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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Firearm Gun Revolver Trigger Product Technology Office supplies Electronic device Office equipment Revolver Auto part Steel Metal Finger Table Fashion accessory Tableware Metal Ok, so recently acquired a Beautiful 38/44 Heavy Duty. My problem, and hopefully with some more knowledge than mine:confused:, Is that I've been having some trouble with the serial numbers. My revolver has the serial number S 75001. And through a little noodling online the serial numbers S&W list marks my serial as a 1950's 38/44. However, the start of the serial number for that year is S 75000. So with a smile on my face I thought to get a authenticity letter with the history of the revolver on the whim it was a low production gun. Anddd the letter I received from "Jinks" was pretty vague which was not too much of a surprise. Although in the authenticity letter, to my dismay didn't mention anything about it being a low production model. So here is my 38/44 Heavy Duty 5 screw variation. The grips are after market and the gun has been refinished with nickel. So alright guys who wants to make my Christmas and give me some insight to this matter. Any info into the serial # or perhaps even a possible pricing estimate would really be appreciated. Thanks and keep those cylinder burns clean, Merry Christamas!:wlogo:
 

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That is awesome. What a great serial number. Since the gun was re-finished the value of it has been diminished enough to lose the value of the low serial number in the run.
So what you have is probably a great shooter of average value. Around here, probably $600-750, depending who the buyer is, and how much they want the gun.
 

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Did you send photos of the frame sans grips along with your request? With the quality of the refinish there's a good chance that it was done at the factory which means that there could be a date stamp on the left side of the grip frame. If so there may be more records on your gun. It is lovely. I'm thinking a bit higher on the price but the range of prices due to location and venue is vast.
 

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At least the H&T weren't plated. Was it blue when shipped? Some people go gaga over low or unusual serials. Most do not.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
In my authenticity letter it stated the gun was changed to nickel finish. I was a little displeased on the vagueness of the letter. All my letter gave for info was the history of the S&W 38/44 and when and where it was shipped from the factory, that is all. However I agree that the finish is really good, also there is an asterisk on the the frame serial number, so maybe factory?!. The serial on online factory runs states 75000 is the start number for the 1950 HD however the letter I received said it's manufactured in June 1949. The serial wouldn't mean anything if the the start run isn't 75000 like I looked up. I would really go gaga if it were a low production:D. @series guy, Would there be any notable variations on the grip frame?
 

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A star next to the serial number indicates factory work. On the left side of the grip frame (under the grip) there could be a date stamp for the rework. Photos would help.
 

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welcome01 to the forums from the Wiregrass! Roy uses shipping dates for the letters. So, your gun was made before the letter date. However, the SCSW table I have says guns at your SN were made in 1950. Just goes to show how valuable the letters are for accurate dates. Anything else is just a guesstimate. Anyway, there's nothing else that Roy can say about your gun except the information he gave you. The SN is not particularly meaningful or unusual. Roy has commented many times that most of the letters, particularly for more modern guns, wouldn't be barn-burners since guns ship to a distributor. They are primarily useful for a collector to nail down the original finish and configuration because those are the significant contributors to its value. They are irrelevant for your gun because it has been modified and refinished. As a shooter, I agree with a $500-600 range of values.

There is someone who wants your serial number for his database. Send it to Bill (1aspenhill) at 38-44heavyduty.com. His email address is in the History section. While there you can read up more on your HD's history. Bill might even be able to give you more information. He primarily resides on the other S&W forum, the Blue Forum.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
Vehicle Cameras & optics Material property Buckle Fender Thanks Wiregrass. I just received a return e-mail from Bill today. As the last person on earth who could decipher this it would be him. @Seriesguy, I finally found time to take off the grips. And yes! There is lettering. Thanks for all the insight from all the members on this thread. Here are the photos I've found of the asterisk and frame handles. From what I found online RN means refinished nickel and the 670 could mean the month and year. Any suggestions?
 

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^Agree. There's another mark below the 670 that I can't make out. May be nothing. Also, the grips are simulated ivory...basically ivory powder mixed into an epoxy. Nice gun!
 
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I presume you are commenting on the absence of info on the factory work. Did you send pictures of the grip frame showing the stamping and date in with your letter request? Roy might have commented if he had seen them. He does not have access to repair records and would not be able to look up the work anyway without knowing who sent the gun in for repair since the factory kept track by owner's name, not serial number. Roy only has access to the shipping invoice.
 
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
No I only realized after Series Guy mentioned it, shame. But relieved that at least it is factory nickel plated. So to put this thread to bed any serious price estimates on the revolver other than what was mentioned before?
 

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Well, the Standard Catalog of S&W, 4th Edition, says a refinished gun should only grade out at VG maximum. For a Model 1950, it gives a value of $1000 for VG. Yours is missing its original grips which go for $150-$200. I'd say ~$900 would be a decent value.
 
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