SOLD FOR: $2525
Make: Smith & Wesson
Model: .38 Winchester Double Action
Serial Number: 113
Year of Manufacture: 1903, All frames made Pre-1899.
Caliber: .38-40 WCF (Black Powder Only)
Action Type: Top Break, Double Action / Single Action, 6-Shot Revolver
Markings: The top of the rib is marked “SMITH & WESSON SPRINGFIELD MASS. U.S.A. PAT’D JAN 17 & 24 .65 / JULY 11.65, AUG. 24.69 JULY 25.71 DEC.2.79 MAY 11&25 1880”. The butt of the grip frame, barrel latch, rear of the cylinder, front face of the ejector, and rear of the top strap are marked with the serial number “113”. The right side of the frame is marked the S&W monogram logo. The left side of the barrel is marked “.38 WINCHESTER CTG”.
Barrel Length: 6 1/2”
Sights / Optics: The front sight is a round blade pinned to the top of the rib. The rear sight is a U-notch in a rise in the barrel latch.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The grips are two-piece checkered walnut with smooth diamonds. There are some scattered nicks, dings, and compressions. The most noticeable wear is on the bottom faces. Each panel has a secondary indexing pin hole drilled into it. The checkering has rub wear and smooth spots but is mostly visible. There are no chips or cracks. Overall, the grips rate in about Very Good condition.
Type of Finish: Nickel
Finish Originality: Original
Bore Condition: The bore is dark and the rifling is surprisingly sharp where not interrupted by erosion. There are some scattered areas of pitting and erosion.
Overall Condition: This handgun retains about 15% of its metal finish. There is finish loss throughout, most of the surfaces are bright. There are some remaining areas of nickel, most noticeable on the frame at the hinge and strongest under the grips. There are some scattered areas of discoloration from previous oxidation and oxidation. There are areas of pitting and erosion, most noticeable on the cylinder and barrel. There are areas of patina. There are some scattered dings into the metal most noticeable on the right of the barrel at the front. There are some draglines and some light scratches. There are turn lines on the cylinder. The screw heads are tool marked with serviceable slots. The markings are mostly clear, some are light and worn. Overall, this handgun rates in about Good condition as Antique.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly. The cylinder locks up with very minor side-to-side play. We did not fire this handgun. As with all used firearms, a thorough cleaning may be necessary to meet your maintenance requirements.
Box, Paperwork & Accessories: Included is a Flambeau case, Smith & Wesson letter, and copies of the letter.
Our Assessment: This is Smith & Wesson .38 Winchester Double Action chambered in .38-40 Winchester. These revolvers were made from 1900-1910 but all the frames were made before 1899 according to the Jinks U.S. Treasury letter. These were available in blued or nickel finishes with 4, 5, 6, or 6 1/2 inch barrels and also had the option of service or target sights. This one is a 6 1/2″ model with a nickel finish from earlier in the production run in 1903. With so many combinations of finish, barrel length and sights available, there is no telling how rare each one is. At the time of its production run S&W was hard at work producing some of their earliest swing-out revolvers, the most successful design type to this day. Also, the .38-40 is also very similar to its parent the .44-40 never caught on or achieved the desired success. With the design type falling out of favor and the caliber quickly being eclipsed by the beast S&W unleashed in 1898, the .38 Special, the perfect storm just happened to rain squarely over the .38 Winchester Double Actions parade and only 276 of these revolvers were made. This is a nice find for the Smith and Wesson or American Frontier collector, given its wear we are sure it has some stories to tell, it would make a great addition to any collection. Please see our photos and good luck!