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Old August 27, 2012, 09:30 AM   #1
bigsound
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RARE pistol.....maybe...

I think I may have accidentally purchaced a really rare piece.
It's a S&W 38 Special Colt L CTGS...that's right, there's an "S" behind CTG
The serial is 175
The makers marks and proof markings are very unique.
Here's the kicker: a friend of a friend has blindly offered me $10,000 for the weapon, but I still have no idea what is so special about it.
I ALREADY OWN THIS GUN. (response to someone from the original posting, who obviously did NOT read my post in its entirety). ALSO, doesn't the serial number tip you guys off???? It's only 3 digits long, for God's sake! 175 is the actual serial number, and there is a number 6 stamped under the wooden grip, on the frame (yes, I removed the wooden grips to reveal the number).
Anyone wanna help a non-gun-guy out here?

Last edited by Brian Pfleuger; August 27, 2012 at 09:45 PM.
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Old August 27, 2012, 09:41 AM   #2
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Good pictures would help, but off hand, I would say to take that $10,000, and run like heck!

The gun sounds like a Spanish revolver from the 1920-1930 era when tons of those cheap cast iron guns were sold on the U.S. market. Quite a few have blown up and they are usually considered worth about 1/500 th of ten grand.

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Old August 27, 2012, 09:43 AM   #3
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pics might help identify what exactly you have.
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Old August 27, 2012, 11:19 AM   #4
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Quote:
friend of a friend has blindly offered me $10,000 for the weapon,
BLINDLY is the understatement of the century!!! Hope you're not good friends, cause something like this is sure to end any friendship!!!

For anything else this thread is completely useless without pictures.
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Old August 27, 2012, 12:35 PM   #5
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Probably a 38 Colt special (texas ranger??), made in Belgium. If so, not worth much. Low serial numbers are common on these. May have all kinds of funny marks on it. Don't shoot it.
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Old August 27, 2012, 01:14 PM   #6
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Here's a history of the outfit that made the Texas Ranger (and others) in Belgium. I enjoyed it immensely.

"The Hanquets – Gun Dynasty of Liège" "Fabriques d’Armes Unies de Liège"

http://www.1960nma.org/hanquets.html

And pictures would be nice. Otherwise we're guessing.
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Old August 27, 2012, 01:21 PM   #7
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Quote:
The gun sounds like a Spanish revolver from the 1920-1930 era when tons of those cheap cast iron guns were sold on the U.S. market.
+1. S&W did in fact rollmark some of their early .38 Military & Police barrels to reflect the fact that the gun would also fire .38 Long Colt; however, IIRC the legend should read like this, including the punctuation and the final lowercase letter "s":

.38 S.&.W. SPECIAL &
U.S. SERVICE CTG's


AFAIK it was normally split into 2 lines unless the gun had a 6" barrel.

The "U.S. Service" designation reflects the fact that the .38LC was the standard American military pistol cartridge at the time. The word "Colt" was NOT normally used. S&W, like Colt during this time period (and later), supposedly marked the guns this way to avoid providing their arch rival with free advertising. The fact that this gun says "Colt" on it is a big red flag to me.

Also, a real .38 M&P with a legit 3-digit serial number should have a 4-screw frame without a screw in front of the trigger guard, and should lack a forward locking lug at the end of the ejector rod under the barrel.
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Last edited by carguychris; August 27, 2012 at 01:24 PM. Reason: Minor reword...
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Old August 27, 2012, 03:12 PM   #8
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Those guns normally bring about $20k or so, hence the offer of $10k

No in all seriousness, even a REAL S&W does not often bring that much. Your friend who blindly made you a 5 figure offer apparently has a sense of humor.
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Old August 27, 2012, 09:38 PM   #9
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FWIW, S&W apparently added the "U.S. Service CTG's" in hopes of obtaining a government contract. They dropped it c. 1909 when the .38 was no longer the standard U.S. service cartridge. Even prior to that, not all barrels had that marking and there seems no rhyme or reason for its inclusion/omission.

The reported marking on the OP's gun seems so unlikely that I concluded that only a Spanish revolver would be marked like that. Other common markings are "USE CARTRIDGES THAT FIT BEST", "USE SMITH & WESSON CARTRIDGES" with the end words in very small letters, and one of my favorites "THE KING AT ARMS".

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Old August 28, 2012, 06:07 AM   #10
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LOL!!!!!!! I had a "Texas Ranger," serial number 2, about 23 years ago or so and traded it for a burro (which I still have).

I believe the "friend of a friend" who offered you 10 grand is either an idiot or having you on. However, if the guy is serious, get it in cash.

At any rate, it sounds to me, like most everyone else in this thread, that you have a Spanish made S&W copy made in the 1920s or 30s. Generally, these are unsafe to shoot as many were made from cast steel. Real world value is probably $75-125.00 depending on who made it and condition.

[BTW, another Spanish designation for the .38 Long Colt is "9mm Largo." (NOT to be confused with the other 9mm Largo for the Astra 400, Campo Giro, etc., which is actually 9mm Bergmann-Bayard.)]

Last edited by gyvel; August 28, 2012 at 02:14 PM.
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Old August 28, 2012, 02:31 PM   #11
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Quote:
I had a "Texas Ranger," serial number 2, about 23 years ago or so and traded it for a burro (which I still have).
Burro's live that long?
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Old August 28, 2012, 10:09 PM   #12
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I think he meant "burrito", which is a good even trade for a "Texas Ranger" but I would hold out for two tacos.

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Old August 29, 2012, 06:29 AM   #13
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LOL thats funny
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Old August 29, 2012, 06:59 AM   #14
gyvel
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Burro's live that long?
Yeah, he's 28 this year (he was 5 years old when I got him). I read that burros can live "as long as" 40 years, so I guess the old bastard still has a bit of life left in him.

Even though that Texas Ranger was a POS, I still got criticized for trading a gun for something that eats.

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Old August 29, 2012, 07:04 AM   #15
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Quote:
I think he meant "burrito", which is a good even trade for a "Texas Ranger" but I would hold out for two tacos.
I took the Texas Ranger to a gun shop once and told the clerk I wanted a grip screw for it. The clerk said: "Sure, that's a good trade."
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Old August 29, 2012, 10:19 AM   #16
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A lot of kidding, but those Texas Rangers were not that bad. They were better than most of the Spanish stuff, and held up fairly well, though they had about zero trade-in value.

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Old August 30, 2012, 08:06 AM   #17
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I would imagine Belgium made would be better than Spanish. Anyone notice that the OP hasn't returned? Maybe he's out enjoying his $10K.
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Old August 30, 2012, 08:16 AM   #18
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"Even though that Texas Ranger was a POS, I still got criticized for trading a gun for something that eats."

You might say the Texas Ranger "eats" too. That is if you feed it.
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Old September 1, 2012, 08:48 PM   #19
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OP sure isnt doing much to help out this thread.
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Old September 2, 2012, 09:36 AM   #20
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It would be funny if the OP gave away his pistol based on this thread alone, but it was actually worth a pile of money. He didn't give us a photo, only some vague description. So we all said it was no good, but what if...
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Old September 2, 2012, 10:55 AM   #21
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Just as funny as him basing a major decision on a vague verbal description with no pictures here or in person examination by someone knowledgeable.
You do what you can with what you have to do with.
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Old September 2, 2012, 07:23 PM   #22
James K
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Since I was the first to respond and the first to suggest a Spanish revolver, I will note that I asked for good pictures, as did others, with no response from bigsound. I don't KNOW that the gun is Spanish, but the description led me in that direction.

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