View Full Version : S&W 38 special ctg k frame ?

April 15, 2008, 12:05 AM
I have a k frame in 38 special. It is stamped P 46438 J. The frame(butt) with grips off has the letters jh2 on it. The serial is k 277218. It has a six inch barrel and was fitted with target grips and has an adjustable rear sight. The side of the frame has just three screws exposed with grips off.
I am thinking this is a Target Masterpiece? It looks new but has been locked away for many years. My aunts husband was the owner and she is wanting to sell possibly so any info on possible value is much appreciated.
I am more into black powder so any help is much appreciated.
Thank you.

James K
April 15, 2008, 12:43 PM
K-38 Masterpiece serial number K 277218 was made in 1956, before the use of Model numbers by S&W. The 46438 number in the yoke cut is an assembly number. There is a lot of demand by both shooters and collectors for those old "blue steel and walnut" guns, and the retail price on one "new in the box" would be in the $450-500 range.


April 17, 2008, 12:45 AM
I am not a six shooter or pistol shooter by any means but it sure danced sticks across a frozen pond for me. It seems to have a great action and feels good in the hand. Is this the Target model or the Combat model. I agree when they used the word Masterpiece. Thanks for your knowledge.

April 17, 2008, 04:07 PM
It's called the "K-38 Masterpiece" I believe. The model 15 was the "Combat Masterpiece." People will say "target" but I do not believe that was the factory name for it, just popular usage. It is also called the "pre-14" since it was re-named the "Model 14" in 1957.

Value is going to vary quite a bit based on if it has original grips (remove them and look for the s/n to be stamped on the right panel. If not, then likely not original), the blue condition, if it's been refinished, if you have the original box and papers/accessories. It could run from $250 to $550 or more based on those factors.

April 18, 2008, 06:39 PM
Once upon a time the Model 14 was called the Target Masterpiece, a run of 4 inch K 14's were called the Combat Masterpiece, The the Model 15 ( which is really a 4 inch Model 14 ) which was also called the Combat Masterpiece, the Model 19 which was called the Combat Magnum Masterpiece and so on and so on. Enough to make your head hurt

April 18, 2008, 09:24 PM
Thanks guys. I will go with 1956 K-38 Masterpiece since it was before model numbers were given. I appreciate all the knowledge you have provided me. For 52 years old it sure shoots sweet. I am thinking it might just be a keeper. Some new grips and a good holster will make for a good six shooter.

May 11, 2008, 02:22 PM
I always called it a K38 as that was the name it was known by by the shooters.my buddy had one and I shot it in comp till I got my mod 10 bomar ribbed 38.He got many a medal and was top police team shooter.they were the cream of target guns after and before ww2