I am brand new to this site so if this is posted in the wrong place please excuse my ignorance. I recently aquired a 38 special collection and am trying to identify one of the pistols. The etching in the metal is so faded you can hardly read it. What you can read is as follows: "38 S&W Special, U.S. Service. . . " that's about it. The serial number is (as best I can tell) 37197. It has a black handle that seems rather small for the handgun with the S&W logo at the top. The gun has a faded S&W logo on it as well. I was wondering if anyone may consider sharing a little knowledge on it if possible. I am a semi-collector recently new to the FFL business and like to know exactly what's in my collection. Thank you in advance, Joe Scott
could be a M&P(model 10). Where are the pictures? What's the barrel length? Is it a 6 shot or a 5 shot? Does it have the US "flaming bomb" stamp? When you swing out the cylinder is anything stamped on the part of the frame that is then visible?
If it is a 5-shot .38, it is probably a J-frame S&W - like the "Chief's Special". That's why the grip looks small.
There weren't many of these with 4 inch barrels, 3 inch was much more common. It was probably issued by one of the federal security services. I think the US postal service inspectors carried something like this in the 1940's and 50's.