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Old 05-03-2018, 12:40 AM
KneverKnew KneverKnew is offline
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Default S&W MODEL 10 .38 SPECIAL REVOLVER

This is another of the revolvers I got at auction. I'm not sure of the date yet so am posting in this section. I don't have the revolvers in hand yet so I am providing the pictures and information below that was provided by the auction company. Please advise if I made a good buy or did I make a big mistake. Also, I'd appreciate any estimates as to what the actual value of the guns might be, so I can know if I got skunked or not. Thanks.

S&W MODEL 10 .38 SPECIAL REVOLVER

Model: 10
Caliber / Gauge: .38 Special
Barrel Length: 5"
Condition: Very good. Some surface wear, fading of bluing and oxidation marks. Bright bore.






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Old 05-03-2018, 08:03 AM
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While I’m not the one to answer your Q I suggest pulling off the rubber grips and checking for more erosion/rust underneath, something rubber grips are famous for. Also, just looking at your pics my guess this was a police or security weapon from the pattern of wear. Great find, enjoy at the range.
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Old 05-03-2018, 08:35 AM
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It's not a Model 10. You don't list the serial number (it should start with a 'C' and is found on the butt). It pre-dates model numbers by a few years. Some call it a pre-Model 10. The factory called it a .38 Military & Police Model. That style debuted around 1947 (post ww2 short action) and the upper sideplate (which yours has) was deleted circa 1957 just before the Model 10 became a thing.

It would look a lot better with correct post-WW2 diamond magna stocks. Since a good set of stocks are worth $50 or more, you can subtract that much from the value of the gun.
It's worth around $300 give or take. It would probably start out higher on a gunshow table or pawn shop case but.
It should make an excellent shooter!
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Old 05-03-2018, 09:00 AM
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From the hammer style and the single line "MADE IN USA" stamping on the frame, it is no newer than 1947-48. The Model 10 terminology did not begin until the late 1950s. Those like yours are usually called a pre-Model 10 M&P. The SN will be stamped on the butt, also stamped on the bottom of the barrel and the rear face of the cylinder. It probably is worth in the $300 range. You can easily find approximate period-correct Magna grips on eBay, often in the $25-$50 price range. Although for shooting the Pachmayrs on it are perfectly OK.

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Old 05-03-2018, 09:05 AM
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You may have an "S" prefix postwar .38 M&P. On your second to last photo you can see a prefix letter in front of the rest of the serial number. Open the cylinder and look on the barrel flat - that is the serial number. Should have one on the back of the cylinder as well and one of the bottom of the grip frame.

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Old 05-03-2018, 09:10 AM
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A lot of times people say "Model 10" when it really isn't. That hammer style was used 1948-57 and the model numbers were not stamped until 1958. Makes it a Military & Police Model.

The 5" barrel is cool and a favorite of mine. Those rubber grips have to go. Find some nice "diamond" Magnas. See below...


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Old 05-04-2018, 11:53 PM
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WOW! Lot's of info to take in. First off, this pistol has the BEST TRIGGER EVER!! Lightest pull on any pistol I've ever tried. Haven't shot it yet, but I have great expectations.
As far as the grips go, I have a box full of those exact grips I got from a friend's wife after he passed. I should be able to find one that fits. I took off rubber grip and did find a bit more rust, but should clean up. There is an S prefix to the Serial Number (S 993666) on barrel flat, bottom of grip frame, back of cylinder and on yoke.
Inside yoke/frame number is 72057 with a big "3" stamped just over the number on the frame.
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Old 05-05-2018, 12:20 AM
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Please don't take this the wrong way. I or nobody can tell you if you made a great, good, or terrible buy without knowing what you paid. If you are happy them that's all that really matters. I do have some hard learned advice. I bought a lot of different guns early on in my collecting, or accumulating. After a while I figured out what I liked sold off what didn't interest me. I have since narrowed my collection into about five areas Military arms from all the major country's during WW2, various sporting arms, a collection of Mausers from1871 - K98, and Smith & Wesson revolvers pre 1980. I also have other guns that do not fit these categories. I have one main rule buy what I like. The best advice I can give is research before you buy. Sorry for the windy reply.

