Smith & Wesson K38 Model 14-3

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Smith & Wesson K38 Model 14-3

Post by YourHuckleberry on 12/30/2016, 4:43 pm

I was in need of some retail firearm therapy today, so I picked up this sweet Smith at my local "we've got every classic you can think of" gun dealer. It's a Smith and Wesson Model 14-3, 6" barrel and lightly used in its original box. Looks like it was ordered from the factory with larger magnum grip, target trigger and target hammer. Anyone else have one of these? I know the true (pre-14) K38s are the most desirable, and I was holding out for a while for one, but I plan to be shooting this one a lot in the centerfire portion of my local league competition to give my 1911 a bit of a breather now and then ;-)
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Re: Smith & Wesson K38 Model 14-3

Post by dronning on 12/30/2016, 4:57 pm

I have a 14-4 and a 14-5 (full underlug) both with target trigger and hammer.  The triggers are incredible and both are extremely accurate.  I think for bullseye the 14's are more desirable, for collectors the pre 14's would be better.

- Dave
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Re: Smith & Wesson K38 Model 14-3

Post by YourHuckleberry on 12/30/2016, 5:02 pm

Thanks for the reply, drowning. This is meant to be a shooter, not a safe queen. That being said, there is nothing wrong with being "purty" too ;-)
Here's a pic.

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Re: Smith & Wesson K38 Model 14-3

Post by Tim:H11 on 12/30/2016, 5:29 pm

I have a 14-3 6" barrel, large grips and wide trigger and hammer. Love it. I got it to go along with my 17-3. They mirror each other in barrel length and trigger/hammer options and grip. Wonderful guns. Great shooters. Sadly I don't shoot them much. That will change one day.
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Re: Smith & Wesson K38 Model 14-3

Post by YourHuckleberry on 12/30/2016, 6:04 pm

Tim:H11 wrote:I have a 14-3 6" barrel, large grips and wide trigger and hammer. Love it. I got it to go along with my 17-3. They mirror each other in barrel length and trigger/hammer options and grip. Wonderful guns. Great shooters. Sadly I don't shoot them much. That will change one day.

What target loads do you use for the 14-3? I haven't shot this caliber in years and am looking for ammo/load info. If in a hurry to get to the range what store bought ammo do you suggest?
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Re: Smith & Wesson K38 Model 14-3

Post by orpheoet on 12/30/2016, 6:34 pm

You've got a winner there! I have a 14-3 and a 14-1. Fabulous revolvers. The -3 looks to be a well worn example, holster wear aplenty. BUT the trigger is amazing. The -1 is in excellent like new condition and now has an even better trigger thanks to KC. They have Herrett Shooting Star grips, the -1 came with a set and I liked them so much I ordered another.I use Federal 158 gr RN American Eagle at 50 yards and I reload Zero 158 gr swc with 3.3 gr of WST for the short line.
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Re: Smith & Wesson K38 Model 14-3

Post by LenV on 12/30/2016, 7:20 pm

YourHuckleberry, Are you shooting next Saturday in Corvallis (WVPL)? I've got some 110gr XTP's loaded up that you could try. By far the best load I have ever found for the 14. The American Eagle (recommended above) is the best store bought DR legal I have found.

Len
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Re: Smith & Wesson K38 Model 14-3

Post by YourHuckleberry on 12/30/2016, 8:54 pm

LenV wrote:YourHuckleberry, Are you shooting next Saturday in Corvallis (WVPL)? I've got some 110gr XTP's loaded up that you could try. By far the best load I have ever found for the 14. The American Eagle (recommended above) is the best store bought DR legal I have found.

Len

Len, no I'm not shooting in Corvallis. I'm new to Bullseye and still need to ride the learning curve up to any real competition. See you there someday though!
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Re: Smith & Wesson K38 Model 14-3

Post by james r chapman on 12/30/2016, 9:01 pm

YourHuckleberry wrote:
Len, no I'm not shooting in Corvallis. I'm new to Bullseye and still need to ride the learning curve up to any real competition. See you there someday though!
the learning curve is like diving into a swimming pool.

