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Old April 2, 2008, 03:45 PM   #101
laytonj1
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38 S&W Safety Hammerless 5th model went from 1907 at serial# 220000 to 1940 at serial# 261495.
Sorry, can't get any closer for DOB.

Jim
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Old April 2, 2008, 08:16 PM   #102
pyromaster
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Thanks Jim.

I believe my great grandfather passed away in 1935 so I know it was before then at least.
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Old April 20, 2008, 10:50 PM   #103
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Could someone help me out with the date of a S&W Model 686-4 S/N CBAXXXX
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Old April 21, 2008, 04:40 PM   #104
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Quote:
Could someone help me out with the date of a S&W Model 686-4 S/N CBAXXXX
1996.

Jim
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Old April 22, 2008, 01:10 AM   #105
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Thank you Jim![QUOTE]
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Old April 24, 2008, 09:30 PM   #106
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need assistance on a date

I recently aquired what appears to be an older stainless steel .38 sw ctg with a sn of 538###. I've looked at several pictures but nothing matches this revolver. Any help would be wonderful.
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Old April 25, 2008, 11:15 AM   #107
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Quote:
I recently aquired what appears to be an older stainless steel .38 sw ctg with a sn of 538###. I've looked at several pictures but nothing matches this revolver.
First, if it's an older S&W and it's shiny, it's nickel finish, not stainless. AFAIK S&W has not made any factory SS revolvers chambered in .38S&W.

Second, S&W made 3 different models of .38S&W revolvers with different serial number ranges. We need to determine the model first. The candidates are:

1) .38/32 Terrier aka Model 32: 1-7/8" barrel, round butt, I-frame or J-frame (small) w/ 1-1/4" long 5-shot cylinder. (Just as a sidenote, I think it's amusing that the S&W Model 32 is not a .32 but rather a .38. )

2) .38 Regulation Police aka Model 33: >3" barrel, I-frame or J-frame w/ 1-1/4" long 5-shot cylinder; older pre-numbered versions are easy to identify because of (a) distinctive wood stocks that cover lower half of backstrap (which has a small "shoulder" in it where the stocks fit) and (b) the words "Regulation Police" stamped into LH side of barrel. Later model-numbered guns don't have RP lettering and special stocks but should have square butt... except when they don't.

3) .38/200 British Service Revolver aka Victory Model: 4", 5", or 6" barrel, K-frame (medium) with 1-1/2" long 6-shot cylinder, should have "V" prefix in front of serial number.
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Old April 25, 2008, 11:18 AM   #108
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Quote:
and S 2055xx a 357 Blackhawk?
...which is a Ruger, not a S&W.

http://www.ruger.com/Firearms/PS-Ser...story-RE.html#
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Old April 25, 2008, 11:36 PM   #109
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Quote:
Hi,
Might you help me with BRK 65xx a Model 66

and S 2055xx a 357 Blackhawk?

Many Thanks.
1994 on the S&W.
I can't find any Rugers with a serial number of S 2055xx. Is it a limited edition/special run of some type??

Jim
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Old April 26, 2008, 07:51 PM   #110
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S&W dates of Manufacture

Hi, I have a couple of older S&W's that I would really like to know when they were made.

Thanks in advance for your help.

1. S&W .32 Safety Hammerless First Model serial # 77,40x.

2. S&W .357 Magnum Post-War (pre model 27) serial # S829xx.

3. S&W model 42 serial # 124xx flat latch pre"J" prefix.

4. S&W model 29-2 serial # N4538xx.

5. S&W model 41 serial # A5728xx.
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Old April 28, 2008, 07:04 PM   #111
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Any info on a 66-1? 62k38XX
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Old April 28, 2008, 10:44 PM   #112
laytonj1
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Quote:
1. S&W .32 Safety Hammerless First Model serial # 77,40x.

2. S&W .357 Magnum Post-War (pre model 27) serial # S829xx.

3. S&W model 42 serial # 124xx flat latch pre"J" prefix.

4. S&W model 29-2 serial # N4538xx.

5. S&W model 41 serial # A5728xx.
1. Serial numbers run 1 to 91417 from 1888 to 1902.
2. 1951/52
3. Serial numbers run 1 to 30160 from 1952 to 1971
4. 1977/78
5. 1979

Close as I can get.
Jim
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Old April 28, 2008, 10:45 PM   #113
laytonj1
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Quote:
Any info on a 66-1? 62k38XX
1980.

