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Old 04-18-2010, 12:03 AM
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Default S&W Terrier or Regulation Police?

I have a collection of Shooter's Bibles dating back to 1945, I was recently looking thru the 1945 SB and saw a S&W Terrier featured. I love the I frame 32's and now it seem there is a 38 S&W I frame out there. Since most I frames around here are fairly cheap (my last one was 125.00) I decided to get one.

I checked the GB abd AA and only found one on GB for 579.00. It seemed a bit pricey, so I did some research. I was told that the Terrier and the Regulation Police were the same gun and that a model 32 and 33 were practically the same.

My 1945 SB shows the Terrier as a 5 shot 2" round butt 38 S&W ($30.00) SEPERATELY from the 38 Regulation Police as a 5 shot 4" square butt 38 S&W ($32.00). Both were 5 shot and featured as different guns than the 32 Hand Ejector and 32 Regulation Police Police which were both 6 shot guns.

My Blue Book (31st) shows no Terrier in the Named Model section and the Regulation Police is listed as a 6 shot. The Munbered Models section shows a Model 32 (.38 Terrier) as a 5 shot 2" barrel on a 32 frame (I frame?) and a Model 33 (Regulation Police) as a 5 shot 2-3-4 inch barrel round or square butt.

From what I can find, the Terrier was ONLY offered as a round butt, 5 shot I frame and that is what I want. Any help on what is what?

SN 27574 S&W Regulation Police. When was it made?

Last edited by Mickey Rat; 04-18-2010 at 12:07 AM.
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Old 04-18-2010, 12:41 AM
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The Regulation Police was introduced in 1917 as a square butt gun. It was available in both .32 S&W Long (six-shot) and .38 S&W (not .38 S&W Special). The .38, as you mentioned, is a five-shot revolver.

The serial number you mentioned would have been on a .38 Regulation Police shipped in the mid-1920s. The .38 RPs had their own serial number sequence. The .32 RPs were folded in with the .32 Hand Ejector serial number sequence.

The Terrier was produced in the .38 Regulation Police serial number sequence, but should probably be considered its own animal rather than a variant form of RP. The Terrier was introduced in 1936 and manufactured until 1940, when production was suspended because of the need to work on wartime contracts. After the war the Terrier came back and eventually became the Model 32 in 1957.

You will often see the Terrier referred to as the .38/32 Terrier, which just means .38 caliber revolver built on the .32 caliber frame.

All Terriers seem to be collectible, but the early prewar guns are particularly collectible because there just aren't that many of them. That drives their prices up.

Good luck in the hunt. I hope you score the one you want.
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Old 04-18-2010, 01:08 AM
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I have always found that a Terrier (Model 32) is more collectable in general then the RP (Model 33). With that said, a Terrier will usually bring more money then a RP if in the same shape. This is certainly true with the numbered models. I purchased a Model 33 NIB last year for $400. I also saw a Model 32 at the same time and same condition that was being offered for $475. I passed on the Model 32 and found one a bit later that is in excellent shape, except that the previous owner scratched their initials into the side plate. It is a great shooter and the 38 S&W is a fun round.
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Old 04-18-2010, 09:00 AM
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1. All guns are expensive these days.

2. In the same condition, older will be more expensive than newer.

3. Short barrel will be more expensive than long barrel.

I think (underscore "think") the Terrier is built on the larger J frame starting with the 32-1.

I looked for a Terrier for several years. All I found were ratty guns in the $500-$600 price range. I went without one.

Then last year I saw one listed on GunBroker. Photos were not good but the gun looked nice from what I could see. Text described it as good condition. Starting price was $400 and I bid that amount (being that was my self-imposed limit). I was the only bidder.

What arrived was a revolver that appeared to be in new condition. No wear, no handling marks, nothing to show age at all. Serial suggests a 1955 build and that's the year I was born so some added cool.

Determine your max price, keep looking.
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Old 04-18-2010, 11:05 AM
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I just got lucky? Here is the one I just picked up. It isn't a Terrier, but it looks like it might be a good shooter. Price was 325.00.

