SOLD FOR: $1,406
Make: Smith & Wesson
Model: 40, Centennial
Serial Number: L2233
Year of Manufacture: 1973
Caliber: .38 Special
Action Type: 5-Shot, Double Action Only, Fluted Swing-Out Cylinder Revolver.
Markings: The left side of the barrel is marked “SMITH & WESSON”, the right is marked “.38 S.&W. SPL”. The left side of the frame is marked with S&W’s monogram logo, the right is marked with the four line Marcas Registradas. The left side of the grip frame is marked “G11 / 21494”, the butt is marked with the serial number, the right is marked “K” in triangle and “W” in circle. The yoke cut is marked “MOD 40”, the yoke is marked “21494 / I / G11” with a three leaf clover. The underside of the ejector star is marked “L”. The metal surfaces have about 80-82% scroll engraving coverage, with six pedal flowers that slightly resemble dahlias, which have gold inlay, please see our pictures of this beautiful pistol!
Barrel Length: 2”
Sights / Optics: The front sight is a serrated ramp blade that is integral to the barrel’s thin solid rib. The rear sight is a square notch, sitting in front of a “U” channel, milled into the top strap of the frame.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The grips are S&W high horn smooth panels with silver-colored S&W monogram medallions. The grips are made from bone and have a complimenting tone variation, please see our pictures. The right panel has a crack extending rearward from the medallion as photographed. The stocks show light scuffs and some small compressions at the butt. The grips rate in about Good overall condition.
Type of Finish: Blued, with Gold Inlaid Flower Accents & Case Colored Trigger.
Finish Originality: Refinished
Bore Condition: The bore is light gray and the rifling is pronounced, showing some light to moderate wear. There are some spots of pin prick erosion in the bore at about mid length.
Overall Condition: This handgun retains about 90% of its metal finish. The balance is shown by some light patina forming within the engraved portions and some small nicks on the grip safety. The barrel and cylinder are shifting to a plum patina and the un-engraved metal, just fore of the trigger guard, shows small spots of surface oxidation. The metal under portions of the finish show some cleaning marks; the front strap of the grip frame has some spots of frosting emerging. The screw heads show evidence of screwdriver tooling. The markings are crisp. Overall, this handgun rates in about Very Good – Fine condition.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly. There is light play in the chambers during full lockup with no measurable back play. The pistol fires in Double Action Only (DAO) and features a grip safety; the hammer is shrouded by the frame. We did not fire this handgun. As with all used firearms, a thorough cleaning may be necessary to meet your maintenance standards.
Box, Paperwork & Accessories: Included is a two page letter from Smith & Wesson regarding this pistol’s history; page one gives a history of the Model 40; the second page confirms a factory ship date of April 23, 1973 with a delivery to Baker & Hamilton Co., in San Francisco, California. This was one of five pistols in the shipment, the pistol was originally blued, and was engraved / refinished outside of the factory. The letters rate in Excellent condition. Also included is a two piece blue and gray Bangor Punta S&W box with blue metal corners; the box is not original to this pistol and has a heavily discolored piece of paper, taped to the end label; underneath the paper reveals that the box was originally for a 22/32 Kit Pistol. The box has losses to the material and separation at some of the corners on the lid and lower portion; there are cracks in the material and some discoloration, please see our photographs. Also included is a sheet of heavily wrinkled wax paper; these two items rate in Fair condition.
Our Assessment: This is a beautifully engraved Smith & Wesson Model 40 Centennial in .38 Special, featuring fine scroll work and ten gold inlaid six-pedal flowers, which appear to be dahlias. The revolver has about 90% of its finish remaining with the balance represented by some scattered scuff marks, patina emerging in some of the engraving work and some spots of frosting / surface oxidation on un-engraved portions. The bore is bright with pronounced but moderately worn rifling and some spots of pin prick erosion. Included is a two page factory report which tells us the pistol was shipped to San Francisco in 1973 with a blue, non-engraved finish. The pistol was engraved and refinished outside of the factory but the work was done well. The horn grips have small marks, the right panel has a crack extending rearward from the medallion but remains an attractive set. A non-original S&W box is included as photographed. This would be a nice addition to any collection.