So, dive in......

I went to Perry to find out shooting Bullseye competition. Just have thick skin, and listen and watch everything.

Jim C
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Re: Smith & Wesson K38 Model 14-3

Post by LenV on 12/30/2016, 9:13 pm

james r chapman wrote:
YourHuckleberry wrote:
Len, no I'm not shooting in Corvallis. I'm new to Bullseye and still need to ride the learning curve up to any real competition. See you there someday though!
the learning curve is like diving into a swimming pool.

So, dive in......

I went to Perry to find out shooting Bullseye competition. Just have thick skin, and listen and watch everything.

Jim C
Don't wait too long. You will never have a better time to start then this league. Shooters with low averages (and high handicaps) are always welcomed with open arms. I absolutely guarantee you that you will not be the worst shot there. Some of the OSU shooters are "still" up when the match starts at 9:00. Smile PRP has a team and so does TCGC. If you need contact numbers send me a PM.

LenV
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Re: Smith & Wesson K38 Model 14-3

Post by Tim:H11 on 12/31/2016, 6:15 am

YourHuckleberry wrote:
Tim:H11 wrote:I have a 14-3 6" barrel, large grips and wide trigger and hammer. Love it. I got it to go along with my 17-3. They mirror each other in barrel length and trigger/hammer options and grip. Wonderful guns. Great shooters. Sadly I don't shoot them much. That will change one day.

What target loads do you use for the 14-3? I haven't shot this caliber in years and am looking for ammo/load info. If in a hurry to get to the range what store bought ammo do you suggest?

Well that's one reason I haven't shot it much. I chased a good load so long it drove me nuts and I hung it up for a while. I liked a standard plinking load of 3gr Green Dot with a 158gr LSWC but it's not match worthy. Not at 50 yards. 2.8gr to 3.0gr of bullseye with a 158gr LSWC shot great at 25 yards. Not so much at 50. I cast my own so it's possible it's a hardness thing or maybe that the round nose would be better. Ive heard many here shoot DR matches with federal 158gr LRN Ammo off the shelf at Walmart. Eventually I'll get back into tinkering with it to find a good load and maybe the round nose is what I need but for now my hands and time are full with a 45 build.
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Re: Smith & Wesson K38 Model 14-3

Post by SW-52 on 12/31/2016, 8:32 am

i have one 14-4 i bought 6 years ago for $275.00(14 frame with model 10 barrel,and bad sight leaf(reduced). i install a original 6" barrel,a weigand sight leaf 110 a trigger job and is awesome revolver. my revolver have a target hammer and a regular k frame trigger(no target),is very accurate with 158 grains ammo.
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Re: Smith & Wesson K38 Model 14-3

Post by YourHuckleberry on 12/31/2016, 11:05 am

I'm wondering when mine was made. For some reason Smith serial number lookups aren't online anywhere that I can find. I'm guessing mine was made in the 60s (maybe 70s). Does anyone have a reference book? 

Model 14-3, Serial #14K186x
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Re: Smith & Wesson K38 Model 14-3

Post by C.Perkins on 12/31/2016, 11:10 am

Factory fodder would be the American Eagle/Federal 158gr LRN, got distinguished with it using my Colt Python.

Now I have a 14-4 and it likes the Hornady 158gr LRN with 3.5gr of Bullseye.

I miss that Python but the 14-4 is just as good Smile

YMMV
Clarence
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Re: Smith & Wesson K38 Model 14-3

Post by C.Perkins on 12/31/2016, 11:29 am

YourHuckleberry wrote:I'm wondering when mine was made. For some reason Smith serial number lookups aren't online anywhere that I can find. I'm guessing mine was made in the 60s (maybe 70s). Does anyone have a reference book? 

