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Discussion Starter #1
I believe this is a 4th generation Safety Pocket Hammerless revolver. As best I can figure it was manufactured in the late 1890s or maybe 1900s.

Does anybody know the exact year of build?

I also read that in the 1910s S&W stated all of these pistols could be fired using black powder or smokeless ammo. Does anybody think shooting smokeless is a bad idea? I have a bunch of old 38 S&W rounds but I don't know which are smokeless and which are black powder so if no concerns will fire these rounds.

Thanks in advance.

Jim
 

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A 4th Model, all right, possibly a pre-1899 antique, or not far over that line. Early smokeless will say so on the box, but it doesn't matter, because it's safe in this gun.
 

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Great, will provide range report after blasting the old mixed ammo.

Does anyone know the breakpoint for 1899? Either way I think it is cool to have this pistol from the pre 1900 era. Condition is such I will have lots of fun with it as everything seem to function great, still nice and tight.

Jim

Jim
 

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Old ammo is collectible. Before you shoot those cartridges, you might want to post pictures of the head stamps and the box so a cartridge collector can weigh in on their value.
 

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The Standard Catalog of Smith and Wesson (SCSW) lists 38 Safety Hammerless serial numbers below 119900 as being below the 1989 antique cutoff date. Yours is just over so it is considered a modern firearm per ATF rules. Most certainly an 1899 manufacture.
Take Guys advice and don't shoot that old ammo. It may be collectable. It likely has corrosive primers too. you should be able to find some modern Remington 38 S&W. Bass Pro always seems to have it, even during hard times. And it is safe to shoot, if your revolver checks out OK. I reload for my several 38 S&Ws using unsized 158 gr RN lead bullets and either Trailboss or Bullseye powders.
Nice gun. The longer barreled versions are not so common.

John
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks guys, so 1899, great!
(didn't realize the barrel was longer than usual, that is cool)

Lots of 38 S&W ammo but no boxes, just loose rounds. I will try to sort some of the head stamps and post in the upcoming days. Have containers of the stuff randomly around the house depending on when I got it.

I will say I had a two piece box of 32 S&W but accidentally (really) mixed the rounds in with all the other 32 S&W rounds, made me sad. Pick up the box not realizing two piece and it emptied itself in the bigger container of mixed rounds. Later when the 32s were pulled out I didn't know which originally came with the box:(


Jim
 

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Thanks for the guidance, I will fire off some old rounds in my old gun.
(and then clean as if corrosive)

Jim
 

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Thanks for the guidance, I will fire off some old rounds in my old gun.
(and then clean as if corrosive)

Jim
Non-corrosive priming came into general use in the early '30s, so if you think your ammo may be as old as that, definitely clean with hot water, or old GI bore-cleaner (water-based), if you can find it.

Your enthusiasm for shooting this gun may not last long--HEAVY trigger pull combined with crude sights is not my idea of pleasant pistol practice.
 

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I have a 4th MDL Hammerless 131171- it shipped August 1900-- yours would be a tad before that I believe. I shoot my smokeless reloads, and a few factory loads just fine. Be it seems to shoot a bit to the left at 7 yards-- could be just me. Mine has the barrel shortened and new front sight installed. The Nickel finish is in pretty good shape with only one small rub on the cylinder. I carry it every day. I also make shot shells for it. Deadly at 3/4 yards or closer. Would love to have one like yours. Have 500 more coated bullets coming by the end of the month. Loading your own is the only way to go here. Factory is anywhere from $20 a box. to $42.00 a box when found, which is hard to do lately, I guess, I;m not looking. My reloads cost me $2.25/2.50 a box. Have gone through 4 boxes just this week as I also shoot a early M&P and a Victory in the same caliber. Have another Victory arriving next week. Aslo shoot two RP's Ca. 1920. Have no idea why I am drawn to this ole cartridge, but I am. If I had a chance at one like yours I'd be on it like a duck on a June bug. CONGRATS!!! (y) 😁
 

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Well took this one out to the range and had lots of fun! I found it pleasurable to shoot although I was not super accurate with this but will get better with more practice.

My brother in law really appreciated shooting this one, took pictures to share etc. My 14 year old son also had fun but doesn't appreciate the older guns and much as the somewhat newer stuff. He really enjoyed the Tangent sight High power and the M1 Carbine we also brought along.

We were shooting at 30ft and could hit the target pretty much every time with maybe 6-8" groups. We were trying to zero into the 10 ring.
(who knows how much of the variation was due to different loadings in the old crummy ammo, maybe 15% or so didn't fire)

ps I thought it was cool when I would hit a black power round and get the huge puff of smoke

Jim
 

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