Smith And Wesson Hand Ejector Serial Numbers

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Militaryand Police Hand Ejector

Model of 1905, .38 Special

A continuation of.38 M&P Hand Ejector series. Built from 1905 to 1906. Available in 4', 5', 6' and 6.5' barrels. Finished in blue or nickel, with round or square butt. The.38-caliber serial number range 0, with about 10,800 produced. NOTE: Prices for the following four variations will be the same as those noted above. Smith Wesson Dates Of Manufacture From Serial Numbers DOWNLOAD. Property smith & wesson.38 hand ejector m&p military & police pre-victory model.38spl 1905 4th change 5' revolver, circa 1942. Serial number '960,XXX' with no V p.Click for more info Seller: David Condon, Inc. Make: Smith and Wesson Model:.44 Hand Ejector 4th Model Target (Pre-Model 24) Serial Number: S145472 Year of Manufacture: 1955-1956 (Standard Catalog of S&W, 3rd Edition) Caliber:.44 Special Action Type: Single and Double Action with Swing-Out Cylinder Markings: The left side of the barrel is marked “Smith & Wesson”. The right side of the.

writtenand photographed by Mike Cumpston

editedby John Dunn

Smith and wesson hand ejector serial numbers lookup

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TheM&P is frequently cited as the most prolifically manufactured handgun inhistory and it certainly did define the double action revolver during the 20thCentury. A pocket history is in order and I will dwell on certain high points ofits development rather than attempting to cover the many evolutionary changes inthe design. The history is obligatory--although off-repeated and undoubtedlyboring to those familiar with the subject.

It appears that themodern, service caliber swing-cylinder, hand-ejector revolver dates from theColt Army and Navy Models of 1889-1892 then chambered for the .38 Long ColtCartridge. The Smith and Wesson First Model Hand Ejector Military and Policecame out in 1899 and closely resembled the Colt in size and function. Like theColts, this First Smith and Wesson had a free standing ejector rod and thecylinder locked into the frame at the breach only. The .38 Long Colt Cartridgewas a step up from the very early .38 Colt which became known as the .38 ShortColt. The switch was made from a case diameter healed bullet much like that ofthe current .22 Long Rifle to a hollow based round nosed projectile of 150grains. The hope was that the bullet would slug up to fit the bore and affordsome degree of accuracy. Loaded over 18 grains of black powder, the nominalvelocity is reported in the mid to high 700 fps range. It was a cartridge thatcould be expected to lob a bullet well into and frequently, all the way througha human torso and was reported to be less intimidating than the large borerevolvers previously issued to minimally trained military and police personnel.

The .38 doubleactions saw some use in the Philippine Campaign of 1899 and afterward and therewere reports of inadequate performance on the highly motivated and reportedlydrug enhanced Moro adversary.

This is the reportedmotivating factor for the development of the .38 Special Cartridge and theimproved Hand-Ejector 2nd Model of 1902. The Special had a slightlyelongated case and a 158-grain round nosed bullet over 21 grains of blackpowder. Velocity is reported at 870 fps but it is notable that current smokelesspowder cartridges frequently show velocities in the high 700 fps range. Somesources report that examples of the First Model M&P of 1899 were chamberedfor the Special cartridge making it possible that the round actually predatesits official introduction in 1902. The hand ejector model of 1902 and itssuccessors had a front locking lug under the barrel and a number of importantaction changes took place over the next several years. The Model 1905incorporated a passive hammer block in the '4th Change'variation of 1915. Heat treating of cylinders began in 1919 and, in 1922 thefront sight and rear sight groove were widened for better visibility. From 1915through 1940 (or 1942 in some references) changes were relatively minor. Serialnumbers began with the First Model of 1899 and reached about 700,000 beforeWorld War II. Barrel length options on the basic service revolver included 2(1933), 4, 5 and six inches with the five inch length being particularlypopular.

The design underwentfurther lock-work changes directly after WWII with linear descendents of theM&P remaining in production into the 21st Century.

AK Church ( characterized this model as being so common as to slip into the woodwork.Everybody from Bogart to Jungle Jim to Rocket Man had one and the M&P becamethe archetype handgun in the public eye for most of the last century. Itsassociation with snap-brimmed hats, flap holsters and pith helmets, not tomention police uniforms sent many a potential handgun buyer to the hardwarestore in search of 'one of those .38 Police Specials.'

