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Old 12-22-2011, 06:27 PM
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47D 47D is offline
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Default For new members looking for date of manufacture info (how to find your serial number)

For new members looking for date of manufacture information, we need your serial number. Sometimes the serial number location can be confusing. Revolvers are often stamped or etched with many numbers, but only one set is your serial number. For modern Smith and Wesson revolvers, the serial number is located on the butt of the revolver. Often the grip will cover the number. The serial number can also be found on the frame behind the yoke for some models. For most post-1980 revolvers the serial number will be in an ABC1234 format.

EDIT: As murphydog points out, the date that can be looked up is the ship date, not the date the gun was manufactured.

Take this 686 for example:

It has Ahrends Retro Combat Finger Groove grips that cover the serial number:

If we remove the grips, we can see the serial number (AFE8794):

On this gun, if we look behind the yoke on the frame, we can also see the serial number (AFE8794) and the model number (MOD 686):

Here is a Model 66-2:

The Ahrends Boot Grips make seeing the serial number (BAF7171) easy:

However, if we look behind the yoke, this gun only lists the model number (MOD 66-2):

Some grip makers (like Pachmayr) design their grips so the serial number may be seen. Pachmayr Grippers on a 617:

Pachmayr Compacs on a 627-5 UDR:

Older guns (including some made in the early 1980s) will have a different style of serial number. Here is a 18-4 with the older-style serial number:

The grips block access to the serial number:

Taking the grips off we can see the older-style serial number (21K6944):

The serial number (21K6944) and model number (MOD. 18-4) are also on the frame behind the yoke:

Things that are NOT your serial number:
(The side of the butt behind the grips)

(Numbers on the yoke)

If you provide us with your serial number, those of us with a copy of the Standard Catalog of Smith and Wesson can look up the approximate date your revolver was shipped from Smith and Wesson. For those who have the 3rd edition, serial numbers for most post-1980 revolvers are located on page 400.

Last edited by 47D; 07-12-2012 at 11:37 PM. Reason: ship date vs manufacture date
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