Smith & Wesson S&W Regulation Police 38S&W Revolve : Revolvers at GunBroker.com
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Old 04-18-2010, 11:26 AM
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Pre-war gun that is heavily modified. Should be a fun shooter. You paid what it was worth to you.
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Old 04-18-2010, 02:19 PM
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SaxonPig,

Do you think the nickel is not original? It did look kinda daubbed on. The grips can be replaced, but it should be a good shooter. What is an actual value (in your opinion) of the gun?

This was a "just get by for now" purchase. I will continue to look for a real Terrier. I'll find out if I actually like the gun/cartridge combination. I love my I frame 32's, I just can't see the sights!

I am an accumulator, not a collector. I just get what strikes my fancy, and I tend to like the more obsure, weird and unusual. I shoot everything I have.

I just found a Model 53 in 22 Jet for 500.00 and bought it. It is the ONLY one I have ever seen. I wanted one for years, but thought that I wouldn't be able to afford or find one.

I also wanted either (or both) a S&W or Colt 1917. I hadn't seen any that I could afford (500-600 is pretty much my limit). I found one at the last local Gun Show. It is a Colt New Service in 455 Eley modified for 45 ACP with moon clips. It also had a S&W adjustable rear sight and a nice ramp/post front sight. I know that it was butchered, but I wanted a shooter and boy can I see the sights! I paid 400.00 for it and it is worth every penny (at least to me). It may not be worth that to anyone else, but I like it.

Last edited by Mickey Rat; 04-18-2010 at 02:29 PM.
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Old 04-18-2010, 03:00 PM
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Not trying to hijack questions you directed to SP, but I would state the general principle that a gun you are happy with is a gun you paid the right price for.

It kind of doesn't matter how somebody else values it or what another party would have paid for it. I have guns that, in retrospect, I probably overpaid for by quite a bit. But I am happy with them and can't imagine I would like them more if I had paid a lower price for them.

As to the Gunbroker revolver you just bought, I am pretty sure most people would think it is refinished. Hard to tell with the harsh lighting in the pictures, but it looks as though the hammer and trigger are nickeled, too. The factory didn't do that, so nickel on these parts is usually taken as an indication of refinishing.

But since you were looking for a small frame .38 shooter, so what? I have a badly renickeled .32-20 from 1913 that is a lot of fun to shoot -- good bore, tight action. I just looks kind of cosmetically challenged.
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Old 04-18-2010, 03:01 PM
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Clearly it has been refinished. S&W did not plate hammers and triggers so when you see this it's a sure bet the gun has been refinished (and poorly).

The barrel has been cut. The front sight re-installation looks a bit crooked.

This gun has been listed on GB for quite some time, going unsold and then relisted at a lower price until it reached a level where it was cheap enough to draw bids.
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Old 04-18-2010, 04:06 PM
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I went back to the site and looked harder. I did notice the hammer and trigger plated, so I knew that it was redone.

How can you tell that the barrel was cut down? The more I look, learn and research I realize that the length is wrong. It is the same length as a 32 hand ejector and all Terriers were 2" and Regulation Police were 2-4-6 inch barrels. Is that correct? I've been accumulating guns for some time, but revolvers are just starting to get my attention.

Before looking for a Terrier, most of my revolvers were shooters, and not exceptional.

Thanks for all the help and information. Anything else is appreciated.
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Old 04-18-2010, 09:11 PM
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As far as I know, all the RPs were made with 4" barrels and square butt frames. This gun appears to have a 2.5" barrel (or thereabouts) and is not original. The frame also appears modified into round butt configuration. Or, there is the outside possibility that the frame is a Terrier and original in round butt and a cut down RP barrel was installed for some reason. A close examination of the frame should reveal whether it looks original or reworked.
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Old 04-19-2010, 06:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SaxonPig View Post
As far as I know, all the RPs were made with 4" barrels and square butt frames.
Hi
Nope, in the Regulation Police series revolver's They made them in 3-1/4" -4-1/4" & 6" Barrel lengths in Pre-War & Post-War production with an Odd Looking Rebated frame that took them from a round butt looking frame to a square butt configuration and were the Only Guns Produced with such a frame design. They stamped the .38 S&W caliber Regulation Police revolver's with the name "Regulation Police" but not the .32 S&W caliber Regulation Police revolvers. Below is a .32 S&W Caliber Regulation Police revolver from 1925 with a 3-1/4" barrel and a Terrier Snub Revolver in .38 S&W Caliber that shipped in 1950...












