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Old June 28, 2007, 09:01 PM   #1
mhuegerich
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Help with S&W revolver

Hi,

First post on TFL, but a long time lurker. I was fortunate enough to inherit a sizeable gun collection a couple years ago, and have researched most of the collection. I am stumped on a S&W revolver.

Does anyone have thoughts on the attached picture (hope it displays). It a Smith and Wesson, top break, "lemon squeezer". The barrel is marked 38 S&W CTG, with a serial number of 235777. Any input on model number, date of manufacturer, approximate value, etc. would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks

Mike
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Old June 28, 2007, 09:29 PM   #2
Jim Watson
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The illustrated gun is a .38 S&W Safety Fifth Model DA.
I don't have production vs serial number data, but it is probably early in the run, soon after 1907, because serial numbers picked up where the Fourth Model left off.
Gun has been reblued, restocked, resighted, and maybe sawn off. They made over 260,000 of the darn things in five slightly different models and you can find a pretty nice original example to collect. Dollar value is therefore low.
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Old June 28, 2007, 09:41 PM   #3
mhuegerich
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Jim,

Thanks. Learned more from your reply than the countless time I spent searching the internet.

Mike
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Old June 28, 2007, 10:51 PM   #4
BillCA
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That's a pretty specimen. The .38 S&W cartridge is shorter than the .38 Special but still available from several sources. Before shooting it, however, be sure to have a gunsmith check it out first.

Since it's 100 years old or thereabouts, I'd be tempted to buy about 3 boxes of ammo for it. One to supply occasional shooting ammo and two to go with the gun in any future inheritance in case the .38 S&W is out of production.
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Old June 29, 2007, 11:57 AM   #5
James K
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That is the Fifth Model Safety Hammerless, with a 2" barrel. I thought it might be the very rare 1.5" barrel, but the markings are wrong. I don't think the barrel is cut down, but the sight definitely has been replaced with a ramp sight. The barrel length is uncommon but not rare. There were about 41,500 of the Fifth Model made, 1907-1940. They were quite popular with the public and with undercover police right up to and through WWII.

That gun has been heavily polished and reblued and the grips are not factory. IMHO, it has little collector value and dollar value is not high ($200 or so only because of the 2" barrel). As for practical use, it may be a century old, but I can think of worse carry guns as long as it works OK.

Jim
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Old June 29, 2007, 01:30 PM   #6
mhuegerich
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Jim and Bill,

Thanks for the replies. I'm always amazed at the wealth of information in these forums.

My poor attempt at picture taking doesn't really do the gun justice. The finish is great, and the action is very tight.

Seeing as how the new grips and rebluing decreased its value, I definitely take it out to see how it shoots.

Mike
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Old June 29, 2007, 01:53 PM   #7
Jim Watson
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Have at it.
These are popular CAS Pocket Pistols and .38 S&W is not loaded any hotter now than it was when smokeless ammo came out for it. Worst comes to worst, it is about as effective a weapon as a .380 auto.
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