Question on S&W K38 Target Masterpiece [Archive] - Glock Talk

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bac1023
06-27-2012, 13:21
My local shop just took in a beautiful 5 screw K38 Target Masterpiece. Its probably about the nicest one I've ever seen. There's a very faint hint of holster wear on the muzzle, but its barely noticable. The rest of the gun and grips are pretty much mint. The bluing is amazing.

I'll be back in gun buying mode in a few weeks and was thinking of picking it up. Somehow, I still don't own a 5 screw Smith. I'd like to know when it was made. I always have difficulty dating Smiths.

The serial is K231***.

I'm thinking mid 1950's, but I'm not sure. :dunno:

This revolver is a real beauty and I'd hate to pass it up. You don't see many pre model number K frames in this condition. I guess this would be a pre M14. Its got the old upward pointed target hammer and everything.

Any help from the many S&W experts here would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks! :wavey:

countrygun
06-27-2012, 13:26
I don't have the numbers handy at the moment But IIRC a 5 screw should be about pre-'55

ArtCrafter
06-27-2012, 13:39
The serial is K231***.




According to the SCSW (1st ed.):


1954 K210096-K231255

1955 K231256-K266164


HTH :wavey:

bac1023
06-27-2012, 13:53
Thanks Art.

It look to be a '55.

I think I'm going to call the shop and ask them to put it in the back for me. :cool:

Bruce M
06-27-2012, 15:02
Supica's excellent Standard Catalog indicates the K-38 Target Masterpiece was manufactured c. 1946 to 1982 and is a companion to the K-32 and K-17.

ArtCrafter
06-27-2012, 15:43
Thanks Art.

It look to be a '55.

I think I'm going to call the shop and ask them to put it in the back for me. :cool:


You're welcome. :)

On 5/5/12, pennlineman posted pics of a 4-Screw K38 from 1956 here (http://www.glocktalk.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1419613) on GT.

For reference, his has the standard hammer, which is also called the 'fish hook' type. (It also happens to be my personal favorite among the modern/post-war hammer styles, although I don't have one at this time.)

Note that the fixed-sight Miltary & Police models from the same period featured hammers with the same profile, but they were single-thickness, not widened at the thumb pad.

The adjustable sight K22, K32 (rare), and K38 were also available with a Target Hammer having an even wider, longer thumb pad. More or less identical K-frame hammers continued in production right up until the time the current frame-mounted firing pin replaced the hammer nose on the centerfire revolvers.

In contrast, the 'fish hook' hammer was changed around 1957 or so to a more 'square' profile. The new hammer worked fine, but IMO it could never match the elegant lines of its predecessor.

Lastly, the K-frame itself has been dropped. They still produce things like the Model 617 (stainless 'K22'), but they are actually made on the L-frame.

bac1023
06-27-2012, 16:09
Thanks for the info, Art.

This one has the same hammer as his. Also, what's the difference between the 4 and 5 screw frame?

Thanks again

countrygun
06-27-2012, 16:13
As opposed to the modern "3 screw" the"5 screw" has a screw on the sideplate in front of the hammer and a screw on the underside of the frame in front of the triggerguard/below the barrel fram junction. The "4 screw" lacks the latter screw.

Hawker Man
06-27-2012, 16:39
I believe the 4 screw lacks the screw at the top of the side plate and has the screw at the front of the trigger guard. I could be wrong but I think not.
BAC, if yours shoots half as good as mine, you will love it.
http://i451.photobucket.com/albums/qq238/HawkermanZ/TARGET1.jpg

bac1023
06-27-2012, 17:27
As opposed to the modern "3 screw" the"5 screw" has a screw on the sideplate in front of the hammer and a screw on the underside of the frame in front of the triggerguard/below the barrel fram junction. The "4 screw" lacks the latter screw.

I believe the 4 screw lacks the screw at the top of the side plate and has the screw at the front of the trigger guard. I could be wrong but I think not.


Yeah, I thought both of them had the screw above the trigger guard, but I wasn't 100% sure.


Also, which years distinguished the 5 and 4 screw models?

bac1023
06-27-2012, 17:28
BAC, if yours shoots half as good as mine, you will love it.
http://i451.photobucket.com/albums/qq238/HawkermanZ/TARGET1.jpg

Very cool :thumbsup:

countrygun
06-27-2012, 17:32
Yeah, I thought both of them had the screw above the trigger guard.


