My First Gun
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Old 09-22-2009, 02:22 AM   #1
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Default My First Gun

Hi, everyone. My name is Paul, and I just got a gun!

Backstory: My grandmother recently passed away, and my mother called me to ask if there was anything in the house that I wanted. I couldn't think of anything off the top of my head, but asked her to set aside anything she thought I might like. A few hours later, she called asking if I would be interested in getting her grandfather's Chicago Police service revolver. I knew that he had given it to them at some point back in the 60's "just in case," but no one ever wanted it or used it. Everyone in the family knew the gun was in the house, but we assumed it was long lost. The theory I was familiar with was that my great grandfather had found it on a dead guy and pocketed it, but now everyone says that it was his service revolver. Anyway, they found it fully loaded in a closet inside a leather holster. My uncle got rid of the bullets, but I got the gun and holster. I've never owned a gun before, so I had some questions for everyone here.

1. What kind of gun do I have?



I'm estimating that it's from the 1950's or 1960's. The barrel says ".38 S.&W. CTG." and there are five chambers. I'd like to do some research to see if it was indeed a Chicago Police weapon or just something my great grandpa swiped from a perp.

2. How will I know if it is in any condition to be fired? I looked it over pretty thoroughly, and there doesn't seem to be any significant wear on it. The metal is completely untarnished, and there are minimal scorch marks near the firing pin and inside the chambers and barrel. Because it hasn't been fired in upwards of 40 years, will that cause a problem? I dry fired it a few times, and it all seemed to work fine.

3. This is mainly for anyone who lives in Illinois. I know that I have to get a FOID card before I can take it to the range, much less own it legally. Is there anything else I should do before I take it out? I did some shooting back when I was a Boy Scout (rife and shotgun), so I'm familiar with range safety and etiquette, but nothing pistol-related. My other question deals with transportation. The law says that it has to be in some kind of shipping container when I take it out of the house. Is there a specific type of box I need, or will a cardboard box work?

Thanks in advance for any answers that come through. I look forward to becoming more active in the firearms community. Also, if anyone can reccomend a good range in the Chicago area, I would appreciate it.

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Old 09-22-2009, 02:58 AM   #2
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you could take it to a gunsmith and have them check it out for you, or even a gun store.the gun store can probably get it registerd to you, just make sure you let them know you would like the m to check out a gun before you pull it out or even carry it in a gun store.

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Old 09-22-2009, 03:17 AM   #3
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A) Probably not a 'service' arm due to the short barrel.

B) May be a 'back-up' to the service arm.

C) Local Sheriff can tell you if it is stolen or maybe who is the original buyer. If you have to register the arm, they can do it as well.

D) If you don't want it, send it to me. I will make sure it gets the love it needs.

E) That is all.

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Old 09-22-2009, 03:59 AM   #4
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Looks pretty good for a 40 year old gun.


Revolvers are known to keep well. Just go to a gun smith first and get it checked out.

If it's good get a set of houge rubber grips and a CCW and carry that sucka.

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Old 09-22-2009, 04:06 AM   #5
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I'm not 100% certain, but it looks like a Smith & Wesson I frame hand ejector model, possibly an early Chiefs Special, pre model 37. It's a pinned barrel and likely a recessed cylinder.

Open the cylinder and on the inside of the frame towards the barrel will be some numbers. It should be something like 10-2 or whatever.

A photo of the other side of the revolver would help tremendously so we could see the screws.

It was more than likely his back up gun.

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Old 09-22-2009, 04:07 AM   #6
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I don't know about a CCW. I go to school in NYC, and they're not real big on the handguns here.

As far as detail photos go, I only had my cell phone camera with me when I was home for the weekend. I'll e-mail my dad and see if he can get some good shots with his camera.

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Old 09-22-2009, 04:13 AM   #7
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Ask him to get that number from inside the frame. The serial number would help date and identify it. Just don't reveal the last two digits for privacy.

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Old 09-22-2009, 04:15 AM   #8
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Is the serial number the one on the bottom of the grip?

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Old 09-22-2009, 04:18 AM   #9
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That's the number. I'm no expert, but I am partial to Smiths and I have the newest edition of the Standard Catalog of Smith & Wesson.

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Old 09-22-2009, 04:49 AM   #10
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I can't tell you the details regarding the exact type of gun that it is, but I can help you with Illinois gun laws a bit.

First, you need to apply for a FOID card from the state police. You can find a form on the state police web site. I believe it costs $10 for 10 yrs. You don't need to register guns in Illinois. Second, remember that any handgun is illegal in the Chicago city limits. (the want us all to be victims). As for transportation, it just needs to be in some container, unloaded, with all ammo separated. You can find a decent handgun bag/case for less than $20 (likely less than $10) at any gun shop or gander mountain, cabelas, or bass pro shop. Apply for that FOID card ASAP. Don't even think about transporting it until you have the card. It's not worth losing the right to own a gun for the rest of your life. Hope that helps a bit.

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