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Old 01-10-2010, 11:35 AM
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Default Info needed on 38 special BNP revolver

Hello, I have recently come across an old S&W revolver chambered in .38 Special. From reading through some of the posts on here, I have tried to identify the pertinent features of the gun to aid in identification. It has .38" SPECIAL I.I50"
BNP, 4 TONS PER sq", with what appears to be a small X with an L to the left of i and a small 2 below it. Ser. # is 857XXX. It also has the BNP markingsunderneath the frame, just in front of the trigger guard, as well as between each depression on the side of the cylinder. It has an aftermarket Pachmayr grip extension. The serial # under the grip matches that on the barrel. Any info you could offer would be appreciated. I have attached a couple of images...I hope I did this correctly, this is my first post.
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Old 01-10-2010, 12:11 PM
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BNP = Birmingham Nitro Proof (that's Birmingham, England not Alabama or Michigan) and the other markings are also British proof marks.

So the revolver was sold or issued in England at some time. I recall that when the British were really hurting for guns early in WW II, we supplied them with some .38 Special revolvers and .30-06 rifles which they had to keep separate from their .38/200 (.38 S&W) and .303 issue weapons. Or it might have been sold there when a free Englishman might own a pistol, as he may not now. You need somebody with the right book to get such details.

The grips are replacements, the Pachmayr grip adaptor is obviously an add on, and I suspect the gun has been reblued. A handsome piece, at any rate.
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Old 01-10-2010, 12:29 PM
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Hi there Lancel, welcome to the forum. Jim has it nailed pretty good. It appear's to be a 1905 4th model change that was made around 1940 to 1941. The grips are English made for refurbed export gun's. The grips are normally without the S&W medallion. Here's a pic of a set I put on a late 1905 4th that has been reblued. Nice revolver you have there, enjoy!
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Old 01-10-2010, 01:43 PM
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I have to suspect that the gun is not properly and originally chambered for the 38 Special but is in fact a reamed out 38 S&W. This is a most unsavory conversion that was unfortunately routinely performed on these revolvers for sale in the U.S. after the war.

Some 38 Specials were sent to England during the war but the number was quite small. If this is an original 38 Special then great... but I doubt it.
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Old 01-10-2010, 10:03 PM
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Hello

Anyone have any clues on the percentage of British .380" Calibre Victory (and/or "Pre-Victory") Model Revolvers that were converted to .38 Special? It seems to be a fairly common thing from what I have seen here in this forum.

I'm lucky as my .380" British Victory Model is still in the original calibre.
Thanks
Mark
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Old 01-11-2010, 12:23 AM
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Thanks so much for all of your comments!

If it makes a difference, the gun, on the right side of the barrel, has "38 S. & W. CTG" stamped on it....and it looks like a deeper strike and different font than the "SMITH & WESSON" stamped on the left side of the barrel.
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Old 01-11-2010, 02:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LanceL View Post

If it makes a difference, the gun, on the right side of the barrel, has "38 S. & W. CTG" stamped on it....and it looks like a deeper strike and different font than the "SMITH & WESSON" stamped on the left side of the barrel.
Indeed it does make a difference. .38 S&W is an entirely different cartridge than .38 S&W Special. Many of the revolvers supplied to the British during WWII that were originally chambered for the .38 S&W round were converted to .38 Special before being re-imported to the US following the war - hence the BNP proof marks as seen on your gun.

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