I have a 38 Special that was given to me years ago. One side says 38 S&W Special CTG. The other side has Smith Wesson Springfield Mass. U.S.A. and a bunch of pat'd dates. The serial number is 129XXX. I would like to know the model number and year it was made.
It may not have a model number under the crane. Judging by the large
knob on the ejector rod, it's an early gun. If I had to guess, I would
say it's a "38 hand ejector" or possible a early "38 Military and Police".
Eventually the gun became the model 10.
And, true, its only been in recent years that Models numbers were used. The factory model numbers were never listed as catalog numbers. The factory used the frame size and bore diameter, plus "T" for target sights. The Model 1950 .44 Target had the model number of "N-430T" for example.
Interesting string of comments. I have some additional information. There is a number on the crane "1384". It is a .38 Special with a hand ejector and 4" barrel.
Thanks for your interest,