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Common S&W Identifying Features

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by XavierBreath, Apr 17, 2008.

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  1. XavierBreath

    XavierBreath Member

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    [​IMG]
     

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  2. harmonic

    harmonic member

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    FYI:

    S&W revolver names before World War II
    Name Caliber Frame
    .22 Hand Ejector Ladysmith 22 Long M
    .22/32 Target 22 Long Rifle I
    .22 Outdoorsman 22 Long Rifle K
    .32 Hand Ejector (round Butt) 32 S&W Long I
    .32 Regulation Police (Square Butt) 32 S&W Long I
    .32-20 Hand Ejector 32-20 Win. K
    .38 Military&Police 38 Spl K
    .38 Hand Ejector (same as above, with
    adjustable sights)
    .38 Regulation Police (Square Butt) 38 S&W I
    .38 Terrier 2" Round Butt 38 S&W I
    .38/44 Heavy Duty (fixed sights) 38 Spl N
    .38/44 Outdoorsman (Adj. Sights) 38 Spl N
    .357 Magnum 357 Mag N
    .44 HAnd Ejector Military Model 44 Spl N
    .44 Hand ejector Model 1926 44 Spl N
    (shrouded extractor rod)
    .45 U.S. Army Revolver, Model 1917 45 ACP N
    .455 Hand ejector British Service 455 Mark II N

    Letter designations assigned S&W Revolvers 1900-1930
    32 Double Action R
    32 Safety Hammerless G
    38 Single Action S
    38 Double Action D
    38 Safety Hammerless Y
    44 Double Action L
    22 Hand Ejector M
    32 Hand ejector I
    38 Military and Police K
    44 Hand Ejector N
    38 Double Action Perfect P
    22 Perfect Single Shot T
    35 Automatic A
    32 Regulation Police B
    38 Regulation Police E
    22/32 Heavy Frame Target V

    Factory Model/caliber designation begun in 1930s
    22/32 Target IT22 Square Butt
    22/32 Kit Gun IT22 Round Butt
    K-22 Masterpiece KT22
    32 Hand Ejector I32 Round Butt
    32 Regulation Police I32 Square Butt
    K-32 Masterpiece KT32
    38 Regulation Police I38 Square Butt
    38 S&W Terrier I32 Round Butt
    38 Military & Police K38
    38/44 Heavy Duty N38
    K-38 Masterpiece KT38
    38/44 Outdoorsman NT38
    357 Magnum NT357
    1926 Model 44 Military N44
    1926 Model 44 Target NT44
    1917 Army N45


