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Old June 8, 2013, 07:54 AM   #1
Ole Grizz
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Smith & Wesson date of manufacture

Helle,

Is there anybody to help me ?

I would like to know the date of manufacture for two guns :


- K22 Masterpiece serial number K 734703

- K38 model 15-3 2'' barrel serial number is 8k 11394

Thanks
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Old June 8, 2013, 09:03 AM   #2
ScotchMan
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http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=277680
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Old June 8, 2013, 02:17 PM   #3
UncleEd
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The K22 is a Model 17 or Model 18 and should be marked on the frame just inside the
crane. Produced 1967 What's the barrel length? 4-inch, 18; 6 inch 17

The Model 15, again marked on frame just inside the cylinder crane, produced 1975
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Old June 8, 2013, 04:54 PM   #4
laytonj1
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See pic for the correct location for the serial number. The additional stamping of the SN in the frame cutout was only done for a few years.
Otherwise, Uncle Ed has the dates correct.
K 734703 = 1967.
8k 11394 = 1975.

Jim

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Old June 8, 2013, 05:55 PM   #5
UncleEd
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Laytonj1,

Ah, I see you have an N-frame from the early '70s.

Regarding Serial #s, usually Smith didn't put them in the crane cutout area for such service revolvers as the M&P which was designated the Model 10 in the 1950s, but you will find Serial#s regularly in the cutout for such models as the 14,15, 27, 28, 29, 57 with adj. sights etc. since they often came equipped with "target" grips which covered the butt where the number always is.

By the way, I love N-frame .357s.
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Old June 8, 2013, 08:37 PM   #6
Winchester_73
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Quote:
See pic for the correct location for the serial number.
That is true in general, BUT any S&W with the SN in the frame cutout, is one where the SN is acceptable from either place. This is because that frame cutout SN, and the butt SN are both on the frame, and therefor both legal to use.

Quote:
The additional stamping of the SN in the frame cutout was only done for a few years.
It was actually done for decades. I have a 1958 44 magnum which has it there, and most model marked revolvers I have encountered have it, but not all. I think even my 460 S&W magnum has it there, and it was made in 2004. Uncle Ed might be right regarding service grade guns not having it, since my 681 (fixed sight L frame 357) does not have it.
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Old June 8, 2013, 09:26 PM   #7
UncleEd
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On the older Smiths, say pre WWII and some after, Serial#s could be found
on the barrel just above the ejector rod, inside the crane cutout, on the back rim of the cylinder, on the bottom of the butt and usually on the right panel of the wood grip. It seems that as the Smith revolvers went from 5-screws, then 4-screws and finally 3-screws, the various positions of the Serial#s were dropped, but never on the butt.

Love the 5-screws! And the diamond grips numbered to the gun!
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Old June 8, 2013, 09:49 PM   #8
Winchester_73
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Quote:
On the older Smiths, say pre WWII and some after, Serial#s could be found
on the barrel just above the ejector rod, inside the crane cutout, on the back rim of the cylinder, on the bottom of the butt and usually on the right panel of the wood grip. It seems that as the Smith revolvers went from 5-screws, then 4-screws and finally 3-screws, the various positions of the Serial#s were dropped, but never on the butt.

Love the 5-screws! And the diamond grips numbered to the gun!
Most of what you said is correct, but not everything. The "soft fitting" department was eliminated around 1958. From then on, the serial numbers were not found on each part. Before 1957/58, they were on the barrel, on the flat above the ejector rod OR for a shrouded barrel, inside the shroud. In the years before 1957, and many revolvers from 1957, the SN was NOT in the frame cutout. That started 1957 or 1958. SNs were on the back face of the cylinder. SNs were also on back of the extractor star. On pre war target revolvers, the rear sight assembly was SN'd to the gun since it was made flush to the frame (see pic below). The SNs were of course always on the butt except for single shots and regulation police revolvers. Those were both on the front strap. The right grip panel had the serial number for all grips (except post war wrap around target grips) up to the 1970s BUT only on grips which revealed the frame. The post war target grips which covered the butt were not numbered to the guns. Also remember, the top break revolvers had their SNs in different locations than swing out cylinder revolvers, but nearly all S&W revolvers (except the Regulation Police) had its true SN on the butt, even the first S&W revolvers ever made had the SN on the butt, in the 1850s. The tip ups (made before the top breaks) did not have the SNs on all parts.

In addition, sometimes a "<>" diamond symbol will be found on a part. This marking denoted a part replacement done at the factory. Usually a gun with that marking will be found with a "*" star on the butt, and may have a rebuild date such as "3.56" stamped on the left grip frame (covered by the grips), which would mean March, 1956. S&W discontinued the star marking on the butt in the early 1960s, but the date stamping was done into the 1970s, and possibly past that. I am not sure when the diamond marking was discontinued. Other markings to look for on the left grip frame include "R-B" and "R-N" referring to reblue, and renickel. An "N" by itself will be found on the left grip frame of many original nickel S&W revolvers, but not all. When that "N" is present, another "N" should be found on either the rear face of the cylinder, or on earlier guns on the cylinder, underneath the extractor star.

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