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Old 05-15-2017, 11:58 PM
ddimick7 ddimick7 is offline
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Default model 10-3 , not 38 special

Hello
I have a model 10-3 , serial# C558191, 4" heavy barrel,
round butt. I believe it is chambered for 38 S&W as it is stamped
"38 S&W CTG"on the barrel. I was under the impression that
only the model 11 was chambered in 38 S&W. Is it odd to have
model 10 not in 38 special?

As the story goes my grandfather ordered this revolver in
about 1963 with some special features? any input or
info would be appreciated, thanks
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Old 05-16-2017, 12:22 AM
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Default I don't know about the numbers...

...but check the length of the chamber with a .38 special. If it won't chamber, it's a .38 S&W. I believe that designation says that it's a .38 S&W but it doesn't hurt to check. It may have been a British issue. One source of info would be Roy Jinks, S&W historian who could give you a letter explaining it's origin. I wonder if a new .38 S&W was available in 1963.
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Old 05-16-2017, 12:46 AM
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Welcome aboard from Wyoming.

Incorrect model numbers are known to be stamped at the factory (e.g., a 22/32 Kit gun stamped Mod. 36), but I can't recall ever hearing a caliber stamped incorrectly (doesn't mean it couldn't happen).

Here are a few photos I took to show the differences in the two calibers' cylinders. Would be most interesting if your cylinder is a .38 S&W.

The SCSW says the Model 11 was discontinued in 1965.

Cheers,

Bob
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model 10-3 , not 38 special-38-s-w-cylinder-38-s-w-38-s-w-special-victory-38-s-w-special-jpg   model 10-3 , not 38 special-38-s-w-cylinder-38-s-w-38-s-w-special-doesnt-go-jpg  
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Old 05-16-2017, 01:07 AM
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Now this sounds a bit strange. I am not aware of a Heavy Barrel being ever produced in .38 S&W, and the round butt adds an additional scarcity factor. The serial number is in the correct range for a 10-3, I believe. But the only post-war .38 S&W chambered K-frames were to my knowledge the already mentioned standard-barrel Model 11's.
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Old 05-16-2017, 07:21 AM
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Welcome also! The factory may have still been accepting special orders in the early 1960s so if you are certain the barrel reads ".38 S & W (not Special) CTG", had a round butt grip frame and is factory original it would be a very unusual gun. If you are able to post photos of the key features that would help, and a letter of authenticity would confirm matters:

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Old 05-16-2017, 08:06 AM
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In 1963 my part of the world (Dog Patch, USA) the HB M-10 had just became available. .38spl was the un-official police caliber. The .38 S&W cartridge was the chosen caliber for older B/T pocket revolver. At this era many surplus M&P was flooding the country from England.
It is possible that a "Special Order" was made for Grandfather. However the .38 S&W cylinder could have been from surplus factory parts as was the RB, but the HB would be a mystery as a barrel blank would have to be special bored for the slightly larger bullet ?

Last edited by jimmyj; 05-16-2017 at 04:48 PM.
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Old 05-16-2017, 08:32 AM
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Very interesting!

I'd say this revolver is begging to be lettered.
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Old 05-16-2017, 08:34 AM
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Didn't S&W make some odd lot guns for British colonies and former colonies in .38 S&W or .38 / 200 British?
Geoff
Who notes some odd parts of the world ended up with some vary odd state arsenals indeed.
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Old 05-16-2017, 09:14 AM
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I'm confused with the .38/200 references regarding a 10-3. .38/200 were made between 1940 and 1945. Model 10's didn't exist until 1957. Model 10-3 didn't happen until 1961.

However the heavy barrel came out with the Model 10-1 so that is not unusual.
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Old 05-16-2017, 09:23 AM
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This one needs a letter. Heavy bbl, round butt, AND 38 s&w? wicked cool! Oh and pics or it never happened
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Old 05-16-2017, 09:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dillyp View Post
..... Oh and pics or it never happened
I agree. Until we see a clear photo of a heavy barrel NOT saying 38 S&W SPECIAL CTG, I'm not really ready to accept that such a thing exists.

Special orders happened, but why would anybody in his right mind special-order that in the 1960s? It just seems odd.
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Old 05-16-2017, 10:42 AM
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and welcome to the forum.
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Old 05-16-2017, 11:51 AM
ddimick7 ddimick7 is offline
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Thank you for all the feedback, I will take some photos this coming weekend and post. Yes this does seem very odd , barrel, butt, .38 S&W,
in a model 10-3 don't go together and yes why would anybody in his right mind order something like this? Well, my grandfather was a character. I will be sending in for factory letter. Thanks again
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Old 05-16-2017, 01:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ddimick7 View Post
why would anybody in his right mind order something like this?
Welcome to the Forum.
I'd guess (and it's only a GUESS) that an individual did not order a one-off "custom" from the factory. Maybe ordered from a retailer or mail order place back in those times but ..... from S&W directly ..... doubt it.

