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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I received today a .38 Double action S&W revolver, bought on an online auction site. Mechanically it is in excellent condition and cosmetically it is very good. It is tighter than a number of modern handguns I have, always impressed with the old craftsmanship. The S.N. is 1644xx, and the patent numbers are as follows: Jan 24 '65-July 11 '65-August 24 '69-Reissue July 25 '71-May 11 '80'-Jan 3 '82. The lettering is quite small, so an error or two might be possible. I was surprised to find no S&W logo stamp on gun.
So, I am hoping someone might give me some information on the date of manufacture, whether it is safe with mild smokeless powder loads, like Trail Boss, and what specific variation of the 3rd model it is. Thanks for any help.
 

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...whether it is safe with mild smokeless powder loads, like Trail Boss, and what specific variation of the 3rd model it is.
ANY BP cartridge firearm is safe with mild smokeless powder loads, & that's what most folks (like me) use who shoot them. I know many like Trail Boss, but I find it a big nuisance to work with because it's specific gravity is not much greater than air--even your breath can blow it all over the bench.
 

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Well, not asking for a specific load, what powder do you like to use if you load .38 S&W for older [read top break] revolvers?
 

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Well, not asking for a specific load, what powder do you like to use if you load .38 S&W for older [read top break] revolvers?
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Never loaded this round, but what it will take is a very small charge of a fast burning powder, like Unique, which I recently used (1.5 g) to load .32 S&W Short in another top-break; actually had a rather surprising bark to it. Same manual (45th Lyman) calls for 3 g. Unique for .38 S&W. Bullseye is also one of the standard recommendations, in smaller charges of course, but I dislike using it because it makes measuring even more critical. Believe the popularity of Trail Boss derives from larger charges that can be used, to fill the case more completely, in other words. Small charges of fast burning powders require meticulous attention to loading procedure, as it should be needless to say; no job for the easily distracted.
 
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