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Old 09-07-2017, 02:58 AM
Planes58 Planes58 is offline
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I recently inherited an old revolver that I would like some info on. It is a S&W, top-break, hammerless 5 shot. I believe it is nickel with what looks like mother-of-pearl grips. I assume the serial number is 29771. It is on the bottom of the grip and also on the cylinder, so it may be the assembly number. It is a .38 caliber and the barrel is 3 1/4 inches. It has fixed sights but there is a small rod in front of the rear sight. There is an indentation where you can push the front of this rod down but I can't figure out it's purpose. The safety is on the back of the grip. There is no model number. Hope someone can help some info and maybe it's value. I would say it is in very good condition. Thank you.
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Old 09-07-2017, 07:09 AM
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Welcome to the forums from the Wiregrass! We are going to need some pictures, particularly of the rod on the rear sight. Also, what does the stamping on top of the barrel say? There were many copies of the S&W Safety Hammerless and you may not actually have a S&W. If it is a S&W, the SN will be stamped on the bottom of the butt frame, on the cylinder and under the barrel latch. These should all match if the gun is original. If it is a S&W, it is a 2nd Model and was made in the late 1880's, making it an antique.
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Old 09-07-2017, 09:48 AM
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Pretty sure you have a S&W, since there were no other manufacturers that used the type of cylinder catch that you described. The pin ahead of the rear sight is actually a spring loaded lever called the cylinder catch. The were used on 2nd and 3rd Models. If you depress the front of the lever, it allows you to screw off the cylinder for cleaning, etc. You must keep the lever depressed until the cylinder is totally removed or you will score the cylinder with the catch. Same with installing the cylinder back on the quill (center hollow pin) Look up under the rear of the cylinder and you will see how the catch retains the cylinder in place.
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Old 09-07-2017, 10:27 AM
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In addition to what Gary said, the presence of the grip safety also makes it very likely that you have an original S&W Safety Hammerless. A lot of manufacturers made hammerless .38 topbreaks during that period, but none that I'm aware of copied S&W's safety design.
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Old 09-07-2017, 10:56 AM
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OK gentlemen, thanks for the info. Correct on the cylinder catch, I just tried it. Stamped on top of the barrel is: Smith & Wesson Springfield Mass. U.S.A. Pat'd Feby 20 77 Dec 18 77 May11 80 Sept 11 83 Oct 2 83 Two Aug 4 85. I'll try to put a picture up later. Having trouble getting it off my phone onto here. May have to charge my camera and do it that way. Thank you both. Very helpful info.
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Old 09-07-2017, 12:48 PM
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Get the free Tapatalk app for your phone. It'll make uploading pictures easy.
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Old 09-07-2017, 01:19 PM
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Some info help please-img_0561-jpg Here it is...maybe
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Old 09-07-2017, 09:59 PM
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The stocks may be factory, since your revolver was made before medallions were placed on MOP stocks around 1893. Only a factory letter would verify. Nice nickel gun you have there.
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Old 09-08-2017, 12:43 AM
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Thanks for all the great info. Can the factory provide more info? Gary, you mentioned a letter from them to verify the MOP stocks. Can they verify the year of manufacture? Since it has a serial number, i guess they could. What about value? Not interested in selling but would like to have a general idea of it's worth. Thank you all for your info.
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Old 09-08-2017, 01:55 AM
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Welcome to the forum.

A historical letter will tell you the shipping date and the configuration that the gun shipped but not the value. The factory stopped doing the letters and they are now done by the S&W Historical Foundation. Even finding out how to order a historical letter on the S&W website takes a bit of digging after looking at their site map.

The cost is $75 and collectors appreciate those guns more that have a letter included that verify the original shipped configuration.

I don't collect this model but I don't believe they are very valuable unless in pristine condition and in their original box. Those is lesser condition and without original box will only bring a couple of hundred dollars on the market.

If the stocks are original then that might give it a bump in price as they are more rare and collectors seem to like them.
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Old 09-08-2017, 02:17 AM
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Thank you. Appreciate the info.
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