My present exampleof the M&P is a Model of 1905 4th change produced in 1938 or 39equipped with a 4' barrel and the original numbered service type stocks. Itretains most of its high polished commercial finish and appears to have spentmuch of its life span holstered in a drawer. It has been fired, cycled andhandled very little and the impression is that the action is mechanically new.The single action trigger breaks at between 3.5 and 4 pounds and the cylinderreaches full lock-up well before double action release. Overall handling andshooting characteristics are very much like those of my old 1947 5' barrelM&P and a 6' Model 10 from 1958 or 59. If anything, the current exampleis less-used than the others and is a bit less smooth at the end of the doubleaction cycle. There is no evidence that anyone has removed the side-plate andtampered with the action. Upon first inspection, I primed several cases with CCImagnum pistol primers and tried the double action. One primer of six detonatedgiving rise to the possibility that (1) somebody had shortened the mainspringstrain screw or, more likely (2) like many old and modern double actionrevolvers, it was never designed to function against the unreasonably tough CCIprimer cups. I wondered if possibly the leaf mainspring might have lost some ofits strength during the past 64 years. This idea was shot down by premierpistolsmith, Alex Hamilton who said 'your mainspring will last forever…'

I found a spentlarge pistol primer with the anvil gone and capped the strain screw. Theadditional purchase proved a positive fix.


Shooting It

There is now abewildering array of .38 Special load variations. The standard loading in thefirst half of the 20th Century was a smokeless powder loading of the158 grain lead round nose. There was a 'Super Police' loading of around nosed 200-grain bullet, a metal capped RN and the 148-grain wadcuttertarget load. The 'High Speed' or 38-44 loads as well as the sharppointed jacketed 150grain metal piercing load were recommended for the largerframe heavy duty revolvers. It is widely held that the M&P revolvers thatpredate the Model 10 of the late 1950s are happier off with the standardpressure load not exceeding 15,000 pounds per square inch. Notably, by 1959Speer was testing 18,000 PSI loads in K-frame revolvers and I used a bunch ofthese loads in my old early post-war model. This was an accepted practice at thetime but not one I care to repeat or recommend with my vintage 1905 4thChange. Accordingly, I concocted several loads matching nominal factoryperformance.


Velocity /Energy

Ex Spread 5 rnds

Groups 25 Yards

2.7 Bullseye 148 wc

676 150



158 c/swc 3.5 Bullseye

755 200



158c/swc 3.5 700x

855 257



158 Hornady 4.3 Unique

751 197



The cast semi-wadcutterover 3.5 Bullseye and the swaged Hornady SWC over 4.3 Unique closely duplicateactual velocities I have gotten with modern factory round nose loading. The 700Xload approaches the published velocity of the same factory loads. The 2.7Bullseye /cast wadcutter load is a traditional bulls eye shooter's standard withmany target shooters upping the charge a bit for the 50 yard segment of the NRAbulls eye matches. These loads will do everything I expect of the vintageK-frame revolver. The present example preferred the wadcutter and swaged Hornadybullet loads over the cast SWCs, turning in two-inch 25-yard groups from mybench set-up.

………And a 2' Smith and Wesson Bodyguard

While putting together material on the M&P, I became temporary custodian of a Smith Airweight BodyGuard. This is the version of the J-Frame Chief’s Special with the hammer shrouded but not completely enclosed as on the Centennial Model. This is aluminum –frame 14.5 oz five shooter designed for pocket or hand warmer carry. Because of the small size and light weight, it was often recommended as a woman’s gun- the recommendation reflecting a certain lack of clarity in regard to female shooters and the shooting characteristics of extremely light-weight firearms.

The present example showed signs of having been fired on three chambers only with two of the chamber faces showing no indication of powder burn or any application of cleaning abrasive on the nickel plate. It develops that the factory assembler had neglected to set the handspring and the cylinder did advance at all when the trigger was cycled. I set this right and found that the BG had a nice smooth, double action. Having significant experience with a couple of varieties of Chief’s Special and no memory of ever firing a body guard or yet an alloy frame snub, I was definitely interested. I proceeded to remedy this with fifty rounds of the 4.3 Unique/ 158 load. As a matter of interest, my records show velocities from two inch snubs with 158 grain factory round nose to range from the low to mid 600 feet per second. The 200 grain Super Police rounds recorded 580 fps in a Chief’s Special. These heavier bullets were sometimes chosen because, while they travel point forward in flight, they began to yaw and tumble upon impact –possibly causing a larger crush cavity. Smith and Wesson was emphatic and consistent in warning against any use of +P ammunition in the alloy guns.

