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Old 08-07-2018, 12:05 PM
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Default Just inherited my Grandfather's 38/44 Outdoorsman

My Grandfather was a an old-time Pasadena Motor Police officer, in the 40's and 50's. He actually used a 6.5" barrel as his duty weapon, while on the motorcycle. Dad gave me the old duty pistol, a S&W 38/44 Outdoorsman, the other day.

I am assuming the manufacture/ship date is pre-war, due to the lack of the "S" prefix. My mother thought he acquired it in 1941.

Can anyone tell me the exact year of this gun? (**edit** The yolk number is shown here. The serial appears to be 62041)




Last edited by rocknroad; 08-07-2018 at 12:30 PM.
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Old 08-07-2018, 12:10 PM
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...that's not the serial number...it's on the butt under those target grips...

...it should also be on the rear face of the cylinder...

...also the right side view of the revolver will reveal more information than the left side does...

...nice revolver!...and with family history...can't beat that...
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Old 08-07-2018, 12:28 PM
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My bad. Here is the number on the back of the cylinder...

#62041
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Old 08-07-2018, 12:46 PM
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...I'm sure someone will be along soon to give you info on that serial number...

...a motor officer carrying an Outdoorsman with a six and a half inch barrel and a Patridge front sight is REALLY COOL in my estimation...
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Old 08-07-2018, 12:59 PM
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Here is the right side of the gun. The blurry area under the S&W logo was where I smeared out Gramp's engraved name, from the picture.

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Old 08-07-2018, 01:07 PM
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...unfortunately I don't have the serial number info...

...the first year for the 38/44 Outdoorsman was 1931 I believe...

...the one line "Made in USA" phased out and went to the four line in early to mid 1948...

...that narrows it down to...1931 to 1948...

...your Mom's 1941 recollection would be just about in the middle of that range...
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Old 08-07-2018, 01:14 PM
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According to the S&W 4th edition your mother was most likely correct, I came up with 1941 as the production date.
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Old 08-07-2018, 01:28 PM
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I agree with Andy52, 1941 and near the end of production before WWII, the last # being 62350 when production stopped for the war.

These are very fine revolvers, and worth a reasonable amount in value as well as sentimental value, which cannot be replaced. That gun was made to shoot, enjoy it.

I envy you, as that would be a birth year gun for me.
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Old 08-07-2018, 01:37 PM
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Thank you, everyone. I appreciate the reinforcement of my mom's memory.

This will not be a shelf queen. I am looking forward to shooting it next week.

This guy seems to think I will enjoy it... Gun Digest Classic: Is This the Greatest .38 Ever? | Gun Digest
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Old 08-07-2018, 02:35 PM
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THAT is wa-ay too cool. A pre-war OD in the box with family history. Clean it, shoot it, love it. Do yourself a favor and collect every scrap of information, photos, and credentials related to his LE career. A photo of him in uniform with his motorcycle and the OD would be priceless. Get a historical letter from Roy Jinks. We might be able to scare up a set of pre-war Magna stocks for you, too! Congratulations, very nice!
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Old 08-07-2018, 03:01 PM
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Quote: "We might be able to scare up a set of pre-war Magna stocks for you, too! Congratulations, very nice!"

A nice pre-war set sold on eBay yesterday for a mere $571.00.

Very nice gun.

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Old 08-07-2018, 03:09 PM
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Check your serial number on the underside of the barrel and on the butt. The center number may not be a zero " 0 ".

The finest shooting S&W N frame next to the RM. It's the poor man' s Registered Magnum but just as sweet, I think.

Good luck with that one.
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Old 08-07-2018, 03:11 PM
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Whoa! $571 for Magna stocks? Too rich my blood...or gun.

My pops has Gramp's original holster and belt. I should be getting it in a few days. Time to dig up old photos of Gramps in uniform, with his sidearm.
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Old 08-07-2018, 03:11 PM
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A wonderful acquisition. You'll love it!
One thing you might want to check is to see if Grandpa had it reamed out to .357. Simple enough to check, just drop a .357 cartridge in the chambers and see if it goes all the way in or not. Usually this would lessen the value. But since this is a family heirloom, I don't see where it would matter.
If you reload, whip up some old time .38/44 high velocity loads just to see what shooting these guns was really like. Its a hoot!
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Old 08-07-2018, 03:26 PM
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Quote:
Check your serial number on the underside of the barrel and on the butt. The center number may not be a zero " 0 ".
It is definitely a zero. Without removing the grips, I found the serial number on the inside of the ejector guard. So, it looks to have been about 309 units prior to the pause in production for WWII


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Old 08-07-2018, 03:49 PM
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Nice gun! Enjoy it!

