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[http://s849.photobucket.com/albums/ab58/mjroselle/ ] Hi, I am new to this forum, because my dh just inherited his Dad's guns. One is this S & W .38. I am hoping some of you would have some info on it. For introduction, I'm the gun nut in the family. I took up shooting a little more than a year ago, mostly for fun and hopefully not for personal protection, but I am glad for the preparation. My first gun was a Glock 27, .40 , second a Taurus 617 .357mag and my third, a Walther P22. So far so good, the .22 is really fun, the kids love it too. The Glock is my favorite. I recieved my CCL in April, I don't always carry, but on road trips and I am thinking I should carry a gun whenever I open my front door, more and more strangers are coming to it. I live in"happy guns" New Mexico, that's what I call it. We have a great city shooting range, that is free to the public, and many of my women friends have guns and some CCL's too.
I hope this link works, I'm excited about this one, hopefully not in vain. What is it? What is it worth? And when I shoot i, do I need special ammo or is modern stuff fine? Thanks for you input,
 

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Hi and welcome, I don't have the expertise as many here have, but I am learning as I go. I will take a shot and give you my opinion of your gun, the experts here will correct me if I am wrong. So here goes:

It is a .38 M&P Model of 1902, made in 1903. It looks to have target sights which will enhance it's value, the grips are walnut and look correct for the gun. I would guess that particular gun is valued at around $400 to $700 depending on the condition of the internals and bore.

Did I get it right Guys?

miss denny, here are the pictures:





 

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Hunter, you are in the ballpark, but the gun is actually a little younger than that. This is a .38 Special Military & Police Third Model (or Model of 1905), Fourth Change Target Revolver that would have shipped in 1920. Note the last patent date on the barrel -- 1914. The gun could not have shipped any earlier than that, and the serial number puts it in 1920. The service stocks without medallions also indicate a date in the 1920s.

Miss Denny, M&P Target Models are scarcer than the regular fixed-sight M&Ps, perhaps commanding a 20-25 percent premium over a fixed sight gun in similar condition. M&Ps are the most commonly encountered old S&W because so many of them were made. Prices are not high for these guns unless they are in extremely fine condition.

Your gun has lost a lot of its finish, but that doesn't mean it is in poor shape mechanically. I would have it checked out by a gunsmith to see if it is safe to shoot. If it is, you can shoot most modern .38 Special ammunition in it, but avoid anything marked as +P. If the gun were mine, I would probably limit shooting to moderate speed wadcutter target rounds.

It is sometimes hard to find agreement on value for these older guns, but I'd say that if the internals are good, at market it would be worth at least $250, and maybe as much as $350 because it is a target model. Frankly, I would think its value as a family heirloom is significantly greater than its commercial potential.

David Wilson
 

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thanks01 Thanks for the info. It will definitely stay in the family, I was curious about the value, and am glad to know what it is. I have a gunsmith friend that will surely look at it for me and surely shoot it with me, too. In this world of instant information, I came here for quick answers. I appreciate your knowledge sharing. I also have another not as old revolver that I want to find out about, but will post the info on the page for non-S&W's. I get back to you all after the shooting range trip, hopefully this weekend if it's not too windy, today we are supposed to have gusts to 80mph, hopefully the trees stay standing.
Hey, Hunter, How do you get the pics onto the forum page like that? kljng;
 

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See miss denny I told ya someone would know!!

David, thanks for the info. I know see I left out one of the zeros when I looked up the serial number! ohijgan I'm getting there!
 

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Hi, Miss Denny, and welcome.

One thought: if there are several S&Ws in the inheritence, you might want to buy, or at least find access to, the current edition of the Standard Catalogue of Smith and Wesson. It is loaded with good pictures and terrific information, not least of which is a serial number listing that will help you identify the year and other essentials of any Smith made up to the date of publication.

For a more detailed history of any Smith you inherit or acquire, you might write company historian Roy Jenks who, for whatever the going rate is these days -- probably in the range of thirty bucks or so -- will research the arm via serial number and give you shipping and other specific details about your arm.

Again, welcome.

Bill
 
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