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Old Smith and Wesson

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by swoter, Dec 2, 2018.

  1. swoter

    swoter Member

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    6C695F68-3177-4E8E-A79A-2A163B53222D.jpeg 621D7118-BE5E-41F7-B291-25EA3C02DF8B.jpeg Bought this in a gunshop today, was marked 38 special, but it isn’t. A 38 cartridge only goes about 1/2 in cylinder, and is just a bit loose. I’m guessing it’s a S&W 38 caliber. No caliber or model markings on frame. Serial is 699306. Frame is a little larger than my 31-1. Has a very smooth action and 5 screws in frame.
    The cylinder is long enough for 38 special, but has the step inside which stops the cartridge.
    I’m thinking about returning it this week, I have nothing to reload a S&W 38.
     
    Michael Tinker Pearce likes this.
  2. WestKentucky

    WestKentucky Member

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    I wouldn’t return it. 38sw is a very misunderstood cartridge in the modern gun world. Yes it’s harder to buy ammo for, but in no way does that mean it’s any less valuable or any less useful as a sidearm. If you reload, a set of dies is cheap, brass is available, and bullets are available. You can do a whole lot more than the ultra-weak rounds sold as loaded ammo, because they are sold to be used in old beat up off-brand guns. Your S&W is in decent shape and is of proper vintage to bring a bit of a premium. If you reload, keep it. If not, then let us know what you have in it and we can tell you what we would do with it. I have a 38sw and I love it. Yours would be even more pleasant to shoot than mine.

    As a side note... k frames in 38sw were exported for “the war effort”. Look it over closely and see if you find any markings on it such as “property of USA” it may be what is referred to as a “Victory” and if that’s the case then the short barrel may be rare since most were in the 4” range. Is there a V in the serial?
     
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  3. jar

    jar Member

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    Today's carry gun is a 38S&W and the round is one of my favorites; manageable, accurate and just fun to shoot. I have and carry using 38S&W revolvers from Smith, Colt, Webley, Harrington & Richardson and Hopkins & Allen.

    Before you return it, give it a try. Even Mikey liked it.

     
  4. swoter

    swoter Member

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    No V in serial, no markings except for serial. The cylinder and barrel had a lot of dust in them. I paid 299 + tax. What size bullets does it take? I no longer cast any and don’t want to start again. The butt does have a plugged hole, I’m guessing is for a lanyard ring? The plug is loose and almost fell out when I was fondling it.
     
  5. jar

    jar Member

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    That is most likely either 32 or 38S&W.
     
  6. 243winxb

    243winxb Member

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    Last edited: Dec 2, 2018
  7. 243winxb

    243winxb Member

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    http://www.icollector.com/Smith-Wes...cial-cal-2-barrel-blue-finish-round_i13668714

    Ask here http://smith-wessonforum.com/forum.php
     
    Gordon likes this.
  8. Eddietruett

    Eddietruett Member

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    The 38 S&W takes a .361 diameter bullet. I had several at one time and loaded for them. Like WestKentucky said everything is easily available and they are a hoot to shoot. I think I have a bag of 100 lead bullets I'll be glad to send you if you decide to take up loading. I sold my guns and dies to one guy when I decided to load strickly .38/.357 and 44. I miss the couple of 38 S&W snubs I had. Also miss shooting the .32's as well.
     
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  9. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    That barrel and ejector look like they are from a Colt.
     
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  10. 243winxb

    243winxb Member

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    The ejector doesnt look rignt. And no marking on the barrel seems odd?
     
    Gordon likes this.
  11. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    Sounds like it, which would be a plus in my book.
     
  12. Eddietruett

    Eddietruett Member

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    Either that or the barrel was shortened leaving the exposed ejector rod.
     
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  13. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    Is that an I frame, I can't tell the size from a picture with no reference.

    I was thinking the barrel was shortened too but putting the front sight back on is not for a rookie. It's not easy to do without ruining the barrel temper.
     
