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Old 08-01-2011, 01:49 PM
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Default S&W 1905 .38 Special 4th change Target

Greetings,
I acquired this .38 over the weekend. Its condition is pretty good with one exception. Over the course of its life it appears to have been dropped on the cylinder and denting one chamber inward. A previous owner then made the regrettable decision to ream the effected chamber. The serial on the cylinder matches the gun itself which is 3093XX. From my research, I believe that serial number gives this .38 a born on date in 1919. I'm not sure but suspect that it's been refinished at some point. What is the best course of action for my cylinder issue?
Thanks,
Ryan
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Old 08-01-2011, 02:11 PM
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Depends on what your goal is for the cylinder. If it loads and extracts OK, I'd leave it as is, myself. The gun's a shooter, due to the damage, and does not have any collectable catagory value. Installing a replacement cylinder will not add any value, unless that's the only way to make it shootable, and the new cylinder will not be numbered tot he gun, of course. Ed.
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Old 08-01-2011, 02:42 PM
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It is shootable but that chamber doesn't seem to want to let go of the brass after it's spent. I get a little too particular about things I guess. I like things "right". This gun is my first S&W and my first DA revolver. I was told that it was kind of desirable being that only 10% were target models. It's kind of a stop gap measure until I can find a nice Victory model in .38 Special but I'm starting to get attached to it. Any idea who would be able to refurb the cylinder or where to get a good shootable one? I just don't want to go upside down with the actual value of the gun. Speaking of which, would anyone be able to tell me an approximate value of the gun?
Thanks,
Ryan
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Old 08-01-2011, 07:41 PM
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I wouldn't put money into it. Take a tapered punch, slide it into the chamber, and tap it with a hammer to flare out the damage. Then enjoy what should be a great action with all the wadcutters (nothing hotter) you can put through it.

Bob
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Old 08-01-2011, 08:25 PM
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The gun is a target, so its worth getting it right. Ed C is right in noting that
the collector value has been diminished because of the damage to
the cylinder, but it's worth a whole lot more than nothing !

I'd replace the cylinder, simply because it is a target. There may be
issues involved in fitting another cylinder, such as the barrel-to-cylinder
gap, and the operation of the extractor. If a replacement cylinder
does not just drop in, a good gunsmith can deal with the fitting
issues. There will also be issues with the color . If your gun has
been reblued, and/or if a replacement cylinder has been reblued,
then the colors may not match.

Tell us what you paid for it. If you're in the gun too deep, then maybe
its not worth it. Some of us do have extra cylinders that we'd
consider selling, but they are not going to be free.

Regards, Mike

Last edited by mikepriwer; 08-02-2011 at 11:27 AM.
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Old 08-01-2011, 08:28 PM
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If it's grabbing on extraction, but the unfired rounds chamber ok, it probably just needs to be polished. It looks pretty rough inside that chamber. The key is to polish, but not remove any metal. I would start by burnishing it with snug fitting 0000 steel wool, then put some Flitz on a snug fitting cotton patch and rotate it.
FYI: The pictures are dark, but it looks like that gun's been refinished. Are the hammer and trigger blued? They sure look like it. If so, then that's a SURE sign it's been refinished.
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Old 08-02-2011, 09:58 AM
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The trigger and hammer have been blued and that was my first indicator as to it being reblued. The picture makes the chamber look worse than it is but there is a definitive lack of blueing in that hole. There is what looks like longitudinal filing parallel with the bore instead of nice annular rings all the way down. Someone should have certainly tried the tapered punch trick first. I believe that a significant amount of material was removed with this less than inteligent repair. I'm into the gun for $300. I bought it from a buddy that is willing to take it back if I'm not satisfied.
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Old 08-02-2011, 11:26 AM
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If you have the option to return it, then do that. You are borderline
too deep, and there may be other subtle issues relating to the
cause of the damage. Being refinished is a significant negative.

Mike Priwer
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