Dave - Thanks so much for the information, although I must admit I was hoping it was something rare, rather than a cut piece.
I will get some photos for you. I re-examined the front sight and barrel crown... my goodness they did a good job if it's not factory.
I'll provide photos of the gun (and the GRIPS... might be the best part of this deal). I'll concentrate a few photos on the bbl. end and front sight for your evaluation...
In any case I suppose I can get some repro fake stag grips or something, sell the checkered ones on gunbroker and recoup some cash w/o seriously damaging the collectibility of the gun.
I paid $233 for it... too much?
Edit: the bbl. does NOT retain the lug, (Frownie-face) but there is seriously no evidence that a lug was ground off (pics of this too, to come). Also there is a filled area on the butt where the lanyard ring was... if that means anything.
Double-Edit: since firing .38 Spec. might not be the best idea, can I still shoot .38 S&W in this thing?