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Tech questions for K-38 Masterpiece experts

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by Jim NE, Feb 26, 2012.

  1. Jim NE

    Jim NE Participating Member

    Feb 28, 2011
    There's an old K-38 Masterpiece that I have been paying attention to for some months. The price is a bit lower than most, but the hammer has been cobbled badly. I was thinking that if Numrich had an appropriate replacement hammer, I might be interested in the gun if I could change out the hammer (and talk the gun's owner down on the price the corresponding amount.)

    So I checked, and Numrich doesn't list hammers for the K-38 Masterpiece, bout DOES for a model 14 no dash. They list a few, in fact.

    -Would these be an appropriate replacement?

    -Would a new hammer need to be fitted to a specific gun by a smith or S&W?
    I've disassmbled S&W's several times and could manage putting one in, but don't know if any machine fitting is required for a new hammer.

    -Case hardened hammers are listed as measured at ".500". What is this a measurement of? The knurled thumb portion? Because they're case hardened Target Hammers (wide), I presume this is the appropriate one to choose. But they DO sell .375, and .265 versions as well (but they aren't case hardened, as I recall.) WHich hammer would be best?

    -I honestly don't know if Numrich is selling these as used original parts or new ones. Would a new one be up to the quality of an old one?

    - As I said, they don't list a K-38 Masterpiece hammer, but they DO list a hammer for K-38 outdoorsman. The part number they list is different than the ones for the model 14's, though. Would this be MORE appropriate than model 14 hammers? Doesn't list it as being case hardened, as I recall.

    - Any other sources of K-38 hammers to check out?

    That's a lot of questions, I know. Appreciate any help you can offer. THANKS.
  2. Jim K

    Jim K Elder

    Dec 31, 2002
    The Model 14 is the K-38; the only difference is the name. But the K-38/Model 14 was upgraded along with the whole S&W line at several points so it is necessary to provide the serial number when ordering parts. AFAIK, the parts Numrich has are new.

    Note that unless you can get the complete hammer assembly, it will come without the hammer nose (firing pin), hammer nose pin, sear, sear pin and spring and the stirrup and stirrup pin, so save those parts from the old hammer.

    The measurement given on the hammers is the width of the hammer spur; the internal parts of the hammer are all the same. All S&W hammers were case hardened up to the adoption of MIM parts, which are hard all the way through.

    There is no K-38 Outdoorsman that I know of. That term was applied to the 38/44 revolver with adjustable sights, not to any K frame.

    There should be no problem in your installing a new hammer yourself if it is the right one for the gun. They very rarely need any fitting.

  3. Liberty1776

    Liberty1776 Participating Member

    Dec 28, 2006
    Hi - this is just what I would do, this is just my opinion. I'd buy the gun for a price I could live with, get the hammer from Numrich and see how it functions. Plenty of time to take it in for professional help if necessary. I have brought more than one S&W back to life with Numrich parts and I'm just a basement cobbler...maybe I've been lucky but all the parts I've gotten have worked just fine from day one and didn't need fitting. (maybe cause they're used, and are worn smooth a little - dunno...)
  4. Jim NE

    Jim NE Participating Member

    Feb 28, 2011
  5. SaxonPig

    SaxonPig Senior Member

    Apr 11, 2006
    IME S&W hammers will drop in 9/10 times.

    The 22 Outdoorsman was a pre-war 22 target model on the K frame. The grandfather to the M17.

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