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Old 03-18-2017, 09:45 PM
M_conrad_0311 M_conrad_0311 is offline
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Default Original grips or not

On my shooter pre-27, the grips are stamped with a close SN to the frame #. Is it possible that these grips shipped with the gun originally?
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Old 03-18-2017, 10:13 PM
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Entirely possible, and maybe even probable.
Possible that the later serial numbered gun was ready to ship, and Smith got a request for the gun with Target stocks. So, because Smith never wasted anything, held onto the grips until your gun came along to be finished and they then refit to your gun.

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Old 03-18-2017, 10:36 PM
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Or a dealer could have made the exchange. Say he had a customer who wanted a certain combination of barrel length and stocks. If the dealer had several N-Frame revolvers on hand, he could have changed things around as required to make the sale.

Or your revolver could have been one of a shipment sent to a police department. During routine cleaning of multiple revolvers, the armorer may not have been any too choosey about which revolver got which stocks.

You could spend $75 on a factory letter to verify what type of stocks originally shipped with your revolver, but that is all it will tell you. The letter can't tell you if it left the factory with a matching serial number on the stocks.
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Old 03-18-2017, 10:41 PM
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I recently picked up a 5" C series M&P (pre-10), the grips are period and well fitted, but the sn stamped on them is 156 higher than the frame sn.

Figure it's just one of those S&W moments
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Old 03-19-2017, 01:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack Flash View Post
Or a dealer could have made the exchange. Say he had a customer who wanted a certain combination of barrel length and stocks. If the dealer had several N-Frame revolvers on hand, he could have changed things around as required to make the sale.

Or your revolver could have been one of a shipment sent to a police department. During routine cleaning of multiple revolvers, the armorer may not have been any too choosey about which revolver got which stocks.
This, taken together with 19leben's comments, constitutes an excellent list of the possibilities. I'm sure all three have taken place from time to time. I have personal experience with Jack Flash's option 2 (the PD armorer). That happened a lot in large departments.
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Old 03-19-2017, 09:48 AM
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You know what they say about provenance - if you do not have it, you cannot claim it. Unfortunately, all the speculation about how it might have happened does not change the fact that the stocks do not match the gun. If ever sold in a public auction, one cannot attest to matching stocks.

Many guns got target stocks at the dealers who sold these guns. The big gun shops got large orders that could well have contained both those serial numbers and would not have cared about matching stocks in the 1940s & 1950s. When they changed a set of target stocks, they would not have thrown away the brand new set of Magnas. If some in the shipment had damaged stocks, the dealer would have grabbed a pair from the spare parts drawer and stuck them on.

I have seen stocks that are one number apart from the gun or with transposed "9" and "6", but your gun does shows half of the numbers different. One thing for certain is that most would not claim them as factory originals.
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Old 03-19-2017, 10:11 AM
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Anything is possible but probable is a different story.

For a shooter grade revolver the serial number on the right grip IMO is the least important of all the matching numbers.

You could possibly find a pair excellent condition un-numbered that are period correct.

You may in all probability shoot the gun with different grips on it anyway.
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Old 03-19-2017, 11:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimmyjones View Post
I recently picked up a 5" C series M&P (pre-10), the grips are period and well fitted, but the sn stamped on them is 156 higher than the frame sn.

Figure it's just one of those S&W moments
Just bought a correct, numbered box on Ebay for my early M48-0 four screw with 8 3/8" bbl. As it turns out the box is numbered exactly 80 numbers from my gun. In the box was the original receipt numbered to the gun. So close, yet so far away. Big Larry
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Old 03-19-2017, 01:03 PM
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Just bought a correct, numbered box on Ebay for my early M48-0 four screw with 8 3/8" bbl. As it turns out the box is numbered exactly 80 numbers from my gun. In the box was the original receipt numbered to the gun. So close, yet so far away. Big Larry
Was thinking that its possible the last owner of the gun was looking for correct grips for his gun. Finding a pair really close he bought them. Done that myself.
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Old 03-19-2017, 04:15 PM
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Originally Posted by StakeOut View Post

You may in all probability shoot the gun with different grips on it anyway.

You mean you're saying the gun would still fire with the wrong grips on it? And it might even shoot accurately? Who would have thought that could happen?
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Old 03-19-2017, 04:22 PM
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You mean you're saying the gun would still fire with the wrong grips on it? And it might even shoot accurately? Who would have thought that could happen?
I don't get your drift?
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Old 03-19-2017, 05:57 PM
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For a very high condition revolver, I might be concerned about a non-matching SN. For anything else, at least to me, it is of no concern.
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Old 03-19-2017, 06:05 PM
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I have a M15-4 in 99%+ condition that has a set of Magnas on it that are numbered exactly 300 higher than the serial # on the grip. I have wondered how that could be, and I reckon I will never know. I guess the only thing I can say is the grips are period correct. Doesn't make the gun any less nice.
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Old 03-19-2017, 06:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by larryofcc View Post
Just bought a correct, numbered box on Ebay for my early M48-0 four screw with 8 3/8" bbl. As it turns out the box is numbered exactly 80 numbers from my gun. In the box was the original receipt numbered to the gun. So close, yet so far away. Big Larry
This is kinda getting off the subject, but someone has an "original" serialized K-32 box for sale on the forum. That penciled S/N is only 113 off from my personal gun. He wants 10 times what I paid for my supposed "made up after the fact" gold box, but it is tempting. As was stated above somewhere no mater how close.......It still doesn't match!
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Old 03-19-2017, 08:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack Flash View Post
Or a dealer could have made the exchange. Say he had a customer who wanted a certain combination of barrel length and stocks. If the dealer had several N-Frame revolvers on hand, he could have changed things around as required to make the sale.

