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Old May 30, 2013, 01:38 PM   #1
Dirty Dan
Join Date: May 11, 2013
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Don't know what I have

Guys; I joined the forum on the 11th of May, but have been out of state. Bought a Smith & Wesson Model 48-4 some time ago. I thought it was stainless steel, but an old friend told me S & W did not make revolvers in stainless, when my revolver was manufactured..Electro plated nichel, is what he says the finish is. The revolver does not have factory grips, instead it has Pacmeyer Target grips. Now here is the mystery: The revolver has a factory 8 3/8" barrel, and an additional cylinder, also electro plated nichel, in a velvet bag containing a sight screwdriver..The cylinder is .22 s, l, and lr. Never seen S & W revolver with two cylinders!! What do I have here? Sorry, too new to the forum to know how to post pictures, but the revolver is immaculate, and really accurate...Dirty Dan
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Old May 30, 2013, 02:00 PM   #2
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The S&W model 48 is a K-22 Masterpiece Magnum Rimfire
Made to shoot the Winchester .22 magnum rimfire. They were made mostly in blue steel but nickel finish do exist and if it is a factory nickel it is worth a premium. This pistol also had anavailable option of a .22 long rifle cylinder. The -4 is an engineering change made starting in 1977 (gas ring moved from yoke to cylinder) The stainless steel version of this pistol is the Model 648.
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Old May 30, 2013, 04:01 PM   #3
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Model 48's are nice guns / like other response said, .22 Winchester magnum....K frame, Square Butt frame - and were made in 4", 6" and 8 3/8" barrels.....and this model was made from 1959 thru 1986.

The S&W catalog says the Nickel finish was not catalogued ...but they are known to exist../ since you have one - and it is rare. I have never seen a Nickel version...and a lot of collectors would love to have it, especially if its in good shape.

Just as a note, the model 648 a comparable newer model in stainless - but they were only made in a 6" barrel / and were made between 1989 and 2005.
A lot of us would love to have a model 48 ( blued or Nickel ) in our S&W collections....I do not have one / and most every one I come across has a lot of wear sadly .... .....most of us that want one, are looking for a 4" , or maybe a 6" ....but the 8 3/8" is a nice "target" or close range "varmit" gun.

Last edited by BigJimP; May 30, 2013 at 04:07 PM.
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Old May 30, 2013, 05:29 PM   #4
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Welcome to the forum, Dan.......

Back when I had my new blued 8-3/8" M48, I sent it into the S&W Service Dept, where they fitted a LR cylinder for the grand charge of $100 (at the time - late 1980's).

It sounds like you've a keeper...........

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Old May 30, 2013, 08:20 PM   #5
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Sometimes people take a worn revolver, and have all of the finish stripped, and then have a protect-ant coating placed on the gun. Other times a gun gets plated by something to protect it, something that is cheaper or more durable than a nickel plate.

If its factory nickel, its more scarce than people are letting on. Pics would help. Nickel would be bright, like a brand new quarter.
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Old May 30, 2013, 08:45 PM   #6
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I've been thinkin on the OP's gun.......

S&W stamped the model inside the crane.............

IIRC, at that time, while Colt was doing electroless Nickle plating ( I bought a DS that the Colt Custom Shop did ), S&W was only doing shiney, chrome-like nickle plating.

Sooooo, A call to S&W Customer Service with the SN should tell you how it left the factory..............................

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Old May 30, 2013, 10:34 PM   #7
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If you can't come up with a picture, at least describe for us what the hammer and trigger look like. Are those two items bright and mirror-like in finish, as the rest of the revolver is?

Often, that's the easiest giveaway when trying to spot a gun that has been refinished rather than shipped with nickel plating from the factory originally.

From the factory, the hammer and trigger should be color case hardened, and should -NOT- look bright, flashy or mirror-like. They should be dull metal, and to those not all too familiar with S&W revolvers, they may look a bit out of place on a Smith & Wesson with a flawless nickel plated finish.
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