Jim
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Old April 28, 2008, 11:15 PM   #114
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Hi Jim,

Thanks for the work.

I was really hoping to find out if the # 1. S&W .32 Safety Hammerless First Model serial # 77,40x was an antique / made in 1898 or before. Is there any way to tell ???

Does it help if you have the other digits for the # 2. S&W .357 Magnum Post-War (pre model 27) serial # S829xx = S82985 = 1952 ???

And the # 4. S&W model 29-2 serial # N4538xx. = N453816 = 1977 ???

And the # 3. S&W model 42 serial # 124xx flat latch pre"J" prefix has the 4 screw sidplate. Does that help ???

Thanks for any assistance. It is really difficult compared to some other manufacturers.
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Old April 29, 2008, 01:16 AM   #115
laytonj1
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Quote:
I was really hoping to find out if the # 1. S&W .32 Safety Hammerless First Model serial # 77,40x was an antique / made in 1898 or before. Is there any way to tell ???

Does it help if you have the other digits for the # 2. S&W .357 Magnum Post-War (pre model 27) serial # S829xx = S82985 = 1952 ???

And the # 4. S&W model 29-2 serial # N4538xx. = N453816 = 1977 ???

And the # 3. S&W model 42 serial # 124xx flat latch pre"J" prefix has the 4 screw sidplate. Does that help ???
The Standard Catalog of Smith & Wesson list serial numbers blocks by the years that S&W used them. S&W would make a large run of frames but not use them all up for anywhere from a few weeks to several years. Sometimes a frame with a later serial number would be assembled and shipped before an earlier serial numbered frame. The only way to get an exact date is to get a letter from S&W, which cost about $30 and can be done through their web site. Even then your getting the date it was shipped, not necessarily when it was made.
In the case of your M42, the 4 screw side plate was deleted in 1955 so that narrows it to 1952 to 1955.

Jim
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Old April 29, 2008, 08:40 AM   #116
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Hi Jim,

You are very knowledgeable. Thank you for the information and for sharing.
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Old May 1, 2008, 12:05 PM   #117
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You all seem pretty informed. I recently obtained a Smith & Wesson 32 Double Action, tip up revolver (1880 to 1919). It is nickel finish with Mother of Pearl grips (grips have brass S&W logos). The seriel number is 2318XX. This is the only S&W I own and if I'm going to spend $35 to buy the book, I'd rather spend $30 to get the Letter of Authenticity from S&W. But first I would like to know which century it was made in. Any volunteers willing to help.

Thanks
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Old May 1, 2008, 11:35 PM   #118
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Quote:
I recently obtained a Smith & Wesson 32 Double Action, tip up revolver (1880 to 1919). It is nickel finish with Mother of Pearl grips (grips have brass S&W logos). The seriel number is 2318XX.
If it's double action, then it's not a tip-up, it's a top-break. The terminology is confusing because the cylinder of a top-break does indeed tip up; however, on a proper S&W tip-up, the muzzle end of the barrel tips up. The hinge is located above the forcing cone. FWIW the tip-ups were all SA, and the .32-caliber variants fired the now-obsolete .32 Rimfire cartridge.

Now about that top-break...

If it has an external hammer, it's a .32 Double Action 4th Model, built 1883-1909. If it has a concealed hammer and a grip safety, it's a .32 Safety Hammerless 3rd Model, built 1909-1937; this gun was also known as a New Departure, or a "Lemon Squeezer" in popular slang.

As with other S&Ws dating from this time period, they were often built out of serial number order, so the only way to verify the actual age is to get a letter.
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Old May 2, 2008, 09:24 PM   #119
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old Chiefs Special?

Hi, new to the forums, great stuff here.

I just picked up an older S&W .38 what I believe is a chiefs special. I ran it down to my local gun store and was told it was at least 50 years old and too hang onto it. The serial is 86XX. It still has the old style flat cylinder latch on it, which is a mild pain to use. I need to get it to a gunsmith this weekend to check it out. The double action sticks sometimes and I want to see if it has been pieced together internally. It is nickel finished. Paid $150 at a pawnshop for it. Did I get a good deal?

Last edited by huey148; May 3, 2008 at 07:45 AM. Reason: additional details
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Old May 4, 2008, 04:42 PM   #120
gunny3333
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Model 37?

