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Old 07-11-2017, 01:52 PM
Nighthawk0083 Nighthawk0083 is offline
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Default Picked up a 1955 45 this weekend

Bought a nice 1955 45 cal 5 screw N Frame this weekend S144539. I'm guessing its a first year production 1955? Has some minor wear at the tip of the barrel from a holster and a small spot on the cylinder otherwise its perfect. I tried to get some pics of it. Even came with a "very nice" set of cokes! I wonder if it came this way originally. Wife wasn't too happy about it so I might have to sell it. I should have asked first. Thought I would share it with you all first. That's a lesson to all you married folks out there. Although I'm sure some of you have already learned this lesson and didn't tell me hahaha.
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Picked up a 1955 45 this weekend-img_1804-jpg   Picked up a 1955 45 this weekend-img_1805-jpg   Picked up a 1955 45 this weekend-img_1808-jpg   Picked up a 1955 45 this weekend-img_1809-jpg   Picked up a 1955 45 this weekend-img_1810-jpg  


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Old 07-11-2017, 01:56 PM
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Few more pictures
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Old 07-11-2017, 02:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nighthawk0083 View Post
Bought a nice 1955 45 cal 5 screw N Frame this weekend S144539. I'm guessing its a first year production 1955? Has some minor wear at the tip of the barrel from a holster and a small spot on the cylinder otherwise its perfect. I tired to get some pics of it. Even came with a pristine set of cokes! I wonder if it came this way originally. Wife wasn't too happy about it so I might have to sell it. I should have asked first. Thought I would share it with you all first. That's a lesson to all you married folks out there. Although I'm sure some of you have already learned this lesson and didn't tell me hahaha.
Nice find. Your way off on the ship date though. I feel sorry for guys like you. Do what I did, marry a gun girl. Her dad worked at Savage Arms and she is a collector. She doesn't get angry when I buy a gun, she gets angry when I sell one. Been married 38 years to a great lady.
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Old 07-11-2017, 02:08 PM
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S144539 would likely have shipped around late 1955-early 1956 but only a factory letter would tell you exactly. But it's virtually certain to be of 1955 manufacture as I show SN S1472xx as shipping in 1/56.

Last edited by DWalt; 07-11-2017 at 02:11 PM.
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Old 07-11-2017, 02:28 PM
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Problem with Wife is easy. Give her the check book and your pay check.
Set up your gun fund with extra cash from your activities. Problem
solved. Worked for me.
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Old 07-11-2017, 03:54 PM
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My gun money never goes through the checkbook.
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Old 07-11-2017, 04:09 PM
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If You sell it,Look me up!
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Old 07-11-2017, 04:28 PM
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This gets into the sticky distinction between date of manufacture and date of shipment.

Let me give you another data point. My 1955 Target bears s/n S144516 which is 23 units ahead of your beauty. The records show that mine shipped in January 1958.

And yet another data point. My 1950 Target .44 Spl. (pre-24) bears s/n S145147. It shipped in April 1955.

They can be all over the map.

Yours is a beautiful revolver. I'm sure if you decide to sell it you will have an enthusiastic reception. I quit giving marriage counseling long ago, so I'll keep my trap shut on that.

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Old 07-11-2017, 04:36 PM
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Thumbs up NICE GUN FOR SURE.

You didn't mention what you paid. Don't get me wrong, I'd love to have that in my gun safe, BUT "pristine & perfect" are words I don't throw around lightly. " IF IT DIDN'T HAVE'S" don't count. IF the Queen did have, she'd be King. There should be a sticky for rat holling $ for guns.

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Old 07-11-2017, 05:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DWalt View Post
S144539 would likely have shipped around late 1955-early 1956 but only a factory letter would tell you exactly. But it's virtually certain to be of 1955 manufacture as I show SN S1472xx as shipping in 1/56.
Sorry, your guessing is getting worse.
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Old 07-11-2017, 05:50 PM
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Great gun and very nice condition! I buy guns almost every week, my wife wouldn't dare say a word, then again she collects US military long guns.
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Old 07-11-2017, 06:09 PM
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Beautiful ain't they...mine makes me smile when I shoot it, whats not to like. And Cokes too...
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Old 07-11-2017, 06:56 PM
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I doubt a 1955 45 Target would sit in inventory for three years (in the case of the January 1958 gun). Most likely it was made within a "reasonable" time before it was shipped. Since S&W shared frames and the serial number sequence between N-frame models, it is not surprising a group of guns with lower serial numbers was made and shipped long after expected. Same is true for the 44 Magnum.

