Tell me about this S&W Military & Police

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by Mosin77, Oct 26, 2021.

  1. Mosin77

    Mosin77 Member

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    A friend has this old boy and isn’t a big revolver guy. I want to pay him fairly if it’s collectible. The barrel measures 6” from front of cylinder to muzzle, but I’ve never seen a front sight like this. Appears to have a wide target trigger and maybe aftermarket fat grips? The action is very smooth. Was this a home brewed target gun or did it leave the factory this way? I just wish it had an adjustable sight!

    Anything special here or is it solidly in the “old and well used model 10” camp? Apologies for the lousy photos.

    Thanks!

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  2. RevolvingGarbage

    RevolvingGarbage Member

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    If it’s an early short action it’s a pretty close cousin of mine which is a 1949 6”M&P in nickel serial c966XX, although the wide trigger on yours is a difference and either could be factory special or replaced afterwards. I think it would be hard to know without a letter. The front sight on yours is almost certainly someone’s attempt at modifying the half-moon style sight it would have had originally. The profile looks right for someone having made it square on the back half.

    [​IMG]
     
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  3. .455_Hunter

    .455_Hunter Member

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    Isn't that just an aftermarket trigger shoe on a normal trigger?
     
  4. RevolvingGarbage

    RevolvingGarbage Member

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    I think you’re right. I was focused on the front sight and didn’t even notice the set screws. After looking for a second time I think yours is a little earlier and certainly looks like a “long action” to me.

    Another note, when I got my M&P it had a set of large target style grips on it similar to the ones on the OPs revolver but with medallions and a little different color. I have big hands but those target grips always felt like a bit much for a .38SPL K frame, however it seems at least a couple people thought they made a good combination.
     
  5. GeoDudeFlorida

    GeoDudeFlorida Member

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  6. Riomouse911

    Riomouse911 Member

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    My 1930’s era Colt Officers Model Heavy Barrel revolver in .38 Spl. has a similar trigger shoe installed. I believe this one was from King, as King milled and installed one of their adjustable sights as well.

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    Stay safe.
     
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  7. GeoDudeFlorida

    GeoDudeFlorida Member

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    That's a real beauty, Mouse. Wish I had something worth trading you out of it.;)
     
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  8. .455_Hunter

    .455_Hunter Member

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    I think you mean Mosin77.
     
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  9. RevolvingGarbage

    RevolvingGarbage Member

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    Correct, I quoted you but I’m referencing the pics posted by Mosin77
     
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  10. Mosin77

    Mosin77 Member

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    Thanks for your help guys. I’ll offer him about $300 (per the other currently active thread heh) and see what he says.
     
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  11. Driftwood Johnson

    Driftwood Johnson Member

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    Howdy

    I don't know why guys keep directing folks to that thread about identity and date of manufacture when there are guys here who can provide pertinent information.

    This is a typical 38 Military and Police Model or 1905, 4th Change. It shipped in 1934. These are the original Service grips that it shipped with. Notice the small S&W shield on the left side of the frame, and the MADE IN USA stamp on the right side, which are typical for that era. By the way, all the hammers we are looking at here are the original long throw hammer. The OP's revolver has the same style hammer.

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    The front sight on the OP's revolver does not look quite right to me to be a standard half moon front sight cut down with a flat rear face. The half moon is symmetrical on these sights, here is a close up of the front sight on another 38 M&P that shipped in 1939. It may be the angle, but the front sight on the revolver in question looks like it has the flat vertical cut behind the center of the sight. I could be wrong on this, perhaps the top of the sight was reprofiled too. Notice too the small knurled end of the ejector rod which is also typical for this era.


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    For a while S&W was shipping their target revolvers with a front sight blade with a flat rear face that was pinned in place, as on this K-22 Outdoorsman that shipped in 1935. I do not see a pin on the front sight of the revolver in question. Notice too the aftermarket trigger shoe and grip adapter that came on this K-22 when I bought it. I have since removed them.

