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Smith and Wesson revolver

Discussion in 'Firearms Research' started by spooney, Dec 4, 2007.

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  1. spooney

    spooney Member

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    My step-dad was given an old Smith and Wesson revolver today by one of his patients. I was wondering if I could get some information on it?

    The markings on it consist of

    +Smith & Wesson Springfield Mass U.S.A.+ on the top of the barrel

    38. S.&W. CTG on the left side of the barrel

    The serial Number is on the base of the grip, it is 2276XX the revolver is a nickel plated top break.

    This pistol was coincidentally owned by an ancestor of my stepfather which is why it was given to him. Any information that the members of this board could provide would be appreciated.
     
  2. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Member

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    You did good, But I need a bit more information:

    Is this revolver a double-action top break?

    Does the cylinder have 5 chambers?

    Is the trigger guard and barrel latch blued, while the rest of the revolver is nickel plated?

    Are the grips made out of black/molded hard rubber?
     
  3. Pigspitter

    Pigspitter Member

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    Did it happen to look like this 0524071533a.jpg If so then you have a Smith and Wesson Model 4 Top break five shot in .38 S&W. I shoot mine but a lot of people advise against it. If you want to shoot it then be sure to see a qualified gunsmith.
     
  4. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Member

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    Pigspitter was close, but not quite. What you have is Smith &Wesson .38 Double Action, 3rd Model. The 3rd Model was in a series of 5, and were made between 1884 and 1895 in a serial number range from 119,000 to 322,700. Because it was made before 1898 it is classified as an antique, and not subject to most firearms laws.

    Standard barrel lengths were 3 ¼, 4 and 5 inches. Full blue or nickel finish. Five shot, chambered in .38 S&W (black powder).

    If you are willing to pay a reasonable search fee of $30.00, S&W will have their historian, Roy Jinks, dig back through the old records and see what they might have in the way of information. After about a 2-month wait you will receive an official letter from Mr. Jinks outlining details about the gun, the exact date it was shipped, and to whom – usually a distributor or dealer.

    Complete details will be found at: www.smith-wesson.com
     
  5. spooney

    spooney Member

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    Thanks ya'll that is some interesting information. Its very cool to have something that old, come back into our family.

    It is a double action only pistol.
     
  6. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Member

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    Oh boy...!! I see a potentially big problem. :eek:

    Ya' didn't tell us that before. Does this revolver have an inclosed hammer and a grip safety on the back of the handle?

    If so, all bets are off and we go back to square one.
     
  7. Pigspitter

    Pigspitter Member

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    Yeah that makes a whole new search
     
  8. Jim K

    Jim K Member.

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    A Smith & Wesson revolver, .38 S&W caliber breaktop, DA only (concealed hammer) with that number would have to be the .38 Safety, Fifth Model, DA Revolver. That whole DAO series, in .32 and .38, have grip safeties, and were sometimes referred to as "lemon squeezers" from a fancied resemblance to the metal lemon squeezer of the time. They were good guns, but are often found worn out or with broken parts, especially springs.

    They were made in both nickel and blue finish; gutta percha (hard rubber) was the most common grip material, but they could be ordered with wood, mother of pearl, or ivory. Barrel lengths were 2", 3 1/4", 4", 5", and 6". Both the 2" and 6" are rare.

    Jim
     
  9. spooney

    spooney Member

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    Yes, the hammer is enclosed and the grips are a hard black rubber. The pistol has a nickel finish. There is a grip safety on the back of the grip. Any idea of when this would have been made?
     
  10. Pigspitter

    Pigspitter Member

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    I'm not sure but assuming the model 4s ran in the 1900-1920 era I would think yours was around that old.
     
  11. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Member

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    Well the devil is in the details, and you almost got the wrong information because you didn't post a complete description, or better yet, a photograph. Fortunately we caught this before a major error was made.

    It turns out that you have a Smith & Wesson .38 Safety Hammerless, 5th Model. It was also known as the New Departure, and by a slang term "lemon squeezer."

    The revolver was introduced in 1887, and a total of around 261,490 were made by the time the model was discontinued in 1940 The 5th model was the last, made between 1907 to 1940, within a serial number range running from 220,000 to 261,493

    They had a 5-shot cylinder chambered in .38 S&W. Standard barrel lengths were 2, 3 1/4. 4, 5, and 6 inches. Standard finish was either full blue or nickel plated with a blued trigger guard and barrel latch. The triggers were color case hardened. The grip safety was a unique S&W feature. Stocks were usually black hard rubber but some had checkered walnut or pearl. As your revolver was made after 1898 it would not be classified as an antique under federal laws.

    I would still recommend that you get its history from S&W.
     
  12. spooney

    spooney Member

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    Thank you. Sorry I forgot to mention the "small" detail of it being a DAO pistol.

    The one we have has a 4 inch barrel on it and is nickel finished except for the latch and the trigger and trigger guard as described.

    Again thank you all very much for all the information you have conjured up based on my meager description.
     
  13. wingedmare

    wingedmare Member

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    Need Help Identifying a Revolver

    Hi, I'm in need of help to identify a revolver my mother recently handed down to me. I keep finding information on similar revolvers but the information doesn't match up to mine...so, here is the information I have.

    nickle plated mother of pearl handle; double action; internal hammer

    top of barrel: Smith & Wesson Springfield Mass USA
    pat'd oct 2 1883 aug 4 1885 april 9 1889

    Left side of barrel: 38 S&W CTG

    right side above grip: S&W trademark stamp

    Serial # 210774

    Thanks in Advance!

    My husband I are buffs for historical pieces and to just know what we can about what we have, I'm excited to learn about this Piece.
     
  14. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    Smith & Wesson New Departure Safety Hammerless (colloquially known as the Lemonsqueezer from the grip safety down the backstrap.)
    A Fourth Model from late in the period of 1898 - 1907.
     
  15. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Member

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    Well it's a big brother to the .32 mentioned above. You have a .38 Safety Hammerless, 4th Model. It was also known as the "New Departure," and informally as a "lemon squeezer" because of the grip safety. Standard barrel lengths were 3 1/4", 4", 5" and 6". Standard finishes were blue or nickel plate, with a blued barrel latch and trigger guard. The trigger was color case-hardened. Standard stocks were usually black hard rubber, but checkered walnut, pearl and ivory were available as extra cost options. The 5 shot cylinder was chambered to use the .38 S&W cartridge. Do not confuse this with the .38 Special round.

    The 4th Model was made between 1898 and 1907, within a serial number range running from 116,003 to approximately 220,000. Your revolver, No. 210,774 was probably made around 1900 to 1903.

    Given this gun's history within your family, I suggest that you get it "lettered." To do so you will need a snapshot of the gun, a full description including the serial number on the butt, and a check in the amount of $30.00 made out to Smith & Wesson. In exchange the company's historian, Roy G. Jinks, will research the original records (which are not computerized by the way) and send you a letter containing the details of what he finds.

    This comprehensive document will contain an overview of the model’s history, followed by the details of your particular gun. This usually includes the caliber, barrel length, finish, and the exact date it was shipped from the factory, and to what distributor or dealer. If there are any special features they will be listed too. This information is often invaluable to both you and future generations.

    Additional information on a historical letter will be found at the Smith & Wesson company website at: www.smith-wesson.com

    Incidentally, a similar revolver, was owned by president Theodore Rossevelt. "Teddy" liked his too.
     
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