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S&W Hand Ejectors: 1896 to 1961 All 5-Screw & Vintage 4-Screw SWING-OUT Cylinder REVOLVERS, and the 35 Autos and 32 Autos


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  #1  
Old 01-11-2020, 05:21 PM
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Default K-38 Masterpiece from 1950

This one showed up at my door a couple days ago. Have been wanting a nice 5-screw K-38 for quite a while, and finally bit the bullet on this one. Serial # K801xx. I was hoping I would get lucky and find that it shipped in 1949, which would make it a birth year gun for me. No such luck, shipped in March, 1950. Still don't have a '49 gun.

I really do not think this gun has seen more than a box or two of ammo through it. Very light drag line, no marks on the recoil shield, very clean top strap and forcing cone. Perfect and pristine bore. It has a few very minor dings on the metal. The color case hardening on the hammer is stunning. All numbers match, including the right stock panel. The worst flaw on the gun is that the right stock panel is missing a sliver of wood off the top horn. Other than that, the stocks are very nice, with very crisp and sharp checkering.

Nothing here to make one ooh and aah. Just a very nice older S&W hand ejector.
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K-38 Masterpiece from 1950-dsc08400-jpg   K-38 Masterpiece from 1950-dsc08401-jpg   K-38 Masterpiece from 1950-dsc08402-jpg   K-38 Masterpiece from 1950-dsc08403-jpg  
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Old 01-11-2020, 06:23 PM
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Congrats on your nice K-38 Target Masterpiece (Pre-Model 14). I have a slightly older brother/sister to yours. It is also of 1950 vintage; although I am not exactly sure how much older. Mine is serial # K84567.

They are a real pleasure to shoot.
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Old 01-11-2020, 07:20 PM
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Very nice and fairly early for a K-38 "Heavy" Masterpiece.
If your only looking for a BD gun and dont care if its a standard narrow rib K-38 Masterpiece or the (then) new wider rib "heavy" version you will probably have better luck looking for the narrow rib .

There were some wide rib K-38 "Heavy" Masterpiece revolvers that shipped in late summer of 1948 but IIRC they were in the K-66000 range.
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Old 01-11-2020, 07:39 PM
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I have your 49er with 4 7s
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Old 01-11-2020, 08:02 PM
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Engine49guy wrote:
Quote:
There were some wide rib K-38 "Heavy" Masterpiece revolvers that shipped in late summer of 1948 but IIRC they were in the K-66000 range.
Yes. The first K-38 Heavy Masterpiece carried serial number K66222, and it shipped from the factory on August 19, 1948 (which, by the way, is mid-summer).

Both versions were produced side-by-side for quite a while. I have K-38 Masterpiece number K75711 with the standard barrel/narrow rib, and it shipped in April, 1949.

Just for fun, here's a picture of K75711:
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Old 01-11-2020, 08:34 PM
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I too have a 1950, and need a 49 for a birth year
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Old 01-11-2020, 08:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lamarw View Post
Congrats on your nice K-38 Target Masterpiece (Pre-Model 14). I have a slightly older brother/sister to yours. It is also of 1950 vintage; although I am not exactly sure how much older. Mine is serial # K84567.

They are a real pleasure to shoot.
Technically if your gun begins with 84 and his gun begins with 80 both guns having 4 digit serials, then his gun is the older gun- yours is the younger brother/cousin. Anyhow op has a very nice gun. Doesn't look like the grips are original to it? What is serial on underside of right grip? I have 4 later model 14's of different dashes and have been looking for a nice pre-14. Seems to me the model 14 and later guns all have wide ribs so I think I would prefer to find a narrow rib version. Enjoy your new 1950 beauty!
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Old 01-11-2020, 09:16 PM
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I have a K-38 in the mid-K75,000 serial number range that has the narrow rib and shipped on 6/1/49 to Marshall Fields in Chicago. I also have a K-38 Heavy Masterpiece from 1955. I like them both, the narrow rib gun handles more like a orchestra conductor's baton and I can see why serious target shooters back then liked the heavy barrel option.
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Old 01-11-2020, 10:03 PM
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I shipped in March of 1950. I used to have a narrow rib, but now I am a wide, heavy rib. lee
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Old 01-11-2020, 11:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daddio202 View Post
... Doesn't look like the grips are original to it? What is serial on underside of right grip? ...
As mentioned in the OP, the stocks are numbered to the gun.

