By Bob Walsh
The Gun of the Week this time around is another blast from the past, the Smith and Wesson Target Masterpiece (which morphed into the M-14 when they started numbering them in 1957).
This is a K-frame .38 special with a 6 inch barrel, a patridge front sight and the excellent S&W micro-adjustable rear sight. It gives a very nice sight picture.
They were made mostly in 6 inch and 8 3/8 inch barrels, though a small number were made with 4 inch and even 5 inch barrels. The very early ones had a tapered barrel but after the first year they came with the bull barrel. This one had the bull barrel and was shipped in 1948. It has a ¼ inch rib along the top of the barrel and the front sight is 1/3 inch wide. They could also be order with a 1/10 inch wide front sight, for those who liked a little more daylight in their sight picture. It has a serrated front strap and back strap, a grooved wide trigger with an over-travel stop and a semi-target hammer. All perfectly normal for this weapon, which is a five-screw model.
A small number were made in .38 S&W for the British Commonwealth They are rare to unknown in the U.S., though at least six clones are known to have been made from left-over parts and kept in the U.S.
These revolvers with also known as the K-38 when equipped with a Baughman Quick-Draw service front sight rather than a target sight and a 4 inch barrel. This became the Model 15 when they started numbering models.
This particular weapon shoots very well, much better than I can hold. In fact I took it out and put 50 rounds thru it just before I wrote this up. It is a fine weapon and I am very happy to have it in my collection.