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Old 12-24-2012, 07:57 PM
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Default old J frame identification ?

Merry Christmas everyone. I have been offered a J frame that my limited knowledge can't identify. Please help with ident. and value. It a blue, 2 inch barrel , 5 screw (4 on side plate, 1 on front of trigger guard), 5 shot, chambered in 38 S&W. I can't find a model number in the crane recess. On the frame, in the crane recess, it has the number 88793. the same number is on the crane itself and on the rear face of the cyl. On the bottom of the butt is the number 71335. I don't know which is the ser. No. and what the other number signifies. The outside of the weapon is in about 90 % with one smallish impact mark on the bottom rear of butt. The barrel has some internal pitting as do the chambers. The action seems to work well Although the cyl. lockup is a tad loose. I was thinking of adding it to my small S&W collection even though it is an obsolete chambering. What do you guys think ? I appreciate any feedback.
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Old 12-24-2012, 08:10 PM
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It's a .38/32 Terrier, later called the model 32. The number on the bottom of the grip frame makes it a post-WW II gun but prior to 1957. It is an Improved I frame, similar to but slightly smaller than the J. The 71335 should match the number on the rear cylinder face; the 88793 on the frame and yoke (crane) are factory internal codes used during assembly.

It would be a very unusual coincidence for the assembly and cylinder numbers to match if the cylinder was swapped out, so I would double-check that. With the pitted bore and chambers I think its value would be much lower than the surface finish seems to indicate.
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Last edited by murphydog; 12-26-2012 at 12:07 AM.
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Old 12-24-2012, 08:51 PM
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You are correct the number on the butt and cyl. are the same. Do you have a range of value that I could use in dickering with the owner as he thinks that " It's old so it's valuable". Thanks for your help.
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Old 12-25-2012, 04:43 PM
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Looks like 1949-1969, unfortunately the SCSW doesn't break it down any closer.

Last edited by hotrod150; 12-27-2012 at 12:06 PM.
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Old 12-25-2012, 10:52 PM
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Please!!!!! Eggs have yolks, S&W revolvers have yokes.
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Old 12-25-2012, 11:08 PM
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Without a snapshot, it's gonna be tough to assign a value. However, if the finish is original and the stocks are correct, I think you wouldn't get hurt at about $300. But I wouldn't pay more unless you really liked the gun because you are getting close to the retail number. Get the box, tools and or papers and you can add a few bucks.

Oft times what looks like pitting can be removed and leave little indication that it was ever there.
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Old 12-26-2012, 12:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alk8944 View Post
Please!!!!! Eggs have yolks, S&W revolvers have yokes.
Sorry. Must have been the extra yokes in the egg nog .
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Old 12-26-2012, 08:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by murphydog View Post
Sorry. Must have been the extra yokes in the egg nog .
"Looks like the yoke's on you, son!"

To the OP, any evaluation using pictures involves some speculation; but without pictures it is pretty much total speculation, since descriptions are so subjective.

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Old 12-26-2012, 11:29 AM
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The pitting and the weak ammo would cause me to pass.

Hold out for a .38 Special in better condition.
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Old 12-30-2012, 09:07 PM
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Thanks for the feedback on the approx. value. The weapon is offered to me at $200.00 and seems like a good purchase to add to my small collection even with the annemic chambering. It's kind of a neat little piece. As ta mie bahd spelin, Ey ges tha yolks un mi. Ey'l yews spel cheker n tha fuetur.
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Old 12-31-2012, 03:17 AM
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A few of these I frame guns were sold in the late '40s mostly made up from prewar parts. Actual .38 S&W production in volume didn't resume until about 1950, with known #s 54804 and 58470 shipping in July 1951. With your serial and 5 screws I would say it shipped no later than c. 1954; a pre New Model of 1953 improved I frame as Alan said. It became the Model 32-1 in 1961 when the I frame was phased out and it began being produced on the J frame. The ammo is still available and many still shoot this cartridge and even load for it as I do. Some carry that gun as their concealed carry gun.

For $200, it's a very good deal w/90% original finish especially if it has original stocks. The serial # will be stamped on the inside of the right stock panel if the stocks are original to the gun.

The cartridge is no slouch, anything but anemic, and not that far behind the 38 Spl. You might be surprised, especially in the 200 gr police loading. The 38/200, as the Brits called it, was their standard military service revolver cartridge during world war II.
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Last edited by Hondo44; 12-31-2012 at 02:16 PM.
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Old 12-31-2012, 09:18 AM
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IMHO, as long as it's a pre-J, with the smaller frame, it makes sense to get it even in the "anemic" 38 S&W chambering specifically because of the smaller size. You have the smallest solid-frame 38 that S&W ever made, so enjoy it. As friend Hondo44 said, "... the cartridge is no slouch..." it was adjudged sufficient for military use by the Brits and others, and just like its more popular (in the US at least) brother the 38 Special, reloading is as easy as falling off a log once you have the right dies and components.

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Old 12-31-2012, 09:27 AM
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That sounds like a fair deal.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tanfl View Post
Thanks for the feedback on the approx. value. The weapon is offered to me at $200.00 and seems like a good purchase to add to my small collection even with the annemic chambering. It's kind of a neat little piece. As ta mie bahd spelin, Ey ges tha yolks un mi. Ey'l yews spel cheker n tha fuetur.
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Old 01-01-2013, 01:56 PM
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Love themTerriers, esp the half-moon front sight models. Pics please!
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Old 01-01-2013, 07:19 PM
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I agree its anemic unless YOU are the one shot with it. I don't want to get shot with any thing including pellet rifle been there done that no fun at all especially in the family jewels.
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