Smith & Wesson Forum

Go Back   Smith & Wesson Forum > >


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 01-12-2017, 02:04 AM
VNK971 VNK971 is online now
Member
K-38 Pre-14 K-38 Pre-14 K-38 Pre-14 K-38 Pre-14 K-38 Pre-14  
Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: Mico, Texas
Posts: 13
Likes: 12
Liked 37 Times in 4 Posts
Default K-38 Pre-14

I received this K-38 yesterday. I picked it up on Gunbroker as buy-it-now for $600. I can feel my blood pressure going up when I'm in a bidding war so I decided not to go through that. I found the target model in a LGS and got it for $475 about a month ago.
Attached Thumbnails
K-38 Pre-14-m14-1-jpg   K-38 Pre-14-m14-2-jpg   K-38 Pre-14-pair-jpg  
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 01-12-2017, 02:14 AM
Be still's Avatar
Be still Be still is offline
SWCA Member
K-38 Pre-14 K-38 Pre-14  
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: SE USA
Posts: 1,343
Likes: 845
Liked 455 Times in 218 Posts
Default

Those non-relieved target grips are noteworthy and hard to find: worth good money. The standard trigger was a normal thing back then. You did extremely well not letting me find that one. Excellent choice to buy it now.
Be cautious with those grips when reloasing, or place them somewhere with the gun and serial number written and use some with the cutout or whatever else you like. I paid $150 for a set of grips like that many years ago.
Reply With Quote
The Following User Likes This Post:
  #3  
Old 01-12-2017, 06:31 AM
crsides crsides is offline
SWCA Member
K-38 Pre-14 K-38 Pre-14 K-38 Pre-14 K-38 Pre-14 K-38 Pre-14  
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: upstate SC / Mtns SW Va
Posts: 3,078
Likes: 1,249
Liked 3,232 Times in 830 Posts
Default

Be Still speaks the truth. Those grips without a cut out on the left side were only used 4 or 5 yrs and sparingly at that. If someone has a nice K frame from 1950-55 and wants target grips, this is the only correct answer. And they do get beat up during use. those would bring $200 today.

Charlie
Reply With Quote
The Following 3 Users Like Post:
  #4  
Old 01-12-2017, 09:32 AM
JP@AK's Avatar
JP@AK JP@AK is offline
US Veteran
K-38 Pre-14 K-38 Pre-14 K-38 Pre-14 K-38 Pre-14 K-38 Pre-14  
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Palmer, Alaska
Posts: 6,836
Likes: 1,995
Liked 4,581 Times in 1,988 Posts
Default

A very nice pair! You did very well on the price for the K-38. Good thing I don't monitor GB much these days or you would never have even seen it!

I really like your M&P target model from the 1920s also. I'm still lacking one from that decade myself.

And I'll second Charlie's motion on the stocks.
__________________
Jack
SWCA #2475, SWHF #318
Reply With Quote
The Following 2 Users Like Post:
  #5  
Old 01-12-2017, 12:24 PM
VNK971 VNK971 is online now
Member
K-38 Pre-14 K-38 Pre-14 K-38 Pre-14 K-38 Pre-14 K-38 Pre-14  
Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: Mico, Texas
Posts: 13
Likes: 12
Liked 37 Times in 4 Posts
Default

The stocks were what made me decide to buy it now instead of trying to win it bidding. I was sure the price would be somewhere around $600, or more.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 01-12-2017, 07:16 PM
Waveski Waveski is offline
Member
K-38 Pre-14 K-38 Pre-14 K-38 Pre-14 K-38 Pre-14 K-38 Pre-14  
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: Midwest
Posts: 203
Likes: 119
Liked 167 Times in 88 Posts
Default

Very nice K38 , really nice grips.

If I may digress slightly - Are there any differences between a model 14 and a model 15 other than the front sight?
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 01-12-2017, 07:34 PM
JP@AK's Avatar
JP@AK JP@AK is offline
US Veteran
K-38 Pre-14 K-38 Pre-14 K-38 Pre-14 K-38 Pre-14 K-38 Pre-14  
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Palmer, Alaska
Posts: 6,836
Likes: 1,995
Liked 4,581 Times in 1,988 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Waveski View Post
Are there any differences between a model 14 and a model 15 other than the front sight?
Generally speaking, barrel length as well as the style of front sight. The Combat Masterpiece had 4" barrels (later, also a 2" barrel) and the K-38 Masterpiece had a 6" barrel. There were exceptions, of course, but they were relatively uncommon.

