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  #1  
Old 12-22-2011, 05:27 PM
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Default For new members looking for date of manufacture info (how to find your serial number)

For new members looking for date of manufacture information, we need your serial number. Sometimes the serial number location can be confusing. Revolvers are often stamped or etched with many numbers, but only one set is your serial number. For modern Smith and Wesson revolvers, the serial number is located on the butt of the revolver. Often the grip will cover the number. The serial number can also be found on the frame behind the yoke for some models. For most post-1980 revolvers the serial number will be in an ABC1234 format.

EDIT: As murphydog points out, the date that can be looked up is the ship date, not the date the gun was manufactured.

Take this 686 for example:


It has Ahrends Retro Combat Finger Groove grips that cover the serial number:


If we remove the grips, we can see the serial number (AFE8794):


On this gun, if we look behind the yoke on the frame, we can also see the serial number (AFE8794) and the model number (MOD 686):



Here is a Model 66-2:


The Ahrends Boot Grips make seeing the serial number (BAF7171) easy:


However, if we look behind the yoke, this gun only lists the model number (MOD 66-2):


Some grip makers (like Pachmayr) design their grips so the serial number may be seen. Pachmayr Grippers on a 617:


Pachmayr Compacs on a 627-5 UDR:


Older guns (including some made in the early 1980s) will have a different style of serial number. Here is a 18-4 with the older-style serial number:


The grips block access to the serial number:


Taking the grips off we can see the older-style serial number (21K6944):


The serial number (21K6944) and model number (MOD. 18-4) are also on the frame behind the yoke:





Things that are NOT your serial number:
(The side of the butt behind the grips)


(Numbers on the yoke)




If you provide us with your serial number, those of us with a copy of the Standard Catalog of Smith and Wesson can look up the approximate date your revolver was shipped from Smith and Wesson. For those who have the 3rd edition, serial numbers for most post-1980 revolvers are located on page 400.

Last edited by 47D; 07-12-2012 at 11:37 PM. Reason: ship date vs manufacture date
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Old 07-12-2012, 01:22 PM
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I have my serial number on the butt of my .38 spl +P, how can I look up history on it?
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Old 07-12-2012, 05:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by katemcmonagle View Post
I have my serial number on the butt of my .38 spl +P, how can I look up history on it?
If you want the ship date, you will need a copy of the Standard Catalog of Smith and Wesson to look your serial number up in. Alternately, you can post the serial number here and one of us who has the book can look it up for you. If you want more detailed information, you will need to pay for a letter from Smith and Wesson's historian, Roy Jinks.

Last edited by 47D; 07-12-2012 at 11:38 PM. Reason: ship date
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Old 07-12-2012, 07:57 PM
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47D, thanks for posting this information, it will be very helpful to many new Forum members.

One point of information is the dates listed in the SCSW are when the gun was shipped from the factory, not when they were manufactured. With popular models the two can be very close, but with other guns the ship date may lag by months to even decades.
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Old 07-12-2012, 11:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by murphydog View Post
47D, thanks for posting this information, it will be very helpful to many new Forum members.
I Actually posted it back in 2011. Somebody unearthed it again today.
Quote:
Originally Posted by murphydog View Post
One point of information is the dates listed in the SCSW are when the gun was shipped from the factory, not when they were manufactured. With popular models the two can be very close, but with other guns the ship date may lag by months to even decades.
Good point. I did not know that.
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Old 08-14-2012, 11:59 PM
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Default Just picked up a 629-4!

Went to the Crossroads gun show at Cardinals stadium here in Phoenix last weekend. I was looking specifically for a 629-4 4" or 3". I got to the last row without seeing 1 and was already admitting defeat when next to the last table I saw it.

629-4 3". Some guy was holding it when I saw it. I turned to my friend that I went with and said "that's my gun."

The guy sat it down and walked away. I walked away with the revolver.

I can't wait to take it out! Looking for grips now and am curious about the date of shipping.

Serial Number is BRU7431. If someone could give me a date, I would really appreciate it.

Thanks,
Steve
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Old 08-15-2012, 01:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Seppeku View Post
Went to the Crossroads gun show at Cardinals stadium here in Phoenix last weekend. I was looking specifically for a 629-4 4" or 3". I got to the last row without seeing 1 and was already admitting defeat when next to the last table I saw it.

629-4 3". Some guy was holding it when I saw it. I turned to my friend that I went with and said "that's my gun."

The guy sat it down and walked away. I walked away with the revolver.

I can't wait to take it out! Looking for grips now and am curious about the date of shipping.

Serial Number is BRU7431. If someone could give me a date, I would really appreciate it.

Thanks,
Steve
Nice catch and congratulations on your new 629! There is something special about this era of guns - the right pieces are real dreams. My 629-4 (not me) shoots 5 shots into a 1.2" group at 50 yards, according to the test target that came with it.

