The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > Hogan's Alley > Handguns: The Revolver Forum

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old July 3, 2013, 01:25 AM   #1
Cousin Pat
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 5, 2009
Posts: 107
J-frame serial number duplicates?

See the paste below I copied from an older thread. The Chief's Special J-frame I am looking at has the serial number 1J8167. Do you experts read this as meaning 1971-72 per below -- or 1982 per below? (In other words, I see some potential for duplication in these two years). thanks1

J serial Prefix serial numbers.
For models 36, 37, 38, 49, 50.

1969-1970 = J1 - J99999
1971-1972 = 1J1 - 999J99
1973-1974 = J100000 - J250000
1975-1976 = J250001 - J370000
1976-1977 = J370001 - J610000
1977-1978 = J610001 - J670000
1979-1980 = J670001 - J760000
1981 = J760001 - J915400
1982 = J915401 - 1J18600
1983 = 1J18601 - 1JXXXX
Cousin Pat is offline  
Old July 4, 2013, 12:35 PM   #2
James K
Staff
 
Join Date: March 17, 1999
Posts: 19,122
I think your 1971-72 line should read J1-J999J99 (no leading "1"), so your gun would date to 1982. There still looks like some possible duplication, but not at the point you mention.

Confusing? All S&W serial and model numbering is confusing.

Jim
__________________
Jim K
James K is offline  
Old July 4, 2013, 10:09 PM   #3
carguychris
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 20, 2007
Location: Richardson, TX
Posts: 5,399
Quote:
I think your 1971-72 line should read J1-J999J99 (no leading "1")...
Actually, IIRC the key is that the 1971-1972 "wandering J" serials only had 6 characters. When the numbers reached 1J9999, the next number was 2J1, then 2J9999, then 3J1, and so on. 1J10000 was not used in 1971-1972 because it has 7 characters.

AFAIK S&W did not use 5 numbers after the "1J" until late 1982, starting with 1J10000. They presumably converted to the modern 3-letter 4-number system before 1J99999 was reached.
Quote:
Confusing? All S&W serial and model numbering is confusing.
^^^ This.
__________________
"Smokey, this is not 'Nam. This is bowling. There are rules... MARK IT ZERO!!" - Walter Sobchak
carguychris is offline  
Old July 6, 2013, 07:24 PM   #4
James K
Staff
 
Join Date: March 17, 1999
Posts: 19,122
Sounds right, so the chart given by the OP (and widely published) is at best not complete.

The rationale behind the whole mess was to reduce serial number confusion. Prior to 1968, most companies numbered each model or each group of models (frame sizes, for example) in one series. But that meant that there were many duplicate numbers on a company's guns - an N frame number 1234, an I frame number 1234, etc. GCA '68 gave ATTD (the predecessor of BATFE) the authority to rationalize numbers so police would not need to know the model, only the make and the number to uniquely identify any given gun made after that time.

S&W really went round and round trying to come up with unique serials until it finally dawned on them that there was no real reason to tie the serial number to the model. The current system is model independent, and totally unique to a specific gun. S&W revolver ABC1234 can be traced by number alone; the model is irrelevant.

Jim
__________________
Jim K
James K is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:02 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2014 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.06243 seconds with 7 queries