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Help IDing an old S&W please

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by ACORN, Nov 22, 2007.

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  1. ACORN

    ACORN Member

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    t_1005985m_47f8449.png
    t_1005981m_8ff629a.png

    I have a chance to buy this old S&W .38Spl revolver. Any idea what it is, and it's value as pictured? A friend wants $250. I'm probably going to buy it if I can scratch up the dough, but I'm curious what it's worth.
    I don't know why the second image didn't post, but you can click on the link.
    Thanks
    Karl
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 21, 2008
  2. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    Just buy it for $250 and we will figure out what it is later! :D

    It appears to be an early Military & Police Target model from the picture, but it's kind of hard to tell. Need more details of the markings and such.

    Regardless, if that isn't a very good re-blue job, it is worth a heck of a lot more then the $250 asking price!
    Actually, it's worth way more then that even if it is a very good re-blue job!

    1224.jpg
    rcmodel
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2007
  3. keyboard commando

    keyboard commando Member

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    S&W

    Looks like a Military & Police Target model. A pre war or early post war. It would be a steal for that price.:D
     
  4. ACORN

    ACORN Member

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    Yeah I kind of thought so too.
    He showed it to me years ago. I doubt he's shot it since.
    Checked my email today and he sent me the pics and asked if I knew anyone that would be interested in it. I've been looking for a Model 14, but this "gem" would be OK too. AFAIK it is all original.
    The holidays and my wifes birthday coming up have me strapped for cash. Oh yeah, the other 2 revolvers I have money on don't help either.
    There is that all night convenience store down the road that onlly has one cashier after 12....................................... Ahem!!! ;)
    Thanks
     
  5. ugaarguy

    ugaarguy Moderator Staff Member

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    Buy it.
     
  6. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    Buy it and post a good pic. :)
     
  7. ACORN

    ACORN Member

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    OK, anybody want to buy a kidney or lung or something?
     
  8. brett30030

    brett30030 Member

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    Buy it an resell it if you are strapped for cash. At least it will be in the hands of someone who appreciates it. :)
     
  9. XavierBreath

    XavierBreath Member

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    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Looks like a five screw S&W Model of 1905 4th change M&P with target sights to me. It has transitional grips, the long throw action, an adjustable rear sight and a partridge front sight. The extractor rod end tells me it left the factory after 1930, but prior to October 1946. The simple "Made in USA" mark tells me it left the factory prior to May, 1948. The hammer pin seen extending through the frame underneath the cylinder release was phased out around 1950 as frames were used up. If a target M&P was ordered after WWII, a pre-war frame milled for target sights may have been used. This is why lettering the gun is so important. FWIW, the rear sight looks 100% correct in the photos. The K-38 Target Masterpiece came out in 1946, and it is hard to imagine anyone ordering a Target M&P after it came out, but I suppose it's possible.

    The serial number will tell the real story. The serial number (on the butt) may have an "S" prefix, possibly a low "C" prefix. If so, it's a post-war transitional gun. If the serial number has no letter prefix, it's pre-war. It does have the unusual humpback hammer. This is an unusual and desirable variant. I suspect this gun wears the original grips and the original blue. Because I suspect original blue and grips, I also suspect the sight configuration is factory. These were special order revolvers, both in the sight configuration and the hammer configuration.

    As a generic fixed sighted pre-war M&P, in this condition, it would be worth around $450. As a regular old post-war transitional M&P, it would easily be worth $300. If the sights are not factory, it is still interesting, and I would pay that much......If the sights are factory, you are looking at about $800-900 depending on who's buying and who's selling. If the sights letter to the gun as factory, then you came out of the deal beautifully, and will own a very nice, unusual revolver.

    Be careful you do not lose a friend in this deal. Good friends are worth more than money or guns.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Nov 22, 2007
  10. SouthpawShootr

    SouthpawShootr Member

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    XavierBreath, I'm truly in awe over the amount of information you were able to glean from two pictures. A fine detailed analysis.

    Now to the OP, go get that gun right now. Even if it's not all original, I'll bet it's one hell of a shooter and worth every penny the guy's asking.
     
  11. XavierBreath

    XavierBreath Member

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    Not always Southpaw...As you can see, I've gone in and edited a bit. I don't want to embarrass myself in front of Old Fuff again.......;)

    I think the edited analysis is more on the money. Chances are, it's a pre-war Target M&P with a humpback hammer, worth what a collector in the room is willing to pay. I'd wager $800-$900. If the friend still has the original box, add an extra $100. If he has the papers and the correct screwdriver, (cross your fingers) possibly an additional $200.

    I would be excited over the prospect of owning this revolver.
     
