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Finding grips for S&W 1905 .38spl?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by PTK, Sep 16, 2007.

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  1. PTK

    PTK Member

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    Where can one obtain either original grips or reasonable reproductions (not oversized) for a Model of 1905 K frame in .38 spl?
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2007
  2. XavierBreath

    XavierBreath Member

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    Smith & Wesson used many variations of grips on the Model of 1905 4th change over the past 102 years. To install the correct grips, you must first know about when your revolver was made. Post your serial with any alphabetical prefix, leaving the last two digits as X's, and the year can be determined and the correct grip suggested.

    FWIW, any K frame grip will fit, but only one type is "correct".

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2007
  3. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Member

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    From 1902 to 1945 S&W used several styles of walnut grips on square butt revolvers, and one style made of black hard-rubber on the round butt ones. Other patterns and materials were optional. If you will post the serial number of your gun (use xx for the last 2 numbers) it can be determined which style would be right for what you have.

    Be aware that during that time frame the stocks were individually fitted to a particular frame, and serial numbered to match it. Therefore original stocks from one revolver may not be a perfect fit on another one.
     
  4. PTK

    PTK Member

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    Okay, the serial number appears to be -S-8402XX.

    Right now it's a choice between gaudy oversized smooth wood grips I have laying here, or a horrible Hogue rubber finger groove grip. It pains me to consider either being on there long-term!
     
  5. XavierBreath

    XavierBreath Member

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    This would be a 1945-1948 Smith & Wesson M&P. The correct grip would be a transitional magna. The fourth gun down in the picture above has transitional magnas. It is serial S8419XX

    These are occasionally available on ebay and at gunshows. The sharp top edge of the grip is what makes it the transitional magna.
     
  6. PTK

    PTK Member

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    How much should I expect to pay for the grip? Is there anyone producing a reasonable copy?
     
  7. XavierBreath

    XavierBreath Member

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    If you are lucky, a set of transitionals might be found for $10. Many folks don't realize there is a difference. A set of transitionals usually runs $25-50.

    The next most appropriate grip would be diamond magnas. These usually run $20-35. They look the same, function the same, but lack the sharp "transitional" upper edge.

    Finally, a set of non-diamond magnas would fit. These are Smith & Wesson magna grips that lack the diamond. They usually sell for $10-25, depending on condition.

    Any of these will fit, all will look OK to most folks. A Smith & Wesson collector will immediately pick up on the lack of transitionals though. As far as I know, there are no reasonably priced walnut reproductions. You can buy poured resin reproductions, but it doesn't make sense when original walnut grips of a slightly different era will fit.
     
  8. TheWolfTC

    TheWolfTC Member

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    1905 M&P .38 special snub nose

    If anyone is still following this thread....I am trying to see if it is even possible to locate correct era grips for my Great Grandfathers Police service revolver. It is circa 1905 from all my recent search's and help from other forum members. The SN# is 695XX
     

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  9. MIL-DOT

    MIL-DOT member

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    How would anyone be "still following" a thread that hasn't been posted on in nearly EIGHT years ??? Also, what you're doing is called hijacking a thread for your own purposes. Try starting your own thread that addresses your question.
    BTW, I don;t belive S&W made any snub nosed revolvers back in 1905, as I uinderstand, they didn't start making them until the 30's.
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2015
  10. TheWolfTC

    TheWolfTC Member

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    HiJacking??? I think not..The thread started with at person looking for revolver grips such as the era I am looking at. I admit I didn't see the date of original post but that isn't a reason to call it hijacking. Relax...it was a small mistake.
     
  11. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Member

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    Smith & Wesson called your Grandfathers revolver their .38 Military & Police model. They introduced it in 1899 and it is still in limited production today. Over that time period many changes were made so collectors and others have broken down the description to note the more important ones. In this context your revolver is a .38 1905 Hand Ejector/4th Change.

    This particular variant was made from about 1915 to 1942 in a serial number range running from 241,704 to either 999,999 or 1,000,000. You should be able to find the serial number stamped in these places:

    On the bottom of the butt.
    On the rear face of the cylinder
    On the bottom of the barrel

    Over time various barrel lengths were offered, but the 2" option wasn't offered until 1933. As a consequence that length is scarce to rare and worth a premium.

    The original stocks were either molded black hard rubber (most likely) or checkered walnut. Since you are especially interested in this particular gun you might want to contact the S&W company, which will - for a $50.00 search fee - search their old records and then respond in writing with whatever they find; including the original caliber, number of shots, barrel length, finish, style of stocks, the day/year it was shipped from the factory, and to what distributor or dealer.

    Several companies offer reproductions of the original stocks. See www.gunpartscorp.com for one of them. An e-mail inquire could produce a set of used original ones, but if so they might not be a perfect fit and would likely be expensive.

