S&W 38 Perfected Serial #?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by James K2020, Jun 13, 2020.

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  1. James K2020

    James K2020 Member

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    Just acquired this nice Smith & Wesson 38 Perfected and curious about the serial number which is shown as 1496 on both the butt and inside the frame near the top latch. My reference book doesn't break down the serial numbers well enough but it seems that's a very low number for this model.
    Any thoughts?
     

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  2. Coyote3855

    Coyote3855 Member

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    That's a very nice example of a Perfected. My book is apparently the same as yours as it gives a serial number range of 1 to 59400, 1909 to 1920.
    Just spitballing here, but I would agree that your 1496 is probably an early gun in the series.
     
  3. NIGHTLORD40K

    NIGHTLORD40K Member

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    One of the nicest Ive ever seen. Very cool!
     
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  4. Tallball

    Tallball Member

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    Wow. That looks like new.

    Great find! :)
     
  5. Driftwood Johnson

    Driftwood Johnson Member

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    Howdy

    Very nice. First one I've seen with walnut grips. I have three of them, two with hard rubber grips and one with pearl grips. I suspect the pearl grips are not original. Most that I've seen have hard rubber grips, but SCSW does state that they shipped with walnut grips too.

    If it is any help, the one on the left has a SN of 99XX and shipped in June of 1912. Bear in mind that S&W often did not ship in the order they were made, but it appears yours with a SN of 1496 is pretty early in the 1909 to 1920 manufacturing dates.

    pnBDmvQAj.jpg




    The last time I looked, it costs $100 for a factory letter from the S&W Historical Society. Might be worth it to you to know when it shipped.

    http://www.swhistoricalfoundation.com/info.html

    By the way, yours looks spotless. Really terrific condition. The case hardening on the hammer and trigger says it has not been refinished. If it has, it was a first rate job.
     
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  6. James K2020

    James K2020 Member

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    Thanks Driftwood. The auction house said it was a professional refinish and if it was it looks like factory work. Very pleased with it and your items look excellent as well.
     
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  7. PRM

    PRM Member

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    Mine was made in 1914. I've had this gun over 40 years. It's been carried, shot and carried some more. One of my favorite revolvers.
    DSCN0202.JPG DSCN0016.JPG
     
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  8. James K2020

    James K2020 Member

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    Very nice PRM. Are those grips antler? Custom made I imagine. Like them.
     
  9. James K2020

    James K2020 Member

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    The last time I looked, it costs $100 for a factory letter from the S&W Historical Society. Might be worth it to you to know when it shipped.

    http://www.swhistoricalfoundation.com/info.html


    Howdy Driftwood- I took a look at the link above and it stated that their Historical Records go back to 1920 only. I could get the Authenticity Letter but the Historical may not have any info if the gun was made prior to 1920?
     
  10. Driftwood Johnson

    Driftwood Johnson Member

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    What you want is the Letter of Authenticity. That is what they are calling today what used to be called a Factory Letter.

    This letter should list when it shipped, as well as who it shipped to, and the condition (barrel length, blued or nickeled) that it shipped with. It is a bit of a gamble to invest $100 and not know for sure what you are going to get, but I have several letters, some I sent for myself, some I got when I bought old revolvers, and they have always listed when and where it shipped, as well as what it looked like when it shipped.

    By the way, I am interested in which auction house you got it from.

    You can send me a PM if you don't want to publish that.
     
  11. James K2020

    James K2020 Member

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    I don't mind- I live in Southern California and there are 2 antique/modern firearm auction houses in Orange County: Littlejohns and Carol Watson.
    I've bought and sold through both. Its a bit of a pain out here with 10 day wait and DROS and registration and firearm safety certificate and other stuff. This one was through Littlejohn. First time I bid on an item that I didn't inspect because of the virus so went on pictures alone. I do sealed bids and then watch on ProxiBid with fingers crossed. lol
     
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  12. WestKentucky

    WestKentucky Member

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    That’s a real beauty. A perfected is one that’s on my short list to pick up. Doubt I ever stumble across one that nice though, it’s a really nice one. Those grips are beautiful.
     
  13. falmike

    falmike Member

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  14. bannockburn

    bannockburn Member

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    James K2020

    Congrats on getting one very well preserved S&W Perfected Model! Well worth the wait!
     
  15. PRM

    PRM Member

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    Sambar Stag, got them from Art Jewel back in the early 80s.
     
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