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Old 05-09-2017, 08:48 PM
jbanner jbanner is offline
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top break .38 w/short barrel:1 3/4" top break .38 w/short barrel:1 3/4" top break .38 w/short barrel:1 3/4" top break .38 w/short barrel:1 3/4" top break .38 w/short barrel:1 3/4"  
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Question top break .38 w/short barrel:1 3/4"

Just inherited a.38 spur trigger snub nosed beauty w/the trigger stuck open. Clicks but won't set or complete the full action(fire). Haven't cleaned it but will eventually give it a carburetor soak to ungum it. This is a well worn gun. Serial # on cylinder and butt is: 4663.. and the number under barrel latch is 6537. No dates at all. Anyone have a clue as to date, etc? Thanks.
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Old 05-10-2017, 10:44 AM
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top break .38 w/short barrel:1 3/4" top break .38 w/short barrel:1 3/4" top break .38 w/short barrel:1 3/4" top break .38 w/short barrel:1 3/4" top break .38 w/short barrel:1 3/4"  
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Since S&W made lots of different revolvers, many with the same s/n (different models), please look over these instructions and give us as much information as possible. Then we can help.
To IDENTIFY your Gun >
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Old 05-10-2017, 11:46 AM
jbanner jbanner is offline
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top break .38 w/short barrel:1 3/4" top break .38 w/short barrel:1 3/4" top break .38 w/short barrel:1 3/4" top break .38 w/short barrel:1 3/4" top break .38 w/short barrel:1 3/4"  
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Default ID .38 top Break

This is the single action with the 1 3/4" barrel and a spur trigger. Serial # 466326 on butt and cylinder. Also, 6537 under barrel latch. Just inherited it and looking for a date and other info. Since last post, got it working after a good cleaning
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top break .38 w/short barrel:1 3/4"-006-jpg   top break .38 w/short barrel:1 3/4"-004-jpg  
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Old 05-10-2017, 11:53 AM
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top break .38 w/short barrel:1 3/4" top break .38 w/short barrel:1 3/4" top break .38 w/short barrel:1 3/4" top break .38 w/short barrel:1 3/4" top break .38 w/short barrel:1 3/4"  
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Welcome to the forums from the Wiregrass! That is not a single action with a spur trigger. That appears to be a double action with a modified front sight and possibly a cut down barrel.
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Last edited by Wiregrassguy; 05-10-2017 at 11:54 AM.
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Old 05-10-2017, 01:33 PM
jbanner jbanner is offline
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top break .38 w/short barrel:1 3/4" top break .38 w/short barrel:1 3/4" top break .38 w/short barrel:1 3/4" top break .38 w/short barrel:1 3/4" top break .38 w/short barrel:1 3/4"  
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This fires with a single trigger pull/action and does not cock back. Also, if it was modified to a short barrel and different front sight it was professionally done. any idea of when manufactured. Been looking but everything I have seen so far anywhere doesn't look like this pistol.
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Old 05-10-2017, 01:39 PM
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top break .38 w/short barrel:1 3/4" top break .38 w/short barrel:1 3/4" top break .38 w/short barrel:1 3/4" top break .38 w/short barrel:1 3/4" top break .38 w/short barrel:1 3/4"  
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Pulling the trigger all the way back-to release the hammer is a double-action. Single action is when you have to pull the hammer back-to cock it.

Guy
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Old 05-10-2017, 02:23 PM
opoefc opoefc is offline
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top break .38 w/short barrel:1 3/4" top break .38 w/short barrel:1 3/4" top break .38 w/short barrel:1 3/4" top break .38 w/short barrel:1 3/4" top break .38 w/short barrel:1 3/4"  
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Your gun is a .38 Double Action, 4th model, made circa 1900. It had been heavily buffed, reblued and had the barrel cut from whatever was the original length, and a later style modified front sight added. The barrel latch is a replacement as indicated by the different serial number. It will fire .38 S&W rounds only, not .38 Special. Ed.
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Old 05-10-2017, 02:46 PM
jbanner jbanner is offline
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top break .38 w/short barrel:1 3/4" top break .38 w/short barrel:1 3/4" top break .38 w/short barrel:1 3/4" top break .38 w/short barrel:1 3/4" top break .38 w/short barrel:1 3/4"  
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thanks one and all for the info and my education. Any other thoughts on this pistol would also be appreciated. Thanks again"Opoefc" and "Wiregrassguy"! Love learning the possible history of changes, etc. with this interesting piece. Cheers.

If I ever decided to shoot it, will first bring it to a qualified gunsmith to check it out. Did this with a couple of other pistols and use them now with confidence. Thanks again.

