We lucked into a supply of durable – and increasingly collectible – early Smith & Wesson Model 64s in .38 Special from a law enforcement trade-in that are looking for a new home. 

What is the Model 64? 


Introduced in 1970 as S&W's first stainless steel six-shot service revolver (more on that in a second), the Model 64 was itself an evolution of the venerable Model 10 Military & Police, a K-frame that was first introduced in 1899 chambered in .38 Long Colt before it settled down to its more commonly seen .38 Special format. With a swing-out cylinder, the M&P revolver was known by Smith as a "hand-ejector" model to differentiate it from the company's 19th Century top-break guns.

The M&P proved so successful that it was the default revolver for law enforcement, military, and security use for decades, defending that title from upstarts like the Colt Police Positive and Spanish/Latin-American made clones. 

Fast forward to 1965, and S&W had introduced their first all-stainless wheel gun, the five-shot Model 60, which was in turn based on the Chief's Special snub-nosed J-frame revolver. The Model 60 was well-received, especially in law enforcement circles, and it was a no-brainer to follow it up with the Model 64 just five years later. 

When first introduced, the inaugural Model 64 appeared on the scene with a tapered 4-inch barrel 

model 64 revolver
The S&W Model 64 "No Dash," produced between 1970 and 1972. (Photo: Guns.com)

By 1972, the gun was upgraded to a second-generation variant, which came standard with a 4-inch heavy barrel. Overall length of these guns was 9.25 inches and the weight was 34 ounces unloaded. This gun hit the market as the Model 64-1.

64-1 revolver
>We have about 20 or so early 64-1s, all of which were made before 1977 with standard fixed sights.
model 64
They have been upgraded in police service to ditch the original checked walnut medallion grips for either Pachmayr Gripper or Hogue Monogrips, with the Pachys making up the bulk of the lot.

Around 1977, the gently updated 64-2 replaced the 64-1. 

64-2 revolver
We have a couple 64-2s in stock as well.

Then came the also similarly updated 64-3 in the same year, a model that S&W kept as standard in their catalog into the late 1980s. 

64-3 revolver
The 64-3, Smith's go-to stainless .38 between 1977 and 1988. Guns made before 1982 had two-piece pinned barrels.
64.3 revolver
No frills guns, these early 64-1/2/3s lack later controversial updates seen on later S&W revolvers such as the cylinder key lock in the frame and increased use of MIM parts. We have over a dozen of these ready to go home today.
model 64
Some are marked with agency stamps on the backstrap or elsewhere. For instance, this one reads "EBRSO" which may or may not stand for the East Baton Rouge (Louisiana) Sheriff’s Office. 
model 64 revolver
Others have agency stamps on the frame under the cylinder such as this EBRSO-marked 64-3. Some read EBRSD.

For a utility gun that shoots a wide range of common .38 Special ammo, they are hard to beat.


model 64 revolver
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revolver barrel loading graphic