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Old 10-19-2008, 01:32 AM
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Picked up a 80% condition S&W Model 20 38/44 Heavy duty today SN# 155XXX (dates to 1957-58?), barrel is cut down to a 4 inch, barrel stamps start and end about 3/4" from the muzzel, Front sight has been ground on, has cokes on it, is a very tight revolver, great lockup, butter smooth action.

Any idea of it's value in current condition?, Should I consider having it rebarreled in a longer barrel?

Thanks
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Old 10-19-2008, 01:32 AM
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Picked up a 80% condition S&W Model 20 38/44 Heavy duty today SN# 155XXX (dates to 1957-58?), barrel is cut down to a 4 inch, barrel stamps start and end about 3/4" from the muzzel, Front sight has been ground on, has cokes on it, is a very tight revolver, great lockup, butter smooth action.

Any idea of it's value in current condition?, Should I consider having it rebarreled in a longer barrel?

Thanks
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  #3  
Old 10-19-2008, 06:21 AM
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What is the matter with just shooting it and enjoying it as is? As far as value, add what the value of the "cokes" are and the value of a good tight "shooter" is worth. You good also send it to Bowen for a caliber conversion if you are up to it. In fact yours maybe the perfect candidate for a conversion since the collector value is nil.
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Old 10-19-2008, 06:25 AM
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In my above post I should have said "could" rather than good when I suggested sending it to Hamilton. Pardon me , I haven't had coffee yet.
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Old 10-19-2008, 06:51 AM
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Its a 38/44. It has value just the way it is.

Sounds like a nice shooter. As a 38/44 collector I would say it would be a good carry or range gun. Unless it is your only 38/44 HD, why go to the effort of chasing down a barrel for it? Just enjoy it for what it is and go look for a 5" if you so desire.

Please don't caliber convert it though. As a 38/44 collector, I can only cry when I hear folks suggest that. Get a MD28 or MD27 to do that to. No point in beating up a defenseless poor 38/44 HD (Please?)
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Old 10-19-2008, 07:46 AM
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Is it stamped as a Model 20? I understand very few were actually made after the factory started to put model #s on guns. If it is marked with a Model # I have been told it has more value.
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Old 10-19-2008, 10:11 AM
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Sounds like a great shooter as is. I'd love to see some pictures. As to value, I would hope that Bill Patteson (1Aspenhill) would weigh in as he has considerable experience in this area.

Regards, Jerry
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Old 10-19-2008, 10:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by olypenn22:

Any idea of it's value in current condition?

Thanks
Don't take this the wrong way, but it's value is what you paid for it(pardon the cliche).

Mike
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Old 10-19-2008, 11:58 AM
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Thanks for the comments.

Revolver is marked as a Model 20, note the barrel cut, Mechanially it is 90% plus, finish is poor. Sure feels like a shooter. Looking forward to shooting it.





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Old 10-19-2008, 12:05 PM
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I like that gun. And like those cokes, too.
You may want to take those cokes off and "save" them for the appropriate gun.

Mike
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Old 10-19-2008, 12:52 PM
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olypenn:
That is a good bit earlier than any of the published model marked guns, serial number-wise.
Ed
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Old 10-19-2008, 01:32 PM
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That is indeed a low serial number for a model marked gun! Bill will have to sort this one out for us !

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Old 10-19-2008, 01:34 PM
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Thanks again for the comments

In the picture below revolver is clearly marked MOD 20 in the crane, its SN#, S155XXX is both on the barrel and the butt frame.

Page 188 of SCOS&W3 shows 1957 as first date of stamped model numbers on the Model 20.
Page 397 of same shows 1956-1957 SN# range as S 150000 to S 175000.

Is it possible to determine the original barrel length of this 38/44 by the placement of the existing barrel stampings?

It looks to be a early one, maybe it is the first model number marked 20? .

THanks again

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Old 10-19-2008, 01:41 PM
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The reason for my comment was that the Model 20s I am aware of are all serial numbers over S195000 and from 1963+.

Bill will certainly be along shortly. He will be VERY interested in your gun !

