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Old Yesterday, 08:05 PM   #1
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Join Date: February 1, 2000
Posts: 1,268
Finally Picked Up a Classic S&W .38

This one has been on my list for quite a long time and anyone who has been watching the market knows these older S&Ws just keep going up in price, especially over the last couple of years. What was once a $300 revolver they are now getting crazy money for. I don't have a lot of decent LGS that get trade ins so buying on-line was my only option. After losing several on Gunbroker, even after bidding way more than I should have :upeyes:, I finally snagged this four screw K-38 Combat Masterpiece made in 1956.

The K-38 is the predecessor to the Model 15 and this one, being a four screw, is slightly rarer than some of the other models made in the 50's. It is not quite in excellent condition, and didn't come with the box or papers, but I doubt it has more than a couple hundred rounds through it. Not only is it my first .38 it's my first K frame, I do have several L and N frame classic S&Ws. I've never been one to worry about a little handling wear so this one will fit right in for my collection.

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Old Yesterday, 08:18 PM   #2
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They are really great guns you will love it. I know I will not get rid of my combat masterpiece or any of the target masterpieces in my collection, the handle and shot way to well. Outstanding find, congrats.
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Old Yesterday, 10:20 PM   #3
Driftwood Johnson
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Very nice. By the way, your K-38 has what is sometimes referred to as a Speed Hammer. This K-38 from 1950 has the same hammer.

The Speed Hammer was an early, transitional short throw design that first showed up in post WWII guns. It took the place of the earlier hammer design that had been standard on S&W Hand Ejectors since 1899. In addition to having a shorter single action throw, the Speed Hammer would not slip out from under your thumb as easily on a hot day with sweaty hands.

At some point, the Speed Hammer was replaced by the current hammer design, with a deep gullet in front of the hammer spur, and really deep checkering.

Your revolver was made just before the change over to model numbers in 1957. The Magna grips are correct for your K-38, you might want to remove them and see if they are numbered to the gun. The Serial Number of the gun was sometimes written in pencil on the underside of the grips, sometimes stamped on.

I'm sure you will enjoy your new K-38 for many years to come.
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Old Yesterday, 10:47 PM   #4
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Very nice. By the way, your K-38 has what is sometimes referred to as a Speed Hammer. This K-38 from 1950 has the same hammer.

That's cool, thanks for the info my friend.
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Old Today, 06:58 AM   #5
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Join Date: March 18, 2008
Posts: 632
Nice.I have a number of classic S&W's.
The best of the lot is a Model 27 no dash.
I had a 28 but sold it because I picked up a pre-28 with a 4" barrel.
I also have a 17,68,19,34,53,41,15,12
Got a few Colts too-SAA,Python,and Model 1917 Army.
I kinda like revolvers.
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Old Today, 11:20 AM   #6
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Join Date: May 4, 2010
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I have the exact pistol, 54, I believe, but it's four inch and immaculate condition.

It was purchased to compete in service revolver matches held locally, and barely used.

I ground the checker on the hammer down a bit, it made my thumb bleed. Now, check, I shoot almost exclusively da.
Don't take me so seriously, or get irritated with my spelling.
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Old Today, 04:17 PM   #7
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Join Date: April 24, 2006
Posts: 1,514
The Speed Hammer is used from 1949 to 1956 on K frames.

Very nice K38 Combat Masterpiece.

Now you need to look for a matching K22 CM...

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