Also, from the early 1950s until the 1980s, there was a very small difference in how the front of the frame was contoured. This change resulted from the decision to go with the heavy barrel in the K-38 Masterpiece and retain the tapered barrel on the Combat Masterpiece. To see the difference you need to know what you are looking at. A casual glance usually won't reveal it.
__________________
Jack
SWCA #2475, SWHF #318
Reply With Quote
The Following User Likes This Post:
  #8  
Old 01-12-2017, 07:44 PM
Waveski Waveski is offline
Member
K-38 Pre-14 K-38 Pre-14 K-38 Pre-14 K-38 Pre-14 K-38 Pre-14  
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: Midwest
Posts: 203
Likes: 119
Liked 167 Times in 88 Posts
Default

Thank you. The K38 revolvers are great shooters , and I am sure that the OP will get his money's worth - and then some!
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 01-12-2017, 08:20 PM
Engine49guy's Avatar
Engine49guy Engine49guy is offline
SWCA Member
K-38 Pre-14 K-38 Pre-14 K-38 Pre-14 K-38 Pre-14 K-38 Pre-14  
Join Date: May 2009
Location: South Florida
Posts: 6,097
Likes: 1,117
Liked 5,190 Times in 1,797 Posts
Default

Very nice pair !
The first version of the post war 6" K38 Masterpiece had a narrow rib barrel which basicly has the same frame style and barrel rib as the 4" Combat Masterpiece barrel.

Your K-38 was introduced in 1950 as the K-38 "Heavy" Masterpiece and supplemented the older version until around 1955 when the narrow rib 6" version was discontinued, The reason S&W went to the wider rib on the K-38 was so it would be closer in weight to the 6" K-22 and K-32 Masterpiece revolvers.
(they were heavier because of their smaller bore holes).

Both versions were standard in satin blue (like yours) with bright blue available on special order for a small up charge.
By late 1954 early 1955 the bright blue became standard.
Your target hammer could have shipped on the gun as it was an upgrade available also for a small upcharge with the standard style at the time being the "High Speed" or Fishhook hammer.

On a side note when the narrow rib 6" Masterpiece was discontinued around 1955 the "Heavy" moniker was dropped as it was no longer needed to distinguish between the two versions.
The "Non relieved" checkered K diamond target stocks appear around late 1949 and are a regular catalog item by 1950,
by around 1955 they appear with a small football shaped relief cut to aid in extraction as the non relieved style tended to get dinged by firmly ejected casings, even more so with the longer .357 casings in the K frame Combat Magnum introduced in late 1955.

On a side note although most post war target stocks were not serial numbered if you remove the right panel it could have a serial stamped there, if so and it matches your serial they were fit at the factory and originally shipped on the gun.

Your pre war gun is the predecessor to the K38 Masterpiece and was advertised as the .38 M&P target , These were basically the same as a .38 M&P revolver with the addition of an adjustable rear site and pinned patridge front site blade .
Notice your ejector rod is the earlier "Mushroom" style, this changed to a barrel style by 1931 IIRC with the separate rod end disappearing completely by around 1948.

If you post their serials we can narrow down the approximate ages but I agree the stocks on the M&P target are usually found in the early 1920's , if original to the gun they should have the serial pencil written inside the right panel.

Last edited by Engine49guy; 01-12-2017 at 08:37 PM.
Reply With Quote
The Following 2 Users Like Post:
  #10  
Old 01-12-2017, 08:43 PM
H Richard's Avatar
H Richard H Richard is offline
US Veteran
K-38 Pre-14 K-38 Pre-14 K-38 Pre-14 K-38 Pre-14 K-38 Pre-14  
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: West Central IL
Posts: 15,133
Likes: 5,934
Liked 7,231 Times in 3,398 Posts
Default

I bought a K38 at a gunshow a few years ago, as a shooter, but I decided I had to return it to it's original form. The front sight had been filed into a smooth ramp, the rear sight was missing and a Red Dot was mounted, but the front screw of the rear sight (which was used to mount the weaver rail to mount the red dot) was sheared off. So I was faced with 1. locating a patridge front sight, 2. locating a period correct rear sight. 3. replacing the incorrect stocks. 4. having the sheared off screw drilled out and re-tapped.

I was able to locate both a front and rear sight via a acquaintance in Wash. state who worked on S&W's and attended a lot of gunshows. Kind of pricey for that vintage stuff.

A shooting friend was a pretty accomplished gunsmith/machinist and drilled out a d tapped the screw hole.

Another acquaintance on the forum supplied the correct non-relieved target stocks, and our DWFan did his magic to make them over.

