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Old November 22, 2014, 08:32 AM   #1
reddevilmedic
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Info on .38 SPL CTG

Hey all. Newbie here that recently inherited a couple pieces. One is a Ruby .22, the other is a Smith .38, Model 37 CTG. It has a strange grip, I believe because of the holster. Ser # begins with 22Jxxx. Any info would be appreciated.
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Old November 22, 2014, 09:46 AM   #2
lee n. field
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Quote:
It has a strange grip, I believe because of the holster.
The left hand panel is from a Banarmi Hip Grip.

That grip is supposed to be what holds the revolver in place, instead of a real holster. Gun shoved inside waistband, with the hook of the grip over your belt.

There's a trigger shoe on the trigger. May or may not be appropriate for this.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smith_%26_Wesson_Model_36

Quote:
In 1951, Smith & Wesson introduced the Airweight Model 37, which was basically the Model 36 design with an aluminum frame and cylinder. The aluminum cylinders proved to be problematic and were abandoned in favor of a steel cylinder
Wikipedia, "Your Mileage may Vary"

Quote:
One is a Ruby .22
Revolver or automatic?

I had thought Ruby was mostly a generic name for Spanish .32 autoloaders produced in the first half of the last century. But, it looks like Llama made a .22 revolver with that name.
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Last edited by lee n. field; November 22, 2014 at 10:02 AM.
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Old November 22, 2014, 11:20 AM   #3
DPris
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And, as always, CTG is only an abbreviation for "cartridge", as part of the caliber stamping on the barrel.
It is not a model designation & was used on several different models by at least two makers.
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Old November 22, 2014, 12:39 PM   #4
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The Ruby is a 6 shot 22lr revolver. 6 in bbl. 695xxx
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Old November 22, 2014, 01:54 PM   #5
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"the other is a Smith .38, Model 37 CTG"

Is that a typo, the 37? It might be a M36 with a 3" barrel. The finish on the frame looks the same as the barrel and cylinder to me.

The model number, M36 or M37, should be on the frame where the cylinder swivels out.
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Old November 22, 2014, 02:41 PM   #6
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It says MOD.37

Last edited by reddevilmedic; November 22, 2014 at 02:49 PM.
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Old November 22, 2014, 03:02 PM   #7
Bill DeShivs
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LLama did make revolvers under the "Ruby" name.
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Old November 22, 2014, 06:22 PM   #8
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There should be maker's markings on that "Ruby", somewhere.
What are they?
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Old November 22, 2014, 07:08 PM   #9
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The Model 37 is a J frame, 5 shot revolver in 38 Special. It has an alloy frame and is called the Lightweight Chiefs Special. The Model 36 is identical save the steel frame and is called the Chiefs Special.

Mostly made with a 2" barrel a few in 3" are seen. Yes, you can shoot +P ammo in it. In my experience recoil with the alloy belly guns is not enjoyable. Carry a lot and shoot a little is the popular theory.

The trigger shoe was added for some crazy reason and I would lose it ASAP. They can be dangerous as they are often a bit wider than the trigger guard leading to pulling the trigger when holstering.

22J on the serial doesn't sound right. Late in the production run they used 1J but I've never seen 22J.
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Old November 22, 2014, 07:12 PM   #10
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Oh, sorry for your loss.
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Old Yesterday, 01:17 AM   #11
ArkieVol
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22J serial #

Your model 37 Chief's Special Airweight was made between 1970 and 1973.

From 1950 to 1969, S&W numbered their J framed guns in a simple number sequence from 1 to 786,544. But, as a result of a 1968 Federal Gun Control Act requirement Smith & Wesson began a new numbering system for J frames.

Models 60, 651,32 & 33 were assigned an "R" prefix; R001-R32903 (1969-1983)

Models 30 & 31 were assigned an "H" prefix H00001-H161201 (1969-1983)

Models 36, 37, 38, 39, 49, and 50 used a "J" prefix and were a little different.

This group of J frames started with ser # J1 and went to J99,999...a letter and up to 5 digits. To maintain the one letter and max 5 digit format, S&W just moved the J one place to the right and continued the series as 1J1 to 1J9999.

They then continued with 2J1 to 2J9999, 3J1 to 3J9999 and so on until 1973 when serial number 999J99 had been reached. Confused yet?

At this time, 1973, S&W changed to the J prefix-6 digit format, J100,000, J100,001, etc. and continued in that format until the current numbering system was instituted.

The easiest way to remember it is that any J frame S&W with a serial number containing a letter J and 5 digits or less, mostly with a number (s) in front of the J, was made between 1969 and 1973. Probably only a factory letter will confirm a ship date.

