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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A friend of mine just recently inherited a gun from their father and they have no clue about guns and was hoping someone could give a rough idea of what it is and what it’s worth, we bought the standard catalog but since we know very little about guns it wasn’t much help. I think it’s a 38 s&w special ctg. The serial number is 3952xx. I’ve attached a few picture I believe may help. Thanks I’m advance for any and all help!
Drink Door Metal Ammunition Bullet
Still life photography Steel Sphere
Brown Leather Tan Liver Shotgun
Finger Wood Floor Flooring Wood stain
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Howdy. Your friend has inherited a .38 Military & Police from late 1921 or early 1922. The 38 S&W SPECIAL CTG on the barrel is the caliber stamping.

The lighting of the photos isn’t perfect, but there are indications that at least parts (like the sideplate) may have been refinished. The grips aren’t original either. This is a very common model; a rough value estimate as is might hover around $300 plus/minus if it is in good mechanical shape as a shooter.
 

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I have this gun and no one can tell me anything about it except for the usual stuff, people say it's a n frame and I've been told to pull the grips and check for numbers or lanyard holes or anything but there's nothing under the grips, the only stamping are on the top of the barrel like most and a 4 numbers on the frame by the cylinder.any info would be great thank you.
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1227 can your friend keep the ammunition away from the weapon perhaps in another container. The current situation is not doing the finish on the gun any favors.
 

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Welcome to the forums from the Wiregrass, Jgirard and Cyclonegt! Absalom has identified Jgirard's friend's .38 M&P. Only thing I can add is the grips are not original and look homemade. They also are much better for shooting than the grips it came with originally.

Cyclonegt, it would have been better for you to start a new thread so folks wouldn't miss your post. That being said, I have to be the bearer of bad news. Your Model 1917, .45 ACP Double Action was likely made in 1917. And, yes, it is an N frame. The bad news is the gun is not legal because someone ground off the official frame serial number on the butt. That was likely done when the lanyard hole was filled and the gun plated in nickel. It was probably done before 1968 when it would have been legal, but the Gun Control Act of 1968 makes removing or defacing a serial number illegal and it is retroactive back to 1899. Guns made before 1899 are antiques and not considered firearms by the BATFE. Sorry.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Howdy. Your friend has inherited a .38 Military & Police from late 1921 or early 1922. The 38 S&W SPECIAL CTG on the barrel is the caliber stamping.

The lighting of the photos isn’t perfect, but there are indications that at least parts (like the sideplate) may have been refinished. The grips aren’t original either. This is a very common model; a rough value estimate as is might hover around $300 plus/minus if it is in good mechanical shape as a shooter.
Thanks for all the help I really appreciate it!
 

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As guy mentions, the plated M1917 is illegal with the serial number removed. The plating work is not factory, as these revolvers shipped blued.

Sometimes this vintage S&W revolver has the serial number on the rear of the cylinder stamped near the edge. That would useful information to recover it it's there. I can't remember if the number on the frame is an internal assembly number, or the serial or a variation of the serial. Others should be able to tell.

Are the grips plastic or ivory? If ivory they might have some value.

There may be a procedure to work with the ATF to either document the gun and re-stamp the original serial number on the gun's frame to return it to legal status. I suggest you look into it. You probably need an attorney.



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I can't remember if the number on the frame is an internal assembly number, or the serial or a variation of the serial.
Marc, if you are referring to the number stamped in the yoke cut that is seen with the cylinder open, that would be an assembly number or inspector's stamp. On this vintage gun, there are serial numbers under the barrel, on the rear face of the cylinder, on the back of the yoke arm, on the rear of the extractor star and on the back of the right grip panel. The grips on Jgirard's 1917 look like plastic to me and they wouldn't have a serial number as they aren't original to the gun.
 
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If the soft parts assembly numbers found inside the side plate, on the crane arm and in the frame recess match. And, the serial numbers on the barrel, cylinder and ejector match, the serial number has been accurately identified. It does not solve the legality issues, but there you have it.
 
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