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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. tomalex

    tomalex Member

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  2. chromerunner

    chromerunner Member

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    Very nice and quick info.. Thank you very much!
     
  3. Radagast
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    Radagast Moderator Staff Member

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    tomalex:
    The 686-3 was manufactured from 1988 to 1993. The Standard Catalog of S&W notes the 2.5 inch barrel was introduced in 1990, but in another column it says it was produced from 1987 to 2001, so I can't narrow the date down there.
    There were also 2500 produced with walnut stocks as a limited run in 1984.

    Unfortunately RKRxxxx is not a serial range listed in the standard Catalog of S&W, nor is the configuration your gun comes in listed as a special run for Lew Horton distributors, RSR distributors or the S&W Performance Center.

    During that period most production would have had a BXXxxxx serial range, so your must have been a special run gun for one of the distributors, my guess being RSR based on the serial range. I'm sorry I can't give you any better than 1988 to 1993, with a possibility of 1990 to 1993.
     
  4. tomalex

    tomalex Member

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    Thank you Radagast. I greatly appreciate it. I'm just getting into pistols and revolvers, being a rifle guy the past 25 years. It's a whole new world! Anyway, I thought this little gem was somewhat unique and it looks like it may be indeed. I bought if for $215. I think I did well! Thanks again!
     
  5. Radagast
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    Radagast Moderator Staff Member

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    $215!!! I hope you spent the rest of it's value on an eye patch, parrot and a peg leg! :))
     
  6. Guillermo

    Guillermo member

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    okay masters of Smith's wacko record keeping

    Do your magic on this

    DOB on a 4 inch Smith 686

    AMD79XX

    IMGP0049-1.jpg
     
  7. Radagast
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    Radagast Moderator Staff Member

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    Guillermo:
    Your Model 686 should date to between November 1985 (ALAxxxx) & July 1987 (AVBxxxx). If it lacks a -1 after the model number, then 1985/86. If it has a -1 then 1986/87. If a -2 then 1987.
    There has been a recall since 1987 on all 686 & 686-1 guns. With some magnum ammunition the primer could flow back into the firing pin hole, locking up the cylinder. The recall modifications are a new firing pin and bushing. If your gun has been modified under the recall then there will be an M stamped after the model number under the cylinder yoke. If no M and you wish to have it modified S&W will pay for the shipping both ways.
    I have yet to hear of a single case of the gun locking up with current ammunition.
     
  8. 45LongColt

    45LongColt Member

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    Here is an interesting handgun. I got it from the daughter of the former Deputy Director of the FBI (McFall) and was one of his duty revolvers. . It is in perfect condition and I have the original grips for it.

    a.) S&W 38 Special
    b.) 1 1/2"
    c.) Round
    d.) 5 shot
    e.) fixed front, grooved rear slot
    f.) 302XX-M
    g.) None listed, however I think it's a #49

    sw001.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2010
  9. spence

    spence Member

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    just picked this one up today for 300 its an easy 9 a.) .38 sp B.)2 inch c.)rb D.)6 shot e.)fixed sgts f.)afc12xx g.) 10-7 thank you , spence
     
  10. Guillermo

    Guillermo member

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    Thank you Radagast

    It is a "no dash" and does have an "M"

    I appreciate it

    U rock
     
  11. Radagast
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    Radagast Moderator Staff Member

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    spence:
    Your Model 10-7 .38 Military & Police dates to around November 1984.

    45longColt:
    The number you are quoting is lower than the serial range that the Bodyguard was produced in. It may be an assembly number, used to track parts in the factory. If you remove the grips you will find the serial number stamped on the bottom edge of the grip frame. It is sometimes duplicated under the cylinder yoke, but on older guns you will usually find an assembly number there.

    If the frame is aluminum (check with a magnet) it should be marked airweight on the barrel, then it is a Bodyguard Airweight, later the Model 38. According to the Standard Catalog of S&W the Bodyguard Airweight was introduced in 1955 around serial number 66,000. If there is no model number stamped on the frame under the cylinder yoke then you have a gun made prior to 1957. If the serial number is 302xx then I think you may have the very first gun released, but the grips and latch indicate a gun of more modern manufacture.
    If the frame is steel then yes, it is a Model 49 Bodyguard. These were introduced in 1959, well after the stamping of model numbers was introduced, with the serial range starting at 163501.

    Check the serial number and also recheck for a model number, then get back to me and I'll try to pinpoint it's age.
     
  12. 45LongColt

    45LongColt Member

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    Radagast,

    Your correct. The gun had another number on the bottom of the grip frame. It is 7228XX and it is a steel framed Smith & Wesson. Nowhere on the gun could I find a model number. A photo of the original grips are below.

    Thanks again for looking it up for me.

    Grips1.jpg
     
  13. Radagast
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    Radagast Moderator Staff Member

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    45LongColt:
    Your gun is definitely a Model 49, I guess someone forgot to stamp the frame at the factory.
    That style of cylinder release was introduced in 1966.
    That style of grip was introduced in 1968. The Standard Catalog of S&W notes serial number 786544 was used in 1969, so your gun is from 1968 or 1969.
     
