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Identity and Date of Manufacture of S&W Revolvers

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by Brian Williams, Jun 21, 2008.

  1. Radagast
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    Radagast Moderator Staff Member

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    5-SHOTS:
    The Model 649-1 .38 Bodyguard Stainless was manufactured between 1988 & 1990. A serial number BEUxxxx should date your gun to between December 1989 & March 1990.
     
  2. Radagast
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    Radagast Moderator Staff Member

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    I'm starting to fade mentally, so thats it for tonight. I should catch up on all replies tomorrow.
     
  3. dmena99

    dmena99 Member

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    I have a smith and wesson model 19-3, 6 shot, adjustable rear sight and serial#2k86xxx
    can anyone tell me the date of manufacture?
     
  4. Radagast
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    Radagast Moderator Staff Member

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    dmena99:
    Your Model 19-3 Combat Magnum was manufactured in 1972.
     
  5. Radagast
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    Radagast Moderator Staff Member

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    Tinpig:
    Your Brazilian contract .45 Hand Ejector Model of 1917 falls in the serial range for the shipment sent to Brazil in 1938, being serial range 181983 to 207043. Per the Standard Catalog of S&W your gun should have smooth walnut grips, but it wears the correct commercial grips for the period to 1938, so they may be original to the gun. If the gun has an importers mark (possibly on the underside of the barrel) then it was probably reimported to the USA in 1990.
     
  6. Radagast
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    Radagast Moderator Staff Member

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    m75rlg:
    Your Model 34-1 .22/32 Kit Gun was manufactured in 1981. The -1 refers to a change to the J frame ftom the earlier I frame. Modern J frame grips will fit your gun.

    Your Model 29-2 .44 Magnum was manufactured in the period 1975 to 1976.

    Your six inch Model 29-3 was manufactured around July 1987, the Standard Catalog of S&W notes serial number AVB8654 shipped that month.

    Your 8&3/8 inch Model 29-3 was manufactured a little earlier, certainly within the previous 12 months and likely within the previous six.
     
  7. Radagast
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    Radagast Moderator Staff Member

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    waidmann:
    Your .32-20 Hand Ejector Model of 1905 4th Change was manufactured between 1915 & 1940 in the serial range 65701 to 144684. The Standard Catalog of S&W notes that production was discontinued prior to WWII & never resumed.
    Roughly 15000 guns shipped between 1915 & the introduction of heat treated cylinders in 1919/1920, & prior to WWI production averaged between three and four thousand units a year. So extrapolating production of no more than 5000 guns a year, I would guesstimate your gun as being from the mid to late 1930s. If the grips are the original round top walnut variant then 1938 or earlier, as S&W started to phase in the modern Magna grip that year. If Magnas then 1938 to 1940.
    Unfortunately this is another gun like your S.A. .38/200 that will require a factory letter to nail down.
     
  8. Oyeboten

    Oyeboten Member

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    Hi Radagast,



    Well, Santa seems to have felt I had been a good-enough boy...which was mighty generous of him.


    a) .38 S&W Special CTG.

    b) 6-1/2 Inches

    c) Round Butt

    d) 6

    e) Target Sights, front and rear both adjustable if in different planes, respectively.

    f) 61571


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]



    Butt, Cylinder, and, underside of the Ejecter Star, share the same Serial Number.

    Barrel has no Serial Number, but, has a small letter K.


    Patent Dates on Barrel stop at 1906


    Has no 'Fifth Screw' ( ie: no screw in the upper front of the Trigger Bow, so, it is a 'Four Screw' ).


    Stocks appear to be a very dense figured Walnut, looking in color and non-porousity more like the Burl Root of which Pipe Bowls were usually made.


    What do you think? Was this possibly re-Barreled by S & W when it was still relatively new?
     