It was a .38-44 that got me into this Forum and the SWCA when my LGS owner sold me the gun and told me about this campfire. The serial number is half that of yours, 3xxxx (I don't have it handy) and I think it is 1932 manufacture.

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Old 08-07-2018, 05:56 PM
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62075 shipped Aug 1940. Yours should be in the same vicinity. I hope this helps.
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Old 08-07-2018, 08:30 PM
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Super duper nice. And what a cool way to remember your Grandfather by.
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Old 08-11-2018, 01:50 PM
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Update: My dad gave me my Grandfather's duty holster and belt, last night. Here are the pictures, with Gramp's OD...



Gramps was a Pasadena, CA motor officer (at the time) so, it makes sense that he wore a belt from a local company...



To the best of my knowledge, my Grandfather loaded these rounds onto the belt, decades ago...



Nice for show but...



Dad seems to remember having a photo of my Grandfather, on his 1938 or 1939 Indian Motorcycle, with his belt on. The pic was from the left side so, we don't think the gun can be seen. I will share when I receive the photo.

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Old 08-11-2018, 02:04 PM
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Outstanding family treasure !
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Old 08-11-2018, 02:05 PM
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Those rounds look like the 200 grain Super Police. Iffn' I was you, I'd remove them and wipe them down. The leather causes verdigris, the green stuff on the ammo.
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Old 08-11-2018, 03:21 PM
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That leather gear is in remarkably good condition, in my opinion! He obviously took very good care of it. That revolver with that gear is a treasure anyone would love to have, but for you, it's got to be priceless!
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Old 08-11-2018, 03:27 PM
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Thank you for keeping and cherishing this awesome piece of family history!

So many times we read on this forum about guns leaving families due to the shortsightedness of decendants caused by hoplophobia or the desire for a quick buck.
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Old 08-11-2018, 03:28 PM
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FYI- The Buffalo Bore .38 Special 158 gr +P loadings are pretty close to the original .38-44 level.
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Old 08-11-2018, 03:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 22hipower View Post
Quote: "We might be able to scare up a set of pre-war Magna stocks for you, too! Congratulations, very nice!"

A nice pre-war set sold on eBay yesterday for a mere $571.00.

Very nice gun.

Jeff
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Maybe I'm the odd man out here, but I wouldn't change the stocks to make it more original. The existing stocks, the engraved name. THAT was the way his Grandpa carried it.

Hand held history, it is . . . .
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Old 08-11-2018, 04:16 PM
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Quote:
Thank you for keeping and cherishing this awesome piece of family history!
.455 Hunter, this OD will be handed down to one of my son's someday.

Quote:
FYI- The Buffalo Bore .38 Special 158 gr +P loadings are pretty close to the original .38-44 level.
Do you mean the rounds in the belt? I believe those rounds date back to the 40's or 50's. I don't really know.

My Grandfather retired from the PPD, as Acting-Chief-of-Police in 1967. I don't think he ever pulled the guns out of the drawer after that.

Last edited by rocknroad; 08-11-2018 at 04:18 PM. Reason: typos
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Old 08-11-2018, 04:27 PM
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...make sure you don't keep the revolver in the holster for the long term...

...leather holsters aren't a good way to store guns...

...you have about as good an example of revolver enthusiast family memorabilia there that I could ever imagine...

