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Discussion Starter #1
My C&R license has arrived. What to get first ? I think I'd like
to buy some old S&W revolvers. Shooters, for plinking. Want
them to look decent, but not interested in 98% ones. Must be
over 50 years old so I can buy directly.

What are the model names for K-22 and K-38? What barrel lengths
did they come in? Do all have target sights?

What should I look for ? What should I watch out for ?


Joe
 

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Not if they are 50 years old to be C&R. Model numbers were not assigned until 1957. Before that, a K38 was a K38 and everybody knew what you were talking about. "Masterpiece" was a S&W advertising term seldom used in conversation. But we knew what a Combat Masterpiece was, and were just getting used to the Combat Magnum when they came up with flavorless numbers.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Jim Watson said:
Not if they are 50 years old to be C&R. Model numbers were not assigned until 1957. Before that, a K38 was a K38 and everybody knew what you were talking about. "Masterpiece" was a S&W advertising term seldom used in conversation. But we knew what a Combat Masterpiece was, and were just getting used to the Combat Magnum when they came up with flavorless numbers.

Interesting. So I should look for K-22 and K-38. Pre M14 and M17.


Joe
 

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Get the book, it is more complicated than that.

Before WW II, there were the K22 Outdoorsman and the Military and Police Target .38. Right before WW II they brought out the K22 Masterpiece with click adjustable sight. About a thousand made in 1940.

After WW II they "modernized" with a shorter action and ribbed barrels for the K22 Masterpiece and the K38 Masterpiece. Then they brought out the K38 Heavy Masterpiece with a wider rib to make up for the bigger holes in barrel and cylinder so the .38 and .22 would weigh the same. That happened about 1950, the 1951 Gun Digest still lists both Masterpiece and Heavy Masterpiece.

Oh, and there was also a K32, which became the Model 16 in 1957. Very uncommon, very expensive.

And I have just touched the tip of the iceberg.
How about a Single Action Masterpiece?
Plain trigger and hammer, "humpback" hammer, or target trigger and hammer?
Grips plain, Magna, or Target?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Jim Watson said:
Get the book, it is more complicated than that.

Before WW II, there were the K22 Outdoorsman and the Military and Police Target .38. Right before WW II they brought out the K22 Masterpiece with click adjustable sight. About a thousand made in 1940.

After WW II they "modernized" with a shorter action and ribbed barrels for the K22 Masterpiece and the K38 Masterpiece. Then they brought out the K38 Heavy Masterpiece with a wider rib to make up for the bigger holes in barrel and cylinder so the .38 and .22 would weigh the same. That happened about 1950, the 1951 Gun Digest still lists both Masterpiece and Heavy Masterpiece.

Oh, and there was also a K32, which became the Model 16 in 1957. Very uncommon, very expensive.

And I have just touched the tip of the iceberg.
How about a Single Action Masterpiece?
Plain trigger and hammer, "humpback" hammer, or target trigger and hammer?
Grips plain, Magna, or Target?

Okay, Jim, I'm totally paralyzed now. I'll read book before I buy
anything. Thanks for letting me know it's alot more complicated than it appears. Actually, this adds to the lore. I'll appreciate my selection more, as I will understand where it fits in the history of things.

Thanks !


Joe
 

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I will say that the least expensive

model 14 K-38 starts around $350.00 - a real sweeheart to shoot

model K-38 SA only - on gunbroker for like $525.00

model K-22 more expensive prob starts at $500.00 +

model K-32 - I just saw one in my local shop for $1999.00

I just bought a K-38 myself and it virtually shoots a one hole cloverleaf, like I said a real sweetheart to shoot. Check Gunbroker.com for prices

Roy
 

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Just to feed your fever - I 've had my K-38 since 1978. I bought it new. I can't think of any gun I've had longer - I've bought traded and sold quite a few guns over the years, but that one remains. That should tell you something!

