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Old November 4, 2000, 12:51 PM   #1
Hutch
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Join Date: February 12, 2000
Location: Birmingham, AL
Posts: 1,124
I have come into posession of two old pre-10 M&P's, about which I am shamefully ignernt (that's "without clues" here in AL). Both are 5-screw models, absolutely stock as far as I can tell. One is a 6", the other 4", both with tapered bbls, half-moon sights, and what I was told are "humpback" hammers. The 6" has a small blemish on the bbl on the left side that somewhat obsures the 'on' in Wesson. The stocks show a little wear, with minor nicks and so forth, but are completely intact. The finish, other than the blemish, on both guns is good, but appears a little dull to me, almost like the finish on M28's. The S/N on the frame under the crane is different than the S/N on the grip bottom. Here they are: On grip bottom, 6" is 9205xx, and under crane, is a small 2, N, an then below is 835xx. On the 4" on grip bottom is 2045xx, under the crane is a large Y, then below is 493xx.

Anything that anyone can tell me about these would be appreciated. Dates of manufacture, any history, a guess as to value etc. would be a blessing.

Completely unrelated, I have also come across an old M&P victory model with Brit proofs that has a 38 spl cylinder fitted and has been cut back to 3 inches. Quite a neat little package.
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Old November 4, 2000, 02:08 PM   #2
Mike Irwin
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Hutch,

Sounds like you have two very nice Military & Police .38s.

The serial number on the 6" indicates production sometime during WW II. Is it military marked in any way? Some were, some weren't.

The 4" is significantly older, probably made around 1914-1915, just before the company started ramping up to fulfill military orders for Britain and later the United States.

Can you post side-view photos of the two guns? I might be able to narrow the date range down a little bit for the 6" depending on the physical attributes.

The numbers and letters that are stamped under the crane are NOT serial numbers, which is a common mistake many make. They are floor assembly numbers, stamped to keep the major components mated during production. The serial number was actually stamped pretty late in the overall process.

------------------
Smith & Wesson is dead to me.

If you want a Smith & Wesson, buy USED!
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Old November 4, 2000, 02:11 PM   #3
James K
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I'll clear up one point. The second number on the frame and the crane is an assembly number. The frame and crane are first polished together, then numbered so that they will remain together after final polish.

That number is not, and has nothing to do with, the serial number.

It sounds like you have two good old guns. Avoid +P or equivalent ammo, and of course avoid +P+, and they should give you good service.

Jim
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Old November 4, 2000, 02:36 PM   #4
Hutch
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Location: Birmingham, AL
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Thanks, guys. I dunno how I will post pics, but I will see if I can scare up a digicamera. Is the finish correct on these pieces? The lettering is sharp and deep, so I don't THINK they've been redone, but I'm certainly no expert. Anyone care to hazard a SWAG on what they might be worth? I realize the hazards of such guesses, but I'd like a range of some sort.

I don't actually plan to fire them at all, truth to tell. They came to me at a (gasp) gun show in a package with a pinned and recessed M13 for what I thought was a great price, even as ignernt as I am.
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Old November 4, 2000, 04:46 PM   #5
Mike Irwin
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Hutch,

Posting photos is pretty easy, but they have to reside on the web.

For that you can simply use www.photopoint.com or a simlar site.

Photopoint is decent in that some of the sites occasionally have access problems that make the linked photos fail to show up. PP is better that way.

PP is, however, a bit of a pain in the butt to use. It's not very clearly laid out, and can be difficult to navigate.

If you want, take the pix, and e-mail them to me, and I'll post them here for you.

------------------
Smith & Wesson is dead to me.

If you want a Smith & Wesson, buy USED!
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Old November 4, 2000, 04:49 PM   #6
Mike Irwin
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Your question about finish...

Yes, it could be OK. S&W used a blue-black charcoal blue for the early guns, which slipped as years went on.

What really affects the sheen of the blueing is the quality of the final polish. The better the final polish, the glossier the final blue. WW II guns often had a cursory polishing. Some were even sandblasted with a final blue done over that, give a very matte finish.

Won't be able to really give you a definitive answer until we see the photos, and even then maybe still not.

------------------
Smith & Wesson is dead to me.

If you want a Smith & Wesson, buy USED!
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