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Pistol ID

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by 627PCFan, Feb 2, 2010.

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  1. 627PCFan

    627PCFan Member

    Oct 18, 2007
    Sterling, VA
    Need some help. A non-gun oriented buddy from work wanted me to ID and appraise a 38 special inherited from his father in law. Its a Smith and Wesson 38 Special, 6 or 6 1/2 Inch barrel. I believe its a model 10 but no model number is on the gun and I cant ID the time of manufacture. The Serial number is on the butt of the gun and under the manual ejector cutout on the frame. SN is 365666. Also stamped in tiny letters on the frame cutout where the revolver swing arm fits in reads 79078 but they are so tiny its almost unrecognizable. Help?
  2. oasis618

    oasis618 Member

    Nov 26, 2009
    Tacoma, WA
    I would just call Smith & Wesson and give them the serial #. They should be able to help you out.
  3. Oyeboten

    Oyeboten Member

    Mar 23, 2008
    You should ask in the Thread which is the dedicated 'D.O.B.' question Thread for S&W Guns as the Thread Host 'radagast' could tell you the most and best info -


    But, off the cuff, if it's a six shot, then it sounds like a mid 1920s era 'Military and Police' Model of 1905, 4th Change.

    Cylinder should show same Serial No. as Frame and under-Barrel.

    The Model 10 was a continuation of the 'M&P' line, starting in 1957 onward.
  4. Radagast
    • Contributing Member

    Radagast Moderator

    Dec 24, 2002
    Serial numbers in the 358xxx range shipped in December 1920, so I would place your friends gun in 1921.
    Barrel lengths were 2, 4 5 & 6 inches, measured from the forcing cone to the muzzle. If you have a 6.5 inch barrel it was probably rebarreled at some point. As Oyeboten pointed out, the serial number will usually be stamped on the flat under the barrel. If it is a different number then it's not original. If there is a star stamped beside the serial number then it is a factory rework.
    79708 is an assembly number used to track fitted parts in the factory - they had to be disassembled for bluing for example. It is irrelevant once the gun has shipped.
    The .38 Military & Police Model of 1905 4th change was produced from 1915 to 1942, with roughly half a million made, so they are not exceptionally rare or valuable.
    In 2006 the Standard Catalog of S&W gavew the following values:
    ANIB $1200, Excellent+ $450, Excellent $335, Very Good $250, Good $200, Fair $135, Poor $75.
    If it has a round butt, double the value, as S&W had transitioned to the square butt as standard for this model. If it has a factory nickel finish then the value is higher. If it has factory target sights the value is higher.
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