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Old 09-20-2013, 01:49 AM
jess_s1086 jess_s1086 is offline
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S&W .38 Pearl Handled Nickel All # serial HELP!!! S&W .38 Pearl Handled Nickel All # serial HELP!!! S&W .38 Pearl Handled Nickel All # serial HELP!!! S&W .38 Pearl Handled Nickel All # serial HELP!!! S&W .38 Pearl Handled Nickel All # serial HELP!!!  
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Default S&W .38 Pearl Handled Nickel All # serial HELP!!!

I recently bought this S&W pearl handled .38. It has an all # serial number of 298***, the serial # appears 3 places on the pistol. On the butt, on the cylinder, and also when you break it down underneath next to the cylinder. On the top of the barrel it reads: Smith & Wesson Springfield Mass USA Pat D Jan 24 35, July 22 65, Aug 24 69, Reissue July 25 71, May 11 80, Jan 3 82. Besides this & the serial #s that's all that is written on the pistol. It doesn't even have what caliber it is written on it but I do know its a .38 & shoots .38 shorts. I am hoping someone will be able to help me identify it, date it & possibly a value?
I personally gave $350 for it. The reason I wanted one like this is because my grandmother had one she packed it her purse for as long as I can remember. This one is in a lot better shape than the one she had, and I know I will never personally own the one she had because my uncle has it and unless there is some HUGE miracle I will never have hers.
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  #2  
Old 09-20-2013, 06:30 AM
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S&W .38 Pearl Handled Nickel All # serial HELP!!! S&W .38 Pearl Handled Nickel All # serial HELP!!! S&W .38 Pearl Handled Nickel All # serial HELP!!! S&W .38 Pearl Handled Nickel All # serial HELP!!! S&W .38 Pearl Handled Nickel All # serial HELP!!!  
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Welcome! This is a .38 Double Action from the early 1890 decade (best guess). The photos seem to indicate it has been refinished; the side plate seam is wide, and the hammer and trigger look nickeled instead of case colored. If so it is probably worth less than what you paid, but if it is mechanically sound it should make a good shooter. Hope this is helpful.
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Old 09-20-2013, 08:55 AM
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S&W .38 Pearl Handled Nickel All # serial HELP!!! S&W .38 Pearl Handled Nickel All # serial HELP!!! S&W .38 Pearl Handled Nickel All # serial HELP!!! S&W .38 Pearl Handled Nickel All # serial HELP!!! S&W .38 Pearl Handled Nickel All # serial HELP!!!  
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Welcome to the Forum. Your revolver is a 38 DA, Third Model shipped from the factory around 1893, so you have one piece of good news, it is an antique that will not require the owner to register. The caliber is 38 S&W and not 38 Short.

As Alan says, your revolver has been refinished, and unfortunately, a typical over-buffed base metal with parts plated that should not have been. Can not tell for sure, but with the pictures it looks like the plating might be chrome and not the original nickel. I also agree that you over-paid by at least $100 for the gun, since it has no collector value in its refinished condition. There were over a half-million of the 38 DA made, making it one of the most common antique S&Ws that you will run into for sale. Too bad you did not stop by before buying, since members are always happy to answer questions and help value a S&W for prospective buyers.

It is what it is and it will most likely function fine and give you some fun times at the range.
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Old 09-20-2013, 10:01 AM
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S&W .38 Pearl Handled Nickel All # serial HELP!!! S&W .38 Pearl Handled Nickel All # serial HELP!!! S&W .38 Pearl Handled Nickel All # serial HELP!!! S&W .38 Pearl Handled Nickel All # serial HELP!!! S&W .38 Pearl Handled Nickel All # serial HELP!!!  
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One must tread carefully when buying old guns. Lots of ways you can pay far too much unless you do some careful research before pulling out your wallet. There are also lots of guns you should never buy.

