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Smith & Wesson Model 38

Discussion in 'Firearms Research' started by Brutus484, Feb 18, 2013.

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  1. Brutus484

    Brutus484 Member

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    I have a Smith Model 38 bodyguard airweight and it has an interesting serial number. it is located on the backstrap and is ATF 135**-**. Any info would be helpful.
     
  2. PRM

    PRM Member

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    Sounds like an Agency number on back strap. Serial number should be on the butt.
     
  3. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    +1

    The S&W serial number is on the butt.

    It may also be inside the crane cut and on the back of the cylinder, depending on how old it is.

    rc
     
  4. Brutus484

    Brutus484 Member

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    Nothing

    Thats the only number on the entire weapon except for MOD-38. Nothing on the butt of the pistol at all. Other side just had Smith Logo and Barrel has AirWeight 38 Spl CTG
     
  5. Radagast
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    Radagast Moderator Staff Member

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    In that case it has been defaced, the serial number has been removed. Such a weapon is contraband.

    Occasionally the ATF will issue a new serial number for such a gun, negating the need to turn it in for destruction. Yours may be a renumbered gun. I would confirm this if possible, if not I would get rid of it.
     
  6. Old Shooter

    Old Shooter Member

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    Does it look like the butt has been ground, sanded, chisled or whatever to remove a number? how does the bluing look?

    Is the number on the inside of the frame or on the cylinder?

    Mayby a call to S&W to ask about the number and see if it even exists in S&W database?

    It seems like an odd place for the serial number to appear, but if there is no sign of it being removed from elsewhere? Mayby a one-off? Unlikely but mayby.
     
  7. Ron James

    Ron James Member

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    When the ATF assigns a new serial number the prefix is always ATF. the Listed serial number " ATF135XX-XX " fits the style and format of a ATF reassigned serial number. If it is on the grip instead of the butt, the butt may have been damaged or defaced. The ATF would have a record of it, S&W wouldn't have a clue about the new number. Also remember, ATF didn't engrave the new number, either the police department did ( which I doubt ) or a gunsmith who requested the renumber.
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2013
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