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Old 08-09-2012, 01:51 AM
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Default K-38's

Fairly new guy here and am not wearing flame proof clothing. I've always heard that the K-38 revolvers were given extra special treatment in manufacture. What if anything was done to enhance it's accuracy?. And would anyone know what the twist was in their barrels. Thanks, Frank
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Old 08-09-2012, 09:43 AM
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Hello Frank, no fire proof clothing needed. I have never heard of K38's having any special treatment to enhance their accuracy. I think that like most S&W revolvers the design and manufacturing process is just inherently good and with some exceptions the SW revolvers are among the most accurate handguns built. The K38's were and are considered "world class" by serious target shooters. I think as much as having accurate barrels the smoothness of the action and excellent triggers contributed to their reputation. As far as twist rate I will leave that to a more knowledgeable member.
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Old 08-09-2012, 10:01 AM
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Twist rate for most, if not all, S&W's revolvers is 1:18 3/4".

Since some members have added photos, I will do the same:

14-1


14-3:


K-38:


14-2 Single Action


Another 14-3
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Last edited by bgrafsr; 08-19-2012 at 12:14 PM. Reason: Added more photos
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Old 08-09-2012, 10:09 AM
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K38's were made in the era of fine hand fitting. Along with the great design, the combination made the smoothest and most accurate handgun. It is possible the fitters might have given a little extra attention to the Target models, but they all took pride in their work back then.
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Old 08-09-2012, 12:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by H Richard View Post
K38's were made in the era of fine hand fitting. Along with the great design, the combination made the smoothest and most accurate handgun. It is possible the fitters might have given a little extra attention to the Target models, but they all took pride in their work back then.
Just what I was thinking.....
My 1967 K38 IS the best .38 Spl I have shot for target shooting.
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Old 08-09-2012, 05:09 PM
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I've shot several K38s over the years and found that once in a while you will come across one that shoots spectacularly well. Have no idea what is responsible, but it happens.

Have heard same from a couple of other people over the years. And I remember Skeeter Skelton tested 3 K Masterpieces in "Shooting Times" (believe it was late-1970's) and the K38 he got turned out to be one of those extra-accurate ones. Grouped one ragged hole at 20 yards or so. He said something like "I didn't think I needed another .38 Special, but this one isn't going back to Smith". Or words to that effect.

I remember finding a NIB factory single action K38 some years ago and was hoping it was going to be in that exalted category. But its accuracy was run-of-the-mill so I sold it.
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Old 08-09-2012, 05:18 PM
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Precision grouping depends greatly on having the proper chamber throat diameter, consistency of the throat diameter, and precision of the lineup of the chamber and the barrel. This is what top-grade custom gunsmiths do to earn their fees. But every so often the stars will align and an extra-good revolver comes off the production line.
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Old 08-09-2012, 05:20 PM
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I have the early 40's and 50's K series revolvers and the actions, fit and finish are aweome. I hope to shoot them soon.
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Old 08-09-2012, 05:34 PM
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I have always considered the 1905 Targets to be some of the finest guns S&W ever made, especially ones from the 1930's. My theory was that if you had a job at S&W during the Depression you took special care to turn out a great product so as to stay employed. On the other hand it could be argued that the hard economic times caused S&W to continue to use tooling and machinery beyond their normal replacement life but I have not noted any consistent problems with guns of this era. I am sure this is just fanciful thinking on my part but helps me to part with money when I see a nice 1930's gun. Sorry to have strayed a bit from the K38 time span.
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Old 08-09-2012, 06:28 PM
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I have a 14-3 that is so accurate that sometimes it's barely even fun - kinda like shooting a rifle.
A buddy and I will sometimes shoot at clay pigeons placed on the dirt berm at about 65 yards. We're shooting from a padded rest and have tried a bunch of different handguns at this fun, 'lazy man's shooting'. More fun than making holes in paper.
Found long ago, that as long as the sights are aligned nice and steady at 6 o'clock on the bird, it's gone.
It's almost monotonous.
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Old 08-09-2012, 10:36 PM
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The first thing you must learn is that a good thread should have pictures.


There, I fixed it for ya.
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Old 08-09-2012, 10:57 PM
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I will add mine also.
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Old 08-09-2012, 11:28 PM
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OK, I'll join the pic's....
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Old 08-10-2012, 12:12 AM
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Thanks to all for sharing your thoughts and pictures. Very beautiful revolvers. Frank
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Old 08-10-2012, 10:28 PM
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K38 #92658 (1950) will put six shots into one ragged hole at 25 yards

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Old 08-12-2012, 03:40 PM
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All target sighted S&Ws were considered top of the line with the 27s being the most deluxe. The Ks, the Ns, 27s, 14s, are all good. Notice there is no apostrophe when making a plural?
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Old 08-12-2012, 07:47 PM
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"The only time when adding apostrophe s to make something plural is when you are working with numbers written as numbers or with words, letters, numbers, or symbols as themselves. An example of working with numbers written as numbers would be if you were referring to the 1990's. In most standard writing this would be written out in words: the nineteen nineties."

