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Welcome to the forums from the Wiregrass! Congratulations on receiving a S&W .38 Military & Police revolver from your father-in-law. The gun shipped in 1950/51 and is commonly called a pre-Model 10 in the collector community. S&W implemented model numbers in 1958. Your gun is the most produced handgun in history with about 7 million being made since 1899. It is built on the mid-sized K frame and any grips made for K/L frame, square butt revolvers will work. It originally came with magnas, a picture of which is below. The pearl grips on it are aftermarket but quite valuable. I estimate you could sell them for $150 to $200 easily. But, since your FIL gave them to you, you might want to retain them when you want to dress the ol' girl up. Hope that helps!


These magnas are called "sharp shouldered" in the collector community because of the pronounced ridge at the rounded top of the grip where it meets the frame knuckle. They are also termed "diamond magnas" due to the diamond around the escutcheon. In the rear, they will have a black or blue washer that holds the medallion on. These are the grips that you should buy if you want to return the gun to its original configuration. They can be quite pricey at around $150. Frankly, I prefer target grips that enclose the grip frame and make target shooting easier. But, YMMV. What I'm saying is you are not constrained to the diamond magnas. There is a wide selection of grips for your gun. OH, forgot to mention the grip adapter that is on my M&P snub. That's the black piece between the trigger guard and the grip frame. Grip adapters were created to provide a grip that is more suitable for shooting accuracy and they work basically like a target grip. They are an inexpensive way to improve the grip with existing factory panels. They clip on under the wooden panels and don't require any modifications to the grip frame. The adapter shown is a Tyler T but there are other manufacturers like Pachmayr that make similar versions. The Tyler T is a top notch metal adapter and will cost more than others that are plastic.
 

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Yep. A pre-Model 10. The closest one I have to yours is C1552xx. It shipped 5/1950.

490008


Also I have one that shipped 9/1950 with an earlier s/n. C1130xx. A good reminder that S&W did not ship in s/n order.

490009


Yours looks to have a 5" barrel. should be a real good shooter.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I have a 38 special that I am wanting to get info on. What year, and model ? Wife got this for me from my father in law. I would like to put wood grips on it but I don't know what to oreder. View attachment 489960 View attachment 489961 View attachment 489962 View attachment 489963 View attachment 489964 View attachment 489965
View attachment 489966
Welcome to the forums from the Wiregrass! Congratulations on receiving a S&W .38 Military & Police revolver from your father-in-law. The gun shipped in 1950/51 and is commonly called a pre-Model 10 in the collector community. S&W implemented model numbers in 1958. Your gun is the most produced handgun in history with about 7 million being made since 1899. It is built on the mid-sized K frame and any grips made for K/L frame, square butt revolvers will work. It originally came with magnas, a picture of which is below. The pearl grips on it are aftermarket but quite valuable. I estimate you could sell them for $150 to $200 easily. But, since your FIL gave them to you, you might want to retain them when you want to dress the ol' girl up. Hope that helps!


These magnas are called "sharp shouldered" in the collector community because of the pronounced ridge at the rounded top of the grip where it meets the frame knuckle. They are also termed "diamond magnas" due to the diamond around the escutcheon. In the rear, they will have a black or blue washer that holds the medallion on. These are the grips that you should buy if you want to return the gun to its original configuration. They can be quite pricey at around $150. Frankly, I prefer target grips that enclose the grip frame and make target shooting easier. But, YMMV. What I'm saying is you are not constrained to the diamond magnas. There is a wide selection of grips for your gun. OH, forgot to mention the grip adapter that is on my M&P snub. That's the black piece between the trigger guard and the grip frame. Grip adapters were created to provide a grip that is more suitable for shooting accuracy and they work basically like a target grip. They are an inexpensive way to improve the grip with existing factory panels. They clip on under the wooden panels and don't require any modifications to the grip frame. The adapter shown is a Tyler T but there are other manufacturers like Pachmayr that make similar versions. The Tyler T is a top notch metal adapter and will cost more than others that are plastic.
Thank you so much for all the info. After reading this I think I will leave the grips on it.
 

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Those grips must have been fairly popular back then. My dad bought a K-22 in 1947 and for as long as I can remember he had a set of MOP grips with it as well as the original Magna's. Those MOPs sure go nice with the blue finish.

490038



490040
 

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I too received a smith &wesson 38 special. My pistol came from my great uncle that I was named after. My serial number is 841084. It came with the pearl grips so I appreciate some background on when this pistol would have shipped.
 

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Welcome to the forums from the Wiregrass! Please post a new thread with pictures in the 1847 to 1945 forum. Your gun was made before WWII. Probably 1940 or 41.
 
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I too received a smith &wesson 38 special. My pistol came from my great uncle that I was named after. My serial number is 841084. It came with the pearl grips so I appreciate some background on when this pistol would have shipped.
It probably shipped in Oct 1941.
 

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Hi and welcome to the friendly forum!
 

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Serial S 841084 would be 1947 for Manufacturing date. That is the post war end of the second million M&P 38 Revolvers. The S was to show that it had the 1944 improved safety. In 1948 the 3rd million started with the letter C.
 

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I can bracket S841084 for you.

S8187xx shipped 8/1946
490115


and S9440xx shipped 11/47

490116


There is a big difference between s/n 841084 and s/n S841084; over a million guns and six years.
 
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