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Old February 6, 2019, 08:57 PM   #1
Auto5
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J-frame Centennial info

My grandfather's Centennial Airweight:

No model number marking

Grip safety, 3 screw, pinned barrel, chambers not recessed.

108xx on the bottom of the grip frame; J 273xx on the frame, under the crane.

What do I have? How old is it? and no, it's not for sale
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Old February 7, 2019, 02:51 AM   #2
Bill DeShivs
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You have a Model 42. Great gun!
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Old February 7, 2019, 03:11 AM   #3
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I have something that says J frames with SN's J1-J99999 were made from 1969-1970, but it specifies for Models 36,37,38,49, and 50.

Same source says SN's 7369-21342 were made in 1952, but it lists the same Models as above.

If yours has the original grips, and the screw holes are in a diamond, that means 1968 at the latest which might make yours a 1952 if 108xx is the SN.
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Old February 7, 2019, 08:06 AM   #4
Auto5
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Original smooth grips, but the screw holes are in a round. I think I saw that same source, but I couldn't find anything specific to the 42/centennial.
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Old February 7, 2019, 09:35 AM   #5
jar
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The 42 was made from 1952 to the mid 1970s but the J serial numbers started in 1969 IIRC. That puts your example between 1969 and 1974 most likely.

Early Chief's Special and Lemon Squeezer
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Old February 7, 2019, 09:44 AM   #6
Auto5
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Thanks, jar. Mine is identical lo the lemon squeezer pictured. Which is the SN? The number on the grip frame, or the one stamped below the "J"
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Old February 7, 2019, 10:02 AM   #7
105kw
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The serial number is on the bottom of the grip frame.
The number inside the crane on. The frame is an assembly number used during manufacture.
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Old February 7, 2019, 10:22 AM   #8
jar
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Auto5 View Post
Thanks, jar. Mine is identical lo the lemon squeezer pictured. Which is the SN? The number on the grip frame, or the one stamped below the "J"
Yup, bottom of the grip frame.

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Old February 7, 2019, 11:41 AM   #9
Auto5
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Thanks again guys. So, my serial number is 108xx. Do you know of a serial number look up link, or do I have to pay Smith & Wesson to find out when it was made?
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Old February 7, 2019, 12:07 PM   #10
Jim Watson
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J frame guns came out in 1952.
Upper sideplate screw was deleted in 1955.
So Grandpa's Gun was made sometime 1952-1955.
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