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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 02-26-2012, 12:56 AM
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Origins of the Model 14 Full Lug & An Introduction to the SWCA Origins of the Model 14 Full Lug & An Introduction to the SWCA Origins of the Model 14 Full Lug & An Introduction to the SWCA Origins of the Model 14 Full Lug & An Introduction to the SWCA Origins of the Model 14 Full Lug & An Introduction to the SWCA  
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Default Origins of the Model 14 Full Lug & An Introduction to the SWCA

Many times people wonder how or why a Smith & Wesson they shoot or have in their collection was developed. Sometimes they can look things up in any one of a number of the fine texts dealing with S&W arms. Sometimes they can search through the threads on this site to see if a gun like theirs has been discussed in the past. And sometimes (in the case of more recent items) the factory might be able to tell them a little bit about it too.

But one of the best and most personable resources you’ll ever find is the Smith & Wesson Collectors Association.

Many of you know that they share a non-public portion of this site and you can go here: Information about the SWCA to learn more about them and to inquire about membership. But what I want you to know is that this piece is typical of the kind of thing that the people over there contribute regularly both on line and in their Association Journal. It contains things just not available to non-Members (this post is an exception being made only to serve as an illustration of what they do). Those Members also have access to private data-bases, certain factory materials, and personally acquired information that can be great assets in determining what it is you have and why it came about.

But the best part of being a Member are the friendships you’ll make with people who are always willing to lend a hand and share what they know. Whether it is online, at the Annual Meeting that moves around the country each year or at any of the local get-togethers regularly held throughout the US (often at major shows that many of you already attend), you won’t find a better bunch of individuals to learn from and share information with.

I hope that you enjoy this back story on the creation of the Full Lug Model 14’s but I also hope that you take a moment and visit the page I mentioned above and link to the SWCA and learn more about them. It’s a great group and one that you should seriously consider joining.

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Originally Posted by SmilinEd View Post
I am planning on starting a search for a M14/K38 soon and wondering what opinions are on the 90's ones with the full underlug. Any advantages or disadvantages for target shooting? I will be looking for a good range gun rather than a collection one
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Originally Posted by PMRet View Post
I owned a 6" 14-5 and it was the most accurate .38 I ever fired. It is slightly muzzle heavy, but in target shooting that usually helps to steady the gun. If you think about it, the full lug adds weight like the King and BoMar sight ribs did, and a lot of older standard model 14's have been fitted with them over the years...

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…I think these revolvers have been overlooked for some time. It is only in the last few years that a strong interest in them is being exhibited, IMO. I would seek them out and buy one now, while the prices are still very reasonable. Regards 18DAI

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Originally Posted by civil1977 View Post
The full lug 14s are very nice! I like the muzzle heavy feel of the 6" full lug barrel. Its balances very nice. The 14-5 was the first version made with the full lug and it was only made for 3-4 years before being replaced with the 14-6… I went for the 14-5… …I picked up this one with original box and papers/tools. Its scary accurate!...

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Originally Posted by PattonTime View Post
I think the early 90's underlug revolvers are among my favorites.
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Originally Posted by PattonTime View Post
\They are muzzle heavy, but I drink a lot of coffee so it works for me…\
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Originally Posted by CALREB View Post
ED, all 14's are good shooting guns but IMO, the 14-5/6/7 are nicely weighted for 38 ,easy shooting and have nice actions…

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Originally Posted by GyMac View Post
I used to not like them, preferring the original style. Lately, though, I've come to appreciate them. It seems pretty close to a PPC revolver out of the box.

“SmilinEd”

The 6” Full Lug Model 14 was developed for exactly the purpose you are planning to address: target shooting and that “GyMac” (and others) have noticed: it's being intended as an out-of-the-box PPC Revolver. It was designed to give the user the features and the muzzle heavy feel normally found on a custom piece but at the price of a production handgun.

For some reason, while the factory was making Full Lug Model 16’s and 17’s in the early 90’s (in .32 Magnum and .22LR respectively), they had no interest in resurrecting the then-discontinued Model 14 in this format and in its traditional .38 Special chambering.

However, constant requests from Law Enforcement PPC shooters for an accurate .38 Special in something less cumbersome than a 6” L frame (which was available in only .357 Magnum at the time and, therefore, was often suspected of a lesser accuracy potential when firing a .38spl target load) led to a single sample that was taken to the now-gone, national-level Secret Service Match in Beltsville for feedback.

It was a handbuilt gun employing a converted Model 16 Full Lug Centerfire Frame with a re-bored and re-rifled Full Lug .22caliber Barrel and an original unused Model 14 Cylinder that came out of the parts department. The Model 16 was a used writer’s sample that had come back to the factory after making the rounds. The barrel came off the shop floor and was re-bored, rifled and honed as a favor in the plant and then remarked in the engraving department to indicate the correct caliber. The cylinder was installed, as were the smooth combat trigger and the wide target hammer, in the Customer Service repair department. Another man in that crew came up with the appropriate-height-for-.38’s Patridge Front Sight and a corresponding Black Rear Blade.

