View Full Version : Information on a S&W 38Special based on serial number

January 6, 2011, 05:49 PM

I recently received the gift of a S&W 38 special and would like to know more about it. Can anyone advise me on a good resource for researching firearm history?

The pistol is black steel, with a white bone handle. 4" barrel.

Stamp on top reads:
Smith & Wesson Springfield Mass USA
Patented FEB.6.06.SEPT.14.09.DEC.29.14

Cylinder Ejection Side:
SMITH & WESSON on barrel
S&W emblem below latch

Opposite side38 S&W Special CTG

Back of Cylinder

I researched previous blogs explaining the patented dates. Is there a way to determine when this weapon was manufactured?

Also, there are three tiny areas of rust along the barrel. Is there a way that I (a novice) can clean the rust without damaging the finish further?

I greatly appreciate any and all help.

James K
January 6, 2011, 10:25 PM
It is a Smith & Wesson Military & Police Model, also called the Model 1905 Hand Ejector, Fourth Change, made about 1930. Over a decade later, the same gun became the Victory Model, and later still the Model 10.

607795 is the serial number; it should also be on the bottom of the grip frame. The bone grips are not factory original. To do any realistic evaluation, we would need good pictures of both sides.

On the rust, I suggest using oil and brass or copper wool (available in grocery stores as pot cleaners). Some people recommend 4-0 steel wool and oil but I would not use that to begin with; the copper or brass is less aggressive and less likely to scratch the gun.

BTW, that gun has an early version of the hammer block safety, which has been known to fail and allow the gun to fire if dropped on the hammer with a round under it. I recommend not using that gun as a carry gun for that reason.


January 7, 2011, 10:07 AM
Thank you, Mr. Keenan.

I greatly appreciate the information you provided. I will look for the brass or copper wool today. Thank you too for the insights into the safety deficiency of the weapon. Given its age and history with the family, I believe I will leave it in my case.

I have attached images of the pistol as well. If they need to be more detailed, please let me know.

Thanks again.

James K
January 7, 2011, 03:41 PM
That gun has been reblued at some time, significantly reducing any collector value, though it is still a usable gun (with the limitations noted). You did not ask about value, but I would say about $150.


January 7, 2011, 04:07 PM
Thanks again, Jim. Reblued and someone smoothed the bottom of the handle (if there was ever a serial number there). $150 on the market and priceless in our home/family...I think I will keep it here.

Truly appreciate your help and time on this matter.

Have a happy and prosperous 2011.

Rufus T Firefly
February 13, 2011, 10:36 PM
Prices can range. I would look at it from the stand point of keep it and enjoy it. Who needs $150 selling low end? While some are worth major bucks because of Military markings, etc.... You still have a nice gun that could shoot as well as a collectible one.