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Model & year identification

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by bivenslz, Apr 27, 2013.

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  1. bivenslz

    bivenslz Member

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    I HAVE A 38 SPECIAL 2" BARREL WITH ROUND GRIPS IN 6 SHOT WITH HALF MOON FT FIXED SIGHTS SERIAL NUMBER 626325 AND i WOULD LIKE TO KNOW WHAT YEAR IT WAS MADE AND MODEL NUMBER AND POSSIBLY WHAT IT IS WORTH.
     
  2. burrhead

    burrhead Member

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    Thats like saying " I have this car with a V8 engine and it's got four wheels. What is it and what's it worth? "

    Does this gun have a brand name on it. Is it blue, nickel, chrome, stainless? Got a picture?
     
  3. bivenslz

    bivenslz Member

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    sorry about that I had been trying the Smith & Wesson site and just forgot to add the rest of the info. My gun is a Smith & Wesson in blue finish good condition 3 screws showing on the right side with 1 more under the handle holding the side plate on. The only markings on the right side are made in the usa. I do not have any photos at this time I will try to get some later.
     
  4. Hutch

    Hutch Member

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    Best guess is, it's a Hand Ejector Military & Police, which became the Model 10 in 1957. If it is, and the SN is as described, then it was made in the late '30's, but certainly before WWII. Be sure to refer to the serial number on the bottom of the grip frame. If it is in original condition, then the same SN will be on the back of the cylinder and on a flat on he bottom of the barrel, under the ejector rod. There should also be the last few digits, or maybe all of 'em, on the inside of one of the grip panels, usually the right one.

    FOR HEAVEN'S SAKE, don't mess with the finish until it's been evaluated by a SMith and Wesson guru.
     
  5. bivenslz

    bivenslz Member

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    Thanks Hutch all the numbers are in the places you described. Do you know in a round about figure for the worth of one in good condition with very little blueing gone on the barrel and cylinder?
     
  6. Radagast
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    Radagast Moderator

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    _If_ it is an original two inch barrel .38 special .38 Military & Police Model of 1905 4th Change in excellent condition, then I would assume a collector may may $500-$700 for it, as it will be one of the very first factory snubbies. Your gun shipped between 1927 & 1930.

    If it is modified gun then its real value is probably around $300, as a shooter only.

    Edit: Good pics from both sides and of any markings are needed to positively ID it.
     
  7. Hutch

    Hutch Member

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    I think Radagast is correct. If it really is original, not re-blued, and is mechanically sound, it might bring a skosh more. If all that is true, and you by some miracle have the original box and stuff, it might bring double that.
     
  8. bivenslz

    bivenslz Member

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    I am unable to attach photos to this posting but can EMAIL if one of you want to add your address. Also after cleaning the gun it isn't in quite as good condition as I originally thought.
     
  9. Hutch

    Hutch Member

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    I think my email address is in my profile. Feel free.
     
  10. Jim K

    Jim K Member

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    1932

    Jim
     
  11. bivenslz

    bivenslz Member

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    here are photos

    gADDY1Q.jpg

    TXsTuPx.jpg
     
  12. Radagast
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    Radagast Moderator

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    Edited:
    Barrel appear to be factory correct.
    Take off the grips and see if they are serial numbered to the gun. The grips are Magnas and should date to 1936 or later.
    There maybe a serial number on the underside of the barrel, starting with a B prefix. If it matches the gun then it original.
    Condition is probably Very Good, rather than Excellent. This will drop the value quite a bit.
    On the other hand, the earliest M&P snubby I've seen was 1938. An early 1930s gun would be interesting.
     
  13. bivenslz

    bivenslz Member

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    I took the grips off and found no serial number on them. The serial number on the bottom of the barrel did not have any letter before the serial number it matched the number on the cylinder and the butt.
     
  14. Radagast
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    Radagast Moderator

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    Ok, seems to be an original piece.
    If you are looking to sell it then www.smith-wessonforum.com is the collectors forum and the best place to get it valued.
    If you wish to authenticate the gun then S&W offer a research service for a $50 fee:
    http://www.smith-wesson.com/webapp/...4_750001_750051_757825_-1_757814_757812_image

    If you just plan to shoot it I suggest you treat it as a five shot gun, leaving the chamber under the hammer empty - it lacks the internal hammer block developed after a fatality with a dropped gun during World War II.
     
  15. BSA1

    BSA1 Member

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    So what did the pros on the Smith & Wesson Forum tell you about your gun?
     
  16. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Member

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    Well the stocks won't be serial numbered to the gun because they are of a style that wasn't made until after World War Two. The rest of the revolver appears to be correct and original to one made during the late 1930's through 1941.

