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Old 04-19-2017, 11:44 PM
hkcavalier hkcavalier is offline
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Default S&W M&P 5" RB

Hey guys,

Found a S&W M&P .38 Special with a 5" barrel and a round butt. Serial is 275XXX. I didn't buy it, but I'm intrigued. 95% finish, original large medallion stocks.

I am guessing with the RB it's pretty rare and I don't see many 5" guns. Is this a rare bird I need to jump on?

Also, when did S&W go to the logo on the left side (as you're facing from behind the gun) with the "Made in the USA" on the other side? This gun just has the logo on the right side, more like current guns.

Last edited by hkcavalier; 04-19-2017 at 11:47 PM.
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Old 04-19-2017, 11:52 PM
Muley Gil Muley Gil is offline
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If the price is reasonable, I'd buy it myself. I love round butt revolvers AND 5" barreled revolvers. I only have one like that and it is an early .32-20 M&P.
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Old 04-19-2017, 11:57 PM
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hkcavalier,

If there is no letter in front of the serial number you posted such as a C, D, or K (Only with target sights.) then your gun dates to early-mid 1917. If the stocks are original to the gun they will have recessed Gold medallions. The medallions commonly referred to as "Large Medallion" are from the late 1920s to early/mid 1930s and are chrome plated. If your gun has these stocks they are not original to the gun. Stocks from ca. 1920 to 1928 had no medallions at all.

If there is a pre-fix letter then the gun dates to from 1945 to 1982 or so.

In this period 5" barrels are quite common, no rarity at all. As with Muley Gil I find the 5" barrels to be the most aesthetically pleasing and I also own several, both .38 Sp. and .32-20.

The S&W logo has changed sides several times over the years. Some guns even have one on both sides (Often having been back to S&W during the 1960s.) Some, mostly made from 1917-1920, have no logo at all.

The "Made in USA" or later address block, have always been on the lower right front corner of the frame since 1922. This area was unmarked before 1922.

Added:
My one 5" RB M&P is SN 27516x, how close to yours is that? It was used by two Omaha Metropolitan Police detectives from ca. 1918 to 1964 when the department firearms regulations changed to requiring all duty weapons to be 4" .38 Spl. either S&W or Colt. Quite a bunch of old guns got traded in at that time. I have had it since 1964.
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Old 04-20-2017, 12:05 AM
hkcavalier hkcavalier is offline
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I guess I need work on my terminology. They are large, gold medallions. I say "large" since they're bigger than those on my 1931 K22 --- those are chromed.

There is no prefix, it's definitely an older gun.

So...what about the round butt part? Rare or not?

I may get it just because it's a 100 year old S&W in 95% shape!
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Old 04-21-2017, 02:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Muley Gil View Post
If the price is reasonable, I'd buy it myself. I love round butt revolvers AND 5" barreled revolvers. I only have one like that and it is an early .32-20 M&P.
It's $500 but when I get back in there I'm going to try and talk them down to $400.

Well...there goes my Shockwave fund
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Old 04-21-2017, 05:07 AM
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There were far fewer RB K frames during that era; I don't recall reading a percentage of total production, but I wouldn't be surprised if it was 20% or less. It sounds to be a nice example.
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Old 04-21-2017, 10:14 AM
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I had two Model 1905 6-inch round butt M&Ps, serial number 284xxx and 285xxx, shipped in 1918.
My guess is the factory periodically forged a small number of round butt frames so they're found "clumped" around certain serial numbers.
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Old 04-21-2017, 07:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hkcavalier View Post
It's $500 but when I get back in there I'm going to try and talk them down to $400.

Well...there goes my Shockwave fund
Sure, try for 400, but at 95% for $500, get all over it.

The round butt is not a huge factor. Round and square were cataloged side by side, but square is definitely the most common by that time.
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Old 05-12-2017, 12:27 AM
hkcavalier hkcavalier is offline
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So, which one for about $450?

The 5" RB described above, or a 6" postwar M&P transitional (single line, LERK) SB also in very good shape?

I plan on getting one or the other very soon...
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Old 05-12-2017, 12:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hkcavalier View Post
So, which one for about $450?

The 5" RB described above, or a 6" postwar M&P transitional (single line, LERK) SB also in very good shape?

I plan on getting one or the other very soon...
You didn't mention if long or short action. I prefer the RB but probably both worth about the same, maybe a slight edge toward the RB. Buy em both, maybe you'll get a package deal.
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Old 05-12-2017, 12:02 PM
hkcavalier hkcavalier is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jsfricks View Post
You didn't mention if long or short action. I prefer the RB but probably both worth about the same, maybe a slight edge toward the RB. Buy em both, maybe you'll get a package deal.
Different sellers.
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Old 05-12-2017, 12:37 PM
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Both sound to be good deals, but you will probably search longer to find a 100 year old .38 M & P in that condition again than you would for a 70 year old one. Good luck in your decision.
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Old 05-12-2017, 02:14 PM
Muley Gil Muley Gil is offline
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Go for the 5" RB.
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Old 05-19-2017, 11:12 AM
hkcavalier hkcavalier is offline
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I did go for the 5" RB! Though, on layaway. Buying a house and different fees keep popping up.

Alk8944, serial is just after yours, 27552X.

Gun has some odd crusty stuff in spots, almost like Cosmoline. Should come off with some paint thinner and a very gentle scrub with a copper brush. There are a couple nicks and scrapes, but it looks like it's been sitting in a sock drawer for 100 years. I doubt there are many in this condition, particularly in a random pawn shop!

The counter guy told me this was the ugly duckling of the lot that was brought in. The prize gun is up (or was up) on GB, a sub 1000 serial Chief's Special.
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