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Identity and Date of Manufacture of S&W Revolvers

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by Brian Williams, Jun 21, 2008.

  1. Bud The Traveler

    Bud The Traveler Member

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    S&W SN lookup - HIstory info and year of mfg?

    S&W SN lookup - Characterisics and year manufactured?

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    a) caliber - S&W manufactured 38 special revolver
    b) bbl length - 4 inches
    c) grips shape - square with rounded sides
    d) number of shots/cylinder bores - 6 shot
    e) type of sights - Adjustable rear, square front blade
    f) serial number from bottom of the grip - K 249180
    g) Model number if it is under the crane. - none

    Other info: Barrel inscription - S. & W. special CTG; both the frame and grips has standard S&W company logo emblem; grips are checkered wood which appear to be walnut.

    Crane lettering: X
    98925

    Thanks
     
  2. Bud The Traveler

    Bud The Traveler Member

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    Help Identify a S&W 38 Revolver

    S&W SN lookup - Characterisics and year manufactured?

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    a) caliber - S&W manufactured 38 special revolver
    b) bbl length - 4 inches
    c) grips shape - square with rounded sides
    d) number of shots/cylinder bores - 6 shot
    e) type of sights - Adjustable rear, square front blade
    f) serial number from bottom of the grip - K 249180
    g) Model number if it is under the crane. - none

    Other info: Barrel inscription - S. & W. special CTG; both the frame and grips has standard S&W company logo emblem; grips are checkered wood which appear to be walnut. Gun finish: Blue

    Crane lettering: X
    98925

    Thanks
     
  3. Radagast
    • Contributing Member

    Radagast Moderator Staff Member

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    Bud The Traveller:
    You have a K38 Combat Masterpiece manufactured in 1955. In 1957 this gun was designated the Model 15. A search on either term will give you a wealth of information.
    The symbols under the crane are assembly numbers, used to track parts in the factory. They have no meaning after the gun is completed.
     
  4. Bud The Traveler

    Bud The Traveler Member

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    Many Thanks, Radagast For The ID

    I took your suggestion and did more research now that I know that it is a K 38 Combat Masterpiece. I ran across a u-tube video that showed the gun in detail and it appears you are "right-on" in your id. The utube presenter was very informative and even stated the nickname for this model is "the gun that can't miss". Other searches gave testimony as this being a very accurate and sweet shooting revolver. I also learned by multiple sources to only use standard 38 special loads.

    So it would appear that I have lucked on to a nice find in this revolver. My gun is in excellent condition with the possible exception of it being etched under the trigger guard with the previous owner's SSN. I plan to keep the piece and have no plans to sell or to modify to remove the SSN.

    Again, Thanks a bunch.

    Bud
     
  5. Radagast
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    Radagast Moderator Staff Member

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    Bud The Traveller:
    The six inch barrel K38 Target Masterpiece was S&W's premium target revolver at the time. The K38 Combat Masterpiece was S&W's answer to those police who wanted a target grade revolver with a service length barrel.
    Yours was made in the period when S&W was on a roll quality wise - they had produced almost two million guns during WWII and kept on going post war. The craftsmen fitting your gun would have had unprecedented experience. In ten years on this forum I've noted many problems with guns from the 20s, 70s, 80s & 00s. Zero factory defects from the 30s & 50s, few from the 60s & 90s. The 40s were war time and recovery and a lot of the guns from that period saw a lot of use.

    Edit:
    S&W do not recommend use of PlusP ammo in a gun made prior to 1957, this appears to be because the stamping of model numbers provides a nice cut off date, while guns without heat treatment or poor steel are from much earlier.
    If you do a search on PlusP and THR member Saxon Pig you will find he has put 1200 rounds of PlusP ammo through a gun that is older than yours with no ill effects.
    You will find it is a popular point of argument between the older forum members such as myself, Saxon Pig, Old Fuff, Guillermo & RCModel if there is nothing else to discuss.
    My take? I would not hesitate to shoot PlusP ammo through a k38 Combat Masterpiece, as the current +P pressure levels are equivalent to standard pressure at the time it was manufactured. I would not shoot +P+ ammo through it as there is no industry standard for +P+ and in some cases it was .357 Magnum lite in a .38 special case, intended to get around political restrictions on issuing .357 ammo.
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2013
  6. Jack19

    Jack19 Member

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    a) 38 special
    b) 1 7/8"
    c) round
    d) 6
    e) fixed
    f) ABS03xx
    g) 10-7
     
  7. Radagast
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    Radagast Moderator Staff Member

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    Jack19:
    Your Model 10-7 .38 Military & Police tapered barrel was manufactured in 1983.
     