Recoil with the factory approximate rounds was jarring enough to take it out of the learner’s gun category and, by the end of fifty rounds; I had had about as much fun as I could stand. Nevertheless, range performance was gratifying. I began at three and five yards drawing from my duster pocket and firing single-handed point shoulder at the TXTP target and the moved to seven and ten yards where I went to a two handed hold and sighted double action fire. At these short ranges, the quick doubles all landed in an A-Zone spread.

Continuing double action at 15 yards, I widened the group just a bit but continued with solid center mass hits. At 25 yards, I put four out of ten rounds a couple of inches below the center five ring but the hits were still well centered with the other six rounds joining the earlier short range cluster.

While I didn’t do any single action shooting with this revolver, I noticed that the hammer spur is just as accessible as that of the fully exposed Chief’s Special. This is a positive point as I have found that torso hits can be had with the two inch revolvers all the way back to fifty yards when the shooter drops to prone and uses the single action option.

Designed to be carried much-shot little, the BodyGuard and other snubs are capable of effective accuracy well beyond the usual range for defensive shooting. At closer ranges, great speed and tightly centered multiple hits are available to the reasonably experienced shooter.

This appears to beabout the best accuracy I can produce with the 4' revolver--which is tosay, not quite up to the full potential of the gun-loads. During bench shooting,I saw that the gun was printing several inches low at

25 yards. The same wastrue of my earlier five and six inch models. It becomes necessary to cover thedesired point of impact with the sight picture during practical shooting andmakes the revolver suitable for small game hunting at close range only. It alsothrows an important crimp into enjoyable precision bulls eye shooting at theusual distances.

Said limitationsbeing what they are, I set out to explore what of a practical and enjoyablenature might be gleaned from the M&P. When my Model 1905 4thChange came out of the factory at the tail end of the Great Depression, whatformal handgun training that existed leaned heavily toward the techniques ofbulls eye shooting. The gun was extended from a single hand and fired singleaction to take advantage of the light and short trigger pull. In contrast tocurrent practical training the targets were placed at great distance – 20 to25 yards at the shortest and consisted of a primary aiming point somewhatsmaller than the common tea saucer. The cursory nature of most handgun trainingprograms combined with the approximate nature of fixed sight regulation and suchmatters as the expense of ammunition gave rise to such cultural truisms as, 'Can’tnobody hit nothin’ with no pistol! Pistols is inaccrit!'

While few peopleapproached anything like proficiency with the short gun, an enthusiast with amodicum of practice could give the lie to the generally held perspective. Thiswould be particularly true if the bygone shooter was equipped with an M&P.The single action break of under 4 pounds coupled with a double action pull inthe 11 to 12 pound range compares favorably with most service actions of historywhich, more often than not, exhibited single action trigger pulls of six poundsand more and double actions-where present- in the 15-17 pound range.

After using up oneof the TXTP silhouette targets in general familiarization, I set one at 25 yardsand began to shoot 'for the record.' That the historic lack of respectfor the double-action firing mode persisted into the late 1930s was evident inthat the hump-backed hammer at rest obscured much of the rear sight notch. Thishold-over from the double actions of the 19th Century made itnecessary to refine the sight picture after initiation of the DA stroke. Thisproved no real impediment to effective one-handed double action shooting at 25yards. The rounds, launched with a straight--through pull impacted, with oneexception, in the high scoring five ring of the target. I made an earlycorrection to move the group upward and to the right, but even so, the majorityof the shots would have A-Zoned one of the IPSC targets. The overall geometry ofthe revolver and notably a favorable trigger reach contributed to shot breaks abit over the one-second mark. Recoil with the frame-fitting service stocks madeitself known on my thumb joint but did not approach the painful over the courseof several extended shooting sessions. Two-handed twenty-five yard double actionshooting narrowed group size but perhaps not to the degree that might beexpected. In the course of any practice session, I like to do a bit of off-handsingle action shooting trying for precise placement at 25 yards or thereabout. Icombine this with some work on the head segment of the targets when shootingsilhouettes. One- or two-handed single action shooting lands almost all shotssome where in the head or neck region.

In the earlyshooting session, I moved the Silhouette back to fifty yards and fired twelverounds one-handed single action using the head as an aiming point. Eleven of thetwelve rounds impacted the 5 zone while one round landed about 4' outsidethe silhouette and over the left shoulder. The Hand Ejector Military and PoliceModel of 1905 4th Change accomplished the above described process ina confidence building and satisfactory manner. Group sizes are somewhat largerthan I have come to expect firing the same drill with an accurate 1911 .45 or aheavier Smith or Ruger revolver. On the plus side, the overall ergonomics of therevolver provide a speed advantage over the larger cylinder guns and just aboutequals that of the self-loader. This is not a shabby testament to a compactsidearm that, at 30oz or a bit less, is eleven or twelve ounces lighter than therevolvers I wear about on a daily basis.

