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Ok, so I recently acquired a Smith and Wesson .38 special hand ejector and have spent the better part of 5 hours trying to date it. So, I'm going to be as specific as I can. Serial number 6688**. (That's right - 6 digits) Says "Smith & Wesson" on left side of barrel, ".38 S&W Special ctg." on the right side. On top of barrel "Smith & Wesson Springfield blah blah blah.... Patented Feb 6, 06 Sep 14, 09, Dec 29, 14". It has four screws over right side plate, and one in front of trigger guard. "Made in USA" on right side below cylinder. S&W logo/insignia stamp is big, and on the right side plate. Trigger has grooves, and the hammer has a sort of hollow pin going through it for the firing pin. Grips are non original. Blued finish. No special military markings or anything. I'm now attempting to attach some photos...

PA130152.jpg PA130154.jpg PA130156.jpg PA130159.jpg PA130160.jpg
 

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smitty,

Welcome!
Before I begin digging into the SCofS&W. Please confirm the provided serial # is from the bottom of the grip and contains no letters.

Thank-You,
Mike
 

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make mine 45 acp 😎
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As Mike said - please validate the sn is from bottom of grip..

But..

38 M&P (Military and Police) Model of 1905 - 4th Change
Built on the K frame, five screws.
SN 241704 - 700000 are dated 1915-1942, at 6688** you are pretty late in that range..
 

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smittywesson & mike,
It appears to be a Model 1905 M&P, 4th change with a 5" barrel. I make it as being made around 1940, maybe '39.

Ah Blazermark lives up to his rapid swoop.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Yes the serial number is from the bottom of the frame, and there are no letters what so ever. Is it true that they stopped putting the patent dates on top after WWII?
 

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Well, they didn't always put the patent info on top of the barrel. Sometimes it was on the right side along with the cartridge stamping. The SCSW doesn't address whether patent stampings were on the 4th change revolvers. I don't believe any of the WWII and later revolvers had patent stampings, just "Made in USA." But, I'm not an expert.
 

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make mine 45 acp 😎
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Yes, that is true for the M&P's, i have a '46 made M&P and there are no patent dates on barrel ..
It does go back earlier, however - for instance my model 1917 does not have patent dates either..
 

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My 3rd Model .44HE is patent mark free, late 1931 or early 1932 production. I've got another brand from the 1970s, model came out in the early 1960s, mine still says pat. pend on it...
 

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Maybe this helps?

pix302457822.jpg
(click to enlarge) Pictured is 685XXX a South African order which is lettered to a May 1940 shipment to Capetown. This is more-or-less the begining of WWII production. Yours has either had the barrel replaced with a post 1952 (when the half-moon was dropped) one or had the front sight remodeled to appear so. If the serial numbers: butt, cylinder and barrel agree, or not you have your answer. The arched top nickel medallion grips are correct from 1930 until the smooth military issue types took hold in 1942. This piece along with almost all through the war is equipped with a butt swivel despite otherwise being built to commercial standards. All my 1905 Change 4 guns have patent dates on top. My 655XXX and for some time prior have small trademarks on the right below the cylinder release.

Hope this gives you about what you are looking for.


Waidmann
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Well, all serial numbers match, including the barrel. If someone modified the front sight, they did a darn good job, because it looks factory. Is this possible? DSC07341.jpg DSC07342.jpg DSC07344.jpg
 

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I agree with Bill. Someone modified the front sight into a ramped, serrated blade. And, did a pretty good job as well.
 

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Any competent gunsmith or machinist can modify the half moon sight so you'd never realize it wasn't factory. And guns can be sent back to the factory for customizing.

At least yours is marked for caliber. I've got a patent mark free, caliber free semi-auto and a caliber free revolver. The revolver is obvious what it is chambered for, the auto... not so much. But since it was only issued in 2 calibers and it certainly isn't a .32... I knew what it was. I've got an old .44 caliber single action that is supposed to be WCF but chambers Specials.

You find some odd things when you start getting your hands on vintage guns. You got a good one.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
If you look closely, the serrating isn't perfectly across horizontal. still looks like a pretty good job. There are a lot of weird things about this gun. It didn't come with original grips, it had these oversized rubber grips. I put the buffalo horn grips on there (I'm a sucker for "fancy" grips for some reason...) and there's a pretty sizable chunk of metal missing under the cylinder on the left side. It appears that someone tried to fill it in with a weld, and then grinded it down, but it must have been done a long time ago, because half the weld is missing now. The bluing on the gun is only about 5%, so I keep a lot of oil on it. It has that sort of brown patina. You can feel by the action that this has had thousands of rounds through. Still shoots accurately, safely, and efficiently. It's really amazing how well these things were built...
 

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I have one I just bought. 6 digit serial number. 6185**, crane marked 37127. Six inch barrel. Original grips, marked with serial#. No bluing remains. Front sight half moon. Function is perfect, I put two cylinders downrange. Can any help with date and value? Pictures soon to follow, but it looks almost exactly like the OP.

*Edit to add barrel length.
 

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welcome01 to the forums from the Wiregrass! Your SN puts it early 1940s...1941 or 1942 would be my guess. We need pictures. Are there any stampings like US PROPERTY or GHD or a flaming bomb. Look on the butt for a lanyard swivel. Is it chambered for .38 Special? Should be stamped on the right side of the barrel.
 

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It doesn't make sense to me. Those are 1920's service grips but the SN is from the 1940's. It also has the small logo on the left frame which is a 1920's version. Are you sure the SN begins with a 6 and not a 3? Look on the cylinder and make sure the cylinder has the same SN as on the barrel and grip frame.
 
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