  8. Bud The Traveler

    Bud The Traveler Member

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    Radagast,
    The pressure comment... Is this because of improvements in powder characteristics or something else? I plan to shoot light loads for practice and load with heavy loads when gun is made ready for self defence. Also, the comment about previous "political" problems issueing .357 ammo. What was all that about?

    I am new to this sight and my "learning curve" is still pretty steep relative to hand guns. Most of my long career has been centered around hunting with rifles and shotguns.

    Many thanks for the info,

    Bud
     
  9. dogrunner

    dogrunner Member

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    Radagast, just picked up another 28-2 #N221106, got a birth date for it.......Thanks.
     
  10. Geezer Glide

    Geezer Glide Member

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    Thanks in advance.

    S&W No Model Number
    K Frame
    4 Screw
    .38 Special
    4 inch barrel
    SN C359XXX

    pre10.gif
     
  11. Radagast
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    Radagast Moderator Staff Member

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    Geezer Glide:
    You have a .38 Military & Police Postwar, the Pre-model 10, manufactured during the period 1954-1956 in the serial range C277555 to C402923. My guess would be 1955.

    dogrunner:
    Your Model 28-2 Highway Patrolman was manufactured in the period 1974 to 1976. Serial range was N200001 to N2597xx by 23rd March 1976. So late 1974 or early 1975 seems likely.

    Bud The Traveler:
    Re .38 special pressures. Semi auto fans argue Glock or 1911, 9mm or .45. Here on the revolver forum we discuss .38 special pressures on a weekly basis, like friends who get together to watch Friday night football and argue the same point over and over again.
    Because manufacturers & SAAMI, the industry standard setter, have never published the reasons from the reduction we can speculate to our hearts content.
    The European pressure standard for .38 special is still above current American +P specs, so I think lawyers and worries about doubtful untreated steel for guns manufactured prior to the 1920s have a lot to do with the lower American specs.
    There is a good thread on +P+ loads here -
    http://smith-wessonforum.com/ammo/108345-38-p-110gr-jhp-treasury-ammo-test.html Note the pics "Not for retail sale - pressure levels exceed industry standards"
    I doubt it would blow up a gun, but would probably caused increased wear.

    In the 80s 'magnum' & 'hollowpoint' were twisted by PC 'newspeak' to be evil terms associated with deliberate maiming.
    As a result the Californian Highway Patrol issuing the .38 special Model 68, which was actually a .357 Magnum Model 19 bored out to .38 special, with a +P+ .38 special load instead of a regular .357 round. NYPD issued soft point .38 specials and 9mm fmj for years, even though they had incidents with guys being shot 20 to 30 times before they fell down.
    We are getting a little outside the specific purpose of this thread. I suggest you start a new thread for any further info you need - there are plenty of us old codgers looking for a newbie to pounce on and chew his ear off. :)
     
  12. blindhari

    blindhari Member

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    I just finished trading for a S&W 15-3, serial #6K19XX. Gun was in excellent working condition, dirty and with a1/2" spot on the muzzle worn and a 1/8" on the crane showing wear. All other appeared to be S&W blue original. Locked up super tight with no cylinder movement and an almost invisible line around the cylinder. Also had full thick stag grips. I am curious about price as I am wondering wether I over traded a friend and should add some cash?

    blindhari
     
  13. Radagast
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    Radagast Moderator Staff Member

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    blindhari:
    Your Model 15-3 Combat Masterpiece was manufactured in 1974.
    I can't help you with current values as I am in Australia. I suggest you post a new thread with pics - you are sure to get a few replies.
     
  14. blindhari

    blindhari Member

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    Thank you Radagast,
    I was really looking for the Combat Magnum. I shot one in Berlin in 1968 and bought my own on return stateside. Mine was stolen when our house was burglarised over 30 years ago. I just couldn't put this one down so we made a deal for trade at my kitchen table. I was told it was an inheritance from an exsheriff. I have started cleaning it and am sure it has been worked on. It handles as well as my 65-5 and that was a tuned competition revolver. Only gripe so far is that I think I am going to find the stag grips a little too massive for my hands. My concern is that I may have overtraded a friend.
    Thank you again for your time,

    blindhari
     
  15. GregC

    GregC Member

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    629 Classic DX

    I am just trying to find out the approximate date of manufacture.

    a) 44 mag
    b) 6.5" bbl
    c) round grips
    d) 6 shot
    e) adjustable
    f) CCA8714
    g) 626-4

    Thanks for your help.
     
  16. Brawnyman11

    Brawnyman11 Member

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    I need info on my gun.

