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Old 02-16-2010, 04:33 PM
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Default Question about Stainless Steel J-Frame .38 Special

My wife has a S&W stainless steel j-frame bodyguard (shrounded hammer) chambered in .38 Special +P, with a barrel that is 1 and 7/8 inches in length. I believe it is about 10 years old (very approximate). The cylinder is identical in length to my 340PD, which is chambered in .357 Mag. Aside from the fact that her pistol is stainless steel and is branded ".38 Special +P", it also differs from my 340PD in that the extractor rod of her pistol is exposed on both sides of the barrel (rather than on one side only) and, obviously, in the shrouding of the hammer (vs. the totally enclosed hammer of the 340PD). Compared with the S&W's current stainless steel bodyguard (Model 649), her pistol differs in that the barrel is shorter and, further, in the two-sided exposure of the extractor rod.

I have a few questions with which I am hoping that the resident S&W experts may be able to help:

1. Is her pistol a Model 649 as indicated at the website below (discovered via google), despite the differences from the current Model 649 in chambering, barrel length, and exposure of the extractor rod?

m49

2. If so, when, and for how long, was this version (her version) of the 649 produced?

3. Given the overall similarity of her pistol to the current Model 649 (the differences are noted in my description above), what structural features of her pistol limit it to .38 Special +P ammunition? In other words, the length of the cylinder appears to accomodate .357 Mag rounds, and the pistol is made from stainless steel, so why (functionally) is it limited to .38 Special +P ammunition? [Note: This question arises purely from curiosity on my part. I have absolutely no intention of suggesting that she try a .357 Mag round in her pistol.]

Any time that you can spare to respond to any (or all) of these questions would be much appreciated.
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Old 02-16-2010, 04:51 PM
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Picture, model and serial number would be helpful in answering your questions.
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Old 02-16-2010, 04:59 PM
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Any other considerations aside, it is limited to .38s because even though the cylinder may be long enough the chamber is not. .357 ammo will not fit in far enough for the cyliner to swing shut.
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Old 02-16-2010, 04:59 PM
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Hi David:

Thanks for your reply.

I don't have a model #, unfortunately. In fact, that's actually my first question in my post above, namely is her pistol a model 649? I don't know for sure, hence my question.

I don't have a camera handy, but her pistol is identical to the one pictured in the link that I included in my post.

I don't know much about pistol serial numbers. Are they like social security numbers in that you are supposed to keep them secret? Sorry, I am remarkably ignorant about these matters (but working earnestly to remedy my ignorance). The first three letters of the serial number on her pistol are CCW.
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Old 02-16-2010, 05:02 PM
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Pisgah, that's very interesting. I hadn't considered that the chambers might differ in length despite the similar cylinder lengths. I learn something new on this forum every day.
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Old 02-16-2010, 05:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Goffman View Post
Hi David:

Thanks for your reply.

I don't have a model #, unfortunately. In fact, that's actually my first question in my post above, namely is her pistol a model 649? I don't know for sure, hence my question.

I don't have a camera handy, but her pistol is identical to the one pictured in the link that I included in my post.

I don't know much about pistol serial numbers. Are they like social security numbers in that you are supposed to keep them secret? Sorry, I am remarkably ignorant about these matters (but working earnestly to remedy my ignorance). The first three letters of the serial number on her pistol are CCW.
ok open the cylinder, right where the 'hinge' that holds the cylinder you will see some stamped numbers what do those say?
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Old 02-16-2010, 06:02 PM
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Thank you for your input, Crazy K38. I am aware of the location of the serial number (e.g., stamped on the butt of the pistol), hence my mention of the first three digits of the serial number in my response to David (above). I just don't understand fully the potential implications of posting serial numbers on a public website. For example, see the rather spirited debate at the link below. If my questions about her pistol cannot be answered without the provision of a serial number, I apologize and withdraw the questions. Thanks again for your time and input.

Why no serial numbers posted on gun ads? There's a lot of internet ads out there for rifles, pistols, etc. and I've noticed a | Field & Stream
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Old 02-16-2010, 10:02 PM
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Just replace the last 2 or 3 digits with x's in your post.
It still give enough to date or type the gun, without giving away too much. Some folks don't care, but why take a chance.
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Old 02-16-2010, 10:08 PM
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Goffman, you have misunderstood Crazy K38's question. He's not asking you to post the gun's serial # (from the butt), but rather, the Model #, from the frame, under the yoke hinge. Open the yoke (crane) and look for the stamped model #, which should be in numeric characters, and resemble this format: xxx-x

This info will help members answer your question, not ID your particular gun.
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Old 02-16-2010, 11:14 PM
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Goffman, here's a photo my 649-3 that shows the location of the model number and s/n on this particular model.

Older models may or may not have the s/n inside the crane, or laser etched inside the topstrap, but they all have them on the gun's butt.

Obviously, I am not too concerned about keeping my s/n secret. But in order to date a gun or find more information about it, the standard way to id the gun's s/n range is as stated above, for example mine would be CDD71xx.

hth
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Old 02-17-2010, 12:49 AM
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Woops!...I didn't realize that the model # was stamped on the pistol, although, considered in hindsight, I should have thought to look for it. How embarrassing. In my (weak) defense, it's my wife's pistol, and I didn't have it in hand when I responded to Crazy K38's post.

At any rate, I checked the frame underneath the yoke hinge, and it is a model 649-4.

My thanks to Crazy K38, JKC, and 2Hawk for your patience in explaining the location of the model #.
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Old 02-17-2010, 06:03 AM
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Great you got a great gun I have a 638, and love it
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Old 02-17-2010, 01:41 PM
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So, does anyone know when, and for how long, the 649-4 was produced (per my question #3 at the start of this thread)?
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Old 02-17-2010, 02:07 PM
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According to the Standard Catalog of Smith & Wesson, page 266, the .38 Special version of the Model 649, the Model 649-4, was reintroduced using the J Magnum frame in November, 1997, and the .38 Special variation was then discontinued in 1999.
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Old 02-17-2010, 03:08 PM
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Fantastic! Thank you!
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340pd, 649, bodyguard, ccw, extractor, k38

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S&W Revolvers: 1980 to the Present Thread, Question about Stainless Steel J-Frame .38 Special in Smith & Wesson Revolvers; My wife has a S&W stainless steel j-frame bodyguard (shrounded hammer) chambered in .38 Special +P, with a barrel that ...
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