You have to think about it a bit but, at least, it only lasted three years...thank goodness!
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Old Yesterday, 08:39 AM   #12
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Ruby

on the right side of the barrel it says "acero de alta resistencia". "carilondo & c Vitoria spana" on left side...Its tough to see...just in front of cylinder it says "HEGE" and below that M 1..just avove the right grip is a mark...RUBY EXTRA Made Mark.

im adding it to the others I currently own..an old topbreak Iver Johnson(which ive never fired, for good reason), a Colt 1903 .32 (manf date of 1913), a P93 DAO ( which I love), a snub, chromed Taurus .357 and a Sig Dark Elite 226
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Old Yesterday, 09:03 AM   #13
SaxonPig
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ArkieVol- Where are you getting that date? I am looking at a 1st Edition of The Standard Catalog of S&W and it shows J starting in 1969 and 1J ending in 1983. Nowhere do I see 22J ever used.
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Old Yesterday, 09:37 AM   #14
reddevilmedic
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MOD 37

pic of butt
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Old Yesterday, 09:40 AM   #15
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MOD 37

ODDLY enough, a magnet DOES stick to the frame and cylinder..
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Old Yesterday, 10:38 AM   #16
Jim Watson
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The cylinder would be steel either way, S&W learned early on that aluminum cylinders do not hold up.

If the frame is steel (magnetic) then the model number applied to the gun is wrong and it is really a Model 36, not 37.
This happens every now and then, they are turning out a lot of products and sometimes the wrong stamp is applied. This does not make it worth more (like a coin or stamp error) or less because the worker got sloppy.
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Old Yesterday, 10:52 AM   #17
reddevilmedic
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What about serial number than??
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Old Yesterday, 10:59 AM   #18
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It says Airweight on the bbl..
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Old Yesterday, 11:57 AM   #19
Jim Watson
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Sounds like the stamp guy read the logo on the barrel the assembler put in and marked the gun accordingly, without noticing the weight of the steel frame.
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Old Yesterday, 01:10 PM   #20
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The Ruby appears to be Llama, made in Vitoria, Spain.
The "Acero" part means "High Strength Steel".

Could it be Gabilondo instead of Carilondo?
Most likely Gabilondo y Cia, which means Gabilondo & Company. Could have been stamped "& C" during Llama's later years for the American market.

Ruby Extras were made from 1955-1970 in various calibers, including .22.

Value might be $100 or so, depending on condition and how much the potential buyer was willing to pay for a gun with very limited parts availability by a company that no longer exists (a slow death that ended finally about 10-15 years ago).
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Old Yesterday, 01:25 PM   #21
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DPris

I will keep it for a bunny/squirrel killer..i live in the woods..thanks for the info
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Old Yesterday, 01:49 PM   #22
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That serial does not look right. First, as per my literature no such serial exists. Second, looking at the photo, I think the 22 may have been added after it left the factory. The font looks just a little different and it's off center. Drop the 22 and the serial is centered on the butt. I think the correct serial is likely J640 making it an early 1969 gun. No idea why anyone would add the 22 except the obvious reason...it was stolen at one time and the number was altered. If it was stolen a long time ago, it may be impossible to trace and/or no records still exist on it. I am certain the 22J640 cannot be correct.

If the frame is steel it is a 36. If alloy it's a 37. The Airweight is indicative of it being a 37. I wonder if the magnet could be sticking to the internal parts in the gun that are steel?

Open the cylinder and see exactly what model number is stamped on it. Should look like MOD36 or similar.

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Old Yesterday, 03:49 PM   #23
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it says MOD.37. My Uncle was a State Trooper for 30 years...I doubt its stolen..lol..he just passed..at 90
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Old Yesterday, 03:56 PM   #24
reddevilmedic
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I have 3 of his weapons..including his retirement gift..an unfired, commemorative 1911...45..with MSP badging...and im retired Army..82nd..i know my way around a few things..not being disrespectful
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Old Yesterday, 04:20 PM   #25
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A thought: In doing your magnetic test, are you detecting the SAME level of pull on the frame as on the barrel?
Where on the frame are you touching the magnet to?

Quite often in doing the magnet test, it reacts to steel parts INSIDE alloy outer assemblies or underneath the part you're touching it to.

I have a magnet kept here on my office desk, I frequently use it to test for steel on various guns. It can appear to react to alloy or plastic front sights, for instance, when it's actually reacting to the steel under those sights.

On my alloy-framed Smith J just now I tried both sides of the frame behind the cylinder & the magnet showed attraction to the steel guts inside. I KNOW it wasn't attracted to the frame itself.

Touched the magnet to the triggerguard away from any steel parts, no attraction whatever.

Do your test again, touch the magnet to the triggerguard, or the base of the gripframe, away from any steel internals.
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