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Old 10-10-2017, 02:49 PM
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Default Value of .38 M&P Post War

Fella wants to sell me a .38 M&P Post War transitional....

Here's what he says about it:

S&W 5 screw, post-war transitional, .38 Military & Police revolver with 6" barrel. Serial number S907*** shipped approximately 1947. The timing and lockup are right on, no push off, approximately .002" of cylinder rotation in lockup and approximately .005" of end shake. The bore is bright and shiny with no pitting. Some thinning of the original bluing with light handling marks and a cylinder turn line. Non-standard factory installed brass pin front sight. Stocks number to the gun.

Can anyone help me with a value on this? Here's a pic or two:
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Old 10-10-2017, 02:53 PM
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It probably shipped around May-June 1947. The grips do not seem original (you should check to see if they are numbered to the frame), and it appears that something has been done to the front sight as you have mentioned. I'd say that anything over $400 is getting too pricey.

Last edited by DWalt; 10-10-2017 at 02:59 PM.
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Old 10-10-2017, 02:54 PM
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I’d say maybe 350 tops if you want it. For me the mutilated front sight would be a deal breaker since these are not hard to find all-original, and the 6-inch barrel tends to be the least desirable.
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Old 10-10-2017, 03:45 PM
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tree, tree fiddy tops.

Shame about the front sights. Some lame brain did the same thing to my '47 six inch barrel. Must have been a trend back then.
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Old 10-10-2017, 03:50 PM
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What makes the 6" barrel less desirable? I like the idea of the additional 1 or 2 inch of sight radius for accuracy....and I'm not necessarily buying this as a straight-on collector piece, more of a shootable collector piece....to sandwich in between a Combat Masterpiece, a Victory I want to someday add, and a 19-5 as an example of a more "modern" S&W.

Also, the guy who owns it seems to be saying the brass bead was factory installed, albeit non-standard. Does that sound right?
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Old 10-10-2017, 03:58 PM
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Normally they made more six inchers. Factory installed would be better than garage installed. Mine is a good shooter. Previous owner installed some sort of a bone bead in the front sight and sanded the original magna grips smooth. But I just collect shooters and this M&P postwar (s/n S944xxx) is one of those.



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Old 10-10-2017, 04:14 PM
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I don't think they made more 6 inchers of that gun. Maybe the least common.
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Old 10-10-2017, 04:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Redcoat3340 View Post
What makes the 6" barrel less desirable? I like the idea of the additional 1 or 2 inch of sight radius for accuracy....and I'm not necessarily buying this as a straight-on collector piece, .....

Also, the guy who owns it seems to be saying the brass bead was factory installed, albeit non-standard. Does that sound right?
On the desirability, Iím just reporting an observation based on several years of following M&Pís on auction sites, Iím not implying any judgment. Iíve got a 6-incher too.

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Originally Posted by Targets Guy View Post
Normally they made more six inchers.....
Iím fairly certain that was not the case with the S-series, but I hope Jack looks at this thread because I believe he has data on the relative prevalence of the barrel lengths.
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Old 10-10-2017, 04:29 PM
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Geeze....you guys are great!!
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Old 10-10-2017, 05:41 PM
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Hi

S907xxx would normally have shipped in May or June, 1947. As Absalom mentioned, I keep an extensive database on these S prefix M&P revolvers and I show several in that serial range. I would greatly appreciate having the full serial number to add to the cumulative knowledge we have about this unique period in S&W revolver production. Please send it to me via PM if you don't want to post the complete serial number on the open forum. Thanks.

As for the commonality of the 6" barrel, it was probably the least produced of the four lengths available at that time. My data show only about 10% having the 6" barrel, with the 2" guns running a close second at about 11%. The remaining 79% are roughly divided between the 4" and 5" barrels, with the 4" having a slight edge. But this represents only a sample size of approximately 1200 pieces, so those numbers could change as I gather more information.

I seriously doubt that bead front sight is original. I have seen no evidence that sights like that were put on production guns with the fixed rear sight. The Mexican Model and a few other special order adjustable sight guns in the S prefix range would have had special order target sights, but this clearly is not one of those. I suppose it could have been a special order gun, but to find that out would cost you $75 for a letter and the results would probably show it to be an after-market alteration.
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Old 10-10-2017, 06:00 PM
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Checking the database, I find a run of 5" guns leading into the S907xxx range. At about S9075xx, there is a switch to 6" barrels that lasts nearly to the end of the S909xxx range.

The earliest ship date in this group is April, 1947, and the latest is July, 1947. What is interesting is that the April shipment was of a gun that went over to King for the King Super Target modification. It had a 6" barrel, as one would expect.

Another interesting feature of Redcoat3340's revolver is the extractor rod knob. By this time, the knurled end had largely superseded the knob. However, between S903000 and S908000 I have located three revolvers that still had the knob on the extractor rod. All three have 6" barrels. All the other 6" guns in this range that have shown up had the knurled end with no notch machined into the bottom of the barrel. This might reflect the paucity of 6" guns being produced in 1946-47, with a few older 6" barrels already notched just sitting in the bin.

It is fun to speculate on matters like this!

Edit: It turns out that the gun which is the subject of this thread was already in my database. So, correct what I posted above. I have only located TWO (not three) 6" guns in this serial range that have the knob on the extractor rod.
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Old 10-10-2017, 06:05 PM
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And just to add to the discussion....here's a picture of the front sight. And Jack, I sent you a pm with the whole serial number.

Aw hell, here it is: S907854
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Old 10-10-2017, 06:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Redcoat3340 View Post
And just to add to the discussion....here's a picture of the front sight.
It looks like someone just soldered a gold bead on top of the original sight. The good news is the sight does not appear to have been ground on or filed.

Quote:
Jack, I sent you a pm with the whole serial number
Thanks. I saw that and replied. I am going to edit my earlier post to reflect what I learned in our sidebar discussion. I appreciate your assistance with my research.
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Old 10-10-2017, 06:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Redcoat3340 View Post
And just to add to the discussion....here's a picture of the front sight. And Jack, I sent you a pm with the whole serial number.

Aw hell, here it is: S907854
That looks pretty harmless, like someone just soldered a piece to the original sight without actually modifying it. If someone really wanted that gun or it were available for an irresistable price, that sight could likely be restored to like-before condition without too much trouble.

PS: As Jack said ....

Last edited by Absalom; 10-10-2017 at 06:27 PM.
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Old 10-10-2017, 08:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Absalom View Post
That looks pretty harmless, like someone just soldered a piece to the original sight without actually modifying it. If someone really wanted that gun or it were available for an irresistable price, that sight could likely be restored to like-before condition without too much trouble.

PS: As Jack said ....
As a shooter, I wouldn't bother. It's likely to be more easily seen than the original half-moon front sight. Probably a blob of silver solder.
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