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How to Identify a .38 Special CTG

by Eric Cedric

Smith & Wesson makes .38 Special revolvers. The .38 Special CTG revolver is a six-shooter with a 6-inch barrel. Identifying the weapon is a matter of locating the identifying etchings with the serial number along the gun metal on the barrel. In addition, the Smith & Wesson logo gives away the maker of the firearm. When handling the revolver, be sure to handle it like it is loaded in order to mitigate accidents and injuries.

Look to the outside right edge of the barrel to find a serial number. Write the number down. For example, a serial number may read 281303. Use a magnifying glass if needed.

Find the Smith & Wesson logo on the wood handles. The Smith & Wesson logo is a stylized "S" overlayed on top of a stylized "W".

Count the number of chambers on the revolver. The .38 Special CTG is a six-shooter. Measure the barrel and make sure it is six inches.

Cross reference the serial number with Smith & Wesson's customer service (see Resources). Submit the serial number to the S&W service via email to confirm the firearm is indeed the .38 Special CTG. Benefits of cross referencing with S&W include notification if the firearm is stolen or has been used in a crime.

Items you will need

  • Magnifying glass (optional)

About the Author

A former Alaskan of 20 years, Eric Cedric now resides in California. He's published in "Outside" and "Backpacker" and has written a book on life in small-town Alaska, "North by Southeast." Cedric was a professional mountain guide and backcountry expedition leader for 18 years. He worked in Russia, Iceland, Greece, Turkey and Belize. Cedric attended Syracuse University and is a private pilot.