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Old 10-09-2017, 12:19 PM
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Dropped off a RIA 10mm at my gunshop today to ship to it's new owner and found this in the case. They had it marked as a 15, but there is no model marking on inside by the crane, although there are some other #'s there, serial Number on the butt, and that extra screw on the other side. I will assume the grips are not original though in nice shape, as is the gun, only one real spot of bluing loss on the cylinder and the very edge of the Barrel

The rest of my Smiths are from the 70's and later so I need some help! Thanks! I think I did OK for 350 out the door, I've wanted one of these for a while.




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Old 10-09-2017, 12:37 PM
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I believe you have a K-38 Combat Masterpiece in excellent shape, but with grips from a much later gun. Serial # points to 1952.

$350 is very good even with incorrect grips!
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Old 10-09-2017, 12:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by justintyme View Post
Thanks! I think I did OK for 350 out the door,
Think you did OK?!! I think you just wanted us to admire your new gun!! Which is what I am doing!! Great deal and good looking gun!
Ed
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Old 10-09-2017, 12:43 PM
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Can't tell exactly what the serial number is, K168... or K188... First one would most likely be from 1952, second one from 1953. As you suspected, the stocks are incorrect, much newer than the gun. That said, it looks to me like you did quite well.
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Old 10-09-2017, 12:45 PM
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It is a real looker. Thats for sure. Sounds like a good deal.
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Old 10-09-2017, 12:49 PM
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You did just fine. great get!
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Old 10-09-2017, 01:31 PM
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$350 OTD is a superb price for an early 5 screw .38 Combat Masterpiece, even with post-1967 walnut target stocks on it. Well done!

DOM does depend on what that second digit actually is; either 1952 or 1953, as kscharlie noted. For example, CM #K1571xx shipped in October, 1952.
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Old 10-09-2017, 02:58 PM
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Congratulations!
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Old 10-09-2017, 03:49 PM
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Thank you all for the info, I was in a rush needing to get to work andgot a blurry picture and posted in the wring forum not realing how old it was, so I will confirm the serial when I get home.

So I would guess Original Magna stocks? Anyone have a picture of what would be correct so I can hunt some down?
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Old 10-09-2017, 03:57 PM
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The magnas you are looking for will look like the ones on my .38 M&P snub. The "shoulder" on the wood magna extension above the medallion is sharp compared to later more rounded versions. It also has the diamond around the escutcheon screw and nut and blue washers holding the medallions.

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Old 10-09-2017, 06:30 PM
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justintyme
I should point out that your revolver was made right on the cusp of a change in style on the Magna stocks. Right near the end of 1952 and the beginning of 1953, the shoulder changed from sharp (as shown on Guy's 2" M&P) to a more tapered shoulder. The stamped and blued steel retaining washer on the inside stayed the same, as did the smooth diamond around the screw holes.

So, while your Combat Masterpiece probably shipped with the sharp shoulder variety, it is possible it had the newer design. It is nigh impossible to say one way or the other with any certainty. If I had your choice, I would go with the sharp shoulder style, if you can find a nice pair.

I should note that in all my years of looking, I cannot recall a specific gun with a confirmed 1952 ship date that had the more tapered shoulder on its Magna stocks. Yet I believe it possible that some are out there somewhere. I've seen lots of 1953 guns wearing the newer style.

Just something to think about.

And I recommend monitoring eBay for your Magna stocks. The sharp shoulder type do show up there from time to time.
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Old 10-09-2017, 06:39 PM
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Under 400X magnification the serial number appears as K168220 placing it in 1952 according to SCSW4.
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Old 10-10-2017, 12:11 AM
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So again thank you for all the help and information. Stakeout is correct, I'm home from work and verified that is a K168220, So 1952. This gun is not perfect, but has a really nice finish. It is exceptionally tight, and very well fitted. The stamping and roll markings are wonderfully crisp and well struck on the exterior of the gun. Beautiful finish on the hammer and trigger as well. I am extremely pleased, with it especially at the price as I usually but today at tomorrows prices, LOL.