    S&W Model Listing
    Model year year Frame Caliber Name
    intro Discon Size
    10 1899 K 38 Spl Military & Police
    10 HB 1960 K 38 Spl Military & Police Heavy Barrel
    11 1936 1965 K 38 S&W Military & Police
    12 1953 1986 KA 38 Spl Military & Police Airweight
    13 1974 K 357 Mag 357 Magnum M&P
    14 1947 1982 KT 38 Spl K-38 Masterpiece
    15 1949 KT 38 Spl K-38 Combat Masterpiece
    16 1947 1973 KT 32 S&W Long K-32 Masterpiece
    17 1946 KT 22 LR K-22 Masterpiece
    18 1949 1986 KT 22 LR K-22 Combat Masterpiece
    19 1955 KT 357 Mag 357 Combat Magnum
    20 1930 1966 N 38 Spl 38/44 Heavy Duty
    21 1908 1966 N 44 Spl 1950 Model 44 Military
    22 1917 1966 N 45 ACP 1950 Model 45 Army
    23 1931 1966 NT 38 Spl 38/44 Outdoorsman
    24 1908 1966 NT 44 Spl 1950 Model 44 Target
    24 1984 1984 NT 44 Spl 7500 units reintroduced
    25 1955 1983 NT 45 ACP 1955 Model 45 Target
    25-3 1977 1977 NT 45 Colt 125th Commemorative
    25-4 1977 1977 NT 45 Colt 125th Delux Comm
    25-5 1978 NT 45 Colt 45 Colt
    26 1950 1966 NT 45 ACP 1950 45 Target Light Barrel
    27 1935 NT 357 Mag 357 Magnum
    28 1954 1986 NT 357 Mag 357 Highway Patrolman
    29 1955 NT 44 Mag 44 Magnum
    30 1896 1976 I&J 32 S&W Long 32 Hand Ejector
    31 1917 I&J 32 S&W Long 32 Regulation Police
    32 1936 1974 I&J 38 S&W 38 Terrier
    33 1917 1974 I&J 38 S&W 38 Regulation Police
    34 1936 I&J 22 LR 22/32 Kit Gun 4" barrel
    35 1911 1973 I&J 22 LR 22/32 Target 6" Barrel
    36 1950 J 38 Spl 38 Chief Special
    37 1952 JA 38 Spl 38 Chief Special Airweight
    38 1955 JAC 38 Spl Bodyguard
    39 1954 1981 Auto 9mm 9mm Double Action
    both alloy and steel
    39-1 1960 1960 Auto 38 AMU Commonly called M-52A
    alloy
    40 1952 1974 JS 38 Spl Centennial
    41 1952 Auto 22 LR 22 Semi-Automatic
    41-1 1960 1972 Auto 22 short 22 Short Semi-Auto
    42 1953 1974 JAT 38 Spl Centennial Airweight
    43 1954 1974 JAT 22 LR 22/32 Kit Gun Airweight
    44 1954 1959 Auto 9mm 9mm Semi, Single Action
    alloy
    45 1936 1965 K 22 LR 22 Military & Police
    46 1959 1968 Auto 22 LR 22 Semi Auto
    47 Experimental number used on several guns
    48 1959 1986 KTM 22 WMRF K-22 Masterpiece MRF
    49 1959 JC 38 Spl Bodyguard Steel Frame
    50 1955 1975 JT 38 Spl 38 Chief Special Target
    51 1960 1974 JTM 22 WMRF 22/32 MRF Kit Gun
    52 1961 Auto 38 Spl 38 Chief Special Target
    Steel
    52-A See Model 39-1
    53 1961 1974 KTC 22 Jet 22 center fire magnum
    54 Experimental never issued
    55 Experimental never issued
    56 1962 1963 KT 38 Spl KTX 38 Became Mod 15 2" bl.
    57 1964 NT 41 Mag 41 Magnum
    58 1964 1978 N 41 Mag 41 Magnum Military& Police
    59 1971 1981 Auto 9mm 14 shot 9mm Semi-Auto
    Alloy
    60 1965 J 38 Spl 38 Chief Special Stainless
    61 1970 1973 Auto 22 LR 22 Escort
    62 Experimental never issued
    63 1977 JT 22 LR 1977 22/32 Kit Gun Stainless
    64 1970 K 38 Spl 38 Military&Police Stainless
    65 1974 K 357 Mag 357 Mag M&P Stainless
    66 1971 KT 357 Mag 357 Combat Mag Stainless
    67 1972 KT 38 Spl 38 Combat Masterpiece Stainless
    68 1976 1976 KT 38 Spl California Highway Patrol
    Model Stainless
    69/75 Not officially assigned -- used experimentally
    76 1968 1974 Auto 9mm Machine Pistol
    77 1970 1978 22 cal Air rifle
    78 1971 1978 22 Cal CO2 Pellet Pistol
    79 1971 1978 177 Cal CO2 Pellet Pistol
    80 1975 1978 177 BB CO2 Semi Auto Rifle


