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Old 10-07-2018, 09:10 PM
John in WYO John in WYO is offline
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Good evening to you all, Gents.
I received word of an estate sale through a friend and purchased several revolvers as a result.

I know this one would be a Hand Ejector, Target sights (I think it had a gold front bead at one time), 6" .38 S&W Special CTG. Serial number is 309xxx. Last patent date on top of barrel is Dec 29, 14. 5 screw K size frame

The grip are interesting, hammer, Ejector Rod head is round. A nice, clean, original condition revolver.

I'm thinking it is a late teens, early twenties vintage from the last century.

Can anyone give it a proper nomenclature/model?

Couldn't turn it down at $165.00.....I know, I know!

As an aside, does anyone know who might re-install a gold bead in the front sight?

Thanks for any help.

John



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Old 10-07-2018, 09:24 PM
22hipower 22hipower is offline
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Looks like a Model of 1905 4th change, probably made around 1920, someone will be along with a closer date. I don't think the stocks are factory. These often sell in the $600-$900 range so I'd say your $165 price was quite a bargain. Enjoy.

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Old 10-07-2018, 09:25 PM
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Welcome to the Forum.

You have a .38 Military & Police target model. I'm guessing it shipped around 1919-1921. The grips are replacements.
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Old 10-07-2018, 09:25 PM
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I do believe you stole that target model it might have shipped around 1919-20 I don't think that sight had a gold bead but I could be wrong nice non original grips. Welcome to the forum !
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Old 10-07-2018, 09:28 PM
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Dang three replies in under a minute all basically agreeing... What a great forum!
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Old 10-07-2018, 09:30 PM
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#330003 shipped 3/1920 so I'd say you were close on an estimate of late teens. I've not seen grips like that before and am curious what the experts will say. Great price.
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Old 10-07-2018, 09:42 PM
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...you did well...

...mine is from 1925...has matching number grips...and I paid $875...



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Old 10-07-2018, 09:55 PM
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309xxx was probably assembled in the summer of 1919, since 316648 was the first one with a heat treated cylinder in September, 1919. 309xxx could, of course, have shipped later, but the 316648 benchmark tends to indicate this one did not have a heat treated cylinder and was produced before that innovation was introduced.

Added: By the way, $165 for a target model from this period is one heck of a good buy, wrong stocks notwithstanding.
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Old 10-07-2018, 09:55 PM
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I have a Nov. 1919 ship date for a 308xxx serial in my list, so that fits with the previous estimates and the missing sideplate/frame logo, a wartime exigency that extended into early 1920.
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Old 10-07-2018, 10:26 PM
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The front sight is known as the Paine Black Bead---standard on Hand Ejector Targets from 1896 to 1905, and available on order to 1942. It had been standard on top-breaks from 1878 to 1905---was quite popular and was carried over, and is often found on revolvers beyond its time. The only likely variant (other than the Low Paine and Paine Square Bead) is the Paine Silver Bead---and the bead portion overhangs the sight body at the rear.

All those estimating a late teens ship date have it pretty much nailed.

Ralph Tremaine
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Old 10-07-2018, 10:29 PM
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Can you post a picture of the face of your front sight? That will help determine if you need a gold bead or not.
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Old 10-07-2018, 10:42 PM
John in WYO John in WYO is offline
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Thanks very much!

I'll try to get some better front sight pictures.
I haven't taken the grips off to see if f there are any numbers.

My main interest in it was because the manufacturing date was close to when my great uncle started with OKC PD-1919, retired in 1954. Should be a great period revolver for a shadow box with badge and call-box key.
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Old 10-07-2018, 11:56 PM
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In the for what it's worth department, I've enlarged the photos 500%, which did an excellent job blowing the resolution all to hell. What I think I saw is the aft portion of the top section (the bead) stops ahead of the aft portion of the stem/blade---which it should not---irregardless of whether it's a black bead or silver bead. The sight blade will be numbered to the gun (if original). Given it's original, and any Paine variant, it was a special order---which may or may not be indicated on the invoice. (If it cost extra, it's noted---not likely otherwise (but possible).)

