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Old February 10, 2010, 07:54 PM   #3
Senior Member
Join Date: July 30, 2007
Location: NoVA, USA
Posts: 419
That's a nice looking gun.

According to my copy of the Standard Catalog of Smith & Wesson, 3rd Edition, you have a S&W .38 Military & Police Model of 1905, 4th Change. The serial numbers for the .38 M&P 1905 4th Change run from 241704 - 1000000, being produced from 1915 - 1942. The book lists the values as:

ANIB: $1200
Excellent+: $450
Excellent: $335
Very Good: $250
Good: $200
Fair: $135
Poor: $75
It goes on to say that nickel plating (yours is nickel plated) is worth a premium (doesn't say how much). I'd probably put yours around $400, given its nickel plating, with finish wear, and the pearl grips.

If it times and locks-up correctly (i.e. the cylinder turns and locks into place before the hammer falls, both in cocking the hammer for single-action and in pulling the trigger through the double-action), and if there aren't any issues with the bore or the chambers, it should be safe to shoot. According to the SCSW3, heat treating began approximately around serial number 316648, so it should be fine with any standard pressure .38 Special load. Personally I'd limit its use to lead-only bullets in light loads, or probably I wouldn't shoot it at all (maybe enough to be satisfied that it does shoot), given its age and heirloom status; there are plenty of S&W Model 10s out there to shoot .38 Specials through (your M&P is the precursor to the Model 10).

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