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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 04-21-2024, 04:38 PM
walter o walter o is offline
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Default 38 S&W identity & year

I have a snub SMITH& WESSON in 38 s&w S/N 63812 .It has a coil main spring, 2"barrel,short grip frame and round front sightsmall logo on L side.
would like year& is it a terrier?
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Old 04-21-2024, 04:59 PM
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Sounds like a Terrier. Early post-war.
Post-war production started 1948 at around serial number 54474. Yours only about 9000 after that. My guess would be 1949 or 1950.
Some folks should be along that will get you a close estimate on when it shipped.
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Old 04-21-2024, 07:17 PM
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thank you sir
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Old 04-21-2024, 07:29 PM
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I agree with DARE, it sounds like a Terrier, and his estimate of a shipping date is in the ballpark. Pictures would firm that up.
In 1940 at SN 54,474 (per Dr. Jinks) production was discontinued in favor of war efforts at the factory. In June, 1949, post-war production began at SN 54,475, but there were exceptions to this for various reasons. These numbers are a good benchmark, but there are outliers.
# 63812 should likely be a five-screw Improved I-Frame, first version with the 1/2 round front sight. #66971 (in my posession) is this configuration, and it shipped 04/18/1952. My guess would be #63812 shipped in 1951 (or perhaps late 1950). Keep in mind that the production volume of Terriers was not very large, but they were numbered within the Regulation Police serial number block.
It should look like the picture below. If not, we really need pictures.

IMG_4333.jpg
38 S&W identity & year-img_4333-jpg

IMG_3409AB.jpg
38 S&W identity & year-img_3409ab-jpg
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Old 04-21-2024, 08:42 PM
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That’s the gun that stimulated the development of the Chiefs Special. Apparently their thinking was, “If we can build a small frame 38 S&W, why not a 38 Spl?” They just stretched the cylinder window enough for a cylinder long enough to contain the longer 38 Spl and voila! The Baby Chiefs Special was born.
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Old 04-21-2024, 08:50 PM
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Terrier 63812 shipped in October of 1951. It was one of a dozen guns in that configuration (2" barrel, round butt, blued finish) that went to a large Illinois distributor. Neat revolver!

Mike
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Old 04-22-2024, 10:34 AM
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First-model
It did not travel far ,I live within 30 miles of Chicago.
Do you happen to know the distributor it was shipped to
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Old 04-22-2024, 05:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by first-model View Post
Terrier 63812 shipped in October of 1951. It was one of a dozen guns in that configuration (2" barrel, round butt, blued finish) that went to a large Illinois distributor. Neat revolver!

Mike
Mike,
Was this an early coil spring (“Improved”) version or the last of the original leaf spring guns? Some of us have started using the term, “six screw” to call attention to the strain screw on the leaf spring models, making it possible to identify them at a glance.
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Old 04-22-2024, 07:51 PM
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Yes, walter o says it has a coil spring in the first post.


JH1951 and Mike, "first-model" pegged it correctly as an Improved I, 1st version.
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