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Old 04-19-2010, 12:03 PM
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Well I guess the OP's gun may be more original than I thought.
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Old 04-19-2010, 01:14 PM
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Re: SN 27574. Close serial numbers were shipped in Dec. 1925. I have a .38 RP , Blue, Square Butt , serial # 731, I got some years ago from Jim Supica, with a factory installed 2 inch barrel! Some buyer must have been anticipating the future Terriers! Ed. # 15
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Old 04-19-2010, 05:52 PM
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I think you are both right. Again, according to the 1945 SB ad:

Terrier is ONLY 5 shot, round butt and 2" barrel.

.32 Regulation Police is 6 shot, square butt 3 1/4, 4 1/4 or 6 inch barrel.

.38 Regulation Police is 5 shot, square butt 4" barrel.

SB isn't a detailed history, but I would think that the ad would show other options.

The Stoeger Cataloge Edition No. 10, 1929, shows the Regulation Police as a 6 shot 32 or 38 with the 32 in 3 1/4", 4 1/4" & 6" lengths and the 38 in 4" only. Penetration of white pine boards was featured in several ads as:

38 SPL 8 1/2 boards
38 S&W 5 boards
32-20 5 1/2 boards
32 4 1/2 boards.

I thought you all might like to know some trivia. I am learning still and I want to thank you all for the help.

[IMG][/IMG]


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Old 07-06-2010, 01:08 PM
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Thanks for posting the old catalog pages. Very interesting!
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Old 07-06-2010, 01:28 PM
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Here are a couple of pre-war Regulation Police. The top one is a 6" in .32 and the bottom a 38 SW with a 4" barrel. I also included a picture of the rebated frame found on the RP guns. I also included a picture of the inside of the grips that would fit the frame.





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Old 07-06-2010, 02:23 PM
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I am using this thread as an excuse to show my NIB one again.
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Old 07-06-2010, 03:47 PM
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And to muddy the water further....I would agree all 4" pre-war reg. police have a rebated frame. I have a post war (pre-model#) 4" .38 reg police with a round butt frame. I asked Mr.Jinks about it. He said the rebated frames were eliminated after the war. I think he said this one was shipped in '54.

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Old 07-06-2010, 04:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hsguy View Post
Here are a couple of pre-war Regulation Police. The top one is a 6" in .32 and the bottom a 38 SW with a 4" barrel. I also included a picture of the rebated frame found on the RP guns.



I have never seen that rebated frame before. I swear you learn something new every day!
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Old 11-10-2010, 09:57 AM
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Terrier One 32 Revolver Sn 003516

What would a fair price for this weapon be?
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Old 11-10-2010, 10:17 AM
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Rschoppe, welcome to the forum.

Something is not right with that serial number. Is there a letter H preceding the digits?

When you say 32 I believe you mean Model 32 rather than .32 caliber, is that correct? Because the Terrier (either under the name Terrier or Model 32 designation) was a .38 caliber revolver.

Please post a picture if you can. We can tell you more about your revolver with enough information to identify it correctly.
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Old 11-10-2010, 10:21 AM
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i will post a picture, this is the only information i can get from the auction, its from a police dept. which was seized
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Old 11-10-2010, 10:25 AM
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does anyone know how to post pictures
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Old 11-10-2010, 10:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 44wheelman View Post
And to muddy the water further....I would agree all 4" pre-war reg. police have a rebated frame. I have a post war (pre-model#) 4" .38 reg police with a round butt frame. I asked Mr.Jinks about it. He said the rebated frames were eliminated after the war. I think he said this one was shipped in '54.

I had forgotten this thread. I came into one of these unrebated postwar .38 RPs recently and was surprised by the round butt. It's like a Terrier with a longer barrel.



Mine is 58470. I think I see 58684 on the inside of the right grip panel of 44wheelman's RP. Mine shipped in July 1951, and I suspect that his would have gone out not too many months one way or the other from that date. Note that both are built on the unimproved I frame that utilized the flat spring.

