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Old May 29, 2008, 08:22 AM   #174
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Join Date: October 20, 2007
Location: Richardson, TX
Posts: 7,523
The number inside the crane is the assembly number, which is arbitrary; refer to the discussion earlier in this thread.

The definitive place for the serial number on a S&W is either the bottom of the grip frame or the frontstrap, whichever is present. S&W also stamped the serial number in other places on some older models (such as under the extractor star or inside the yoke), but this varies from model to model.

Your father's gun is a .38 Military & Police "Pre Model 10" made in the late 40s to mid 50s. It has the 5-screw frame; the 5th screw is under the stocks. The "C" prefix denotes the 3rd millionth series of .38 M&P production. I don't have my SCSW handy, so I'll have to look up a more precise year of production later, if someone else doesn't chime in first.
"Smokey, this is not 'Nam. This is bowling. There are rules... MARK IT ZERO!!" - Walter Sobchak
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