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Old 05-05-2018, 12:21 AM
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Originally Posted by KneverKnew View Post
WOW! Lot's of info to take in. First off, this pistol has the BEST TRIGGER EVER!! Lightest pull on any pistol I've ever tried. Haven't shot it yet, but I have great expectations.
....
That's fine, with a couple of caveats. If you're talking about the single action pull, make sure it isn't subject to pushoff. That's when you have the hammer cocked, and can make it fall by pushing firmly on the back of the hammer. If it does, that's dangerous and should be fixed.

If it's a very light double action, make sure that the trigger pull isn't light because the mainspring has been weakened such that it no longer reliably ignites primers. That is sometimes the result of someone's misguided attempt to get a light double action pull. Only way to check this is to go shoot it, which you intend to do anyway.

If all is good, looks like a nice solid gun.
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Old 05-05-2018, 12:33 AM
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Originally Posted by merl67 View Post
Please don't take this the wrong way. I or nobody can tell you if you made a great, good, or terrible but without knowing what you paid. If you are happy them that's all that really matters. I do have some hard learned advice. I bought a lot of different guns early on in my collecting, or accumulating. After a while I figured out what I liked sold off what didn't interest me. I have since narrowed my collection into about five areas Military arms from all the major country's during WW2, various sporting arms, a collection of Mausers from1871 - K98, and Smith & Wesson revolvers pre 1980. I also have other guns that do not fit these categories. I have one main rule buy what I like. The best advice I can give is research before you buy. Sorry for the windy reply.
Not a problem. I appreciate ALL the advice here. My area of interest seems similar to yours. This particular Smith "Pre-Model 10" (apparently) cost me $252, including the buyers premium. It sounds like it did "okay", at least on this one.
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Old 05-05-2018, 12:34 AM
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That's fine, with a couple of caveats. If you're talking about the single action pull, make sure it isn't subject to pushoff. That's when you have the hammer cocked, and can make it fall by pushing firmly on the back of the hammer. If it does, that's dangerous and should be fixed.

If it's a very light double action, make sure that the trigger pull isn't light because the mainspring has been weakened such that it no longer reliably ignites primers. That is sometimes the result of someone's misguided attempt to get a light double action pull. Only way to check this is to go shoot it, which you intend to do anyway.

If all is good, looks like a nice solid gun.
I will watch for/ test for all these points you make. Thank you. Definitely don't want an unsafe situation.
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Old 05-05-2018, 12:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KneverKnew View Post
WOW! Lot's of info to take in. First off, this pistol has the BEST TRIGGER EVER!! Lightest pull on any pistol I've ever tried. Haven't shot it yet, but I have great expectations.
As far as the grips go, I have a box full of those exact grips I got from a friend's wife after he passed. I should be able to find one that fits. I took off rubber grip and did find a bit more rust, but should clean up. There is an S prefix to the Serial Number (S 993666) on barrel flat, bottom of grip frame, back of cylinder and on yoke.
Inside yoke/frame number is 72057 with a big "3" stamped just over the number on the frame.
Most likely shipped May - Aug time frame 1948. You didn't pay too much. Seller left about $200 on the table.
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Old 05-05-2018, 02:17 AM
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Originally Posted by KneverKnew View Post
Not a problem. I appreciate ALL the advice here. My area of interest seems similar to yours. This particular Smith "Pre-Model 10" (apparently) cost me $252, including the buyers premium. It sounds like it did "okay", at least on this one.
I would buy that one all day long at that price. Show me one quality revolver made today rhat will shoot as good or hold its value like that one. I would like to see the collection of grips you have.
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Old 05-05-2018, 02:37 AM
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... This particular Smith "Pre-Model 10" (apparently) cost me $252, including the buyers premium. It sounds like it did "okay", at least on this one.
This particular iteration is actually not very common. Relative to the total numbers of M&Ps, not many guns in the very high S-prefix range, like yours, got the new hammer/action before the C-prefix started in 1948.