As stated, the proper caliber for your DA is .38 S&W, not .38 S&W Special. They are not interchangeable. Unfortunately, .38 S&W ammunition can be difficult to find and expensive. But it is available. If you run across another cartridge called the .38 Short Colt, it will also work in a pinch. But it's no easier to find than .38 S&W.
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Old 09-20-2013, 06:21 PM
Chief Sapulpa Chief Sapulpa is offline
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S&W .38 Pearl Handled Nickel All # serial HELP!!! S&W .38 Pearl Handled Nickel All # serial HELP!!! S&W .38 Pearl Handled Nickel All # serial HELP!!! S&W .38 Pearl Handled Nickel All # serial HELP!!! S&W .38 Pearl Handled Nickel All # serial HELP!!!  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DWalt View Post
...the .38 Short Colt, it will also work in a pinch. But it's no easier to find than .38 S&W.
We must be lucky here in Tulsa, today BassPro had several boxes of Remington .38 Short Colt and my LGS had many boxes of .38 S&W by Fiocchi, Magtech, Remington and some other off-brand I cannot remember the name.
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Old 09-20-2013, 08:53 PM
jess_s1086 jess_s1086 is offline
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S&W .38 Pearl Handled Nickel All # serial HELP!!! S&W .38 Pearl Handled Nickel All # serial HELP!!! S&W .38 Pearl Handled Nickel All # serial HELP!!! S&W .38 Pearl Handled Nickel All # serial HELP!!! S&W .38 Pearl Handled Nickel All # serial HELP!!!  
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Thanks everyone for your input. I personally don't believe that the pistol has been refinished, it may just be the way the camera took the pics to make it look that way. I knew that .38 specials aren't compatible with the pistol, and everyone I have talked to has called the bullets shorts. This pistol must be a little harder to find where Im from or either people just are selling them. Everyone that has personally saw the pistol says I made a good deal & regardless of over paying or not, this type pistol has sentimental value to me considering the fact my grandmother had one. This wont me my "everyday" pistol, I have a 1911 for that.
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Old 09-20-2013, 10:20 PM
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Mike McLellan Mike McLellan is offline
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S&W .38 Pearl Handled Nickel All # serial HELP!!! S&W .38 Pearl Handled Nickel All # serial HELP!!! S&W .38 Pearl Handled Nickel All # serial HELP!!! S&W .38 Pearl Handled Nickel All # serial HELP!!! S&W .38 Pearl Handled Nickel All # serial HELP!!!  
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Very nice gun. I'm not in agreement with the others. If that thing works like it should, and shoots half-way decently, I'd give $350.00 just for the "coolness" factor. That thing will be a ball to shoot.
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Old 09-20-2013, 10:27 PM
GtownGeorge GtownGeorge is offline
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S&W .38 Pearl Handled Nickel All # serial HELP!!! S&W .38 Pearl Handled Nickel All # serial HELP!!! S&W .38 Pearl Handled Nickel All # serial HELP!!! S&W .38 Pearl Handled Nickel All # serial HELP!!! S&W .38 Pearl Handled Nickel All # serial HELP!!!  
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I'll make it $351!
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Old 09-21-2013, 04:43 AM
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S&W .38 Pearl Handled Nickel All # serial HELP!!! S&W .38 Pearl Handled Nickel All # serial HELP!!! S&W .38 Pearl Handled Nickel All # serial HELP!!! S&W .38 Pearl Handled Nickel All # serial HELP!!! S&W .38 Pearl Handled Nickel All # serial HELP!!!  
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Quote:
I personally don't believe that the pistol has been refinished, it may just be the way the camera took the pics to make it look that way.

While I can understand the reason you bought it, the originality of the finish is a black and white issue. The reason you think its original is because you bought it, and you probably did not know when you bought it, so you are hoping the collectors who have seen and own dozens, even hundreds are somehow wrong. S&W never put out factory 38 double actions with nickel plated hammer and triggers. In addition, your gun has many rounded edges from polishing. When these S&Ws left the factory, the side plate (left side) fit was a hairline, sometimes nearly invisible. Your defined sideplate is from polishing before the replate. On top those traits, your gun has a nickel plated trigger guard, when factory nickel guns instead had a blued trigger guard in this model.

See pics below of a factory original specimen from my collection. Note the differences between yours and mine. While I will admit the value of any gun can be subjective, originality of finish is not. Your gun was definitely refinished, and not by the factory either, because once again, they would not have plated the whole gun.



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Old 09-21-2013, 08:01 AM
mrcvs mrcvs is offline
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S&W .38 Pearl Handled Nickel All # serial HELP!!! S&W .38 Pearl Handled Nickel All # serial HELP!!! S&W .38 Pearl Handled Nickel All # serial HELP!!! S&W .38 Pearl Handled Nickel All # serial HELP!!! S&W .38 Pearl Handled Nickel All # serial HELP!!!  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jess_s1086 View Post
Thanks everyone for your input. I personally don't believe that the pistol has been refinished, it may just be the way the camera took the pics to make it look that way. I knew that .38 specials aren't compatible with the pistol, and everyone I have talked to has called the bullets shorts. This pistol must be a little harder to find where Im from or either people just are selling them. Everyone that has personally saw the pistol says I made a good deal & regardless of over paying or not, this type pistol has sentimental value to me considering the fact my grandmother had one. This wont me my "everyday" pistol, I have a 1911 for that.
Sometimes, when I go to bed at night, I want to believe I won the lottery, but when I wake up the next morning, all I have is a worthless slip of paper and off to work I go!

In addition to the wide seam, and the hammer, trigger, and trigger guard discrepancies, the thumb lever you use to open the gun should be blued, and yours is not as well.

