc223 Member

    does anybody know which S&W Model 14 dash number is the best? I would like to buy a Model 14, I just do not know for which „dash number“ I should look. I know that with every dash no. they changed something on the gun, but not always for the better.

    At the moment someone is offering me a 14-1. I dont know if that is a good model, because normally, when close to the production start many products still need improvement.

    So does anybody have a hint, if 14-2, 14-3, 14-4, 14-n are better than the 14-1?

    Thank you and best regards,
  2. 10-96

    10-96 Well-Known Member

    I don't think any of the changes effected quality or performance, but with that, if you can score a copy of the Standard Cataloge of Smith and Wesson- it will esplain the changes. From there, it would just be a matter of what you think YOU would prefer. They were all seriously great revolvers and I wouldn't hesitate to take home any of them as long as they haven't been abused.

    I know that isn't the answer you were looking for, but as a shooter/collector- the dashes don't really mean a whole lot to me except for historical notes on certain models- such as factory modification recommended on the 13 and/or 13-1. I have one new S&W with the hillary hole (internal lock) and frame mounted firing pin and I just plain think the S&W revolver world went to poop about that time. I'm pretty certain I won't be having another new one... but that's just my cock-eyed opinion.
  3. MrBorland

    MrBorland Moderator

    Welcome to THR!

    The 14s actually began production in 1947 as the K-38 Target Masterpiece. When S&W started their model # designation in 1957, it was renamed the Model 14. Very early on, the K-38 was known to be a superb gun, so they got the bugs out long before any M14 was made.

    As to the variants, I don't know that any are functionally "better" than another. If I had to pick a year that marked a transition from the old classics, it might be 1982, when they eliminated the pinned barrel and, on magnum calibers, recessed cylinders. For the M14, this happened about midway through 14-4. Functionally, it's not a big deal, though.

    Really, then, unless you're dead set on something in particular, I wouldn't sweat it if price and condition are agreeable - no matter the variant, they're great guns.
  4. jc223

    jc223 Member

    Thanks for the replies. A 14-1 with some little wear on the blueing is offered to me for 140 Dollars. Do you think that is a fair price? Comes with original grips (with diamond inserts).
  5. Guillermo

    Guillermo member


    it is way too cheap
  6. jc223

    jc223 Member

    Thanks, just bought it.
  7. Iggy

    Iggy Well-Known Member

    At that price, you can still buy about 3 more and still not be hurt.:evil:
  8. Lucky Derby

    Lucky Derby Well-Known Member

    My K38 Masterpiece (pre-14) is an incredable shooter.
  9. batex

    batex Well-Known Member

    For many folks, the lower the dash number, the more desireable. I have a model 19 "no dash" that is an incredible shooter. Many time, the engineering changes, which the dash numbers denote, were simply to lower production costs.
  10. 10-96

    10-96 Well-Known Member

    Congratulations on that price! Have you had a chance to check it out thoroughly, cycle it, and such? That's probably at least $200-$300 cheaper than most any of us could get one.
  11. jc223

    jc223 Member

    Unfortunately I did not have the chance to check it out in person. Bought it over a website. But anyway, for this price I thought I´d give it a try. The seller stated that it works perfectly.
  12. 351 WINCHESTER

    351 WINCHESTER Well-Known Member

    I have a k38 in pristine condition with original blue and gold box with original grips numbered to the gun just sitting in my safe. It's a 6" 5 screw. Oh and I'm the second owner.
  13. Thaddeus Jones

    Thaddeus Jones Well-Known Member

    Except for those currently produced "model 14 classic" series abominations, I don't think there is a bad variant of the model 14.

    I have a 14-6 with the full lug 6" barrel. It is a beautiful tack driver. A definite keeper that makes me look good at the range.

    I will someday track down one of the 4" "Dayton gun" model 14's that were run through the Performance Center.

    The 14 is a very underated revolver. Good luck! :) TJ
  14. Iggy

    Iggy Well-Known Member

    The 14 is a very underated revolver. Good luck! TJ

    Shhhhh! Don't tell everybody.
  15. jad0110

    jad0110 Well-Known Member

    Mano, I sure hope it does. I paid $350 or so for a near mint 14-4 in 2006, a fair price at the time. The last Model 14s I've seen were selling for $500 and up. If that 14 checks out when you get it, it would rank as one of the best deals I've ever seen. Wouldn't be the first time someone came upon a revolver in a drawer and thought "obsolete old man gun" and let it go for a song.
  16. bluetopper

    bluetopper Well-Known Member

    I guess I've about shot them all; revolvers, semis, you name it.

    But for me there is no greater pleasure in shooting than a lazy afternoon with a model 14 and a bunch of cast lead wadcutter reloads. You'll enjoy it.
  17. jc223

    jc223 Member

    That sounds good, thanks guys!

    But here comes the bummer: due to stupid gun laws here in Germany I have to wait 6 months to get it...

    This waiting time will kill me, even more after your comments how great this gun is :fire:
  18. jad0110

    jad0110 Well-Known Member

    ^^^ Ahhh, that likely explains the price then. Comparing gun prices in the U.S. and Germany is an apples and bowling balls comparison.

    Bummer though on the 6 month wait. But at least you can stock up on 148 grain wadcutters in the mean time, which are a perfect match for a gun like this. I've not shot my Model 14 in years; probably about time to rectify that oversight.

    Here's my 14-4, made in 1980. Though I've not shot it in a while, I dry fire it very frequently using snap caps. I figure dry firing with a longer barrel makes trigger pull and release goofs a little easier to spot.


  19. S&W-Keeper

    S&W-Keeper Well-Known Member

    Get the 14-1, it is a 4-screw, only made for 2 years.
  20. jc223

    jc223 Member

    @jad: yeah but it is an absolute exception that WE are better off concerning prices, normally you guys in the US have MUCH better prices on guns. Just an example: an ordinary Beretta 92F costs 1,550 Dollars around here...

    Thats a beautiful gun you have there. I noticed that the 14s come with at least 2 version of trigger and hammer: yours seem to have the "normal" one, mine has a wider trigger and hammer (I heard it is called "target trigger" or something like that).


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