PLEASE HELP Identify this revolver

This is a discussion on PLEASE HELP Identify this revolver within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; I recently acquired this old S&W revolver and have been searching the web trying to identify exactly what it is and trying to get an ...

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Thread: PLEASE HELP Identify this revolver

  1. #1
    Member Array Sporty79's Avatar
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    PLEASE HELP Identify this revolver

    I recently acquired this old S&W revolver and have been searching the web trying to identify exactly what it is and trying to get an accurate date of production. I have found many guns similar mostly moddel 10 Victory models but they are still different. There is no large S&W logo on the left side of the frame, however there is an odd logo that I cant make out (you will see in the picture) and the serial number is in a odd spot underneath the barrel close to the cylinder. It has a serial number of B 152208. Any help identifying model, age/history, and value of this gun would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks, Mike

    photo 1.JPGphoto 2.JPGphoto 3.JPGphoto 4.JPG

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    You appear to have a Spanish copy of a Smith & Wesson K-Frame Military & Police revolver. This one is wearing at least one proper Smith & Wesson stock panel with the large gold medallion of the 1910-1920 time period on the right side. It can't be determined in the photo if the medallion on the left stock panel has the entwined S&W or some other logo.

    Tell-tale clues indicating that it isn't a genuine Smith & Wesson include: not appearing to have a pinned barrel as any old Smith & Wesson Military & Police revolver would have, the shape of the hammer spur, the incorrect location of the rearmost side plate screw, the side plate screws being larger than appropriate for a genuine Smith & Wesson, the oddly trailing side plate seam at it's rear where it mates with the frame, and the odd logo on the side plate. The trigger profile looks a little funny too but the photos are a bit dark to render detail.

    The pistol appears to have been fairly heavily polished and reblued and the front sight appears to have been altered in some fashion. This polishing is apparent from the dished screw holes, the wide seam between the side plate and the frame (due to being polished separately during the reblue process), and the logo on the side plate being partially obliterated due to heavy polishing.

    Back before World War II Smith & Wesson was bedeviled by Spanish gunmakers churning out copies of Smith & Wesson models and selling these world wide in competition with Smith & Wesson. They outwardly resembled Smith & Wesson models but had lock work that is said to mostly resemble Colt. I've never had one apart.

    Your revolver was likely made in the 1920s. It's hard to discern the revolver's size but if it is similar to a Smith & Wesson Model 10 then it could be chambered for a .38 caliber cartridge. Don't trust that to be a .38 Special though. Most of these Spanish revolvers were instead chambered for the .38 Long Colt, a cartridge that is less powerful than the .38 Special. Firing .38 Special ammunition in such a revolver will hasten its demise. The workmanship and quality of steel in these is considered suspect by most who have dealt with them. For years $25-$50 would buy all the Spanish Smith & Wesson copies one could want but in more recent times they can be seen on GunBroker with $150-$250 prices asked because they have a novelty association with the "real deal" Smith & Wesson firm. Due to the refinish your revolver would probably realize considerably less than $150.

    Post 48 in this thread found over on Smith & Wesson forum shows a revolver with a logo that resembles yours and the revolver itself shares the same characteristics.
    Your Spanish S&W copies - let's see 'em!


    aus71383 likes this.
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    Member Array Sporty79's Avatar
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    Wow, thanks for the info!! I was ripped off good and am pretty upset.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sporty79 View Post
    Wow, thanks for the info!! I was ripped off good and am pretty upset.
    That depends on if the person you bought it from knew it was a Spanish S&W copy. They very well may have assumed (as you did) that is was a real S&W.
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    Are you absolutely sure it is a fake? I don't want to persue getting my money back if there is a chance it is real

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    It does have a pinned barrel, and the rearmost side plate screw looks to be in same location as a genuine?

