S&W .38 Special CTG

This is a discussion on S&W .38 Special CTG within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; Ok, so here's the question. I have a snubby S&W .38 spl (model 642 airwieght)..rated for standard and +P. My Father has an older (don't ...

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Thread: S&W .38 Special CTG

  1. #1
    Member Array Tenderfoot's Avatar
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    S&W .38 Special CTG

    Ok, so here's the question. I have a snubby S&W .38 spl (model 642 airwieght)..rated for standard and +P.

    My Father has an older (don't know how old..he inherited it from family) S&W .38 Special CTG (what's on the barrel)..wood grip 4" barrel. He asked me if his gun can shoot +P round also (since he says he has an box of ammo that is rated +P from the 70's..

    S&W brand 38 SPECIAL + P 158 gr. Jacketed Hollow Point cartridges (tag on box shows he paid 13.68 for the box of 50 at Payless..a store that later was bought by Rite Aid).

    Can he or should he give them to me !! hehe (I'd trade him some standard pressures...but the question still lingers). Seems funny that my small snubby .38 is able to handle +P but his larger all steel model might not. Is it because his is a 6 shot and mine 5 shot (therefore thinner cylinder walls ? )...

    It is a Model 10-5 ( barrel length is approx 4 to 5 inches not sure where you are suppose to measure from )
    Other numbers on gun are as follows...what are they ?
    first number is a D followed by 6 digiets D9174xx and also a 5 digit number is on the revolver in two locations 424xx.

    and if remove wood grips inside on metal is a B4 and B7 and also inside a Square with a stamped B inside and a circle with a C stamped inside.

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    VIP Member Array Blackeagle's Avatar
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    Call Smith and Wesson and ask them.

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    Member Array Tenderfoot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blackeagle View Post
    Call Smith and Wesson and ask them.
    smarty pants...if you didn't know the answer...no reply needed.

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    VIP Member Array Blackeagle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tenderfoot View Post
    smarty pants...if you didn't know the answer...no reply needed.
    So, you're asking a question where the wrong answer could result a blown up gun (possibly causing injury or death), and you would rather rely on answers from an internet gun forum than call the manufacturer?

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    VIP Member Array matiki's Avatar
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    IIRC CTG is the abbreviation for cartridge on old S&W's.
    "Wise people learn when they can; fools learn when they must." - The Duke of Wellington

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    Member Array Tenderfoot's Avatar
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    It's a forum...feedback helps.
    Back on topic...so the reason this has come up is the initial thought is no, it is most likely rated for .38 speical only ( not +P ). Being that the gun is probably from the 60's. I'll attach photo.

    However Wikipedia (we all know that is 100% fact..hehe) says this.

    "The M&P/Model 10 has been available in both blued steel finish and nickel finish for most of its production run. The model has also been offered throughout the years with both the round butt and square butt (i.e. grip patterns). Beginning with the Model 10-5 series in the late 1960s, the tapered barrel and its trademark 'half moon' front sight (as shown in the illustrations on this page) were replaced by a straight bull barrel and a sloped milled ramp front sight. Late model Model 10s are capable of handling any .38 Special cartridge produced today up to and including +P+ rounds"

    So according to Wiki..the later models (that can take +P) had the taper barrel and half moon sight replaced....however as you'll note in the photo...this 10-5 has the tapered barrel but the sloped milled ramp front sight. So Wiki is confusing unless the two parts (barrel and sight) were not changed over at the same time but was maybe a hybrid period.

    Obviously the barrel is the more important part of the equation in regards to ammo..but was hoping some other 10-5 owner might have some info ?
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    1943 - 2009
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    You should check the model number and serial number again.

    The S&W Model 10-5 was manufactured only in 1962. (Oops, sorry, this is incorrect.) The serial number you gave is 1976-77 vintage.

    Smith & Wesson began using SNs with a "D" prefix in 1967.

    If this is a M10-5, it should have a "C" prefix SN. (Incorrect again. It would have a "C" prefix if made before 1967.)

    Reference: Standard Catalog of Smith & Wesson, 3rd Edition, pages 174 & 399.
    Last edited by Captain Crunch; April 25th, 2009 at 02:44 PM. Reason: Captain made some boo-boos!


    When you’re wounded and left on Afghanistan’s plains,
    And the women come out to cut up what remains,
    Just roll to your rifle and blow out your brains,
    And go to your God like a soldier.

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    Terry

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    Senior Member Array jca1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blackeagle View Post
    Call Smith and Wesson and ask them.
    That's the best answer you were given, and you made fun of it?

    Call or e-mail smith and wesson

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    The Model 10, could be ordered in either pencil barrel, like in the picture, and a "bull" barrel. The info in Wikipedia isn't correct. (What a surprise) The barrel type had nothing to do with whether the was rated for +P.
    Until the late 70s the FBI issue was the 4" Model 10 with pencil barrel, just like in your picture. (That contradicts who ever posted the incorrect info in Wiki). Tons and tons of 158 gr +P were shot out of those guns, and the same guns issued in the 50s and 60s, with no ill effect.
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    Member Array Tenderfoot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Captain Crunch View Post
    You should check the model number and serial number again.

    The S&W Model 10-5 was manufactured only in 1962. The serial number you gave is 1976-77 vintage.

    Smith & Wesson began using SNs with a "D" prefix in 1967.