The hunt is on for correct stocks now, but those Walnut Targets are very nice, only a few marks on them and a deep shiny finish, I may have to buy another blued K frame to put them on if I find the right ones for this .38.......I mean I could put them on one of my 686's but they look so good on blue....
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Old 10-10-2017, 01:01 PM
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Another note about the stocks, the original magnas from 1952 should have grey plastic medallions instead of nickeled, brass, or plain steel. I have a set that I think are closely numbered to your combat (don't have them in front of me). PM me if your interested in them.
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Old 10-10-2017, 01:21 PM
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You have a number of options. You will never come up with the original stocks that left the factory with that gun. You can purchase a pair of period correct magna stocks for it. You can purchase a set of period correct target stocks for it. These would be non-relieved diamond targets, most likely around $200 and up. The target stocks that are on it, while incorrect, are very nice. You seem to like them. So, you could just leave them on and buy ammo instead of wood.

I recently obtained a K-22 Combat Masterpiece with incorrect target stocks on it. They are identical to the ones on your K-38 CM. My first thought was to find a set of "correct" magnas to put on it. Then I shot the CM. I lost interest in getting a set of magnas. And since the original stocks will never be found, having period correct stocks will not enhance the value that much. If you bought it for a shooter, shoot it and enjoy it. That's what I did and am doing with my Pre-18.
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Old 10-10-2017, 02:42 PM
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There is no question that SN K168220 was manufactured in 1952, but it may well have shipped in 1953. The closest Combat Masterpiece SN on my list is K1620xx which shipped in 12/52.

There has been considerable recent discussion as to what the correct nomenclature is for these. It is settled that S&W advertised them only as "The Combat Masterpiece" without the K-38, and later as the Model 15 Combat Masterpiece, also without the K-38. Although many seem to prefer to use "K-38 Combat Masterpiece."

You did well for $350, even without the original grips (which should probably be of the sharp shoulder Magna design).

Last edited by DWalt; 10-10-2017 at 02:49 PM.
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Old 10-10-2017, 06:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DWalt View Post
There is no question that SN K168220 was manufactured in 1952, but it may well have shipped in 1953. The closest Combat Masterpiece SN on my list is K1620xx which shipped in 12/52.

There has been considerable recent discussion as to what the correct nomenclature is for these. It is settled that S&W advertised them only as "The Combat Masterpiece" without the K-38, and later as the Model 15 Combat Masterpiece, also without the K-38. Although many seem to prefer to use "K-38 Combat Masterpiece."

You did well for $350, even without the original grips (which should probably be of the sharp shoulder Magna design).
I agree 100% with DWalt on this entire post. Well said, my friend.
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Old 10-10-2017, 07:57 PM
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Howdy

This K-38 Combat Masterpiece shipped in February of 1953. Serial number is K1638XX. The grips are original to the gun, with the SN stamped on the inside of the right grip. And I payed a heck of a lot more for it than you did. Regarding the name, I am parroting what my SCSW calls it.





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Old 10-10-2017, 10:19 PM
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Thanks again all,
Driftwood that is a beautiful gun! And thought I would like some period correct stocks on it I'm fine with those targets, actually have S&W targets on most of my guns and they fit my hand pretty well.

But if I happened to find the right pair of Magnas, or even maybe some stag grips would be cool, never had a set.
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Old 10-10-2017, 10:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by justintyme View Post
Dropped off a RIA 10mm at my gunshop today to ship to it's new owner and found this in the case. They had it marked as a 15, but there is no model marking on inside by the crane, although there are some other #'s there, serial Number on the butt, and that extra screw on the other side. I will assume the grips are not original though in nice shape, as is the gun, only one real spot of bluing loss on the cylinder and the very edge of the Barrel

The rest of my Smiths are from the 70's and later so I need some help! Thanks! I think I did OK for 350 out the door, I've wanted one of these for a while.




Most likely shipped Jan/Feb 1953.
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Old 10-11-2017, 12:33 AM
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[QUOTE=DWalt;139775591]There is no question that SN K168220 was manufactured in 1952, but it may well have shipped in 1953.
Please explain " There is no question that SN K168220 was manufactured in 1952" I'm really interested in how you know when it was manufactured.
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Old 10-11-2017, 12:01 PM
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Good point, Don. What we should say is, "Based on the best published information we have, it was probably made in 1952."

No one can be certain of anything without a thorough search of factory records. I assume that was your point.
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