    I'll add: Generally it is a good idea to start a new thread, and a reference to the older one. However we don't jump on folks who make a minor error on their first post. What we try too do is provide the requested information and welcome a new member.
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2015
  12. TheWolfTC

    TheWolfTC Member

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    Thanks Old Fuff...My apologies for my erroneous original post. I wasn't thinking the way I should have been about how to post. Nonetheless, my ignorance was not meant to offend anyone.

    Yes, it is an M&P model and my father and grandfather both told me it was a 1905..both were police officers like Gramps...so I am guessing they are pretty accurate. The Sn is under the butt, rear of cylinder and under the barrel when the cylinder is open.

    Under the grips there are 2 dates stamped for some sort of factory repair/update not sure which. The first stamp is 12 16 and the 2nd is 2.52...Assuming it is December 1916 and Feb. 1952. So do you think in the 1952 factory "whatever" they did they would have replaced the barrel down to a 2"? (based on your knowledge that the 2" wasn't offered any earlier than 1933). So, even with a replacement barrel they put the original SN on it...interesting. I am new to this type of old generation pistol and trying to learn as much as I can so bear with me.

    I sincerely appreciate the knowledgeable response and will definitely send in the form to S&W to learn more.
     
  13. TheWolfTC

    TheWolfTC Member

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    Sorry I forgot to add the serial number is only a 5 digit number starting in 695xx.
     
  14. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Member

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    Look carefully. That may be an assembly number rather then the serial number. I would expect a serial number to be in the 600,000 to 700,000 range or higher.

    Another possibility is that an older revolver was rebarreled to a 2" configuration, but I doubt it. Look in all of the 3 places I listed.
     
  15. el indio

    el indio Member

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    Post your questions to the S&W thread at the top of the revolver page. Radagast should be able to help you.
     
  16. TheWolfTC

    TheWolfTC Member

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    All 3 locations have the exact same number. There are no other numbers on the gun other than the 2 stamped dates under the left hand grip.

    At the end of the serial number on the butt there is a "star" stamped as well. This apparently signifies that it went back to the factory at some time in its life for repair or re-finish. Hopefully when I submit to S&W Historian they will be able to tell me.

    I did get an email from someone and they stated:
    The SN would indicate it was originally a Model 1902 from 1906, and I'll agree with everything said previously. It's likely that not only was the barrel replaced, but also the extractor rod, as K-frame revolvers of that time did not have short barrels, and a newer short extractor rod would be needed to mate with the short barrel underlug. Possibly, the whole cylinder and yoke assembly was replaced.

    I also received this response a few moments ago...
    Even though the stud ends were polished flat turing a refinish, I can see from the ghost circles that your gun has the forward stud position for the old trigger return system. I would guess-date it to late 1905/early 1906. Because of the way S&W managed inventory, there is chance it might have shipped later than that, but it would take the letter to resolve that question.

    Your gun lies in a kind of foggy classification zone that collectors navigate with differing levels of caution. The Model of 1905 has a square butt. Your gun has a round butt, which the factory would have called a Model of 1902 at this time, but it incorporates engineering changes and a serial number that for decades have been associated with what most collectors have come to call the Model of 1905. One of the things used to distinguish the Model of 1905 is the presence of the screw in front of the trigger guard that retains the cylinder stop spring, and your gun has that feature. Both varieties of the classically defined 1902 (original 1902 and first change) lack that screw, and the spring is inserted internally during assembly. The revised trigger return system appeared in what has traditionally been called the Model of 1905, first change.

    You can think of your gun's original configuration as either a 1902 that incorporates an engineering feature that most collectors have associated with the first specimens of the 1905, or an early 1905 with a round butt rather than a square one. Either way, you will find someone to disagree with you. I would hope everyone would agree that it would shoot just fine regardless of what you call it.


    Wow, lots of information to soak in...
     
  17. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Member

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    The star you mentioned indicates factory reworking or refinishing, but unfortunately it's unlikely S&W would still have records concerning what was done and when. What they can likely do (for a fee) is tell you what the revolver's original configuration was - including barrel length - and when it was shipped.

    If you are going to ask S&W to "letter" the gun I would hold off on the question about what the original stocks were until some answers are forthcoming from the company. Don't expect a quick answer because they are usually buried under a pile of requests.

    If your Grandpa had an earlier gun, and after 1933 wanted it changed to a 2" configuration, S&W would have unquestionably done it. The Great Depression of ongoing and they needed any money they could get.

    Be aware that the 1905 variant was always offered in both square and round butt styles. As a rule of thumb, square-butt revolvers came with checkered walnut stocks, where round-butts had molded black hard rubber grips with checkered walnut being an extra-cost option.
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2015
  18. TheWolfTC

    TheWolfTC Member

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    Thank you SIR!..I appreciate all of your help this morning. The paper work is complete and heading to the mail with a slew of pictures. Hopefully sometime in the next few months I will get some definitive answers. I thought it would be nice to restore it back to original but it appears that may be a small challenge...we shall see.

    In the end I am very fortunate to have a piece of family history this old and to think my Great Grandfather carried this for nearly 30 years...what stories it could tell. :)
     
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