Take a look at Bill's site for interesting stuff!

http://www.38-44heavyduty.com/

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Old 10-20-2008, 05:45 AM
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Olypenn 22,
Very interesting gun. Here are my observations. First, Get a letter on it and be sure to mention the markings in the letter request. Second, I have S155250 and it is not a Mod 20 marked gun. I know of 20 guns in this serial number range including several Washington State Police guns (6.5" barrel) that are not model marked. Third, all the Mod 20 marked guns I've seen are 4 screw and yours is a 5 screw. Fourth, the Mod 20 marked guns we have seen were shipped in 1963. Fifth, the SCSW3 statement on model marked guns is a blanket statement that the beginning of model marked guns was sometime in 1957. The 38/44 HD was a slow seller at that time due to the introduction of the Mod 28 Highway Patrolman and the Mod 19 Combat Magnum. I've seen guns in the S149000-S150000 range shipped as late as 1963 but are not model marked. The theory on these and the guns in your serial number range is that they were already manufactured and in the vault and were shipped when an order came in. S&W did not go back and stamp them with a Model marking even though they were shipped after that practice was started. The markings that I have seen have a dash between the Mod and 20 as seen below. I believe you have a nice shooter in the $4-500 range. I'd like to have the full serial number for my records. Hope that helps.
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Old 10-20-2008, 08:55 AM
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Thanks Bill,

That is interesting, beside the Mod 20 stamping there is a Y above it and what I took for a assembly number, 732786 over a 8 below it, do you think the markings are factory? Sure not stamped as neat as yours.

The cylinder is SN# to the revolver also. Will email SN# to you.

Any thoughts on the original barrel length?


Thanks Again, Jim
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Old 10-20-2008, 09:19 AM
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Bill:

The reason I emailed you about this gun was the style and location of the "MOD 20" stamp on Jim's gun. All of the stamps I have seen were with the dash and in the font seen in your photo. Note the shape of the "O" and "20".

Have you ever seen one with the "MOD-20" stamped in that location?

Jim:

Keep us undated on what you find out about the history of your revolver.

Jerry
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Old 10-20-2008, 09:25 AM
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There are a few Sxxx,xxx serial numbered frames that were assembled out of sequence. This is true of the pre-model 29's and I believe also of some of the other N frame models.
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Old 10-20-2008, 07:00 PM
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Jim,
Thanks-I'll be looking for it. It could have been a 5 or 6.5"-only a letter will tell. Yes, the numbers would be the assy number and it is also found on the inside of the sideplate and the crane. I did notice that the "O" looks like an "O" instead of a "0" and yes it is stamped differently from the other Mod 20s and 20-2's I've seen. I don't want to speculate, but a letter is the best way to check. Again, I don't think the factory would go back and stamp a gun with a model number just because they had started to. This gun and others were 5 screws which would not confrom to the model number as the deletion of the screw was the engineering change. I have an Pre War HD that has the front sight cut that way. Hope that helps and thanks again,
Bill
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Old 10-20-2008, 07:45 PM
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I love my .38/44 6 1/2 barrel. It is super accurate with .38 Special factory ammo. If I maybe had a really worn shooter grade gun, maybe I would rechamber it, but there is really nothing wrong with .38 Special, shoot it and enjoy it.
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Old 10-20-2008, 07:54 PM
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My 6 1/2" HD is #1556xx - and has no Model # stamp at all. It is very accurate and a joy to shoot. Enjoy yours!

Jerry
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Old 10-23-2008, 08:10 PM
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Found out today that someone has been busy with a chamber reamer, this 38/44 takes a .357 cartridge. Had my resident Smith guy look over the revolver, thinks the Mod 20 stamping looks factory original to him, will be lettering this one when Mr Jenks gets back into business. Hope to find out for sure. Thanks for the assistance and comments.
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Old 10-24-2008, 11:57 AM
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Jim:

I look forward to hearing the results of your inquiry to Jinks.

Have your smith take a look at Bill's photos and the one I posted below from a Model stamped 38/44 Outdoorsman. Note the location of the stamp on the crane, the font, and the dash.

I own a couple Outdoorsman that were reamed as well. It has no effect on the gun's performance ! Although the collector value is nil they make great carry guns for the desert/forest when loaded up to the 38/44 level !!

Enjoy and shoot the heck out of it !

Jerry



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S&W Hand Ejectors: 1896 to 1961 Thread, S&W Model 20 38/44 Heavy duty question in Smith & Wesson Revolvers; Picked up a 80% condition S&W Model 20 38/44 Heavy duty today SN# 155XXX (dates to 1957-58?), barrel is cut ...
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