  14. swoter

    swoter Member

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    After a lot of reading on the net, it’s probably had the barrel shortened, and the front locking lug removed. This could lead to issues with timing and cylinder lockup. Learn something everyday. Too bad, because it looks very nice, and has a very smooth trigger pull. This is what happens when I impulse buy.
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2018
  15. Eddietruett

    Eddietruett Member

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    Don't give up on the gun. I'm betting you can have a lot of fun with it. I've had several Smiths over the years with shortened barrels and no timing issues. If it does get out of time, its a cheap and easy fix by any decent gunsmith. Just shoot standard velocity .38 loads and I'm betting you will be fine. If you like, you can send it to me and I'll put a bunch of rounds through it just to make sure its alright for you to shoot! I love to play with snubbies. I have a ball shooting the fixed sight snubs at a 6" Steel plate out to 50 and 100 yards. Almost like lobbing a softball
     
    Steel Hayes likes this.
  16. Waveski

    Waveski Member

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    What you have there is a severely messed with & reblued WWII era gun. The absence of the ejector rod locking lug is shameful. (somewhat amazing that it wasn't reamed for .38 sp , but that does not help much.) Did the seller fully disclose realities of the piece? Either way , take it back.

    I've been there. A few years back I saw a lend lease type .38 S&W , reamed for .38 sp , went gaga over the proof marks and snagged it. An impulse buy , as you put it. I quickly became disallusioned with what had been a fine old .38 S&W and had been "converted" into a .38 special casing splitter. I took it back and soon found an original WWII DSC in .38 special , excellent condition , for just under $400, about the same amount I had paid for the spoiled ream job.

    I have since learned to do my homework prior to an acquisition.
     
    Coyote3855 likes this.
  17. Iggy

    Iggy Member

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  18. Salmoneye

    Salmoneye Member

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    Before you invest in .361 bullets, slug the bore...

    I have an old (1930's) load manual that calls for bullets from .354" to .360" due to the variance in barrels over the decades...

    I have seen .38 S&W chambered guns that have grooves from .356"-.360"...The Smiths I have seen mostly come in at .357"...

    My Albion Motors Enfield shoots .358" cast very accurately with no leading...

    I use a set of .357 Mag dies to size cases to hold the 'undersized' bullets...With the relatively mild loads used in .38 S&W cases, I get many loadings out of the brass...

    The factory 146gr cast that I have pulled (Win & Rem) come in at .354-355", and have a soft skirt that bumps up to fill whatever groove/gun they are fired in...
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2018 at 11:55 AM
  19. swoter

    swoter Member

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    I took it back to the shop, no problem with return. One of the employees reloads 38 S&W, he’s probably going to buy it. They had no idea it wasn’t a 38 special. They have a lot of used guns go through there, and it was just overlooked.
     
  20. WestKentucky

    WestKentucky Member

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    Well if you took it back, you had to leave with something else. Whats the rest of the story?
     
  21. swoter

    swoter Member

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    Nothing yet, still looking.
     
  22. lewwallace

    lewwallace Member

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    Smith M33-1 in 38 S&W I picked up at the Court Days in Mt. Steriling KY this Oct. early-mid 60s. pristine condition and w/the box I could't pass up since I've got a few Webley Mk IVs that shoot the same caliber.
    20181014_093639-1-1.jpg
    20160620_112227-2.jpg
     
  23. swoter

    swoter Member

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  24. Sarge7402

    Sarge7402 Member

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    The two inch barrel is not that all unusual. Many of these V model Brit guns (went to Canadian and Aussie Units also) were returned in the late 50s and mid 60's. It was not uncommon for them to be reamed out to take the longer 38 Special round and many were cut to two inches .

    As for slugs for the 38 S&W it ought to be a .360 slug, but pure lead 358 slugs upset nicely to fill the bore and perform right nicely.

    Check Buffalo Bore for a .38 S&W round to knock one's socks off
     
  25. The Evangelist Cowboy

    The Evangelist Cowboy Member

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    Is anybody going to San Antone?
    Purdy gun no doubt. Don't blame ya though if it doesn't work out for you caliber wise unless you reload .38 s&w it's not practical for the guy that just goes to walmart or even academy sports. Wish you well on your gun hunt.
     
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