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S&W Revolvers: 1980 to the Present All NON-PINNED Barrels, the L-Frames, and the New Era Revolvers


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Old 01-13-2021, 08:15 PM
fhsjrm fhsjrm is offline
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Default "Very unusual" company mistake from S&W

Several months ago I requested a factory letter from Mr. Jinks regarding my early 80s Model 586. In his reply he noted that I had listed a slightly different serial number in my request from the number showing in the pictures I included. I took another look at my revolver and found that the number on the butt was one digit different from the number on the yoke. I'm not sure how unusual it is for the two numbers not to match, but from what I've always understood, the number on the butt is THE serial number even if the yoke number is different. I sent Mr. Jinks another letter pointing out that the number I referenced in my request was in fact the number on the butt and that I hadn't noticed the yoke number being different. (The letter he had sent me referred to the yoke number so I thought I had a letter for the wrong gun.) I asked Mr. Jinks if he would send me another letter for the "actual" serial number on the butt and it arrived today.

My new letter states that the serial number on the yoke of my revolver WAS the one S&W used when they shipped and recorded out the gun in 1983. The butt serial number is still "open" in the records and has never been used/shipped. This is, according to Mr. Jinks a "very unusual company mistake. I just thought it was interesting and wondered if any of you have seen this particular error before.
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Old 01-13-2021, 08:19 PM
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Fascinating!

Thanks very much for sharing !
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Old 01-13-2021, 08:54 PM
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Be sure to leave those target stocks
on the gun and then you'll know your
butt is covered.
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Old 01-13-2021, 09:07 PM
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Regardless of the letter, I would think the proper number to log that gun in is the number on the butt.

I doubt that the error adds substantially to the value, but it is interesting. In spite of their best efforts, everyone makes mistakes.
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Old 01-13-2021, 09:28 PM
fhsjrm fhsjrm is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UncleEd View Post
Be sure to leave those target stocks

on the gun and then you'll know your

butt is covered.
Good one.

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Old 01-13-2021, 09:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by s&wchad View Post
Regardless of the letter, I would think the proper number to log that gun in is the number on the butt.

I doubt that the error adds substantially to the value, but it is interesting. In spite of their best efforts, everyone makes mistakes.
ATF says the serial number must be conspicuously placed on the frame. If the maker (S&W) states the frame number behind the yoke is the number assigned to that gun when manufactured, then the butt number means nothing. Interesting and I would think they would like it returned for correction but I would think it is of no extra value since it would take close examination to see the blunder rather then a mistake easily seen with the gun on display.
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Old 01-13-2021, 10:20 PM
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Interesting. Noteworthy of the next edition of the Catalog of S&W.
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Old 01-13-2021, 11:18 PM
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Thing is folks... most gun dealers use the SN on the butt of the gun to log it on the forms!!!

Hint hint!
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Old 01-13-2021, 11:33 PM
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I was an auto transporter for years.

Once while picking up cars at a major auction, I was refused release of a car because the window vin plate didn't match the number on the tag in the door jam.

DMV had the door jam vin not the window tag.

Took a week for powers to be at DMV to correct and release the car..
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Old 01-13-2021, 11:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DeafSmith View Post
Thing is folks... most gun dealers use the SN on the butt of the gun to log it on the forms!!!

Hint hint!
Not when it's hidden under target stocks and the yoke S/N is what they're used to seeing the last 40+ years.
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Old 01-13-2021, 11:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by s&wchad View Post
Regardless of the letter, I would think the proper number to log that gun in is the number on the butt.

I doubt that the error adds substantially to the value, but it is interesting. In spite of their best efforts, everyone makes mistakes.
Also consider many models are only marked on the butt..
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Old Yesterday, 01:30 AM
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Quote:
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Not when it's hidden under target stocks and the yoke S/N is what they're used to seeing the last 40+ years.
Yeah all my experiences have been registered with yoke serial. That's a neat piece to have!
No need for a boating accident if the task arises! LOL
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Old Yesterday, 01:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HOUSTON RICK View Post
Interesting. Noteworthy of the next edition of the Catalog of S&W.
Yes. You should note that in the SW Catalog Forum. VERY interesting.
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Old Yesterday, 03:04 AM
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Other than Mr Jinks, have you alerted the Company? They might want to correct it and/or buy it back from you so it's not in circulation. Is a future dealer or buyer going to want to purchase it from you knowing that there is a difference between the two serial numbers?
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Old Yesterday, 08:10 AM
fhsjrm fhsjrm is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moo Moo View Post
Other than Mr Jinks, have you alerted the Company? They might want to correct it and/or buy it back from you so it's not in circulation. Is a future dealer or buyer going to want to purchase it from you knowing that there is a difference between the two serial numbers?
Interesting thing about that...this revolver has, at some point, already been sent back to S&W for the recall service. It has the "M" stamp under the yoke serial number. I guess no one noticed it then either.

