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Old 02-16-2017, 08:16 PM
jimcam22 jimcam22 is offline
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Default Inherited a 38 Special

I inherited a 38 Special from my FIL and would like to find out how old it is.

Smith & Wesson 38 Special CTG
Serial # 491XXX
5" barrel
Hand Ejector
Fixed Sights

Any information would be appreciated.

Thanks
Jim
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Inherited a 38 Special-p1010839-jpg   Inherited a 38 Special-p1010840-jpg  

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Old 02-16-2017, 08:33 PM
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Somewhere between 1922 and 1928 would be my guess. The grips, emblem on the left side, made in USA on right side, and mushroom end on the extractor rod all point to that time period.
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Old 02-16-2017, 08:59 PM
Muley Gil Muley Gil is offline
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Welcome to the Forum.

You have a .38 Military & Police. As DocB stated, it dates from mid 1922 to 1929.
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Old 02-16-2017, 09:08 PM
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To guestimate it down a bit further, from a 450xxx in May 1923 I'd suspect a 491xxx would have shipped sometime around 1924.
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Old 02-17-2017, 12:32 AM
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I have an M&P of almost the same age and almost the same condition, complete with the same shabby nickel plating. A little metal polish will help its appearance. Serial # 491xxx would likely have shipped in the late 1924-early 1925 period. To indicate a value, I paid $230 for mine a couple of years ago, which was probably a little too much. But I just liked it, and aside from cosmetics, everything is sound and tight. The grips on yours are at least period-correct and likely original.

Last edited by DWalt; 02-17-2017 at 12:37 AM.
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Old 02-17-2017, 12:56 AM
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...mine is 4958xx...I kind of narrowed it down to 1925...
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Old 02-17-2017, 01:05 AM
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Most likely Feb/Mar time frame 1925.
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Old 02-17-2017, 01:15 AM
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Looks like a six incher to me.The barrel is measured from the front of the cylinder,not the front of the frame.
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Old 02-17-2017, 11:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Camster View Post
Looks like a six incher to me.The barrel is measured from the front of the cylinder,not the front of the frame.
It's a 5".

From the cylinder face to the front of the barrel lug is just under 3". On a 6" the front of the barrel lug will be just behind the center of the barrel, this is well forward of center
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Old 02-17-2017, 11:58 AM
jimcam22 jimcam22 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DWalt View Post
I have an M&P of almost the same age and almost the same condition, complete with the same shabby nickel plating. A little metal polish will help its appearance. Serial # 491xxx would likely have shipped in the late 1924-early 1925 period. To indicate a value, I paid $230 for mine a couple of years ago, which was probably a little too much. But I just liked it, and aside from cosmetics, everything is sound and tight. The grips on yours are at least period-correct and likely original.
It is a little shabby looking but very solid. The only thing I have done so far is clean and oil it.
What can I use to improve the looks of the nickle plating?
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Old 02-17-2017, 04:43 PM
jimcam22 jimcam22 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimcam22 View Post
I inherited a 38 Special from my FIL and would like to find out how old it is.

Smith & Wesson 38 Special CTG
Serial # 491XXX
5" barrel
Hand Ejector
Fixed Sights

Any information would be appreciated.

Thanks
Jim
Thanks for all of the information.
Would I be correct in stating the following about this gun:

Smith & Wesson .38 Special Military & Police Model of 1905 - 4th Change.
Production Date 1924 - 1925
S/N 491xxx
5" Barrel
Hand Ejector
Fixed Sights
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Old 02-17-2017, 04:53 PM
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Pretty much, except at that time S&W would have called it just a "Military and Police Model." The "Nth Change" terminology is collector-speak. Before WWI, S&W would have used the "Model of 1905" terminology, but some collectors still use that in reference to every M&P made from 1905 (when the square butt version began) until WWII. It probably shipped in the 1924-25 period, but it almost certainly was manufactured in 1924.
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Old 02-17-2017, 06:13 PM
jimcam22 jimcam22 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DWalt View Post
Pretty much, except at that time S&W would have called it just a "Military and Police Model." The "Nth Change" terminology is collector-speak. Before WWI, S&W would have used the "Model of 1905" terminology, but some collectors still use that in reference to every M&P made from 1905 (when the square butt version began) until WWII. It probably shipped in the 1924-25 period, but it almost certainly was manufactured in 1924.
Thank you.
Now to take it to the range.
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