Model 14-3, Serial #14K186x
From my research.
(14K) puts it in 1977

Clarence
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Re: Smith & Wesson K38 Model 14-3

Post by YourHuckleberry on 12/31/2016, 11:34 am

C.Perkins wrote:
YourHuckleberry wrote:I'm wondering when mine was made. For some reason Smith serial number lookups aren't online anywhere that I can find. I'm guessing mine was made in the 60s (maybe 70s). Does anyone have a reference book? 

Model 14-3, Serial #14K186x
From my research.
(14K) puts it in 1977

Clarence

Thanks Clarence!
Underneath the wrapping paper in the box I found the original receipt. Mr. Don Wxxxx paid $201 for it at the GI Joe's in north Portland on November 3rd 1977.
Lesson: if you buy an old gun still in its box be sure to look under the wrapping paper! ;-)
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Re: Smith & Wesson K38 Model 14-3

Post by LenV on 12/31/2016, 12:49 pm

"we've got every classic you can think of"

Would that be Keith's Sporting Goods? They have too much of my money.

Len
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Re: Smith & Wesson K38 Model 14-3

Post by desben on 12/31/2016, 1:38 pm

Mine is a -2. I use it for international center fire. I tried it once in an NRA match and didn't do too good with it; I would need a lot more practice to shoot a good 10-seconds score with a revolver.



As for loads, I use 148 hbwc seated flush. 2.8gr of bullseye, 2.9gr of win-231 or 2.7gr of WST are good loads.

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Re: Smith & Wesson K38 Model 14-3

Post by Jack H on 12/31/2016, 2:25 pm

14-1 and 14-2







But here are the real 38's
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S&W Pistol Reference

Post by Vern on 12/31/2016, 2:51 pm

YourHuckleberry wrote:I'm wondering when mine was made. For some reason Smith serial number lookups aren't online anywhere that I can find. I'm guessing mine was made in the 60s (maybe 70s). Does anyone have a reference book? 

Model 14-3, Serial #14K186x
Here is a link to information on identifying S&W pistols  https://www.thehighroad.org/index.php?threads/common-s-w-identifying-features.356710/

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Re: Smith & Wesson K38 Model 14-3

Post by rfmiller on 12/31/2016, 4:51 pm

Many consider the Standard Catalog of Smith & Wesson to be an authoritative reference.  According to it 14-3 variation started in 1967 and 14-4 started in 1977.  S&W serial numbers are linked more to the manufacture of the frame and not the completed firearm so information is iffy without a record search.  But the best info seems that the frame is from 1977 (as Clarence pointed out).  That with the receipt would suggest that you have one of the last of the 14-3 variation.

I also have good luck with HBWC's (Zero are a favorite as they are swagged).  Mine also shoots their LSWC well.  Haven't shot it a lot with jacketed bullets.

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Re: Smith & Wesson K38 Model 14-3

Post by LenV on 12/31/2016, 8:51 pm

Well we have pictures of all the dashes except 5, 6, 7 and 8. Might as well knock off two more. 14-6 full under lug and 14-8 "Classic"

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Re: Smith & Wesson K38 Model 14-3

Post by r_zerr on 1/3/2017, 11:48 pm

Len,

I think I need a K-38.  My K22 and K32 are lonely, and are missing the middle brother. (K22 is Model 17, the K32 is pre-model 16)

Bottom photo are N-frames. Top is a 25-2, middle is a pre-model 24, in .44 Special with an extra fitted cyclinder for .44 Russian, and the bottom one is a Pre-Model 23, the .38/44 Outdoorsman in .38 Spl.



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Re: Smith & Wesson K38 Model 14-3

Post by LenV on 1/4/2017, 8:52 am

r_zerr.  The only one I have as old as yours is a Model 17 no dash. But I noticed a few you skipped over. Wouldn't the essential N frame set also have a 25, 27, 29 and a 57? Smile


Yea, I am having fun. We need to meet up and shoot a revolver match.
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Re: Smith & Wesson K38 Model 14-3

Post by YourHuckleberry on 1/4/2017, 9:34 am

Now I have revolver envy. cyclops
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Re: Smith & Wesson K38 Model 14-3

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