As with most of the S&W revolvers I obtain, this one came from GB. I did not see it until there was less than 1 day left on the auction. I knew the serial number would be a **** shoot as to the shipping date, but I did not have enough time to get the info from Roy before the auction ended. The gun was nice enough that I decided to take a chance and placed my bid. Took a chance and missed.

Doesn't really matter. I wanted a decent 5-screw to go with my 4-screw 14-1, and I got that. I really did not care if I ended up with a narrow rib or heavy barrel, just 1949. Plus, it still gives me something to search for. No downside there...
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Old 01-12-2020, 12:04 AM
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Love those sharp shouldered magnas. That one just screams for a grip adapter to me.
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Old 01-12-2020, 02:13 AM
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Quote:
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Love those sharp shouldered magnas. That one just screams for a grip adapter to me.
It might end up looking like my '52.

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Old 01-12-2020, 09:36 AM
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I carried a 4” M15 as my issued weapon for years. This was the Cadillac of thirty-eights back in the day.
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Old 01-12-2020, 09:58 AM
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I have a 53' that someone rebarreled with a heavy wide rib barrel and they installed a trigger shoe which I kept on, very nice shooting revolver!

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Old 01-12-2020, 12:36 PM
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Kscharlie,

I have a very nice 1949, but alas I was born in 1949 and we will never part!
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Old 01-12-2020, 07:00 PM
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I've got a '48 vintage K-22 and K-38 both, but like you guys, my birth year was 1949... I prefer to think of them as being there to greet and guard me when I arrived!

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Old 01-12-2020, 10:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glashaus View Post
I have a 53' that someone rebarreled with a heavy wide rib barrel
It might have been rebarreled as you say, but that frame came with the straight side barrel and wide rib. The contour at the front of the frame bridge was different on the frames that were originally mated to the tapered barrels. Besides, by 1953, the tapered barrel had been discontinued on the K-38 Masterpiece.

Added some pics to illustrate the difference:

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Old 01-12-2020, 11:51 PM
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Default 1949 Pre 14

This pre 14 has wide smooth target trigger.It will shoot groups
That make me smile all day. Has the 1/10 front sight some
Wear on gun but 1949 was a good year
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Old 01-13-2020, 08:26 AM
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[quote=JP@AK;140641164]It might have been rebarreled as you say, but that frame came with the straight side barrel and wide rib. The contour at the front of the frame bridge was different on the frames that were originally mated to the tapered barrels. Besides, by 1953, the tapered barrel had been discontinued on the K-38 Masterpiece.


Thanks, didn’t really know that, my K38 has difinitely been rebarreled, the finish and wear on the barrel is different that the frame and the barrel markings are newer, not the same as in 53. I like shooting it, that I do know.
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Old 01-13-2020, 10:21 AM
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It seems that there a lot of us '49ers on here.
JP@AK has information on one that was shipped (8-19-48) on my older brother's arrival date.

I have a couple from 1950, probably as close as I will get....

WR
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Old 01-13-2020, 01:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wrangler Rich View Post
It seems that there a lot of us '49ers on here.
JP@AK has information on one that was shipped (8-19-48) on my older brother's arrival date.

I have a couple from 1950, probably as close as I will get....

WR
Seems like I have read other comments on the forum indicating that guns shipped in '49 are more difficult to find. I have found a few in the past, but they were either "gold plated" (read, more than I was willing to pay) or tied on a string and drug down a gravel road.

I have '47, '48 and '50 well covered. As stated previously, it's the search that is fun. The bad thing about the search is I keep finding other guns that I suddenly think I need. Thus, the family grows...
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Old 01-13-2020, 01:45 PM
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I have it's smaller and slightly younger a K38 Combat masterpiece #K82259 shipped April 1950 most like made in 1949.
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Old 01-14-2020, 12:40 AM
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Nice gun. Hope you enjoy it.
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Old Today, 01:31 PM
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Some great looking guns on here. My only 5-screw is this Pre-Model 14, K-38 Masterpiece made in 1952.


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