...enjoy!...
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Old 08-11-2018, 04:34 PM
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What Muley said! I'm loathe to clean up brass that is containing live bullets and powder that I expect to use for serious business in future, but it can be done judiciously. I'm guessing you will likely never fire those original rounds anyway, right? I would suggest some Never Dull Magic Wadding Polish for all kinds of metal. Its a soft stuff that won't scratch unless dirty with grit. It's a yellowish wadding contained in a round can about four inches in diameter and about the same height. Measurements are my estimates! Pinch off a large enough piece of the wadding and polish each cassing with it. Doesn't take long, but it takes a minnit or so, and does not leave much if any liquid on the metal. Let it dry for about a couple minnits and then polish the metal with a clean dry soft cloth. Stuff works great on bullets and silver stuff too! A can will last you forever, and unless you just flat wear out the small wad you use, you can put it back in the can and reuse it till it's black and worn out. I see it in the cleaning product sections at grocery stores, etc, and I'd bet a hundred dollars you can find it on Amazon! Doesn't cost much either. Of course, my can that's years old is still half full of the stuff. I do think it may have dried out a bit in time, but it still works OK. Clean up that ammo and store it in a regular divided cartride box. You can also clean the green stuff (verdigris) off the leather too (NOT with the Never Dull!) and that old rig will be standing tall for the future. I say again, what a treasure!

BTW, that never dull will put a shine on that brass Sam Browne buckle and other brass parts on the rig! It may have to be repeated in time, but just wipe off your fingerprints when polishing and refrain from touching the brass with your fingers and the shine will last a long time!
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Old 08-11-2018, 05:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rocknroad View Post
Do you mean the rounds in the belt? I believe those rounds date back to the 40's or 50's.
No. The rounds in belt are 200 gr Super Police loads, just featuring a heavy bullet at normal .38 pressure. The .38-44 loading was developed in conjunction with these guns (Outdoorsman & Heavy Duty) and featured the standard 158 gr bullet at I believe a nominal 1150 fps for almost .357 Mag performance.
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Old 08-11-2018, 05:18 PM
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Ken, I have a tin of Never Dull in the garage somewhere. I've used it on various metal parts for decades (mostly with one tin, too), so I concur.

Those rounds will never be used. Too cool to see those, with the belt, the holster and the revolver.
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Old 08-11-2018, 05:49 PM
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Excellent post, love the pic's. I would love to see a pic of your Grampa on his Motor. I was also a Motor Cop but retired 3 1/2 yrs ago. Love the history you have there. Great Safety Speed clamshell holster from a period when all a Copper needed was his Service Revolver-Handcuffs-Extra Ammo-Sap and common sense...
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Old 08-11-2018, 07:18 PM
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Keep that rig and gun the way they are. That's history right there.


Clean the gun, shoot it, and clean it again. I'm sure your Grand Dad would approve.
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Old 08-11-2018, 08:00 PM
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Cool deal! What make is the clamshell? Safety Speed?
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Old 08-11-2018, 08:12 PM
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AS you know, rocknroad, it's handy stuff. My wife uses it to clean her jewelry and other stuff in the house too!
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Old 08-13-2018, 11:24 AM
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Originally Posted by kthom View Post
AS you know, rocknroad, it's handy stuff. My wife uses it to clean her jewelry and other stuff in the house too!
Here are some shots as I spent a few minutes cleaning up the rounds last night. I finally found my old tin of Never Dull and gently wiped them down.

Before and After: (actually, in process and after...I had already wiped off the black and green corrosion)


All the old soldiers, cleaned up.
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Old 08-13-2018, 11:27 AM
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Cool deal! What make is the clamshell? Safety Speed?
I am not finding any markings on the holster that indicate the manufacturer.
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Old 08-13-2018, 09:04 PM
glenncal1 glenncal1 is offline
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Sounds to me like that gun and outfit is in very good hands. You will love shooting that gun, I sure like mine and it doesn't have the history yours does. I usually just shoot standard .38 loads and it is like shooting a k-frame .32 with those.
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Old 08-16-2018, 09:53 AM
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A coat or two of Renaissance Wax will protect that shine and keep fingerprints off them. I have a large shell (3"), I made into a pencil/pen etc. holder for my desk that I polished and then put Renaissance wax on 12 years ago, and it is still clean and shiny.
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Old 08-16-2018, 10:25 AM
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Nice family heirloom........

I have my Dad's ( also a motorcycle/Indian rider before the war) 6" .357 Colt New Service with King Sights....... I think long barrels were more the norm back then......


I have several of my Dad's old Badges.... Patrolman (no rank), Lt and Capt...... missing a Sargent's badge....... might not have been one.
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