    New Model Numbering System
    --------------------------
    147-A 1979 1979 9mm 14 shot DA steel frame Model 59
    325PD 2003 N 6 shot 45 ACP, 2.5" barrel, Scandium Frame
    329PD 2003 N 6 shot 44 Magnum, Scandium Frame, Stainless Brl, Ti Cylinder
    340 J 5 shot 357 Magnum, Scandium Frame, shrouded/internal hammer
    396 L 5 shot 44 Special, 3-1/8" barrel, Aluminum alloy frame
    439 1979 9mm 8 shot DA Semi Auto Alloy
    459 1979 9mm 14 shot DA Semi Auto Alloy
    469 1983 9mm 12 Shot DA Semi Auto Alloy
    500 2003 X 5 shot 500 S&W Magnum
    520 1980 1980 N 357 Mag, Fixed Sights
    539 1980 1983 9mm 8 shot DA semi auto Carbon Steel
    547 1980 1985 K Steel 9mm Military & Police
    559 1980 1983 Auto 9mm 14 shot DA Semi Auto Carbon Steel
    581 1980 L 357 Mag Distinguished Service Magnum
    586 1980 L 357 Mag Distinguished Combat Magnum
    610 N 10 mm, 6 shot, stainless
    624 1985 1986 NT 44 Spl 1985 Target Stainless
    625 N 45 ACP and 45 Colt Stainless
    627 N 357 Magnum, Stainless
    629 1979 NT 44 Mag Stainless
    629 Classic N 44 Mag, Stainless, full underlug
    639 1982 Auto 9mm 8 shot DA Semi Auto Stainless
    645 1985 Auto 45ACP DA Semi Auto Stainless
    649 1985 JC 38 Spl Bodyguard Stainless
    650 1982 JM 22 WMRF Service Kit Gun Stainless
    651 1982 JTM 22 WMRF Target Kit Gun Stainless
    657 N 41 Magnum, 6 shot, Stainless
    659 1982 Auto 9mm 14 shot DA semi Auto Stainless
    669 1985 Auto 9mm 12 shot DA Semi Auto Stainless
    681 1980 L 357 Mag Distinguished Service Mag Stainless
    686 1980 L 357 Mag Distinguished Combat Mag Stainless
    686+ L 357 Mag, 7 shot cylinder, Stainless
    SW1911 2003 45 ACP 1911


    Model and Dash numbering system
    --------------------------------
    Model 10
    -1 1959 Heavy Barrel
    -2 1961 Changed extractor rod thread to LH on standard barrel
    -3 1961 Same as above, for heavy barrel
    -4 1962 Screw in front of trigger eliminated
    -5 1962 1/10" to 1/8" front sight, on standard barrel
    -5 1962 Screw in front of trigger guard eliminated on
    heavy barrel model
    -7 1977 Change to put gas ring from yoke to cylinder
    -8 1977 Change to put gas ring from yoke to cylinder
    on heavy barrel model
    Model 12 1957
    -1 1962 Change extractor rod to LH thread, eliminate
    screw in front of trigger guard
    -2 1962 Front sight changed from 1/10" to 1/8"
    -3 1977 Gas ring on yoke to cylinder
    -4 1984 Change frame thickness to same as all K frames
    Model 13 No designation used to avoid confusion with air force model
    13 air crewman
    Model 13
    -1 1974 Introduced
    -2 1977 Change back to gas ring on cylinder
    -3 1982 eliminate cylinder counterbore
    Model 14,15,16,17,18,48,53 (all start without dash in 1957)
    -1 1959 Change to LH extractor rod thread
    -2 1961 Cylinder stop changed, hole in front of trigger
    guard eliminated
    -3 1967 Relocation of rear sight leaf screw
    -4 1977 Changed gas ring from yoke to cylinder
    19 All of the above changes and
    -5 1982 Eliminate cylinder counterbore

