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Old 07-03-2018, 03:45 PM
Mack Ray Mack Ray is offline
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Age and value of S&W .38 Special? Age and value of S&W .38 Special? Age and value of S&W .38 Special? Age and value of S&W .38 Special? Age and value of S&W .38 Special?  
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Default Age and value of S&W .38 Special?

I have a Smith & Wesson revolver, nickel plated, 4 inch barrel, 4 screw frame, .38 S&W Special Ctg., serial # 567491. Finish is about 10% tarnished. It belonged to my grandfather, who was a deputy sheriff in Arkansas, and died in 1975.
Can anyone tell me how old it is?
Any guess at the current value?
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Old 07-03-2018, 04:00 PM
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Your revolver would have 5 screws if you count all 4 on the sideplate and the one just in front of the trigger guard. It is a 38 Hand Ejector Military & Police, 4th Change. It would have shipped right before the Great Depression, between 1927 & 1929. Since it was your grandfather's gun, I would pay to have a Historical letter from the SWHF - http://www.swhistoricalfoundation.co...quest_form.pdf

As for value, it depends on condition, type of finish, condition of wood stocks, length of barrel, etc. Could be $300 could be $1000, so post some detailed images for guesses of value.
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Old 07-03-2018, 04:05 PM
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That gun is likely from around 1927.

It is not an uncommon gun, so condition is everything for a guesstimate on its value, especially on nickeled guns, where the originality of the nickel also needs to be ascertained.

So a few photos in good natural light would be very helpful. Is there a letter stamped with the serial number on the underside of the barrel (visible when you have the cylinder open)?

Last edited by Absalom; 07-03-2018 at 04:06 PM.
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Old 07-03-2018, 04:15 PM
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Age and value of S&W .38 Special? Age and value of S&W .38 Special? Age and value of S&W .38 Special? Age and value of S&W .38 Special? Age and value of S&W .38 Special?  
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Is there a letter prefix to the SN? If not, it would probably have shipped sometime in 1927. As previously stated, depending upon its condition it could go from $200-$800. In average original un-messed-with condition, maybe $300-$400 at a gun show.

Last edited by DWalt; 07-03-2018 at 04:17 PM.
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Old 07-03-2018, 04:17 PM
Mack Ray Mack Ray is offline
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Age and value of S&W .38 Special? Age and value of S&W .38 Special? Age and value of S&W .38 Special? Age and value of S&W .38 Special? Age and value of S&W .38 Special?  
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Thanks, Gary.
It has 3 screws on the side plate, one in front of the trigger guard.
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Old 07-03-2018, 04:20 PM
Mack Ray Mack Ray is offline
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Age and value of S&W .38 Special? Age and value of S&W .38 Special? Age and value of S&W .38 Special? Age and value of S&W .38 Special? Age and value of S&W .38 Special?  
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DWalt, there is no letter with the serial number. It has not been refinished, seems to be in good working order. I have shot it several times.
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Old 07-03-2018, 04:25 PM
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That last screw is under the grip panel. Good luck finding out more about your grandfather's gun! I recently got a couple guns "lettered" and the history is very interesting.
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Old 07-03-2018, 04:57 PM
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IMG 0060 jpg
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Old 07-03-2018, 05:12 PM
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...1927 sounds right...last year for that MERK...Mushroom Ejector Rod Knob...

...grips are from a later year...
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Old 07-03-2018, 05:27 PM
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Yes, the year identification by serial was correct.

The stocks are sharp-shoulder magna stocks from right after WW II which are actually reasonably valuable by themselves, although these have obviously been on the gun for many years of duty carry.

The gun shows its age and experience too. Its value is probably more historical; just like that, no more than maybe 300-ish.
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Old 07-03-2018, 05:37 PM
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Those stocks are from a much later time period probably post-WWII. Yup, 1927 is the date because of the large ejector rod knob, but there are 1928 and 1929 guns with serial numbers higher than yours that shipped both earlier and later. Inventories must have been high in those years and the factory did not ship in serial number order. Great heirloom.

As for value, the incorrect stocks negatively affect value, but gun looks to have original finish. Problem is that there were already a half-million 38 M&Ps made by the time your revolver left the factory, so values are low. Also, blued guns often are valued higher than nickel, so a guess at value would be around $350 - $400. Of course, it is priceless as an heirloom. Get that letter.

The stocks that are correct for your revolver would look like the example below.
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Last edited by glowe; 07-03-2018 at 05:40 PM.
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Old 07-04-2018, 12:18 PM
Mack Ray Mack Ray is offline
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Thanks a lot for all the information, friends.
Didn't realize it was that old.
I have no plans to refinish it or change grips. I prefer to keep it the way Grandaddy liked it. I still have the holster too.
He had several old S&Ws besides this one: a .44 Special and a .22LR that I gave to my cousin, and a snub .38 my daughter now keeps.
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Old 07-04-2018, 01:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mack Ray View Post
Thanks a lot for all the information, friends.
Didn't realize it was that old.
I have no plans to refinish it or change grips. I prefer to keep it the way Grandaddy liked it. I still have the holster too.
He had several old S&Ws besides this one: a .44 Special and a .22LR that I gave to my cousin, and a snub .38 my daughter now keeps.
You are quite the philanthropist...those other S&Ws are likely more valuable. But, as you've pointed out, the sentimental value of heirlooms far outweighs what some pawn shop is going to offer for them.
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