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Old March 26, 2013, 04:06 PM   #1
robertclark
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Smith and Wesson 38 Special

i have acquired a S&W 38 special ctg revolver and would like to know how old it is and if has value.
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Old March 26, 2013, 04:07 PM   #2
robertclark
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38 special
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Old March 26, 2013, 04:08 PM   #3
robertclark
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38 special
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Old March 26, 2013, 04:14 PM   #4
Jim Watson
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I see a Military & Police, Model of 1905, 3rd Change as made 1909-1915.

I take it that you "acquired" it by inheritance or gift and did not pay what you thought a fair price.

If the nickel is original it is worth several hundred bucks.
If it is a refinish - at least they left the hammer and trigger bare as they should - it is worth a few hundred bucks.
Yes, a renickle as Jim K says, I was typing before you got up the pictures of the grip straps. But a better job than most any you see on the www.

A pretty gun, either way.
I would stick to standard velocity loads like 148 grain wadcutters or 158 grain lead roundnose or semiwadcutter. I don't guess Cheapmart plated bullet econo-ball will hurt it.
No +P.
And the safety system is not as positive as later guns, you are safest with an empty chamber under the hammer like a single action.
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Old March 26, 2013, 04:14 PM   #5
James K
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The closest I can come for sure is 1909-1915, but probably about 1913.

The nickel finish is not original, though it is not a bad job. The part under the grips gives an idea what the gun looked like before it was refinished.

Jim
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Old March 26, 2013, 04:30 PM   #6
ScottRiqui
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Quote:
If it is a refinish - at least they left the hammer and trigger bare as they should
Were the triggers and hammers on the nickeled M&P .38s always bare? I have one from the late 20s/early 30s that's been in the family at least back to the 40s, if not from new, and the trigger and hammer are both nickled. I'm jsut curious because neither my father nor my grandfather are the type to refinish a gun that still worked.

Sorry for the hijack - if it looks like this will turn into a discussion, I'll start a new thread with pictures.
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Old March 26, 2013, 04:52 PM   #7
laytonj1
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The trigger and hammer should be bare case hardened. Nickel on those parts indicate refinish.
At least up until the 1980's when S&W started flash chroming them.

Jim
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Old March 26, 2013, 04:59 PM   #8
Winchester_73
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Well I don't know guys? The gun does not have any polished flat studs, the side plate fit is great, I don't see any rounded edges, the markings appear all sharp, and the hammer and trigger are both case hardened, as they should. I'm wondering if the gun could have been damaged somehow in the grip strap area, or there was moisture under the grip that pitted the gun, but left the rest of it clean. I know that is unlikely, but if refinished, it looks good enough to be factory, except that there is not a * (star) on the butt.

OP, look underneath the barrel, on the flat, and see if there is a "B" before the SN. That was only there on blued guns, and if there is no letter before the prefix, then it at least shipped in nickel finish. I think the gun looks very nice, even if refinished.

Quote:
Were the triggers and hammers on the nickeled M&P .38s always bare? I have one from the late 20s/early 30s that's been in the family at least back to the 40s, if not from new, and the trigger and hammer are both nickled. I'm jsut curious because neither my father nor my grandfather are the type to refinish a gun that still worked.
I never saw nor heard of a factory nickel gun with a nickel plated hammer and trigger. One way to tell is to look under the barrel on your gun, and see if there is a "B" before the SN on the bottom of the barrel. In this area, a blue gun is marked "B" and a nickel gun has no prefix, just the SN on the bottom of the barrel.
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Old March 26, 2013, 05:02 PM   #9
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Ok well, I did see there is nickel in the pits on the OP pistol, so it is probably refinished. But aside from that, the gun looks great. I usually take the grips of a gun before I buy it, and this is why.
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Old March 26, 2013, 05:42 PM   #10
robertclark
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38 special

