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I bought a K-38 by mistake!

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by albanian, Oct 25, 2004.

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  1. albanian

    albanian member

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    I was searching the gun auction sites for K-22s and K-38s when I came upon a 4" bbl K-38 with a buy-it-now price of $200. I put it in my watch list and proceeded to look at other K-38s and K-22s. I somehow got it in my mind that it was a K-22 and after not finding anything for even close to this price on a K-22, I went back and bought it. I then read the ad and realized what I did!

    It is not a big mistake but I was really looking for a K-22. It is a 80% 4" bbl with original diamond grips. It is a 5 screw dated to 1953 so I can get it on my C&R. The seller says it is in excellent mechaical shape so what I am getting is a niced used shooter, which is what I wanted but I wanted one in .22!

    What is a good price for one as described? It doesn't have the target grips or the target hammer or trigger. I am sure that $200 ($215 delivered) must be a good deal but how good? Make me feel better about buying the "wrong" gun. :D I don't have a K-38 so I was going to get one someday anyway but I wanted a 6" with the 3 Ts. Is the 4" even considered a true K-38?
     
  2. mec

    mec Member

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    Buying a K 38 can be an accident but it is never a mistake
     
  3. Paul "Fitz" Jones

    Paul "Fitz" Jones Moderator - Emeritus

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    Unusual it is

    I hope someone speaks up like Blues Bear who you might PM. As a War Policeman (Early 50's Reserve Officer) I had a 6 inch and when becoming a Marshal I carried a K38 6 inch.

    I understood it to be a target quality pistol so shot in the police pistol championships with it against officers who felt I had an advantage over their standard 4 inch Smith M&P models. Later on I carried a Stainless 4 inch 66 but my put away new 6 inch K38 is to be admired not shot.

    Fitz
     
  4. Gordon

    Gordon Member

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    I got one $200 is way cheap for an 80% Combat Masterpiece which became a M-15. If you didn't have one,you certainly needed one! Now you want a matching M-18 or Combat Masterpiece .22 . Be prepared to pay at least $100 more as they are much more scarce. :D
     
  5. albanian

    albanian member

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    Here is the pic from the auction. I'll try and take some better ones when I get it home.[​IMG]
     

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  6. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Member

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    You can just bet it is a "real" K-38. When the K-38 Target Masterpiece (6" barrel) was introduced in 1947 it usually came with regular magna service stocks and a semi-wide hammer matched with the regular trigger. The barrel had a narrow rib. Before long, law enforcement officers - FBI agents in particular were asking Smith & Wesson to make a variant with a 4-inch tube and a Baughman-style front sight. What they wanted was a carry gun with target revolver enhancements. S&W complied on a semi-custom basis until the demand became too great to do the work on this basis; so in 1949 they introduced the K-38 Combat Masterpiece as a separate model. Other then the shorter barrel and front sight style it was identical to the K-38 Target Masterpiece as it was manufactured at the time.

    The earliest guns, including all of the custom built ones were made using 6-inch barrel blanks. They were shortened to 4 inches and the front sight remounted by pinning the ramp to the barrel rib with two pins.

    Now go back and look at your picture again …

    I should make the kind of "mistakes" you do ... :rolleyes: :what: :D
     
  7. Gordon

    Gordon Member

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    Thanks for the education Old Fuff; I did not know that!:)
     
  8. HSMITH

    HSMITH Member

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    I have a '49 vintage K38 Combat Masterpiece, it is BY FAR the finest revolver I have ever handled. It isn't all that tight, it isn't all that pretty, it isn't much other than an early postwar revolver but it flat shoots. I mean it FLAT SHOOTS!!!!! It hits what I look at and hits it again NOW. I have guns I have shot a lot more but this thing knows what I want and it does it. If yours is like mine be prepared to recieve your favorite handgun. It just doesn't get any better than a 5 screw K38.
     
  9. Jim March

    Jim March Member

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  10. BluesBear

    BluesBear member

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    Thank you for your kind words Fitz but Old Fuff knows much more than I do about S&W revolvers. But I'm not through learning from him yet.

    Hopefully it will clean up to look better than that picture.
    Cross your fingers that the insides are clean.

    In any even you didn't buy iy by mistake.


    YOU STOLE IT!



    I'm sure there would be a line of THR Members extending around the block offering you a $25 profit on it. :evil:
     
  11. albanian

    albanian member

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    Thanks guys. I am far from an expert on old S&Ws but the more S&Ws I buy, the more I tend to favor the older ones. I know it is well known that they are the better made guns but I am slow to catch on I guess.

    I had a few older S&W revolvers that I wish I had not sold. I had a 1950s era K-22 that I sold because I made a few bucks on the deal but it was a pretty gun that I miss often.

    Here is a pic of that S&W K-22 that I sold.[​IMG]
     

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  12. russlate

    russlate Member

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    Saw one like that today ( 6" K-22 ) $550 for nice but used.
     
  13. albanian

    albanian member

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    My gun came today and I noticed that the front sight is held in place by the two pins you mentioned. I was told that it was a 1953 dated gun by someone that I gave the SN# to but now I may need a second opinion!

    The trigger is narrow and serated, the rear sight is not square like on my other S&Ws, it is curved at the top outer edges. The hammer is kind of funky also, I think you can see in the pic what I mean. The action seems great. The lockup is about as tight as any of my S&Ws I have ever had. The SA trigger is outstanding.
     
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