View Full Version : Pre-war M&P (maybe)

November 8, 2002, 07:54 AM
I have just bought what I fear may be a trot-line weight. It's an M&P with 2" bbl. The serial number has no alpha prefix, and is in the 3xx,xxx range, indicating a pre-WWII 'born-on' date. BUT: the ejector rod does not have the button-like flare on the end, nor is the barrel relieved to accomodate such an ejector rod. It also has a "flat-latch" that looks like it came off a vintage J-frame, as well. I wonder if this is some Dr. FrankenSmith's creation. I saw a pic posted lately (can't recall where) that showed an old M&P 2" with the straight ejector rod. Can anyone comment on this? Could it be from the factory with this config?

Editted to add: I forgot to mention that it looks like someone polished off (literally) the protrusions of the barrel pin. It's obviously pinned, but it's been smoothed off. I found the pic. Mine doesn't look this good, but this is the config.

November 8, 2002, 08:02 AM
Here's the pic

November 8, 2002, 09:08 AM
I think I know what it is. The knurled extractor knob was changed to a solid piece in 1909 (1905 third change). Your gun is in the 1905 4th change range of 241,704-1,000,000 (1915-1942). Heat treated cylinders began at #316648. Hope this helps.

My Standard Catalog doesn't break down the serial range more than the above, but it is probably a 1920's gun from the # range.

November 8, 2002, 09:40 AM
So, are the ejector rod and barrel correct for the frame serial? Was it common practice to mill down or polish off the ends of the barrel pin?


Old Fuff
November 8, 2002, 10:51 AM
I am pretty sure your revolver originally had a longer barrel and a longer pre-war extractor rod. Someone used later parts and rebuilt it into a snub. Check the flat on the bottom of the barrel and see if it’s serial numbered to the gun. (it should be). If doubts continue contact Roy Jinks at S&W and send him a letter including a snapshot of the gun, a full description and the exact serial number. For $35.00 (part of which goes to the U.S. Shooting team) he’ll research the revolver through the company records and confirm what it was originally. I also think the gun was refinished at the time it was rebuilt and that’s why the barrel pin ends have been ground off. It is possible that the gun was originally made with the 2” barrel on a frame that had been in stock for many years. (S&W numbered frames before they were built into guns). In any case all of the 2” 1905 hand ejectors had the style of ejector rod that you have. A conventional style rod wouldn’t have had enough stroke needed to eject the fired cartridges.

November 8, 2002, 02:33 PM
Thanks, O. F., I'll check under the bbl for a SN. I'll also look more closely at the writing on the right side of the bbl and see if the bbl has obviously been amputated. One thing I WON'T do, is spend another 35 bucks on this trot-line anchor. Remember, the pic is NOT of my gun, but one I found that looks most like it, including the smoothed-off bbl pin.

Old Fuff
November 8, 2002, 06:37 PM
Oh boy, I was going by the picture and didn't realalize it wasn't "the" gun. Notice that the gun in the picture has the patent date information on the side. All other barrels (4", 5" & 6") had it on the top. If what remains of the patent dates is on the top of your barrel and it is now is a 2" then it has been cut off.

That, and your description of the latch thumb piece make me think your gun has gone through an aftermatket rebuild. This in itself does not make it a bad gun. The basic revolver is an example of excellent gunmaking - in many respects better then they make today.

Mike Irwin
November 8, 2002, 09:19 PM
I agree with Old Fluff. It sounds like your gun has been "snubberized" somewhere along the line.

November 8, 2002, 10:54 PM
I run a home for mongrel Smiths. It that M&P can't be housebroken or sucks eggs....send it to me.:D

Sounds like a cool carry gun.


November 10, 2002, 02:15 PM
All is not lost having a 2" M&P, even if it were converted to that configuration sometime during it's lifespan. If the frame, cylinder, and lockwork are good, you've got it made for any configuration you want based on a K-Frame Smith.

Old Fuff
November 10, 2002, 04:22 PM
And the "Old Fuff" agrees with both of you. If nothing else this gun would be an interesting platform to build something on.

November 11, 2002, 12:05 PM
Well I appreciate the offer, Sam. I have a butchered Victory model (cut to 3", .38SPL cyl "fitted") that I thought was my "got nothing to lose" platform to teach myself some Smith 'smithing. Now I REALLY REALLY have a "NtL" platform to experiment on. I've seen old S&W parts at gun shows, but never paid much attention, except to look for grips. Brownell's has some parts, the cost of which would exceed the value of the gun. Guess I'll start looking harder.

If the frame, cylinder, and lockwork are good, you've got it made for any configuration you want based on a K-Frame Smith.

If that was the case, I wouldn't be so downhearted at my stupidity. Now that I've taken it down to pins and screws, I'm more convinced that I have an assembly of (poor) parts. I'll try to post some pictures later, if I can.

November 11, 2002, 12:22 PM
I bought this pre-war M1905 Hand Ejector in .38 S&W for $25.00. The barrel was ratty, the timing and lockup was non-existent, and the finish looked like it had ridden loose in the back of a pickup truck for the last 50 years. The frame was straight and the lockwork smooth, so a Model 10 .38 Special cylinder was fitted, as was a 6" Apex bull barrel. The pre-Victory model revolvers don't have the extra safety linkage in their lockwork, so this gun was destined for fun and competition. While not a true K-frame in the strictest sense of the word, there's a good amount of interchangeability. ;)


November 12, 2002, 10:21 PM
Here is a close-up of my 1949 2" Model M&P. Looks close to yours except for the pinned barrel.

James K
November 12, 2002, 11:12 PM
The 1954 Gun Digest shows the M&P 2" with the flat latch and ramp sight. They apparently intended to use that latch on their M&P snubby and all their J frames. It didn't last long on the M&P, but stayed on the J frames for quite a while.

The 1953 GD shows the 2" with the old latch and the half moon front sight. FWIW, I think your gun is a transition model, probably at a point where they were using up older barrels.

Also, all of the S&W's by that time had the straight ejector rod head. They changed that around (I think) 1948.

The gun in the picture has been heavily buffed and reblued (look at the rounding on the crane pivot and the frame where they meet), which is probably when the barrel pin was ground flat to make the surface straight. I don't recall any time when S&W polished off the ends of the pin.


November 13, 2002, 10:20 AM
Thanks, guys. The S/N is definately pre-war. I didn't know the flat latch had ever been put on the K-Frame. Looks like a project, fer sure. I think I'll go over to the Gunsmithing section for some more advice.

November 29, 2002, 08:23 PM
I'm interested to know what you found and how this S&W shoots.