this gun belonged to my brother in law that has Alzheimer's disease. my sister doesn't want the gun around the house and gave it to me to price it and sell it. i don't know a darn thing about guns and their value. i don't know if it has been re-plated or not. the gun was originally from Louisiana so the likelihood of rust and corrosion is highly likely. if it is a re-plate may i assume the gun may be worth around $300 or $400?
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Old March 26, 2013, 06:05 PM   #11
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If you can swing it, pay her the $400 and keep it in your collection. Everyone should have a version of the M&P (later Model 10) in their collection. This also allows her to get the gun back should she change her mind. The $400 may be a bit high for a refinish but she is family so the extra may mean alot to her.
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Old March 28, 2013, 09:15 AM   #12
VonFatman
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The photo of the stocks grip frame leaves no question in my mind as to the gun having been refinished. With that "issue"...the gun has no collector value. I'd suggest you should offer no more than $225-250 and at those numbers you are buying a shooter. That's what it is. A nice looking shooter.

Nothing wrong with the revolver, but it's value has been diminished and there is no way to retrieve it.

Another idea might be to part it out....the stocks etc might bring more value away from the package....but that's work and time consuming...not what I'd want to do with it.

If you keep it at $225-250 you will always be able to get your money back should you decide to sell.

Bob
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Old March 28, 2013, 09:25 AM   #13
Mike Irwin
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I have to say that that appears to be one of the most amazing refinish jobs I've ever seen.

RARELY do you see a refinish where at least some of the stampings aren't partially obliterated during the polishing process.
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Old March 28, 2013, 10:47 AM   #14
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In my neck of the woods, a gun that nice, even a refinish, would bring over $400.00

And, with those diamond grips, it would probably be in the upper $400's
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Old March 28, 2013, 10:53 AM   #15
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same here in Northern Virginia.
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Old March 29, 2013, 01:36 PM   #16
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It is not a bad polishing job, but Picture 1 shows a "wavy" look, as does Picture 2, which also shows rounded edges above the trigger guard. Picture 3 shows rounded edges on the butt, and some rounding at the numerals.

As I say, it is not a bad job, and would probably bring those prices from folks who want a nickel plated revolver and are not too concerned about originality.

It is pretty common to find pitting under wood grips, where the grips got wet and retained the moisture until the frame was pitted. Still, when large areas of the grip show rust and the rest of the gun appears near new, there is cause for suspicion. The same is true of grip wear. We often see handguns with worn wood or hard rubber grips, yet with the metal parts looking like new. While someone could have put old grips on a like-new gun, that is not a normal practice and again arouses suspicion.

Jim
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Old March 29, 2013, 06:57 PM   #17
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BTW, Robert - "S&W 38 special ctg" is not the model of the revolver, it's how S&W marked the barrels, for which revolvers were chambered in .38 Special (ammunition).

For example, an earlier example of the same revolver revolver might have had the barrel stamped: ".38 S&W", which is a different/shorter cartridge than the .38 Special.



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Old March 29, 2013, 11:07 PM   #18
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No expert, but I cruise a lot of gun shows and some with a mindblowing lot of Smith & Wesson revolvers. That gun, even if it had a letter from Jim Supica stating that it was refinished at the local paint & auto body shop would bring more than $400 just because of how good it looks and the fact that it's a Third Change M&P. This is a very old gun that appears to be in fantastic condition.

For sure, the true collector's value is greatly reduced if it has been refinished, but to say that it has "no collector value" is just not realistic. This gun is 100 years old (or more) and in beautiful condition.
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Old April 1, 2013, 05:11 PM   #19
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Put me in the "shooter, mid $200's" club.

There are still nice older 10's and pre 10 M&P's with decent to nice original finishes out there selling in the Three's.

Nice looking gun, but $400+ is looney tunes money for that example IMO.
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Old April 1, 2013, 08:20 PM   #20
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Lots of oinions and ideals. Mostly good
I recommend you call S&W directly and give them the S/N. The shoud be able to give you the vitals on the pistol such as:
DOM
Origiall finish
Any safety concerns or recalls in the pistol
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Old April 2, 2013, 10:59 AM   #21
Jeff #111
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You could probably get between $300 - $350 where I live.
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