As to the dates and availability of rebated frames, check out the first post in this thread:

Transition 32 & 38 Regulation Police

Clearly there were rebated frames available for RP stocks on the improved I-frames, both .32 and .38 caliber. So there was a short period (no more than a couple of years) in which the square butt RPs were not available, and then with the introduction of the improved I-frame (1953), the square butt on a rebated frame made its return. (Or maybe the rebated frames came back a little before the introduction of the coil-spring frame, in which case the round butt versions are an interesting scarce variant.)
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Last edited by DCWilson; 11-10-2010 at 10:42 AM. Reason: clarify caliber
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Old 11-10-2010, 10:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rschoppe View Post
does anyone know how to post pictures
If you have a digital version of the picture on your computer, you can use the "manage attachments" button to post a photo with your message. That button is found further down on the "reply to thread page" that comes up when you post a reply.

Or, if you have a photobucket account (or some other image hosting account on the internet), follow these directions:

http://smith-wessonforum.com/forum-o...ew-format.html

If none of that works for you, just email me the photo at dcw1000(AT)verizon(DOT)net and I'll find a way to post it.
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Old 11-10-2010, 10:57 AM
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anyone have any luck on the Terrier One 32 Revolver Sn 003516
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Old 11-10-2010, 11:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rschoppe View Post
anyone have any luck on the Terrier One 32 Revolver Sn 003516
This the photo that Mr. Schoppe sent me.



It's clearly not a Smith & Wesson, though the Terrier name and diamond patterns on the stocks are imitations of S&W features.

The Terrier One was available for a short period of time in the 1980s. Here's a link to one in a closed auction that sold for $55.

Terrier One Serrifile Inc .32 Revolver | Proxibid®

I found two different stories for the origin of these guns. One is that they were made in Southern California, the other that they were imported (from where?) by a Florida company named Serrifile.

I don't want to sound like a Smith snob, but I can't imagine that this would be a reliable revolver. Cheap guns are cheap for a reason.
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Old 11-10-2010, 11:51 AM
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thanks, i will stop bidding
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Old 11-10-2010, 11:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hammerdown View Post
Hi
Below is a .32 S&W Caliber Regulation Police revolver from 1925 with a 3-1/4" barrel and a Terrier Snub Revolver in .38 S&W Caliber that shipped in 1950...


Hammerdown,
Not meaning to be contrary, but did you mean the Terrier shipped in 1950 or in the 1950's?
The reason I ask is because it's an I frame 2nd improvement Model of 1953 with characteristics of 1956 production; 3 screw sideplate, larger egg shaped trigger guard, longer round butt grip frame and 2nd or 2rd style flat latch.
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Old 11-10-2010, 11:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mickey Rat View Post
I checked the GB abd AA and only found one on GB for 579.00. It seemed a bit pricey, so I did some research. I was told that the Terrier and the Regulation Police were the same gun and that a model 32 and 33 were practically the same.

My 1945 SB shows the Terrier as a 5 shot 2" round butt 38 S&W ($30.00) SEPERATELY from the 38 Regulation Police as a 5 shot 4" square butt 38 S&W ($32.00). Both were 5 shot and featured as different guns than the 32 Hand Ejector and 32 Regulation Police Police which were both 6 shot guns.

My Blue Book (31st) shows no Terrier in the Named Model section and the Regulation Police is listed as a 6 shot. The Munbered Models section shows a Model 32 (.38 Terrier) as a 5 shot 2" barrel on a 32 frame (I frame?) and a Model 33 (Regulation Police) as a 5 shot 2-3-4 inch barrel round or square butt.

From what I can find, the Terrier was ONLY offered as a round butt, 5 shot I frame and that is what I want. Any help on what is what?

SN 27574 S&W Regulation Police. When was it made?
Yes the Terrier was only the name used for the 5 shot 38S&W 2" Round butt. However there was an equivalent 32 6 shot, 2" with round butt.
But it is named 32 Hand Ejector (5th Change by collectors) before the war and 32 HE (post war by collectors) after WWII. Because the 1st Hand Ejector was a 32 cal 6 shot round butt introduced in 1896 with various barrel lengths.

Caution on using the Blue Book to identify Smith and Wesson handguns; especially those in the 1950's era. Because it is the most confusing era for Smiths and the small frames inparticular, the BB is riddled with incomplete model information and just plain errors.

