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I believe this 38 was carried by a relative in Vietnam. Im trying to get as much information as I possibly can on this firearm.
38 S&W Special CTG
SN : K 137690
Serial number matches on underside of barrel and inside grip
 

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A Combat Masterpiece model that obviously hasn't seen much combat; certainly no slogging through the rice-paddies! But then many VN vets never got out of Saigon. Is there a model no. stamped inside the yoke cut, which would mean post-1957 mfg.?
 

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Welcome to the forums from the Wiregrass! A pre-Model 15 Combat Masterpiece from 1952. It has the "fish hook hammer" (high speed hammer) that was discontinued around 1953 in favor of a less pronounced tang shape. I doubt it saw service in VN unless it was issued to an Air Force security guard or it was privately owned. The Army would not have put the grip adapter and trigger shoe on it either.
 

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BIL brought back an M15 from Vietnam and he was in the Navy. There must have been some place over there that sold them them because he was a carrier wing aircraft mechanic and was only on the ground a few times.
 

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A Combat Masterpiece model that obviously hasn't seen much combat; certainly no slogging through the rice-paddies! But then many VN vets never got out of Saigon. Is there a model no. stamped inside the yoke cut, which would mean post-1957 mfg.?
I have been unable to find a model number anywhere on this gun
 

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Welcome to the forums from the Wiregrass! A pre-Model 15 Combat Masterpiece from 1952. It has the "fish hook hammer" (high speed hammer) that was discontinued around 1953 in favor of a less pronounced tang shape. I doubt it saw service in VN unless it was issued to an Air Force security guard or it was privately owned. The Army would not have put the grip adapter and trigger shoe on it either.
Thank you, he was in intelligence if that would have made a difference
 

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Was it called that because it tipped up, not down? And why "high speed"?
In the collector community, it is called the fish hook hammer to differentiate it from the more common versions that came later. I say it looks more like a tomcat's tail than a fish hook but I didn't get naming rights. :) Although S&W manufactured a short throw hammer before WWII for its K22 Masterpiece, they didn't call it the "high speed hammer" until after the war and primarily marketed it on the yellow boxes used for their K22, K32 and K38 target revolvers. It's actually printed on the box. S&W never referred to it as the fish hook hammer. That's "collector speak."

You will not find a model number on that gun because S&W didn't begin using them until 1957. It was simply called the Combat Masterpiece. It differs from the K38 Masterpiece target revolver by having a 4" vs. 6" barrel and ramp front sights vs. Patridge sights on the Masterpiece. It was designed to be holstered. AFAIK, the only service to officially use them was the Air Force. That doesn't mean that someone might have taken in over to VN as a personal weapon.

BIL brought back an M15 from Vietnam and he was in the Navy. There must have been some place over there that sold them them because he was a carrier wing aircraft mechanic and was only on the ground a few times.
There was a lot of wheeling and dealing over there during the war. I never drew a paycheck while I was there because there were a lot of suckers who thought they were poker players and happily donated theirs to me and others. When you lose all your cash, you start looking for valuables to cover your debt. Also, you could pretty much buy anything you wanted in the market or the ship's store for a fraction of what it could cost in the States. Most of us bought electronics and cameras, but guns were available. Also, you could buy a new gun directly from the manufacturer and have it mailed to you.
 

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Welcome to the forum! Beautiful Combat Masterpiece. Shoot it often and enjoy!
 
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I read the memoir of a brown water navy, river patrol boat captain who mentioned a few times in the story his S&W 357 magnum that he took to Vietnam. He never mentioned a model number but it looked like it was probably an M27 or 28 in the one picture that showed him wearing it in a shoulder holster
 
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