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Old 07-10-2018, 02:40 PM
brigham33 brigham33 is offline
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Default Serial number backwards

Picked up a pre-victory 38 special, serial 972661, usual black finish with matching grips. Barrel marks etc all look standard but the serial on the butt reads with the barrel facing right. I have a faint old memory that there was a time when this was the case...

Any experts have comment on this? Normal, unusual, or ?

Thanks,
Rick
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Old 07-10-2018, 03:53 PM
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You mean like left or like right?

My 910-pre Victory is facing the same way as the later Victory, but the earlier BSR is opposite. I've seen different patterns in the 900s.
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Old 07-10-2018, 04:40 PM
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Absalom, Thanks. I'd not checked my BSR's. Rick
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Old 07-10-2018, 06:28 PM
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Pre war serial #s on the butt read with barrel to the right and are centered, or offset if produced with a lanyard swivel (factory installed swivels are drilled with a jig and always 1/10 forward of center). Factory installed swivels after initial production or sent back to the factory for a swivel are drilled thru the centered # which is re-stamped on left side grip frame, and reads with barrel to the left.

I frame and single shot serial numbers on the fore strap read with barrel to the right.

After WW II the serial # reads with barrel to the left and is offset to the rear (except for serial numbers on the fore strap thru 1957).
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Old 07-11-2018, 10:59 AM
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Like most things S&W everything is the same unless it is not.
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Old 07-11-2018, 12:48 PM
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I have a pre Victory, number 9845XX, that has the same number layout as yours. Numbers to the left of the lanyard, when the barrel is point toward the right.
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Old 07-11-2018, 12:49 PM
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I have a pre Victory, number 9845XX, that has the same number layout as yours. Numbers to the left of the lanyard, when the barrel is pointing toward the right.
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Old 07-11-2018, 05:56 PM
Hondo44 Hondo44 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Absalom View Post
You mean like left or like right?

My 910-pre Victory is facing the same way as the later Victory, but the earlier BSR is opposite. I've seen different patterns in the 900s.
I believe what you've stumbled upon is the actual transition period in the M&P series from right reading to left reading serial #s: the high end of the original serial # range.
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Last edited by Hondo44; 07-11-2018 at 07:42 PM.
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Old 07-11-2018, 07:29 PM
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The interesting thing is that the serials didn’t stay re-oriented, but could be applied either way.

As the second photo shows, the 910- pre-Victory shows the same orientation as the (obviously later) Victory in the third photo, that is, the serial reads with the barrel to the left.

The OP's 972-, as well as DWL's 984-, however, seem to conform to the earlier pattern observable on my earlier BSR, reading with the barrel facing right.

So obviously there were inconsistencies in where the serial was applied in the 900's, since we can exclude a refinish/re-strike on mine.

Not too long ago we even had a high-numbered pre-Victory here with the same configuration as my 910-, where someone had later added a V to the left, creating great consternation here since that was out of any V-prefix range.

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Old 07-11-2018, 07:48 PM
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Absalom,

Sorry about that, I got mixed with up with your description and the center photo with the shadow on the right. Please see my edited post.

Since the M&P was produced all thru the war, the change transition to left reading butt serial #s obviously happened much earlier than all other models re-introduced after the war with left reading #s.
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Last edited by Hondo44; 07-11-2018 at 07:59 PM.
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Old 07-11-2018, 09:12 PM
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Jim:
It occurred to me that the orientation of the second photo isn’t that clear, and that might be the issue. I edited my post also
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Old 07-12-2018, 12:30 AM
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That's the nature of a change "transition period". Inconsistencies; old and new style manufactured simultaneously, sometimes like a year, especially parts changes.
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