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There it was, under the glass in my local Cabelas.





I looked at it, put it back, obsessed over it for a night, and went back. I pitched them $400, they said NO. I held tough for 3 seconds, and said: $450? and they said OK. With my GI Joe discount it was $425. Seems like a decent price, but I haven't kept up with what these go for. I have one other New Service - a .45 Colt 7 1/2" but I got it when I was 14 (46 years ago).





Its the first model, made in 1903 per the serial number.





It hasn't been refinished. Some blue is left, but it is mostly brown.


Its my first .38 WCF.





Some of the markings are faint, but they are there.








Stocks are nice, and numbered to the gun.





Of course at Cabelas I was buying a pig in a poke. No way to check the action until I got it out of the store and got that cheesy lock off in the parking lot, and then no returns on used guns. Oh boy - the action would barely turn. I didn't want to force it, so I came home and gave it a good cleaning. The innards were dry as a bone and sticky, but it cleaned up well and now has a smooth action.


Now to find some ammo. None to be had at Cabelas.
 

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Yep, you have an early first model. I used to avoid those before I bought one cheap that had a broken strut flat spring. I modified the strut to take a later coil spring and I was back in business. While these don’t have the positive lock, they do have a strong rebound. If you find yourself liking the gun, you will want to reload for 38-40 to save on the somewhat expensive ammo.
 

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Any of the lead bullet factory ammo will probably give better performance than the jacket ammo at a cost savings. Reloaders of this caliber can experiment with cast, store bought lead and jacketed bullets to get the performance they want. Older Lyman data exists for use in smokeless powder firearms such as yours to bring full potential out if you were wanting to go there.
 
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