The result:


This is before:



Bringing a nice 1951 K38 back to original isn't cheap. But the process was fun.
__________________
H Richard
SWCA1967
Reply With Quote
The Following 9 Users Like Post:
  #11  
Old 01-12-2017, 09:01 PM
DCWilson's Avatar
DCWilson DCWilson is offline
SWCA Member
K-38 Pre-14 K-38 Pre-14 K-38 Pre-14 K-38 Pre-14 K-38 Pre-14  
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Orange County, CA
Posts: 13,019
Likes: 3,599
Liked 5,394 Times in 1,893 Posts
Default

From features, I think your M&P target would have shipped between 1923 and 1927.

I get a seriously early vibe from your K-38; that target hammer and those target stocks are not known on guns that shipped before 1950. I suspect there may be undiscovered guns in that configuration that shipped in very late 1949, but I haven't found one yet or -- equally likely -- found one once and then forgot about it. If the gun angel sitting on my shoulder is telling me true , I would guess your serial number there is in the K77000-K81000 range and that the revolver dates to the first months of 1950. But the gun angel has been known to horse me around, so I could be low.

The serial number on your M&P Target is likely to start with a 4 or a 5.

If you don't want to disclose serial numbers precisely, please consider using XX in place of the last two digits. That's enough to help us narrow their date range.

Nice guns both. And welcome to the forum.
__________________
David Wilson

Last edited by DCWilson; 01-12-2017 at 09:04 PM.
Reply With Quote
The Following User Likes This Post:
  #12  
Old 01-12-2017, 09:06 PM
H Richard's Avatar
H Richard H Richard is offline
US Veteran
K-38 Pre-14 K-38 Pre-14 K-38 Pre-14 K-38 Pre-14 K-38 Pre-14  
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: West Central IL
Posts: 15,133
Likes: 5,934
Liked 7,231 Times in 3,398 Posts
Default

No problem, the s/n is K100785, shipped Jan. 1951
__________________
H Richard
SWCA1967
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 01-13-2017, 12:11 AM
VNK971 VNK971 is online now
Member
K-38 Pre-14 K-38 Pre-14 K-38 Pre-14 K-38 Pre-14 K-38 Pre-14  
Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: Mico, Texas
Posts: 13
Likes: 12
Liked 37 Times in 4 Posts
Default

The SN for the K-38 is K218765, and for the M&P 542462. All numbers match on each one.

The stocks on the M&P have some kind of spacer between the stock and the frame, about 3/16th of an inch thick. There was also a t-grip.

I took the grips off the K-38 and there was no SN, only a "K" in sharpie on each side.

I'm going to get each lettered.

Thanks for the information.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 01-13-2017, 12:30 AM
fyimo's Avatar
fyimo fyimo is offline
Member
K-38 Pre-14 K-38 Pre-14 K-38 Pre-14 K-38 Pre-14  
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Arkansas
Posts: 17,893
Likes: 4,850
Liked 4,572 Times in 1,669 Posts
Talking

They are great shooters and mine was made in 1952 and is in near excellent condition.

Last edited by fyimo; 01-13-2017 at 12:31 AM.
Reply With Quote
The Following 4 Users Like Post:
  #15  
Old 01-13-2017, 01:58 AM
hkcavalier hkcavalier is offline
Member
K-38 Pre-14 K-38 Pre-14 K-38 Pre-14 K-38 Pre-14 K-38 Pre-14  
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Pierce County, WA
Posts: 707
Likes: 63
Liked 811 Times in 268 Posts
Default

Now that I have one, I really like these K38 threads!

Interesting info on the satin blue vs. bright. I wondered why this gun is so much more subdued than my older K22.

I don't think I'm in the market for those target stocks. I don't want to have to baby $200 stocks when ejecting cases. I am considering a T-Grip and one of their trigger shoes, probably black/black but may go satin aluminum.

Reply With Quote
The Following 3 Users Like Post:
  #16  
Old 01-13-2017, 11:50 AM
DCWilson's Avatar
DCWilson DCWilson is offline
SWCA Member
K-38 Pre-14 K-38 Pre-14 K-38 Pre-14 K-38 Pre-14 K-38 Pre-14  
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Orange County, CA
Posts: 13,019
Likes: 3,599
Liked 5,394 Times in 1,893 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by VNK971 View Post
The SN for the K-38 is K218765, and for the M&P 542462. All numbers match on each one.

The stocks on the M&P have some kind of spacer between the stock and the frame, about 3/16th of an inch thick. There was also a t-grip.
Looks like the gun angel definitely gave me bad intel; the serial number points to 1955 for your K-38. That's a little late for the use of non-relieved target stocks, but almost anything is possible in the land of S&W. The letter will be informative.