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    It is difficult to pin down the exact shipping dates of the 38 M&P 4th change because they were made from 1915 to 1942, with 758,296 made. The serial number chart in the back pages of The Standard Catalog of Smith and Wesson only says 1915-1942, 241,704-700,000. The only way to be sure when one shipped is to obtain a Factory Letter, and I understand because of the backlog there are no Factory Letters being issued at this time.

    Finally, I think your offer of $300 is a bit low.

    I paid $325 for a really worn old 38 M&P a few years ago. I have paid as much as $400 for a nice one. That was a few years ago, prices have probably gone up recently.

    P.S. It is not a Model 10. The name change to Model 10 occurred in 1957, long after that revolver was made.

    Regarding wishing it had target sights, this is a 38 Military and Police Target Model. It shipped in 1917. This is what was available in 38 Special target revolvers until the K-38 appeared in 1949. Notice the teeny little screw in the rear sight for windage adjustment. There was one screw on each side, you loosened one, than tightened the other to shove the rear sight where you wanted it, then tightened the first one again. The modern click adjustable rear sight first appeared on the relatively rare K-22 Masterpiece Prewar Model in 1940, it did not show up on a 38 until 1949.


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    Last edited: Oct 27, 2021
  12. Bayou52

    Bayou52 Member

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    Yes, that appears to be an added-on trigger shoe. I've got several of them from the old days. They increase the width of the trigger surface.

    Trigger shoes have become mostly out of use and in some disfavor. The problem was particularly with holstering the revolver. The trigger shoe could, in some cases, increase the width of the trigger surface that was beyond the width of the trigger guard itself. Meaning, of course, that holstering the revolver could result in an accidental discharge as the shoe could catch on the holster.

    I don't holster any revolver, so, for me, the trigger shoes just give the trigger surface a better "feel".

    Bayou52
     
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  13. wcwhitey

    wcwhitey Member

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    I bet that gun shoots dead on with 148 HB Wadcutters. Nice revolver.
     
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  14. Speedo66

    Speedo66 Member

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    Trigger shoes, and just about any other modification, were verboten by my agency because of the fear of a holster discharge as stated above..

    I did manage to sneak through some lighter Wolff springs, a smooth surfaced trigger, and a bobbed hammer on a S&W 36 though.
     
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  15. Lnf Crzr

    Lnf Crzr member

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    Mosin- Did ya get that sweet old 38 Smith?

    That trigger shoe (Mine is a Tyler I think) Is for tactical Shooting along with Grip adapter for faster tactical follow up shots
    Ha, High tech for 50 years ago.
    Ps I’m Sure that old Skinny barrel will outshoot modern 9mm whatamacalits- My HB with stack shots on shots with 3gr o Bullseye and 158 (Check Books)
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    Last edited: Oct 27, 2021
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  16. Driftwood Johnson

    Driftwood Johnson Member

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    Howdy Again

    To the OP:

    I forgot to mention that a 38 M&P from that era will not have the modern hammer block inside.

    This is the modern hammer block that has been inside every S&W revolver since a shipboard accident in 1944. The long thin piece sitting at an angle.

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    This is the style of hammer block most likely inside that revolver. A piece of spring steel sitting in a slot in the side plate. In 1944 a sailor was killed when a S&W revolver with this style of hammer block discharged when it fell to the deck of a warship. The cause was blamed on cosmoline inside the revolver that had hardened, preventing the hammer block from blocking the hammer when the hammer struck the deck. Ever since then, the type of hammer block shown in the photo above has been installed in every S&W revolver.

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    I was a freak accident that the hammer block failed in that circumstance, but S&W set up some tests and determined that under the right conditions that type of hammer block could fail. Just letting you know. Many thousands of revolvers were made with the old style hammer block, cops always carried them fully loaded with six rounds. But you might think twice about it. Do not drop the revolver on the floor if it is fully loaded with six rounds.
     
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