:cool:
 

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And just to make you squirm, I have a K-22 6" that is a great shooting and looking revolver.
 

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At one time I too had a genuine K-38. It was my first .38 spl and I foolishly thought they all shot that well. I sold it to fund the purchase of a mod 27 when I lusted after magnums and noise. Perhaps the worst mistake of my gun buying/selling lifetime.

The 27, while nice, was only a so-so shooter compared to the K-38...with the K, one hole 6 shot groups were pretty effortless (and I'm not that good a shot).

Lesson learned? When you find an exceptional shooter, never, EVER let it go.
 

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Check this out:

http://www.surplusrifle.com/shooting2005/howtogetyourcurionrelicffl03/index.asp

Just because a firearm is more than 50 years old does not necessarily qualify it for purchase by C&R. It has to be on the list.

This is the applicable statement I lifted from the above link:

A C&R license allows you to purchase rifles, pistols, shotguns and machineguns (yep, there are some of them too) that are on the ATF C&R list. Basically, these are weapons that are at least 50 years or older. HOWEVER, just because a weapon is 50 or more years old, does not make it an automatic C&R eligible weapon. ATF has a web page that lists all of the C&R eligible weapons at:

http://www.atf.gov/firearms/curios/index.htm
 

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Just to add fuel to the fire - S&W is still offering the Model 67 - which is a stainless steel 4" .38 Special. Almost like the K-38 but a bit easier to stick under a jacket, if need be.
It's a stainless version of the old M-15 which was the Combat Masterpiece - a 4" K-38.
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
Thanks guys for all the info. I've decided against the K-38.
It appears to me that a gun's being "C&R elligible" jacks the
price up a few hundred. So I'm shopping for a 14-3 or -4.
Looking for a shooter, anyway. Paying premium for older gun
would discourage shooting it.


Joe
 

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50+ years old is just one of the criteria. Newer guns are eligible, too.

Here is the relevant text from the definitions in 27 CFR 178.11:

Curios or relics. Firearms which are of special interest to collectors by reason of some quality other than is associated with firearms intended for sporting use or as offensive or defensive weapons. To be recognized as curios or relics, firearms must fall within one of the following categories:
(a) Firearms which were manufactured at least 50 years prior to the current date, but not including replicas thereof;
(b) Firearms which are certified by the curator of a municipal, State, or Federal museum which exhibits firearms to be curios or relics of museum interest; and
(c) Any other firearms which derive a substantial part of their monetary value from the fact that they are novel, rare, bizarre, or because of their association with some historical figure, period, or event. Proof of qualification of a particular firearm under this category may be established by evidence of present value and evidence that like firearms are not available except as collector's items, or that the value of like firearms available in ordinary commercial channels is substantially less.
Thus, plenty of newer guns are on the list; for example, commemorative guns like 150th Year S&W's from 2002, all models of Bren Tens from the 80's, etc.
 

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Funny thing about gun shopping: you find the best deals when you least expect it. You may have a prioritized list, but if you're really looking, you seldom find them in that order. Be flexible, but don't compromise. IME, it is seldom wise to try to "make a silk purse out of a sow's ear".

The oldest S&W I own was made in 1968, but they are all shooters. While I don't own a Model 14, I do have a Model 17 - 6" bbl and a Model 10 - 5" bbl. If I find a good deal on a nice Model 14 - 6" I'll buy it, but until then I'll enjoy the guns I own.

Just my $0.02, but enjoy the hunt!
 

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Oh yes, I know what you mean about the list and not finding things in your exact order. I was looking for a new carry gun, searching some smaller shops and I ran across a shop going out of business. Low and behold he had a model pristine and maybe unfired model 14 in his case, was asking $475.00, he saw I was eyeing it rather closely, well after some haggeling and a call to the owner of the gun (it was on consignment) I walked out with my new model 14 for well under $300.00. Considering I prob would have paid the full price for it anyways, a real deal in any case for what I paid for it.

 
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