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Old 08-12-2018, 06:15 PM
Walter Rego Walter Rego is offline
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Default Rework Marks on .38/44 Outdoorsman

I read Hondo44's post from back in December discussing the various letters, numbers and symbols we sometimes see stamped on S&W's that aren't the usual inspectors or assembly numbers. I'm trying to figure out this one:

.38/44 Outdoorsman, in the high S147,000 S/N range. Mr. Jinks said it shipped in June, 1956. It is Bright Blue finish, standard configuration with 6.5" barrel.
Found on the left toe of the grip frame are a capital O and the digits 956 and a capital S at the left side heel. The capital O is repeated on the frame, under the barrel and covered when the crane is closed. In the ejector rod shroud, after the matching serial number is a capital B (with serifs) and a diamond stamp.
Assuming the 956 digits are a date, this gun must have made a return trip to the factory very shortly after it was shipped in 6/56 and sold.

I have not lettered it so do not know if it shipped as Bright Blue or if that might have been the standard finish by that time. It went to the (O)utside Service Department for work.
In the opinion of those here who are more knowledgeable than I (a good percentage of the members I am sure) was it for a refinish, a barrel replacement or for other unknown work ?
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Old 08-12-2018, 08:03 PM
Hondo44 Hondo44 is offline
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Walter,

Very interesting! Sometimes interpreting these stamps is more of an art than a science. And yours is certainly confusing.

You didn't mention if there's a star on the butt, or on the left side of the grip frame (an optional location) so I'm presuming there isn't.

The Large B with serifs indicates the gun has the Bright blue finish as an option, not as the standard finish. So the S on the heel is likely for the original standard finish (blue) or service dept.

The O could be an inspector stamp since you say it was repeated by the assembly # in the yoke instead of for the Outside Serv Dept.

Does the 956 on the toe have a period or a space between the 9 and 56?

Being stamped on the toe of the grip frame and w/o a star or a period is not a deal breaker for a rework.


I believe the story of your gun is that it was shipped as a standard .38-44 and returned to the Service dept. indicated by the S. The diamomd on the barrel indicates it was sent to bluing and was to be returned to the Service Dept. It could just be for a different length barrel.

Or it could even be for the addition of target sights to make a Heavy duty into an Outdoorsman. If the rear sight does not have a matching serial # stamped on the bottom side and/or if the sight channel in the top strap was not blued, the sight was added was added. This would require a front sight modification and the reason the barrel was reblued.

That's my best logic for the markings.

I would request a letter from Roy and specifically ask about all these stampings.

The SWHF may have records if it was returned for rework. That would be my next step.
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Jim
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Last edited by Hondo44; 08-12-2018 at 08:05 PM.
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Old 08-13-2018, 02:28 PM
opoefc opoefc is offline
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My interpretation of your gun is the same as Jims. You can solve one of the questions now by removing the rear sight base and look for the presence/absence of the serial number, and likely there's a period (dot) between the 9 and the 56, indicating Sept 1956 as the rework date. Ed.
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Old 08-13-2018, 09:06 PM
Walter Rego Walter Rego is offline
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Ed & Hondo, the gun is not a .38/44 HD that was converted to an adjustable sight model. It has the serrated grip tangs of an N Target frame, and the micrometer rear sight that is appropriate for a mid-1950's S147,000 serial number range gun.

There does not appear to be a dot between the 9 and 56. For whatever this is worth, the 956 digits are stamped through the bluing as are the capital O on the toe of the grip frame and under the crane, the capital S with serifs that is stamped near the heel, and the capital B with serifs and diamond stamp after the (blued over) serial number in the ejector rod shroud.
So all of the typical rework indicators were stamped after bluing. I double checked the barrel and it is just a hair shy of 6.5".
I may letter this one.
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Old 08-13-2018, 09:32 PM
rct269 rct269 is offline
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Methinks post-war targets do not have numbered sights-------Yes, they do?----No, they don't?

Ralph Tremaine
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