S&W Info request

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

  1. bigdel

    bigdel New Member

    Dec 18, 2009
    First off, I apologize for the poor quality of the pics. This is a freind of mine's S&W .38 cal pistol and he is mostly interested in what ever info is available on the gun. It appears to be chromed, he thought it was original, I suspect it is not. The grips are in good shape and appear original. There is a large circular scratch that is fairly deep on the opposite side (I did not take a pic of that). It is hard to see in the photo, but the serial number is 1398. Any info at all will be greatly appreciated. He is not too concerned with the value, but any kind of a range would be interesting. The gun is new to him, so he doesn't have any background.

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    Last edited: Dec 16, 2010
  2. deadin

    deadin Well-Known Member

    May 16, 2006
    It's a .38 Double Action Perfected Model made from 1909-1920. It is unique in having both a thumb latch and the T-latch, both have to be activated to open the gun. It is the last of the S&W hammer top-breaks. (They continued making the hammerless top-breaks up until 1940)
    The popular story is that this double latch system was developed to keep the BG from reaching out and popping the gun open by pulling up on the top latch thereby making is useless. (Just a story, I think).

    It's hard to tell from the pictures if the gun has been renickled or not. One clue may be that the trigger and hammer should be case colored. The pictures look like they have been blued. If so, it's probably a refinish.

    If is is original, the value would be in the $400-500+ range. Refinished, less than half that at the most. It should be perfectly safe to shoot with modern factory loads as long as everything is tight and it times correctly.


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