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 Help finding Smith & Wesson .38 Super revolver
jevonniespapi  [Team Member]
7/12/2011 10:47:36 PM EDT
My father in law describes a revolver he grew up with raising horses in Mexico. He knew it was six shot, nickle plated, ivory type grips, "long" barrel (his words!) and in .38 super. He hasnt seen the gun in many years, and doesnt dare attempt to file to bring it here as the gov down there is too corupt. I'd really like to try n find him the same gun he grew up with.

The gun was in the family before the 70s btw as he immigrated durring that time.
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NWRed  [Team Member]
7/13/2011 1:51:08 AM EDT
I'd seriously doubt it was a .38 Super, maybe a 32-20/.38 S&W/.38Spl, but not likely a .38 Super due to the lack of a rim. It would have had to use moon clips. Ive seen a 5" .32-20 double action Rossi for sale once and wanted to buy it for the WTF factor, but passed at $125.
jevonniespapi  [Team Member]
7/13/2011 5:40:38 AM EDT
.38 super is the only caliber gun citizens of Mexico are allowed to own. It cant be anything else, especially some rarer type caliber.
snowcrab  [Team Member]
7/13/2011 6:14:00 AM EDT
.38 super is semi-rimmed

ETA: S&W 686

You can find these around already converted either by a smith or S&W's performance center.
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NWRed  [Team Member]
7/13/2011 8:20:11 AM EDT
Originally Posted By jevonniespapi:
.38 super is the only caliber gun citizens of Mexico are allowed to own. It cant be anything else, especially some rarer type caliber.

It's always been my understanding that the caliber restrictions were simply "no military calibers", which would not include .38S&W or .32-20, especially in the 40s/50s/60s/70s where the restrictions were looser. .38 Super appears to be the most powerful cartridge you could get in Mexico in the 50s/60s which would explain its popularity, which after some reading .357Mag is restricted as well. However S&W didnt make a .38 Super revolver until recently, certainly not pre-70's, so it wouldn't be a S&W686.

I'm going to stop right here and tell you that you're looking for the wrong caliber and possibly the wrong make of revolver.

Found this on Wikipedia BTW:

Gun licensing and legislation for Mexican citizens

[edit] Ley Federal de Armas de Fuego y Explosivos (Federal Law of Firearms and Explosives)[3]

Generally, citizens are restricted by law to:
pistolas (handguns) of .380 Auto or .38 Special revolvers or smaller (.357 Magnum, .357 SIG, and 9x19mm Parabellum or larger are restricted)[4][5]
escopetas (shotguns) of 12 gauge or smaller, with barrels longer than 25 inches, and
rifles (rifles) bolt action and semi-auto.

Handguns in calibers bigger than those mentioned above are forbidden from private ownership without a federal license and restrictions similar to the U.S. National Firearms Act (NFA).

Examples of firearms that are legal for citizens to own include .380 ACP pistols, .38 Special revolvers, 12 gauge shotguns (no short-barreled shotguns are allowed) and rifles in any caliber with exceptions such as .30 Carbine, 7mm and 7.62 mm Carbines.

Permits for the transportation and use of such non-military caliber firearms are issued for one year terms by SEDENA (Secretaría de la Defensa Nacional) and may be applied for up to 10 firearms, total, for each designated and planned use that is legally authorized. These uses may include hunting or shooting at a club or national competition. Permits are very easy to obtain, but may be only obtained by citizens belonging to a shooting club.

There is only one legally authorized retail outlet for firearms in Mexico, which is located in Mexico City: UCAM (Unidad de Comercialización de Armamento y Municiones), run by the Army. It is owned by, and is part of, the government.[6] Although there is no legal limit on how many firearms an individual can own, UCAM will sell private buyers a single hand gun for home protection, and up to nine sporting rifles more for shooting and/or hunting. Once any individual has purchased ten firearms from UCAM, he cannot get a permit to buy any more. However, private party sales are legal and are largely uncontrolled, and wealthy gun-collecting citizens thus can legally buy more firearms from other private owners. The requirement that such firearmes be federally registered is widely ignored and unenforced.

Collector permits, somewhat analogous to the FFL Category 03 Curio & Relic permits issued in the United States, are easy to obtain from the Mexican Government and allow the ownership of a wide range of firearms, even including military firearms. For those holding collector permits, regular visits by the local military authority to inspect the storage location to make sure it has the necessary security measures to avoid the guns being stolen are a recurring fact of life.

CCW licenses are issued but are hard to obtain for anyone not wealthy and without political connections. In the event that an application is denied, the denial may theoretically be appealed at a District Court, but this never occurs in practice. Prior to 2002, CCW licenses could be obtained authorizing military caliber pistols. However, these CCW licenses were all cancelled, and re-issued to authorize only up to .380 ACP caliber pistolas. In the face of rising crime, private citizens are arming themselves despite the difficulty of obtaining a proper permit.[7]

Transportation licenses are required for transporting guns. Transportation must be with the firearm unloaded and in a case. There are no public shooting ranges such as in the U.S. and other countries.

And another source:
My Life in Mexico
TUBBY  [Member]
7/14/2011 3:20:40 AM EDT
You can shoot 38 super thru a 357. I bet that is what he was doing.
Combat_Diver  [Team Member]
7/14/2011 3:33:53 AM EDT
Smith can and does made specific guns for other countries. Just because its not available here doesn't mean a .38 Super doesn't exist. All it really would need is a new cyclinder and caliber markings. As already mentioned the Super case is semi rimmed and will head space on the rim without moon clips. During the 80s there were large numbers of different Smiths revolvers sold in Germany not cataloged in the US.

America-first  [Team Member]
7/14/2011 3:47:28 PM EDT
Smith and Wesson did indeed manufacture revolvers in .38 super.

45stops-em-quick  [Team Member]
7/14/2011 3:54:08 PM EDT
Try the Smith and Wesson Forum website. If a .38 super model was ever made by Smith in the time period, someone there will know about it. The other possibility, is that a local gunsmith converted a Mexican .38 special, or .357 mag from Texas to fire the Super .38. The combination of the grips and nickel finish is/was very popular in Mexico, as I'm sure you know, with many guns being made that way by the local gunsmith, many of whom make those gaudy Day of the Dead, Mexican Eagle, etc 1911 grips.
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