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Highflier
February 4, 2010, 10:06 PM
I have just been handed a 38 S&W CTG from my grandfather. it says it was pat'd may 11, 1880 the ser # 493601 the nine and six are really hard to read or could be mistaken but none the less it is the best I can read there are several dates on top of the barrel may 11, 1880 jan ? 1880 or 1889 april ? 1880 or 1889 really hard to read except for may 11, 1880

any ideas

James K
February 4, 2010, 11:20 PM
It should be a break top revolver, with an exposed hammer. If so, it is the .38 Double Action Fourth Model (of five models). Yours was made between 1895 and 1909. Total for the .38 DA series was about 554,077, the Fourth Model ran from 322701-539,000. Extrapolation will give you an approximate manufacture date.

(Guns with serial numbers under 382000 are considered antiques - made before 1899 - under federal law, so yours is not an legally an antique.)

Value is not high, due in part to the large number made. Unless the gun is in like new condition (and very few are), value will not exceed about $200 and may be less. Even in top condition, they won't bring much over $500.

Jim