The M&P is noless well suited to the more modern shooting modes. Drawing from strong sideconcealment, I fired a series of doubles from three and seven yards. Initialshots were in the 1.5 to less than 2 second range while I guess my shotintervals to be in the .20 to .30 second range. Precisely aimed double actionshots into the head from seven yards produced a nasty twelve round ulcer thatstood testament to the surgical capabilities of the old handgun.

Smith And Wesson Hand Ejector Serial NumbersSmith And Wesson Hand Ejector Serial Numbers

A sixty (or eveneighty) year old hand-ejector revolver gives up very little in comparison withthe revolvers of the present time. My example retailed for $33 in the 1940Stoeger Catalog, which translates to $426.86 in Y2K fiat dollars. This iscomparable to current prices of the M&P progeny representing a pretty goodweeks’ salary then and now. Mine proves a particular bargain at $250. This isright in line with the current Blue Book estimate--no ad valorum tacked on forsuch intangibles as the commercial carbona blue finish, the forged lockwork, thehand polishing and the finely checkered figured walnut grips. A modernnostalgia-piece knock-off of the M&P recently went out of the SmithPerformance Center to one of the major distributors. It attempted to recreatethe flavor of the old M&P using modern technology with the added flourish ofa color case-hardened frame in the same style as the more recent HeritageSeries. The retail bite of $700 to $1,000 is motivation enough for the modernshopper to direct a bit more attention to the old Hand-Ejectors than hashere-to-fore been the case.

Further Notes onthe .38 Special Cartridge:

With some regularityit is demonstrated that a person shot with a given firearm will not react in theexpected manner. The standard operating procedure is to fall down and quitwhatever you were doing immediately prior to being shot. When this does nothappen, there is much consternation and all the wrappings and trappings of'cognitive dissonance' come into play. The ubiquitous nature of the.38 Special has allowed it to fail (and succeed) in its assigned role perhapsmore than any other round in history. Never mind that everything from the .22Short through the .44 Magnum demonstrate failures to stop on reasonably frequentoccasions, the .38, by virtue of its universal distribution quickly developed areputation as a poor stopper. That it also developed a reputation as a goodstopper is beside the point.

Recently, I read astory about an early 20th century lawman who entered a bar and shotdown five or six gentleman killing them outright and immediately with his model1902 M&P Second Model loaded with black powder round nosed CTGs. ColonelCharles Askins described killing two men with the .38 RN load and was quitedelighted with the results. More recently, Bernard Goetz plugged four gang-bangerson a New York train and every one of them lived to admit that they had beenplanning to jack him with their sharpened screwdrivers and did not do so onlybecause they were shot. The civil rights of the disadvantaged youths werevindicated when a New York jury convicted Goetz of feloniously shooting themwith an illegally carried firearm. Many things have been written on the subjectof stopping power as it applies to the traditional .38 Special load and many ofthem are not true. Likewise many of them are true and it becomes a thankless,life-long task figuring out which is which. Meanwhile, the reader is requestedto develop his own personal theory of stopping power and his own take on theutility of the .38 Special.

The 1905 M&P 4thChange was produced in huge and bewildering numbers. Assistance in dating thisexample was provided by:

bruce hmx
wheelgunner 610


Smith And Wesson 32 Revolver Serial Number


Who pulled out theirreference books, personal revolvers and factory provenance letters to narrow theproduction period of number 667,XXX to 1938-39.

Thanks is also dueto AK Church (not his real name) who wrote the reference piece located at:

Smith and wesson hand ejector serial numbers

Sigur ros piano sheet music.

His shootingimpressions of the M&P and Model 10 were much appreciated.

As usual the smartwork and editorial oversight is provided by Mr. John Dunn, the Lone Gunman whooccupies the Chair of the Creative Cybercide Foundation also located at thisaddress.

Mr. Miles Fortishimself provides the bandwidth and willingness to host and publish this andother ramblings of your humble correspondent and his indulgence is appreciated.

Historicalreferences are drawn, in part from W.H.B. Smith’s Book of Pistols andRevolvers and; Sixguns by Elmer Keith. Other sources, as well, contribute to thehistorical data and it may be important to note that none of them are in perfectagreement.

S&w 32 Hand Ejector

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