How this happens may be a good topic to be presented at the next symposium of the S&WCA.

Bill

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Old 07-11-2017, 07:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nighthawk0083 View Post
Picked up a 1955 45 this weekend
I picked up a really nice 25-5 over the weekend.
But I couldn't afford it, so I had to put it back down.

That's a beautiful gun you have there. Hate to see you have to sell it, but have no doubt you'd have plenty of people wanting it. Really, it's more than just a "nice one" in my eyes.
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Old 07-11-2017, 08:35 PM
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I feel sorry for you. I had a wife like that. The key word is HAD. The current Mrs Muley is more like Don's wife; only gets mad if I sell one. She's a keeper.
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Old 07-11-2017, 08:49 PM
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Beautiful, if I want a gun, wife just says buy it, she never questions my purchases of guns.
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Old 07-11-2017, 08:49 PM
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None the less, It's good to have a "gun budget" and a "shoe budget". You get to spend the "gun budget". She gets to spend the "shoe budget". Neither of you get to influence the others budget. I'd be willing to bet she buys her shoes out of general funds and you prolly never realized she spends twice as much money annually on shoes than you do on guns.

Of course, substitute her favorite hobby for shoes unless it actually is shoes. Naturally, purses are in the shoe budget.
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Old 07-11-2017, 09:03 PM
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Sorry you have to ask, brother. Be strong. Nice gun!
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Old 07-11-2017, 09:04 PM
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I'd say it didn't happen to come with those Cokes judging by the size of the football cutout. Good luck in keeping it.
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Old 07-11-2017, 10:39 PM
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I watched that revolver for days and didn't call the guy. I didn't want to drive to Tucson. Congrats - nice one.
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Old 07-11-2017, 10:54 PM
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Quote:
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Beautiful, if I want a gun, wife just says buy it, she never questions my purchases of guns.
Speaking personally, my wife can't question what she doesn't know about ...
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Old 07-11-2017, 11:42 PM
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It wasn't because I bought the gun it was that I didn't ask to take money out of our savings. We are trying to save for a house. It was just too hard to turn down. We do have an agreement if I buy a gun she gets a piece of jewelry. Haha Thanks for all the support and compliments. Decisions decisions! I'm thinking of getting a letter for this one. What do you all think?

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Old 07-11-2017, 11:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nachogrande View Post
You didn't mention what you paid. Don't get me wrong, I'd love to have that in my gun safe, BUT "pristine & perfect" are words I don't throw around lightly. " IF IT DIDN'T HAVE'S" don't count. IF the Queen did have, she'd be King. There should be a sticky for rat holling $ for guns.
I changed it to "very nice." I dont want to be misleading.
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Old 07-11-2017, 11:55 PM
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I did almost the same thing last week!

Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk
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Old 07-12-2017, 12:42 AM
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Oh yeah I saw yours last week! Thats a nice one! Model 25's for everyone!
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Old 07-12-2017, 01:04 AM
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Did you remove the stocks? I have S159746 and it has a "W" main spring. Mine shipped 1-'56.
Larry
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Old 07-12-2017, 01:08 AM
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Love those classic lines man.
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Old 07-12-2017, 01:20 AM
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Did you remove the stocks? I have S159746 and it has a "W" main spring. Mine shipped 1-'56.
Larry
I will have to check. What is a W main spring?
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Old 07-12-2017, 01:32 AM
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The main spring is in the shape of a "W", they also had a "U" shaped one on some 1955 .45 cal. revolvers. The "W" and the "U" were not common, as they tried for a lighter double action pull. It could have a standard main spring.
Larry
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Old 07-12-2017, 06:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doc44 View Post
I doubt a 1955 45 Target would sit in inventory for three years (in the case of the January 1958 gun). Most likely it was made within a "reasonable" time before it was shipped. Since S&W shared frames and the serial number sequence between N-frame models, it is not surprising a group of guns with lower serial numbers was made and shipped long after expected. Same is true for the 44 Magnum.

How this happens may be a good topic to be presented at the next symposium of the S&WCA.

Bill

I think we all would like to know more about the method of allocation S&W used for serial numbers. Intuitively we think guns are manufactured in serial number sequence. Evidently that's not the case with S&W, especially since serial number blocks were allocated among different models of revolvers.

It was with that thought that I included data on my pre-24.

Rather than save this topic for a symposium presentation it would be quite a benefit to present the information here on the forums. Unfortunately there are many of us who are members of the SWCA but have difficulty attending the annual symposium.

