Smith and Wesson .38

Discussion in 'The Ask the Pros & What's It Worth? Forum' started by SwiftySwift, Oct 16, 2010.

  1. SwiftySwift

    SwiftySwift New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2010
    Messages:
    7
    My mum got me an old .38 Smith and Wesson when I got out of the Navy, and I really need help identifying the model, about how much it's worth, and hopefully, the approximate year. She paid about three hundred for it. I know I can contact S&W, but I'd hate to waste $50 on a piece of paper for a $100 gun, haha. Here are some clues... If you need anything else, please PM or email me, and I'll be more then happy to take care of it.

    Top of barrel:
    SMITH & WESSON SPRINGFIELD MASS. U.S.A
    PATENTED FEB.6.06. SEPT.14.09. DEC. 14.4
    Side of barrel:
    .38 S & W SPECIAL CTG
    R. side of frame:
    S&W insignia
    Bottom of grip:
    465XX
    On the swing arm:
    3207
    Inside, next to swing arm:
    3207

    5 screws, Non adjustable sights, square butt, 4 inch barrel, no lanyard ring...

    Thanks for your time!

    zswift@rocketmail.com

    Attached Files:

  2. johnlives4christ

    johnlives4christ Former Guest

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2008
    Messages:
    3,828
    Location:
    Kentucky
    this is a smith and wesson model military and police model. it also is known more commonly today as the model 10. although i cannot give you the exact year. i had a 4 screw model that was made in 58, if im not mistaken. so your gun must be older then that.

    you can call smith and wesson and they should be able to tell you the year of manufacture on you gun for no charge. only to get a factory letter do they charge you.
  3. Alpo

    Alpo Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2007
    Messages:
    11,137
    Location:
    NW Florida
    That guns looks just wonderful, for being made in 1903.

    Except, with that SN, it should be a round butt (they didn't start making square butts until 62450). They also were not making 5-screws yet.

    I believe you listed the wrong serial number. Maybe one more X?
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2010
  4. SwiftySwift

    SwiftySwift New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2010
    Messages:
    7
    I can try and attach a picture of it, but they aren't really coming out. The number on the bottom is "46598" and there's not pitting or distortion on the bottom that would lead me to believe there was a number missing... There's no "V" or "C" or anything. The frame is all original, as are the grips, as far as I'm aware (I know next to nothing about revolvers)
    Thank you for all of your help!


    http://i183.photobucket.com/albums/x48/djd_015/IMG00215-20101017-0902.jpg

    http://i183.photobucket.com/albums/x48/djd_015/IMG00216-20101017-0908.jpg
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2010
  5. johnlives4christ

    johnlives4christ Former Guest

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2008
    Messages:
    3,828
    Location:
    Kentucky
    id call smith and wesson and clear it up
  6. SwiftySwift

    SwiftySwift New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2010
    Messages:
    7
    When I called, it said I needed an extension number... Haha.
  7. Alpo

    Alpo Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2007
    Messages:
    11,137
    Location:
    NW Florida
    Look at the number on the bottom of the barrel, next to the frame.

    [​IMG]
  8. SwiftySwift

    SwiftySwift New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2010
    Messages:
    7
  9. johnlives4christ

    johnlives4christ Former Guest

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2008
    Messages:
    3,828
    Location:
    Kentucky
    when i've called smith i always use this number and push through some options until i get to talk to a person 1-800-331-0852
  10. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2009
    Messages:
    6,397
    (Note that the OP's two big pics are reversed.)

    That gun is the Model 1905, Fourth Change, which is obvious from the presence of the rebound slide pin, the screw in front of the trigger guard, and the small end ejector rod. I think the OP is somehow misreading the serial number; could it be 465xxx (i.e., six digits)? 465xxx would date to the mid-1920's and those grips would be consistent with that period.

    Jim
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2010
  11. SwiftySwift

    SwiftySwift New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2010
    Messages:
    7
    Oh ye of little faith, haha. So, as mentioned above, there are only 5 digits in the SN. I had a link to two different pictures, so here is a third. The numbers, though not clearly legible, are definitely countable, proving there really are only 5. I'm not trying to be a jerk or anything, just trying to find out what kinda gun this is and about how much it's worth, haha.

