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Senior Member

1558 Posts

Posted - 12/02/2017 :  11:23:50 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote

Purchased a S&W Model 1905 4th Change in the K-200 Serial Number Range (38 S&W). Somebody has reamed the cylinder out to 38 Special and obliterated the cylinder serial number. Can'y tell if the changes were professionally executed. Didn't restamp the barrel either. I bought it to secure a proper pair of grips for another pistol.


Should I sell/scrap/part-out a pistol which is otherwise excellent condition?

Cancer Fighter

7755 Posts

Posted - 12/02/2017 :  11:56:02 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
An oem cylinder from numrich makes it a shooter again???

Would you shoot it or use it for practice / get a use from it...

Allowing it to reenter the market intact and together almost guarantees that after you somebody will shoot the wrong ammo in it and not use the required safety gear or caution.

And it will grenade on a user at some point.

If for a reasonable price and investment in time you can pit it right and you are willing to shoot it and enjoy it than have at it.

But if your done with it that strip it down and part it out.

Numrich or Jack first might take it for parts purposes



What other dungeon is so dark as ones own heart, what jailer so inexorable as ones own mind.

Nothing gold can stay. Nature's first green is gold. Her hardest hue to hold. Her early leafs flower. But only so an hour. Than leaf subsides to leaf. So eden sank to grief. So dawn goes down today. Nothing gold can stay. (Robert Frost)
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Advanced Member

5588 Posts

Posted - 12/03/2017 :  01:02:07 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
38 Special will shoot poorly in a 38 S&W barrel. I doubt the cylinder will hold up long and not long at all with a +p's.

Being a shooter not a collector, I vote to part it out and maybe save a shooter. Even if you fix it 38 S&W isn't much of a cartridge for any real use IMHO.
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Advanced Member

7527 Posts

Posted - 12/03/2017 :  01:20:05 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
the 38 special is a smaller diameter then the 38 S&W and also a smaller diameter bullet which is one reason for accuracy issues using the 38 S&W barrel, I am wondering why it was reamed out larger.

tired not retired !
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Advanced Member

10543 Posts

Posted - 12/04/2017 :  08:30:47 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
"I am wondering why it was reamed out larger."

I think he meant "longer" (so the 38SP will fully enter the cylinder).

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Advanced Member

14452 Posts

Posted - 12/09/2017 :  12:56:54 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I don't have the patience to part things out. I would either get another 38S&W cyl or sell it as is.

Semper Fi

Remember Ruby Ridge.

Check out what I've got on the block here at GunBroker!

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Hawk Carse
Advanced Member

4163 Posts

Posted - 12/09/2017 :  2:04:48 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
There were several barge loads of British Service Revolvers reamed to accept .38 Special for surplus sale in the Colonies.

I don't know if anybody has ever shot one for accuracy or durability to test the effect of .002" in the barrel and .005" in the chamber, but the ones done in England by outfits like Cogswell and Harrison and Parker Hale had to be proof tested just like a new gun in the caliber stated. Proof mark with 1.16 instead of .767 shows that proof test was done after rechambering.

Might make an interesting project, real shooting tests instead of recycled Internet Lore.
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985 Posts

Posted - 12/09/2017 :  3:46:50 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
In the GB sales section there are pages of .38 Spl. barrels, many in the $60-80 range. This may be another way to deal with the bore diameter difference. Either way the age of the revolver will require that any shooter respect its age and pressure limitations. I would stick with the good old wadcutter load - 148 grain lead with 2.7 grains of Bullseye.

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Advanced Member

13635 Posts

Posted - 12/11/2017 :  12:23:27 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
This is not "that" gun, but its my understanding that the "lend/lease" WWI era 38/200 k-frames used the same .357 caliber barrels as the normal .38 special.

I'd be more concerned about legality of possessing a gun with an obliterated serial number than any safety issue of firing .38 specials through this gun.

Should I sell/scrap/part-out a pistol which is otherwise excellent condition?

See above.
I wouldn't hold onto it.

Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former.
-Albert Einstein
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Hawk Carse
Advanced Member

4163 Posts

Posted - 12/11/2017 :  1:11:13 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
obliterated the cylinder serial number

Meaningless. If the gun still has the original serial number on the butt, it is legal.
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