A phone call to S&W Customer Service can land you the exact date pretty quickly but it is most likely February or March 1994. Mine shares the same first two letters but is only slightly lower, and the DOB for mine was January 26, 1994.

Chuck
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Old 08-15-2012, 01:41 PM
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Thanks Chuck! I'll give them a call and see what they can tell me about it. It came with rubbers, but now I'm looking for really nice stocks. Any suggestions?
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Old 08-15-2012, 01:53 PM
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Brilliant thread! Given the huge number of requests for info this should definitely be a sticky!
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Old 08-15-2012, 02:57 PM
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Hello there,

I would greatly appreciate having my S&W serial #'s looked up for the ship date.
I have somewhat more than a couple <*cough*>, if somone with the reference materials could PM me I would be happy to send those via PM.

Thanks from a new member,
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Old 08-15-2012, 03:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kestrel View Post
Hello there,

I would greatly appreciate having my S&W serial #'s looked up for the ship date.
I have somewhat more than a couple <*cough*>, if somone with the reference materials could PM me I would be happy to send those via PM.

Thanks from a new member,
Welcome! If you have a few (or can post them 2-3 at a time until you have all 200 ) we'd be happy to look them up. The letter(s) and the first few digits are most important, like K 123xxx or ABC 1xxx. Probably best to put these in a new thread. Hope this is helpful.
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  #12  
Old 09-02-2012, 08:37 PM
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Catalog is online. Just looked my new purchase up. Standard Catalog of Smith & Wesson - Jim Supica, Richard Nahas - Google Books
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Old 09-02-2012, 08:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kestrel View Post
Hello there,

I would greatly appreciate having my S&W serial #'s looked up for the ship date.
I have somewhat more than a couple <*cough*>, if somone with the reference materials could PM me I would be happy to send those via PM.

Thanks from a new member,
Post em up like murphydog said and you'll get a quick answer. If you prefer some discretion, PM me your list. I'll be happy to look them up for you.

Regards,

A.
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Old 09-02-2012, 09:45 PM
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Have You ever read Standard Catalog of Smith & Wesson? Vary informative.
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Old 09-02-2012, 11:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bruno2 View Post
Have You ever read Standard Catalog of Smith & Wesson? Vary informative.
Invest in the book. Not just for the serial number information, but for the educational value.
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Old 09-02-2012, 11:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seppeku View Post
Thanks Chuck! I'll give them a call and see what they can tell me about it. It came with rubbers, but now I'm looking for really nice stocks. Any suggestions?
In 1994 your gun (629-4) probably came from the factory with Hogue rubber grips, which is not really a bad thing for a .44 magnum.
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Old 10-15-2012, 01:07 PM
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Looking for the year on a couple .38s I had handed down and found this forum. If anyone can look them up and relay any info I sure would appreciate it.
TIA

.38 6" barrel - Serial number on butt K80975 (also says 38 S&W Special CTG on barrel)

.38 3" airweight model 37 - serial number on butt J94729

Thanks!
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Old 10-15-2012, 05:38 PM
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Question

I have what I believe is a M1917 it has been nickel plated and the barrel cut down to about 3in and the lanyard has been removed. It is SN118567.
Thank You,
Tom Dooley
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Old 10-16-2012, 01:46 PM
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Thumbs up

Thanks for the information!
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Old 10-16-2012, 03:14 PM
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I'm a tightwad (although I prefer the term "thrifty"), but I found a brand new 2007 edition of the SCSW for sale on ebay with a $27 buy-it-now price including s&h so I just broke down & bought it.
I hope to own more vintage Smiths than the four I have now, so I'm sure I'll get my money's worth in being able to research them-- not to mention the enjoyment of just learning more about S&W's.
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Old 10-24-2012, 09:50 PM
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Default looking for a year of production

looking at buying a 32 smith and wesson breakover and wanted to see if the gun is as old as the seller says. the serial number is 59554. any info (year, price, ect) would be appreciated.
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Old 10-26-2012, 02:51 PM
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Default Model 60: .38 S.&W. SPL

Just purchased a Model 60 with the following Serial Number:

AVW2625

Any information with respect to this Serial Number would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,

Rick
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Old 10-26-2012, 03:49 PM
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Default I'm at a loss. HELP!

I have the Standard Catalog of S & W, but cannot find any reference to the revolver I have in my hand. It is a 686-8, serial number BHL27xx. It has the 4 position adjustable front sight (silhouette?) and full length raised rib barrel. I have searched about everything I can and still nothing. ANY help would be appreciated...
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Old 10-26-2012, 03:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djcnaz01 View Post
I have the Standard Catalog of S & W, but cannot find any reference to the revolver I have in my hand. It is a 686-8, serial number BHL27xx. It has the 4 position adjustable front sight (silhouette?) and full length raised rib barrel. I have searched about everything I can and still nothing. ANY help would be appreciated...
You have the model ID correct - 6 or 8 3/8" barrel?

