38 S&W Hand Ejector?

Discussion in 'The Ask the Pros & What's It Worth? Forum' started by DanC_1968, Jan 16, 2007.

  1. DanC_1968

    DanC_1968 New Member

    Jun 9, 2006
    I bought a nice little 38 m&p/hand ejector at an auction, and have some confusion as to the exact model it is. It has a 4-digit serial number, which indicates a first model 38 hand ejector, but the barrel has 4 patent dates, the last of which is Dec.29.14(1914?). The barrel says "Regulation Police, 38 s&w ctg" on the right side. It has a 5-shot cylinder, but my "Blue book of gun values" and another book indicate that all 38 m&p/ hand ejectors have a 6-shot cylinder. It has a round butt(with later mod. 10 m&p grips), and has the correct overall length and configuration of a 38 hand ejector with a 4" barrel. My books list neither regulation police as a model designation of the 38 hand ejector, or the 5-shot cylinder. It has fixed sights and has the exact dimensional shape of one however, especially the round blade front sight. I know the barrel could possibly have been replaced, but still can find no mention of the round blade/hand ejector type that says regulation police on it.

    The S&W mod 33 "regulation police" has a 5-shot cylinder, and is a hand ejector(the ejector looks different), but it has a square butt. The trigger guard also looks different from mine, and the correct barrel for the 33 has a ramp-type front sight blade.

    Any ideas on what exactly I have here?

    Edited: I found out that early 33 regulation police models had the old type hand ejector w/round blade sight, but my gun has a round butt, and no s&w emblem under the cylinder release.
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2007
  2. Xracer

    Xracer *TFF Admin Staff Mediator*

    Hi Dan.....I think I know what you've got. This info is from The Standard Catalog of Smith & Wesson.

    You have a pre-war .38 Regulation Police. This is not an M&P which was made on the K-frame. It's a 5-shot .38 S&W (not .38 S&W Special) built on the .32 I-frame.....same frame as the .38/32 Terrier.

    The RP was marked "Regulation Police" and ".38 S&W CTG" on the barrel's right side.....just as you describe yours.

    Most were built with a 4" bbl (a few were made for the Post Office with 2" barrels). The 4" bbl guns had a round blade front sight and a notch cut rear sight.

    They were made from 1917 to 1940 in the serial # range of 1 to 54474.

    Sooooo.....the description in the book pretty matches your gun exactly, except for the butt shape.

    The book says that the Regulation Police was a square butt, but as they were made on the same frame as the Terrier (round butt), it wouldn't surprise me if Smith had an order for RPs and only had some Terrier frames in the parts bin and used them. Both Smith & Colt were well known for using whatever was in the parts bins, and never throwing anything away. :D

  3. DanC_1968

    DanC_1968 New Member

    Jun 9, 2006
    Hi Xracer,
    Thanks for looking into that for me. I believe you're right about the model. I just checked out gunbroker and found 3 pre-war "regulation police" models, and they look just like my gun, with the exception of the butt.

    It's too bad my blue book doesn't say something like "regulation police models with round butt are very rare and will command a 500% premium over square butt models":)
  4. Xracer

    Xracer *TFF Admin Staff Mediator*

    Yeah.....don'tcha wish!!! :D

    The Standard Catalog of S&W does value the 2" barrel RP's at double or triple the price of the 4" model, and a target model was also made that commands a substantial premium.

    Value of the Pre-war 4" RP is listed at:

    NIB - $500
    Exc - $300
    VG - $225
    Good - $160

    I've seen some strange things come from S&W. A bunch of us "regulars" used to hang out at a large gunshop in CT.....y'know coffee table in the back and we each had our own coffee mugs......sit around and shoot the bull and read the new magazines and put 'em back on the rack :)

    He was a big S&W dealer, so big that he ordered directly from the factory, not a wholesaler.

    Used to see round butt Chief's Specials (Models 36 & 37) come thru with square butt handles all the time.

    Even saw a couple of Bodyguards (Models 38 & 49), made only in round butt, come thru with square butt handles.

    Anyway, that's the best I can come up with on short notice. Your gun matches the "Pre-war Regulation Police" listed on pages 108 & 109 of the Standard Catalog of Smith & Wesson, Second Edition, (printed in 2001)exactly, except for the round butt.

    Hey....just shoot it and enjoy it!!! :)
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