This hastily but skillfully assembled “parts” gun (constructed to represent what it was believed would be possible in standard production) repeatedly shot one hole groups when test fired at 25yards.

Feedback from the Match was positive but the company was still unsure if they should proceed. It was posited that not only would this revolver do well in the stock PPC classes (and with those folks shooting informal PPC-like “combat” matches) but it would also do well in certain NRA Action Revolver competitions and in many of the revolver events in Europe where the then-discontinued, original no-lug Model 14 still maintained an iconic-like status.

Additionally as it was believed that production models would be tack drivers like the single sample had proven to be, it was felt that target shooters and plinkers alike would see its value to them; especially as the gun also had all the right features right out of the box.

It had a .38 Cylinder so the bullets didn’t have to jump as far when fired. It had a Black Patridge Sight and not a distracting colored ramp blade. It had a crisper Black Rear Blade and not an unneeded white outline. It had a Smooth Combat Trigger (and would have had a still-narrower smooth service trigger but the company no longer possessed the tooling for it) instead of a serrated target trigger that would have worked against the shooter in many of the events in which the gun would be used. And it had a wide Target Hammer for those shooters who still thumb-cocked the gun at certain stages and (generally) longer distances. Even the Combat Grips, while not perfect (not everybody’s fingers lined up with its gentle finger ridges) made more sense with their tapered-toward-the-bottom-like-a-closed-hand profile than did the oversize big-at-the-bottom factory “target” stocks that normally would have been included on a gun of this type.

After much discussion, it was finally decided to offer the gun as a “Special” and not as a cataloged item. Originally, it was planned to make 3500 of them. This number was later said to be reduced to 3000 and word is that the actual number was probably far less than that. The Company made no writer or promotional samples ahead of time so the guns hit the shelves well before any articles reached the public. When the orders didn’t rush in (not surprising as the public didn’t know it was out there), the decision was made (as was common in those days, not now) to blow out the inventory as it was assumed that the gun was indeed the dog that many of the naysayers had predicted it would be. As a result, by the time the very favorable press did reach the consumers (most of the writers saw everything I have already pointed out here), the initial guns had already worked their way through the system and there were none left to sell and no plans to make any more.

After another series of discussions brought about by the delayed consumer interest, it was finally decided that there was a place for this model and ultimately, it was added to the catalog as a regular item.

However, it was always a sleeper and never made in huge numbers. It is a great gun. It is still something of an unknown quantity (except to those who own or have shot one) and it is a great buy for the money. But I am in full agreement with several of the posters here that such a situation won’t last forever. There are not that many around and while now that just affects their availability and one’s chances of finding one, someday soon it will also drive the prices up into the stratosphere.

Unless you just happen to get a bad one (remember it is a machine made from a variety of parts and anything is possible), I don’t think that you will be disappointed. For while the company never promised a particular group size or level of accuracy, in my experience (and apparently in the experiences of many who have answered you here) it will not just be the “good range gun” you seek, it will be a great one.
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Old 02-26-2012, 02:30 AM
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Origins of the Model 14 Full Lug & An Introduction to the SWCA Origins of the Model 14 Full Lug & An Introduction to the SWCA Origins of the Model 14 Full Lug & An Introduction to the SWCA Origins of the Model 14 Full Lug & An Introduction to the SWCA Origins of the Model 14 Full Lug & An Introduction to the SWCA  
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Dave, thanks for this - I've been meaning to join the SWCA for a while now and this is a great reminder why I ought to.

And, I'm a huge fan of the full-lug K38...

--Neill



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Old 02-26-2012, 04:49 AM
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Origins of the Model 14 Full Lug & An Introduction to the SWCA Origins of the Model 14 Full Lug & An Introduction to the SWCA Origins of the Model 14 Full Lug & An Introduction to the SWCA Origins of the Model 14 Full Lug & An Introduction to the SWCA Origins of the Model 14 Full Lug & An Introduction to the SWCA  
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Default 14 lugged

Really interesting post. I thought I had gotten my 1st 14-5 around 89-90, but must have been later.Carried it in a Bianchi Judge swivel, most citizens had only seen officers standard 14's , I was always getting asked " is that a 44 magnum?" usually I smiled and said yes. That gun still shoots 1 hole at 25 yrds after probably 25-30,000 rds. Finally had to switch to a S/A to teach at the academy. Nice guns , love the 4" model. Bob
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Old 02-26-2012, 03:01 PM
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Bump back to top.
It's really worth reading.
teesur.
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Old 02-26-2012, 03:24 PM
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Interesting. I plan to eventually obtain an M14/K38, and was sure that the traditional barrel style would be the ticket, but I may revisit that after seeing this. I am not sure I can overcome my distaste for the ugly full lug barrels, but I may have to become more open minded.
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Old 02-26-2012, 04:43 PM
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Origins of the Model 14 Full Lug & An Introduction to the SWCA Origins of the Model 14 Full Lug & An Introduction to the SWCA Origins of the Model 14 Full Lug & An Introduction to the SWCA Origins of the Model 14 Full Lug & An Introduction to the SWCA Origins of the Model 14 Full Lug & An Introduction to the SWCA  
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Great article on the full lug Model 14! Thanks for sharing it.

