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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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    CajunBass:
    1948 is correct, serial range for that year was K18732 to K73121. The K22 Masterpiece Postwar 3rd Model was introduced in 1946.
    The gold box is probably correct, they were used from 1946-1965, but were being phased out by 1954.

    Orpington:
    Serial number 458xx shipped in 1904, production ended at serial number 54668, with the last guns shipped in 1913. so 1904-1913 is the best I can give you. All frames were manufactured prior to 1899 & stockpiled, so it classifies as an antique under ATF rules.
     
  2. jshrop6004

    jshrop6004 Member

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    Model 27 DOB

    Hey Rad, how about this one:
    Model 27-2
    8-3/8" barrel
    Nickel finish
    6 shot
    Serial #N1545XX
    Target grips
    In presentation box


    Thanks as always,
    Joel S.
     
  3. Radagast
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    Radagast Moderator Staff Member

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    jshrop6004:

    1973 for that one.
     
  4. BlackJack

    BlackJack Member

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    What's the date on this one?

    a) .357 Mag
    b) 3"
    c) round butt
    d) 6 shot
    e) channel rear sight
    f) 7D77xxx
    g) 65-3

    Thanks in advance for the info!
     
  5. Radagast
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    Radagast Moderator Staff Member

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    BlackJack:
    Your Model 65-3 .357 Magnum Military & Police Heavy Barrel Stainless was manufactured in early 1981. Serial numbers for that year started at 7D10001 and had reached 8D00001 by March.
     
  6. BlackJack

    BlackJack Member

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    Thanks Rad!
     
  7. jshrop6004

    jshrop6004 Member

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    Thanks Rad!
     
  8. Catpop

    Catpop Member

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    44 mag
    5 7/8" barrel
    Square grip
    6 shot cylinder
    Square leaf sights
    N881xxx
    629 stainless steel
    Inside frame "E3"
    Any info would be most appreciated, Thank you, Catpop
     
  9. Radagast
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    Radagast Moderator Staff Member

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    Catpop:

    The Standard Catalog of S&W does not have a year to year breakdown for that serial range, but I can narrow it down.
    The N800,000 to N899000 serial range was used from 1980 to 1983; the 629 was officially replaced with the 629-1 in 1982.
    The production of N frames was never that fast and the high serial number probably places it in the last year of the range.
    S&W never discarded parts and would continue to assemble 'superseded' models until the parts were used up.
    So my guess is 1983, with a small chance for it being 1982.
     
  10. Catpop

    Catpop Member

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    Rad, Thank you so much for the info and prompt reply. Good shooting, Catpop
     
  11. johnnycarpenter

    johnnycarpenter Member

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    Moderator or other experts(s)

    I have 2 j-frames would appreciate any details. Thanks for this excellent thread.

    Model 36
    2" barrel
    Nickel finish
    5 shot
    Serial #1J100XX
    Wood Grips

    Model 37
    2" barrel
    Blue Finish
    5 shot
    Serial #BBU20XX
    Hogue Grips

    Any information is appreciated. Thanks very much
     
  12. NapalmMan67

    NapalmMan67 Member

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    Radagast- Found another if you get a moment:


    S&W 6 shot
    .38 S&W Special Ctg.
    4" barrell

    V866XX


    .
     
  13. Radagast
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    Radagast Moderator Staff Member

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    NapalmMan67:
    You have a Victory Model manufactured close to the start of the run, so late 1941 or early 1942. Check the chambers for two steps in it - if there are two steps then its actually a .38/200 British Service Revolver manufactured in for Great Britain and converted after the war to .38 Special.
    A converted BSR has no collectors value and should only be shot with standard velocity lead loads, PlusP & JHP may lead to split or bulged cases.
    An original US issue Victory Model will have collector value and should be safe with any current factory .38 special standard or PlusP load.
     
