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Old 08-31-2017, 07:53 AM
sneakypete5 sneakypete5 is offline
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I have what I think is a pre40 S&W lemonsqueezer. Serial no is 3111. Any assistance on when this pistol was made would be helpful.
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Old 08-31-2017, 08:06 AM
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I have what I think is a pre40 S&W lemonsqueezer. Serial no is 3111. Any assistance on when this pistol was made would be helpful.
Welcome. First off, the date of manufacture is next to impossible to tell. What your looking for is the ship date. Secondly, Pre Model 40's are the Centennial Model. They are not called lemon squeezer. It is an early gun and might be worth lettering.
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Old 08-31-2017, 08:07 AM
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S&W only tracks ship dates. Based on other four digit guns, my best guess is 1953/54. The only way to know for sure is to letter the gun.
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Old 08-31-2017, 08:08 AM
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Man Don types fast!
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Old 08-31-2017, 08:37 AM
sneakypete5 sneakypete5 is offline
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What is the procedure for lettering? Is there a website for S&W lettering?
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Old 08-31-2017, 08:42 AM
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Here you go:

Smith & Wesson Historical Foundation - Letter Process - Insuring that the rich history of Smith & Wesson will continue for generations to come

Don may just have something to do with the lettering thing .

The tricky part about ship dates is popular models are sold quickly after production, unpopular ones not, and S & W never ships in numerical order. The .38 Centennial was not a strong seller and it may have sat on a shelf for months, or years, after it was made.
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Old 08-31-2017, 10:24 AM
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Originally Posted by sneakypete5 View Post
I have what I think is a pre40 S&W lemonsqueezer. Serial no is 3111. Any assistance on when this pistol was made would be helpful.
That would be a Centennial. many frames were manufacture prior to 1956, evident by the uppers side plate screw. I have one that has this upper screw yet shipped in 1957 and marked Model 40. So, you never know when it was shipped but usually with in a few years after manufacture.

Roy had explained that these were not good sellers at the onset and it took awhile for S&W to use up the first batch of frames (with the upper side plate screw).

In the World of S&W, most collectors would agree, the Uppers side plate screw was eliminated by 1956, (across the entire product line of revolvers), but this has nothing to do with "when" it shipped.

The most puzzling are the Pre-29s and these Centennials.
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Old 09-01-2017, 05:01 PM
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Thanks Sal. Mine has an upper sideplate screw on the right side plate. There is no marking that indicates a Model 40. The frame, cylinder,stocks and butt has the serial number 3111 on them. No model number.
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Old 09-01-2017, 08:47 PM
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Thanks Sal. Mine has an upper sideplate screw on the right side plate. There is no marking that indicates a Model 40. The frame, cylinder,stocks and butt has the serial number 3111 on them. No model number.
I'm going out on a limb here, but yours likely shipped sometime 1954-1955 or thereabouts. Boy, will Don gloat if I'm wrong.

You have a fairly low number. The lower the serial number the better, I believe.

PS: when I walk the line in a gunshow ... my eyes are searching ONLY for the S&Ws WITH the upper sideplate screw.

Always keep your eyes open for an older 42 in nickel For some reason the nickel did not adhere well for a long time. Many are found refinished ... most poorly refinished. To find a "Gem" 42 in factory nickel is a partial grail quest (a pre 42 even better).

i had an early 42 stamped with a " N " that had been hard chromed, very professionally, for many, ,many years. I just gifted it to one of my boys. I never found a pre-42 in factory nickel except refinished. I do have a 42 in factory nickel NIB but only one.

Take the old Indy hat, whip and Model 1917 but keep your eyes open all the time. Sal
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Last edited by model3sw; 09-01-2017 at 08:56 PM. Reason: spelling.
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Old 09-01-2017, 09:55 PM
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We just compared notes on these and have two in the 32xx range that shipped in December 1953. As has been mentioned, there is some unreliability in serial sequence vs. shipping dates, but probability puts your #3111 in 1953, both for production and for shipping.
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Old 09-01-2017, 10:11 PM
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Mine is #2486. The gurus on this forum tentatively put that one @ 1953 also. It is in the queue. But,I haven't lettered it yet.

Best,
Charles
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Old 09-01-2017, 11:06 PM
sneakypete5 sneakypete5 is offline
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I thank all of you who have contributed. My weapon is in near mint condition with barely a turn mark on the cylinder. It looks to be unfired judging by the lack of carbon discoloration on the cylinder. Any idea of the value in that condition?
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Old 09-02-2017, 08:16 AM
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I thank all of you who have contributed. My weapon is in near mint condition with barely a turn mark on the cylinder. It looks to be unfired judging by the lack of carbon discoloration on the cylinder. Any idea of the value in that condition?
That is a tough call to be accurate without seeing it. Post a few clearly focused and properly lighted, close up pix including picture of the grip frame with the stocks removed (is where any service marks are usually stamped

Do you have the box, correctly numbered. IIRC your SN should be in a RED box with a paper end label if shipped prior to about mid 1955.
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Old 09-10-2017, 08:19 PM
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I have uploaded 5 pics of the S&W. Hopefully they are sufficient to determine a value.
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Date of manufacture of  pre40 S&W-20170910_194923-jpg   Date of manufacture of  pre40 S&W-20170910_195151-jpg   Date of manufacture of  pre40 S&W-20170910_195502-jpg   Date of manufacture of  pre40 S&W-20170910_195558-jpg   Date of manufacture of  pre40 S&W-20170910_195616-jpg  

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Old 09-11-2017, 07:27 AM
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I have uploaded 5 pics of the S&W. Hopefully they are sufficient to determine a value.
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Old 09-11-2017, 09:13 AM
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For reference one sold yesterday on GB. SN is 11XX, red box, first style flat latch, safety locking pin in the grip handle.... It finished just less than $1,000.

Bob
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Old 09-11-2017, 09:20 AM
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My Centennial, Serial 3220 shipped in December of 1953:



This might help you place it.

Best Regards, Les
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Old 09-11-2017, 09:50 AM
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I have uploaded 5 pics of the S&W. Hopefully they are sufficient to determine a value.
I could see this one selling in the $650 range or so, depending on a local vs. national online auction sale.
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Old 09-14-2017, 01:09 PM
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I have uploaded 5 pics of the S&W. Hopefully they are sufficient to determine a value.
Adjusted for box and condition, I'd go $1000, easy, for one ANIB in the lower serial number ranges. NO box/papers, deduct about $300.00. and, after ANIB the deductions are harsh for those first few percentage points less than ANIB.
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