Originally Posted by Lexcanis
A friend and I were discussing various handguns and he mentioned he was curious as to the age of his pistol he bought second hand. How is this determined from the serial number? A smith & Wesson model 5904, ser #TCB5496
Welcome to the forum. The 5904 was produced from 1988 to 1998, and the TCB prefix indicates production fairly early in that range.
The basic tool for S&W information is the Standard Catalog of Smith & Wesson, Third Edition, by Supica and Nahas. Available through Amazon, and even in eBook format.