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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
    • Contributing Member

    Radagast Moderator Staff Member

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    pdgodwin99:
    1902-1903. See your original thread for more info.
     
  2. shootr

    shootr Member

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    Appreciate any info on this one:

    a - .38 Spl
    b - 2"
    c - round
    d - 5-shot
    e - fixed, non-adjustable
    f - 5 J 3119
    g - Mod 36 (under the crane - no dashes or anything else)


    Thx!
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2013
  3. Radagast
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    Radagast Moderator Staff Member

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    shootr:
    Your Model 36 Chiefs Special was manufactured in 1971.
     
  4. ericuda

    ericuda Member

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    Any info on the following would be appreciated.

    22lr
    6"
    sq grip, 2 grips came with the gun. What is the difference?
    6 shots
    adjustable
    K15## on bottom of barrel, face of cylinder and bottom of frame. It says 22## on the yoke.
    the number 22## on the crane

    357
    4"
    sq grip
    6 shots
    adjustable
    N654***
    27-2
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2016
  5. shootr

    shootr Member

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    Thank you!!
     
  6. davidnssbm

    davidnssbm Member

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    Hey Radadgast,

    How about a SW 686 serial AFT45 XX?
     
  7. MagicD

    MagicD Member

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    S&W model 31-1 serial no. 8092xx .32 SW Long
    3 inch pinned barrel j frame , square grip with matching number to revolver.
    Thanks
     
  8. mesinge2

    mesinge2 Member

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    And could I get an approximate value. Thanks in advance Radagast!

    a) .38 SPL
    b) 3"
    c) square butt
    d) 5
    e) fixed sights
    f) xxxxxx
    g) model 36 no dash

    38SpecialSmithandWessonModel363inchbarrel1_zps91b27ad3.jpg
    38SpecialSmithandWessonModel363inchbarrel2_zps03a8c0c2.jpg
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2013
  9. Radagast
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    Radagast Moderator Staff Member

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    Mesinge2:
    Your Model 36 Chiefs Special was manufactured in 1971 or 1992, with my guess being late 1971. Approximate value is probably $375-$425. I'm in Australia, so i recommend you check online auctions to find a more accurate figure. The lack of a -1 indicates yours is the rarer tapered barrel, the -1 was the three inch heavy barrel.

    MagicD:
    Your Model 31-1 .32 Regulation Police was manufactured between 1961 & 1969. Serial range over those years was 712954 to 826977. The -1 refers to a change to the J frame from the smaller I frame. To narrow the year down, if the grips are original and have an uncheckered diamond around the screws, then 1962-1968. If the checkering runs up to the screws, then 1968 to 1969.
    If the cylinder release is flat, then 1962-1966. If concave, 1966-1969.

    davidnssbm:
    Your Model 686 Distinguished Combat Magnum Stainless was manufactured in late 1984. There is a recall on the early 686s, with some magnum ammo the primer can flow back into the firing pin bushing and lock up the gun. Under the recall S&W will pay shipping both ways and install a new bushing and firing pin. If the gun has been modified there will be an M stamped under the crane. If not a call to S&W will get you a shipping label.

    ericuda:
    Your .22 is a K22 Target Masterpiece manufactured in 1947, the second year of production. This was S&W's premium .22 target revolver. The grips are probably service 'Magna' grips and the larger target stocks. Early target stocks can bring good money in their own right and there is collectors interest in the early K22s. in 1957 the Target Masterpiece was designated the Model 17.

    Your Model 27-2 .357 Magnum was manufactured in 1979 or 1980, with 1980 being more likely.
     
  10. mesinge2

    mesinge2 Member

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    Thanks again for the help Radagast
     
  11. pittspilot

    pittspilot Member

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    Found a bucket list gun.

    25-2
    6 inch
    N759404

    Thanks,
     
  12. dbates

    dbates Member

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    s&w

    I have a smith that i cannot identify here is the beginning serial number any info on this is greatly appreciated

    five shot

    #2230XX listed on bottom of handle
     
  13. Radagast
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    Radagast Moderator Staff Member

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    dbates:
    Assuming the caliber is .38 special, and the gun has an external hammer and steel frame, then it is a Model 36 .38 Chiefs Special manufactured between 1959 & 1962.

    If the caliber is .38 Special, the gun has an external hammer and aluminum frame, then it is a Model 37 .38 Chiefs Special Airweight.

    If the caliber is .38 special, the hammer is partially shrouded by a hump in the rear of the frame and the frame is steel, then it is a Model 38 Bodyguard Airweight.
     
  14. Radagast
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    Radagast Moderator Staff Member

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    pittspilot:
    Bucket guns are always nice. :)
    Your Model 25 / 1955 Model Heavy barrel target was manufactured in 1979 or 1980, the N6xxxxx range being used over those years.
    I expect your gun is from 1980, due to the high serial number.
     
  15. missyoak

    missyoak Member

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    Location:
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    I'm new so be gentle...
    I have a S&W 38 Special Ctg revolver. Not 38 +P.... just 38. There is no V on this gun. The number is " S 834xxx " with Smith & Wesson spelled out on the barrel and Made in USA on the other side near the trigger guard. The number on the frame matches the one on the cylinder. It is a 6-shooter with a 4 or 5 inch barrel. I believe the grip (A pearly white) was after-market but looks great. Since I'm so new to this sport / love affair..... I don't know what the finish is. Its dark and shiny ... maybe parkerized? Any information would be appreciated. Thanks for being patient with me... I want to learn.
     