The serial number on your M&P Target points to late 1926/early 1927 based on known shipping dates for guns with nearby serial numbers.
__________________
David Wilson
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 01-13-2017, 12:38 PM
VNK971 VNK971 is online now
Member
K-38 Pre-14 K-38 Pre-14 K-38 Pre-14 K-38 Pre-14 K-38 Pre-14  
Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: Mico, Texas
Posts: 13
Likes: 12
Liked 37 Times in 4 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by DCWilson View Post
Looks like the gun angel definitely gave me bad intel; the serial number points to 1955 for your K-38. That's a little late for the use of non-relieved target stocks, but almost anything is possible in the land of S&W. The letter will be informative.

The serial number on your M&P Target points to late 1926/early 1927 based on known shipping dates for guns with nearby serial numbers.
Thanks. I was thinking mid to late 30s for the M&P, but I don't have access to other data bases yet.
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 01-13-2017, 01:34 PM
OldChief OldChief is offline
Member
K-38 Pre-14 K-38 Pre-14 K-38 Pre-14 K-38 Pre-14 K-38 Pre-14  
Join Date: Apr 2016
Location: Northern California
Posts: 207
Likes: 77
Liked 131 Times in 80 Posts
Default

I have a pair of 1956 K38s that I had refinished at the factory this past year. They're a pleasure to shoot and now great to look at. I wouldn't have sent them in for refinishing but both had some rust problems and I just can't stand that.
Reply With Quote
The Following 2 Users Like Post:
  #19  
Old 01-17-2017, 06:23 PM
bananaman's Avatar
bananaman bananaman is offline
Member
K-38 Pre-14 K-38 Pre-14 K-38 Pre-14 K-38 Pre-14 K-38 Pre-14  
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Toledo, Ohio
Posts: 4,234
Likes: 1,922
Liked 1,969 Times in 1,069 Posts
Default

Best of both worlds. Beautiful & accurate. I have a 14-3. Bob

Last edited by bananaman; 01-18-2017 at 10:22 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 01-17-2017, 06:49 PM
DWalt's Avatar
DWalt DWalt is offline
Member
K-38 Pre-14 K-38 Pre-14 K-38 Pre-14 K-38 Pre-14 K-38 Pre-14  
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: South Texas
Posts: 16,851
Likes: 2
Liked 7,759 Times in 4,595 Posts
Default

"The SN for the K-38 is K218765, and for the M&P 542462."
Shipping around 1954 for the K-38, and 1927 for the M&P target.
Reply With Quote
  #21  
Old 01-17-2017, 08:27 PM
DWFAN's Avatar
DWFAN DWFAN is online now
US Veteran
K-38 Pre-14 K-38 Pre-14 K-38 Pre-14 K-38 Pre-14 K-38 Pre-14  
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Connecticut Yankee
Posts: 2,251
Likes: 587
Liked 2,424 Times in 637 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by OldChief View Post
I have a pair of 1956 K38s that I had refinished at the factory this past year. They're a pleasure to shoot and now great to look at. I wouldn't have sent them in for refinishing but both had some rust problems and I just can't stand that.
I thought S&W didn't do older guns. How did you manage that??

DW
__________________
"NUTS"
Reply With Quote
  #22  
Old 01-17-2017, 08:42 PM
BigBill's Avatar
BigBill BigBill is offline
Member
K-38 Pre-14 K-38 Pre-14 K-38 Pre-14 K-38 Pre-14 K-38 Pre-14  
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: north america
Posts: 9,220
Likes: 984
Liked 7,430 Times in 3,077 Posts
Default

Congrats nice find.

I found a S&W k38 pre 14 masterpiece target w/6" barrel at my online honey hole. It had freckling as the seller said. But for a decent price. The reddish freckling turned out to be dried gun oil. He had a k22 & a k38 combat master piece pre 15. I couldn't pass them up. These are old school S&W with the actions fitted by the old world s&w craftsman. They just don't come any better. Of course if we use the newer stuff they will break in over time.
Reply With Quote
  #23  
Old 01-18-2017, 01:45 PM
OldChief OldChief is offline
Member
K-38 Pre-14 K-38 Pre-14 K-38 Pre-14 K-38 Pre-14 K-38 Pre-14  
Join Date: Apr 2016
Location: Northern California
Posts: 207
Likes: 77
Liked 131 Times in 80 Posts
Default

DW, I just called customer service and they took the serial numbers and sent me shipping documents. They replaced the hand on one and nothing on the other. Anyway, they do beautiful work.

Last edited by OldChief; 01-18-2017 at 01:47 PM.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
Forum Jump

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3
smith-wessonforum.com tested by Norton Internet Security smith-wessonforum.com tested by McAfee Internet Security

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 05:01 PM.


S-W Forum, LLC 2000-2015
Smith-WessonForum.com is not affiliated with Smith & Wesson Holding Corporation (NASDAQ Global Select: SWHC)