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S&W Hand Ejectors: 1896 to 1961 All 5-Screw & Vintage 4-Screw SWING-OUT Cylinder REVOLVERS, and the 35 Autos and 32 Autos


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Old 06-09-2014, 12:48 AM
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Default Repair marks on Heavy Frame Target

Guys
I'm sure this has been discussed before, but I need a little help on some repair marks on an HFT.
On the barrel flat, in addition to the serial number is an S and then a B surrounded by a diamond. The same marks appear on the left side of the grip frame, along with a date code. The butt has a star after the serial number, but the barrel flat does not have the star stamp.
Can you help with the S and the diamond-B?
Thanks.
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Old 06-09-2014, 12:58 AM
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S = it went back to service dept, often for a replacement part.
B inside diamond is refinish.
star is a factory rework / refinish symbol.
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Old 06-09-2014, 01:00 AM
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Thanks, Charlie.
I knew what the star meant, but could not for the life of me remember the meaning of the diamond-B and the S.
I appreciate the quick reply!
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Old 06-09-2014, 01:09 AM
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Default Followup question

Have you ever seen a date code that had the following pattern:
x.x.xx - which would give the day, month and year instead of just the month and year?
Would this ever be done under some special sort of circumstances?
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Old 06-09-2014, 01:20 AM
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I have one refinished gun---a late 50's matte blue K-22-----my first brand new, store bought S&W. There was only one problem-----the matte blue. I could have the bright blue----if I wanted to wait six months. I didn't!

The gun is marked with the S <> (no B) and 460 (no space and no dot). I had supposed either the S or the <> meant bright blue refinish----or maybe as the star, it means it's been back for unspecified service.

Now that I think about it, it means more than simply refinish because along with the refinish request, I asked them to go through it and make it as perfect as they could----and they did!! After all these years it has no turn ring!! Actually, it does---the turn "ring" is about a fat 1/16" long, right at the lead into the bolt slot at each cylinder. Other than that, it still looks like a brand new gun!

Ralph Tremaine

As far as the date code goes, I've had one other refinished gun which carried a five digit number---with no spaces and no dots. The number could have been a complete date. The mystery deepens, because it could have been two different dates.

Last edited by rct269; 06-09-2014 at 01:32 AM.
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Old 06-09-2014, 01:44 AM
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Interesting, Ralph. And thanks.
Do you have any idea what the 460 means? The HFT in question has a 360 on it, in addition to what looks like a three section date code that, if I'm reading it right, points to February 5, 1930.
I'm still working on some issues related to it, but I'm suspecting it was a first production run .22/32 Bekeart that later received a new barrel and extractor rod. The serial number is in the range of the first production guns, but the rod knob is of the later, barrel-shaped type. I believe it should have had the mushroom shaped knob originally. If it was serviced in 1930, it could have been given a new barrel and an up-to-date knob.
It is an interesting gun, but unfortunately, not for sale. I'm working with a client to sort out the mystery. I will instruct him to get a letter on it, if eventually I'm convinced it is a first production run example.
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Old 06-09-2014, 06:32 AM
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Jack,

I believe you are correct in all of your assumptions. A replacement barrel without the correct two step notch for the mushroom knob would be supplied with the then current barrel knob that matched the notch in the barrel. This is the usual case when barrels contemporary to the gun's original manufacture are no longer in inventory.

Where is the 360 stamped? I suspect it's not significant to the work performed other than being the code of the workman that performed the work unless it went 'home' again in March 1960. Month and year codes are much more prevalent than month, day and year.

A letter will not have information about the rework. However, once it's obtained, a request can be made to the Hist. Foundation which has completed digitized files for the period of the 1930s and you will be able to obtain repair work information.
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Last edited by Hondo44; 06-09-2014 at 06:41 AM.
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Old 06-09-2014, 06:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rct269 View Post
The gun is marked with the S <> (no B) and 460 (no space and no dot). I had supposed either the S or the <> meant bright blue refinish----or maybe as the star, it means it's been back for unspecified service.
Ralph Tremaine
Is there a stamp for a date code? Or is the 460 the only number? Did you send it back for refinish in April of 1960?
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Old 06-09-2014, 08:57 AM
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From looking at some of my factory returned guns, I can see little uniformity in stampings. My guess is that each gunsmith had their own method and even that may have varied by how busy they were or what day it was.

One of My Model 1903's was returned in 1945 and received a diamond on the grip-frame, diamond under barrel, star at the serial number, and date stamp. The 22/32 and 32 1903 are the same era, but have different ejector rod knobs. It is obvious that the barrel was replaced on the 1903, since it has a later style ejector rod knob. It was obviously refinished, but lacks the <B> mark.

My guess is that over the years there were as many methods of stampings as there were gunsmiths at S&W.
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Old 06-09-2014, 01:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hondo44 View Post
A letter will not have information about the rework. However, once it's obtained, a request can be made to the Hist. Foundation which has completed digitized files for the period of the 1930s and you will be able to obtain repair work information.
Thanks, Jim. Yes. I didn't mention it in my previous post, but it is my intention to urge him first to get the letter and then to pursue matters with the SWHF.

I tend to think the 360 is some sort of smithy mark. I do not think it is a date code.
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Old 06-10-2014, 06:58 PM
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The 460 on my gun is absolutely, positively the date stamp. Properly, or at least more commonly done, it would read 4.60---or 4 60----have seen them both ways. Now that I think about it, I've seen them as 4-60 also. I guess it depends on which stamp was closest to hand-----or which stamp wasn't handy right at the moment.

I feel confident, were we to interview members of the Service Department, their response would go something like this: "Stamp, Schmamp-----we know what it means; and could care less what some lunatic fringe collector thinks it means!!"

Ralph Tremaine

Someone will correct me (more or less instantly) if I'm wrong, but I'm quite certain the S <> mark wasn't in use in 1930. I'm betting your 360 is the date mark.

Last edited by rct269; 06-10-2014 at 07:05 PM.
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