Like others have said, maybe S&W made many hundreds or thousands for a country or an agency in a land far far away ..... not impossible at all.
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Old 05-16-2017, 02:27 PM
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I wish I was at home with my Standard Catalog S&W handy! It has to be in there.

S&W made the Model 10 HB in .357 Magnum, too. 1500 units, I think. Then it transitioned into the Model 13 as I recall. So it is not as shocking as one might think to find a .38 S&W in the same model.
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Old 05-16-2017, 02:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ISCS Yoda View Post
I wish I was at home with my Standard Catalog S&W handy! It has to be in there.

S&W made the Model 10 HB in .357 Magnum, too. 1500 units, I think. Then it transitioned into the Model 13 as I recall. So it is not as shocking as one might think to find a .38 S&W in the same model.
Correct - that was the 10-6. I have one from the transition period that was factory over-stamped 13-1.

But that is kind of a different situation than this one. As I understand it the 10-6/13-1 were part of the development process for the K-frame 357 - which evolved from the K-frame 38 specials.

AFAIK S&W didn't develop the 38 S&W K-frame from the 38 special K-frame. If anything it would be the other way around - they developed the 38 special guns from the existing 38 S&W designs - since the 38 S&W predates the 38 special. That would be a kind of de-evolution, wouldn't it? Plus, as others have pointed out all of that happened WAY before the 10-3 revision.

Seems to me like this one has to be a one-off. Either by the factory or as a frankengun. I'm no expert by any stretch, but that is what makes the most sense to me from all the reading I have done around here the last 3 or 4 years....

Last edited by BC38; 05-16-2017 at 02:53 PM.
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Old 05-16-2017, 03:13 PM
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For a while during the 1990s Ruger revolvers were in short supply in gun stores because the factory gave priority to a huge order of .38 S&W Service Sixes ordered by India for their police. Consequently, it would not surprise me if sales of .38 S&W M&Ps to areas that were formerly ruled by Great Britian were not publicized.

It would surprise me if grandfather special ordered one .38 S&W M&P.

Either way the least expensive way to made them would have been to stamp .38 S&W on a barrel rifled for .38 Special. .38 S&W pressure is so low that there would be no danger from doing so.
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Old 05-16-2017, 03:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BC38 View Post
AFAIK S&W didn't develop the 38 S&W K-frame from the 38 special K-frame. If anything it would be the other way around - they developed the 38 special guns from the existing 38 S&W designs - since the 38 S&W predates the 38 special. That would be a kind of de-evolution, wouldn't it? Plus, as others have pointed out all of that happened WAY before the 10-3 revision....
What became the K frame as we know it actually was developed in 1899 for .38 S&W Special with the first Military & Police revolver. The cartridge was a lengthened version of the .38 Government cartridge then in use. Early versions included the ".38 US Service Cartridge" designation as S&W was disinclined to stamp .38 Long Colt on their product.

.38 S&W Special is NOT a long version of the .38 S&W.
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Old 05-16-2017, 04:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BC38 View Post
....
AFAIK S&W didn't develop the 38 S&W K-frame from the 38 special K-frame. If anything it would be the other way around - they developed the 38 special guns from the existing 38 S&W designs - since the 38 S&W predates the 38 special. That would be a kind of de-evolution, wouldn't it? Plus, as others have pointed out all of that happened WAY before the 10-3 revision.

Seems to me like this one has to be a one-off. Either by the factory or as a frankengun.....
Besides what Old Tanker already said about the caliber, the frame isn't the issue anyways. The .38 S&W M&P's, BSR's as well as post-war Model 11's, had frames, external cylinder dimensions, barrel threads, etc. that were identical to the .38 Special versions. All that was different was the chamber bore and the barrel diameter and stamping.

So I'm sure the factory would have no problem to produce one for the appropriate premium of a custom order. The question is more whether or why a civilian would bother; keep in mind that just at about the same time, early 1960s, everybody and his pet hamster were reaming out .38 S&W BSR's re-imported from Britain to be able to shoot .38 Special. To special-order a .38 Special gun in .38 S&W is a bit like ordering a fancy expensive custom big-game double-rifle from Rigby .... and getting it chambered for .30-30. Somewhat idiosyncratic.
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Old 05-16-2017, 05:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Absalom View Post
[...] an expensive custom big-game double-rifle from Rigby .... and getting it chambered for .30-30. Somewhat idiosyncratic.
I was given the opportunity to spend a couple weeks developing cast bullet loads for an expensive custom Abercrombie & Finch double rifle chambered for .30-40 Krag. I found loads for each barrel that grouped tight at 100 yards. Unfortunately the two barrel's groups never overlapped!

Generally, sensible practical guns do not need to be custom ordered. Custom building is how you get odd balls that few people want. A custom double for Bambi? Why not? He'd bound off before you could fire a third shot.

Last edited by k22fan; 05-16-2017 at 05:05 PM.
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