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View Full Version : How to determine age of a old S & W .38?


Lucky Scott
05-21-2009, 9:13 PM
Is there a website or someplace to go to figure this stuff out.
I have a old model 10 and a newer 64 -1, would like to get more info on them. Maybe a place to run the seriel numbers or something.
Any suggestions?

masameet
05-21-2009, 11:35 PM
Smith & Wesson will do it for you. They'll even send you a nice letter of authenticity. Click (http://www.smith-wesson.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/CustomContentDisplay?storeId=10001&catalogId=11101&content=25301&sectionId=10504) for details.

Miltiades
05-22-2009, 3:01 AM
The definitive book used by all Smith & Wesson fans is the "Standard Catalog of Smith & Wesson" by Supica and Nahas. It is for sale on Amazon for $26.39 and will answer all your questions.

SCSW by Supica (http://www.amazon.com/Standard-Catalog-Smith-Wesson/dp/089689293X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1242989835&sr=8-1)

http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51T4K6okn4L._SS500_.jpg

L-2
05-22-2009, 5:33 AM
List the serial numbers/prefixes and perhaps somebody will estimate the manufactured dates for you in this thread.

rivviepop
05-22-2009, 8:16 AM
Get the book (SCSW 3rd) listed above, it'll be some of the best $30 you ever spent. It's full of all sorts of odds & ends and bits of knowledge about everything S&W, you can't go wrong. Any S&W enthusiast should have a copy on their shelf. :)

Overstock also has it for about the same price.
http://www.overstock.com/Books-Movies-Music-Games/Standard-Catalog-of-Smith-Wesson/1920547/product.html

golfrj
05-22-2009, 10:10 AM
Go to the S&W Forum and list the s/n those guys are Good!! :thumbsup:

PutTogether
05-22-2009, 4:08 PM
I have the S&W encyclopedia. Post or PM me your serial number and a description of the gun and I'll look it up for you.

Lucky Scott
05-22-2009, 4:30 PM
Great, the SN is 784XXX
it's an old M & P
I think it is one of the guns made for england 1940 - 45 as it has british proofs.
It also has " POL HAGEN " on the right side of frame by the grips. That is a city in England. I read somewhere that S & W made a bunch of guns and sent them to england as a government contract.

Thanks again for the help!
Scott

HowardW56
05-22-2009, 5:56 PM
Is there a website or someplace to go to figure this stuff out.
I have a old model 10 and a newer 64 -1, would like to get more info on them. Maybe a place to run the seriel numbers or something.
Any suggestions?

Send me a PM with the model and serial numbers

HowardW56
05-22-2009, 5:58 PM
Great, the SN is 784XXX
it's an old M & P
I think it is one of the guns made for england 1940 - 45 as it has british proofs.
It also has " POL HAGEN " on the right side of frame by the grips. That is a city in England. I read somewhere that S & W made a bunch of guns and sent them to england as a government contract.

Thanks again for the help!
Scott

1940 to 1945 There isn't a V prefix with the serial number is there? Is it 38/200 or 38 special?

Lucky Scott
05-22-2009, 6:12 PM
no, there is no V that I can see
it is supposed to be a
S&W M&P, 38 S&W CAL

But the gun is still in the DROS so I cant take the grips off or look around.

HowardW56
05-22-2009, 6:17 PM
no, there is no V that I can see
it is supposed to be a
S&W M&P, 38 S&W CAL

But the gun is still in the DROS so I cant take the grips off or look around.

Does it have a lanyard ring or hole?

Lucky Scott
05-22-2009, 8:30 PM
Lanyard.

Lucky Scott
05-22-2009, 8:33 PM
Dont know if this will work or not. Let me try to post a photo.
https://www.proxibid.com/asp/LotDetail.asp?size=full&ahid=2277&aid=19422&lid=5412386&aiid=0

PutTogether
05-22-2009, 10:50 PM
In my version of the Encyclopedia, your serial number is listed under two different date ranges for the .38 M&P 4th change. They mention serials from 241704-1000000 were manufactured from 1915-1942, and 700000-1000000 were from 1940-1945.

Your gun however, to my best guess, is NOT the .38 Special M&P, but instead, is the .38/200 British Service Revolver (Model K-200), chambered in .38 S&W. These guns were manufactured from 1940-1945, in serial number ranges concurrent with the .38 special M&P fourth change model mentioned previously. (The obvious difference being the chambering). Yours fits the mark, as civilian models were sold with checkered walnut stocks, while military guns were smooth stocks with a lanyard ring.

What would be interesting is if there is a "V" prefix on the serial number (which is found on the butt of the gun, down by the lanyard ring. There was another gun made during the same time called the "victory model" with a V prefix, but was chambered in .38 special, as opposed to .38S&W. Some of the .38/200 guns, DO have the V prefix though; which were assigned concurrently with the V prefix of the .38 special guns, but only AFTER serial number 1000000 went out the door. They then started over from V1 to V769000. Since your serial is 784XXX, I have to imagine there is no "V."

Confusing? I'll give you the short version.

The best I can figure, your gun is a Model K-200 chambered in .38 S&W and was manufactured between 1940 and 1944. If it were manufactured in 1945, it would have an entirely different prefix to denote a change in the hammer block mechanism.

Neat gun, and if you find this sort of stuff interesting, get a copy of the S&W encyclopedia mentioned above. Feel free to ask if you have any more questions.

Lucky Scott
05-23-2009, 7:23 AM
Thanks for the info on the old pistol. It is much appreciated.
I find the history of these old guns to be interesting and may look at other old handguns due to the fun of the old guns.
Although many gun guys are involved in tactical and semi-auto pistols, I find the old guns to be very interesting.
One of the things I like is that you can still shoot the old guns.
Even though I have some of the newer 9mm semi autos I really like the old revolvers for some strange reason.

One more question. The caliber.
What is the difference between the 38 speciel and the 38 S&W?
I understand that the english had their own caliber and that some of these old guns have been bored out to a american version of the 38, but not all.
I have been told to check to see if my 38's will fit.
If they do not fit, can it be bored out? Can I buy the other caliber of ammo?
and would it be still able to be used at the range every once in a while?
Thanks again
Scott

HowardW56
05-23-2009, 7:34 AM
38 Special and 38 S & W are very different cartridges. The 38 S & W ammunition is still available, and although it is a somewhat anemic cartridge, it is still fun to shoot.

I wouldn’t bother altering the chambers of a revolver to change caliber, if you’d prefer .38 special, find a old M&P in 38 special…

Lucky Scott
05-23-2009, 7:51 AM
Good advice. I did a search and found some old 38 S &W ammo.
Dont really care how anemic the rounds are since I just shoot for fun.
Would rather keep it original and shoot the old ammo if I can get it. So thats what I will do.
That just makes it even more cool in my eyes!

PutTogether
05-23-2009, 10:31 AM
Before you shoot that gun with any kind of ammo, I would have a gunsmith check it out.

1) It is old, and it is just a good idea to have someone make sure it is in safe working order

2) Evidentially, a lot of these guns were converted to .38 special, when they probably shouldn't have been. A poor conversion, especially in an old gun, can be dangerous.