I shall await close-ups of the front sight before running my mouth any more.

Ralph Tremaine
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Old 10-08-2018, 12:32 AM
John in WYO John in WYO is offline
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Well, I discovered it is a Lyman of some kind.....
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Old 10-08-2018, 11:39 AM
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Okay----well aside from the general shape which most certainly resembles the Paine Black Bead, it isn't.

As to what it might have been before it was attacked by what appears to have been a very angry beaver is anybody's guess. Stroebel's Old Gunsights-A Collector's Guide, 1850-1965 shows several possibilities; only one of which is designated for use with a handgun (and unlikely). The most likely others are labeled as carbine sights (with available bead diameters of 1/16", 3/32", and 1/8"), so if what you're seeing as a bead seat is compatible, then--------maybe. (The standard Lyman bead was ivory---gold, red, and silver were options. The bead diameter on S&W's in my collection which carry Lyman sights is .060".)

So much for what it might have been. What it almost certainly is not is anything that ever saw the inside of S&W's plant (and that's based on the Bubba job on the pin). If you wish to restore the front sight to what it most likely was when it left Springfield, the so-called Thin Round Top Blade is your best bet---standard on S&W HE target revolvers from 1905 to 1923. The height should be that which stands .318" above the base.

Ralph Tremaine

As an aside, the Thin Round Top Blade is as common as dirt; and should be readily available from the sight folks (George Dye, Don Mundell). If not, it should be child's play to make; and I'll be glad to pull one out and provide a drawing/tracing/dimensions.

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Old 10-08-2018, 12:06 PM
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John in WYO, you did very well. Older, pre-war S&W target revolvers are of my favorites. This would be a 1905/4th change that were made - for the longest period of time, likely from the mid to late 1910s right up to (just prior to WWII). After Pearl Harbor whatever was in the machine works had been completed into early 1942 when Uncle Sam took over all the firearms manufacturing of all major gun companies and took over others too, such as autos, trucks, planes, etc.

Of this specific model I have 5 with very slight variations (e.g. stocks, rear sights, etc.) but basically the exact same. I don't know which one of mine I like the best but I like yours, too.

You did extremely well on the purchase price. If not refinished and considering the front sight is likely modified, with non-original stocks its worth much more than you paid for it, if mechanically excellent.

If you're going to shoot it have a good gunsmith give it the "once-over" to make sure it is operating correctly and safely.

I suggest you first try the .38 Special wad-cutter, factory pack, Target rounds ( usually associated to and made for the .38 Master Model 52). Has a standard powder charge with 148 grain lead projectiles then work your way to a comfort zone from there.

These rounds in factory packs are extremely accurate so if you're off mark it will likely be your own fault. Start at 15 yards, at a 6 O'clock hold (or aim) which means you level off those target sights to the bottom center of the black rings of a standard NRA bullseye target.

After that, move it out to a comfortable distance for you. If it is functioning properly and in excellent condition, and if it was mounted in a Ransom Rest, at 15 yards you should have less than a 1" variance.

Good luck with that and an excellent find, especially at that price. Sal
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Old 10-08-2018, 12:09 PM
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Hi! You might want to think outside the proverbial box with this front sight. I have a depression era Winchester 94 that this sight looks like it could wear it. This could be a Lyman rifle sight adapted to your Smith!
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Old 10-08-2018, 12:32 PM
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I have several S&W"S that letter with Lyman sights. One even has the Lyman Ivory Bar rear sight. I've not seen one with this profile, but I do have a Lyman catalog that I can check, to see what was offered.

I'd suggest getting a factory letter. If the gun was a special order, it might have had a non-standard front sight. As Ralph notes, the factory did not mount the one you have, with the pin that holds it in.

Mike Priwer
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Old 10-08-2018, 01:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikepriwer View Post
I have several S&W"S that letter with Lyman sights. One even has the Lyman Ivory Bar rear sight. I've not seen one with this profile, but I do have a Lyman catalog that I can check, to see what was offered.