  16. Radagast
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    Radagast Moderator Staff Member

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    missyoak:
    Gentle? Hah! Its time to bring out the Gimp!

    On a more serious note, you have a .38 Military & Police Post War transitional model manufactured in 1946 or 1947. Serial range for those years was S817000 to S924878, so 1946 seems likely.

    it is a transitional model because it still uses the pre-war 'long action' hammer, which was replaced by the current 'short action' in late 1947, while incorporating the wartime developed positive hammer block safety that was standard on all S&Ws from the 1950s on. The S prefix indicates the presence of the hammer block safety.
    The long action tends to give a smoother trigger pull than the short action.

    The grips are probably Franzite, which were quite popular in the 1950s:
    http://www.franzitegrips.com/

    S&W use 1957 and the introduction of stamped model numbers as a handy cut off point, stating PlusP should not be used in guns made prior to then. In reality the post war guns are fine with .38 Special +P. A search on member Saxon Pig & .38 special +P will bring up several threads where he discusses the use of Plus P in his postwar guns. American +P is the equivalent of European standard pressure.
    Avoid the use of +P+ though, as there is no industry standard for this and you won't know what you are getting.

    Parkerizing was a matte grey finish, the gun will be blued to the standard of the day.
     
  17. pittspilot

    pittspilot Member

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  18. missyoak

    missyoak Member

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    38 Transitional

    Thank you for the quick response! This is my first classic though it certainly won't be the last.
     
  19. smkummer

    smkummer Member

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    Military & Police 38 spec. square butt ser. 59625

    5 in. barrel, blued. Has a lanyard through the serial number on the butt. 5 screws. 6 shot. K frame size
     
  20. Radagast
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    Radagast Moderator Staff Member

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    smkummer: You have a .38 Military & Police model of 1902 - 1st Change manufactured in 1903 or 1904. Serial range for those years was 33804 to 62449, so 1904 seems likely.
     
  21. Rcm1802

    Rcm1802 Member

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    Im a newbie that just got into the sport of shooting about a year ago. I just inherited a model 66-2 from my father in law who passed away last week. My wife Loves this gun i just want to find more info about it for her. It has a 4 in barrel stainless steel 357 mag six shooter it seems like is round the serial number is bbj8045. If you guys could help with this I would greatly appreciate it
     
  22. smkummer

    smkummer Member

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    Lanyard loop? on this model?

    Thanks ragagast! What would a letter from Smith & Wesson typically show for this model? Family accounts state it was originally owned by a police chief in West Virginia. As stated, it has a lanyard loop through the serial number on the butt, would this be factory? I will probably provide cast bullet reloads for this gun with unique in the standard pressure catagory. We did fire some with 5.2 grains unique and a 158 LSWC that by some books is plus P with no issues. While only shooting standard pressure for range use (about 4.7 grains unique) I feel it could be loaded with plus P for that home defense use that probably never happens. I am a Colt person and have too many Colt revolvers to count but this Smith 38 with a 5 in. barrel is one sweet shooter for sure.
     
  23. 4dragans

    4dragans Member

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    what year?

    A friend,
    gave me this years ago, put it in the safe. Now I would like to know what year it was made. Thinking that it is a pre-1920.
    S&W 38 Special
    4"
    Round with insignia, wood grip, diamond in grip screw, small curve on bottom of grip.
    6 shot
    Round, half moon with crease.
    sn 2752xx only, no letters on butt.
    On right side of barrel " 38 S&W 38 Special CTG, open cylinder and in the crane area there is a #119."
    On top of barrel it states " Oct. 8, 1901: Dec. 17, 1901: a few more, then Dec. 22 1914. A pretty clean pistol. What say YE.
     
  24. Radagast
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    Radagast Moderator Staff Member

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    4dragans:
    You have a .38 Military & Police Model of 1905 4th Change manufactured in 1915.
    It predates heat treatment of cylinders, so stick to standard velocity lead loads only, no PlusP or jacketed. It also predates the positive hammer block safety introduced in WWII. If dropped there is a small possibility it could fire, so leave the chamber under the hammer empty.

    smkummer:
    See the above about PlusP. I would consider it suitable for black powder or low pressure smokeless loads only. S&W did not advertise that all their guns where suitable for smokeless until 1906 or 1908, which suggests a change in the steel used at that time. Heat treatment of cylinders did not occur until 1919.
    There have been several pre 1920 guns with mismatched barrels in this thread, which suggests that bulged or split barrels were not unknown, and over the years I've read claims of bulged cylinders as well.

    S&W does not recommend PlusP in guns made prior to the introduction of model numbers in 1957. searching under THR member Saxon Pig & /.38 Special PlusP will bring up some discussion on the matter.

    I do not reload so I can't comment on your loads.


    Rcm1802:
    Your wife has a Model 66-2 Combat Magnum Stainless manufactured in 1988. Built on the medium K frame, they are not suited to a constant diet of magnum ammunition, especially the light weight 125 grain loads. Regular use of light weight magnums may result in rapid wear of the gun. S&W solved the problem by building the slightly heavier L frame.
    I recommend you stick to the slightly slower 158 grain magnums and .38 special loads.
     
  25. 4dragans

    4dragans Member

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    Thank you Radagast

    Just a question or two. 1, how much powder to put in the casing for safe loads? 2, why not jacketed bullets?
     

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