    N-Frame Model Blue
    ------------------

    Model 20,21,22,23,24,25 (except 25-5) 26,27,28,29
    -1 1960 Change to LH thread
    -2 1961 Cylinder stop changed, hole in front of trigger
    guard eliminated
    -3 1982 Eliminate cylinder counterbore (magnums only)
    -4 2004 Thunder Ranch 44 Special, fixed sight
    Model 57 1964 Introduced
    -1 1982 Eliminate cylinder counterbore
    Model 629 1980 Introduced
    -1 1982 Eliminate cylinder counterbore
    Model 25-5 1978 -5 means 45 Colt caliber
    125'th anniversary model, -3 (standard) -4 (delux)
    both of these used a shorter than standard cylinder.
    -7 1985 45 Colt, 5" barrel, unfluted cylinder
    K-Frame Stainless Models
    ------------------------
    64 1970 Introduced
    -1 1972 Heavy barrel
    -2 1977 2" standard barrel, gas ring from yoke to cylinder
    -3 1977 Same as above, for heavy barrel
    65 -1 1974 introduced
    -2 1977 gas ring from yoke to cylinder
    -3 1982 Eliminate cylinder counterbore
    66 1971 introduced
    -1 1977 Gas ring from yoke to cylinder
    -2 1982 Eliminate cylinder counterbore
    67 1972 introduced
    -1 1977 gas ring from yoke to cylinder
    39 1957 start of model numbering system
    -1, 1961 Made in 38 AMU cartridge for military 87 made.
    52-A -2 1971 Change of extractor
    41 1957 start of model numbering system
    -1 1960 22 Short chambering
    (dash number not always stamped)
    52 1961 introduced
    -1 1963 Single action only
    -2 1971 Changed extractor
    52-A See model 39-1
    59 1971 introduced, no dash numbers used during production
    61 1970 introduced in March
    -1 May '70 Add magazine safety
    -2 Sep '70 Addition of barrel nut
    -3 1971 Forged Al frame
    76 1968 introduced, discontinued 1974 no dash numbers used

    Small Frame Revolvers
    ---------------------
    Model 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35
    1957 Start of numbering system
    -1 1961 Change from I frame to J frame
    36 -1 1967 Indicates 3" heavy barrel
    37, 38, 40, 42, 43, 49, 63, 649, 650, 651
    No dash numbers ued on above numbers
    60 1965 Introduced
    -1 1972 Heavy barrel variation made in 1972, not marketed
    limited production only
     
  3. SaxonPig

    SaxonPig Member

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    The only reliable location for the serial on modern S&Ws.

    And letters, if present, are a part of the serial number.


    standard.jpg


    This is where to look for the model number (not used until around 1957).


    standard.jpg


    If you see a number like this on an older .357 Magnum it's a valuable Registered Magnum model.


    standard.jpg
     
  4. Brian Williams

    Brian Williams Moderator Emeritus

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    5 screw:
    4 screws on the side(one normally under the grips) is the original way to hold the side plate on.
    The one in front of the trigger guard, the fifth screw retained the cylinder lock spring.

    4 screw;
    One of the screws holding the side plate on was dropped in 195(will edit later once I remember) making a 4 screw S&W

    3 screw;
    The screw in front of the trigger guard was dropped in 1962 making all later guns 3 screw.
     
  5. SaxonPig

    SaxonPig Member

    Joined:
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    Please note that this list is a general guide and not meant to be exact. There is some dispute regarding the dates on some serial numbers and your gun may actually be a year off from what is listed. The precise shipping date as "lettered" can be several years off depending on model. For the exact date on your gun request the letter from S&W Historian Roy Jinks.

    Pre-War N frame.

    Year/Beginning Serial

    1908….. 1-------------1926….. 25000
    1909….. 2050----------1927….. 28500
    1910….. 5000----------1928….. 29500
    1911….. 7050----------1929….. 30000
    1912….. 9100----------1930….. 34000
    1913….. 11150---------1931….. 36000
    1914….. 13200---------1932….. 38375
    1915….. 15250---------1933….. 41200
    1916….. 15500---------1934….. 43350
    1917….. 16000---------1935….. 45500
    1918-1919 None--------1936….. 47200
    1920….. 16200---------1937….. 48700
    1921….. 16300---------1938….. 52000
    1922….. 18400---------1939….. 57200
    1923….. 19600---------1940….. 59000
    1924….. 20800---------1941….. 62350
    1925….. 22000---------1942-1945 None

    Post-War S Series N frames:

    S62,489 – S67,999……..1946 - Early 1947
    S68,000 – S71,999……….Late 1947 – Early 1948
    S72,000 – S72,499……….Late 1948 - Early 1949
    S72,500 – S74,999……….Late 1949 – Early 1950
    S75,000 – S80,499……….Late 1950 – Early 1951
    S80,500 – S85,999……….Late 1952 – Early 1952
    S86,000 – S94,999…….…Late 1952 – Early 1953
    S95,000 – S102,999…….Late 1953 – Early 1954
    S103,000 – S139,999……Late 1954 – Early 1955*
    S140,000 – S149,999….Late 1955 – Early 1956
    S150,000 – S175,999……Late 1956 – Early 1957
    S176,000 – S181,999……Late 1957 – Early 1958
    S182,000 – S194,499……Late 1958 – Early 1959
    S194,500 – S206.999……Late 1959 – Early 1960
    S207,000 – S219,999……Late 1960 – Early 1961
    S220,000 – S227,999……Late 1961 – Early 1962
    S228,000 – S231,999……Late 1962 – Early 1963
    S232,000 – S235.999……Late 1963 – Early 1964
    S236,000 – S257,999……Late 1964 – Early 1965
    S258,000 – S261,999……Late 1965 – Early 1966
    S262,000 – S289,999……Late 1966 – Early 1967
    S290,000 – S304,999……Late 1967 – Early 1968
    S305,000 – S329,999……Late 1968 – Early 1969
    S330,000 – S333,454……Late 1969 – Early 1970

    *Note that a number of N frames with serials in the S138000-S140000 range (and the range may be wider either way) are seen that were shipped much later than the serial would suggest should be the case. In one known example a gun with serial S136431 was not shipped until June of 1958. It's possible that a large block of serial numbers that appear to be from 1954-55 were not actually used until 1957-58. It at least one case a gun has a 5-screw serial and was built as a 4-screw gun.


    N Series N Frames:

    N1 – N60,000………….......1970-72
    N60,001 – N 190,000…...1972-74
    N190,001 – N430,000…...1975 – 77
    N430.001 – N 550,000…..1978
    N550,001 – N580,000….. 1979
    N580,001 – N790,000…...1980
    N790,001 – N932,999...…1980-83

    Post-War S Series K Frames:

    S811,120 – S999,999…….1946 – 48

    C Series K Frames: (Fixed Sight Models)

    C1 - C233,999………….....1948 – 52
    C236,004 – C261,483…….1953
    C277,555 – C314,031….…1954 – 56
    C402,924 – C405,018…….1957
    C405,019 – C429,740…..1958 – 59
    C429,741 – C474,148…….1960
    C474,149 – C622,699…….1961 – 62
    C622,700 – C810,532…….1963 – 65
    C810,533 – C999,999…..1966 – 67

    D Series K Frames: (Fixed Sight Models)

    D1 – D90,000…………….....1968
    D90,001 – D330,000……..1969 -70
    D330,001 – D420,000………1971 – Early 72
    D420,001 – D510,000………Late 1972 – Early 73
    D510,001 – D659,901………Late 1973 – Early 1974
    D659.902 – D75000………..Late 1974 – Early 1975
    D750,001 – D870,000………Late 1975 – Early 1976
    D870,001 – D999,999………Late 1976 – Early 1977
    2D00001 - 2D80,000……….1977
    2D80,001 – 2D99,999………1978
    4D00001 – 6D10,000……….1979
    6D10,0001 – 7D10,000……1980
    7D10,001 – 9D44,500…..1981
    9D44,501 – 17D8,900………1982
    17D8,901 – 21D0883……….1983

    K Series K Frames (Adjustable Sight Models)