Curl
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Old 07-12-2017, 07:53 AM
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"W" Mainspring on a Pre-25...
Serial number on this one is S1436XX and I have been told it dates to 1955
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Old 07-12-2017, 08:07 AM
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Quote:
Let me give you another data point. My 1955 Target bears s/n S144516 which is 23 units ahead of your beauty. The records show that mine shipped in January 1958.
And mine is S159461 and shipped in February of 1958, almost 15,000 numbers higher, so go figure.

Quote:
I think we all would like to know more about the method of allocation S&W used for serial numbers. Intuitively we think guns are manufactured in serial number sequence. Evidently that's not the case with S&W, especially since serial number blocks were allocated among different models of revolvers.
S&W did manufacture guns in serial number sequence however, we never know exactly how many are in any given block of numbers because it would have been based on need or demand for a given model. They could make as few as 50 or as many as 5,000. Add to that the fact that they deliberately jumped around within serial number blocks just to keep the competition guessing and the whole thing gets confusing. Also you must remember that the dates that Roy Jinks and the many books that have copied his information are based on use shipping dates and not date of manufacture.

Add to that the fact that guns were stored in a cage awaiting shipment and the shipping folks cared not what serial number gun that they were grabbing to fill an order. As long as the serial number was recorded in the outgoing shipping log, inventory was controlled. It is only we collectors that need to have precise dates for each model and expect that guns went out in some sequential order. NOT THE CASE.

We see numerous times where a lower serial numbered gun has shipped out days, months or even years after a higher number.

As mentioned, you also have different models using close serial number blocks. My S159461 1955 .45 target is only 2 digits higher than say S159459 which could have been the last number used in a group of .44 magnums????
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Old 07-12-2017, 08:55 AM
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Frames were made and serial numbered in sequence, but finished revolvers using these frames were not completed in sequence. A low numbered frame may have been used long after a higher numbered frame in the manufacture of a revolver. For example, 44 Magnum, S166065, was manufactured on March 29, 1956 and shipped on April 2, 1956, whereas, 44 Magnum, S153810, was manufactured on November 5, 1956 and shipped on November 8, 1956.

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Old 07-12-2017, 09:48 AM
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Bill: Can we attribute this to the distribution within the factory of the frames? Were some put in the cycle for a particular model and others for different models, or are they dumped into a holding site and withdrawn as needed by the days manufacturing? (If they stirred up the pot at times and mixed all the numbers up).
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Old 07-12-2017, 10:10 AM
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Quote:
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Frames were made and serial numbered in sequence, but finished revolvers using these frames were not completed in sequence. A low numbered frame may have been used long after a higher numbered frame in the manufacture of a revolver. For example, 44 Magnum, S166065, was manufactured on March 29, 1956 and shipped on April 2, 1956, whereas, 44 Magnum, S153810, was manufactured on November 5, 1956 and shipped on November 8, 1956.

Bill
With that SN process, is it safe to assume some serial numbers never left the factory - some frames being damaged down the assembly, fitting and finishing stages? Has anyone ever put forth a guess as to what percentage of frames were rejected? I would think the earliest frames may have taken a heavier toll due to the extensive hand work required. Thanks.
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Old 07-12-2017, 10:40 AM
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For the most part the upper side plate screw was eliminated in 1956. While it may have shipped anytime during 1955 or after, it was likely manufactured in 1955 or thereabout.

It's a sweetie. You won't have any trouble selling it.
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Old 07-12-2017, 10:52 AM
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To add another complication, what is the date of "manufacture?" The date the frame was stamped or the date the final assembled gun was placed into its shipping box? There could be a very long time between those two events. I think BATFE would say the former, as it considers a serial numbered frame to be "The Gun."
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Old 07-12-2017, 11:18 AM
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The only model I know of with a serial number range set aside is the Combat Magnum. K260001-K265000 was set aside for the first five thousand of this model.

Bill
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Old 07-12-2017, 11:25 AM
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Why would anyone tell their wife they bought a gun?
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Old 07-12-2017, 06:02 PM
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As DWalt stated, the BATFE considers it to be a firearm once the serial number is applied to the frame. If, as someone asked, a frame was damaged during the assembly process, it could not be scraped without reporting its disposition to the BATFE.

As is evidenced by the production of the .22/32 HFT's, wherein each completed gun received a numbered pair of two screw extension target stocks in order of the guns completion, there is no correlation between the sequence of serial numbers and the sequence of stock numbers.

This is not to be confused with the serial number applied to the inside of the right stock panel but an assembly order number stamped on the bottom of the left stock panel. This was done for about the first 3,000 guns assembled and really shows one the randomness.