That is a superb price, even better if you can make this gun whole by finding some sharp-shoulder diamond magna stocks without having to spend extra money.

Keep the hideous rubber grips, though; they are more comfortable to shoot.
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Old 05-05-2018, 10:51 AM
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There is an S prefix to the Serial Number (S 993666) on barrel flat, bottom of grip frame, back of cylinder and on yoke.
The S prefix M&P went out of production in March, 1948. As others have noted, yours has the high speed hammer, which was introduced at about S990xxx. A few long actions show up with slightly higher serial numbers, but after about S9913xx they seem to be mostly gone except on a few .32 caliber special production guns. I do show one .38 Special long action at S9967xx that shipped in June, 1948.

The earliest shipment I have identified on an S993xxx gun is May, 1948. The S prefix revolvers kept dribbling out for the next few months, together with C prefix guns, until they were all gone. The latest shipment I've found for an S prefix gun left the factory in August, 1949. But that one is an anomaly. I suspect it got lost on a back shelf!

At <$300 you bought a lot of gun. Enjoy it.
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Old 05-13-2018, 07:54 PM
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I so appreciate all the background history you guys have shared. I sure feel a lot better about this particular SW and not feeling like quite the fool for getting it. The thing that drew me to it was it looked exactly like one
My dadís had when I was growing up. It was Nicole Plated and had pearl handles. Not sure about any of the serial numbers or production dates but it looks exactly like this pistol styling and barrel length except for the nickel plating and pearl handled. Unfortunately it was stolen. Here is the Smith and Wesson grip I could find. I guess itís a diamond magna and has a flat bottom not rounded. Not exactly sure which is correct to this gun. Unfortunately this particular grip doesnít fit exactly right and overlaps the backstrap just a fraction of an inch. I am still trying to find The elusive box full of other Smith and Wesson grips that Iím still looking for. Once I find it I will share those pictures with you of the grips. If someone has the correct grip for this pistol and is willing to sell or trade please let me know. It really makes me happy to know Iíve got a good pistol and didnít pay too much for it and that it actually has an interesting background.



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Old 05-13-2018, 08:03 PM
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The grip style shown is from 1969 or later, as there is no diamond around the screw holes. It is often called the "PC" (plain clothes) style due to the rounded corners at the bottom. That style was used on M&P service revolvers (but not K-frame target revolvers) from the early 1950s onward. The idea was that the rounded bottom corners, when carried concealed, did not visibly print through clothing as much and also reduced wear on clothing such as jacket linings.
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Old 05-13-2018, 09:07 PM
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Originally Posted by KneverKnew View Post
Not a problem. I appreciate ALL the advice here. My area of interest seems similar to yours. This particular Smith "Pre-Model 10" (apparently) cost me $252, including the buyers premium. It sounds like it did "okay", at least on this one.
Yes, you did OK. Recently I paid $75 more for one a year older with another inch of barrel, but with correct grips. Enjoy shooting.
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Old 05-14-2018, 12:53 PM
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This particular iteration is actually not very common. Relative to the total numbers of M&Ps, not many guns in the very high S-prefix range, like yours, got the new hammer/action before the C-prefix started in 1948.

That is a superb price, even better if you can make this gun whole by finding some sharp-shoulder diamond magna stocks without having to spend extra money.

Keep the hideous rubber grips, though; they are more comfortable to shoot.
So what do I call this pistol then? A pre-48 S prefix high serial number M&P that is unusual because it has the “new hammer/action that came out in the C prefix in 48? Trying to get it all straight in my head.

Also, I was mistaken about the box of grips I thought I had. I did not take the entire collection from my friends widow, but got two of the same type. One set I put on this pistol for now. It doesn’t fit just right since I’m guessing it’s for a later model K frame. They have K stamped on the back of one grip. Here they are size by side when I first got them. What would these grips be worth to someone based on their condition and style?