  14. Radagast
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    Radagast Moderator Staff Member

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    johnnycarpenter:
    Your first gun is a Model 36 Chiefs Special manufactured in 1983.
    Your second gun is a Model 37 Chiefs Special Airweight manufactured in Late 1988 or early 1989.
    The Model 36 should be safe with any standard or PlusP pressure load. I would stick to standard pressure ammo only in the Model 37 as it has an aluminum frame and there have been reports of frame stretching and timing issues when used with PlusP in the earlier guns. IIRC S&W didn't rate the J frame Airweights for PlusP until they went to the slightly larger J-Magnum frame in 1996.
     
  15. johnnycarpenter

    johnnycarpenter Member

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    Thank you Radagast
     
  16. Kernel

    Kernel Member

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  17. Radagast
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    Radagast Moderator Staff Member

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    Kernel:
    Thanks for those serial number dates, I've updated my SCSW to help refine my answers.
     
  18. NapalmMan67

    NapalmMan67 Member

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    Thank you Radagast. You're info is much appreciated!


    .
     
  19. Ram48

    Ram48 Member

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    mdl.36

    Hello
    I have an older model 36 in blue
    Marked MOD 36 and ser # 5554xx
    I would like to know its age
     
  20. Radagast
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    Radagast Moderator Staff Member

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    Ram48:
    I can't give you an exact date for your Model 36 Chiefs Special, but I can give you an approximation.
    It falls between 1966 (serial number) 392778 & 1969 (serial number 786544).

    If the cylinder release is flat, then it is a 'flat latch' version and dates to 1966. If the cylinder release is concave it could from any year in the time period 1966-69.

    If the grips are original and have an un-checkered diamond around the screws, then 1966-68.
    If the grips are original and have no diamond around the screws, then 1968-69.

    Unfortunately the Standard Catalog of S&W does not give a year to year breakdown for that model in the 1960s, so the above is the best I can do.
     
  21. James Vidrine

    James Vidrine Member

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    Here is an Old one My father has from hsi Great Grand Father..

    a) 38 Special
    b) 5" to 6"
    c) round
    d) 6
    e) Non adjustable
    f) 8753
    g) S157

    It has markings for a Patent date of October 4, 1898 on the barrel.. Any information would be fantastic.. Thanks
     
  22. birdshooter

    birdshooter Member

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    29-2
    4"
    Square
    6
    Adjustable
    N3571XX
     
  23. Radagast
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    Radagast Moderator Staff Member

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    James Vidrine:
    That is an oldie. If the following matches, then its a S&W .38 Military & Police 1st Model, also known as the Model of 1899 Army-Navy Revolver, manufactured in the serial range 1-20,975 between 1899 & 1902.
    The barrel should be marked .38 S&W Special CTG & US Service CTG. on the left side.
    There should not be a lug attached to the barrel in front of the ejector rod.
    Grips will be hard rubber with a molded S&W logo or plain walnut.

    Your Dad's gun falls in the period 1900-1901 (serial range 5000 - 14000), 1900 seems likely.
    A few caveats: This was the first .38 special firearm, smokeless pistol powder was very new. It predates heat treatment of cylinders by 20 years and the positive internal hammer block safety by 44 years. If it is to be shot, stick to lead only standard pressure/velocity rounds. No PlusP, +P+, jacketed or jacketed hollow point ammo. Leave the chamber under the hammer empty until ready to fire, that way there is no chance of the gun firing if dropped.
     
  24. Radagast
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    Radagast Moderator Staff Member

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    birdshooter:
    The N3xxxxx serial range was used for target N frames in 1975 & 1976. The service grade Models 28 &58 used the N2xxxxx range.
    The high serial number suggests later production, so 1976 seems likely. The barrel should be 6.5 inches, the 6.0 inch barrel was standardized in 1979.
     
  25. birdshooter

    birdshooter Member

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    Thanks Radagast. The barrel on this one is 4". The 6 I noted was the number of shots. I appreciate the info.
     

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