I have been given what was identified as a "Model 37". The s/n is BPH5XXX. It seems to be a lightweight gun but does not have "Airweight" or "Lightweight" on it anywhere. The finish is blue, but not the shiny blue I see on most Model 37's advertised for sale.

I have attached some pictures.

Can anyone help me with what model this gun is and when it was made?

Thanks.

Last edited by Glenn E. Meyer; November 30, 2013 at 11:47 AM.
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Old May 6, 2008, 01:47 PM   #121
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carguychris - Thank you

carguychris...thanks for the correction on terminology and input. It is a top-break 32 Double Action 4th Model. What is unusual is every account I've read says they came with black rubber grips. I have also seen after market Mother of Pearl grips, but none that have the S&W brass logo in the grips. I think I'll just get the letter from S&W.
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Old May 6, 2008, 07:55 PM   #122
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Hello. I just fell into a Model 19 and not only do I know almost nothing about it, it's also my first Smith. Any info on it would be much appreciated. It's a 4"model with a serial number of K521xxx. Thank you.
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Old May 7, 2008, 10:25 PM   #123
carguychris
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Quote:
just picked up an older S&W .38 what I believe is a chiefs special. I ran it down to my local gun store and was told it was at least 50 years old and too hang onto it. The serial is 86XX.
If it's chambered in .38Spl (.38 S&W SPL), it's a 1952 Chief's Special, and you got a smoking hot deal if it's anywhere near original.

If it's chambered in .38 S&W (.38 S&W CTG), it's a .38/32 Terrier made in the early 20's sometime, and it's not quite a smoking hot deal but still not bad.
Quote:
I have been given what was identified as a "Model 37". The s/n is BPH5XXX. It seems to be a lightweight gun but does not have "Airweight" or "Lightweight" on it anywhere. The finish is blue, but not the shiny blue I see on most Model 37's advertised for sale.
November 1993. S&W deleted the "AIRWEIGHT" block lettering on the RH side of the barrel in early 1993 but did not start laser-engraving the "Airweight" script on the sideplate until 1994. The relatively few guns made in the interim with no Airweight markings whatsoever are potential collector's items, so congrats on owning one. Oh yeah, the matte blue finish was introduced in 1992, but I'm not sure how rare it is.
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Old May 7, 2008, 11:28 PM   #124
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Looks like there's some catching up to do here; Jim and Chris must both be away right now!

Huey148 -sounds like a 1952 Chiefs Special. It is .38 Special or .38 S&W? Two different calibers. A picture would help a lot - the more the better, barrel side close ups, too.

Sticking - What I do with old revolvers is first clean them thoroughly. Go to the S&W forum and you can find details about how to get the sideplate off in the 1945-up forum in the FAQs. It is slightly tricky. DO NOT pry the sideplate off - it "vibrates off" - read about. Once that's done, clean it out with brake cleaner - it will dissolve old lubes that have dried to gunk and the powder and crud they have accumulated. Once it's clean, you lube only the working surfaces lightly with a high-quality grease, and don't over-oil it - that's what causes these problems over time.

It may have a mechanical problem that needs professional attention - but this is always my go-to first step, and it takes care of 95% of "new old gun" problems.

If the nickel is intact and not flaking off or scarred up, and the timing is good, you should proceed to your local police department and turn yourself in for theft for paying $150 for that. In good shape, those are very desirable.
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Old May 7, 2008, 11:39 PM   #125
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Oh, I see Carguychris is back and helped the next one.

Wildhawk66 - your gun is an older, 1963 model. Should have diamond-centered "magna" grips on it, kinda like the ones pictured on the M&P below. Should also have the S/N inside the right grip panel. It was introduced in 1955 as the "357 Combat Magnum" and became the "Model 19" in 1957. In 1970, a Stainless model was made, called the "Model 66."

A picture would be interesting if you have one - these old magnums are great. The 4" was the standard length for most of it's run. There were a few 6" and longer ones later, as well as 2.5", too (I have two of those).

Major note about these is to not shoot hyper-velocity "light" magnum loads - 125gr. or 110gr., etc. Don't shoot magnums less than 158gr, or it can create flame cutting on the top strap and possibly crack the forcing cone of the barrel. These loads came later, and the design of the gun isn't up to those loads. Because of this, in 1980 S&W introduced the model 586/686 - slightly beefier cylinder and yoke/barrel area. The 19/66 was discontinued in the late 90s, I believe.

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