  9. Radagast
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    Radagast Moderator Staff Member

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    TheGent:
    S&W did not use a B prefix for their serial numbers, except where the serial number was duplicated under the barrel, where a B would be stamped to indicate it was the barrels serial number only. Some guns are found that have been rebarrelled, the barrel serial number will not match the frame serial number in that case & only the number on the grip frame matters legally.
    Check the bottom of the grip frame, the serial number will always be found there.
    If the serial number is 3026xx then you have a .38 Military & Police Model of 1905 4th Change manufactured between 1915 & September 1919 in the serial range 241704 & 316648. This predates heat treatment of cylinders, so stick to standard pressure lead only loads, don't use jacketed, PlusP or +P+ marked ammunition.
    It also predates the modern positive internal hammer block safety introduced in 1944 after a fatality with a dropped gun. If you keep it loaded I recommend you leave the chamber under the hammer empty as a precaution.

    If the serial number on the grip has an S,V, C or D prefix then it is a World War II or later gun. Get back to me with the correct number & I'll date it for you.
     
  10. Radagast
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    Radagast Moderator Staff Member

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    Oyeboten:
    Nice find! You seem to get the coolest toys. :)

    Serial number 61571 should make it a .38 Military & Police Model of 1902 1st Change manufactured between 1903 & 1904 in the serial range 33804 to 62449.
    The medallionless walnut grips are correct, as are the 4 screw frame & the windage adjustable rear sight contoured to the frame. Ditto the round butt, the very first square butt K frames appeared at around serial number 58xxx.
    The SCSW only mentions a round blade front sight, so that may not be original.
    The Model of 1902 1st Change was replaced by the Model of 1905 in 1905 & then the Model of 1905 1st Change in 1906. Both were 5 screw variants.
    The SCSW gave a value of $400 in excellent condition, with a 200 to 300 percent premium for the target model.
    I'm inclined to believe that the incomplete target frame was kept in stock and later fitted with a barrel from between 1906 & 1909 when an order came in. In later years a factory rework would have been stamped with a star if it was rebarrelled after being returned to the factory, I don't know what their policy was back then. If this one makes your curiousity itch then it might be worth a factory letter.
    I'm still working through the old questions, I will address the Brazilian gun in detail when I get to it.
     
  11. Radagast
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    Radagast Moderator Staff Member

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    Cajun Bass:
    Your Model 15-3 Combat Masterpiece dates to 1971. The Standard Catalog of S&W notes a reported single 2.5 inch barreled variant chambered in .357 magnum and stamped DPS-xxxx, possibly for the Texas Department of Public Safety. Try chambering a magnum in it. Maybe you have a real rarity. :)
     
  12. Radagast
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    Radagast Moderator Staff Member

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    jehowell8575:
    You are the lucky owner of a .44 Hand Ejector 1st Model, also known as the New Century or Triple-lock. This is the grand daddy of the modern .44 Magnum, introducing both the large swing out cylinder N frame and the .44 Special cartridge. Serial range was 1 to 15375 manufactured between 1907 & 1915.
    The nickel finish appears to be original, the grips should have a S&W medallion set in, but are otherwise correct for that period and are probably original to the gun. The pics are poor so the following is not definite: if the gun is not pitted, and the dark spots are just flaking nickel then value is quite high, potentially $750 to $1250, with a potential premium for the rare barrel length and the nickel finish.
    This gun predates heat treatment of cylinders. Don't shoot jacketed or PlusP rated loads in it. Stick to standard velocity lead only.
    It also lacks the internal hammer block safety found on later guns, so leave the chamber under the hammer empty. If dropped it could fire.
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2010
  13. Oyeboten

    Oyeboten Member

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    Thanks Radagast,



    I had wanted a Target Model for a long time, finally stubbed a Toe on this one.


    It has a very very smooth ( like 'Butter' ) Action and is still very snug.


    I think I will send off for the 'Letter'.


    Got my Letter on the little Snubulator.


    Will relay it's info tomorrow sometime.


    Nice to have you back!


    Best wishes..!
     
  14. Radagast
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    Radagast Moderator Staff Member

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    forindooruseonly:
    Your Model 10-8 .38 Military & Police Heavy Barrel dates to 1979.
    Your Model 27-3 .357 Magnum dates to roughly July 1987.
     