I recommend The Standard Catalog of Smith & Wesson by Supica and Nahas which is about the best resource and is much more comprehensive but still lacks complete explanation of the evolutionary details of the 50's I frames and not without errors/confusion.
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Old 11-10-2010, 11:48 PM
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[QUOTE=DCWilson;
Clearly there were rebated frames available for RP stocks on the improved I-frames, both .32 and .38 caliber. So there was a short period (no more than a couple of years) in which the square butt RPs were not available, and then with the introduction of the improved I-frame (1953), the square butt on a rebated frame made its return. (Or maybe the rebated frames came back a little before the introduction of the coil-spring frame, in which case the round butt versions are an interesting scarce variant.)[/QUOTE]

Hi David,
I own and am aware of sq butt rebated frames on UNimproved I frames (leaf mainspring with strain screw) that are early post war. I have not observed any rebated frames on 1st improvement I frames (coil mainspring). It sounds like you have. Do you have any photos of them?

Also, I agree that there appears to be a period between early post war production and the 2nd improvement (model 1953) I frames, when no sq butt frames were available. However when sq butts were re-introduced with the Mod of 1953, it was no longer a rebated round butt frame, but rather a completely new frame forging with square shaped grip frame.

The exception of course, and only one I know of, being the 1957 32 Reg Police Target. However they are UNimproved I frames left over from pre war with small trigger guard, flat main spring, etc.
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Old 11-11-2010, 06:26 PM
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Jim, if I am keeping the varieties straight, the .38 RP that Lee Jarrett posted on his Transitional RP thread a couple of weeks ago was a coil-mainspring gun with a rebated frame. He didn't post a picture of the exposed frame, but said in the narrative that it had one. The serial number on that one was 68415.

Can you mention serial numbers of the postwar rebated unimproved I-frames that you mentioned? I was trying to ID the earliest postwar .38 RPs earlier today, and with the exception of some .38/32 Terriers, the 1951 guns in the 58xxx range are the earliest postwar units I can find. The last prewar .38 RP is said to be 54474. I doubt the company punched out nearly 4000 postwar Terriers before resuming production of the longer barrel guns, but who knows?

Info on these guns may be sparse because there is no major collector's market for .38 RPs on either side of WWII. If people hungered after these guns the way they do Registered Magnums, I bet we'd know a lot more about the dates of their production runs.

I'm beginning to develop a small fondness for the .38 S&W round. It is obviously a little less powerful than the .38 Special, but it is far from being anemic.
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Old 11-12-2010, 02:25 AM
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David, my dementia has kicked in again! I even captured Lee's photos for my records...how could I forget??? He even had photos w/grips off. Of all the things I've lost, I miss my mind the most. Thanks for jogging my memory!

The only rebated frame post wars I have are 32s. So the serial # won't help you but just for reference the earliest unimproved I frame I have with rebated frame and leaf spring is: 545654.

The 38 RPs I have are prewar and under your 'high #' of 54474.

I know I've seen many post war unimproved rebated 38 S&W RPs as well over the years. So with your enlightenment about rebated 1st improvement I Frames, I'm convinced there was probably no gap in rebated I frame RPs until discontinued with the introduction in 1953 of the 2nd improvement I frames.

So what I'll be focused on observing now is what I refer to as the 'last transition post war model' with rebated frame, to back up my theory.
These are defined by being 1st Imp., but having ramp front sight w/barrel rib, grooved trigger and 1st use of the 2nd style flat latch.

Lee's photos in his thread here: Transition 32 & 38 Regulation Police
show what I call 'mid-transition post war models': they are 1st Imp., still have 1/2 penny front sight, have the 2nd style post war semi-sculpted thumblatch (which preceeded the flat latch), and they introduced the grooved trigger on non-target guns.
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Last edited by Hondo44; 11-12-2010 at 02:12 PM.
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Old 04-14-2011, 01:12 PM
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Bringing this thread back because I have found another postwar round butt .38 Regulation Police with a lower serial number than the one I showed in post no. 25 above. The new gun is 54804; the one above is 58470. I hope to have it in hand tomorrow and will post pics. It is not as pretty as the one above, but I got it for a song (well, two songs) and I wanted it because I now realize it is an interesting and potentially scarce variety.

I am awaiting a letter from Roy on the proper nomenclature for these. Lee Jarrett has taken the position that any RP by definition must have a square butt, and that this round butt variety with the RP rollmark may need a new label from the company historian. I was slow to ask for the letter, but hope to have it in a couple of weeks.
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