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Old October 16, 2012, 01:15 AM   #1
FLChinook
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Best Book on S&W

There's a sticky at the front of this forum about S&W serial numbers that has more pages than I've had hot breakfasts. At the beginning there are several references to books but no links. Mid-way down the thread, there are suggestions that people are to cheap to buy the book... but still no book is defined OK, maybe it's there but I can't find it and I'm probably the only guy in the world who prefers to ask before looking...

Amazon lists a number:
Standard Catalog of Smith & Wesson by Supica
Smith & Wesson by Jink (Kindle)
Standard Catalog of Smith & Wesson 3rd (Kindle)

Hmmm, no Kindle in my house so I guess there's just one...

So what is the best book on S&W? NOT the most expensive...

I would like to have the book contain the year of manufacture for my newest (and so far only revolver) addition, a beautiful pre-27.
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Old October 16, 2012, 07:16 AM   #2
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Standard Catalog of Smith & Wesson by Supica & Nahas is THE go-to book for Smith & Wesson. Well worth the money.

A book won't be able to tell you exactly when your gun was manufactured, only a factory letter can do that, but it will get you in the ball park.
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Old October 16, 2012, 08:56 AM   #3
FLChinook
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Thanks. That's what I needed to know. At $30, it's about as much as a box of premium ammo. Order placed on Amazon.
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Old October 16, 2012, 05:40 PM   #4
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Quote:
Standard Catalog of Smith & Wesson
Make sure you get the most current edition, 3rd.

Jim
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Old October 17, 2012, 07:20 PM   #5
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Also, the book has a lot of inaccuracies, so be careful. Its a good book overall.

Here are the known inaccuracies

http://smith-wessonforum.com/announc...th-wesson.html
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Old October 18, 2012, 09:59 AM   #6
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The problem with ALL of the books is the same. S&W will tell you that they don't have accurate numbers on models and production numbers. In the 1980s they were cranking out their "gun of the week" models so fast that Roy Jinks has stated they don't actually know how many 625-2s were built. I've seen numbers ranging from 200 to 5000 in various books. For collectors it can be a nightmare.
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Old October 18, 2012, 07:16 PM   #7
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Quote:
Also, the book has a lot of inaccuracies, so be careful. Its a good book overall.

Here are the known inaccuracies

http://smith-wessonforum.com/announc...th-wesson.html
I checked my recent 3rd edition vs. the list of corrections and most corrections have been made in my copy.
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Old October 18, 2012, 08:37 PM   #8
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Standard Catalog is also out there for some E-readers for those who want one in easy to carry form.
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Old October 18, 2012, 09:47 PM   #9
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Quote:
Standard Catalog is also out there for some E-readers for those who want one in easy to carry form.
I'd be curious to hear from someone with one of the ebook versions, particularly in regards to the quality of the formatting.
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Old October 19, 2012, 05:51 AM   #10
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FYI one of the Standard Catalog authors lives here in Northern Virginia and, according to somebody who knows him, is hard at work on a new edition.
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Old October 24, 2012, 01:17 PM   #11
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I just got the book and I'm amazed at the useful content and quality for such a reasonable cost. OK, there may be some inaccuracies known to really knowledgable shooters but just the pictures alone make the book worth the cost.

I wonder, if you already bought the hardcopy, whether you can get the e-book at a discount...
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Old October 25, 2012, 05:21 PM   #12
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The SC has the most info and the most recent info. Errors are minor, most having been corrected in the latest edition.

But IMHO, the best in-depth book is still the Neal-Jinks book Smith & Wesson 1857-1945 for the time frame it covers.

Jim
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Old October 28, 2012, 08:08 PM   #13
FLChinook
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In looking at my SC of S&W, Supica and Nahas (3rd Edition), Appendix 4 (Model introduction by year), the pre-27 is listed as 1949. The start of the Model 27 is not given there. However, in the section on the pre-27, they give the start of the 27 as 1957. There, they also give a little more information on the years of production changes, such as the start of the "S" prefix in 1950 at S/N 75000. And they list the S/N as 172000 in 1956.

Does that mean they made roughly 97000 pre-27s between 1950 and 1956 (16000/year)? If so, there must be a lot of them still around...

Are there gaps in the S/Ns? Did S&W keep sequential S/N's during manufacture and assign them to different models as they were made?

I was kind of hoping the book would have information allowing the look-up of "year of manufacture" for any given S/N but that was wishful thinking...
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Old October 29, 2012, 05:16 PM   #14
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Quote:
Does that mean they made roughly 97000 pre-27s between 1950 and 1956
No, that serial number range was shared by all the N frames made during that time period.

BTW, serial numbers by years start on page 395.

Jim
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Old October 29, 2012, 05:46 PM   #15
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I have the E-Reader Standard Catalog on a bottom end Sony E-Reader. It is the book from cover to last page, my only grip is my reader is slow so finding what I am looking for is also slow. But it allows me to have the standard catalog of Colt, Browning, S&W and a copy of the Flayderman's Guide in my pocket when at gun shows or just the LGS.
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