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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 01-06-2021, 07:25 PM
Jeff SS Jeff SS is offline
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New here, I have inherited a .38 Special. Looking for some help on identifying what I actually have. Also it has a hole, looks to be drilled into the left grip?
Serial number: K 88800
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.38 Special-a7eee0c1-afa9-4059-bec0-2c10497660b2-jpg   .38 Special-2707f774-8251-4f4f-8f53-a0babfdfd8fa-jpg  

Last edited by Jeff SS; 01-06-2021 at 07:29 PM.
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Old 01-06-2021, 07:36 PM
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Looks like a Target Masterpiece, vintage 5 screw.
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Old 01-06-2021, 08:21 PM
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Welcome!

It is a K-38 Masterpiece ("Target" was never part of its name). At that serial number, it is from 1950.

I have no idea why that hole was drilled.
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Old 01-06-2021, 09:38 PM
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I also have no idea what the purpose was for the hole.

I just like to echo expert opinion sometimes so I know I won't be wrong.

PS: "Registered Magnum" was never an official S&W name either, yet that's what everybody calls them.

Just don't say "pencil barrel." That is not allowed.
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Old 01-06-2021, 09:50 PM
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Looks like some kind of insect bored that hole....
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Old 01-06-2021, 10:04 PM
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The hole is pretty much round , with the edges voided as though it was drilled from the inside out. Does it go all the way through?

However it got there , it is there now. If the grips are original to the gun I'd repair them. Pretty easy diy project to just get it filled and faired , might want to start with a wooden plug. If it were mine I would not want to leave it as is ... but your gun / your call.

Welcome aboard , fine revolver. Truly fine.
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Old 01-06-2021, 10:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric300 View Post
Looks like some kind of insect bored that hole....
A Bubbafly maybe.
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Old 01-06-2021, 10:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JP@AK View Post
Welcome!

It is a K-38 Masterpiece ("Target" was never part of its name). At that serial number, it is from 1950.

I have no idea why that hole was drilled.
Thanks for the info!
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Old 01-06-2021, 10:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Waveski View Post
The hole is pretty much round , with the edges voided as though it was drilled from the inside out. Does it go all the way through?

However it got there , it is there now. If the grips are original to the gun I'd repair them. Pretty easy diy project to just get it filled and faired , might want to start with a wooden plug. If it were mine I would not want to leave it as is ... but your gun / your call.

Welcome aboard , fine revolver. Truly fine.
I did remove the grips, and no the hole was obviously drilled from the outside in as it doesn’t go completely through.
I believe I will try and repair it. Of course after I do some research on doing so!

Thank you!
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Old 01-07-2021, 01:27 AM
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Not a lot of guns have a <full house> serial #. My 5 screw 38 has four 7s.
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Old 01-07-2021, 01:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff SS View Post
I did remove the grips, and no the hole was obviously drilled from the outside in as it doesn’t go completely through.
I believe I will try and repair it. Of course after I do some research on doing so!

Thank you!
I would determine how deep the hole is first. If necessary, use a small dowel to partially plug it. To finish the repair, you would need a sawdust/glue paste. I have had good luck using sawdust from the original wood. To get this sawdust, you would have to remove some wood from the inside of the grips. Don't touch the stamped serial number.

OR, contact one of the craftsmen here on the forum to repair the grips for you.
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Old 01-07-2021, 01:37 AM
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That's where you put your cigarette back in the day when you took a shot!

(I made that up)
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Old 01-07-2021, 02:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjmIII_Ruger View Post
That's where you put your cigarette back in the day when you took a shot!

(I made that up)
I was thinking it was for a wire stock setup...lol
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Old 01-07-2021, 07:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nbedford View Post
A Bubbafly maybe.

LOL!!!


Or bubbamites.


That is one nice looking K-38 Masterpiece.
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Old 01-07-2021, 09:19 AM
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First S&W I've ever seen with Termite Damage !
Still ...Very Awesome !!!
Hole can be easily repaired.
Gary
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Old 01-07-2021, 10:00 AM
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Welcome to the Forum. When repairing wood, you must follow the grain in order to perform a decent repair. Wood dowels and end grain wood plugs will not finish correctly and will leave a very dark circle when finished. I would first take the next bigger drill bit and carefully drill the hole larger. That will take care of the discolored outer edges and remove any oil, dirt, or finish that got into the hole over its life.

Whittle a piece of walnut so that when inserted, the grain will flow in the same direction as the stock grain, that would usually be so that the grain runs vertical. Carefully sand and shape the area. Add a bit of wood glue to the surface before the final sanding and sand the area while the glue is wet, forcing the fine wood sanding particles into the glue until the area is filled and smooth. After the glue is dry, use paint thinner to wipe down the area to check for a color match before finishing and stain only if necessary. Apply very thin coats of Tru-Oil to the repaired area and add multiple coats until the grain is filled to match the rest of the stocks. Use 0000 steel wool to knock down the gloss until it matches the finish on the rest of the stock and you are all set.

You have a nice K-38 Masterpiece revolver and worth the extra time to fix the drill hole.
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Old 01-07-2021, 10:27 AM
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Why not just leave it alone. Its kind of interesting. Its a harmless modification and offers people the opportunity to just ponder why someone did it. Hearing all the off the wall ideas would be more fun to hear, then explain why that plug is there.
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Old 01-07-2021, 12:00 PM
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You can also buy side-grain plugs at good woodworking stores.

Mike Priwer
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Old 01-07-2021, 12:22 PM
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Pull the left grip panel again and look for a dirt-dauber nest......Ben
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Old 01-07-2021, 01:42 PM
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Could be a Mason Bee. Any orchards where you live?

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Old 01-07-2021, 02:09 PM
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I would saw and file the hole into a square notch and plug it with a square block with the grain oriented correctly.
Or just replace the left grip.
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Old 01-07-2021, 04:40 PM
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Some kind of light wire shoulder rest maybe? Tell folks it's a mounting hole for a type one, no dash, external frambulator.

Nice piece.
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Old 01-07-2021, 04:55 PM
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Cowboys carved notches in the grips of their single actions to signify....well, you know.

In later years, when gangstas switched to double actions, they drilled holes.

That's my story and i'm sticking to it....
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Old 01-07-2021, 05:11 PM
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I'm surprised nobody has mentioned the aftermarket rib and front sight.
King's maybe?
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Old 01-07-2021, 05:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Art Doc View Post

Just don't say "pencil barrel." That is not allowed.
PENCIL BARREL, PENCIL BARREL, PENCIL BARREL!!!!!

Just having a rebellious moment.

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Old 01-07-2021, 08:24 PM
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I recently acquired K38 Masterpiece, s/n K88880. Similar condition, no hole. Good numerology. My query to Mr. Jinks on ship date revealed August 1950. Roy also said "neat police revolver". I took that to be a hint and ordered a letter. (This makes my fourth birth year S&W) Lastly, does four of a kind beat a full house?
Ren

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Old 01-07-2021, 09:18 PM
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You can buy plug cutters. Take your plug cutter and cut a plug from a piece of walnut. Just match up the grain direction. Should work a treat.
https://www.homedepot.com/p/General-...E&gclsrc=aw.ds
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Old 01-07-2021, 10:43 PM
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Is the front sight different from a standard m.14 Patridge?
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Old 01-08-2021, 09:47 PM
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I think it may be a hole that slid onto a dowel or metal rod to hang up as a display.....
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