    Any other opinions out there? The one thing that really throws me is the logo on the right side plate

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    Distinguished Member Array Once's Avatar
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    Can you take it to your LGS some of those guys can give you a
    hands on opinion

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    Call Smith and Wesson if you want a second opinion.

    EDIT: Where in Ohio are you? I have a friend in the SW corner that is part of the S&W collectors association.
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    Hi Sporty79;

    It's apparent that some lettering is roll-marked along the left side of the barrel. Can you post the caliber markings or the content of any other legible roll markings that may be read from the revolver's barrel? They would be of interest. A Smith & Wesson revolver from the era should also have a three-line address and series of patent dates roll-marked along the top of the barrel, typically ending with December 29, 1914 (on the jillion M&Ps made after 1914 and prior to 1948). Some of the roll markings may be diminished by the polishing job given the revolver prior to rebluing.

    I pulled the photos and fiddled with them in an attempt to lighten them.










    It's fun to study the photographs. There are Smith & Wesson Military & Police .38 Special revolvers on hand from 1904, 1918, 1926, 1930, 1943, 1947, 1952, and 1954. The various pre-war revolvers were examined for comparison.

    You mention that the serial number has a "B" prefix. No pre-World War II Smith & Wesson revolver has a alpha prefix in front of the serial number. The revolvers were numbered sequentially, beginning in 1899 with "1" and continued until a "V" prefix was added to the "Victory" models that were produced for the war effort in World War II.

    There appears to be some subtle differences in frame profile, and side plate profile. While the pinned barrel is evident in the lightening photos it is observed that there is no obvious rebound slide stud showing on the left side of the frame. This stud may be prominently seen as a small protruding pin located in the frame just in front of the top of the left stock panel. The revolver has been heavily buffed on a polishing wheel. It's possible that the protruding rebound slide stud has been polished flat when the revolver was reblued.

    The most curious difference observed is the features of the hammer. There is no visible firing pin rivet though of course the photo may still be dark enough that the rivet isn't visible. The firing pin rivet is visible on Smith & Wesson revolvers featuring exposed hammers when the revolvers are viewed from the side. Also, the hammer spur's profile is different, especially at the tip. The hammer spur appears more upswept on the copy The Smith & Wesson Military & Police hammer profile remained the same throughout production from 1899 to after World War II when the "Speed" hammer feature was introduced. The only change to the hammer was a switch from a solid rivet to a hollow "see through" rivet during the very first few years of production. An optional target hammer was introduced in the 1930s but it is completely different in profile to anything we're seeing here.

    The front sight is different than the standard "half-moon" blade found on fixed sight Smith & Wesson revolvers of the era. It's obviously been crudely altered though from its original shape.

    It is observed that the revolver is wearing actual Smith & Wesson stocks from the 1910-1920 period, featuring the large gold medallions. A close observation will reveal that the stocks are ill-fitting, both at the top and the bottom of the frame. I was able to blow up the photos in an IPhoto app for more detailed study but am not smart enough to be able to save them that way.

    The logo on the side plate is partially buffed away but the portion that remains looks exactly the same as the logo appearing on the photo of the Spanish copy appearing in post No. 48 of this link: Your Spanish S&W copies - let's see 'em! Much is revealed by clicking on those photos offered in that post. A firing pin rivet may be discerned on the revolver in that post.

    It's been entertaining "sleuthing" it out but I maintain that you have a Spanish revolver that bears a close external resemblance to a Smith & Wesson.




    Here are a couple of factory original Smith & Wesson Military & Police revolvers of the same era as the revolver in question. A 4-inch square butt version from 1926 and a 4-inch round butt version from 1917 or early 1918. Smith & Wesson logos changed in size, moved back and forth from right to left side, were even deleted for a very short period during World War I. The styles of the walnut stocks and the types of medallions were updated (or even deleted in the 1920-1929 time period) at various times. Patent dates were occasionally added up until 1914, some of the early patent dates being deleted at that time, but major features of these revolvers remained unchanged for many years.





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