So, I’m looking for a set of early diamond manga grips for this pistol, am I correct? Should I look for "high shoulder" or "low", and would flat bottom be more correct, or rounded "PC?" I assume the earlier grip styles will fit the grip frame better than these K frame grips I'm using for now? They seem to be just a smidge bigger, overlapping both front and rear grip frame strap by maybe 1/32". I assume that isn't considered normal. It should fit right to the edge of the metal, correct?

If anyone has a set of correct diamond magnas in good shape to sell or trade, please let me know. I will keep looking online as well.

Now concerning differences in hammer and action between pre and post 48 M&P’s, can someone elaborate?

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Old 05-14-2018, 01:51 PM
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There isn't significant variation in the K frame size over time. My K frame grips fit guns from the '20s up to now pretty tightly. The grips you have are PC magnas and should fit fine. But, from your picture, I can see they don't. The grips you need to be period correct are diamond centered sharp shouldered magnas with black washers. They look like these:


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Old 05-14-2018, 01:52 PM
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It is simply a Military and Police model. Many collectors would call it a pre-Model 10. The short action began very high it the S-series. The only thing unusual is that not many M&Ps with the short action were made in the S-series, fewer than 10K.
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Old 05-14-2018, 01:55 PM
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It is simply a Military and Police model. Many collectors would call it a pre-Model 10. The short action began very high it the S-series. The only thing unusual is that not many M&Ps with the short action were made in the S-series, fewer than 10K.
Ok. That at least clears up that. It's also a lot shorter than what I typed up above. LOL.

I guess I need to start doing some research on the differences between the action types so I can be mo betta learnt.
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Old 05-14-2018, 01:57 PM
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There isn't significant variation in the K frame size over time. My K frame grips fit guns from the '20s up to now pretty tightly. The grips you have are PC magnas and should fit fine. But, from your picture, I can see they don't. The grips you need to be period correct are diamond centered sharp shouldered magnas with black washers. They look like these:


So the grips on the gun in the picture you provided are what I should be looking for? The diamond center is understandable, but what are you referring to about "sharp shoulder" and "black washers?"
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Old 05-14-2018, 02:04 PM
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I deleted the post just now that I had links to active ebay auctions. Didn't wan't to break any rules. Thanks for the heads up.
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Old 05-14-2018, 02:07 PM
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Does "sharp shoulders" refer to the "flats" at the top of the "high shoulders" of the grips, as opposed to being rounded off at the top of the shoulders? Don't want to end up getting the wrong grips for this gun.
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Old 05-14-2018, 02:17 PM
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S&amp;W MODEL 10 .38 SPECIAL REVOLVER S&amp;W MODEL 10 .38 SPECIAL REVOLVER S&amp;W MODEL 10 .38 SPECIAL REVOLVER S&amp;W MODEL 10 .38 SPECIAL REVOLVER S&amp;W MODEL 10 .38 SPECIAL REVOLVER  
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The shoulder is at the top of the grip. Washers are what hold the medallions in place and form the rounded mate between the grip frame and the grip. They are found on the back of the grip panel.


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Old 05-14-2018, 02:20 PM
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Originally Posted by KneverKnew View Post
So what do I call this pistol then? A pre-48 S prefix high serial number M&P that is unusual because it has the “new hammer/action that came out in the C prefix in 48?
See my post #15 above. Call it a postwar .38 Military & Police revolver.

The high speed hammer (like yours) was first used on a production revolver at serial number S990184, and it shipped on April 7, 1948. The lowest one I've located and entered into my database is S990806, and it shipped in March, 1948. So, we can assume they were assembled as early as February, possibly before that. Theoretically, there were about 9,000 S prefix M&P revolvers made with the high speed hammer. So they certainly are not rare by any definition. I own a few of them myself.

Hence, it isn't accurate to say the high speed hammer "came out in the C prefix" guns. The new hammer configuration continued with the C prefix, with only the rare example of a C prefix revolver having the old, long action (in fact, I have only documented one such gun, not counting special order .32 caliber examples).


