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Hi I just picked up a Pre-Victory Smith&Wesson 38. It has 38 special ctg on the left side of the barrel. It’s serial number is 863,281 it has the checkered grips the lanyard ring and there’s a star stamped on the other side of the lanyard ring. It has no us markings on the gun or any British markings or any other markings on it besides the factory s&w markings. It has a 5 inch barrel and is blued. Any idea of what this is as I thought all 38 made in that serial number range were from the British lend lease and would be marked 38 s&w
 

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S&W has many inconsistencies but, in general, Model of 1905 Change 4's after s/n 690,000 were supplied to support the WWII effort. I have one a little older than yours, .38 Special, 5" barrel, no markings. S/N 765111 shipped 4/1941.

497296

497297
 

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Alan, during the time period your gn was made, S&W production was heavily into BSR production. However, they did still produce other handguns including the non-registered magnum and K-22/40. It is possible your gun was made for an LEO agency. The star indicates it was returned to the factory for some work. The date should be stamped on the forward toe of the grip frame in the format MM.DD. If you can post some pictures of the gun, including the stampings, we might be able to tell you more.
 

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I thought you had the gun in hand. We'll have to wait until you get it before we can tell you much more than we have already. It is clearly not a military weapon but may be a LEO gun, probably from NYC or some other large police force such that S&W would stamp the rack numbers on the backstrap. When you get it, let us know.
 
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