As for price: Well, here is one that sold in the $200 range:

Smith Wesson .38 Double Action for sale (912583393)

Maybe you were told you got a good deal. Well, I have been in the situation where someone buys a new car and they ask me what I think. Even if I think it is the ugliest, overpriced car I have ever seen, I am polite and say 'nice car' or something like that. It would be rude, really to say anything otherwise!

I don't want to burst your bubble, but the facts are the facts. Many on this forum are world-class experts when it comes to Smith & Wesson firearms.
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Old 09-21-2013, 03:47 PM
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S&W .38 Pearl Handled Nickel All # serial HELP!!! S&W .38 Pearl Handled Nickel All # serial HELP!!! S&W .38 Pearl Handled Nickel All # serial HELP!!! S&W .38 Pearl Handled Nickel All # serial HELP!!! S&W .38 Pearl Handled Nickel All # serial HELP!!!  
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One of the essential skills in gun trading is the detection of a re-finish. This is very important, as much of the value of a gun is in the originality of its finish. If it has been re-finished, the finish condition (based upon the amount of original finish remaining) is exactly 0%. At that point, the only value it has is what someone is willing to pay for it as a shooter.

Many times, it's very difficult for even experienced eyes to make a judgment, especially if the refinish has been skilfully done. But most of the time, rounded corners and edges that should be sharp, dished screw holes, a prominent "valley" around the sideplate joint, blurred stampings, and the presence of plated parts which should not have been plated are obvious tells.

I don't think there is much question here. But it's still worth what someone is willing to pay for it, and you never know what that amount will be until you try to sell it.
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Old 09-21-2013, 11:40 PM
jess_s1086 jess_s1086 is offline
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S&W .38 Pearl Handled Nickel All # serial HELP!!! S&W .38 Pearl Handled Nickel All # serial HELP!!! S&W .38 Pearl Handled Nickel All # serial HELP!!! S&W .38 Pearl Handled Nickel All # serial HELP!!! S&W .38 Pearl Handled Nickel All # serial HELP!!!  
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Oh well! Is what it is. No bubbles busted! But you guys didn't have to be so rude!!!! I never said anyone was wrong, I only suggested that it could possibly be the photos and I also had a gun collector look at it before I bought it, & I do hope you go to bed one night and win the lottery.
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Old 09-22-2013, 09:33 AM
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S&W .38 Pearl Handled Nickel All # serial HELP!!! S&W .38 Pearl Handled Nickel All # serial HELP!!! S&W .38 Pearl Handled Nickel All # serial HELP!!! S&W .38 Pearl Handled Nickel All # serial HELP!!! S&W .38 Pearl Handled Nickel All # serial HELP!!!  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jess_s1086 View Post
I personally don't believe that the pistol has been refinished, it may just be the way the camera took the pics to make it look that way. I knew that .38 specials aren't compatible with the pistol, and everyone I have talked to has called the bullets shorts.
Sorry if you took our comments and information as being rude, but after several members gave you detailed assessments on your purchase, your response was as above. After all, you asked for a valuation, and apparently did not like the replies.

There are many members who do not know the difference between calibers, so someone added the 38 Special comment to try to help. It remains a fact that, no matter how many people call the cartridge a 38 Short, S&W was never chambered in that caliber. It remains a 38 S&W cartridge that will also accept a 38 Short Colt.

I am happy that you found a revolver to fill pleasant memories and in the end it was obviously worth the money to you.
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Old 09-22-2013, 10:08 PM
jess_s1086 jess_s1086 is offline
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S&W .38 Pearl Handled Nickel All # serial HELP!!! S&W .38 Pearl Handled Nickel All # serial HELP!!! S&W .38 Pearl Handled Nickel All # serial HELP!!! S&W .38 Pearl Handled Nickel All # serial HELP!!! S&W .38 Pearl Handled Nickel All # serial HELP!!!  
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The being rude wasn't actually toward you Gary but some of the others comments where.
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Old 09-22-2013, 11:40 PM
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S&W .38 Pearl Handled Nickel All # serial HELP!!! S&W .38 Pearl Handled Nickel All # serial HELP!!! S&W .38 Pearl Handled Nickel All # serial HELP!!! S&W .38 Pearl Handled Nickel All # serial HELP!!! S&W .38 Pearl Handled Nickel All # serial HELP!!!  
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There were no rude comments made by anyone. Just simply people telling you how the cow ate the cabbage under the assumption that you needed to know what you had. You can accept that or not.
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Old 09-23-2013, 01:49 AM
jess_s1086 jess_s1086 is offline
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S&W .38 Pearl Handled Nickel All # serial HELP!!! S&W .38 Pearl Handled Nickel All # serial HELP!!! S&W .38 Pearl Handled Nickel All # serial HELP!!! S&W .38 Pearl Handled Nickel All # serial HELP!!! S&W .38 Pearl Handled Nickel All # serial HELP!!!  
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Yup esp by you!!!
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