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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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Old 03-31-2020, 01:57 PM
tboat tboat is offline
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New guy here looking for some help identifying a newly inherited S&W revolver. The serial number on the butt is 384506. I don't see any model number anywhere. It is a 4 screw side plate. It is a .38 S&W Special CTG.

Thanks in advance for any assistance.
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Old 03-31-2020, 02:02 PM
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It's a Military and Police (M&P) model, ca. early 1920s (1921-22). Grips are correct. It was made long before S&W used model numbers, which didn't appear until the late 1950s.

Last edited by DWalt; 03-31-2020 at 02:04 PM.
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Old 03-31-2020, 02:12 PM
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The gun appears all original, and well-used but fundamentally in decent condition, just not particularly well taken care of. You’ll want to clean it up thoroughly and properly lubricate it.
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Old 03-31-2020, 02:27 PM
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In reviewing my SN list, it seems certain yours shipped in 1921 based on numerous nearby SNs. I own one very much like yours (but in somewhat better condition), SN 4004xx, which shipped in early 1922. You will notice that the sights on the early post-WWI examples are none too good. Later in the 1920s, the sights were improved somewhat, making them easier to see. S&W made very high quality guns in the 1920s.
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Old 03-31-2020, 02:28 PM
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Welcome to the Forum. The K frame revolvers had several model changes from their start in 1899. Those changes help narrow down when a particular gun was manufactured and yours has a couple of indicatprs that limit years made. Your particular model is called a 38 Hand Ejector, Military & Police, 4th Change. It is also sometimes called a Model 1905, but by 1920 that name was dropped. This model ran from 1915 to 1942 with well over a million made.

What makes your revolver interesting is that it can be narrowed down without a serial number. In 1920, the factory changed the style of the stocks to those with a rounded convex top without a medallion. The next visible change occured in 1922, with the addition of MADE IN USA stamp on the right side of the frame below the cylinder. So that limits the manufacturing time to only a 3 year period.

Looks like a solid gun, with wear to the bluing but little wear to the wood. Probably used but not abused. Any standard 38 Special loading will be just fine for that gun.
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Old 03-31-2020, 02:49 PM
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Nice old gun. Plenty of shirt sleeve cleaning but still a good one, that combined with not appearing to have been messed with and wearing original lumber makes it the perfect shooter.
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Old 03-31-2020, 02:55 PM
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Wanted to emphasis part of the last post. ....Any STANDARD 38 special load.... Don't know how versed the OP is in ammo. The boxes and brass cases marked or head stamped +P or hot hand loads from your buddy are NOT a good idea. The heat treatment of some of the 1920s vintage steel was not the best.... Ignore at your own risk.
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Old 03-31-2020, 03:28 PM
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You will never nail it down without a letter but we can get you close.

s/n 3867xx shipped 2/22.

But my s/n 3947xx shipped 12/21.



So I think 1921 or 22 is a good bet.
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Old 03-31-2020, 04:43 PM
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According to my list, the "MADE IN U.S.A." frame stamp apparently started somewhere in the high-405xxx SN range. As noted earlier, yours does not have it, and that would be correct.
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