You must realize that groups of frames were handed out to the various workers and assembled in no serial number sequence and some workers may have worked faster than others. This creates a very random pattern of gun serial numbers and then the completed guns went into the vault in preparation for shipment.

As an order was filled, a shipping clerk would go to the section were the needed model was stored and grab 10 guns. No care was taken to grab 10 sequentially numbered guns as they were merely filling an order with inventory. The serial numbers were recorded as they went out and it is these records that are used to obtain shipping dates or information contained in history letters.

All of these factors tend to add to the randomness of dates and serial numbers and drive us collectors, who want things all neat and orderly, crazy.
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Old 07-12-2017, 06:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SparkyAZ View Post
"W" Mainspring on a Pre-25...
Serial number on this one is S1436XX and I have been told it dates to 1955
I've got S143450, it has the standard spring. Wonder what decided which spring went in what gun?

Russ
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Old 07-12-2017, 08:04 PM
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Some of the earliest 1955 45 Target revolvers have a serial number in the S143000 range.

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Old 07-13-2017, 02:55 PM
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Well I checked it has a standard main spring.
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Old 07-13-2017, 04:01 PM
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My .45 HE Target Model of 1955 #S 130961 was shipped in Jan 1959 according to Mr Jinks. You really can't tell a lot by serial numbers
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Old 07-13-2017, 04:36 PM
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My serial # is S130745 that should for be a first run pre 29 but it's a 5 screw Pre 25.The serial matches on all the parts as does the assembly # in the yoke and inside the sideplate.

Don't know when it shipped but I haven't seen or heard of a lower number on a Pre 25
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Old 07-13-2017, 05:40 PM
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Quote:
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My .45 HE Target Model of 1955 #S 130961 was shipped in Jan 1959 according to Mr Jinks. You really can't tell a lot by serial numbers
That one seems very late. Those on my list having relatively nearby SNs all shipped around late 1955 to early 1956, but most are .44 Magnums.
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Old 07-13-2017, 10:55 PM
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It's on the ship date list of 3-27-17. The reason I bought the weapon was because of the very early serial number according to the book 143XXX was the starting date for pre 25 1955 targets. It appears that there are a few more in the 130,000 range so it may have been more common than everyone thought.
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Old 07-14-2017, 07:24 AM
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You must also realize that the shipping date books are hand written and sometimes very difficult to read. They were done by humans and humans are prone to making mistakes. S&W serial numbers are sometimes hard to read and it is always possible that numbers were recorded wrong.

The serial number charts in the printed books were all taken from research done by the S&W Historian, Roy Jinks. These are not computer records and are therefore not easily searched or tabulated. The serial number charts are merely an interpretation of those records and since S&W purposely skipped around within the groups of numbers available, groups of serial numbers can be missed. This is why you sometimes will find a gun with a number that seems to be outside of the reported range. It is not a fluke, it is merely from a group of guns not previously listed for that model.

Quote:
My .45 HE Target Model of 1955 #S 130961 was shipped in Jan 1959 according to Mr Jinks. You really can't tell a lot by serial numbers
The other component that you must consider with serial numbers is that guns were sometimes loaned out to gun magazine writers or ammunition companies or sales people. These guns were not listed at that time in the shipping records because they were not sold and therefore did not represent income to the company. When those guns were returned, it could be days, weeks, months or even years before they found they way back to the vault and eventually shipped. This is why occasionally you will find a gun that according to the next lowest and higher serial numbers shipped should have shipped say in 1953 but is listed in the shipping record as 1959.

Guns that never found there way back to the company for shipment will often show up as OPEN on the records.

I have worked in the shipping record books at Roy Jink's office and believe me, some of the writing requires a magnifying glass to decipher and it's a wonder that Roy has not gone blind after all of these years pouring through those records.
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Old 07-14-2017, 07:43 AM
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Here is mine LNIB. Grips are numbered to the gun.





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Old 07-14-2017, 07:54 AM
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These incessant guessing games about when made/shipped, and the accompanying reasoning/arguments about the whys and wherefores cause premature aging----and hair loss.

To add fuel to the fire, my Model of 1955 #S160970 shipped January 16, 1959---and was delivered to the Williams Gun Sight Co.. I know this the only way anybody (besides Roy and Don) knows this---and push come to shove, I don't even care when it was made----or shipped---knowing full well both events came to pass. I also know guns can sit in inventory for a loooooooooooooooong time before shipping. I used to think/wonder about this, but it made my teeth hurt.

Ralph Tremaine
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