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Discussion Starter #1
I have a (best I can tell) 1947 or 1948 .38 S&W special ctg with maybe a 3 or 4 inch barrel, was wanting to trade it for something lighter & smaller so I was searching for info to get a fair range of cost...after reading everything I could find, I'm not sure if I should hang on to it or go ahead and trade, seems its a popular model. However I also did not see anything about a 3 or 4 inch barrel so I am probably not measuring correctly. Just your thoughts if it would be better to keep or no big deal and trade it!
 

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Welcome to the forum. Sounds like you probably have a Pre model 10. Correct measurement would be from the end of the barrel to the cylinder face. If that's what you have, they were literally made by the millions, and I see nothing wrong with trading or selling it to get what you want.
First thing would be to properly identify the gun. The stamp 38 S&W Special Ctg simply means that it shoots the 38 special round, but isn't the name of a gun model.
Does the gun have adjustable rear sights or a fixed gutter type rear sight? Blued or nickel? Any other stampings besides serial and assembly number? Most important would be condition. Pictures would help
If you go into a gunshop wanting to trade, and don't know what you have, I can guarantee you will get taken. I have heard of guys trading a $600-700 revolver for a $300 polymer 9mm. You generally make out much better selling it outright if allowed where you are
 

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If you go into a gunshop wanting to trade, and don't know what you have, I can guarantee you will get taken. Absolutely correct in every respect. Do not for any reason do anything with your revolver unless and until you find out exactly what you have. Make absolutely sure of what you are doing. Sincerely. bruce.
 

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As said, first Identify what you truly have and then deal with individuals as Gun shop will generally give about 50 % as they will have to hold it until they sell it. Post a few pics and we may be able to help.
 

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If it has an S prefix in the serial and the grips are original to the gun (look on the inside of the grips); presuming its pretty nice in terms of condition you need to "market" it IMHO. 1947-1948 is the shift from the 1905 Change 4 to what is called a Pre-Model 10. A C prefix, 4 line inscription, one piece ejector rod is on the other side of the shift and to my mind not as desirable.
 

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As a general rule (typically but not always), Used Car Salesmen, Horse Traders and Gun Dealers all go to the same school...........Their job is to maximize their own profit and minimize your return........far too many of them will just plain 'ole rip you off. If you are unsure what you have and what you are doing, we highly recommend getting advice before you make any deals.

We need pictures to properly evaluate what you have.

Welcome to the forum and best regards,

Geezer
 

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As said, first Identify what you truly have and then deal with individuals as Gun shop will generally give about 50 % as they will have to hold it until they sell it.
Don't take it to the Pawn Stars shop in Vegas or you won't even get the 50%!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thank you all for the "Welcome" by the way! I am starting travel nursing and can definitely use this gun for protection, provided I am shooting at a barn!! (Ok, I may be a little better shot than that) I had a snub-nose that I loved...the ex traded for a single shot .22(rediculous...especially in the realm of self defence) then traded for this. I had a 9 mil also that I hated...I simply prefer a revolver! I don't want to give it away and would research whatever if I did decide to trade, so I certainly appreciate all of your help and input. And your usernames are hillarious!!
 

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Welcome to the forum! welcome01

It is pretty hard to beat a nice .38 Special as a simple, point and use self defense weapon. Used by LEOs and the military for decades, reasonable power and easy to use.
 

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38 is a great cartridge and a revolver a great platform for use and abuse with little upkeep. If your in a collecting frame of mind... keep it. If a travel gun means it will only be used as protection in say hotel rooms or bnb's i stull think its a great choice. If it's going to be a carry... It is indeed a bit large.

Selling privately locally can be a pain but you will probably due best price wise. Having said that I have had good experiences with trading in a gun to a dealer if you are buying new from them. Word is they don't make much on new gun sales but can make a killing on used. I don't work in the industry so can't swear it's true but I have gotten double what they offer to buy my gun when I offer it for trade.

A j frame or ruger sp101 should fit the bill nicely
 

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Before you trade this or buy anything, I would recommend that you find a NRA Basic Pistol class with teacher(s) that know how to coach.

Carrying a gun without the skill to accurately shoot it is dangerous for you and others. Criminals are expert at reading body language, determining weaknesses and discomfort. Once they sense that they can win, they will take it away from you (man or woman - it doesn't matter). They practice doing it with sticks in the prison yards.

A good class will have an instructor that brings a variety of different handguns to try during class. This is a great way to start to understand what fits your hands, and what you can shoot accurately, including managing the recoil. There are muscle memory exercises and techniques that will help you shoot better and with confidence.

Good tactical classes will give you skills to avoid and manage situations better.

I can't see enough detail in your pictures to help you understand condition or value of your revolver. It's unlikely that a dealer will give you fair value for it, and it probably would make a good backup firearm for home defense.

There are a number of smaller .38 special revolvers, generally with 5 shots like the J Frame Smith and Wesson revolvers and the Ruger SP-101 snub nose (which I have and like a great deal).
 

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Single piece ejector rod, one line inscription, the grips are not (as in 1968 or later) original to the gun. I would not worry about trying to distinguish it from the 1,919,000+ M&P's that preceed it. Unfortunately a number of Law Enforcement surplus Model 10's (essentially the same gun) have been dumped on the market lately. Good luck in your endeavor.
 

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It's a $300 gun. Maybe a little more, maybe less. Millions made and used over the past 100 years. You might be able to wrangle a trade for a smaller Cheif's Special model 36, a 5 shot J frame 38 special at a gun show. Might have to add a little cash. But it is a fine revolver. Keep it for practice use. If you stand inside the barn I guarantee you will hit it with every shot (as long as you don't point at the floor). :D

John
 
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