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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 11-20-2020, 05:48 PM
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Default Model 14 no-dash 4 in. barrel

I picked up a 14 with 4 in. barrel and I see where they made some in 4 in. but was wondering how common the are. This old revolver has seen better day as it has been reblued and most of that is rubbed off. Grips serial # do not match. Serial is 338032.
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Old 11-20-2020, 06:26 PM
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Is the full serial number K 338032? Are the barrel stampings centered or cut off toward the muzzle end, and does it have an untapered barrel with a wide rib?
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Old 11-20-2020, 06:30 PM
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Yes there is a K. Markings are centered and it has a heavy untapered barrel. Not sure about the rib.
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Old 11-20-2020, 06:49 PM
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The top barrel rib on a model 14/K-38 Masterpiece is wide, but the one on a model 15/.38 Combat Masterpiece is narrower.

S & W made intermittent runs of 4" K-38s and yours may be one, or it may have had the shorter barrel installed. It was probably made in 1958 but its official birthdate (and whether it is original) would take a letter of authenticity to confirm.

http://www.swhistoricalfoundation.com/swhf_letter.pdf
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Old 11-20-2020, 09:21 PM
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What is the difference between a 4" m.14 and a m.15 ?
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Old 11-20-2020, 10:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Waveski View Post
What is the difference between a 4" m.14 and a m.15?
Up until 1982, the Model 14 K-38 Masterpiece had the 6" barrel with a Patridge front sight as standard. The Model 15 .38 Combat Masterpiece had a 4" barrel and Baughman front sight, as standard.

Also, the Combat Masterpiece retained the tapered barrel throughout that period. Later, things changed, but I don't pay much attention to stuff that happened after 1982.
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Old 11-21-2020, 04:35 AM
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Nascar Fan, are the letters AFPG stamped anywhere on the frame? The odds are greatly in favor of their absence, but if they are there then this is a K-14 variant of some interest. AFPG stands for Air Force Premium Grade, and the reported serial number is in the neighborhood of known AFPG specimens.

I won't go on about something that is probably not the case, but if you search the forum archives for "AFPG", you will find several posts that lay out what makes these guns interesting.
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Old 11-21-2020, 05:41 AM
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Model 14 no-dash 4 in. barrel-img_3375-jpg

Model 14 no-dash 4 in. barrel-img_3377-jpg

Model 14 no-dash 4 in. barrel-img_3376-jpgNo markings I can see. Here are a few photos
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Old 11-21-2020, 07:57 AM
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Fascinating.
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Old 11-21-2020, 10:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JP@AK View Post
Up until 1982, the Model 14 K-38 Masterpiece had the 6" barrel with a Patridge front sight as standard. The Model 15 .38 Combat Masterpiece had a 4" barrel and Baughman front sight, as standard.
Ah , I forgot about the Baughman vs Patridge front sight when I asked that question.

Since I posted the question the OP provided pictures ...
a model 14 with 4" barrel and Baughman front sight sure is "15-ish".
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Old 11-21-2020, 10:06 AM
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Well, the 4" barrel is "15-ish." But, the Patridge front sight is "14-ish."
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Old 11-21-2020, 10:17 AM
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Kansas City PD ordered 4" heavy barrels. Mine is in the K292xxx range. Does the OP's fall in their range?



Per Roy's letter on a different revolver, this gun is a Combat Masterpiece base on the Baughman front sight.



Bob

Last edited by red9; 11-21-2020 at 10:18 AM.
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Old 11-21-2020, 10:52 AM
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OP Nascar Fan shows us a 4" m.14 with a Baughman sight , unless I am misunderstanding something.
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Old 11-21-2020, 01:17 PM
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The gun is marked in the crane as model 14
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Old 11-21-2020, 02:23 PM
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It appears original to me. I think it is worth a letter of authenticity to see if it had an interesting purchaser - see post #4 above.
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Old 11-21-2020, 03:07 PM
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I have a 4" Model 14-3 that lettered to July 1971. It was shipped to Dave's House of Guns in Dallas. It did indeed come from the factory with a 4"barrel.
Speculation is that every once in a while, S&W would turn out a batch of maybe 100 or so in this configuration just to test the market.
While they are scarce and unusual, they do happen. I've never noticed any particular special interest or value attached to these guns. They may bring a little more than a Model 15, but it won't be much.
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Old 11-21-2020, 04:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Waveski View Post
OP Nascar Fan shows us a 4" m.14 with a Baughman sight , unless I am misunderstanding something.
In my Post #6 above, I emphasized as standard for each of the two models. Variations occurred from time to time. Sometimes they were for special orders, sometimes (perhaps) to test the market. We see un-cataloged variations frequently enough to know there are plenty of them out there. This would seem to be one of them, and a letter could be quite revealing.
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Old 11-21-2020, 04:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wiregrassguy View Post
the 4" barrel is "15-ish"
Actually, it isn't. The Model 15 had a tapered barrel up to 1982, as I mentioned in Post #6. The barrel on this revolver has the profile you find on the K-38 Heavy Masterpiece from the early 1950s until 1982.
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Old 11-21-2020, 05:57 PM
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I guess it depends on what your definition of ish is.
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Old 11-21-2020, 07:23 PM
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Quote:
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I guess it depends on what your definition of ish is.
Okay Bill.
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Old 11-21-2020, 08:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by red9 View Post
Kansas City PD ordered 4" heavy barrels. Mine is in the K292xxx range. Does the OP's fall in their range?


The 375 Kansas City PD 4" Heavy Combat Masterpieces special ordered in April 1957 were in the K260XXX to K298000 s/n range with the lion's share K292XXX and were not model marked. However, there were subsequent (much smaller) orders placed by the KCPD so it's still possible the OP example could have been shipped to the KCPD. (note, during this timeframe, the KCPD typically refinished a duty revolver whenever it was returned to the armorer for service &/or re-issue. Given the amount of "refinishing" done to the OP's example, I suspect it went to the KCPD.

To help with terminology ... the factory (in general) referred to a 6" non-tapered barrel with wide barrel rib, adjustable rear sight and a Patridge front sight as a "K-38 Heavy Masterpiece" ... and anything less than 6" (e.g. 5", 4" or 2") non-tapered barrel with wide barrel rib, adjustable rear sight and a Baugman front sight as a "K-38 Combat Masterpiece".

Russ
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Old 11-21-2020, 09:46 PM
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Hey Russ!

I'm glad you weighed in on this. I haven't seen you around here lately. I hope all is well with you and yours.
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Old 11-21-2020, 11:59 PM
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It is good to see you posting Russ.

Now I suppose I'm obligated to try to add some thing of consequence to the thread. how about my definition of ish? My very early .22 Combat Masterpiece has an original Patridge sight. At its vintage all or a high percentage of them did. That rules out a Baugman sight being part of the definition of a Combat Masterpiece. Despite its Patridge its 4" skinny barrel with a thin barrel rib make it not the least bit K-22 Masterpiece-ish. It takes more than a sight to make a revolver some thing that it is not ish.
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Old 11-22-2020, 01:08 AM
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Points well taken, k22fan.

However, I'll point out two matters:

1. The subject of this thread is the .38 versions and there are some distinct differences between the evolutions of the .22 Combat Masterpiece and the .38 Combat Masterpiece.

2. The sight discussion came up in the context of defining the major points of difference between the standard configuration of the K-38 Masterpiece and the .38 Combat Masterpiece. And the front sight difference is one of those.

If we want to broaden the conversation to be about all the variations of these four guns, the discussion becomes much more complicated, as your post implies. I'm with you on that!
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