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S&W Antiques S&W Lever Action Pistols, Tip-Up Revolvers, Top-Break Revolvers, and ALL Single Shots


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  #1  
Old 09-13-2021, 11:42 PM
orscrub orscrub is offline
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Default Old top break 38 age?

Hey, new member here, looking for some help dating one of my old 38 top breaks, s/n 177942 ?
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Old 09-14-2021, 12:36 AM
merl67 merl67 is offline
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Welcome to the forum! We will need a bit more info as there were a few different models that used the 38 S&W. Are you certain of the serial number?
Pictures would help greatly.
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Old 09-14-2021, 06:44 AM
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Post a picture of your top break. If a 38 double action, the ship date would be around 1890. If a safety hammerless, around 1906.
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Old 09-14-2021, 09:08 AM
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Welcome to the Forum. There were at least 3 major models of 38 S&W top-breaks made, so need more information. Likely candidates are 38 Safety Hammerless revolvers, which with that serial number would have shipped around 1904 and 38 S&W Double Actions, which with that serial number would have likely been shipped in the late 1880s.

Problem is that these and other S&W models were never shipped in serial number order, so the only accurate date available is ordering a letter of authentication from the SWHF (Smith & Wesson Historical Foundation)
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Old 09-14-2021, 01:44 PM
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Hope this helps!
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File Type: jpg 20210913_183631.jpg (117.0 KB, 45 views)
File Type: jpg 20210914_122751.jpg (37.7 KB, 52 views)
File Type: jpg 20210914_122553.jpg (52.9 KB, 80 views)
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Old 09-14-2021, 02:09 PM
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Looks like a 38 double action. Gary says late 1880s and I guesstimated 1890. I'll defer. :-)
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Old 09-14-2021, 02:10 PM
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Thank you guys!
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Old 09-14-2021, 02:13 PM
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Welcome to the Forum. .38 Double Action , Ser. # 177942, was made Dec 29, 1886. As you probably know, the gun has been refinished and modern stocks added. Original stocks would have been hard rubber. Ed
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Old 09-14-2021, 05:15 PM
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I like what they did with the stocks.
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Old 09-14-2021, 05:27 PM
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Hello Ed, give away on the grips. I or J frame grips fitted, 1950
era wood?
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Old 09-14-2021, 06:13 PM
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Mike, Look like they are maybe a set of Plainclothes Js, modifed to fit, nice job however. Ed
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Old 09-14-2021, 09:09 PM
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Thanks for all the info guys, any idea of what it's value is?
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Old 09-14-2021, 09:31 PM
opoefc opoefc is offline
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Depends on many factors, but assuming you live where you can legally possess and sell the gun, ( USA) , have clear ownership and there's a market place to put it up for sale ( gun store, online auction, etc ) and it's mechanically operational and safe to shoot ( it's a shooter, not a collectable gun, due to the refinish, etc. ) it might bring $200- $250 range. Ed.

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Old 09-15-2021, 12:13 AM
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Although I have not tried it yet, I'm told it shoots fine although there is a little play ( front to back ) in the cylinder.
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