27's , 19's..............
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Old 08-12-2012, 09:02 PM
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Source, please. That goes against everything I was taught.
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Old 08-12-2012, 09:11 PM
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Follow up documentation. All agree with me not to use the apostrophe with numbers.


When to Form a Plural with an Apostrophe


Plural Noun Forms


Purdue OWL: Apostrophe


Oh, and here's a photo of my K38 to sort of stay on topic.


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Old 08-15-2012, 06:42 AM
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Hello Frank
Here is my Pre-14. it came out of the David Carroll Stable of gun's. I was told it possibly left the factory with the Non relieved diamond Target stock's that it has on it shown, but I have not lettered the gun, but it stands to reason that they came on it as the gun shipped in March 1953 a short time after diamond Target stock's were an option being 1952 time span. Regards, Hammerdown







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Old 08-15-2012, 12:09 PM
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I don't know that my 4th grade teacher was a member of this forum.

Does an apostrophe go between the 4 and the "th"?

Just kidding fellers,.........just kidding
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Old 08-15-2012, 02:19 PM
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I love my 15-3 and pre-15 (K-38 Combat Masterpiece):





And the K-38 Target Masterpiece (14-3). It really does shoot like a rifle :



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Old 08-16-2012, 02:57 AM
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Hammerdown, thanks to you and all the other members who posted pics of their K38's. Beautiful revolvers all. Frank
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Old 08-16-2012, 07:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank46 View Post
Hammerdown, thanks to you and all the other members who posted pics of their K38's. Beautiful revolvers all. Frank
Hello Frank
You are Very Welcome, I enjoy seeing other's Gun's as well. You will Now have to get busy to locate and complete the K-Frame Masterpiece Trio. Believe it or not the K-38 was the toughest one to find, and the last one located when completing my Loop of the K-Frame Trio Masterpieces. Most K-38s that I came across showed wear or finish issues so I figure guy's must enjoy them fully, and I held out till the one I found came along which was about N.I.B. condition. Here is my K-Frame Masterpiece Trio of the Three revolver's being the K-22, K-32 and the K-38. All of these guns are Pre-Model stamped Five screw Variations and were made within a Six year span of each other. Good luck in your search. Regards, Hammerdown













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Old 08-16-2012, 04:17 PM
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Those are outstanding......
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Old 08-16-2012, 08:22 PM
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I'm new to these and these S&W K series revolvers are the slickest/ smoothest revolvers I have ever felt. The actions are like no other revolvers that i have seen or tried in 40+ years of playing with guns. But remember we had the older craftsman gunsmiths building them and fitting them too. I can see a difference between the new guns today one will feel awesome while the other isn't so smooth. All my older k series feel the same.
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Old 08-16-2012, 09:49 PM
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One of my favorites, explaining the wood....and another.
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Old 08-17-2012, 11:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hammerdown View Post
Hello Frank
You are Very Welcome, I enjoy seeing other's Gun's as well. You will Now have to get busy to locate and complete the K-Frame Masterpiece Trio. Believe it or not the K-38 was the toughest one to find, and the last one located when completing my Loop of the K-Frame Trio Masterpieces. Most K-38s that I came across showed wear or finish issues so I figure guy's must enjoy them fully, and I held out till the one I found came along which was about N.I.B. condition. Here is my K-Frame Masterpiece Trio of the Three revolver's being the K-22, K-32 and the K-38. All of these guns are Pre-Model stamped Five screw Variations and were made within a Six year span of each other. Good luck in your search. Regards, Hammerdown













Nice Gun,s

Emory
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Old 08-17-2012, 12:42 PM
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Hammerdown, I am very glad I am not the collector type, because I would be jealous beyond words.
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Old 08-17-2012, 07:15 PM
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Hard not to like that trio.

Factory nickel from The Twelve Revolvers:
Lettered Dayton 14-2 shipped in August of 1965 with RR, WO, TTT, 4"HB(Happy Birthday).
They are habit-forming.
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Old 08-19-2012, 12:20 PM
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Added two more Model 14s, a 14-2 Single Action and another 14-3 to my original post #3. Factory letter on the 14-2 shows it shipped on September 3rd, 1964, and is indeed an original Single Action model.
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Old 08-19-2012, 12:29 PM
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These are some of my favorite guns. Something about the Pre Model 14 K-38 and the Model 14 family of guns. Can't get enough of 'em.
Keep those pics coming.
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Old 08-19-2012, 12:45 PM
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My S&W model K-38 & a Taurus K-32
Both are fantastic shooters!
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