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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My grandfather was a truck driver and the pistol he carried in his truck was handed to me upon his death. I'm curious about its age. The markings are as follows: #5315 underneath ejector arm, #5315 inside arm of grip. The butt of the grip has USN and the navy insignia followed by the No. 300 then C.A.B. I'm guessing about the letter B. There is a ding in the metal there that either makes it look like a "B" or is it just another letter that I can't visually identify. Smith and Wesson insignia on the right side, 4 screws. Top of the barrel, Smith and Wesson Springfield, Mass U.S.A Patt July 1 84 followed by a series of other dates. The checkering on the grips is in good shape. Any Ideas on its age?
 

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Welcome to the forums from the Wiregrass! We need pictures of the gun and the serial number on the butt. That is the official serial for the gun. It sounds like you might have a 1st Model 1899, .38 Military & Police revolver. If so, don't drop it or you might scratch it and completely ruin its value ($$$$). What do the stock medallions say and does it have a locking lug for the extractor rod under the barrel?

After a little more digging, I believe you have the Model 1899, Navy Model of which only 1,000 were made. Yours would be #300. It should be stamped .38 Long Colt CTG on the left side of the barrel. The .38 LC was the official military cartridge in 1899 even though they did buy some Model 1899's in .38 S&W Special.
 

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I'm with Wiregrassguy, pictures and the S/N off the butt really would help identify your piece
An 1899 looks like this:
 

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Hey, Del, I'm glad someone showed up with an example. I don't have an 1899 in my collection...yet. Do you know what the CAB stamped on Olemanriver's butt...well his gun's butt. :rolleyes: I'm thinking it may be the Navy ordnance officer's initials...
 

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Hey, Del, I'm glad someone showed up with an example. I don't have an 1899 in my collection...yet. Do you know what the CAB stamped on Olemanriver's butt...well his gun's butt. :rolleyes: I'm thinking it may be the Navy ordnance officer's initials...
Might be an inspector's mark, if it's what we think it is:
Here's the butt off a navy model.
 
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These guns were all made in 1899, I believe. Yours is 5315 serial number on the front grip strap and #300 in the Navy 1000. CAB was the military inspector at the time. From what I've read, these guns were stored in barrels onboard ship and are pretty well dinged up. If it has been reasonably cared for, it should be worth a bit above 4 figures. In higher condition, maybe over $2000. Pictures will tell us more.
 

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Give her a coating of gun oil and DON'T keep it in the holster. Congrats! You have a real one! (y)
 

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Welcome to the forum, and congratulations on your collectible S&W revolver.

I didn't see active rust, so oiling it and storing it in a "bore store" or silicone gun sock would probably be good.

If there is active rust, it can be removed with oiled 0000 steel wool on an oiled surface. Just be gentle and don't rub too hard.

It looks like you have a particularly nice example. Use care, and consider not shooting it.
 
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Show us the caliber stamp. Also the SN should be stamped on the back of the right grip panel.
When I received the pistol there was no ammunition with it. I don’t think my grandfather ever shot it to be honest. It was simply a visual deterrent to wave. My grandfather’s truck loaded was slower than frozen molasses. I only saw him give somebody a visual once and they were probably pissed that he wouldn’t pull over and let em by. There was a lot of two lane roads back then. I cannot find a caliber marking on the barrel nor is there another SN marking on the back of the right hand grip?
 

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Not all of these have caliber roll stamps on the barrel. For example, mine is not stamped with the caliber.
As to the grips, the mark would have been in pencil and has probably faded.

See this thread on the blue forum listing s/n's and caliber roll stamps
Model of 1899 Serial numbers

It appears the Navy contract guns were not caliber marked.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Not all of these have caliber roll stamps on the barrel. For example, mine is not stamped with the caliber.
As to the grips, the mark would have been in pencil and has probably faded.

See this thread on the blue forum listing s/n's and caliber roll stamps
Model of 1899 Serial numbers

It appears the Navy contract guns were not caliber marked.
Found two other markings. Where the pen point is there is a star symbol, and on the barrel itself is the other symbol on both sides of the barrel writting.
490420
490421
 

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The Star means it went back to S&W for service at some point. They're usually seen on the butt, but yours is already covered. The Maltese Crosses are called "dingbats" and denote the end of the text on a roll stamp. There's a variety of them.

Edit, the shape of your star is somewhat different than the usual S&W repair star, it may mean something else. (?)
 
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