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Old 02-17-2012, 08:48 PM
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Default Locate model number S&W 38 Special

Hello everyone, I'am new to the forum and was wondering if someone could tell me where I can locate the model number. I was given this gun after my uncle passed away in 1983. It was his service revolver while he was a police officer. The serial number is K217478. Any info would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks in advance.
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Old 02-17-2012, 08:53 PM
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If you open the cylinder it should be stamped lower left on the frame
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Old 02-17-2012, 08:57 PM
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Welcome to the forum. The gun is likely a gun made before 1957 when S&W starting stamping them with model numbers. If you give us details of the gun, caliber, barrel length and type of sights we can help you. Even better a few good photos would solve the mystery quickly. I have a feeling it may be a 4" 38 Special which was a common duty gun, also called a Combat Masterpiece which became a Model 15 in 1957.
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Last edited by hsguy; 02-17-2012 at 08:59 PM.
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Old 02-17-2012, 08:58 PM
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Welcome to the Forum.
That will not have a model number on it, as it was made in 1954, before they started stamping numbers on them. If it is a .38 Special with adjustable sights, as I suspect it is, it is a Combat Masterpiece. In 1957 it was stamped Model 15.
Jim
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Old 02-17-2012, 09:09 PM
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Thanks for your help. It is a 38 Special with 4" barrel and adjustable sights.
Don
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Old 02-17-2012, 09:09 PM
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Does it look like this?
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Old 02-17-2012, 09:16 PM
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Yes, it looks just like that one.
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Old 02-17-2012, 09:26 PM
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Butch, you have a Combat Masterpiece that was later called a Model 15. If the grips look like the ones in the photo if you take them off the right grip will also have the serial number stamped inside. Great guns that were almost ubiquitous among PD's for a while.
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Old 02-17-2012, 10:03 PM
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Thanks for all the quick replies. Would anyone have a general idea of what it may be worth? I fired 1 round thru it last year, seemed to work properly.
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Old 02-17-2012, 10:38 PM
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Condition is everything. If the action is sound, the gun can be classified as at least shooter grade. That ought to be worth a minimum of $250-300. If the finish is in good shape (say 95-98% original, with a little bluing loss and wear at the muzzle and on the high edges), it might be a $400 gun or a little more. In-between condition would bring an in-between price.

A refinished gun would paradoxically be worth less even though it might look better than a gun with a worn original finish. That's because a refinished gun has NONE of the original finish left, and collectors discount for that.
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Old 02-17-2012, 10:40 PM
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If you can post some pictures the members can give you some estimates as it depends on condition and originality.

The one I posted above is a 15-1 and little newer than yours but the same gun and about as clean as they come.
Has a few minor scratches but retains 99% of its original blueing and has its original numbered grips but no box.
I very happily payed $400 at a local gunshow 2 years ago.
A newer 15-3 is advertised locally for $475 for 3 days now unsold
IMO $350 would sell it quickly.

Sometimes worn examples sell in the $200 to $300's range but condition dictates price.

They are good guns you should consider keeping it.
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