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Old 09-25-2017, 08:23 PM
Niederlander Niederlander is offline
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Default 1930's M & P grips

Gentlemen, I've got an M & P .38 made approximately 1937. What grips should it have? I know the ones on it aren't original.
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Old 09-25-2017, 08:28 PM
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Service type, walnut, rounded tops with small silver medallions. Like on this gun:

Victory question

Hope this is helpful.
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Old 09-25-2017, 09:32 PM
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Thank you!
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Old 09-25-2017, 10:05 PM
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The service style is almost certainly correct, but if the gun is in fact circa 1937--could have been Magna's. A perhaps helpful clue (aside from the fact S&W products were not shipped in serial number order---although it figures M&P's were likely shipped about as fast as they could make them) M&P Target #659118 shipped December 12, 1936.

Ralph Tremaine

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Last edited by rct269; 09-25-2017 at 10:07 PM.
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Old 09-25-2017, 10:12 PM
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Here is a 1939 M&P Model of 1905 Change 4 with matching stocks.



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Old 09-25-2017, 10:18 PM
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...and according to the SCS&W Edition 3 on page 21 it is stated

"Diamond Center Checkered Walnut, Square Butt, with flush silver medallions, used about 1929 to about 1941.

Additionally, in the summer issue of the SWCA Journal in an article on wartime changes in .38 M&P Model 1905 (fourth change) it states that there was a note on 1/1/42 that stocks changed from checkered walnut with monogram to smooth, unchecked walnut without monograms. Serial number at that time was about 880,000.
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Old 09-25-2017, 11:26 PM
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Perhaps I should have clarified K frame Magna's were available (on order) from 1936 on. That said, I'm not aware of any K frame that wore them as standard equipment.

I had a pre-war M&P Target wearing Magna's--numbered to the gun.

Ralph Tremaine
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Old 09-25-2017, 11:33 PM
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I believe some of the K22/40s had Magnas and possibly the earlier K-22s had magnas. They could well have been special ordered that way. Any other K-frame from the pre-WWII period, especially run-of-the mill M&Ps, likely would not. Many later pre-war N-frame revolvers are pictured with Magnas.

Last edited by DWalt; 09-25-2017 at 11:44 PM.
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Old 09-25-2017, 11:35 PM
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Ralph, I know little to nothing about Targets except they are different. The only reason I had the data on the .38 M&P is I've been trying to track down a 1930's M&P HE and finally did it last week thanks in part to those stocks. Still pumped.
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Old 09-25-2017, 11:35 PM
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Well, according to the SCSW the pre-war Magnas became available for the K-frame in 1936.

Whatever you put on your M&P is not going to be "original to the gun" anyway. So if you should be lucky enough to find a set of pre-war Magnas for a reasonable price, they will be correct for a 1937 gun.

It's just a lot more likely the gun shipped with the small service stocks. Those aren't cheap or that easy to find either, by the way.
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Old 09-26-2017, 01:32 AM
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FWIW, this topic should be moved down one forum from antiques to the hand ejector forum.
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Old 09-26-2017, 09:37 PM
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Sorry, I thought I was in the Hand Ejectors section when I posted it.
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Old 09-26-2017, 09:38 PM
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By the way, since I use this one as a shooter I'd like to find some reasonably correct reproductions. Does anyone make those? I haven't had much luck online.
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Old 09-26-2017, 10:24 PM
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Some older styles of S & W stocks have been reproduced, but not this type to my knowledge. Try posting a Wanted to Buy ad here and someone should have a set.
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Old 09-26-2017, 10:34 PM
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They show up on eBay occasionally.
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Old 09-26-2017, 11:16 PM
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What do the pre-war Magna's look like?
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Old 09-26-2017, 11:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Niederlander View Post
What do the pre-war Magna's look like?
pre war magna grips................
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Old 09-27-2017, 02:23 AM
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The key to determine original stocks for your gun is the rearmost side plate screw: if the screw has a domed head like the other side plate screws, it had service round top stocks. If it had Magna stocks, the rearmost screw head has a flat head.

When you look at the set of pre war stocks above it helps tp know what to look for:
1. Notice the corners of the checkering borders are pointed, post war stocks have round corners.

2. Notice the medallions are flat and chrome plated, post war they are curved to fit flush with the wood and are nickel plated.

3. Notice the upper edge or shoulder (sometimes called high, square, or sharp shouldered) are much less rounded than post war stocks.
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Old 09-27-2017, 06:50 AM
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Thank you, Gentlemen!
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Old 09-27-2017, 01:56 PM
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A couple points of clarification:

First, the prewar style Magna stocks do have a greater area of coverage with checkering and have the pointed corners mentioned by Jim. The postwar style have rounded corners and less area of coverage.

But, the early postwar style has the same sharp shoulder as the prewar Magna. The shoulder didn't get softened until about 1953.

The following picture shows two revolvers that shipped in the early postwar period. The upper gun wears the prewar style stocks that number to the gun (the assumption being that a few of these stocks survived the war and were put on very early postwar M&P revolvers). The lower gun in the picture wears the earliest style of postwar Magna stocks. The difference in the checkering is obvious and the shoulder is virtually identical.


Second, the flat head screw in the rear-most position on the sideplate didn't come into use until the late 1940s. Lots of revolvers were fitted with Magna stocks prior to that time, and the fitter would use a drill bit to make a slight hollow in the walnut to allow the stock panel to fit tightly against the frame with the rounded screw head fitting into the dimple. I have several guns like this with number-matching Magna stocks, all with the dimple. By changing to a flat head screw, this part of stock fitting became unnecessary and production time was reduced. Improving efficiency was one of Hellstrom's goals when he took over management, and it is presumed this was part of that effort. If you find a flat head screw in that position on a prewar gun, I believe it is safe to assume it isn't original. The fact that a prewar or very early postwar gun has a round head screw at the rear of the sideplate tells you nothing about the stocks that originally shipped on that gun.
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Last edited by JP@AK; 09-27-2017 at 01:57 PM.
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Old 09-27-2017, 04:56 PM
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Jack,

Thanks for the correction!
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Old 09-27-2017, 05:12 PM
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I always like seeing that dimple.

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