I oopsied and put "latter" instead of "former"

some days are like that. Youjusthljabg

bac1023
06-27-2012, 17:40
I oopsied and put "latter" instead of "former"

some days are like that. Youjusthljabg

No problem, my friend. :cool:

Any idea which year Smith switched to 4 screw frames? I asssume the 4 screw frames weren't used very long. :dunno:

Once the model numbers were given, I believe they were all 3 screw.

countrygun
06-27-2012, 18:06
Well, as I understand a redesign let them cut costs using just the tab to eliminate a sideplate screw and then using the forward side plate screw to hold the crane, thereby eliminate yet another "drill and tap"

bac1023
06-27-2012, 19:06
Makes sense.

The 3 screw frames are certainly a more efficient design than the old 4 and 5 screw models are.

Rinspeed
06-27-2012, 20:31
Also, what's the difference between the 4 and 5 screw frame?



The 4 screw has one less screw. :dunno: :rofl:

pennlineman
06-27-2012, 20:35
No problem, my friend. :cool:

Any idea which year Smith switched to 4 screw frames? I asssume the 4 screw frames weren't used very long. :dunno:

Once the model numbers were given, I believe they were all 3 screw.

The K-38 was introduced in 1947. It was a 5 screw gun until 1956 when they dropped the upper side plate screw. 4 screw models can be had in the K-38 (pre model 14) until the introduction of the 14 no dash in 1957. The 14-1 was also a 4 screw revolver made from 1959-61.

Thw 14-2 was introduced in 1961 was the first 3 screw model 14. So, from 1956-61 you had three different variations of the 4 screw revolver. The pre 14 for about a year, 14 no dash for 2 years and 14-1 for 2 years. There were many more of the 5 screw models made so the 4 screw models are sought after by collectors. The 4 screw guns are on the scarce side but certainly not rare.

At any rate revolvers from this era take you back to a time of quality, fit and finish you don't see any more. Be it a 4 or 5 screw example they are all great guns.

ithaca_deerslayer
06-27-2012, 21:06
How many inch barrel is this gun?

ArtCrafter
06-27-2012, 21:22
The standard barrel length was 6" (in later years, 8⅜" was also available on the Model 14).

HTH :wavey:




PS: The same gun with a 2- or 4-inch barrel was the Model 15 Combat Masterpiece.

ithaca_deerslayer
06-27-2012, 21:34
The standard barrel length was 6" (in later years, 8⅜" was also available on the Model 14).

HTH :wavey:




PS: The same gun with a 2- or 4-inch barrel was the Model 15 Combat Masterpiece.

Model 15, that's what I want, then :) In a 4".

countrygun
06-27-2012, 21:43
I lust after a 15 but I have to confess a 6" P&R 14 was one of only 2 S&Ws I let leave my hands. It went to someone who is using it as a teaching tool with new shooters. I was a hard used former competition gun when I got it for a song and refurbished it.

BTW bac1023

My LGS got a bunch of neat old stuff in an estate this week. In the accessories and ammo was and old, apparently unopened green and white box of Remington "Clean-bore" 148gn Target Wadcutters. It would make a great display item with that Smith, if you are into that kind of thing.

I think I still have first dibs on the stuff if you want it PM me. I get great deals and don't make a profit on deals for "associates who collect"

PzGren
06-27-2012, 21:45
I have a 14-2 since 32 years with TT and TH that I used in ISSF matches. It is a pleasure to shoot.

I am certain that you will like it BAC.

ArtCrafter
06-27-2012, 21:57
Model 15, that's what I want, then :) In a 4".


Yeah, they're pretty cool, too.

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_rZPj-gWcHXw/R1LsIBoqchI/AAAAAAAAALE/SgXxFa6nuBY/s1600-R/DSC02695.JPG
Smith & Wesson Model 15-3 (random pic from blogspot.com)

:cool:

bac1023
06-28-2012, 04:34
The 4 screw has one less screw. :dunno: :rofl:

:rofl::rofl:

bac1023
06-28-2012, 04:43
How many inch barrel is this gun?

6" barrel

bac1023
06-28-2012, 04:47
The K-38 was introduced in 1947. It was a 5 screw gun until 1956 when they dropped the upper side plate screw. 4 screw models can be had in the K-38 (pre model 14) until the introduction of the 14 no dash in 1957. The 14-1 was also a 4 screw revolver made from 1959-61.

