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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My parents passed a while back. While we were cleaning out their house, this beautiful Regulation Police 38 was found stashed in a filing cabinet.

My dad wrote on a card a few details about it. It was given to him from his father and he registered it in 1948. The serial number is B 666. The frame number is 1542.

I am very fortunate to be able to show it off. The cabinet was emptied and was declared ready to go. Luckily, one of my brothers double-checked the cabinet and found the gun case in the very back of a drawer! Since it is black, it’s easy to see how it was overlooked.

If anyone has more information about it (e.g., age, value, etc), please let me know. I saw one post from @Big Larry that he bought an RP (#103) in mint condition for a little over $600. Mine isn’t mint, but it is in excellent condition, so I’m guessing maybe $500.
Can anyone confirm?
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Welcome to the forums from the Wiregrass! That's a beautiful .38 Reg Police. I would think it was worth at least $500 and probably more. It is a first year production from 1917. However, it has a problematic serial number...666. Many religious people consider this number to be the mark of the devil and shun anything with that number on it...sorta like the number 13. The B under the barrel is not part of the serial number and indicates the gun was originally blued from the factory. Check the bottom of the grips for a patent date stamp. It may be so early a gun that it doesn't have that stamp. Thank goodness your brother found it before y'all discarded it. It is an awesome heirloom!
 

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I wouldn't hesitate buying this. And by the way, thems' just numbers. Turn the gun round'...thems nines
 
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Way cool and a real nice find. Belonging to your Dad, I really would not sell it, but pass it along to your kids, and let them do with it want they want. I have my Dads old Target Woodsman from 1949 and it will never be sold. You will find a lot of these with low serial numbers. Yours may be low enough not to have then 1917 patent date on the bottom of the stocks. Also, look for a penciled serial number on the right stock when removed from the gun. It is over 100 years old and may have faded away, but use a strong light and maybe a magnifying glass and look it over. My later Reg. Police had the number but I didn't see it until a friend took it apart to Ren Wax it, and found it. Probably worth every penny of $500, but don't sell it, it was your Dads. Big Larry
 

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I don't see a patent stamp on the grips. Very cool first year RP! I'd put it at at least $650 around here.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks everyone for your insights. It’s refreshing to find a forum where the members are so helpful and there isn’t any attitudes.

Welcome to the forums from the Wiregrass! That's a beautiful .38 Reg Police....... It is a first year production from 1917..... The B under the barrel is not part of the serial number and indicates the gun was originally blued from the factory. Check the bottom of the grips for a patent date stamp. It may be so early a gun that it doesn't have that stamp. Thank goodness your brother found it before y'all discarded it. It is an awesome heirloom!
Thanks, Wiregrass for the warm welcome and information. How can you tell what year it was manufactured? If you look at the picture of the grip with the SN, you can see that there aren’t any markings on the butt of the grip. btw, I would have died if I was watching Antique Roadshow and saw some guy saying, “I bought this old filing cabinet and found this inside of it.”!

666 the sign of the beast

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. Nice smith & wesson RP. Unique serial number and I would buy it.
It’s has a built-in excuse: “the devil made me do it.”

I wouldn't hesitate buying this. And by the way, thems' just numbers. Turn the gun round'...thems nines
My father actually wrote on the card “grip 999”.

Way cool and a real nice find. Belonging to your Dad, I really would not sell it, but pass it along to your kids, and let them do with it want they want...... You will find a lot of these with low serial numbers. Yours may be low enough not to have then 1917 patent date on the bottom of the stocks. Also, look for a penciled serial number on the right stock when removed from the gun. It is over 100 years old and may have faded away, but use a strong light and maybe a magnifying glass and look it over. My later Reg. Police had the number but I didn't see it until a friend took it apart to Ren Wax it, and found it. Probably worth every penny of $500, but don't sell it, it was your Dads. Big Larry
Thanks for the information. I took the grips off and, with the help of a bright light, was able to find the SN penciled near the top of the right grip. Isn’t your “later Reg. Police “ older than mine?

FWIW, I have no intentions of ever selling this gun. It will hopefully stay in the family long after I am gone.
 

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You are a good man Charlie Brown. I just wish I had all my Dads guns, as he sold them when he retired from the Marine Corps. He kept the Target Woodsman and a Belgian Browning he got in WW2. I still have both.
Yes, your revolver is earlier than my second one. It is # 22504 from around 1921 or 1922. It is also near mint like yours.
Ammo is pretty hard to find for these right now. I recently bought a box dated 1914 to be a close match to my #108.
If you do shoot it, be very careful not to make a ring around the cyl. Pic of my late revolver. Big Larry
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A light coating of gun grease on the cylinder will tame that turn line.
 

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Here's two RP targets. The top one is from the same year as the OP's (1917). It's the earliest known target model. The lower one is the second earliest known (shipped 2 years later)

 

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How can you tell what year it was manufactured?
Well, it's a little bit of look up the date in the Standard Catalog of S&W and interpolating. The SCSW gives many dates in ranges and you sorta have to guess how many S&W made each year of the range. Then, one like yours comes along which is easy because it was a sure fire first year gun. S&W brought out the .32 and .38 Regulation Police revolvers in 1917. The patent date on the grip is for the grip. These guns have what is known as a rebated grip frame because the backstrap has a notch to accommodate mating the grips to the frame so there is no ridge or edge created by the grip where it meets the metal of the frame. Also these are round to square butt conversion grips that extend the grip below the bottom of the frame for improved ergonomics. That word was not invented for many decades after these grips were designed :).
 
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Well, it's a little bit of look up the date in the Standard Catalog of S&W and interpolating. The SCSW gives many dates in ranges and you sorta have to guess how many S&W made each year of the range. Then, one like yours comes along which is easy because it was a sure fire first year gun. S&W brought out the .32 and .38 Regulation Police revolvers in 1917. The patent date on the grip is for the grip. These guns have what is known as a rebated grip frame because the backstrap has a notch to accommodate mating the grips to the frame so there is no ridge or edge created by the grip where it meets the metal of the frame. Also these are round to square butt conversion grips that extend the grip below the bottom of the frame for improved ergonomics. That word was not invented for many decades after these grips were designed :).
When I removed the grips to search for the SN, I noticed some letters stamped into the frame (by the centering pin near the bottom). Is there any significance to the letter B or F?
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Welcome to the forum!

That is a beauty both as an old Smith and the family history behind it!
 
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Hey Cactus,

Welcome to S&W.

Fine piece of Americana & Family History!

Good for you!

Later, Mark
 
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