Quote:
. . . got two of the same type. One set I put on this pistol for now. It doesn’t fit just right since I’m guessing it’s for a later model K frame. They have K stamped on the back of one grip
The Magna stocks you showed in your picture are the PC type and both are from the post-1967 period.

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So, I’m looking for a set of early diamond manga grips for this pistol, am I correct? Should I look for "high shoulder" or "low", and would flat bottom be more correct, or rounded "PC?"
Sharp shoulder, not "high shoulder." The latter refers to special stocks that were made for the Centennial a few years after your gun was shipped. Flat bottom would be correct. The PC type didn't show up until sometime in the early-to-mid 1950s.

Here is a pic of the sharp shoulder type that would have been on your revolver. The bottom gun in the photo is what you want. The upper gun wears the prewar style, with a greater area of coverage with checking:


Quote:
I assume the earlier grip styles will fit the grip frame better than these K frame grips I'm using for now? They seem to be just a smidge bigger, overlapping both front and rear grip frame strap by maybe 1/32". I assume that isn't considered normal. It should fit right to the edge of the metal, correct?
Stocks were hand-fitted to the frame in the era of your gun. Only the originals will fit perfectly. But period correct sharp shoulder Magna stocks will probably fit your frame better than the later stocks you are using now.

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Now concerning differences in hammer and action between pre and post 48 M&P’s, can someone elaborate?
Here is a photo to illustrate the difference. Both of these guns have the S prefix. The one on the left has the high speed hammer. The one on the right has the long action:
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Old 05-14-2018, 04:49 PM
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Great descriptive pictures. I've found one or two grips on ebay. It's hard to tell from some pictures if it's the right thing. I'm trying to post links to the pictures, not the auctions.

Do these look right?








OR THESE?

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Old 05-14-2018, 05:44 PM
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Finally walked out in the yard with my "postwar .38 Military & Police revolver."

I tested for hammer pushoff. It help nice and tight so it is good. Double action worked fine and I was hitting a empty spray can at 30 yards four out of six in double action.
Then I tried the single action trigger. OH MY. It can really take you by surprise. My first group at 10 yards wasn't spectacular.


I reloaded and settled down and took my time, applying all those brainwashing techniques I learned on the rifle range in the Corps to this revolver. "While concentrating on holding proper sight picture and sight alignment, apply slow, steady, even pressure to the rear so that the hammer falls without the shooters knowledge........SIR!"
The next six shots seemed to do a little better. I aimed at a black bullet hole cover dot lower on the board. Yes, a little better.

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Old 05-14-2018, 07:53 PM
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Originally Posted by KneverKnew View Post
Great descriptive pictures. I've found one or two grips on ebay. It's hard to tell from some pictures if it's the right thing. I'm trying to post links to the pictures, not the auctions.
Do these look right?



Yes. Those are correct.

The second set is not correct.
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Old 05-14-2018, 09:45 PM
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Or like this:

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Old 05-18-2018, 07:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DWalt View Post
The grip style shown is from 1969 or later, as there is no diamond around the screw holes. It is often called the "PC" (plain clothes) style due to the rounded corners at the bottom. That style was used on M&P service revolvers (but not K-frame target revolvers) from the early 1950s onward. The idea was that the rounded bottom corners, when carried concealed, did not visibly print through clothing as much and also reduced wear on clothing such as jacket linings.
In an effort to purchase the correct diamond magna grips for my pre-10 M&P, I may want to try and sell one or both of these grips. No real need to hold onto them. What would a reasonable expected price be for these either on here or eBay/gunbroker?
Thanks.
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Old 05-18-2018, 07:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JP@AK View Post
Do these look right?



Yes. Those are correct.

The second set is not correct.
So far this pair is the only correct grips for my pistol I can find. There is about 10 hours left on auction and the price is already up to $53 and a good number of watchers and bidders. What would a max bid for these be? Iíd like to have them but not at a ridiculous price. While not period correct, my current grips are good enough for government work, as they say.
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Old 05-19-2018, 01:55 AM
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Those grips went for $71. I let it pass. Will keep looking for the right ones.
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