Thw 14-2 was introduced in 1961 was the first 3 screw model 14. So, from 1956-61 you had three different variations of the 4 screw revolver. The pre 14 for about a year, 14 no dash for 2 years and 14-1 for 2 years. There were many more of the 5 screw models made so the 4 screw models are sought after by collectors. The 4 screw guns are on the scarce side but certainly not rare.

At any rate revolvers from this era take you back to a time of quality, fit and finish you don't see any more. Be it a 4 or 5 screw example they are all great guns.

Great stuff

Thanks!

This is a 1955 model, so its towards the end of the 5 screw era.

bac1023
06-28-2012, 04:56
Model 15, that's what I want, then :) In a 4".

I've got one of those in mint condition.

Unfortunately, the previous owner swapped out the original grips and got rid of them. :steamed:

Oh well, at least they're still S&W factory grips. :dunno:


http://i473.photobucket.com/albums/rr97/briancut1023/000_2104.jpg

ithaca_deerslayer
06-28-2012, 05:04
I've got one of those in mint condition.

Unfortunately, the previous owner swapped out the original grips and got rid of them. :steamed:

Oh well, at least they're still S&W factory grips. :dunno:


http://i473.photobucket.com/albums/rr97/briancut1023/000_2104.jpg

I actually like those grips. Nice looking gun. That finish is awesome.

bac1023
06-28-2012, 08:24
Thanks

The bluing is very nice.

Berto
06-28-2012, 10:00
The TM/mod 14's always struck me as being more tightly built than the other K frames. Probably my imagination, but it really seems like it.

bac1023
06-28-2012, 10:13
The TM/mod 14's always struck me as being more tightly built than the other K frames. Probably my imagination, but it really seems like it.

That's interesting, Berto.

I actually haven't handled many, but this example seemed very tight.

ArtCrafter
06-28-2012, 15:19
They also made a 'few' Combat Masterpiece's with 5-inch barrels (which was never a standard/catalogued barrel length for the K38.)

LINK w/pics (http://smith-wessonforum.com/s-w-hand-ejectors-1896-1961/255966-my-five-inch-combat-masterpiece.html) (S&W Forum)

'They don't make 'em like they used to.' :fred:

bac1023
06-28-2012, 18:11
'They don't make 'em like they used to.' :fred:

Very true, Art

Jason D
06-29-2012, 18:09
They are the quintessential .38 Target gun.
I have a later gun that I love so much I have been on the look out for more of them.

bac1023
06-29-2012, 19:05
They are the quintessential .38 Target gun.


I agree.

That's why I'm picking up this one. :)

countrygun
06-29-2012, 20:50
They are the quintessential .38 Target gun.
I have a later gun that I love so much I have been on the look out for more of them.

Even though I am a "Smith" guy, i still have a soft spot for the Officer's Model Match

http://i648.photobucket.com/albums/uu208/countrygun/forum006.jpg

bac1023
06-29-2012, 20:53
Very nice

I love many Colt revolvers, the Python being my favorite.

countrygun
06-29-2012, 21:10
Very nice

I love many Colt revolvers, the Python being my favorite.


I was far from shopping for an OMM, but the guy in a little out of the way shop had it in his case and was moaning that it took up a lot of room and "Nobody wants an old 6" .38. I am going to have to drop the price down to $240 and see if I can unload it on some one"

"Well, for $240, I suppose, if you will come down a bit on that other pistol I was looking at, I could do you a favor I guess:whistling:"

bac1023
06-30-2012, 05:22
I was far from shopping for an OMM, but the guy in a little out of the way shop had it in his case and was moaning that it took up a lot of room and "Nobody wants an old 6" .38. I am going to have to drop the price down to $240 and see if I can unload it on some one"

"Well, for $240, I suppose, if you will come down a bit on that other pistol I was looking at, I could do you a favor I guess:whistling:"

:thumbsup:

Jason D
06-30-2012, 16:14
Even though I am a "Smith" guy, i still have a soft spot for the Officer's Model Match

http://i648.photobucket.com/albums/uu208/countrygun/forum006.jpg

I nearly bought one of those last year. The local dealer had one that looked real nice but apon closer inspection showed it had been dinked with. The sights as well as the barrel were all buggered up from some filing and pounding.

A truly sad sight.

bac1023
06-30-2012, 18:26
I nearly bought one of those last year. The local dealer had one that looked real nice but apon closer inspection showed it had been dinked with. The sights as well as the barrel were all buggered up from some filing and pounding.

A truly sad sight.

People who do that need to have their head examined.

What a shame. :sad: