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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. bigred0383

    bigred0383 Member

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    How about this one:

    a) .45 ACP
    b) 5.5 inch BBL
    c) Square Grips
    d) 6 Shot
    e) Fixed Sights
    f) 861XX
    g) Model 1917

    Thanks in advance (again)!
     
  2. Radagast
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    Radagast Moderator Staff Member

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    bigred0383:
    You have a .45 Hand Ejector U.S. Army Model of 1917 manufactured between September 17, 1917 & January 1919. Serial range for those years was 1 to 169959.
     
  3. bigred0383

    bigred0383 Member

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    Thanks again Rad! If I had the revolver inspected by a quality gunsmith, is it safe to fire (run of the mill ball ammo)? Thanks!
     
  4. blakeci

    blakeci Member

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    Any help much appreciated

    K frame pre model 10
    .38 special
    4 inch barrel
    blue
    fixed sights
    one line address
    serial # is 678### no prefix which makes it pre war I believe

    Thanks again
     
  5. Radagast
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    Radagast Moderator Staff Member

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    bigred0383:
    .45 ACP by modern standard is quite low pressure - 21,000 PSI, which although considerably higher than the .44 Special & .45 Colt that that particular gun was originally designed to shoot, is only marginally higher than the .38 Special round which was being manufactured on the smaller K frame at the time.
    S&W were confident enough to buy back a large number of unused guns from the army after WWII & resell them to the public.
    Your gun is built on the large N frame, which in the 1930s was used to chamber the 36,000 PSI .357 magnum and in the 1950s to chamber the .44 Magnum. So the frame is strong enough.
    Because heat treating of cylinders was not introduced until 1917-1920, depending upon the model, I can't tell you wether your cylinder is heat treated. Because of this I would say that your gun is safe to shoot with standard pressure ammunition, but I would avoid PlusP ammo.
    There is a revolver checkout thread stickied at the top of this sub forum. If your gun passes it then it is safe to shoot.
     
  6. Radagast
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    Radagast Moderator Staff Member

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    blakeci:
    Your .38 Miltary & Police Model of 1905 4th change was manufactured between 1935 (serial number 651500) & 1940 (serial numbers in the 700xxx range).
    Herman Goerings gun was serial number 642357 and shipped in 1934, so we can extrapolate that roughly 10,000 guns of that model shipped per year during that period, so your gun probably falls in the middle, say 1937/38.
    To get a definite shipping date and address you can pay $50 for a factory letter from Roy Jinks, the S&W historian. He will look up the original factory records for you. Such a letter will not add to the value of a fairly common gun however, unless it shows connection to some celebrity. If your gun was rare and in demand from collectors, such as an original Registered Magnum, then the letter would add value.
     
  7. bigred0383

    bigred0383 Member

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    Rad:

    Thanks for the info! The lockup is tight, the timing is right, and the bore looks good. The action seems to work fine, but I haven't taken it apart to look at the internals, so that was my concern.
     
  8. blakeci

    blakeci Member

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    thanks so much for your time, I will be sure to get it lettered.
     
  9. Radagast
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    Radagast Moderator Staff Member

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    blakeci:
    If you do get it lettered, please post the shipping date so I can make a note in my Standard Catalog of S&W to help with future enquiries.
     
  10. Brian450

    Brian450 Member

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    I received this pistol when my grandfather passed away. I'd like to know more about it.

    a) .38 special
    b) 4 inch BBL
    c) Square Grips
    d) 6 Shot
    e) Fixed Sights
    f) V 342XX

    SmithWesson001.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2010
  11. MIL-DOT

    MIL-DOT member

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    I'll play !! :D

    I have a M&P model of 1905 4th change ( recently identified by Old Fuff).
    -serial# 6370**
    -.38 S&W special
    -4" barrel
    -fixed sights, half-moon front
    -black parkererizing (non-original)
    -checkered grips with silver medallion
     
  12. MIL-DOT

    MIL-DOT member

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    ...and while I'm here.....;)

    I have a U.S. Navy stamped M&P "Victory" model
    -4" barrel
    -parkerized
    -.38 S&W special
    -smooth walnut grips
    -fixed sights
    -serial # V114,9**

    I'm told it's a 1942, I just days ago sent the paperwork,photos and money to Roy Jinks at S&W for the documentation. I've read this can take 10 weeks to arrive back here :(.
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2010
  13. Radagast
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    Radagast Moderator Staff Member

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    Brian450:
    You have a S&W Victory Model, manufactured some time between 1941 & 1944. These were basically the S&W .38 Military & Police Model of 1905 4th change with a military phosphate finish. It continues in production today with some engineering changes as the Model 10 revolver. The grips may or may not be original to the gun, if you remove them there may be a serial number on the inner face that will tell you. The grip adaptor and engraving is definitely not OEM.

    Value will be quite low due to the condition, probably between $150 & $300.

    It should be safe to fire with any non +P+ rated .38 special ammunition. Use the how to check out a revolver thread stickied at the top of this sub forum to ensure it is safe to shoot.

