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I have acquired a S&W Model 10 that i believe was a british air force side arm. Just looking for some more information based on the expertise of you guys on this site. I was informed that it appears the barrel has been cut down, since the ejector rod looks to be that of a 5 1/2 inch barrel and it lacks the ejector rod guard on the barrel however i have come across certain model 10s without this guard. The grips appear to be factory plastic (was told for weight reduction). I did not buy this item but i would be interested to know how much it is worth.

gun 1.jpg gun 2.jpg
 

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welcome01 to the forums from the Wiregrass! Worth? Maybe $250 if that much. The barrel has definitely been cut. S&W never made a snub without the front lock. The only hand ejector they ever made without it was the original 1899 M&P 1st Model...and they made no snubs then. The grips are fake. Someone is blowing smoke up your kilt.
 

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Sounds good to me, i received the gun as a gift and it has definitely grown on me. Ill keep it for that sort of money since i enjoy shooting it. Just starting my collection of WWII era weapons thought it would be a good addition. I'm 25 now and its terrible now for aspiring young gun collectors, wish i could have been a part of the good ole days.
 

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Son, you are about to experience the big kahuna of collector opportunities not seen since the departure of the Greatest Generation. As we older Baby Boomer collectors depart, guns will come on the market not seen for decades. Save your pennies...

Give us the SN off the butt of the gun and we can tell you when it shipped. Also, is it .38 S&W or .38 Special? If .38 Special, look in the chambers to see if there are two shoulders.
 

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Ok, i just got it back from the gunsmith. Ill post pictures of this stamp i found on the side of the gun here when i get a chance but what does it mean if the serial number starts with no letter designation, just 734?
 

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. . .kirkathon, I thought I'd show you this advertisement of a cut-down barrel S&W 38. We, the good old US of A supplied the British with 38 caliber, not 38 special S&W's during WW-2. After the war the guns were sold surplus. It was common practice back then to cut the barrels from 5-inches to 2-inches for marketing purposes. When they did this they cut off the front locking lug for the extractor rod, they also bored out the cylinder to take the longer 38 special; a more common American cartridge. These guns were sold through mail order prior to the 1966 gun law banning such, after Lee Harvey Oswald had used one to kill a Dallas Patrolman during the assassination of Pres. Kennedy, the rifle he used was also a mail order gun. - Hank
 

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Son, you are about to experience the big kahuna of collector opportunities not seen since the departure of the Greatest Generation. As we older Baby Boomer collectors depart, guns will come on the market not seen for decades. Save your pennies...
Ain't it da trooth, ain't it da trooth!
cowardly_lion_burt_lahr.jpg
 

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what does it mean if the serial number starts with no letter designation, just 734?
The US was selling guns to Britain before we entered the War in '42 and began producing the Victory models. Before '42, the SNs were numbers only.
 
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pix279970332.jpg If you mean 734XXX, it predates Lend-Lease, likely mid to latter 1940. It would have been blue with nickel medallion grips. Most likely with a 5" barrel but 4" and 6" are possible.

Now lets see your other marks.

W.
 

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The Crossed Sceptors are the Birmingham Proofhouse Viewer's mark. Not enough definition in the photo for me to give you a date. Other civil proof stamp information likely cut-off with the barrel or buffed off prior to re-blue. The swivel hole was plugged.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Is the Birmingham Proofing mark valuable? Or is it simply another dime a dozen? The serial numbers on the cylinder and on the fold out dont match but they are both in the 70k range with no letter designation. Just trying to get this down to a price range for my own inventory.
 

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I am sorry but...........

RAF6inBSR.jpg If you could, and I wouldn't try, get it restored to this configuration, it would have "collector value". I recently did just that with a later model Brit. I had about $125 in the project calling in favors and trading stuff for work. A commercial grade like this one would be three times as much.

We often refer to these chop jobs as Oswald Specials since he killed a Dallas Patrolman (J.D. Tippitt) with one after JFK and was caught carrying it.

S&W made .38 revolvers with unsupported ejector rods for three years 1899 to 1902. Unlike the Colt, S&W's rotate counter-clockwise which tends to push against the crane (out of time) and sometimes (more likely in double action) they begin to shave lead. Most of these are also reamed to accept .38 Specials. Probably not the safety issue some seems to think, but a second undesirable modification. Three if you count plugging the swivel hole.


The civil proofs are generally not much of an issue. If a gun entered commerce in the U.K. they were required and proof testing occurred at either the Birmingham or London Proofhouse. Only the viewer's mark survives on yours. There should be a number of crowned BNP (Birmingham Nitro Proof) marks as well as .38 .767 and 3.5 Tons (on the barrel). There were likely Enfield Arsenal acceptance and proof marks at one time.


The value of such a piece is probably best determined my finding one on Gunbroker.com (search Victory Model) and follow it to sale. Don't pay any attention to the astronomical reserves and starts. Find one that is actually attracting bids. Follow it till it sells or bidding stops.


I hope you accept this post as an attempt to give you an honest, objective, take on this piece.

Bill

P.S. The number you find on the crane, in the frame recess and inside the sideplate is the soft parts assembly number, not the serial number. The serial is found on the butt, back of the cylinder, front of the extractor, under the barrel and sometimes on the leading (narrow side) of the crane.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks for your insight, im not going to sell it but i will continue to be vigilant for a barrel just because i think it looks better with the long barrel on it. I just wanted to know some stuff about it, how much its worth, what the markings mean, and when it was made. I like my pieces to have a story, but i like to make sure im telling the correct one. Now this proof stamp was a little bit different than a british proof mark. It lacks any sort of a crown and is two clear swords that are crossed with indistinguishable letters on either side. I realize there are probably quite a few different stamps and i was curious to know if anyone knows of a large list of them i could go through to try to match up.
 

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There are a number of sources on the net for European Proofmarks. Deciphering them can be a different matter. Regarding barrels, you can pick up a used or never issued .38 barrel on Gunbroker at anytime for under $50 but you must get one where the barrel profile matches the circa 1928-1948 ejector rod (someone may correct me on these dates). Then comes someone with the tools and ability to fit and drill it.

However (with emphasis), this is not economically supportable. One of these guns actually sold on Gunbroker yesterday for $300 (twice what I believe its worth) in the same hour a Colt Army Special (.38) went for around $230. God in his infinite wisdom can't explain these things.

My advice in these matters is always the same. If it has heirloom or sentimental value, treasure it as is. If it is a millstone with real potential toward becoming a money pit, let it go and apply the funds to what you really want or need.


The British Service Revolver in its basic 5 inch configuration is probably close to if not the most common variant of the M&P. Very, very common. Most that entered commerce in the U.K. were proofed at Birmingham, again common. Many (most ?) that entered the U.S. were altered, in some fashion, grips changed, reamed to .38 Special, barrels cut to various lengths, plated, blued. An entire generation of gunsmiths, bubbas and worse trashed or transormed WWII surplus firearms. It is only when we find one that escaped running this gauntlet that we discover a gem.


The only value here is what the marketplace will provide or your mind imposes.

Good luck,

Bill
 

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Kirkathon25, I have no idea if they will fit, but I have several parts for a model 10-5.
2 inch barrel, cylinder, etc.
It is one of those parts kits from J&G (if memory serves)
If interested, let me know.
-Rodger
 
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