  15. Radagast
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    Radagast Moderator Staff Member

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    papacarn:
    5K23xxx is the serial number, which is the number used by the factory and or the government to record the gun. 76758 is an assembly number used to track parts in the factory, it has no meaning once the gun is complete.
    Based on barrel length & serial number, you have a Model 14-3 K38 Masterpiece manufactured in 1971. Value is dependent upon condition. $450 in excellent condition is probably right, you can check completed sales on online auction sites such as guns america or auction arms to get a closer idea of value.
     
  16. waidmann

    waidmann Member

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    Thanks, Radagast. The grips are of the type immediately prior to the pre/early war medallion grips.

    The revolver has some connection to the Wrigley's Arizona Biltmore so I have been playing with the idea of lettering it as well.

    I, as are are many I am sure, gratified by your amazing return-to-duty. Please don't over do it in your zeal to be of service. Thanks, again.

    Waidmann
     
  17. Radagast
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    Radagast Moderator Staff Member

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    fortyfiver:
    You have a .38 Military & Police Model of 1905 4th Change manufactured between 1920 & 1927. It has a heat treated cylinder, so it should be safe to shoot with any standard velocity ammo, but I would avoid PlusP or +P+.
    It also predates the positive internal hammer block safety, so if kept loaded it would be prudent to leave the chamber under the hammer empty. Otherwise the gun may fire if dropped.
     
  18. Radagast
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    Radagast Moderator Staff Member

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    Waidmann:
    Mate, I need to do something creative to keep my mind occupied, so this helps. As I've just been given my midnight dose of opiates I'll pack it in until tomorrow as I have a chance to get three hours sleep. :)

    Later.
     
  19. Tinpig

    Tinpig Member

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    Radagast-
    Anyone who saw Aussies with the RAR in Vietnam knew they were tough...but you're insane.;):D
    Thanks very much for the information.
    Tinpig
     
  20. kenjoe45

    kenjoe45 Member

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    Thanks for the prompt reply to my previous request. Glad to hear you are progessing so well. I have one more if you don't mind. Thank you.
    S&W model 1 1/2 I believe.
    SN 44733
    32 short
     

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  21. fortyfiver

    fortyfiver Member

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    Radagast
    Thank you for the help with my newest toy. I hope that your recovery is going well.
    fortyfiver
     
  22. luckysedem

    luckysedem Member

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    reliability means what to you? what are the hootest loads i can shoot?
     
  23. Radagast
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    Radagast Moderator Staff Member

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    luckysedem:
    Reliability means the cylinder will not skip or counter rotate when the trigger is pulled, the yoke & cylinder will not shake loose causing ignition to be unreliable when the trigger is pulled & the cylinder gap will not become stretched allowing gas to escape, and the alignment of the barrel & cylinder remains correct so the gun does not shave and spit lead to the side when fired. These problems could occur with earlier guns.

    Later guns have different problems. Recoil may cause the internal trigger lock to activate (although the reports I have read all involved alloy frame guns, not steel frame guns). Twice I have seen the MIM internal transfer bar break and lock up a gun.

    The hottest ammunition I would recommend in a S&W 629 would be factory 240 grain rounds. If you want anything more powerful you need to buy a Ruger.

    This thread is for identifying the year of manufacture of a gun. If you have any more general questions I suggest you start a new thread where you will get more answers.
     
  24. Radagast
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    Radagast Moderator Staff Member

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    kenjoe45:
    You have a .32 Single Action / Model One & a Half Centerfire. Yours is the later model with the external strain screw in the grip frame. The grips are the correct style for that serial number. Nickel finish with case hardened trigger & hammer is also correct, the most common barrel lengths were three & three & a half inches. The .32 Single Action was manufactured between 1878 & 1892 in the serial range 1 to 97574, unfortunately the Standard Catalog of S&W doesn't give a year to year serial number breakdown for the early model S&Ws.
     
  25. Radagast
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    Radagast Moderator Staff Member

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    Tinpig:
    I think you met my uncle Gary!. I'm actually perfectly sane. I'm sure that with a little practice I will master throwing myself at the ground & missing, thus learning to fly. :)
     

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