Smith & Wesson K38 Model 14-3

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I was in need of some retail therapy today, so I picked up this sweet Smith at my local "we've got every oddball classic you can think of cause I'm an old duffer gun nut" gun shop. It's a Smith & Wesson K38 Model 14-3 38 Special, lightly used in its original box, 6 inch barrel. I had been holding out for a true K38 (pre-14), but I gave in and got this one. I love Smith revolvers, and this is the first one I've had in years. I plan to use it for the centerfire component at my local bullseye league. Does anyone else have/use this model revolver? Thoughts?

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OP
HuckleberryFun
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I have the same revolver, S&W 14-3. Mine came like-new-in-the-box too, but without the target grips which I have since added. Great pistol, shoots like a dream. I'll pass mine along to my grandson some day --and it will still be shooting fine.
Nice. What kind of loads do you prefer for it? I'm looking at starting out with 158gr LRN for a target load, but after much experimenting end up with something else. ;)
 

kenboy

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Nice. I know this is not a for sale add but somebody has to ask-HOW MUCH $? Reference sake for current values. :)
 

Mikej

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Man, I love me some S&W revolvers! It's the wood grips, get me every time.

Not knowing every model that S&W came up with over the years I had to look up what a M14 was. There are sure some dogs at the various on-line retailers. One was going for $595.00 that had someones TX dl numbers engraved on the barrel! :eek: That gun looks pristine! That would have drawn me in to! Do you have the manufacture date on that?
 
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HuckleberryFun
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Man, I love me some S&W revolvers! It's the wood grips, get me every time.

Not knowing every model that S&W came up with over the years I had to look up what a M14 was. There are sure some dogs at the various on-line retailers. One was going for $595.00 that had someones TX dl numbers engraved on the barrel! :eek: That gun looks pristine! That would have drawn me in to! Do you have the manufacture date on that?
No manufacture date yet. Smith serial numbers are, for whatever reason, harder to look up with no "go to" reference book that I know of. I'm guessing mine was made in the 60s (maybe 70s). When I know for sure I'll post another reply in this thread.
 

Mikej

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When I got my grandpa's pre modle 10 I sent an e-mail to S&W with serial # and specs and they got back to me after a few days to tell me man date was 1949-50. That was good enough for me. You might try that?.....When I got my no dash 686 (man. date 1982) and my 19-5 (man. date 1982-87) with # matching target grips I found that they spend most their time in the safe. It just came natural not to shoot them so much as I've got others for that. It works fine that way for me. I do take them out and look at (Admire?) them sometimes! :D
 
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HuckleberryFun
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OK, I got double confirmation just now that this particular Smith is 1977 vintage.
A guy on the Bullseye forum looked it up for me in his reference book.
Also, I found the original receipt hidden in the box. It seems that Mr Don W____ paid $201 for it on November 3rd 1977 at the GI Joe's in north Portland. On Layaway: 50 dollars down.
Lesson: buy an old gun in its box just be sure to look under the wrapping paper ;-)

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Mikej

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Like, Like, and Like some more! Looks like there's hardly a turn line on it. Are you sure you're going to be able to shoot that a bunch? Hmm?

Edit: Just speaking for myself, no judgment....
 
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HuckleberryFun
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Like, Like, and Like some more! Looks like there's hardly a turn line on it. Are you sure you're going to be able to shoot that a bunch? Hmm?

Edit: Just speaking for myself, no judgment....
Oh yeah, bet on it. Are you asking disinterestedly out of the goodness of your heart? You're a good man. Bless you. :D
 

Mikej

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Oh yeah, bet on it. Are you asking disinterestedly out of the goodness of your heart? You're a good man. Bless you. :D
I just know that if I had scored that fine revolver I'd probably be fondling it more than shooting it. It pleases me greatly that you can use that gun for it's intended purpose!
 
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Beautiful K frame there! IMO the K frame is the perfect 38 special platform. Great balance, and nobody has made a better set of wood grips than the stock S&W targets (again, just my opinion). ...mmmm, the bluing, the grain of the wood, the proportions, the trigger.....ok, ok, lets settle down now!:s0139:

I've seen some leading occur just inside the forcing cone on K frames using non-jacketed ammo. The leading comes out with some time and scrubbing with Hoppes #9, But getting it all out of the lands and grooves is a hassle. I try to use jacketed ammo as much as possible now.

Enjoy!
 

Mikej

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Great balance, and nobody has made a better set of wood grips than the stock S&W targets (again, just my opinion). ...mmmm, the bluing, the grain of the wood, the proportions, the trigger.....ok, ok, lets settle down now!
I'm not the only one then?
 
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Oh, I've had a serious case of drool going for just that gun, for years. One of the more idiotic things I did some years ago was looking at one of these in a small gun shop (in Perrydale, maybe?) for sale for about $300 IIRC, then deciding that was too much. I've been kicking myself ever since.
 
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Certaindeaf

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Nice. What kind of loads do you prefer for it? I'm looking at starting out with 158gr LRN for a target load, but after much experimenting end up with something else. ;)
Nice nice.
For actual Bullseye (PPC) shooting one generally uses wadcutters.
If I was going to get back into it (used to get unlimited factory wadcutter ammo for free), I'd handload with Lee's dinky 105gr SWC.. incredibly accurate and stingy on lead.
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