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Discussion Starter #1
So i recently discovered a new pawn shop near my house and of course popped in to see if they have any treasures. The only thing of interest to me was a seemingly-old (but in decent shape) S&W revolver. I'm really into older military rifles, but only recently developed a taste for wheel guns, so my knowledge here is not very deep. I'm hoping y'all can help with that. Best I can tell the gun is a Model of 1905 (there was no model name stamped on it that I remember). I came in right at closing time so didn't have a lot of time to spend with the gun, but I'll give you the details I can remember noticing:

Blued finish
Fixed sights
38 special (marked as "ctg" on barrel)
6" barrel (I think, did not measure, could be 5")
6-shot cylinder
Case-hardened trigger/hammer (at least they appeared to be, might just be a "straw" finish tho?)
Square butt/grip heel
Serial #: 307024 (no letter prefix or anything)

If you guys can shed some light on this and confirm if this is a Model 1905 (or if not, what it might be... Hand Ejector? Model 10? the differences between all these are a bit confusing to me). Also I'd really appreciate any info on fair pricing for one of these. They have it listed for $550 (but its a pawn shop so wouldn't be surprised if they can be talked down a little bit). Overall the condition is pretty good, blueing looks nice with minor wear on some sharp edges as you'd expect. The action and lockup seems pretty good from what I can tell. Only real flaw is on the cylinder there are some places where the blueing is damaged. It doesn't look worn off, but almost like pieces of it had flaked off (though I know blueing doesn't flake off like paint, thats just what it looked like... small areas with sharply defined borders where it seems the blueing was gone, maybe some chemical exposure?).

I can hopefully get back there this weekend and report with more detail on the markings, and snap some photos. Until then, any information you guys can provide on the model, date of manufacture, and a fair price for a gun like this would be much appreciated. Also any good info on how to check out a S&W revolver of this vintage before buying. I'm sure there are techniques like checking X, Y and Z with the hammer locked, and checking A, B & C for play with the hammer down, look in this area for cracks/wear, etc. I just don't know the details with these guns. Thanks for your help!!
 

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make mine 45 acp 😎
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based on the serial number - a model 1905 4th change - a 38 M&P, its a post WW1 gun.. heat-treated cylinders started at about 316xxx around 1919/1920 so that one is just before that..

around here 300/400 depending on condition - a very soft market today for 38 specials..
 

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Some guns in this era experience "onion peeling" of the bluing. Don't ask me to explain but I have seen it several times in early twenties guns. I can't tell you how many million M&P revolvers were manufactured between 1899 and yesterday but its more than 4.

^^What is described as $300-$400 struck me as more $250-$325.00. If you intend it as a shooter you want one with a hardened cylinder. If its collecting/investment get a better piece preferably with the box.

Hope this helps, welcome to the forums.
 

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Don't ask me to explain but I have seen it several times in early twenties guns.
This became a common problem on Winchester receivers (but not barrels) in the mid to late '20s, without, so far, anyone coming up with a really good explanation. Has been attributed to change in the alloy and/or bluing procedure, but that's speculation.
 

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As an example, I have these that may give some help on pricing. These are earlier than heat treating but I reload and i use the low to mid powder range for target practice and they are accurate. Both are 1905 4th change, first one was 300.00, second one was 175.00.
IMG_3929.JPG
IMG_3928.JPG

thumbnail2.jpg
thumbnai1l.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Awesome guys, thanks for all the info/replies so far. Gives me some "ammo" for when I stop back in to argue down the price a little I think. On that note, are there any good guides for how to check out this vintage of S&W revolvers before purchase? To my untrained hands it seemed in great shape, very little play in the cylinder with the hammer cocked back, etc. But I'm not really sure what I'm looking for or what is considered acceptable. In my area of expertise (old swiss straight-pull rifles, for example) I know the little problem areas to check out and tests you can do to make sure critical tolerances are where they should be. I'm assuming there are similar tests to check lockup, timing etc on revolvers? Any advice would help (even if its just a link to a good guide/walkthrough of what to look for). Thanks again gentlemen (And ladies too, Wendy!).
 

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Awesome guys, thanks for all the info/replies so far. Gives me some "ammo" for when I stop back in to argue down the price a little I think. On that note, are there any good guides for how to check out this vintage of S&W revolvers before purchase? To my untrained hands it seemed in great shape, very little play in the cylinder with the hammer cocked back, etc. But I'm not really sure what I'm looking for or what is considered acceptable. In my area of expertise (old swiss straight-pull rifles, for example) I know the little problem areas to check out and tests you can do to make sure critical tolerances are where they should be. I'm assuming there are similar tests to check lockup, timing etc on revolvers? Any advice would help (even if its just a link to a good guide/walkthrough of what to look for). Thanks again gentlemen (And ladies too, Wendy!).
Watch this- pretty good.

The only things he misses is checking for push off

cock the gun
push forward on the hammer (no need to wank on it, you'll bend something)
if the hammer falls you've got problems

And examining the forcing cone for cracks/ asymmetric wear , big gap etc.
 

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I show s/n 3074xx shipping 7/19.
 

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Pictures would be a huge help, but I agree with others. This sounds like a$300 +/- to me. I guess it depends on how bad you want that particular piece. For $550 you can buy a really nice S&W that will give you decades of service. Hank
 

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I agree with the $300 evaluation. Keep in mind that S&W made a lot of these old M&Ps. It will probably be easier to find a similar condition revolver for around $300 than to talk them down in price!

John
 
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