    Attached Files:

  12. fleetwood1976

    fleetwood1976 Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2009
    Messages:
    1,415
    Location:
    Southern Indiana
    I have a standard catalog of smith and wesson 3rd ed. that says it estimates square butts at around 58,000. I would say it could be a very early square but version. I would definetly give $300 for it.
  13. fleetwood1976

    fleetwood1976 Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2009
    Messages:
    1,415
    Location:
    Southern Indiana
    like jim says it don't add up. maybe it was rebarreled and a new crane, extractor, Etc?
  14. SwiftySwift

    SwiftySwift New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2010
    Messages:
    7
    Fleetwood, then wouldn't the number on the swingarm, and inside of the swingarm (built onto the frame) be different? And, Jim, where is the rebound slide pin?
  15. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2009
    Messages:
    6,397
    The rebound slide was not used in the first M&P models; a rebound lever was used instead. The rebound slide is a rectangular steel "box" that moves back and forth to push the hammer back when the trigger is released. The trigger spring is inside the rebound slide. The spring butts against a pin in the frame. In modern guns the end of the pin is polished down and usually can't be seen, but at that time they didn't bother and the round end of the pin can be seen just above and to the front of the top of the grip.

    The problem is that the change to the rebound slide took place with the .38 Hand Ejector, Model 1905, First Change. In fact, that WAS the "First Change." The serial numbers for the First change start at 73,251. So no S&W revoolver earlier than that could possibly have that pin in that piace. (No, they didn't - couldn't - retrofit earlier guns.)

    Further, that gun has the screw in front that retains the new type cylinder stop; that change took place with the original 1905 model, at serial number 62,450. There is no way an S&W M&P earlier than that would have that screw.

    The other change noted is the small ejector rod head. That, and the accompanying barrel change, were made with the Model 1905 Fourth Change, at # 241704, about 1915, While the new ejector rod would fit in the old cylinder, the barrel difference rules out an ejector rod replacement.

    So, things just plain don't add up. That serial number is just not consistent with the rest of the gun. I have no explanation except one possibility.

    That is that the original gun with serial number 465xx was damaged and sent to the factory for repair. Repair was impossible, so the factory replaced the whole gun with a then-new model and numbered it the same as the original gun to avoid any problems if the gun was registered. That was done by both S&W and Colt and is the only thing that makes sense.

    Jim
  16. fleetwood1976

    fleetwood1976 Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2009
    Messages:
    1,415
    Location:
    Southern Indiana
    Would this make it more valuable or just a conversation piece. I myself think it would be cool if that was the case, much like the possible ATF Re-serial numbered post a while back.
  17. grampawmike

    grampawmike New Member

    Joined:
    May 23, 2010
    Messages:
    194
    Location:
    Mojave Desert, CA
    FWIW, blow the second pic from Photobucket (#0908) up to anywhere between 150%/400% and take a look at the third digit and the sixth(?) digit. Both appear to be washed out, however there does appear that there was a number in the sixth position at one time. Just a shallow dimple now. JMHO Mike
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2010
  18. SwiftySwift

    SwiftySwift New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2010
    Messages:
    7
    It was just a pic on my camera phone... In person, the numbers are very clean cut.

    Jim, if it was how you said, would they be able to tell me what model they replaced the original 46598 with? Or what had happened to it?
  19. fleetwood1976

    fleetwood1976 Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2009
    Messages:
    1,415
    Location:
    Southern Indiana
    serial number should have a * after it if it was repaired at the factory.
  20. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2009
    Messages:
    6,397
    Not always on the asterisk. At different times, they used other markings and not always after the serial number. There really would have been no need; they destroyed the old frame so there was still only one gun of that number.

    If my guess is correct, I doubt there is a lot of value added; it would be something of an oddity, but IMHO nothing that would add up to big bucks.

    Well, if the serial number was transferred from an older gun, the new gun is a Model 1905, Fourth Change (1915-1942). If Grampawmike is correct and there is or was a sixth digit (i.e., 465xxx), the gun dates from sometime in the 1920's.

    Jim
Similar Threads
Forum Title Date
The Ask the Pros & What's It Worth? Forum Smith & Wesson 357 Magnum Mar 14, 2014
The Ask the Pros & What's It Worth? Forum Smith & WEsson 44 Top Break Double Action (COPY ?) Feb 2, 2014
The Ask the Pros & What's It Worth? Forum smith and wesson Jan 18, 2014
The Ask the Pros & What's It Worth? Forum Smith and Wesson .44 Special Value? Oct 11, 2013
The Ask the Pros & What's It Worth? Forum Smith & Wesson 22 Long Rifle CTG Aug 11, 2013

Share This Page