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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 01-02-2016, 11:14 PM
Tex.J Tex.J is offline
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Default I need help with identification

Was given my grandfather's old S&W... can't find anything to help me identify after hours of searching and researching

- hand ejector style,
- cal .38 special
- 5 screw
- barrel measures to 2.25" from front of cylinder
- serial number on butt of gun, "49185"..... back of cylinder and barrel show "849185"... I'm thinking the 8 on the butt may have rubbed off

This is about all of the infor.action I have. I will post a few pics shortly. Thanks in advance
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Old 01-02-2016, 11:32 PM
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Old 01-02-2016, 11:39 PM
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I,m not one of the experts. Just have a few old shooters, and really like them. Post your pictures ASAP, they love them. In the meantime, go to the bottom of page and check out the posts available there, might just find something useful. Once they find your thread, info will come fast. Also welcome to the forum. Great place to hang out. Just saw the pictures. Great, I will watch this one, single step recess for ejector rod head started in the 20's.
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Last edited by snuffy51; 01-02-2016 at 11:48 PM. Reason: add last sentence
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Old 01-03-2016, 01:11 AM
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I'm no expert either so I'm kinda guessing here, but I'm thinking post-war but before 1957 M&P that has been shortened - with the barrel cut off just behind the ejector rod locking lug. I'm also guessing the grips are jigged bone.

The missing "8" from the serial number on the butt of the gun may be a legal issue. Defaced serial numbers are a big deal to the BATF.

But some of the experts will be along shortly to correct anything I got wrong.

Last edited by BC38; 01-03-2016 at 01:13 AM.
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Old 01-03-2016, 01:19 AM
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It's one of the dreaded chopped and bored 38/200 British service revolvers, originally chambered in .38 S&W (not Special). A huge number of surplus BSRs was imported into the USA in the 1950s and 1960s, most of which met the fate of having their barrels shortened, their chambers bored to accept .38 Special ammunition, refinishing, and addition of cheap plastic grips (any or all). Yours is one of them with the full treatment. They may be OK as shooters, but are worth only what someone will pay, typically between $100-$200, although some unsuspecting buyers who do not know what they are buying may be persuaded to pay more. They have no collector value. By the SN, this one left the S&W factory around October 1941. Being that it is your grandfather's revolver, it will be worth much more to you as a memento than it will be to anyone else. Shoot it and enjoy. The missing leading digit on the butt SN could be a problem, but I wouldn't worry a lot about it - just don't get caught with it if you plan to commit any crimes.

Last edited by DWalt; 01-03-2016 at 11:41 PM.
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Old 01-03-2016, 10:33 AM
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It's no matter to me I guess that it's not really worth much, if you look closely you can faintly see the 8 on the butt... I'm not worried about the serial number per say. Given that it is more or less worthless aside from sentimental value, I guess I can go ahead and clean it up to refinish and reblue... new grips also to follow. It is a damn reliable and nice shooting little pistol. Still glad to have it. Thank you for the help!
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Old 01-03-2016, 11:39 AM
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So do I need to look for k frame grips? Model 10 grips? Help me out here lol
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Old 01-03-2016, 11:47 AM
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Welcome to the forums from the Wiregrass! Yes, you need K/L frame, square butt grips. The Model 10 grips, as well as all .38 M&P square butt revolvers like yours, will fit. For guns like this, I prefer magna-style wood or elkhorn grips with a grip adapter.

Oh, I would have the 8 restamped on the butt before you refinish it. Any polishing might take it all the way off and that is not legal.
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Last edited by Wiregrassguy; 01-03-2016 at 11:50 AM.
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Old 01-03-2016, 09:01 PM
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You can refinish it if you wish, but be aware that can be at a cost somewhat exceeding the value of the revolver if it's not a DIY project. Is this really something you want to put much money into?
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