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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
So I recently procured my first Smith and Wesson revolver. I was told it was a model 1899 chambered in 38 special. SO..took it home full of excitement..loaded it up..and the cylinder wouldn't close...After taking it to 3 gun shops finally found one that was able to furnish me with a definite answer...it is chambered in 38 colt....not sure what to do with this information or what it does to the gun's value. It seems to be in rather good condition. Anyway, any and all information would be heartily appreciated. Edit: More info- It does have conversion grips on it it actually has a round butt. The serial is either 3XXX or 5XXX...5XXX is stamped under the barrel, on the cylinder, and on the front of the grip frame...but 3XXX is stamped behind the crane...not sure which is the serial GEDC0559.JPG GEDC0560.JPG GEDC0561.JPG GEDC0562.JPG GEDC0563.JPG
 

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welcome01 to the forums from the Wiregrass! Yes, the Model 1899 came chambered for either .38 Special or .38 Colt (Long Colt) which was the US service cartridge at the time. Later, S&W just chambered them for .38 Special as the .38 Colt round could also be fired. The barrels were marked "38 S&W Special & US Service CTG". Are there any military markings on the gun? You may have to remove the grips and look at the butt.
 
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Except for the patent marks on top the barrel, the trademark, and the part/serial #s(5XXX is stamped under the barrel, on the cylinder, and on the front of the grip...but 3XXX is stamped behind the crane), And a couple star stamps with "I" in the middle. There are no other marks.
 

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AH! The number inside the yoke (S&W terms. Crane is used by Colt.) is not the serial number. The number under the barrel, on the cylinder and on the butt of the gun should match. The number on the butt is the official serial number... e.g., 5XXX.

It's hard for me to give a value for these guns. I don't have enough information to make a guess. Perhaps one of the guys that specialize in these guns could comment. Also, you could look up completed auctions at gunbroker.com to see what guns in the condition of yours are selling for. S&W made about 21,000 of them over 4 years and the military versions are more valuable.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Gotcha Gotcha. Well one question is answered. I now know which number is the Serial :). Thank you, sir. Any more information from anyone would marvelous.
 

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welcome01from SE Indiana. What Guy said about GunBroker..a good place to get an idea of values as far as condition goes. I have a soft spot for the old guns with a nice patina due to age and honest wear..not abuse. I'm sure someone will be along with more info. Be safe and God bless. Dick
 
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A military issue should be marked on the butt (Army or Navy), the barrel marked .38 Mil. The navy serials were in your range the army models were in the 13-14K block. The services had long been buying Colts and the S&W orders were for 1,000 for each service and yes, they bring a premium.

Early M&Ps don't especially command numbers except that 1899's seem to pull $400 or more for what would be $200-$250 in a 1902 Model in my observation.
 

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make mine 45 acp 😎
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I agree ... the 1899's do pull a premium over their condition - most of the ones I have seen have been refinshed or are similar to the OP's gun

the 1000 navy serial numbers were in the 5001 to 6000 range and were chambered in 38 Long Colt. a star was stamped on the barrel, crane, and cylinder rear.

The bottom of the butt frame was stamped across the top with USN, below that an anchor, etc.. no butt swivels.. they were delivered in 1900




commercial models were made in 38 special or 38 long colt, although very few were made in 38 Long Colt *

* Neal & Jinks Collectors handbook
 

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Discussion Starter #9
My revolver does have the star stamped on the barrel, crane, and cylinder(they have the letter "I" stamped in the middle), but it does not have USN or an anchor stamped on it.
 

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make mine 45 acp 😎
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My revolver does have the star stamped on the barrel, crane, and cylinder(they have the letter "I" stamped in the middle), but it does not have USN or an anchor stamped on it.
a lot can happen in 114 years, not uncommon for military markings to get buffed off.. still, USN or not, a pretty interesting piece. thanks for posting it..
 

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Thank You for furnishing me with all this info. I'm planning on contacting S&W and possibly seeing about getting the history sent my way. You guys have been astronomically helpful and I am sincerely thankful.
 

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Everybody has given you very good information on this revolver. HOWEVER what causes me concern my is that you went to three gun shops and looking for ammo and trying to fire it.. These gun were made at the end of the black powder and the beginning of the smokeless power beginnings. The .38 Long Colt if its a true 1899 would be a 50 50 that its black powder. That means that modern powder may damage the gun . i have seen people try to shoot these and split the forcing cone just ahead of the cylinder. You have a great collector but I would only shoot it with VERY low power loads for safety. Once the forcing cone cracks the gun had 0 value. I'd get some Long Colt brass and LEAD .38s and do a very low pressure hand load other wise. I would not shoot it.
 
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