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Help Identifying a Smith & Wesson .38 Special Snub Nose

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by The Don, Dec 3, 2012.

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  1. The Don

    The Don Member

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    I need help identifying a Smith & Wesson .38 Special Snub Nose I just picked up for $100. She is a little rough on the outside but mechanicals feel like new. Lock up and timing are great, bore and chambers are clean with the exception of a small area of fine pitting at the muzzle end about 3/8 inch in. It has no model on it any place that I can find.
    Identifying marks are as follows:
    Ser. # 50499
    On the inside of the frame behind the cylinder crane there is an H over the numbers 29038 which are over the number 8
    Also if anyone would know an approximant date that would be great. Thanks in advance for any help!
    DON
    100_0918.jpg

    100_0919.jpg
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2012
  2. the fool

    the fool Member

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    what you have is a chiefs special (pre model 36) made between 1953 and 1955
    you got a real good deal
     
  3. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    Yep, that looks like a flat latch Chief's Special alright.
     
  4. otasan56

    otasan56 Member

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    Nice little .38
     
  5. Skribs

    Skribs Member

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    I was going to give it my identification prowess and tell you: yep, it's a S&W snubnose!
     
  6. Hardtarget

    Hardtarget Member

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    Its fun to find a little jewel thats looking for a home and a bit of TLC.

    I am still looking for that jewel... just lookin' . :D

    Mark
     
  7. evan price

    evan price Member

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    A flat-latch Chief's Special for $100? That's not a ball of rust and mud?

    Man, the Franklin would have caught fire from air friction as fast as I would have peeled it off and handed it over.

    That old gal has what they call "Honest Patina"...Good score.
     
  8. The Don

    The Don Member

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    Thanks for the help guys! Oh and if anyone was wondering I took it out and shot it yesterday and boy was I shocked at how well it shoots. Shot 10 rounds into the center of a paper plate at 10 yards in double action.
     
  9. BCCL

    BCCL Member

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    Sweet score!
     
  10. just for fun

    just for fun Member

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    Got a soft spot for any and all snubs with the exception of Rugers, they're too fat and heavy! This affair started as a child when Dick Tracy carried and used one in Sunday's comic section! (Who?!) :eek:
     
  11. krupparms

    krupparms Member

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    You done good! What a find! A treasure & a good story! ;)
     
  12. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

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    $100.00 for a five screw S&W snubbie! Why can't I get in on these deals :cuss:
     
  13. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    That is an old and somewhat uncommon version.
    I'd be thinking about paying S&W to reblue.
    It wouldn't be a "restoration" and it wouldn't likely raise the value enough for you to make your money back, but it would make the little gun feel better about itself.
     
  14. The Don

    The Don Member

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    just for fun,
    It just so happens I know who Dick Tracy is. In fact that was my first thought when I seen it. Ya I am really liking this little guy.

    Jim Watson,
    I have also thought about that and maybe getting some screws for it too as the ones on it have been tore up.
     
  15. just for fun

    just for fun Member

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  16. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    I agree completely. When the original manufacturer does the gun over it's not getting the gun re-blued, it is a restoration because it's "original" to that handgun.

    I became the owner of a great shooting Colt DT last year but the poor pony is really beaten up. I have been trying to scrape the money together to send it back to Colt and have them put that beautiful Colt Blue back on that fine old handgun. As you can see my Colt is in much the same shape as the OP's fine old Chief's Special. I think both deserve a trip back to their point of origin to be brought back to their original glory.

    Colt-01s.jpg

    Colt-02s.jpg
     
  17. Alnamvet68

    Alnamvet68 Member

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    OP, I would have that gun restored/refinished by www.ronsgunshop.com and have them Carbonia Blue that revolver the way they used to be done before WWII...I have 2 Colt 1911's that I had them do, and they are stunning. BTW, they (Ron's) did do the carbonia bluing on the initial batch of the WWI Repro Colt 1911's.
     
  18. rswartsell

    rswartsell Member

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    There is a guy I know by the name of Hugh Clark in Texas that can restore the grips for you too. Let me know.
     
  19. Dr_2_B

    Dr_2_B Member

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    I'm interested to know what you decide to do to the thing. Part of me would do what I could with it myself and then just carry it with pride - especially since it seems to function so well. I might put new grips on it just because grips are better designed these days.

    But I also understand the interest in having it restored a bit. Do keep us informed.
     
  20. NeveraVictimAgain

    NeveraVictimAgain Member

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    DAMN! Did you get a deal! ( Turns green with envy. ) My LGS had a 36 at three times that price. It wasn't there for long before someone snagged it out from under me.

    There's also the fact that your CS was "born" right around the same time I was. How I would love to own a gun like that. Congratulations!
     
  21. The Don

    The Don Member

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    Alnamvet68,

    I Carbonia Blue was a dead process?? Because there is no known copy of the formula in existence.

    NeveraVictimAgain,

    I thought that was neat that it was built then too. Because my dad was born in 1954. From what I am reading I got a great deal. Now that my dad is passed on, it kind of make me wonder if it was a gift from him. :)
     
  22. scaatylobo

    scaatylobo Member

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    I cannot read the caliber of that S&W but I am aware that there were many made in 38S&W caliber and that is not 38 special.

    I am hoping you know the difference.

    That is a GREAT deal and I would just clean her up and carry and shoot it till it was passed on.

    But she sure would look purty all shiny and new,long as you didnt make a safe queen outta her.
     
  23. otasan56

    otasan56 Member

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    S&W Model 36, I suppose.
     
  24. The Don

    The Don Member

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    scaatylobo,

    Its a .38 Spec. that I am 100% on. I am really thinking of having it restored to like new, and don't worry I don't believe in safe queens. But the way it is she has some age on her and the scars to show it. I dont know yet though still looking at prices.
     
  25. Remllez

    Remllez Member

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    The Don,

    You got a great deal on that little blaster!! You and ArchAngel have found fine little carry guns that are just right for me finish wise....Personally I wouldn't do a thing to them but clean them out real good, lubricate em and carry them just the way they are.

    Finish wise they carry their patina proudly and look better to my eye than a new revolver. I appreciate what that gun has been through in it's almost 60 year life. Having them refinished is a great option to be sure but, most people that do that end up turning a fine revolver into a safe queen.

    Of course it's your dough and I'm just expressing my opinion, but it's certainly a viable option that you may consider for s*** and g****......I don't own any guns that I wouldn't carry and shoot. I went through that phase 30 or so years ago but as I get a little older the pendulum has swung the other way, and as long as it functions good mechanically.....I'm a happy camper so to speak....:)

    Happy Shooting and enjoy your little gem!!!!
     
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