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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. Casey111

    Casey111 Member

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    [​IMG]

    a) .38 special
    b) 6"
    c) Square butt
    d) 6
    e) fixed
    f) C326378
    g) No model behind cylinder. This number is different from the barrel and bottom of grip. Is this normal?

    Sorry new guy.
     
  2. Radagast
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    Radagast Contributing Member

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    Casey111:
    You have a .38 Military & Police Postwar manufactured in the period 1954-1956, in the serial range C277555 to C402923, so 1955 seems likely.
    Model numbers were not introduced until 1957, when the .38 Military & Police was designated the Model 10.
    The serial numbers is always found on the bottom edge of the frame, between the grip panels. It was sometimes duplicated under the barrel (normally concealed by the ejector rod and on the frame under the cylinder yoke cut out.
    If the number under the barrel does not match, then it may have been re-barreled in the past. If the number under they cylinder yoke does not match then it is an assembly number, used to track parts in the factory and not recorded after the gun was completed.
     
  3. Casey111

    Casey111 Member

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    Thanks for the information!
     
  4. Radagast
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    Radagast Contributing Member

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    Driswalds:
    It's probably not a problem if you only shoot .38 specials, and the primer flow back is pretty rare with magnums.
    If you want your gun modified just call S&W customer service and they will send you a shipping label.
     
  5. thefresh2o

    thefresh2o Member

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    Radagast,
    How's life under the Mad Monk?

    I made an error when I gave you the serial number off my Triple lock...

    She's a 6" .455 serial #931. I read off the assembly number from the frame under the crane.

    Could you please give me an idea of the DOB?

    Just finished restitching an old issue holster - leather was fine, the linen thread was history. Man, there is a lot of stitching in one of the old holsters!

    Cheers
    Evan
     
  6. Radagast
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    Radagast Contributing Member

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    Quiet at the moment. He'll need the vote of a Libertarian senator to get his agenda through, that Senator happens to be an ex shooters party state secretary in favor of CCW, so my guess is he will have to rein in his natural tendency to confiscate guns for the next three years at least. :)

    455 Hand Ejector 1st Model, manufactured 1914 & 1915, serial range 1 to circa 6000.
    6.5 inch barrel, forged round front sight. Usually no caliber markings, just patent dates and company name.
    Fixed groove rear sight, shrouded extractor rod, smooth trigger, checkered hammer, color case hardened hammer and trigger, checkered walnut stocks, lanyard ring or butt swivel.
    Note that some of the .44 Hand Ejector 1st Model guns were converted to .455 during WWI and supplied to Britain, these should have later serial numbers than yours. There were also some in .450 Eley, if your gun is so marked then its a .44 Hand Ejector 1st Model.
     
  7. thefresh2o

    thefresh2o Member

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    He'll be too busy pimping out his hot daughters... Seriously, you gotta wonder about politicians.
    You are right on the money with the TL. However, she is a British gun... Proofed & out-of-service marked. The only calibre markings are the British Proof .455 and it's proofed to 6 tons per square inch. Which surprises me, as my Model 29-2 has British proofs (everywhere) and was proofed to 10 tons per square inch. Not as great a difference as I'd expected...
     
  8. Radagast
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    Radagast Contributing Member

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    Should have said that all of that production run were for Britain. I'm not surprised it has British proofs, but yeah, not being covered in them or stamped NOT BRITISH MADE is unusual.
    http://www.rathcoombe.net/sci-tech/classics/webley/webley-mk-vi.html has some interesting data on Webley pressures. 6 Tons = 15230 PSI, the CIP maximum allowable load is 13050.
     
  9. thefresh2o

    thefresh2o Member

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    The Rathcoombe link is useful - thanks Radagast.
    The TL does have the standard British proofs - no Not English Made though.
    I found a guy in Christchurch who cuts down Starline 45 Colt brass & turns the case inner rim to the correct thickness. So, now I have 455 MkII brass with large primers - as opposed to the expensive Fiocchi ammo with small primers.
    Now to spend the time shooting it.
     
  10. peffy03

    peffy03 Member

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    a) caliber
    b) bbl length (from cylinder to muzzle)
    c) grips shape (round or square)
    d) number of shots/cylinder bores
    e) type of sights.
    f) serial number, and if there is a letter in front of or anywhere near the s/n on the bottom of the grip
    g) Model number if it is under the crane.
    That number, if it is the s/n, should come from the butt of the grip (or under the barrel or face of the cylinder).

    A. ) Barrel is labeled "38 S & W Special CTG"
    B.) 6"
    C) rounded
    D) 6 shot
    E) Fixed Sights
    F) 374906 (no letters) on the butt, bottom of barrel and back of cyl
    G) 90515
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2013
  11. Radagast
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    Radagast Contributing Member

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    thefresh2o: I'll one up you. Got to handle a Fosbery recently. Near mint. Out of my price range though. :)

    peffy03:
    You have a .38 Military & Police Model of 1905 4th Change manufactured between 1921 (360,000) & 1927 (551000), so yours will almost certainly date to 1921 or early 1922.

    90515 is not a model number, it is an assembly number used to track parts in the factory. Model numbers were introduced in 1957.
    Your gun predates the positive internal hammer block safety introduced after a fatality with a dropped gun in World War II. It does have an earlier version of the hammer block. Playing it safe, I would leave the hammer under the cylinder empty if it is kept loaded.
    Your gun does have a heat treated cylinder (heat treating was introduced in 1919) and is theoretically safe with any current standard velocity ammunition.
     
  12. thefresh2o

    thefresh2o Member

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    They're special alright... The semi-auto revolver. Funny thinking, indeed.
    I got to play with one a couple of years back in the NZ Police firearms library.
     
  13. thunder173

    thunder173 Member

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    Could you please ID date of birth on this.

    .357 magnum
    6 inch barrel
    square butt
    6 shot
    adjustable sights
    serial: BHV3638
    Model 19-6

    Thanx
     
  14. Radagast
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    Radagast Contributing Member

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    thunder173:
    Your Model 19-6 .357 Combat Magnum was manufactured in late 1991 or early 1992. My guess is it was probably assembled in late 1991 and shipped early in 1992.
     
  15. thunder173

    thunder173 Member

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    Thank you sir!
     
  16. RussB

    RussB Member

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    38 special
    1 7/8"
    round butt
    5 shot
    fixed
    204363
    MOD-36

    I bought this gun for $129. It was scratched up and pitted. Internally the gun was in excellent condition. I cleaned it, glass bead blasted it and had it re-blued. I would love to know when it was built. This gun gets carried a lot with the boot grip. The original grips are indicative of the poor condition the gun was in when I acquired it


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  17. Radagast
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    Radagast Contributing Member

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    RussB:
    Your Model 36 Chiefs Special was manufactured between 1959 (serial number 150133) & 1962 (serial number 295000) so 1960 seems likely.
     
  18. RussB

    RussB Member

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    Thanks Radagast! I was hoping it was a '61, like me
     
  19. ka4pxk

    ka4pxk Member

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    Sorry to be so slow getting back as I was laid up with a bad back injury,
    Looking at her again the number on the butt seems to be, hard to read the stamping with my reading glasses so I used a magnifier, just small not degraded. I need to get new reading glasses I guess.

    3302960 factory chrome 6" barrel 32020 stock walnut checkered grips 98% remaining finish. Springfield Mass last patent date Dec 22 1914. She has hardly been shot over the years little wear on her at all. The guy at the gun show had here labeled as a 4th model hand eject guess he had it wrong. Nice gun and one of my favorites I would just like to know more about her.
     
  20. Radagast
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    Radagast Contributing Member

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    RussB, the definitive way to find out would be to spend $50 and have the S&W factory historian look up the shipping date.
    Or, possibly more fun if not necessarily correct, just decide it was manufactured in 1960 & delivered in 1961. Like you. :p
     
  21. Radagast
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    Radagast Contributing Member

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    ka4pxk;
    You have my sympathy, I broke my back three years ago and never fully recovered.

