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Old January 29, 2013, 06:31 PM   #1
2nd Fiddle
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Join Date: January 29, 2013
Location: Clarksville, TN
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Ammo for S and W .38 cal. Safety Hammerless ???

I have an old Smith and Wesson .38 Safety Hammerless revolver. It is a 3rd production, serial #701XX. The last patent date on it is June 5, 90. It has a 3 1/4" barrel. Blued steel with most of the bluing worn off.

It was originally purchased by my great-grandfather in Nova Scotia appx. 1892.

He was a sea captain and carried it out of necessity.

It was passed down to me from him to his daughter, to my father, then to me about 30 years ago.

I would like to know if there are any factory loads that can be safely fired in this old handgun.
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Old January 29, 2013, 07:51 PM   #2
Dfariswheel
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Join Date: May 4, 2001
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First, have a qualified gunsmith inspect the gun to make sure it's in proper and safe working order. Many are not, so have it checked.

A number of companies still make and a number of sources still sell .38S&W ammunition.

As example:

http://www.midwayusa.com/find?sortby...ensionid=10050
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Old January 30, 2013, 09:50 AM   #3
royal barnes
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The rounds currently manufactured in this caliber are loaded very light and should be perfectly safe in your revolver but do have it checked out for safety.
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Old January 30, 2013, 02:06 PM   #4
carguychris
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Join Date: October 20, 2007
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Quote:
The rounds currently manufactured in this caliber are loaded very light and should be perfectly safe in your revolver but do have it checked out for safety.
+1.

THAT SAID... even if it checks out OK, I would be hesitant to fire it repeatedly. These old top-breaks are categorically NOT very durable guns, and I wouldn't want to risk damaging an irreplaceable family heirloom.

Also, be thankful that you and the gun aren't still in Canada; due to the barrel length, it would be a "Prohibited" weapon which can't be lawfully possessed without proper registration. I've read occasional 'Net tales of woe from Canadians who unsuspectingly inherited an unregistered Prohibited weapon and had no choice but to turn it in for destruction, have it deactivated, or donate it to a museum.
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