Last edited by jbanner; 05-10-2017 at 02:59 PM. Reason: added info
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Old 05-10-2017, 04:52 PM
jbanner jbanner is offline
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top break .38 w/short barrel:1 3/4" top break .38 w/short barrel:1 3/4" top break .38 w/short barrel:1 3/4" top break .38 w/short barrel:1 3/4" top break .38 w/short barrel:1 3/4"  
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There is no Springfield, etc. address on the top or sides but on the left side (pistol in Rt. hand pointing away) there is : "><< 38 S & W CTO >><". Just behind the sight there are similar diamonds (actually, little triangles stamped in almost like an iron cross) ><< but 4 , not 3 as on the side. Only mark on the right side is the S&W trade mark, like in the scales.

The pistol dry fires with one pull of the trigger. I can't cock it, then fire like my Ruger Single Six, which apparently is a single action but requires two steps! The mystery gets more interesting!
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Old 05-10-2017, 05:46 PM
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top break .38 w/short barrel:1 3/4&quot; top break .38 w/short barrel:1 3/4&quot; top break .38 w/short barrel:1 3/4&quot; top break .38 w/short barrel:1 3/4&quot; top break .38 w/short barrel:1 3/4&quot;  
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Somehow, I posted when I thought only H Richard has replied, but I now notice there were several posts including yours with the pictures, so i deleted the post so not to confuse you or the other posters. As for the barrel length, these guns came in 3 1/4", 5", and 6" barrel lengths. Without any address stampings, it is absolutely a cut barrel gun. I like the shortened barrels for shooters and conversation pieces, but they are not a "collectable" firearms.

So your gun functions in double action, but the hammer will not stay back when cocked? It most likely has a damaged hammer, which means that the "ledge" that is used to cock and hold the hammer in a ready to fire position is worn, or tampered with by a prior owner and needs to be replaced or welded and repaired. Problem is that the cost of repairs would probably exceed the value. If you want it as a functioning heirloom, the cost should not prevent you from getting it working again, but unlikely a cleaning will do the job.
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Old 05-10-2017, 06:40 PM
jbanner jbanner is offline
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top break .38 w/short barrel:1 3/4&quot; top break .38 w/short barrel:1 3/4&quot; top break .38 w/short barrel:1 3/4&quot; top break .38 w/short barrel:1 3/4&quot; top break .38 w/short barrel:1 3/4&quot;  
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Thanks for the feedback. I frankly will probably just enjoy looking at what is a very cool looking gun. I think you are unquestionably right about the worn ledge as sometimes it will hold in the cocked position but won't fire from that. I have to open the breech and adjust a little lever lip devise to get the hammer to close. I then can usually dry fire it as noted, until it gets stuck again. This pistol shows a lot of ware. It also feels terrific in my hand. Cool gun and I like it cut down and to know a bit about it. Someone long ago in my family treasured this and made changes that suited him or her. Cheers.
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Old 05-10-2017, 06:43 PM
Inusuit Inusuit is offline
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top break .38 w/short barrel:1 3/4&quot; top break .38 w/short barrel:1 3/4&quot; top break .38 w/short barrel:1 3/4&quot; top break .38 w/short barrel:1 3/4&quot; top break .38 w/short barrel:1 3/4&quot;  
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Jbanner, the single action/double action definitions may be counter intuitive, but here's how it was explained to me. With a single action, like your Ruger Single Six, the trigger performs one function. It releases the hammer which has been manually cocked. With a double action, the trigger performs two functions. It both raises (cocks) and releases the hammer. To further confuse the issue, many double action revolvers will also function in the single action mode, i.e., the hammer can be manually cocked and released by the trigger.
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Old 05-10-2017, 06:54 PM
jbanner jbanner is offline
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top break .38 w/short barrel:1 3/4&quot; top break .38 w/short barrel:1 3/4&quot; top break .38 w/short barrel:1 3/4&quot; top break .38 w/short barrel:1 3/4&quot; top break .38 w/short barrel:1 3/4&quot;  
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Nothing is simple in life, is it! Anyway, I now get it! Thanks.
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Old 05-10-2017, 08:15 PM
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top break .38 w/short barrel:1 3/4&quot; top break .38 w/short barrel:1 3/4&quot; top break .38 w/short barrel:1 3/4&quot; top break .38 w/short barrel:1 3/4&quot; top break .38 w/short barrel:1 3/4&quot;  
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It's doubtful you can find a gunsmith who will be willing to do any work on it, and frankly it would not be worth the cost even if you did. Strictly a DIY project.
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Old 05-10-2017, 09:56 PM
jbanner jbanner is offline
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top break .38 w/short barrel:1 3/4&quot; top break .38 w/short barrel:1 3/4&quot; top break .38 w/short barrel:1 3/4&quot; top break .38 w/short barrel:1 3/4&quot; top break .38 w/short barrel:1 3/4&quot;  
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Just like it. Probably dangerous to shoot as, among other worn things, the little nubs on the extractor are pretty worn and I am not sure the cylinder lines up correctly consistently. Agree, too expensive for a gunsmith but he might just enjoy looking at it the next time I am in to check out what's new! Cheers.
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