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Old 02-20-2011, 08:49 PM
Randy1944 Randy1944 is offline
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Default S&W Topbreak

I have a .38 caliber top break - 3" barrel - five shot - Safety Hammerless Revolver - S.N. 251*** . How can I determine year of mfg.? Thank you very much. Randy
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Old 02-20-2011, 09:51 PM
Dosgatos Dosgatos is offline
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I have #250432 which shipped in July 1925.
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Old 02-20-2011, 09:55 PM
cflier cflier is offline
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Hello Randy
Welcome to the forum. The only way to find the exact date of shipment is to pay the $50 for the factory Historical letter of authentication. It will tell you when it shipped, who it shipped to and any special order items on the gun. Having said that, serial # 251031 shipped 1/1922 and # 251301 shipped 6/1922. We would all like to see pictures of your gun if you have the time and means. By the way your 38 Safety Hammerless should have a 3 1/4 inch barrel.
Mark
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Old 02-20-2011, 10:12 PM
Randy1944 Randy1944 is offline
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Default S&W Topbreak

I wanted to thank both of you for the information that you shared with me about my revolver. You are correct about the barrel length, it is 3 1/4". My computer will not allow me to send pictures(long story). My revolver is all original - blue with walnut checkered grips. It has a casehardened color trigger. Some of the blue has flaked off on the receiver just behind the cylinder - otherwise it is perfect. I have owned the gun for almost thirty years and never shot it. It is really a nice example. Thanks again for your help with the date of mfg. Regards, Randy
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Old 02-21-2011, 01:28 PM
Dosgatos Dosgatos is offline
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[QUOTE=cflier;135837633]
Having said that, serial # 251031 shipped 1/1922 and # 251301 shipped 6/1922.

Mark - all you need now is #251310 - I'm sure you've been looking.
Peter
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Old 02-21-2011, 06:22 PM
brian.farrell1 brian.farrell1 is offline
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Default .38 top breaks

Recently I came into posession of several S&W Top breaks. Two are 5 shots (I believe to be .38) there are no caliber or model markings. One ser #391226 with an either 3 5/8 or 3 17/18 in barrel. The other is ser #88913 with a 3 1/4 in barrel. Both have print along the top rib talking about patent dates etc. What is the deal with these? Thanks!
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Old 02-22-2011, 09:56 AM
blackpowder30 blackpowder30 is offline
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I expect your ser #391226 is a .38 Double Action 4th Model. Made near 1900. However, without knowing if your ser.#88913 is hammerless or not no one can know when it was made. It is amazing, almost unbelieveable that neither is marked with the caliber. Check the sides of the barrels. How long is that second barrel? Are they marked Smith & Wesson? Please supply photos. Welcome to the forum.

Last edited by blackpowder30; 02-22-2011 at 09:59 AM.
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Old 02-23-2011, 07:17 PM
brian.farrell1 brian.farrell1 is offline
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bp30, thanks for getting back so quick. Both have hammers. I looked high and low around the barrels of both and could not find any caliber markings. I'll take pics this weekend and try to get them on here. The frames and grips are marked S&W. I suspect that the grips are gutta percha (sp?) and show a fair amount of wear. Overall, they are not in bad shape, nice bores (though I would NEVER shoot them). Thanks for the welcome!
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Old 02-24-2011, 11:58 AM
cflier cflier is offline
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brian,ferrell1, welcome to the forum.
S&W never made a 3 5/8 or 3 1/2 inch 38 top break revlover unless it was special ordered. I have seen one 3 1/2 inch special ordered gun, but they are quite rare. The cataloged barrel lengths are sometimes off by a sixteenth or so because they were hand finished and I believe they would cut a longer barrel if a short one was not available when an order came in for one.
The 3 5/8 inch gun (if it is that length) is probably an aftermarket gunsmith job. It's usually fairly easy to tell when that is the case. The front sight is usually not pinned, or the slot the sight is pinned into is not an exact tight fit like it is in S&W top breaks.
Looking forward to pictures,
Mark
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