I'd suggest getting a factory letter. If the gun was a special order, it might have had a non-standard front sight. As Ralph notes, the factory did not mount the one you have, with the pin that holds it in.

Mike Priwer
Mike, that front Lyman sight was likely cleaned up with a file. The serrations are not uniform and the round top "bead" (not really a bead) was filed to make is shine. Or, perhaps it had a white bead and lost it over the years.

If that tip (bead) is only metal it is made reflective again (after years of storage) with a light (un-sewn) muslin wheel on a Dremel and dab or light rouge or polish will make that little bead area shine like a newly minted coin.
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Old 10-08-2018, 08:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikepriwer View Post
I have several S&W"S that letter with Lyman sights. One even has the Lyman Ivory Bar rear sight. I've not seen one with this profile, but I do have a Lyman catalog that I can check, to see what was offered.

I'd suggest getting a factory letter. If the gun was a special order, it might have had a non-standard front sight. As Ralph notes, the factory did not mount the one you have, with the pin that holds it in.

Mike Priwer
Mike speaks of the Lyman Ivory Bar rear sight. I've always heard of it referred to as the Lyman Ivory Slide sight. I can make a good case for either name, but I have no idea what's correct-----what Lyman called it. Does anybody know what them what made it called it?

Ralph Tremaine
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Old 10-08-2018, 08:34 PM
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John:

Great buy!!! I too love the K-frame pre-war target guns. My earliest one (SN 393657) is well used and shipped in July 1921. The front sight 393657 sports is something that I have seen on many of the K-38 target guns from this era.







Congrats and thanks for sharing,
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Old 10-08-2018, 09:13 PM
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And that, sports fans, is the "Thin Round Top Blade". And no, not a great deal of imagination was utilized by those who named our sights.

Ralph Tremaine
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Old 10-08-2018, 10:28 PM
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That deal stopped just short of larceny. Great score.
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Old 10-09-2018, 08:10 AM
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Really like that sight set up, bet the rear sight has a U notch. Will pick up today from my FFL a .22 Outdoorsman with a Marble ivory bead front and a U notch rear. The only way I would buy a Colt Officer Model Match is with the same sight set up and found one made in 1926.

That was a great price and it looks to be in good shape. Enjoy the gun, Larry
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Old 10-09-2018, 12:13 PM
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Ralph, et al

The factory letter indicates the gun was a special order, with Lyman Ivory bead front sight and Lyman ivory bar rear sight.

I don't have a Lyman catalog - instead what I have is a Sheard catalog. Sorry about that.

Regards, Mike Priwer
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Old 10-10-2018, 12:40 AM
John in WYO John in WYO is offline
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Thanks for all the help.
You guys are great!

What a treasure trove of knowledge and good looks (grin) on this forum!


rct269 - spot on with the "angry beaver" comment!

shouldazagged - it gets worse......

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Old 10-10-2018, 02:32 AM
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Quote:
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Ralph, et al

The factory letter indicates the gun was a special order, with Lyman Ivory bead front sight and Lyman ivory bar rear sight.

I don't have a Lyman catalog - instead what I have is a Sheard catalog. Sorry about that.

Regards, Mike Priwer
I'll hazard a guess the sights are not numbered----yes?

I have one (had another). Both lettered as special order, both letter as target----neither carried numbered sights (both with Lyman). Jinks opines standard guns were fit with adjustable sights, and shipped. Also opines no need to number, so no number.

RT

Does the Sheard catalog indicate some/all/none are marked (SHEARD)? (I've seen those marked SHEARD, and SHEARD PATENT (PAT)---assumed from Marble, and I have one I swear is SHEARD----and there's not a mark on it.)

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Old 10-11-2018, 10:55 PM
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Nice! I recently sold the one I had - DOB lmide to late 20s - grips were not original - older than the gun - what I would call a "shooter grade" with about 85% finish. Mine was a good shooter, good lock-up and mechanically in excellent shape I got $650.00 for it - you did very well on the price!
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