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Old 04-09-2018, 01:13 PM
Colt4515 Colt4515 is offline
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This is my Grandmother's(!) old S&W in .38 S&W. I believe it is a 3rd Model Perfected. The SN is 45207x. I'm told the grips are factory original. The cylinder does not lock reliably so I need to have it repaired to make it a shooter. I intend to do that. What can you tell me about it? How old, in particular, and perhaps a ballpark value.

John
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Old 04-09-2018, 01:21 PM
merl67 merl67 is offline
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If I am not mistaken you have a.38 Double Action 4th Model made in between 1895-1909 yours is probably closer to the later date grips are factory pearl.
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Old 04-09-2018, 01:25 PM
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This is a Perfected model.
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Old 04-09-2018, 01:30 PM
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From the serial number it appears to be a 38 Double-Action 4th Model, which, according to the Standard Catalog of Smith and Wesson, was manufactured from 1895-1909 (Serial number range: 322701-539000). The condition seems to be Fair-Good, with a value of $200 plus or minus. However, those beautiful grips add considerably to that. They are probably worth $125-150 (assuming no cracks or chips). You'll get other ideas of value by those more expert than me. Be very careful if you decide to remove the grips - they are fragile.
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Old 04-09-2018, 01:49 PM
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Ole Maw must have been a character, with her MOP gripped pistol.
Not a Perfected, but still a nice DA.
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Old 04-09-2018, 02:08 PM
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Unfortunately, I left my notes at my house. Most of the info I have about it, included the name came from a telephone call with Roy Jinks.

The grips are excellent except for rust stains on the inside (from the frame) and a slightly rusty grip screw. And yes, I think she might have been a "pistol"!
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Old 04-09-2018, 02:33 PM
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Welcome to the forums from the Wiregrass! Might want to take those grips off and soak the gun in half-n-half acetone and auto trans fluid for a day or two. That should loosen up the rust and dried oil in the action. If you flush it with aerosol auto parts/carb/brake cleaner, the action may be better. All it takes is a little varnish buildup to affect the hammer break. Some Mother's Mag or Flitz will shine up the outside.

Pistol packing Grannies are a hoot! At least, mine were.
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Old 04-10-2018, 07:19 AM
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Probably has a broken trigger return spring. I think S&Ws just have a V spring in there. I've replaced these on H&Rs and other old topbreaks.
Wolff has packs of V-springs that take some fitting but I've been able to use them with some success:

https://www.gunsprings.com/GUNSMITH%.../mID132/dID388

https://www.gunsprings.com/GUNSMITH%.../mID132/dID389
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Old 04-10-2018, 11:13 AM
NewDeparture NewDeparture is offline
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As twaits said, something seems to be wrong with that trigger.

Being a DA Model, it should be resting forward than that when the hammer is not cocked.

Taking out the sideplate will be useful to determine what´s going on inside. Maybe is just crud gunking up the mechanism.

Nice family heirloom. The MOP stocks are an excellent extra bonus.

Newdeparture
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Old 04-10-2018, 11:27 AM
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Unfortunately, it cannot be classified as an antique, since the serial number is past the BATF cut-off. It most likely would have shipped from the factory in 1904. Nice little 38 DA.
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Old 04-10-2018, 12:35 PM
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114 years old is antique enough. What advantage would it have if it were a C&R?
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Old 04-10-2018, 03:13 PM
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You need to get a factory historical letter to tell you the ship date and confirm that it's a C&R gun. The letter will also tell you the shipping destination, date and the configuration of the gun when shipped, to confirm whether the ivory medallion stocks are original to the gun. The gun is a C&R ( made after Dec. 31, 1898) and falls under ATF rules as a C&R, I don't see any advantage over it being an antique, as it requires AFT transfer paper work to change ownership, and antique classification eliminates all that red tape. The gun is a .38 Double Action Perfected model, NOT a 4th model DA, and was probably made circa early WW1 era. This model was S&W's last top break revolver. A good cleaning of the interior action will probably return the gun to correct functioning. Ed.
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Old 04-10-2018, 03:52 PM
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It is definitely a curio & relic classified gun because it is over 50 years old. As Gary notes, it is not considered an antique because it was made after 1898. Advantages of a C&R gun are that they can be shipped aross state lines directly to the C&R holder (03 FFL) without going through an 01 FFL on each end or on the receiving end if you are lucky enough to find an FFL that will accept a gun shipped by a non-FFL. Also, C&R licensees can cross state lines and purchase C&R handguns in another state without violating federal law.
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Old 04-10-2018, 05:03 PM
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An antique gun can be sold to anyone anywhere without any restrictions, except maybe in New York, California, and maybe another state or two. An antique 38 Double Action must have a serial number at or below serial #382,022. By BATF definitions, an antique gun is not considered a firearm.

Any "modern" 38 DA will need the assistance of an FFL or a C&R-FFL to sell or transfer interstate as Guy states. Some states have additional requirements for the sale of a modern handgun as well, while other states require registration of handguns. If you do not live in one of those states and don't intend to sell it across state lines, no difference between antique and modern handgun definition for you. It was generally thought that antique status is more valuable then the same model made after 1898, but I am not so sure that is the case today.
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Old 04-10-2018, 05:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by opoefc View Post
. . . The gun is a .38 Double Action Perfected model, NOT a 4th model DA, and was probably made circa early WW1 era. . . Ed.
I think Ed was looking at merl67's example and not the OPs. The reverse is true in your case, it is a 38 DA, 4th.
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Old 04-10-2018, 11:02 PM
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This appears to be it.
Antique Arms, Inc. - S&W .38 Double Action Revolver

SCARCE - S&W .38 Double Action 4th Model - Cleveland Police Department

How do I tell the difference between a 3rd Model and a 4th Model?
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Old 04-11-2018, 08:43 AM
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Mostly by the serial number. 4th Model ran from 322,701 to 539,000. There were subtle changes made, but none that are easy to see. The latch notch on the sear was relocated and the location of the full cock notch was changed.
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Old 04-21-2018, 11:57 PM
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Is this a revolver that shouldn't be carried with 6 rounds in the cylinder?
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Old 04-22-2018, 12:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Colt4515 View Post
Is this a revolver that shouldn't be carried with 6 rounds in the cylinder?
Any of the S&W revolvers made prior to the safety upgrade of WW2 vintage can discharged if dropped on the hammer. I don't worry a lot about it, but each has to make up their own mind about the risk.
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Old 04-22-2018, 09:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Colt4515 View Post
Is this a revolver that shouldn't be carried with 6 rounds in the cylinder?
Well . . . since it is only a 5 shot cylinder, that would be tough. The supposed safe way to carry one of these is to lay the firing pin down between two cartridges, thereby locking the cylinder in place. I am not sure about all models os 38 DAs, but the early ones had a half-cock notch for safety as well. Not sure if the later models had a rebounding hammer or not??

Bottom line is that any old DA revolver is probably not the best choice to carry loaded. The safest way to carry is with the firing pin on an empty cylinder, but that only leaves you with 4 shots.
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