    Hello I recently bought a 357 magnum and wanted a little more info it has square grips with brown checkering, a four inch barrel and model number 13-3, and the s/n AJD 6622. I was wondering if anyone know's anything about it also does not seem to be timed right am I missing parts?
    image_zps1edbaaf7.jpg

    image_zps146d362f.jpg

    image_zps09881986.jpg

    image_zpsc4ac32f1.jpg

    image_zpsdcc1502a.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2013
  17. Radagast
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    Radagast Moderator Staff Member

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    Brawnyman11:
    Your Model 13-3 .357 Magnum Military & Police Heavy Barrel was manufactured in 1985. It may be A Royal Canadian Mounted Police gun, these were double action only. Look for a VT stamp, this was the re-importers marking.
    The grips are correct for that time period. The -3 in the 13-3 refers to a design change, the barrel is no longer pinned to the frame and the cylinder is not bored to recess the cartridge rims.

    As for spare parts, I suggest you start a new thread in the gunsmithing sub forum, or ask a moderator to move your original post, including pics, to that section.

    GregC:
    Your Model 629-4 .44 Classic DX Stainless was manufactured in 1997.
    If it has a single port compensator then it is a Model 629 Powerport Classic. If it has a single port compensator, a screw on muzzle cap and rosewood grips then it was a performance center special run for Lew Horton Distributors.
     
  18. B_Li_Ber_Tar_Ian

    B_Li_Ber_Tar_Ian Member

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    Can you guys help me date my newest acquisition? I believe it's a pre-model 34. Serial # on the bottom of the grips is 10606. Behind the cylinder looks like a 6 over the numbers 45180 with a small 8 under that. Flat latch, adjustable sights.

    image-1_zps90fdbcee.jpg

    IMG_4660.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2013
  19. Bud The Traveler

    Bud The Traveler Member

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    Need Help Identify To S&W Revolver, Year of Mfg & Ammo Capability

    Anticipate Acquiring a Used Small S&W Revolver for Wife.

    a) caliber - 38 special
    b) bbl length - 1 7/8 inches
    c) grips shape - Square small grips (Checkered Wood)
    d) number of shots/cylinder bores - 5 shot
    e) type of sights. - Fixed
    f) serial number - J 957148 (bottom of the grip)
    g) Model number - None (Did not see anything under the crane that looks like a model number).

    There are other numbers under the crane: 1999P B17

    Questions: 1) What is it?
    2) Will gun handle +P ammo for self defense if needed?

    Thanks, Bud
     
  20. ultra45

    ultra45 Member

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    Radagast...

    I Called Smith & Wesson with regard to my Model 10 with the C18XXXX serial number. The customer service rep was very helpful. His records show it to be a penciled barreled 4" Model 10, from 1948. He stated that it is possible that Roy's department might find more on the gun, but he showed it to be the above, which it is not. The only simularity is, that it (my gun) is a Model 10.
     
  21. Radagast
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    Radagast Moderator Staff Member

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    Bud The Traveller:

    You have a J frame revolver manufactured in 1982. If the side of the barrel says Airweight then it is a Model 37 Chiefs Special Airweight with an aluminum frame, which should only be shot with standard pressure ammo - use of PlusP can lead to frame stretching or timing issues. Firing a cylinder full for familiarization and then carrying with PlusP, while doing all training with standard pressure ammo should be fine.
    If not marked Airweight then you have a steel framed Model 36 Chiefs Special. Use of PlusP ammo will be fine.
    Guns occasionally left the factory without the model stamp. The markings under the crane are assembly numbers, used to track parts in the factory. They have no meaning after the gun was completed.

    B_Li_Ber_Tar_Ian:
    You have a Model of 1953 .22/32 Kit Gun (pre Model 34) manufactured in 1955.
     
  22. Radagast
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    Radagast Moderator Staff Member

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    ultra45:
    Any chance the serial number has been ground down and re-stamped?
     
  23. K-Rod

    K-Rod Member

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    Got another one for you Radagast.
    1) Model 57 no dash
    2)6in
    3)Nickel
    4)41m
    5)N8765xx

    Thanks in advance.
     
  24. Radagast
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    Radagast Moderator Staff Member

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    K-Rod:
    Your Model 57 41 Magnum Target was manufactured in the period 1980 to 1983. As it is quote high in the N8xxxxx serial range I would guesstimate 1983.
    Edit: The Model 57-1 was introduces in 1982, so 1982 is more likely that 1983.
     
  25. K-Rod

    K-Rod Member

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    Many thanks Radagast.
     

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