    K101 – K614……………......1946
    K615 – K18,731…………....1947
    K18,732 – K73,121……..…1948
    K73,122 – K84,149……..…1949
    K84,150 – K104,047…...1950
    K104,048 – K136,690...1951
    K136,691 – K175,637...1952
    K175,638 – K210,095...1953
    K210,096 – K231,255...1954
    K231,256 – K266,154...1955
    K266,155 – K288,988...1956
    K288,989 – K317,822...1957
    K317,823 – K350,547...1958
    K350,548 – K386,804...1959
    K386,805 – K429,894...1960
    K429,895 – K468,098...1961
    K468,099 – K515,478...1962
    K515,479 – K553,999....1963
    K555,000 – K605.877....1964
    K605,878 – K658.986....1965
    K658,987 – K715,996....1966
    K715,997 – K779.162....1967
    K779,163 – K848,781....1968
    K848,782 – K946,391....1969
    K946,382 – K999,999....1970
    1K1 – 1K39,500.........1970
    2K1 – 2K22.037.........1970
    1K39,501 – 1K999,999...1971
    2K22,038 – 2K55,996....1971
    3K1 – 3K73,962.........1971
    2K55,997 – 2K99,999....1972
    3K31,280 – 5K6,616.....1972
    4K1 – 4K1,627..........1972
    4K1,628 – 4K54,104.....1973
    5K6,617 – 5K73,962.....1973
    4K54,105 – 4K99,999....1974
    5K73,963 – 6K58,917....1974
    7K1 – 7K26,043.........1974
    7K26,044 – 7K70,577....1975
    6K98,918 – 8K20,763....1975
    8K20,764 – 9K1.........1975
    8K20,000 – 9K100,000...1975
    9K1,001 – 9K99,999.....1976
    10K001 – 24K9,999......1977
    25K001 – 56K9,999......1978 – 79
    57K001 – 91K6,800......1980
    91K6,801 – 124K000.....1981
    125K000 – 269K9,999....1982
    270K000 – 311K273......1983

    1980 Three-Letter Prefix Series Begins at AAA000
     
  6. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Member

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    While reference books and Internet experts can often target the approximate year a Smith & Wesson was probably made; there is only one way to be sure, and that is to have the particular revolver or pistol “lettered.” The procedure to do so follows.

    First you will need the following:

    1. A snapshot of the gun, to aid correct identification. If you make a digital picture be sure to send a hard copy, as a link to a .JPG doesn’t count.

    2. A full description, including the serial number, usually found on the butt, rear cylinder face, on the bottom of the barrel above the ejector rod, and on the insides of the stocks. On a few models it will be stamped on the front strap of the grip frame, rather then on the bottom of the butt. On newer revolvers it is stamped on the frame behind the yoke (the yoke it the part that holds the cylinder when you swing it out to the left), and you have to swing out the cylinder to see the number. You may also find a model number stamped below the serial number. Be aware that on older revolvers there is a number in that place which is not the serial number. On an individual gun the serial number will be stamped in one or more of these places, but not in all of the places listed above. In addition, list any other markings such as patent dates stamped on top of the barrel if there are any, and caliber/cartridge markings stamped on the side of the barrel. Remember, correct identification will depend on the information you send.

    3. A check in the amount of $30.00 made out to Smith & Wesson. (Now $50....)

    In exchange the company's historian, Roy G. Jinks, will research the original records (which are not computerized by the way) and send you a letter containing the details of what he finds.

    This comprehensive document will contain an overview of the model’s history, followed by the details of your particular gun. This usually includes the caliber, barrel length, finish, the exact date it was shipped from the factory, and to what distributor or dealer. If there are any special features they will be listed too.

    Additional information on a historical letter will be found on the Smith & Wesson company website at:

    http://www.smith-wesson.com/webapp/...catalogId=11101&content=25301&sectionId=10504
     
  7. ugaarguy

    ugaarguy Moderator Staff Member

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    A star stamped before or after the serial number indicates the gun was returned to the factory for service.
     
  8. XavierBreath

    XavierBreath Member

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    In May, 1948, Smith & Wesson changed their simple "Made In USA" rollmark to a more complex four line bilingual version. This was to combat the many Spanish counterfiet revolvers being produced.

    For collectors, the 4 line rollmark indicates a definite post war gun.

    The "Made In USA" mark appeared in May, 1922. Prior to that date, there were no markings placed on that area of the frame by the factory.
     
  9. Jim K

    Jim K Member

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    Just a note that the early M&P revolvers were four screw. The Models 1899 and 1902 did not have the screw for the cylinder stop spring.

    Jim
     
  10. XavierBreath

    XavierBreath Member

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    Gentlemen, this thread is not for asking about your specific gun. If you want to do that, start a new thread. If you want to add useful information to this thread, PM it to me.
     
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