I don't know and don't really care. It is how well a gun works, not what is stamped on it, that counts.
Well, like I said, for _some people_ it does matter if they have a big "Read owner's manual" and whatever else they engrave on the top of the bbl. For others, perhaps it doesn't. For me, a big part of making the decision between two guns is the fit and finish. The Smith is a work of art to me. I'm sure the Rugers shoot fine and last forever. For that matter, a pink Hello Kitty pistol may shoot great and last forever, but I would prefer the S&W.
If I "didn't know" I'd sure want to before I spent a few hundred dollars on one. Then I could make a more informed decision. But again, that's just me.
Sgt Lumpy - n0eq