Or your revolver could have been one of a shipment sent to a police department. During routine cleaning of multiple revolvers, the armorer may not have been any too choosey about which revolver got which stocks.

You could spend $75 on a factory letter to verify what type of stocks originally shipped with your revolver, but that is all it will tell you. The letter can't tell you if it left the factory with a matching serial number on the stocks.
Can you request the letters electronically, or have to be sent in on downloaded request form?
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Old 03-19-2017, 08:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M_conrad_0311 View Post
On my shooter pre-27, the grips are stamped with a close SN to the frame #. Is it possible that these grips shipped with the gun originally?
Here's how that works: The gun and the grips show up at "Final Assembly"----where the grips get matched up with their gun, get screwed on (That's the "Final Assembly" part.), the number gets scrawled on the box, the gun gets stuffed in the box, and the box gets pitched on the cart to go the vault------where it stays until the Shipping Picker snatches it up----good to go.

So----the nice little old lady in "Final Assembly" hadn't cleaned her specs too well that morning----and screwed on the wrong grips-----I mean, she's got a whole pile of them there. Right?! Well, maybe---maybe not---prove me wrong.

Here's what happened to mine: The nice little old lady put the grips on my 8" .32 caliber 1st Model Single Shot, grabbed a box for a 10" .22 caliber SS, wrote my number (14272) on the box, pitched my gun in, and pitched it on the cart for the vault. So far, so bad, but it gets worse.

The Shipping Picker comes along for a 10" .22 caliber SS, grabs that box, and heads for Shipping. Shipping writes down what it is and where it's going on the shipping sheet---------and off it goes. When it gets where it's going, the Receiving guy says, "Hey----they shipped us the wrong gun---what do I do with this?" The boss say's, "We can sell it---just put it in stock." And sure enough, they sold it.

Time passes------------------

A request for a "factory letter" finds its way to Mr. Roy (HISSELF). He grabs that shipping sheet we talked about earlier----and writes down what it says. That's what he does for each and every letter----rain or shine. He looks at the invoice too. Sometimes he looks at other stuff. Then he drops the letter in the mail. And then you get it.

And then you say "What the !!@##$%%^&***)( is this?!!" And there is no answer.

More time passes------

Roy feels your pain, goes the extra mile----even sends you a copy of the shipping sheet we talked about earlier. Sure enough, your super rare 8" .32 is really a somewhat common as dirt 10'' .22----says so----right there----black ink on white paper.

And your grips don't match, huh? Cheer up, things could be worse---and sure enough, things got worse.

Ralph Tremaine

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Old 03-20-2017, 07:17 AM
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Can you request the letters electronically, or have to be sent in on downloaded request form?
It appears you have to print and mail the form (snail mail) with payment. Maybe someone else knows if there is a way to submit the form / payment electronically.

Click the link below. You will see the instructions. On the page that appears, click the link in the first "bullet".
Smith & Wesson Historical Foundation - Letter Process - Insuring that the rich history of Smith & Wesson will continue for generations to come
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Old 03-20-2017, 08:48 AM
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Just as Jack Flash stated. mail only. Apparently, the SWHF has no way to accept electronic forms of payment. It makes it particularly difficult for those outside the US to obtain a factory letter.

. . . but if you want a Foundation Letter: Attached is a link to a .PDF file of a research request. Please email the completed form to smithwessonhf@hotmail.com or print and post it to the SWHF . . .
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Old 03-20-2017, 10:28 AM
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Just as Jack Flash stated. mail only. Apparently, the SWHF has no way to accept electronic forms of payment. It makes it particularly difficult for those outside the US to obtain a factory letter.

. . . but if you want a Foundation Letter: Attached is a link to a .PDF file of a research request. Please email the completed form to smithwessonhf@hotmail.com or print and post it to the SWHF . . .
They could (e.g., PayPal) but there is an associated fee to do so.
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Old 03-21-2017, 07:57 AM
M_conrad_0311 M_conrad_0311 is offline
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What are the differences in the different letters? Are there associate costs with each different letter?
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Old 03-21-2017, 08:10 AM
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M_conrad_0311

The Letter of Authenticity that Roy generates will give you background information on your model and, for your specific gun, the exact ship date and to whom it was shipped (usually a hardware store or distributor). It will often give some details on the gun's configuration (barrel length, finish, type of stocks, etc.). For that letter you are charged a flat fee, currently $75.

A history search request through the SWHF will give you further details if they are available. An example of this would be something like a later trip to the Service Department made by your gun. There may or may not be anything in the records for your gun. If not, you aren't charged for getting nothing. If something is found, the cost varies, depending on how much paper is found on your gun. To request the SWHF information, you must already have obtained the letter from Roy. Keep in mind that cataloging and digitizing the vast amount of info in the Foundation's files is a work in progress. Only a couple decades have been completed, the last I heard. So, a request might turn up nothing now. 5 years down the road, something might turn up.

If I have gotten any of this wrong, I'm sure someone who knows more than I do will be along soon to correct the record.
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Old 03-21-2017, 08:55 AM
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Thank you all for the information and assistance. Will soon letter a few of my revolvers.
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Old 03-21-2017, 09:02 AM
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If not constrained by the laws of physics, anything is possible. It's the probabilities that get ya.
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