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Thread: S&W 38 CTG identification with pics

  1. #1
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    S&W 38 CTG identification with pics

    FIRST POST! Hopefully my lack of knowledge doesn't frustrate for offend anyone.

    I inherited a S&W revolver. My father found it loaded in my 89 year old grandmother's purse when she passed away. Awesome

    It is a S&W 38 CTG. I know it's not a 38 Special and I understand the difference. The serial number (on the butt, cylinder, under the barrel) is 76XXX. To be clear, there are 5 digits and no letters. It is a 5 shot and it was made in the U.S.

    The yoke has three markings on three different rows. The top is just an 8. Beneath that, the numbers 65357 (this number is also found on the opposite side of the hinge on the crane. The last marking is a 0, but appears to have been misprinted as it is there twice, overlapping, one just being very faint. Or at least thats what I'm guessing.

    There is no MOD-XXX or the like, so I'm guessing pre-1954? And there are no letters with the serial or other (manufacture?) number.

    I have searched the internet prior to posting this, but was not able to find any sufficient info. Any help from the geniuses here is appreciated!
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  2. #2
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    The cartridge is most likely a .38 S&W, which is substantially identical to the .38 Colt New Police, and the British .38/200.
    In Europe and South America it is also called the .380 Rim and .38 S&W Corto.

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    It is a very old cartridge, being introduced in 1877.

    It has been used in dozens of models of S&W, Colt, Webley, and Enfield revolvers.

    It is documented in Wikipedia at:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/.38_S%26W

    According to Wikipedia:

    The .38 S&W is a revolver cartridge developed by Smith & Wesson in 1877. Though similar in name, it is not interchangeable with the later .38 Smith and Wesson Special due to a different case shape and slightly larger bullet diameter.

    The British military adopted a loading of this cartridge as the Cartridge, S.A., Revolver Ball, 380 in, MkI .38-200, with the "200" referring to the weight of the bullet in grains. In 1937, this cartridge was replaced in British Service by the Cartridge, S.A., Revolver Ball, 380 in, MkII. The main difference between it and the previous round was* that it had a 178 gn. FMJ bullet.
    U.S. Variants

    The .38 Colt New Police was Colt's Manufacturing Company's proprietary name for what was essentially the .38 S&W with a flat-nosed bullet.

    The U.S. .38 S&W Super Police cartridge was nearly identical to the British .38/200 Mk I, using a 200 grain (13 g) lead alloy bullet with a muzzle velocity of 630 ft/s (189 m/s) and a muzzle energy of 176 ft·lbf (239 J), and was supplied by several U.S. manufacturers to the British government as equivalent to the Mk I loading.

    The .38 S&W is also called the .380 Rim and .38 S&W Corto.

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    I have several .38 S&W handguns, including a Smith Victory model, and an Enfield which are a lot of fun to shoot.
    Ammo is still manufactured, and old and surplus .38 S&W smmo in its various iterations can sometimes be found at bargain prices.

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  3. #3
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    Thanks for the reply! Any idea of the year?

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    I'm not 100% positive, but it looks like a J-frame Model 32 Flat Latch. It's called the .38/.32 Terrier. Caliber .38 S&W (Short)
    Ammo is a bit difficult to find sometimes and it is more expensive than the 38 Special ammo.
    It's much easier to handle the recoil because of the reduce charge. I just bought a box of 38 S&W ammo. It cost me $30 for a box of 50 rounds.
    I'm already looking into reloading it because I have a few 38 S&W cartridge revolvers in my collection and their so much fun to shoot.

    Production dates are approx. 1956 is my best estimation.
    S/N 75000 ended in 1955. 117770 started in 1957

    You have a very nice collectible snubby in your hands.

    Here's a picture of mine. It's a model 32-1 and doesn't have the Flat Latch like yours does.
    I almost forgot. I paid $300 for mine last week.



    Regards,
    Gregory
    Last edited by gearchecker; 06-17-2012 at 11:11 AM.
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    When they come for your guns, give them the ammo first!
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  5. #5
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    Was your Grandmother in a witness protection program?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by USMC Snakedriver View Post
    Was your Grandmother in a witness protection program?
    No. Or if she was, I had no idea she was. In which case, it was a success.
    USMC Snakedriver likes this.

  7. #7
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    It's a post WW II 38/32 Terrier, the 2" barrel version of the Regulation Police series, .38 S&W cartridge (CTG), built on an "I" frame and yours probably dates to the early 1950's. The serial number range is from 54474 to 122678, 1949 to 1967.

    This model became the Model 32 in 1957 and in 1960 it was changed to the "J" frame configuration and designated the 32-1. Production was discontinued in 1974 (the last S&W guns chambered for the 38 S&W cartridge). I have a 32-1 circa 1965.

    To determine a value, monitor some of the on-line auctions and and see what similar guns are "selling" for, not the asking price.

    Very nice gun and family heirloom...thanks for sharing it with us.
    Pay attention - it pays to win!

  8. #8
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    Very nice gun and obviously she was cool too. Sorry for your loss but happy for your piece to remember her by. Thanks for sharing the story.

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    Very nice family heirloom. It's nice to know the value but heirlooms need to stay as heirlooms. Obviously it was treasured by your Grandmother and I'm sure she would want you to take good care of it. I have a 1907 Savage 32 that belonged to my Grandmother and will stay in the family-I do shoot it occasionally. God bless you and yours. Best regards Dick
    IGNORANCE IS THE MOST EXPENSIVE COMMODITY THAT YOU CAN OWN


 

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