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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 05-17-2020, 12:33 PM
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At least thats what I think I have? You guys can tell me for sure. Serial number 7290xx. I won this last night on auction. Pretty rough but hopefully maybe the nickel will clean up a bit after a soaking in diesel and some rubbing after it comes home. If you were me would you spend the money on a letter? Thanks for your responses.
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Old 05-17-2020, 12:38 PM
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Looks like a cut down revolver due to a lack of extractor rod lock on the barrel.

Without a letter prefix most likely a cutdown British Service Revolver(BSR) from WWII era.....but I don't see any British markings. Maybe you can verify? (Many BSR examples had their longer 5" barrels cut down/barrel locking lug removed and were modified to accept .38spl cartridges in an effort to make them more attractive to purchasers here in the U.S.. I guess there's nothing stopping someone from chopping the barrel on a U.S. revolver and having it nickeled though.)

Of course I am assuming there is not a letter prefix for the s/n. Most definitely not an original factory snubbie barrel nor is the nickel a factory application as the trigger and hammer would not have been nickeled by S&W.

Most likely not worth the cost of the factory letter unless someone has some inside information as to it being an interesting item for one reason or another.

HTH,
Dale

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Old 05-17-2020, 01:00 PM
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Im pretty sure Dale has it nailed down.

The British post-war proofs from Birmingham were mostly placed on the other side, or under the barrel on shortened guns, so they may be there.

Assuming no prefix, the serial makes it most likely a former British Service model shipped in early 1941 to the British Purchasing Commission in New York.

There would be a plugged lanyard hole in the butt and the serial off-center. If the serial is centered and no hole, it would have been a pre-war commercial M&P, considerably less likely.

Checking whether the cylinder has been converted from .38 S&W to Special also offers a clue.

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Old 05-17-2020, 01:08 PM
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Can you cancel the sale?
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Old 05-17-2020, 01:11 PM
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Yes the serial number is off center with a distinguishable plugged hole.
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Old 05-17-2020, 01:12 PM
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On a sidenote, I have seen several examples similar to this that were cut down BSR/Victory revolvers.....similar right down to the exact style stocks and nickel finish.

What sets your example apart from most others I have seen is the retention of the half-moon front sight versus some form of a ramp style front sight.

It actually gives it more of the traditional (older) snub-nose look, short of it still having the original longer ejection rod and lacking the barrel locking lug.

Dale

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Old 05-17-2020, 01:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Art Doc View Post
Can you cancel the sale?
I was looking for a cheap work truck gun and I won the auction at $281. I thought maybe I had stumbled upon something worth a bit more. But that's ok, I'm happy.
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Old 05-17-2020, 01:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluetopper View Post
I was looking for a cheap work truck gun and I won the auction at $281. I thought maybe I had stumbled upon something worth a bit more. But that's ok, I'm happy.
You got what you were looking for. No collector interest in these, so you should be happy that you didn't pay more. BOATLOADS of these were sold back in the 1950s-60s for $25-$40 each by mail order.
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Old 05-17-2020, 01:30 PM
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Please let us know how it shoots......and maybe provide a few more pics!

While most BSR .38spl conversion examples simply had their chambers lengthened to accept .38spl ammunition, some actually had their chambers sleeved and I guess it is not impossible to find one with a replacement .38spl cylinder.

I've only had a "nice looking" Cogswell & Harrison Victory conversion example and I let it go several years ago when I was getting rid of lesser collectible examples in my collection. It too was a very inexpensive purchase at the time, and it's chambers had simply been lengthened to accept 38spl.. It grouped decent enough, especially with 148gr hollow base wadcutters. No ruptured cases but to be honest I never ran anything +P out of it, knowing what it was.

In fact every time someone talks about theirs I kinda wish I still had mine!

Oh well......
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Old 05-17-2020, 01:34 PM
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So these were not made to handle meager 38 Special pressures?
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Old 05-17-2020, 01:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluetopper View Post
So these were not made to handle meager 38 Special pressures?
They handle the pressure just fine. But if they were converted from .38 S&W to Special, the chambers are slightly too wide, leading to deformed brass. No safety issue, just a problem if you reload.
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Old 05-17-2020, 01:54 PM
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I reload everything I shoot. Sounds like I need to trade this off as soon as I get it in.
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Last edited by bluetopper; 05-17-2020 at 01:57 PM.
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Old 05-17-2020, 02:02 PM
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Be sure to let us know what you find. My cases came out slightly bulged, but none were ever split. Maybe I got lucky, but I know I never ran anything hot out of it.

You may get lucky with your chambers....and you may not. It seems like it's hit or miss with regards to split cases being the norm, but definitely expect bulged cases if the cylinder was modified from .38S&W to .38spl by simply lengthening the chambers.

For all we know it may be sleeved or actually have a true .38spl cylinder......albeit it seems rather unlikely but not impossible.

Heck it might even be the best snubbie shooter you've ever had....so I guess you gotta shoot it at least once! Most likely you can pick up enough "range" brass in .38spl every time you go to replace any unserviceable cases you have.

Dale

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Old 05-17-2020, 02:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluetopper View Post
I reload everything I shoot. Sounds like I need to trade this off as soon as I get it in.
Please don't be like that.....

That 3-legged puppy is just dying to go to a good home where somebody will love it for what it is!

If it makes you feel any better I have an inexpensive "fake" Victory model snubbie in .38spl. It was actually a post-war M&P .38spl snubbie that someone parkerized due to corrosion. It came to me with Hogue grip and I quickly added a spare set of Victory stocks.

While it will never be correct, I just don't have the heart to part with it....well not until an actual Victory snubbie comes my way! I even had a damaged WWII U.S. Navy shoulder holster modified for it.

Your example definitely has a cool vibe to it.

Dale
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Old 05-17-2020, 02:26 PM
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Yes its cool in its own way and Ive wanted a 5-screw gun for a while but Im not going to ruin brass every time I shoot it.
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Old 05-17-2020, 03:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluetopper View Post
I reload everything I shoot. Sounds like I need to trade this off as soon as I get it in.
Some load bulged .38 Special cases by resizing only the first half-inch of the case. That works the brass much less. Or use .38 S&W or .38 Super dies.

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Old 05-18-2020, 11:02 AM
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I would just load for and use 38 S&W. No case swelling problem at all then. The Brits certainly liked the 38 S&W with a 200 grain bullet.
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Old 05-18-2020, 11:21 AM
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Quote:
What sets your example apart from most others I have seen is the retention of the half-moon front sight versus some form of a ramp style front sight.
The front sight on this gun is probably the original, and has been silver-soldered onto the shortened barrel. This is easy to spot, because it is set all the way forward, to the muzzle. When it was origially made, the sight was set back about 1/8" to 3/16".

Mike Priwer

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