  14. nelson133

    nelson133 Member

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    My girlfriend picked up what I thought was a model 10, but it is chambered in .38 S&W. It has a 5 inch barrel six shot, blued with wear at the tip of the muzzle and forward edge of the cylinder. The grips appear to be standard model 10 wood grips. The serial number on the butt is V211xxx. behind the crane is what looks like a backwards three and the number 4 13 71. Smith and Wesson is on one side of the barrel and .38 S&W ctg on the other. On the same side of the barrel and closer to the frame are stamped several numbers, fainter than the S&W markings, maybe proof marks?
    Thanks in advance for any help.
     
  15. Radagast
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    Radagast Moderator Staff Member

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    nelson133:
    Your girlfriend has a .38/200 British Service Revolver, manufactured between 1941 & 1943. There should be US Property stampings on it, as these were made for the US Government and supplied to Great Britain during WWII under the lend lease scheme. The markings probably are British, as the British proof tested each gun.
    The British Service Revolver was chambered for the .38 S&W cartridge, the British round originally being a 200 grain lead round nose, later a 173 grain FMJ.

    Manufactured on the K frame in the .38 Military & Police Model of 1905 4th Change configuration with a wartime finish and grips and a different caliber, these are a cousin of the Model 10, which is an evolution of the .38 Military & Police.

    After the war a lot of these guns had the chambers drilled out to accept .38 Special rounds and were resold in the USA. Check if a .38 Special chambers, if so it should be safe to shoot with standard pressure lead loads, avoid Plus P, jacketed or +P+ ammunition. You can expect to get bulged brass as the .38 S&W is wider at the rim than the .38 special, so the bored out chambers are not a tight fit.

    The markings under the crane are assembly numbers, used to track parts in the factory. These have no meaning once the gun is assembled.
    The grips are probably replacements, the original grips were smooth walnut.
     
  16. nelson133

    nelson133 Member

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    Thanks Radagast, I thought those revolvers were parkerized,and this one is blued, maybe it was reblued.. It is definitely chambered for the original cartridge, .38 spl won't chamber. I guess I'll have to find some ammo for it as she wants to shoot it.
     
  17. Youngster

    Youngster Member

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    a) .357
    b) square
    c) 4 inch
    d) 6
    e) adj
    f) ACL 539X
    g) 686 {no dash}
     
  18. Radagast
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    Radagast Moderator Staff Member

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    Youngster:
    Your Model 686 Distinguished Combat Magnum was manufactured between January & October 1983.
    There is a recall on all 686 no dash and 686-1 guns. With some magnum loads there were reports of primers flowing back into the firing pin bushing and locking up the cylinder. Under the recall a new firing pin and bushing is fitted, guns that have been modified have an M stamped after the model number under the cylinder yoke.
    If your gun has not been modified and you want to take advantage of the recall, call S&W. They will pay shipping both ways.
    FWIW in ten years of reading gun board I have not heard of a single case of this occurring, so it doesn't appear to be a common problem.
     
  19. springfield30-06

    springfield30-06 Member

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    a) caliber: .38+P
    b) bbl length: 2in.
    c) grips shape: Round
    d) number of shots: 5
    e) type of sights: Fixed
    f) serial number: CDS13XX
    g) Model number: 342 (no dash)

    [​IMG]
     
  20. Radagast
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    Radagast Moderator Staff Member

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    springfield30-06:
    The Model 342 .38 Special Airlite Ti Centennial was introduced in December 1998 and replaced by the 342-1 in 2001.
    Your serial number falls between November 1999 (CDRxxxx) & January 2000 CDWxxxx).
     
  21. bushrod2

    bushrod2 Member

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    a-38caliber
    b-4"barrel
    c-square grip
    d-6 shot cylinder
    e-fixed sights
    f- S 90342x

    Can someone tell me what model this is and when it was made? Thanks alot TIM
     

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    Last edited: Jul 14, 2010
  22. duns

    duns Member

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    S&W Model 64-5. Serial BSJ8586, Round butt, wood gips. 4" barrel. 38 S&W Special.
     
  23. Youngster

    Youngster Member

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    Thanks for that.
     
  24. thefresh2o

    thefresh2o Member

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    I spent a few happy hours trawling through the previous posts - to try & save replication.... No joy there.

    My new 19-5

    a-357/38
    b-4"barrel
    c-square grip
    d-6 shot cylinder
    e-adj sights
    f- AFD2448
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2010
  25. Radagast
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    Radagast Moderator Staff Member

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    Bushrod2:
    You have a post war .38 Military & Police, or Pre model 10, probably made around 1948/49. I've just moved house and have to find the box with my Standard Catalog of S&W to confirm this. Give me 48 hours and I'll get back to you.

    Duns & thefresh2o: see above. Give me 48 hours to get back to you.
     

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