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Old Yesterday, 08:32 AM
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The number on the butt is THE serial number as far as the law is concerned. Although it is a felony to deface, change or remove the number, it is not illegal to cover it with grips or anything else. I don't think it is all that unusual to have a yoke number and serial number not match. I have a 66 in my collection that has mismatched numbers and I may have more but I never really paid attention to it. I don't really know what that number in the yoke is used for. I suspect it is some type of assembly or control number that is assigned to keep track of the gun before it is actually assigned it's legal number.
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Old Yesterday, 10:34 AM
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OP, what ever you do, I would keep the letter with the gun.
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Old Yesterday, 10:46 AM
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Ghost gun, eh?
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Old Yesterday, 11:05 AM
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That's interesting. One gun I recently bought used, I can't remember which one, but the one kid was trying to read the serial in the yoke and an older guy said use this one, it's easier to see, referring to the one on the butt. That would've been interesting if they were different.
So, OP, I take it for granted that your paperwork from the original sale to you has the yoke number on it? Interested to hear what S&W has to say about it.
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Old Yesterday, 11:26 AM
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I highly suspect that any and all paperwork ever generated related to this gun uses the yoke serial number. The number on the butt was never used by Smith & Wesson and you have to take the grips off to see it.

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Old Yesterday, 01:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fhsjrm View Post
I highly suspect that any and all paperwork ever generated related to this gun uses the yoke serial number. The number on the butt was never used by Smith & Wesson and you have to take the grips off to see it.

Sent from my SM-N950U using Tapatalk
I bought a model 10-8 about 20+ years ago. Whoever owned it before me put those target stocks on it. But, as far as I know or can see, the butt is the only place I see a ser. no. on it. (I hated those stocks so I bought a set of used magnas that make it easier on my middle finger not getting banged up by the trigger guard.) It doesn't look as nice, but I like to shoot it without beating the heck out of my finger! By the way, I like that revolver of yours!
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Old Yesterday, 01:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by schutz5 View Post
Yeah all my experiences have been registered with yoke serial. That's a neat piece to have!
No need for a boating accident if the task arises! LOL
The number of boating accidents are increasing dramatically....
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Old Yesterday, 01:42 PM
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I'm probably the only one on this forum who just had to do an internet search to understand the references to boating accidents. Can't believe I hadn't heard that until just now.
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Old Yesterday, 02:38 PM
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And yet, for some years S&W did not stamp the serial number in the yoke, but only on the butt.

(I prefer mine to have both.)
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Old Yesterday, 02:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hyena View Post
I'm probably the only one on this forum who just had to do an internet search to understand the references to boating accidents. Can't believe I hadn't heard that until just now.
It was even a S&W that started it all.

I Lost All My Guns in a Boating Accident: The Truth - Pew Pew Tactical
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Old Yesterday, 07:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tytan01 View Post
The number of boating accidents are increasing dramatically....
I need to get a row boat, a long rope and a good magnet!
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Old Yesterday, 08:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cmj8591 View Post
The number on the butt is THE serial number as far as the law is concerned. Although it is a felony to deface, change or remove the number, it is not illegal to cover it with grips or anything else. I don't think it is all that unusual to have a yoke number and serial number not match. I have a 66 in my collection that has mismatched numbers and I may have more but I never really paid attention to it. I don't really know what that number in the yoke is used for. I suspect it is some type of assembly or control number that is assigned to keep track of the gun before it is actually assigned it's legal number.
See post #6 and reference 27 CFR 478.92 regarding placement of serial numbers. Also, do not confuse yoke and other assembly numbers with serial numbers. On a S&W, we know the butt number is likely the serial number BUT in this case backed up with a letter from S&W, the OP received - the butt number is not the official serial number. A number on a yoke which is not part of the frame can not be a serial number. The number on the frame hidden by the yoke usually over top of the model number is a serial number that will (should) match the butt number.
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Old Yesterday, 10:06 PM
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I think it is a cool piece and could be worth something extra to the right person in the future provided there are still firearms in our not so distant future.
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Old Today, 10:14 AM
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S&W does not stamp serial number on the yoke. The "official" serial number on the majority of S&W revolvers will be found on the butt of the grip frame. For a long time, this was the only location of a serial number on S&W revolvers. Most S&W revolvers will also have the serial number stamped on the frame in the yoke recess, but that is not the serial number that S&W would have, or at least should have, registered with the BATFE.

To have a mismatch between the serial number on the butt and the yoke recess is highly unusual. Definitely keep that letter from S&W with that revolver.
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