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Old 07-16-2018, 06:55 PM
Goodcook310 Goodcook310 is offline
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Need help identifying a .38 CTG top break, please Need help identifying a .38 CTG top break, please Need help identifying a .38 CTG top break, please Need help identifying a .38 CTG top break, please Need help identifying a .38 CTG top break, please  
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Default Need help identifying a .38 CTG top break, please

I am helping a friend's widow sell her late husband's collection. She has a 5 shot, 3 1/4" barrel S&W .38 CTG, serial number 40312. The barrel lists patterns of Aug 98, Dec 99, Oct 01, Feb 09 and Sept 09. I'm at a loss for its value or even the ammo it takes. The buleing is good a d it seems in fine working order. Does anyone know what she has or it's approximate value? Thanks in advance for your help!

Last edited by Goodcook310; 07-16-2018 at 11:00 PM.
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Old 07-16-2018, 07:26 PM
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Pictures and more information would be a great help. Is the number you gave as the serial number stamped on the butt? I wonder because the number doesn't correspond to the the 09 patent date. Does it have a hammer or is it hammerless (hammer concealed within the frame)? If that is the correct serial number, it might be .38 Double-Action Perfected Model, but the patent dates don't match.

Does it have two ways to open the cylinder, both a top latch and a side thumb release?

The only thing I can say for sure is that it takes the .38 S&W cartridge, not the .38 S&W Special. Ammunition in the .38 S&W caliber is available on line. May not be easy to find in local gun shops or big box stores. Given your description, it is probably safe to shoot with factory ammo.

Value is dependent on identifying the correct model, and on the condition which cannot be established without those pictures I asked for. Need clear pictures of both sides and of the bottom of the grip. S&W made hundreds of thousands of these break top revolvers. If the condition is very good to excellent, value may be between $250-$300.

P.S. I just noticed you included "5th" in the title. There is a .38 Double-Action 5th Model, but the serial number range is 539001 to 554077.

Last edited by Inusuit; 07-16-2018 at 07:29 PM.
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Old 07-16-2018, 07:31 PM
mmaher94087 mmaher94087 is offline
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Best guess: .38 Double Action Perfected Model. SN 1 - 59,400. Value can be left to others as it is not seen very often.
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Old 07-17-2018, 09:32 AM
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Welcome to the forums from the Wiregrass! The cartridge caliber is .38 S&W, NOT .38 Special. Still available although not in some smaller stores.
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Old 07-17-2018, 04:47 PM
Goodcook310 Goodcook310 is offline
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Need help identifying a .38 CTG top break, please Need help identifying a .38 CTG top break, please Need help identifying a .38 CTG top break, please Need help identifying a .38 CTG top break, please Need help identifying a .38 CTG top break, please  
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Gents- thank you for your quick replies. The "5th" has been corrected to "CTG" in the title. It does have dual opening catches, a standard side lever and the top release ( like a Luger..." . It does have a hammer and the serial number is what was stamped on the butt and calender. I have taken pix and am figuring how to load them!!
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Old 07-17-2018, 04:49 PM
Goodcook310 Goodcook310 is offline
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Need help identifying a .38 CTG top break, please Need help identifying a .38 CTG top break, please Need help identifying a .38 CTG top break, please Need help identifying a .38 CTG top break, please Need help identifying a .38 CTG top break, please  
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That's "cylender"..... I hate spell check.....
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Old 07-17-2018, 05:17 PM
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Goodcook310 - when you are ready to post a reply, click the"Go Advanced" window, then scroll down to additional options and the second available of "Attach files" is where you should click on "manage attachments". you should have a pop up in the upper left hand corner come up where you can click on "Browse" which permits you to access photos on your computer. then just "upload". you can post a maximum of 5 photos this way.
If you do not have the photos in the computer, as possible taken with a smart phone, then email yourself, open your mail and save to computer. etc. I hope this helps.
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Old 07-17-2018, 05:23 PM
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Need help identifying a .38 CTG top break, please Need help identifying a .38 CTG top break, please Need help identifying a .38 CTG top break, please Need help identifying a .38 CTG top break, please Need help identifying a .38 CTG top break, please  
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Thanks for the tips. I have them listed. Now try ing to get them to post....
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Old 07-17-2018, 05:43 PM
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Been refinished, but still a neat gun.
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Old 07-17-2018, 08:05 PM
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Welcome. The 38 Perfected was the last top-break model introduced by S&W in 1909. About 59,400 were made from 1909 to 1920. If only we could access the Expert Commentaries, I would link you to one on the Perfected revolver. Maybe someday.

They turned out to be slow sellers in the US, but were popular with the export markets, so not too many come up for sale around the country. The gun has been refinished as noted above. That is evidenced by the blued hammer and trigger and soft edges from buffing. I just picked up a nice one for you to compare to yours and note the reasons why we say refinish.
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Old 07-18-2018, 03:52 AM
Goodcook310 Goodcook310 is offline
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Gary- Thank you and the others that helped. So I guess she has a .38 Perfected in .38 S&W, re-blued- whew. Big help!!

Might anyone offer a reasonable value I might offer this for? I know it's worth what someone is willing to pay, just looking for a starting point....
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Old 07-18-2018, 07:49 AM
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Welcome to the forum.

Unfortunately, due to the refinish and the number made, this gun falls out of the true collectible category. Unless someone really wants an example for their collection and is willing to overlook the re-blue, price will be negatively impacted.

The antique market is soft right now and most younger buyers are not interested in guns that aren't made of plastic and/or shoot 30 rounds. I would think that $200-$300 would be the range.
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Old 07-18-2018, 02:43 PM
Goodcook310 Goodcook310 is offline
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Thank you to all Responders. Your knowledge is amazing and your support much appreciated. I believe the Lady I am helping knew this was not a high value item but really wanted to know it's history as she lost her opportunity to ask her husband directly. Again, thank you from a grateful new member to the forum.
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