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Old 04-11-2018, 08:12 PM
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Default Roll Marks vs Laser Etched

I just acquired another Model 908.One has tradition roll marks and the other is laser etched. I kinda like the roll marks better but what is strange is the serial number for it looks to be a little newer. Rollmarked prefix is VJP and lasered one VJC. Which came first?
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Old 05-11-2018, 08:54 PM
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I just acquired another Model 908.One has tradition roll marks and the other is laser etched. I kinda like the roll marks better but what is strange is the serial number for it looks to be a little newer. Rollmarked prefix is VJP and lasered one VJC. Which came first?
My amateur research says that your roll-marked VJP is most likely older than your laser-marked VJC pistol.

Consider the following:

1) My only VJP pistol is a Model 5943. Supposedly, the Model 5943 was only manufactured in 1991. That shows how far back a VJP prefix was used.

2) My only Model 908 (in black) was manufactured in early-1996. The slide is still roll-marked as of that date (Feb 1996 date on box). The prefix is VDK.

3) I have a VJB pistol and a VJD pistol (sorry, no VJC yet - I'll have to go buy one! ). Both of those guns are CS models, which are laser-marked (of course) and had to have been manufactured during or after 1998 (when they were first introduced). That helps narrow the date range a bit for your laser-marked Model 908. EDIT: See post #3 below... VJC = 1998.

4) There are a couple other dates vs serial numbers that I should have been able to check, but I can't reach the damn boxes right now. I also have a Model 5906 with a VKN prefix. It was made in 1997... not that it really matters here.

But even without those last box dates, you can see clearly that the V??xxxx serial numbered guns jumped around a bit. I think you can rest assured that your roll-marked 908 is the older of the two.

Last edited by TTSH; 05-12-2018 at 07:47 AM. Reason: add clarity...
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Old 05-11-2018, 09:23 PM
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VJC, I was told 1998, but no box to prove it.

Jim
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Old 05-11-2018, 09:26 PM
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VJC, I was told 1998, but no box to prove it.

Jim
I did all that research for nothing?

That's okay. It was fun.
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Old 05-12-2018, 07:32 AM
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Given a choice, it is roll marks for me. The laser etched looks cheaper, which it probably was.
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Old 05-12-2018, 08:22 AM
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VJC was likely assigned before VJP, but I can't guarantee it!

S&W started laser etching serial numbers in the mid to late 1990's as a cost cutting measure. The BATF didn't like it, because the numbers were too easy to obliterate. They put a stop to it by issuing a ruling that required a minimum depth of .003" for all required markings.
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Old 05-13-2018, 09:20 AM
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Depending on who you get at the mother ship I've been able to get day month year for 5 of my S&W's, and month year for the other 4.
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