For SN prefixes not listed you can make an educated guess between the ones printed. BHJ was shipped in July 1991, so BHL must not have sold been too much after then.

Also, do you have the original box?
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Old 10-26-2012, 04:36 PM
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Default Thanks for the quick reply!

It's a 6 inch, six shooter. I do not have the box or manual. I just bought it off GB. I'd never seen one like it. All the SCSW book talks about are the 4 position adjustable sights. From looking at the SCSW book, you may very well be correct, but they also say something about not always following their ABC's for special models, etc. Thanks again!
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Old 10-27-2012, 02:58 PM
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I've got a 686 no dash, sn ABW54XX. Any help on the date of mfg? Thanks in advance!
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Old 10-28-2012, 07:16 PM
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Can someone give me a date on this one?

It's a model 64, serial number CHM6783

Thanks!
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Old 10-28-2012, 07:27 PM
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Welcome!

ABW - early 1983

CHM - July, 1984

From now on, PLEASE open a new thread in the appropriate section for requests - old threads often get skipped and your requests will wander off to the Internet netherworld .
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Old 10-29-2012, 08:37 AM
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Thanks Alan - appreciate it.
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Old 11-02-2012, 03:39 PM
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For whatever reason, I can't access the section to post new requests, so I'm hoping someone can do this one for me.

It's a model 10. Serial is CDT0058
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  #31  
Old 02-21-2013, 07:43 PM
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Question Looking for shipping date of Revolver S&W 637

Quote:
Originally Posted by 47D View Post
For new members looking for date of manufacture information, we need your serial number. Sometimes the serial number location can be confusing. Revolvers are often stamped or etched with many numbers, but only one set is your serial number. For modern Smith and Wesson revolvers, the serial number is located on the butt of the revolver. Often the grip will cover the number. The serial number can also be found on the frame behind the yoke for some models. For most post-1980 revolvers the serial number will be in an ABC1234 format.

EDIT: As murphydog points out, the date that can be looked up is the ship date, not the date the gun was manufactured.

Take this 686 for example:


It has Ahrends Retro Combat Finger Groove grips that cover the serial number:


If we remove the grips, we can see the serial number (AFE8794):


On this gun, if we look behind the yoke on the frame, we can also see the serial number (AFE8794) and the model number (MOD 686):



Here is a Model 66-2:


The Ahrends Boot Grips make seeing the serial number (BAF7171) easy:


However, if we look behind the yoke, this gun only lists the model number (MOD 66-2):


Some grip makers (like Pachmayr) design their grips so the serial number may be seen. Pachmayr Grippers on a 617:


Pachmayr Compacs on a 627-5 UDR:


Older guns (including some made in the early 1980s) will have a different style of serial number. Here is a 18-4 with the older-style serial number:


The grips block access to the serial number:


Taking the grips off we can see the older-style serial number (21K6944):


The serial number (21K6944) and model number (MOD. 18-4) are also on the frame behind the yoke:





Things that are NOT your serial number:
(The side of the butt behind the grips)


(Numbers on the yoke)




If you provide us with your serial number, those of us with a copy of the Standard Catalog of Smith and Wesson can look up the approximate date your revolver was shipped from Smith and Wesson. For those who have the 3rd edition, serial numbers for most post-1980 revolvers are located on page 400.
How about S&W 637
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Old 02-21-2013, 07:45 PM
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Hi i have S&W 637 , serial CMB9028, when is shipping date? Please let me know about that Many thanks
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Old 02-23-2013, 09:27 AM
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That's wild that the 66-2 in the picture doesn't have the serial number on the frame under the yoke. Mine does, AJT9xxx and the same number is on the butt too.

And I have three different Pachmayr grips and none of them have a slot to view the serial number, even the one that came with my 66-2.

Weird.
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Old 02-23-2013, 09:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by keithng View Post
Hi i have S&W 637 , serial CMB9028, when is shipping date? Please let me know about that Many thanks
CMB looks to be from the summer of 2004.