    1914 patent dates would make it a .32-20 Hand Ejector Model of 1905 4th Change.

    Serial number 32020 would make it a .32-20 Hand Ejector Model of 1905 1st change manufactured between 1906 & 1909.

    Serial number 3302960 never existed. If that number was taken off the barrel then it would be B302960, still to high a number.

    My guess is you have a Frankengun, probably a 1906-1909 gun with a post 1914 barrel. It was not unusual for the .32-20 Hand Ejector to suffer a bulged barrel when shot with jacketed ammo designed for rifles, which may have resulted in a new barrel being fitted.

    The .32-20 Hand Ejector serial ranges were as follows:
    1st Model (1899-1902) 1-5311.
    Model of 1902 (1902-1905) 5312-9811.
    Model of 1902 - 1st Change (1903-1905) 9812-18125.
    Model of 1905 (1905-1906) 18126-22426.
    Model of 1905 -1st Change (1906-1909) 22427-33500.
    Model of 1905 -2nd Change (1906-1909) 33501-45200.
    Model of 1905 - 3rd Change (1909-1915) 45201-65700.
    Model of 1905 - 4th Change (1915-1940) 65701-144684.

    If the right side of the frame is stamped MADE IN USA then its post May 1922.
    If the grips have mo medallion then 1904-1910 or possibly 1920 to 1929.
    If the grips have a gold medallion then 1910-1920.
    If the grips have a silver medallion then 1929-1941.

    Hope this helps. Beyond that, post lots of pics.
     
  22. ka4pxk

    ka4pxk Member

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    Thanks for the info I took some photos with my D90 and a Sunpak flash, I hope they are a help. no medallion as you can see. The red in the back ground is the book the GunFighters of the Old West an over size book. I hope they help and I shot the serial number 2X to make sure it could be read, my eyes are what they were a couple of years ago.
     

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  23. Radagast
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    Radagast Contributing Member

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    ka4pxk;
    Serial number is 130200. It probably shipped 1924-1927, with late 1924/early 1925 being my guess.
    Grips are correct for period and probably serial numbered to the gun on the inside panel.
    The distinct line of the side plate indicates it has been buffed back and refinished at some point in the past.
    If the hammer and trigger are nickel instead of color case hardened/straw color, then it has definitely been refinished. S&W did not nickel these parts. I can't make out which finish your gun has.
    Good news is that it has a heat treated cylinder, so it should be safe to fire.
    Avoid any old jacketed ammo marked 'High Speed" This was for rifles only and could bulge the barrel. A good rule of thumb is avoid all jacketed ammo period.
    It lacks the positive internal hammer block introduced after a fatality with a dropped gun in 1944. 1.5 million guns made with one fatality recorded is not too bad a ratio, but I would ere on the side of caution and treat it as a 5 shooter, leaving the chamber under the hammer empty unless actually shooting.
     
  24. ka4pxk

    ka4pxk Member

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    32 20

    They are straw colored and I treat all revolvers as 5 shooters, as I grew up on a Russian and SAAs, had to got down 44 Sp cases to length for the Russian, but it was a lot of fun to shoot. The only jacketed I shoot out of it are my home defense rounds, That I load to 32 20 pistol levels and are cup points. Mostly 93 gr cast lead 20:1 lead to tin, which it loves.

    Thanks for the information I really love having the info on the old girl as she is my favorite pistol in my collection and a great buy at 200 at the gun show. I really enjoy her and keep the metal covered with Renn Museum wax, which is made to protect historic swords, knives and guns.

    BTW I am 6'5" Scottish and Cherokee so I love the William Wallace line

    Kirk
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2013
  25. ljnowell

    ljnowell Member

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    I picked one up that I would like to know when its built.

    The details are as follows

    357 mag
    model 19-4
    6" barrel
    52k49xx

    To the best of what I could find it would be a mid-late 1970s production. Its certainly in great condition with the wide trigger and hammer and the pinned barrel with recessed cylinder. Nice pistol.
     

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