    Your gun predates the modern hammer block safety, introduced in 1944 after a fatality when a victory model was dropped and discharged. It would be prudent to leave the chamber under the hammer empty of you keep the gun loaded. There is an earlier style of internal hammer block fitted, but the fatality mentioned above proved it was not 100% reliable.

    Many parts have changed with the modern model 10. If you ever require parts try Numrich arms. http://www.gunpartscorp.com/
     
  14. Radagast
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    Radagast Moderator Staff Member

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    MIL-DOT:
    Both of your guns fall outside the detailed year lists in the Standard Catalog of S&W.
    The best I can give you is as follows:
    Your .38 Military & Police Model of 1905 4th Change falls in the period 1930 (serial range 630xxx) to 1934 (serial number 642357).

    Your Victory Model (basically a .38 Military & Police Model of 1905 4th Change with a war time finish) was manufactured between 1942 & 1944. As some 769,000 guns were made during that period, 1942 seems quite likely.
     
  15. MIL-DOT

    MIL-DOT member

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    Many thanks for the info and the speedy reply,Radagast !! :)
     
  16. Brian450

    Brian450 Member

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    Not sure why someone decided to carve this pistol up with the engraving but since it's not leaving the family anyways I will enjoy it's uniqueness. I checked the pistol in the how to check out a revolver thread and it's in pretty good shape.

    Thank you Radagast!
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2010
  17. toasty23

    toasty23 Member

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    a) .357 mag
    b) 2.5"
    c) round
    d) 6 shot
    e) front orange fixed, rear adjustable
    f) BRN4XXX
    g) 66-4

    thanks,

    Antonio
     
  18. Radagast
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    Radagast Moderator Staff Member

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    toasty23:
    Your Model 66-4 C ombat magnum Stainless was manufactured Between August 1994 (BRFxxxx) & January 1996 (CAMxxxx). Late 1994 or early 1995 seems likely.
     
  19. toasty23

    toasty23 Member

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    awesome thanks for the info. I just got it as a gift from the mother in-law. it was her HD weapon and it is beautiful.

    this would mean i don't have a MIM trigger right? I'm just getting into guns and read something about them being not as good.
     
  20. Radagast
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    Radagast Moderator Staff Member

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    toasty23:
    The first MIM parts were introduced to the Model 66 in 1997.
    MIM parts are not necessarily bad. Prior to the introduction of MIM parts you could get a gun put together by an old master gunsmith or by a first year apprentice with a hangover. The use of one uniform set of parts removed the need for hand fitting, so there is a set standard of quality. You won't get perfection, but you probably won't get a lemon either, at least not one based on poor fitment of those parts.
    A lot of S&W collectors pine for the days of pinned and recessed revolvers (pinned barrel, recessed cylinders enclosed the cartridge rim). They fail to remember that during the last 30 years or so of pinned and recessed revolvers, the Bangor Punta conglomerate owned S&W and quality control was deteriorating. I've read of cases of guns with unrifled barrels leaving the factory. I've personally shot more than one revolver from that period when five chambers would be on target and the sixth a consistent flyer, probably due to poor alignment.
    Remember, everything was better in the old days. Even walking uphill in the snow to school and living in a box in the middle of the road was better than the snow, hills, boxes and roads you find today. :neener:
     
  21. toasty23

    toasty23 Member

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    Radagast,

    Again, thanks for all the info...i can tell this place will be great from my thirst of gun knowledge.

    My grandfather would have to agree with you last statement... sounds like things he is normally spitting out.
     
  22. Workhorse

    Workhorse Member

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    Im new at this,so I would appreciate any opinions or help any one can give,I bought a model 19-4 and a model 36,The 19-4 is nickel and in like new condition,however the 36 shows a lot of wear on the finish,can someone tell me there age and if it would change the value on 36 if I had it reblued....Thanks
     
  23. Workhorse

    Workhorse Member

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    Like I said before Im new at this,But Im sure it would help if I gave the serial numbers. 19-4 49K49xx Model 36 7134xx
     
  24. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    No way possible to tell you the age of the "Model 36" without you posting a partial serial number.
    They made them beginning in 1952, and they still make them in 2010.
    The Model 36 stamp begin in 1957.

    The 19-4 was made from 1977 to 1982, but again without a serial number there is no way we can pin it down any closer then that.

    Re-bluing will cost more then it will add to the value of any firearm.
    If I were to have it re-finished, I would send it back to the S&W Custom Shop and have them do it. That will hold more value then having Joe's-Bob's Gun & Muffler shop do it.

    http://www.smith-wesson.com/webapp/...4_750001_750051_757909_-1_757776_757751_image

    Edit to add:
    19-4 = 1978-79
    36 = About 1968. Look inside the frame cut. It should be stamped 36-1 by then.

    rc
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2010
  25. Husker_Fan

    Husker_Fan Member

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    I have a rough idea of vintage, but here goes. My newest (to me and by its manufacture date) S&W:

    Model 38 Airweight Bodygaurd
    S/N 255***.

    The serial numbers are stamped very unevenly and the last digit is misalligned and much lighter than the other five.

    It is a flat latch with the original diamond magnas. The finish is nearly perfect (because it was redone recently). It is in wonderful mechanical condition and I can't wait to shoot it.
     

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