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Help me put a date on Smith and Wesson K-38

Pluribus

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I’ve gone through the splendid book by Mr. Roy Jinks on Smith and Wesson pistols and, I haven’t been able to pinpoint any kind of date of manufacture on this pistol. I am wondering if anybody else had any kind of online source for serial number identification on the K-38’s. I’m able to find a fair amount of info on the later developed model 15 and combat masterpiece/target masterpiece but, pretty empty as far as serial number runs on K-38’s. I appreciate any additional help and information. 🤓
208BBC0D-1A7E-475D-98E0-313B30F4BF83.jpeg F8D4DD54-8E77-415B-AABA-DE5821C4B84C.jpeg E23A6693-4414-4953-A5CB-D87FF787E2BE.jpeg 4A5052BC-8946-486D-8B41-B6EB331853A1.jpeg
But then…,
1F56F825-412A-47DE-87BD-11A1A17688A9.jpeg
 

TenTea

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As per Standard Catalog of Smith & Wesson:

K323894 is 1958, but the model number will usually be on the frame under the crane by then, as that started in 1957.
But, not all frames had the model number stamp for many months after introduction of that practice in June of 57, so easily into 1958.

47771 for a K frame would be 1948 but I think it is merely an assembly number, in your case.

What is the serial on the barrel flat forward of the frame?

ETA: I vote it's a 58.
 
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Pluribus

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As per Standard Catalog of Smith & Wesson:

K323894 is 1958, but the model number will usually be on the frame under the crane by then, as that started in 1957.
But, not all frames had the model number stamp for many months after introduction of that practice in June of 57, so easily into 1958.

47771 for a K frame would be 1948 but I think it is merely an assembly number, in your case.

What is the serial on the barrel flat forward of the frame?

ETA: I vote it's a 58.
No serial number on the barrel flat at all. 1958 would be cool because it’s my birth year. 😎
A5065CE4-96C4-4AD8-9902-6C7591A5EE0C.jpeg
 

TenTea

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I can see it's a 4 screw, at least...but not a 5, right?

From the book:

1955, 5th screw deleted on K frames.

Also 1957, serial number deleted from barrel, cylinder and yoke.

I'm still voting 1958.
 

Pluribus

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I can see it's a 4 screw, at least...but not a 5, right?

From the book:

1955, 5th screw deleted on K frames.

Also 1957, serial number deleted from barrel, cylinder and yoke.

I'm still voting 1958.
Sorry for the slow reply TT, I appreciate the input. We moved Dad this afternoon into the hospice center. He’s on his way out and at least he was able to make the decision himself and do it with a little dignity.
This particular K 38 is his actually, he’s had it for most of my life that I can recall. Also, I may be remembering incorrectly but, I think it’s just a three screw side plate. I’m not at home right now so when I get home I’ll take a double check and make sure.
 

TenTea

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Sorry to hear about Dad and may he rest easy in hospice.

I can see the screw in the front of the trigger guard in your photo, denoting a "4 screw."

The large head screw (bug screw) at the top of the side plate was deleted in 1955, so not on yours.
If you see that one it's a "5 screw."

The screw into the trigger guard (like yours) was deleted in 1962 they tell me, making all Smiths "3 screw" going forward.
 

Pluribus

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Sorry to hear about Dad and may he rest easy in hospice.

I can see the screw in the front of the trigger guard in your photo, denoting a "4 screw."

The large head screw (bug screw) at the top of the side plate was deleted in 1955, so not on yours.
If you see that one it's a "5 screw."

The screw into the trigger guard (like yours) was deleted in 1962 they tell me, making all Smiths "3 screw" going forward.
I just got home a little bit ago and pulled the grips off to be sure. It’s a three screw.
79D35EB1-8C0C-45B0-A949-8DCC18AF1765.jpeg

Thanks for the good wishes. We had a big powwow a couple days ago with all of his doctors and his condition was decidedly worsening and had become chronic in regard to the infection that had turned septic from his bowel rupturing. He’s was feeling pretty good about everything actually, having been able to make the decision himself he actually feels pretty good about it and that I agreed with him. He was ready to argue with me, not that that was funny but, here he is at this point in his life and still thinking I’m the kid that’s going to argue with him. He does though, I feel that he was able to make the decision himself with dignity and, that’s a good thing. For anyone.
 

Pluribus

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The screw in the front of the trigger guard is actually counted, so dad's revolver is a 4-screw, circa 1958.
Best to you and family.
Oh, I see. I always was kind of confused with the whole four screw five screw nomenclature on S&W‘s. I thought in terms of four screws on just the side plate being a four screw.
Well that’s really cool about the 1958 date too, thanks so much for the help. Dad will get a kick knowing that it’s got that date of manufacture. I want to say he bought it when I was about 10 years old which would’ve been 1968.
It’s always been a great shooter.
 
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