    If this is a M10-5, it should have a "C" prefix SN.

    Reference: Standard Catalog of Smith & Wesson, 3rd Edition, pages 174 & 399.
    Well, I'm just putting what on the gun...indeed the number starts with a D and not a C. and it does say 10-5. it could be a late 60's...however I don't think 70's since it was given to my Father via inheritance prior to '76...Keep in mind I ddn't list the full numbers just put xx's at the end.

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    Hey Tenderfoot;

    Your dad's gun can shoot far more +P ammunition than y'all are willing to buy. The Model 10 may be considered to be impervious to +P ammunition. It'll handle such ammunition in greater quantities than the shooter will enjoy firing. For range and field use though, the standard velocity .38 Special makes a lot more sense.

    Trade with your dad if you really want that box of +P ammo but the older Smith & Wesson JHP +P round will likely perform as a full metal jacket in actual use. Expansion characteristics of .38 Special jacketed hollow point loads weren't that inspiring in the 1970s-1980s. I tried 'em all back then. Besides, at some point after we're all gone, the S&W brand ammo in the blue boxes might become collectible.

    If you do determine to shoot up the box, it will be much more pleasant to fire off in the Model 10 rather than in the Airweight Model 642. The Model 10 soaks up recoil nicely. That S&W 158 grain +P stuff should print close to point of aim in both revolvers, being very slightly lower on the target than standard velocity 158 grain ammunition.

    Don't know about the year your father received the gun in inheritance, but if it sports a serial number of D 9174XX then it was manufactured towards the tail end of the -5 run. D 870001 through D 999999 covers the years 1976 and 1977.

    You are correct in suspecting Wikipedia to be all washed up.

    "Beginning with the Model 10-5 series in the late 1960s, the tapered barrel and its trademark 'half moon' front sight (as shown in the illustrations on this page) were replaced by a straight bull barrel and a sloped milled ramp front sight."

    This statement is wrong.

    First, the 10-5 revision was introduced in the early 60s (1962) and ran until 1977.

    Second, the half moon front sight was dropped in favor of the ramp sight approximately 10 years before. Ramp front sights began to be seen on the common 4-inch Military & Police revolvers in the early 1950s. As inventories of older barrels with the "half-moon" sights were used up, the ramp front sight also began appearing on the other barrel lengths offered. By the time the Military & Police revolver was assigned the Model 10 designation in 1957, only some 2-inch guns were still shipped with the older round front sight.

    I have a Military & Police 4-inch tapered barrel revolver serial No. C 322XXX circa 1954 with a ramp front sight. The barrel is properly serial numbered to the frame as was common practice at the time. Smith & Wesson made a pile of these 4-inch guns with ramp front sights in the 1950s. They are common as dirt as it was standard equipment for much of the law enforcement community of the era.

    My brother-in-law has a Military & Police revolver with a 4-screw frame, that is non model marked, and has a 2-inch barrel with the round front sight. The serial number is C 430XXX which puts it at 1960.

    Third, the 10-5 revision never indicated a "straight bull barrel." The 10-6 was a revision of the 10-1, both being indicative of the Heavy Barrel variation.


    Hi Captain;

    I have a Smith & Wesson Model 10-5 with a 4-inch tapered barrel, serial number D 561XXX, that dates to 1974. My old favorite 4-inch Model 10-6 Heavy Barrel has a serial number of D 362XXX and dates from mid-1971. The -5 revision ran concurrently with the -6, the revision which indicates the Heavy Barrel variation. Serial numbers are interspersed between the two revisions.

    In 1977 the gas ring was changed to from the yoke to the cylinder. The -7 revision indicates this change on the standard barrel and the -8 revision does so on the Heavy Barrel.
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmcgilvray View Post




    Hi Captain;

    I have a Smith & Wesson Model 10-5 with a 4-inch tapered barrel, serial number D 561XXX, that dates to 1974. My old favorite 4-inch Model 10-6 Heavy Barrel has a serial number of D 362XXX and dates from mid-1971. The -5 revision ran concurrently with the -6, the revision which indicates the Heavy Barrel variation. Serial numbers are interspersed between the two revisions.

    In 1977 the gas ring was changed to from the yoke to the cylinder. The -7 revision indicates this change on the standard barrel and the -8 revision does so on the Heavy Barrel.
    Yep, you're right, I just did some more research in my SCSW as well as on the S&W Forum.

    The Model 10-5 tapered barrel ran from 1962 to 1977. (I erred when I said it was made only in 1962. Didn't read far enough down the paragraph.) The "D" SN prefix began in 1967. The OP's SN (D917XXX) would fall into the 1977 range, most likely, which confused me, since the OP said his Father inherited the gun prior to 1976.


    When you’re wounded and left on Afghanistan’s plains,
    And the women come out to cut up what remains,
    Just roll to your rifle and blow out your brains,
    And go to your God like a soldier.

    Rudyard Kipling


    Terry

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    Member Array Tenderfoot's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the info. Yeah..I haven't seen any blue box S&W ammo around..maybe he should just keep as a keep sake...since I've got plenty of other he can use if he wants to join me at the range.

    To date I don't recall him ever firing the 10-5 or his 30.06 rifle (both we inherited and are in top notch condition...but...need a serious cleaning).

    once again...thanks all.

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