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First off.. Forgive me if this is the wrong forum category but all google searches have landed me on this site (and hopefully this thread)..

I picked up an old revolver at an estate sale... Pics are attached I am just curious to its age and if the gun is original? I know has defects I just would like to know history of it.

S/N: 248139

Stamp Under Barrel: 6376
Stamp on Magazine is matching to 248139
Patents on Top of Barrel; 38 S&W . Special CTG on RH side of barrel

Thanks for the help in advance...

Brad
 

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Welcome to the forums from the Wiregrass! It is a 38 military and police revolver from around 1917 or 1919. It was also known as the Model of 1905. The grips that are on it are aftermarket. Show us some pictures of the entire gun.

Guy
 
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Those Pearl grips are beautiful! You said you wanted to know if it was original. There are serial numbers on the barrel flat where the ejector Rod docks, on the rear face of the cylinder, on the butt of the gun. Those are the common places to look and if the serial numbers match on all 3 it's a good bet it is original. You might want to clean it up. I would take the grips off very carefully. Don't pry them or they will chip. If they're stuck to the frame you can vibrate them loose by wrapping the frame up by the knuckle with a wooden or plastic tool handle. Also they can sometimes be removed by loosening the grip screw but not removing it and pushing on the screw head pop off the right panel. Then you can remove the left panel by pushing it off through the frame. Then I would soak it and either a penetrating oil or with automatic transmission fluid for several days to loosen the rust. You can flush that off with aerosol carb / Parts / brake cleaner then take some flitz or mother's mag polish and see if you can polish it up.

Guy
 
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It appears to be original nickel. But the rust makes it a little difficult to make out certain stud heads that tell the tale. On the left side of the frame near the round top of the grip panel is the rebound slide stud. It should be raised above the frame surface. If you run your finger over it, it should feel like a bump. The correct terminology is it should be proud. On refinished guns that often gets polished flat. S&W didn't polish those flat until WWII. Also the barrel pin often gets polished flat and it appears to be proud. Also, stampings lose definition and the cylinder flutes get rounded. On blued guns S&W stamped a B next to the serial number under the barrel. They didn't stamp anything for nickel. So, nothing there is a good sign.
 

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Nice old Hand Ejector. You will notice that the ejector rod has a kind of mushroom shaped knob on the end. The front edge of that knob is beveled to depress the locking pin when you close the cylinder. That bevel should be bare steel known as "in the white". If it is then it's a 99% chance that your gun is original nickel. You may need a magnifying glass.
 

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Be careful soaking that old S&W you might loose more nickel. Give S&W a call and ask if a factory letter would have the type of grips it was shipped with on it. The grips could be original as a special order back then. Also a factory letter would tell you who the gun was shipped to. Might be interesting or might be a bust. Factory letters don't cost much.
 

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I can state unequivocally that those pearl grips are not factory. Don't call the factory because they no longer do the letters or have records to give old product information. Also, don't get an historian's letter because they cost $100 and the gun is not worth spending that much money on. Any refinish will cost more than the gun will be worth afterwards to a collector. Clean it up as best you can and enjoy it as a shooter.
 
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