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S&W Hand Ejectors: 1896 to 1961 All 5-Screw & Vintage 4-Screw SWING-OUT Cylinder REVOLVERS, and the 35 Autos and 32 Autos


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Old 11-28-2010, 11:00 PM
UticaNY UticaNY is offline
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What model S&W is this revolver? What model S&W is this revolver? What model S&W is this revolver? What model S&W is this revolver? What model S&W is this revolver?  
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Default What model S&W is this revolver?

I am inheriting this gun, it was a grandparents, and i need to know what model it is for licensing purposes. I am pretty sure it shoots .38 S&W. From doing some Google searches it looks like it might be a "terrier" or a Model 32-1, but i would like to know for sure. The grips and S&W markings on the frame don't seem to match any pictures that i have seen anywhere on the web. The serial # is 496xx. If anybody could help here it would be greatly appreciated.







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Old 11-28-2010, 11:15 PM
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Yes, that would be a Terrier, also sometimes called the .38/32 Terrier. (That means .38 caliber revolver on the .32 caliber frame.) It dates from not later than 1948, so no model number would be applied to it; those were introduced in 1957. What makes it a 1948 or earlier gun is the shape of the hammer and the single-line "MADE IN USA" address block on the right side.l After 1948, the address block went to four lines and included the Marcas Registradas language.

Can you tell us the first few digits of the serial number? I think this is probably a prewar gun, as the Terrier did not get back into manufacturing until 1949 or 1950, if I recall correctly. The Terrier was introduced in the mid-1930s and production was suspended in 1940 for work on wartime contracts. That one looks to be in very good shape. Congratulations on having it in your possession.

EDITED TO ADD: And the first thing is should have is, "Welcome to the forum."
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Last edited by DCWilson; 11-28-2010 at 11:19 PM.
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Old 11-28-2010, 11:26 PM
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Welcome to the forum.
That's a beautiful example of a Terrier.
I too, am interested in the first few numbers of the serial #.

We can give you a pretty accurate year of mfg with the serial.

thanks for posting such a beautiful gun.
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Old 11-28-2010, 11:30 PM
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It's not my post but it says in OP:

"The serial # is 496xx. "
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Old 11-28-2010, 11:51 PM
UticaNY UticaNY is offline
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Serial #4965x

Yes, the gun is in excellent shape, it was my grandmothers. She kept it under her mattress. The gun has probably never been fired before. I received it with a leather holster that reads "Greenblatt NYC".

Last edited by UticaNY; 11-28-2010 at 11:56 PM.
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Old 11-29-2010, 12:16 AM
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Greal looking revolver. Lots of fun to shoot, and being from your Gram, it's more special.

I would shoot it and have fun with it. It's not really a self defense gun, but it's a fun gun to play with.

Congrats
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Old 11-29-2010, 12:22 AM
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Sorry, read right past the serial number. Interpolating from what you gave us, I'd put the gun in 1938, possibly (but less likely) late 1937.

There are collectors of Terriers, and they would love to get their hands on an early one that is unfired. You are extremely fortunate to have that one, and the fact that it is a family heirloom as well just makes it all the sweeter. Treasure it!
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Old 11-29-2010, 12:23 AM
UticaNY UticaNY is offline
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i cannot seem to find any pictures of a terrier that have the same markings as this gun. This is the only picture of the gun that i have been able to find on the web and this site is calling it a "S&W Model 1905 38 Special".

What is it about blued revolvers? Ultimate Reloader

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Old 11-29-2010, 02:24 AM
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UticaNY, welcome once again to the Forum! You'll notice that the gun in your last post, the "1905 .38 Special" has a 6-shot cylinder and is built on the larger K frame rather than the I frame of your 5-shot Terrier. Congratulations on inheriting your Grandma's gun! Ammo for it will likely be slightly problematic to find, and a bit pricey, but go ahead and buy a box or two, have some fun with the piece and remember Grandma is probably watching you appreciate her piece. And don't forget to save that brass. You may decide to reload to save on ammo costs.

Larry

Last edited by lebomm; 11-29-2010 at 02:26 AM. Reason: added text
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Old 11-29-2010, 11:19 AM
UticaNY UticaNY is offline
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thank you for all the info and the greetings, i plan on buying many more smiths so i should be on here pretty frequently. Just picked up a new BG380.

What do you recommend licensing the gun as?

S&W Terrier .38/.32"
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Old 11-29-2010, 11:57 AM
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In the 1939 catalog, the company calls the gun the Smith & Wesson Terrier. If I recall correctly, box ends for these guns were labeled ".38/32 Terrier". If you just register it as a Terrier, that should be good enough. S&W made only one gun with that name, and this is it. There will be no confusion. (Other gun companies marketed guns with "terrier" in the name, but they are not S&Ws -- so no conflict."

Funny about the M&P comparison. When I first saw the pictures that was what I thought too: "Round Butt M&P snubby in .38 Special, prewar." Then I read what you wrote (well, most of it, since I missed the serial number) and realized that you had a Terrier. The terrier is sort of a 5/6 scale version of the M&P (but with five shots instead of six, as was pointed out, because of the reduced cylinder geography), but it's hard to see that proportion without having the two side by side.

Additional info: the Terrier is actually a short-barrel, round-butt variant of the model that S&W called the .38 Regulation Police. That model was introduced in 1917 with its own serial number range. In 1936 S&W introduced the Terrier version with serial numbers starting around 39000 in the RP series. In 1940 they suspended production of the RP line around serial number 54,400. Of the roughly 15000 .38 RPs produced in that period, I don't know for sure how many were Terriers. But I would guess that only three thousand or so were produced. That makes your gun uncommon, but not rare. If anyone has better numbers, I'd like to hear them.

Let me take mild disagreement with the implication that the .38 S&W is not a serious self-defense cartridge. Yes, it is less powerful than a .38 Special, but the .38 S&W is no slouch in its own right. Commonwealth forces purchased hundreds of thousands of the M&P model in that caliber in WWII, and they weren't stupid about sidearm requirements. S&W notes in the 1939 catalog that the .38 S&W penetrates 4-1/2 7/8" pine boards at 20 feet, which is good enough to do some soft tissue damage even if it has to go through an overcoat, jacket and vest in order to do so. Over the last hundred years or so, all the people who had serious health issues in consequence of being hit by a .38 S&W bullet would disagree that it is an inferior load. The self-defense shooting rules are: place your shot correctly and make it deep enough. The .38 S&W can handle the deep-enough part at standard snubby gunfight distances. The placement is up to you. You would be worse off with a .44 if you couldn't hit the threat.
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Last edited by DCWilson; 11-29-2010 at 12:22 PM. Reason: fix typo
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Old 11-29-2010, 12:26 PM
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Very nice pistol.

DC Wilson is correct on the "abilities" of the .38 S&W. I'm glad he posted that.

Keep Grandmother's revolver in good condition and proper storage. Take it out once in a while and shoot it enough if you plan on using it for self-defense. It will not suffer any damage or unusual wear and it will maintain it's collectibility. Or it's "heirloomibility" if you desire it for that purpose.
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Old 11-29-2010, 08:59 PM
UticaNY UticaNY is offline
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thank you very much for all this information, it is great to know this, now i need to find the correct ammo.
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Old 12-01-2010, 09:55 PM
UticaNY UticaNY is offline
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Does anybody know what frame this gun is on? is it an I-frame?
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Old 12-01-2010, 10:05 PM
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Yes, Terriers were built on the I Frame.

Steve
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bg380, cartridge, k frame, leather, prewar, round butt, s&w, snubby, terrier, wwii

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