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Old Yesterday, 03:05 PM   #1
Comrade Mike
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Tell me about the S&W Model 14

The ole birthday is coming up here in a couple days. I've got a two week obligation in Arizona right after my classes get out before I can celebrate proper. I'm a huge Smith and Wesson fan and and even bigger .38 Special fan. Everyone tells me the Model 14 is the Cadillac of the .38 Specials so I'm thinking about adding one to my collection for my birthday.

What can you guys tell me about these guns? Fit/ Finish/ Accuracy/ Trigger/ ect. Not looking for a gun to Hot Rod, this is purely a range queen. All I want to do is punch pretty round holes with wad cutters in nice tight groups.
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Old Yesterday, 03:15 PM   #2
Walkalong
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The Model 14 meets that criteria perfectly.
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Old Yesterday, 04:20 PM   #3
Driftwood Johnson
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Howdy

The K 38 was introduced in 1946 as the successor to the older M&P Target Model.

The gun at the top of this photo is an older K-38, the bottom gun is an M&P Target Model. In addition to the different style grips, the K-38 used the new short throw hammer, and improved sights. You can see what a tiny screwdriver you needed to move the rear sight on the older gun. You actually needed two, you had to loosen the screw on one side and push the sight with the screw on the other side.



In 1957 when S&W went over to a numbering system for their models, the K-38 became the Model 14. It was probably the best 38 target revolver on the market at the time. Fit and finish were up to S&W's legendary standards, and the triggers were light and smooth.

You can't go wrong with a K-38 or its later version the Model 14. If it wuz me, I would be looking for a nice older Five Screw like the one in the photo.
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Old Yesterday, 04:24 PM   #4
CajunBass
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They weren't called "Masterpiece" for no reason.



Top one is a 1955 K-38 Masterpiece (a "Pre-14" if you will), lower is a 1948 K-22.
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Old Yesterday, 06:00 PM   #5
Walkalong
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14-3
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Old Yesterday, 06:25 PM   #6
MrBorland
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Comrade Mike
All I want to do is punch pretty round holes with wad cutters in nice tight groups.
A M17, or it's predecessor, the K-38, ought to do nicely (though any number of good quality revos will, too). The rest is up to you.

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Old Yesterday, 06:41 PM   #7
Jim NE
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Some of the most accurate groups I've shot with a handgun have been with my model 14's. Hate to dissuade new business to S&W, but if you're a S&W fan, then you know that the most popular school of thought is "buy used." I have to agree with this, as all of Smith's new classic and steel frame revolvers are expensive.

But so are the real old guns. You may want one with an older vibe, but I personally think the only reason to buy a five screw gun over a gun made from the late 1950's to the late 1970's is collector appeal, and not much more. If you're into that, cool. If not, save some money and buy one from the 1970's or 60's.

14's are mostly going to be six inch guns. Non-ramp front sight. A gun with a lot of external mods - grips, sites, nail polish marks, etc. - may have internal mods, as well, as it may have been a competitor's gun. Not good or bad, just something to be aware of.
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Old Yesterday, 06:58 PM   #8
Comrade Mike
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Well my mind is pretty much made up, now the question is who wants to sell me theirs :D
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Old Yesterday, 10:08 PM   #9
highpower
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The K38/Model14 is one of the all time great revolvers. They generally will out shoot their owners and are happiest with 148 grain wadcutters over a charge of 2.7 grains of Bullseye. This is a very mild load and not only is it surpurbly accurate in the K38, but it puts almost not strain or wear on the gun.

I have had mine for over thirty years and it shoots as good today as it did when I got it.

1950 K38 Masterpiece shown here with it's 1948 K22 Masterpiece companion.
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Old Yesterday, 10:23 PM   #10
horsemen61
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So the used one at bass pro I should have bought 400 otd didn't know what it was didn't have the money to spend was real pretty that's probally why the old boy who did see it ripped his wallet out as if it was on fire
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Old Yesterday, 10:34 PM   #11
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The Model 14 is starting to experience a bit of a renaissance recently. Prices are climbing. I recently found a 14-3 with the 8-3/8" barrel and it's a dream to shoot. Smith & Wesson make a lot of K-frame .38's, but the K-38 Masterpiece / Model 14 were the top of the heap as far as overall fit, finish, action, and accuracy. They are still affordable but fairly scarce.
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Old Yesterday, 11:23 PM   #12
Jim NE
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I don't know if there's a forum policy on plugging a dealer, but the OP wants to find a gun, and I have no vested interest, so it's worth noting that Simpson's Ltd. in Illinois seems to have a good supply of old 14's. ( I think the url is simpsonltd.com )

I bought both of mine from them a few years ago, but keep in mind that many of theirs have been modified for competitive shooting - and not always in the best fashion. I would try to get one that's in better and more original condition, though it may cost more. I had to do a little smithing on one of mine after I got it, but it's a very good gun now.

Also, they say a lot of their guns have been "modified for single action only" or have had the double action "deactivated." This may be true, but you should know that Smith and Wesson did offer some single action only versions of the model 14 from the factory. When dealing with Simpsons, you may end up talking to a rifle guy who isn't quite as familiar with old S&W's, so brush up with the standard catalog first.
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Old Yesterday, 11:27 PM   #13
Jim K
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In the days when dinosaurs were running around and the .38 revolver ruled the centerfire matches, the K-38 was the top of the heap, challenged only by the Colt Officers Model Match. Which was better was a matter of preference, as either was capable of winning any match in the hands of the right shooter.

Good luck in your search.

Jim
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Old Yesterday, 11:31 PM   #14
Comrade Mike
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim NE View Post
I don't know if there's a forum policy on plugging a dealer, but the OP wants to find a gun, and I have no vested interest, so it's worth noting that Simpson's Ltd. in Illinois seems to have a good supply of old 14's. ( I think the url is simpsonltd.com )

I bought both of mine from them a few years ago, but keep in mind that many of theirs have been modified for competitive shooting - and not always in the best fashion. I would try to get one that's in better and more original condition, though it may cost more. I had to do a little smithing on one of mine after I got it, but it's a very good gun now.

Also, they say a lot of their guns have been "modified for single action only" or have had the double action "deactivated." This may be true, but you should know that Smith and Wesson did offer some single action only versions of the model 14 from the factory. When dealing with Simpsons, you may end up talking to a rifle guy who isn't quite as familiar with old S&W's, so brush up with the standard catalog first.

I'm quite familiar with them and their 14's. I'm weighing the cost of getting a stock one off GB versus one cheaper from Simpsons but having to have my smith work on it. When I get my hands on one you guys will be the first to know :D
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Old Today, 02:02 AM   #15
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