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S&w 38

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by bmchenry, Apr 29, 2009.

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  1. bmchenry

    bmchenry Member

    Apr 29, 2009
    I have a S&W 38 I am trying to find some history on. It was my grandfathers and is in great condition. I would like to know the year. It is a 5 shot pistol and the serial number on the end of the handle is R68547. I think it is a 4 inch barrel and the grips are wood with inlaid texturing (small diamond shapes). One side of the barrel is 38 S&W CTG and the other side is SMITH & WESSON. One side beneath the cylinder is the trademark and the other side says:
    Made in USA
    Marcus registradas
    Smith & Wesson
    Springfield Mass.

    The handle has what looks to be inlaid brass S&W symbol on each side. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
  2. Radagast
    • Contributing Member

    Radagast Moderator

    Dec 24, 2002
    bmchenry: Welcome to The High Road! As for your grandfathers gun, is there any chance of posting a picture?

    A serial number with and R prefix should mean a Model 60 (Five shot .38 special ) or a model 651 (six shot .22 magnum). Both of these guns were stainless steel.

    Serial number R68547 should date the gun to 1970 or 1973, but the grips you describe are from 1968 or earlier.

    .38 S&W CTG stands for .38 S&W, not .38 S&W Special, the two cartridges are not interchangeable and the model 60 was not chambered for the .38 S&W. Nor was it made with a four inch barrel. The barrel should be marked .38 S&W SPL if it's a model 60.

    If the gun is chambered for .38 S&W and has a four inch barrel, then it should be a .38 Regulation Police, also known as the model 33. These came in blue and nickle finishes, not stainless steel.

    If you open the cylinder of the gun is there a model number stamped on the frame? If there is no Model 60, model33, etc then the gun was made before 1957 when model numbers were introduced.

    Is there a space between the serial number and the R? If the srial number is 68547 then that will help us narrow it down.
  3. loadedround

    loadedround Member

    Feb 18, 2006
    Valley Forge, Pa
    That revolver is chambered for the 38 S&W cartridge and not the 38 Special. The two catridges are not interchangeable. :confused:
  4. SaxonPig

    SaxonPig Member

    Apr 11, 2006
    The "four-line address" indicates post WW II manufacture. The 38 S&W caliber limits the possibilities. My guess is a Regulation Police. The serial you gave does not sound right and I think that may be an assembly number off the frame. Find the serial here:


    The post war serials started at 54475 and ended in 1969 at 122678. If made after 1957 it may be marked MOD 33 for Model 33.
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