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Old 03-12-2017, 09:30 AM
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JSR III JSR III is offline
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Location: Massachusetts USA
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It has been my experience that the letter precedes the number. There was a recent thread about a Model 2 Army bearing serial number 10. (Should be still on page 1) That gun had the assembly number FF 10 and left no room for orientation errors.

There are also many S&W serial numbers that can be read from front to back as well as back to front but IIRC, the gun is usually held with the butt to the left and the barrel to the right to read the serial number in the correct way.

With cylinders, the serial number was always applied with the center of the cylinder below the number and the number above at 12 o'clock. This is especially important with numeric only serial numbers. With the letter prefix serial numbers like K 1234546, the K or letter helps to orient the cylinder for correct reading.
James Redfield
LM #497
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