For future requests - please go to the home page and click on the small blue folder next to Smith & Wesson Forum, to the left and under the K-32. Select the sub-section (like Revolvers 1980-present), scroll all the way to the bottom and click on New Thread. More people will see a new thread than a reply to an old one. Hope this is helpful.
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  #35  
Old 04-14-2013, 08:00 PM
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Default SW .38 SPL

A friend of mine has a .38 spl snub marked J above and below is marked 980**. This mark is visible behind the crane when the cylinder is swung down. Can anybody give me any info on this? Thanks
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Old 04-14-2013, 08:06 PM
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Hello,
The J is an assemblers stamp and the numbers are assembly numbers to keep fitted parts together. After the revolver leaves the factory they mean nothing. The official serial number is on the butt of the grip frame.
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Old 04-15-2013, 12:34 AM
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Thanks. I thought the serial number would be on located on the butt of the gun. I had mentioned that to him and he said there was no marking on the butt. That all he saw was the previously menioned markings. I'm gonna have him check again when I talk to him in the morning.
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Old 04-17-2013, 02:39 PM
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The serial number on my grandfathers recently acquired .38 snubby is 8012#. I was pretty sure the marking would be on the base of the frame somewheres, he assured me there wasn't but after being reassured that that's where the serial # would be (thanks to this site) Low and behold...he found the serial behind the grips at the base of the frame. Can somebody here please help us out with a look-up in the S&W Catalog??? If I ever acquire a few more S&W'S I might be able to justify the purchase of the book. Thanks for any help and info you guys might be able to help me out with. THANKS!!
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Old 04-18-2013, 05:27 PM
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Without seeing a pic, I'm assuming it's a 5 shot 38spl J frame. If thats the case the serial# put's it in the 1956ish era of being shipped from S&W. I'm not overly familiar with these small frame revolvers, so take that info with a grain of salt. You may have better luck starting a new thread and adding a pic of the revolver. There are many members here who will know exactly what you have and when for sure it was shipped.
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Old 04-18-2013, 05:51 PM
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Default Help with DOB

Thanks I would love some help older S/W. Info from box tag.
Model 32-1
Fin. B
Barrel 2
Stock S
TH checked
TT nothing
Ser. No 583 99
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Old 04-19-2013, 02:17 PM
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What information does the "Spec. Ord." on the box label provide....if any? I once thought that could be converted to a birth date, but if it's a Julian date, I have been unable to find any converter that works with just those 4 digits.
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Old 04-19-2013, 03:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snubbiefan View Post
What information does the "Spec. Ord." on the box label provide....if any? I once thought that could be converted to a birth date, but if it's a Julian date, I have been unable to find any converter that works with just those 4 digits.
The first digit is the last digit of the year, so you have to know the decade. The other 3 digits is the day of that year - 001 would be January 1st, 365 would be December 31.
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Old 04-19-2013, 04:37 PM
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THANKS murphy.....I knew there was some way to figure that out, but it was in that corner of my brain I don't use much anymore....and that corner is getting larger as the years pass. I need to make a written note of that.

If I have a 1296 and I believe the gun was produced between 1991 and 1998 (Model 940), it'd be a sure bet the birth year is 1991.

If I have a 2059 (640) which I guess could be 2002, but I am not sure when they ended production of the 38-special only. I'm thinking the 640 would be a 1992.
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Old 05-29-2013, 04:39 PM
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Default Model 442 Year Of Manufacture?

Can anyone tell me the year of manufacture for my Model 442, S/N BRK2143?

Thanks,

Don C.
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Old 05-29-2013, 05:29 PM
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Hello and Welcome to the Forum,
The serial number tables are for dates that S&W shipped firearms, not dates of manufacture. As far as I'm aware, S&W did not keep track of when a particular firearm was manufactured, only the date it shipped out of the factory. Your serial number dates to sometime after August 1994 and before January 1996. For a definitive answer you can send away for a historical letter on your 442 from S&W at a cost of $50 Hope this info helps.
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Old 06-08-2013, 07:28 PM
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Could someone check the ship date of my revolver? Just purchased it online... and it's definitely not new.

686-6

CUD6226

Thanks...
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Old 06-08-2013, 08:19 PM
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586-2 AZL8550.. Just picked this up, would love to find out any info I can
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Old 06-08-2013, 09:20 PM
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Default Date of Mfg for 5 screw pre-Model 10 snubnose

Evening, folks!
Can any kind soul give me the date of mfg of pre model 10 snubnose S9655XX.

Have ordered Supica's SCSW but was hoping to get a quick date on this new acquisition.

Thanks in advance
Paul
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Old 06-09-2013, 05:13 PM
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I need some help with an old model 36 I inherited. The serial # is 58042. I would just like to know the year of mfg. I would really appreciate some help. Thanks!
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Old 06-09-2013, 08:15 PM
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acoban,
As per the Standard Catalog of S&W, 3rd Edition it looks like your 686-6 shipped sometime in 2004. This date is just an educated "guesstimate" as the serial# tables are quite confusing in that time period. A historical letter may be the best bet to nail down a ship date. Hope this info helps.
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S&W Revolvers: 1980 to the Present Thread, For new members looking for date of manufacture info (how to find your serial number) in Smith & Wesson Revolvers; For new members looking for date of manufacture information, we need your serial number. Sometimes the serial number location can ...
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