    Value is probably in the $350 - $450 ballpark, depending on who is looking at it. Keep in mind that when selling a used gun that isn't up to collector grade (meaning almost perfect) cosmetics (or how it looks) can be very important to a potential buyer.

    I suspect that this gun does not have a positive hammer block. If you carry it load up to 5 chambers and rest the hammer down on the empty one.
     
  17. bivenslz

    bivenslz Member

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    I appreciate the info guys. I could not figure how to post with the Smith & Wesson forum so I didn't get any feed back there.
     
  18. Jim K

    Jim K Member

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    Believe it or not, I didn't pull that 1932 date out of a dark place.

    In 1932, 1000 guns were shipped to the U.S.M.C. in two lots, serial numbers 6245xx-6246xx, and serial numbers 627375-627975.

    The OP's gun. 626325, falls between the Marine Corps lots.

    Jim
     
  19. Radagast
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    Radagast Moderator

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    Thanks for that info Jim. I've 6324xx shipping Sept '31, 632132 shipping January '31 & 636389 shipping sometime in '31.
    I would guess the depression was biting hard at that time and the stockpiling of frames that Old Fuff had mentioned was in full swing.
    SCSW states that the Texas prison guns were ordered between 1927 & 1930 in the serial range 500000 to 630000, so I'll stand by my claim that it dates to 1930 or earlier, but with the caveat that that's the frame only. You are quite possibly right and It could have been completed and shipped several years later.
     
  20. Jim K

    Jim K Member

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    I got the info from Pate U.S. Handguns of World War II. I don't know if he used S&W records or USMC records, but the dates are definitely shipping dates. It has been widely reported that S&W stockpiled frames and/or completed revolvers in that period, so maybe an "about" date would be better. Also, we don't know if they used a FIFO system; if so, the oldest guns would shipped first.

    FWIW, from the same source, 644909 (a K-22) shipped in 1933, and 646994-648882 shipped on 11/19/1934.

    Jim
     
  21. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Member

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    Following World War One in 1919, Uncle Sam walked away and left S&W with a tremendous supply of model 1917 revolver parts is various stages of completion. Did they pay the company? Of course not, and it was the early-1950's before most of them had been used up. To add insult to injury, about 1935 S&W had it's back up againist the wall and wrote a letter to the Army pleading with them to buy more 1917 revolvers, but were turned down. Finely it didn't help when military services ocasionally sold surplus revolvers on the commercial market at sharply reduced prices.

    Given this situation it's hard to tell when a particular post 1919 revolver was assembled and sold. The only way I know for sure is to obtain a factory letter.
     
  22. Radagast
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    Radagast Moderator

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    Jim: Thanks for that, I've annotated my SCSW.

    Old Fuff:
    I knew about the surplus stock of Model 1917s and I am aware of at least one was completed in the 1950s, with 4 line address and a 1919 serial number. The K frames seem to be more reliable, this is the first major out of date range block I am aware of.
     
  23. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Member

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    As a rule of thumb K-frames are more reliable in serial number sequence, except when you get to 1940 and early .38-200 production. At the time the company was "parts rich and money poor," because they had kept production going during the Great Depression so they wouldn't lose they're work force, which was a critical component when it came to manufacturing revolvers. At this point they were able to turn out production in numbers far exceeded what it would have been if they had to start from scratch. Those pre-war parts also helped to support production through most of World War Two.

    Consider that between 1899 and 1942 thay had made one million .38 K-frame hand ejectors (not counting .22 RF and .32-20) and then about 800,000 more between 1942 - 1945.
     
  24. scaatylobo

    scaatylobo Member

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    NICE

    Great find and thanks for posting.

    Hope you find a home for that old beauty,at a good price too !!.
     
  25. Jim K

    Jim K Member

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    Just to be exact about the information in Pate's book: I hope I won't get into trouble for an extended quote, but if I am out of line, let me know.

    "One thousand .38 Special M&P revolvers were shipped to the U.S. Marine Corps .... Philadelphia PA in 1932. ... this discovery by Roy Jinks, factory historian. ... Serial numbers ranging to 624524 were shipped on Sept. 10 ... Others were noted as shipped on March 3, 1932 including 624509, -18, -20, -27, -33, -37, -50, -55, - 56, -62, -65, -72, -79, -88, -609, -14, -15, -631."

    ...

    "Others were scattered over several thousand numbers. Sixty were in the range 627375-627975 ... shipped March 3.... 100 additional revolvers were shipped on Sept 10. ... blue finish, 6" barrel, square butt...cost was $19.57 each."

    The scattered shipping indicates to me that the guns were not being pulled out of storage or even assembled from stocked frames, but were actually being made at that time.

    Anyway, that is what I have and credit goes to Charles Pate, whose book I heartily and highly recommend.

    Jim
     
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