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Old May 17, 2009, 12:01 PM   #1
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SW .38 Special - Need ID Info

I'm new to these forums, so I hope I'm posting this in the right section. This .38 was my great grandfather's. He was a sheriff in Texas from 1928 to approx 1948, and this is what he carried, at least in his latter years of service. I think it may be a M&P, but I would like to know for sure. I would also like to know approx year of production if possible. The number, also on the butt, begins with C 274XXX. If anyone has any knowledge they'd like to share, I'd be grateful.

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Old May 17, 2009, 12:11 PM   #2
Mike Irwin
Join Date: April 13, 2000
Location: Northern Virginia
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It is, as you think, a Smith & Wesson Military and Police Model, square butt model.

The serial number puts its date of manufacture at sometime near the end of 1953, one of the last years that they used the half-moon front sight.

Supica and Nahaus' book The Standard Catalog of Smith & Wesson says that the change from the round front sight to the ramp front sight came in 1952, but that was done over time as previously manufactured parts were used up. In other words, your barrel was manufactured sometime before the change took place, placed in ready reserve storage, and as orders came in for the 2" models, was assembled onto the gun and the unit serial numbered.

So, given its manufacture date, it would appear that he got it after he ended his service as sheriff.
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Old May 17, 2009, 01:06 PM   #3
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Thank you very much for the info and the quick reply. It's irrelevant, so I didn't include it, but there's a DPS number engraved on the back strap. He may have served for a few years longer than I had estimated.

Is there not a model number for it like there is for the Model 10?

Thanks again!
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Old May 17, 2009, 04:19 PM   #4
Jim Watson
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S&W did not assign model numbers until 1957. Guns made before them had real names. Grandpa's gun would have been a Model 10 if he had waited another five years to buy it.
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