  12. ACORN

    ACORN Member

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    Dang Xavier, you know your onions! thanks!
    I hear what you're saying about friends. We've known each other for 30 years.
    He's had it at a local shop and they offered $150. He was asking $250, but to me he'd sell it for $150. I offered to pay his original asking price but he is insisting I have it for $150. I vaguely remember him telling me he bought it for around that price.
    He has another gun for sale that I don't really want, but being he is being so gracious, I just might buy it too, and help him out.
     
  13. XavierBreath

    XavierBreath Member

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    To keep the friendship, simply tell him you think the gun may be worth substantially more, but you will keep it, and cherish it as much as your friendship. If he wants, try to put him in touch with a collector. The S&W Forum is a great resource. If you buy it for considerably less than the usual market price, realize that he made the deal because you are a friend. Give him first dibs at the price you paid him if you ever decide to sell.
     
  14. The_Antibubba

    The_Antibubba Member

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    Nice eyes indeed

    XavierBreath said:
    Gee, Xav, that's kind of vague--do you think you could clarify that? :p
     
  15. Peter M. Eick

    Peter M. Eick Member

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    As an S&W collector I immediately focused on the Humpback hammer. Those are worth some serious bucks and if the rest of the gun is in good shape it could be worth a lot.

    You have some great advice above. If it were me I would snag it, thank the person you bought it from and offer him 2x more. Then I would really sit down and enjoy the raw quality of pre-war S&W.

    You are a very lucky soul!
     
  16. ACORN

    ACORN Member

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    Well one thing is for sure after I acquire it, I would never considering selling it unless it were a matter of keeping a roof over my families head or worse. My question about value was purely out of curiosity, not so I could buy it and then turn around and sell it at a profit. Lately I've been more and more attracted to quality revolvers. Now this one falls into my lap.
     
  17. ACORN

    ACORN Member

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    OK, I finally picked it up. The serial is 696XXX with a star after the number on the butt.
    While it is still a nice pistol it does have some flaws which may just relegate it into shooter status.
    The grips don't have a number written on them but there is a number stamped into them, but it is not the serial number. Also, there is a small chip missing on one panel on the underside of the grip frame behind the triggerguard.
    The worst flaw is that even though the rest of the pistol is in excellent condition there is a scratch, or multiple scratches, about 1/8" long on the left side of the frame where the triggerguard meets the frame.
    To my eye the sights look to be original. They fit very closely to the frame.
    Do you still think that I should have this revolver lettered?
    Strictly for my own iterest, and to have an approximate value for my insurance records, what do you think it's worth in this condition? Non original grips and that d$@# scratch and all?
    Am I correct in thinking that the star on the butt means that the gun was re-worked at the factory?
    If you're interested I'll post some better pics tomorrow.
    Thanks
     
  18. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Member

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    The 5-pointed star indicates a factory refinish or other work, I think the stocks are replacements from the early post-war years. The humpback hammer suggests late 1930's. At that time target revovers were given a lot of TLC. At $250 I would run, not walk - regardless of the minor cosmetic flaws.
     
  19. Gator

    Gator Member

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    Wow, great find! It would be well worth it to get the gun lettered.

    P.S.

    Some gun stores really s@#k. A local shop by me recently took in a S&W K-32 Target. They gave the seller $100 for it and sold it in about ten days for $1750.
     
  20. c pierce

    c pierce Member

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    This is why i will only deal ftf. I have witnessed dealers braging how they riped somebody off.:fire:
     
  21. XavierBreath

    XavierBreath Member

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    Since the present grips are replacements, simply locate some from the right time period, in similar condition to your revolver, install, and viola! That's fixed.

    The refinish means little to me. Apparently it was done at S&W, thus the star, so it must be a good job.

    The scratches sound like holster wear. The revolver was likely used in competition of some sort, thus the special order adjustable sights.

    Yes, I still think you should letter this gun. Definitely.

    I stand by my prior assessment. Letter the gun to prove the target sights are factory. Put period correct grips on the gun. You have a nice gun. If you don't think you do, I can probably find a Glock or something to trade for it.
     
  22. ACORN

    ACORN Member

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    Finally got around to some pics.

    DSC00149.gif

    And

    DSC00148.gif
     
  23. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Member

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    Very nice find... :)

    The hammer alone is worth half the price of the gun. ;)
     
  24. ACORN

    ACORN Member

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    I guess I'm showing my ignorance by asking. What is the atraction to the hammer? Is just that it is "old school" and no longer used?
     
  25. Gator

    Gator Member

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    And the grips will pretty much take care of the other half.

    Great buy!
     
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