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Old 11-18-2013, 11:46 PM
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Default Target Masterpiece or Combat Masterpiece?

I may be misunderstanding but it seems everyone is saying a K 38 with a 4" barrel is a combat masterpiece model 15 but this is a model 14 with a 4" barrel. Can someone clear this up for me?

Last edited by Ed59; 11-25-2013 at 11:13 AM.
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Old 11-18-2013, 11:53 PM
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In general terms any target sighted K frame 38 is called a K38. But usually K38 refers to the "Masterpiece" or Model 14 ("Target" was never part of the name) with a 6" or longer barrel. The 4" or 2" gun with a ramp sight is the Combat Masterpiece. But there were some short barrel M14s made on special order. Highly sought by collectors.

But remember that I am no expert and could be wrong.
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Old 11-19-2013, 12:21 AM
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Thanks for the reply. I'm a little new to this forum and trying to learn.
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Old 11-19-2013, 12:41 AM
Gun 4 Fun Gun 4 Fun is offline
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Welcome to the forum.

Your gun is clearly model stamped 14, yet the book doesn't list any 4" guns in that serial # range, and none with an all black ramp front sight. I'm thinking you have a standard M-14 that someone had cut down to 4", or had a later 4" barrel installed on.

Either way, you have a M-14 and not a Combat Masterpiece which is the name given by the factory to the pre M-15's, and then to model marked 15's. The 15's have a tapered barrel instead of the full diameter heavy barrel you have.

This is a model 15-3. You can see where the barrel tapers down just in front of the frame-

Last edited by Gun 4 Fun; 11-19-2013 at 12:45 AM.
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Old 11-19-2013, 01:37 AM
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I'd agree that it's probably a shortened 6" barrel.
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Old 11-19-2013, 01:46 AM
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Can't see detail in your pics, but if the roll marks on your barrel are centered, it's originally a 4" barrel. If they're forward of center, it's a cut 6" barrel. It's not a big deal either way, as far as I'm concerned. From what I can see, it's a pretty nice old shooter grade gun. I believe there were some special order PD guns, Cleveland, Ohio, maybe, withe 4" bull barrels. My memory may be off on that, though.

Last edited by Broker50; 11-19-2013 at 01:48 AM.
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Old 11-19-2013, 02:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Broker50 View Post
Can't see detail in your pics, but if the roll marks on your barrel are centered, it's originally a 4" barrel. If they're forward of center, it's a cut 6" barrel. It's not a big deal either way, as far as I'm concerned. From what I can see, it's a pretty nice old shooter grade gun. I believe there were some special order PD guns, Cleveland, Ohio, maybe, withe 4" bull barrels. My memory may be off on that, though.
Those were the Dayton guns, and they had red ramp front sights, and were in a later serial number range. You can click on his pics, then click again and scroll in very large. The roll marks look like they are forward, but still hard to see.

Last edited by Gun 4 Fun; 11-19-2013 at 02:11 AM.
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Old 11-19-2013, 11:37 AM
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Once upon a time LAPD issued Model 14's, then some admin type decided that only 4" barrels should be issued (you could still carry a 6" private purchase Smith or Colt) so a couple hundred Model 14's were shortened and are now out there with 4" barrels. They were never marked so a call to the armory at 213-485-3554 is probably the only practical way to check. I don't know if they will give out the information.
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Old 07-15-2015, 11:03 PM
gtoppcop gtoppcop is offline
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I think my friend at my LGS has one of these shortened Model 14s. It was either done at the factory or at King's. I would love to do a letter to see where she's been.

To recap, she is a 4-inch HB Model 14 with a Service Trigger and Target Hammer with silver soldered Baughman front ramp and front sight. A very clean job. It is holster worn, so that tells me that the preponderence of her life was spent in a holster. Neat Combat Wheelgun!

My Model 15-6 (1993) is the newer version of this chopped Model 14. It too has the HB setup with the Baughman Front Sight. Just enough weight up front without being ugly.
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Old 07-15-2015, 11:14 PM
Mike, SC Hunter Mike, SC Hunter is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gun 4 Fun View Post
Welcome to the forum.

Your gun is clearly model stamped 14, yet the book doesn't list any 4" guns in that serial # range, and none with an all black ramp front sight. I'm thinking you have a standard M-14 that someone had cut down to 4", or had a later 4" barrel installed on.

Either way, you have a M-14 and not a Combat Masterpiece which is the name given by the factory to the pre M-15's, and then to model marked 15's. The 15's have a tapered barrel instead of the full diameter heavy barrel you have.

This is a model 15-3. You can see where the barrel tapers down just in front of the frame-
According to SCSW in 1965 they produced 184 mdl. 14's with a 4" bbl. S/N's K623343-K624495.
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Old 07-15-2015, 11:24 PM
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IIRC 3 different variations of 4" model marked 14's were offered

The 14-2 HB "Hanen Special" or "Dayton Gun",
The 14-3,
The 14-5 / 14-6 full underlug
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Old 07-15-2015, 11:39 PM
BigBill BigBill is offline
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S&W K38 6" barrel masterpiece target
S&W K38 4" barrel combat masterpiece.

Correct??
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Old 07-16-2015, 08:22 AM
linde linde is offline
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For the question "did S&W produce 4" Model 14s" there really needs to be multiple-choice answers including "all of the above". Many correct answers appear in this thread but we'll really need a good partial serial number to be more specific which example one has.

Here is a 14-3 that was factory produced in July 1971 in a special run. So far no evidence has surfaced of a special order from a LE agency or distributor for this run . . . and since they were distributed in batches of 20-25 to several large dealers . . . I'm assuming it was to test the market for a target sighted 4" heavy barrel holster gun.



And yes these 14-3s were factory cut 6" Model 14 barrels with Baughman front sight (on the left) . . . and not the heavy (model 10-like) barrel profile of the Dayton guns (on the right).



Russ

edit to add: the S&W factory was not consistent but, for the most part, a 6" barrel with Patridge front sight was referred to as the K-38 Masterpiece and any shorter barrel length (including 5" as well as 4") with Baughman front sight was referred to as a K-38 Combat Masterpiece.

2nd edit to add: collectors came up the term "Target Masterpiece" for the 6" version

Last edited by linde; 07-16-2015 at 08:41 AM.
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