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S&W K38, new to me

adam762

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Got this from firedigger232, great deal and nice to meet another filer. Been interested in one of these for a few years. This one is NOT USAF marked but the history of the model was a big part of the allure for me. Ontario blade, LC-79 PGU-12/B from the former Wurtsmith AFB.

20220223_104900.jpg
 

TenTea

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Sweet revolver.

PM me the serial "K 123 4xx" or post here if you would like me to look it up in the SWCA "big book" for you, afterwhile.

It'll give you a likely year of mfr and I will get you some info on the diamond Magna grips, which hopefully are serial numbered to the gun.

Enjoy!
 

adam762

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Thanks everybody! I'm super excited about it. Pretty sure I'm gonna have to fight the wifey for shooting time with it though, she loves revolvers but dislikes my Blackhawk and Vaquero due to their weight and recoil.

S/N is K 2175XX
 

SWOHFAL

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Got this from firedigger232, great deal and nice to meet another filer. Been interested in one of these for a few years. This one is NOT USAF marked but the history of the model was a big part of the allure for me. Ontario blade, LC-79 PGU-12/B from the former Wurtsmith AFB.

View attachment 183844
Glad to see that you got it.
 

TenTea

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Specifically, I think you have a K38 Combat Masterpiece (4" bbl) known as a "Pre-Model 15"

So, on the Magna stocks, SW began deleting the diamond in 1966, so yours predates that time.
You also have a lazy ampersand stamp which denotes earlier revolvers.

Post war K frames in 1954 ranged from K210096-K231255, so looks like mid year for yours and should be a 5-screw, as the bug screw was deleted for K frames starting in 1955.

I had one like yours in high condition at one time, but now have the 6" version, also from 1954 with original target stocks.

Lovely shooters, they are.
Enjoy!
 

adam762

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Wow, thanks for the amazing information 10T. I would have thought maybe 70s but never imagined mid 50s. It has the sweetest trigger.

Couple months ago I thought 'What am I gonna do with all this 38?' and burned it all up in my blackhawk. Big dummy. Now I gotta load some. Breaks my heart. :LOL:
 

Colts4me

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I won't waste yalls time with my gun stories but if you get time read up on the guns and the shooting competitions of the 1950s. Big changes with sights and winning competitions sold guns. K38s were top dogs, Jack Weaver is the man who took them to glory.

Kinda feel sorry for the young guys that don't and won't get to know how great revolvers are.
 

TenTea

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Wow, thanks for the amazing information 10T. I would have thought maybe 70s but never imagined mid 50s. It has the sweetest trigger.

Couple months ago I thought 'What am I gonna do with all this 38?' and burned it all up in my blackhawk. Big dummy. Now I gotta load some. Breaks my heart. :LOL:
You bet, and loading up some more .38spc will be worth the trouble!
S&Ws from the 50s are some of the best ever, imho.
 

Colts4me

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In my opinion one of the best things about the K38s is 38 special is not a high pressure round so the k frames don't wear out fast. My 6 inch k38 has seen a lot of fun but still locks up and shoots straight.

It's Colts 4 me in the single action guns but Smiths in the double actions.
 

Pluribus

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My best shooting with my K38 is done with 148 grain hollow base wad cutters. Winchester 231 powder. Cuts perfect circles to score a target and devastating on small game.
My load favorite has long been a Hornady 148 gr. Dbl end WC over 2.3 gr of Win 231 or, 2.6 gr Bullseye.

Something that’s real fun and, often did indoors during winter months, load wax bullets and then I would shoot them into the fireplace as a backstop. (no fire burning) Take some of your 38 special cull brass and drill the primer flash hole out to 3/32”. Load it with a large pistol magnum primers. Standard primers work as well also but will drop off a little bit quicker. We’re only talking about a range of about 15 to 20 feet maximum. Press empty case, mouth first, through a half inch cake of paraffin wax. Wipe off surplus wax on outside of case. Load them up and fire at your will. The only sound you actually get is sort of a “pingk“ sound. Just a click of the action and pingk going off is the only sound it makes. Seriously, seriously accurate too. My sons and I used to set up little green army men in the fireplace with a so loaded model 15 Smith & Wesson. Hours of fun and, the kids learned a little bit about what goes on inside a cartridge. It’s also a great way to learn how to maintain a grip without flinching and establish group consistency.
 

adam762

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My load favorite has long been a Hornady 148 gr. Dbl end WC over 2.3 gr of Win 231 or, 2.6 gr Bullseye.

Something that’s real fun and, often did indoors during winter months, load wax bullets and then I would shoot them into the fireplace as a backstop. (no fire burning) Take some of your 38 special cull brass and drill the primer flash hole out to 3/32”. Load it with a large pistol magnum primers. Standard primers work as well also but will drop off a little bit quicker. We’re only talking about a range of about 15 to 20 feet maximum. Press empty case, mouth first, through a half inch cake of paraffin wax. Wipe off surplus wax on outside of case. Load them up and fire at your will. The only sound you actually get is sort of a “pingk“ sound. Just a click of the action and pingk going off is the only sound it makes. Seriously, seriously accurate too. My sons and I used to set up little green army men in the fireplace with a so loaded model 15 Smith & Wesson. Hours of fun and, the kids learned a little bit about what goes on inside a cartridge. It’s also a great way to learn how to maintain a grip without flinching and establish group consistency.

Ok THAT'S awesome. Got the perfect wood stove too... Does it make a mess of the bore and cylinder? I got grandkids that might get a hoot out of that. Holy hell will their mother blow a fuse when she finds out. My wife too prolly. All the more reason.....


So you guys like 148 grain wadcutters. What kind of velocity? I have copious amounts of Accurate No. 5 which is ok for shorter barrels like this.
 

Pluribus

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Ok THAT'S awesome. Got the perfect wood stove too... Does it make a mess of the bore and cylinder? I got grandkids that might get a hoot out of that. Holy hell will their mother blow a fuse when she finds out. My wife too prolly. All the more reason.....


So you guys like 148 grain wadcutters. What kind of velocity? I have copious amounts of Accurate No. 5 which is ok for shorter barrels like this.
Doesn’t hurt the barrels at all and it cleans right out with normal solvents. Sometimes while shooting a little bit will collect in the lands but very, very little, in which case I just have a nylon brush handy and about every couple dozen or so rounds I run the brush through and keep shooting. When done, clean as you would normally.

Give it a try. You’ll just giggle when you do. Lol. A quick extra tip for reloading wax bullets. Use your chamfering tool to cut something of a knife edge on the case mouth of the cartridge case. It helps with slicing through the paraffin block. Also, have the block of paraffin out at room temperature at least. Most brands of paraffin block comes in sheets that’s a quarter inch thick but some brands are 3/8 of an inch thick. Both work pretty good but I seem to prefer the quarter inch. I’m only shooting across the living room and it seems to stabilize well enough. If you’re shooting at paper, it punches clean little holes too, just like a double end wadcutter and will shoot respectful groups.

have fun 🤓
 

Colts4me

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Ok THAT'S awesome. Got the perfect wood stove too... Does it make a mess of the bore and cylinder? I got grandkids that might get a hoot out of that. Holy hell will their mother blow a fuse when she finds out. My wife too prolly. All the more reason.....


So you guys like 148 grain wadcutters. What kind of velocity? I have copious amounts of Accurate No. 5 which is ok for shorter barrels like this.
A lot of videos on you tube shooting wad cutters. This one's 5 minutes but pretty good.


 
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