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Old March 30, 2013, 06:16 PM   #1
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Top break S&W .38

My father in law has a S&W top break 5 shot pistol in .38 caliber. The finish is outstanding, and the appears to have been fired very little. The serial no. is 215680, no letters or prefix. Can anyone tell me the year of mfr. and possible value? I'll post a picture when I get back home.
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Old March 30, 2013, 08:11 PM   #2
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Does the gun have a visible hammer or is it hammerless (concealed hammer) model? If the former, it would be a Double Action Third Model, made between 1884 and 1895, probably about midway between those dates.

If it is a hammerless model, it is a .38 Safety Fourth Model, made in or about 1907. Any evaluation will have to wait on some good, clear photos.

Jim K
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Old March 31, 2013, 04:19 PM   #3
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It's a concealed hammer gun. I just got back home. I was able to snap a couple cell phone photos, now I have to figure out how to post them. The finish on this gun is unbelievable. He's only put 5 rounds through it. It doesn't look like it's ever been carried. Probably laid in sock drawer for decades. It's a very cool little gun with no wear, and tight action.
I forgot to mention it has a grip safety, and what appear to be the original grip panels.

Last edited by timpierce; March 31, 2013 at 04:21 PM. Reason: Additional info
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Old March 31, 2013, 06:42 PM   #4
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I saw one like it Fri. A friend on mine stopped by with one with a 217,??? seiral number. It was in real nice shape, but not quite as good as you are describing. Still a nice pocket gun for being 125 + years old. I personally like alittle more stopping power though.
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Old March 31, 2013, 08:14 PM   #5
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It is a Safety Hammerless 4Th Model. The S&W book puts the Fourth Model at 1898 and 1907 ( Serial number range 116003-220000 ). Value as you described is listed at 500 to 600. That figure is just a guide to give you a starting point.
Ron James
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Old April 1, 2013, 05:00 PM   #6
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I've seen nice examples of Saftey Hammerless S&W's sell for around $300. Nice little guns, but they don't seem to fetch lots of money , even in real nice shape.

$500 or $600 sounds WAY high IMO.
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Old April 1, 2013, 06:21 PM   #7
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Never mind, some else already answered.

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