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Old 06-18-2011, 09:40 PM
traub traub is offline
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Default Model 29-2

I recently purchased a Model 29-2 with a 6 1/2 barrel that was manufactured in 1973.

The gun appeared to be unfired, however, I noticed some factory stampings under the grips that may be an indication of the gun being factory refinished.

Under the grip, on the bottom of left side of the frame, the capital letters RE are stamped. The letters are in a circle. Does anyone know what these letters indicate?

Also the serial number is stamped on the cylinder under the extractor and on the back of the extractor. I thought these stampings were done on earlier guns, however, I'm not sure.

I've seen several references to factory refinished guns and factory stampings on this forum, however, I have never seen any references to these letters in a circle.
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Old 06-18-2011, 11:39 PM
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SaxonPig SaxonPig is offline
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I generally associate a star or a diamond as a factory refinish mark. I have 2 S&Ws that were factory reblued and both have a diamond on the grip frame. Should also be a date like 778 which would be July of 1978.
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Old 06-19-2011, 12:12 PM
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Alk8944 Alk8944 is offline
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RE is an inspectors or fitters mark. If the gun has been back to the factory it will have a date code hand stamped under the L stock on the side of the forestrap.

The star is a re-work mark, generally something more than a re-finish.

For years, definitely since 1973, a factory re-finish is indicated by a rectangular cartouche under the L stock on the side of the backstrap on bottom. It will contain R-S, R-B, or R-N. These designate Refinish-Standard (blue), Refinish-Blue or Refinish-Nickel. The cartouche can be in the form of a square cornered or rounded cornered rectangle, or earlier it could be a diamond. A diamond with a B or N on the barrel flat was a message to the finish job that the barrel was to be blued or Nickeled.
Gunsmithing S&W since 1961

Last edited by Alk8944; 06-19-2011 at 12:49 PM.
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Old 06-19-2011, 02:08 PM
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Retired W4 Retired W4 is offline
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Default Circled RE

Traub, I also have the circled RE on the left side grip frame on a 19-3. I am fairly certain that it is, as previously posted, an inspector/assembler mark.
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extractor, model 29

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