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S&W K-frame .38/.357; about how many made?

Bill JordanBill Jordan Member Posts: 1,402 ✭✭✭✭✭
edited April 2012 in Ask the Experts
Just curious; looked at a 4" Mod 10-6 a guy has for sale, and he wants like $500 for it and off handed,I said S&W probably made a million of them.
So, going back 1905,so, .38 & .357, fixed and adj. sights, 6 shot, blue and SS, any barrel length, do you think have been made?


  • CDMeadCDMead Member Posts: 2,141 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    Personally, I think you're a bit low.

    The serial number for the model 1905, which is basically the K frame we all know and love, hit 999999 in 1942. The serial number was replaced by the V prefix "Victory Models" of which some 800,000 were produced during World War II. Of those over 300,000 were 38 Specials.

    I would suggest that 2 million medium frame S&W 38 Specials is probaboy a conservative estimate since the cartridge was introduced in 1898.

    I hope this helps.
  • beantownshootahbeantownshootah Member Posts: 12,776 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Models 10 can still be had all day long in excellent condition on the auction site for $300 or less.

    $500 isn't a totally "crazy" price for one, but it would have to be mint in box, and/or also a more desirable variant than the common 4" tube blued one.

    In terms of pure numbers of guns made the Smith K frame is probably the most manufactured handgun in human history. With modifications, of course, you can literally trace them all the way back to the end of the 19th century. There was a time when 80% of the police in the USA carried these, and in some places police still do! And this doesn't even begin to count the untold tens of hundreds of thousands of guns put into military service all over the globe.

    Not only do I agree with CDMead, that 2 million is a "conservative" estimate, I think the true number probably exceeds 3 million.

    I'm not curious enough to actually pick up the phone and ask, but I think this would be a great question for the resident corporate Smith and Wesson historian.
  • HangfireHangfire Member Posts: 3,010 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I think Laredo Lefty has over 2 million in his collection alone !!
  • nmyersnmyers Member Posts: 16,797 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Someone once advised: "Buy real estate; they aren't making any more of it."

    Today, you might say: "Buy old Colts & S&Ws; they aren't making any more of them." Especially, minty ones.


  • 62fuelie62fuelie Member Posts: 1,068 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    The M&P/Model 10 is and has been the bread&butter revolver for S&W since the turn of the last century. I don't see many circumstances in which one would go into the $500 range. If it were a M-15, M-17, M-19 or M-66 with the adjustable sights then maybe a fine specimen would do it, I just paid $375 for a very nice M-19 2 1/2" pinned not recessed. In the M&P fixed sight configuration I would look for a Model 13 .357 just for the added flexibility.
  • Laredo LeftyLaredo Lefty Member Posts: 13,452 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by Hangfire
    I think Laredo Lefty has over 2 million in his collection alone !!

    Not quite there yet, but still trying. I haven't counted my "K" frames lately but probably 60 to 70.
  • machine gun moranmachine gun moran Member Posts: 5,198
    edited November -1
    I believe the postwar 'C' prefix went to one million, before the 'D' prefix was started. I've had 'C's from 4 digits up to well into 6 digits. The 'D' prefix eventually became '1D', '2D', etc, and similarly, the 'K' prefix morphed into '1K', '2K', etc.

    I wouldn't be surprised if the total exceeded 6 million guns.

    Pricewise, $300 for a used but decent K-frame .38 is ballpark, I bought my last one about six months ago for that (a pre-'model numbered' Combat Masterpiece). I agree that $500 is top-dollar for a still-NIB M10, perhaps $600 for an adjustable-sight K-frame. Because of the huge number (whatever it happens to be) that has been produced, those that show use cannot command a premium.
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