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Old 02-26-2012, 10:23 PM
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Origins of the Model 14 Full Lug & An Introduction to the SWCA Origins of the Model 14 Full Lug & An Introduction to the SWCA Origins of the Model 14 Full Lug & An Introduction to the SWCA Origins of the Model 14 Full Lug & An Introduction to the SWCA Origins of the Model 14 Full Lug & An Introduction to the SWCA  
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Thank you for the great article based upon first-hand knowledge. A great example of the type of information available to members of the SWCA. Those of you that have an interest in S&W's should seriously consider joining the group, it is one of the best bargains in the gun collecting world!
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Old 02-27-2012, 05:43 AM
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Origins of the Model 14 Full Lug & An Introduction to the SWCA Origins of the Model 14 Full Lug & An Introduction to the SWCA Origins of the Model 14 Full Lug & An Introduction to the SWCA Origins of the Model 14 Full Lug & An Introduction to the SWCA Origins of the Model 14 Full Lug & An Introduction to the SWCA  
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I own a Model 14 Masterpiece, but without the full lug. Does anyone know until when this lugless model was produced?
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Old 02-27-2012, 09:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Model52 View Post
I own a Model 14 Masterpiece, but without the full lug. Does anyone know until when this lugless model was produced?
The K-38 Masterpiece/Model 14 was produced from 1947 until 1982. It's designation was changed from K-38 to Model 14 in 1957 when S&W began assigning model numbers to all of their guns. It was then reintroduced in 1991 with the full lug barrel and produced until 1999.
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Old 02-28-2012, 05:05 AM
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Origins of the Model 14 Full Lug & An Introduction to the SWCA Origins of the Model 14 Full Lug & An Introduction to the SWCA Origins of the Model 14 Full Lug & An Introduction to the SWCA Origins of the Model 14 Full Lug & An Introduction to the SWCA Origins of the Model 14 Full Lug & An Introduction to the SWCA  
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OK, thanks for the info!
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Old 02-28-2012, 12:55 PM
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Origins of the Model 14 Full Lug & An Introduction to the SWCA Origins of the Model 14 Full Lug & An Introduction to the SWCA Origins of the Model 14 Full Lug & An Introduction to the SWCA Origins of the Model 14 Full Lug & An Introduction to the SWCA Origins of the Model 14 Full Lug & An Introduction to the SWCA  
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Pretty interesting and useful. I do have a late 70's 6" M14 on the way from another forum member. As a fairly new forum member I am always impressed by the depth of knowledge of members here. If the M14 does as well as my 6" 617 (full lug) it will be great. Thanks.
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Old 02-28-2012, 01:01 PM
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Dave Nash, could you provide us with any info on the 2.5 inch full lug 14-6's done up by Jim Rae for the PPC off duty matches?

I've heard that there were less than 25 made. Any info or pics would be greatly appreciated. Regards 18DAI
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Old 12-29-2012, 04:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CALREB View Post
love the 4" model
Did the factory produce a full-lug 4" model? I thought I read that they did a batch for a distributor.
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Old 02-08-2017, 12:12 PM
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Wink Yes they did

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Did the factory produce a full-lug 4" model? I thought I read that they did a batch for a distributor.
Yes they did...a batch from Performance Center for "Roper" distributors...were "prizes" for police matches...see page 438 SCSW 4th Edition...VERY NEAT revolver and extremely rare...Product code #170154
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Old 02-08-2017, 03:46 PM
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Anyone want to come to the NE Ohio bunch, you'll be able to see 3 of the 4" model 14 Roper guns on display. Huh Roger??? That Bam-Bam guy seems to have the edge on 3" K frames buy we got him here. Larry

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Old 02-08-2017, 06:03 PM
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Anyone want to come to the NE Ohio bunch, you'll be able to see 3 of the 4" model 14 Roper guns on display. Huh Roger??? . Larry
Yes there is a real good chance that 3 of the 4" Model 14 Roper guns will be there! Thank you Larry!

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Old 02-08-2017, 08:02 PM
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Origins of the Model 14 Full Lug & An Introduction to the SWCA Origins of the Model 14 Full Lug & An Introduction to the SWCA Origins of the Model 14 Full Lug & An Introduction to the SWCA Origins of the Model 14 Full Lug & An Introduction to the SWCA Origins of the Model 14 Full Lug & An Introduction to the SWCA  
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Default Roper M14-6 4" models

If you can't make the meeting, or just want to save on the gas, there are three on the left side of this pic...



Enjoy
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Old 02-08-2017, 08:31 PM
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Thanks for the informative post. One of my grail guns.
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Old 02-08-2017, 10:33 PM
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Origins of the Model 14 Full Lug & An Introduction to the SWCA Origins of the Model 14 Full Lug & An Introduction to the SWCA Origins of the Model 14 Full Lug & An Introduction to the SWCA Origins of the Model 14 Full Lug & An Introduction to the SWCA Origins of the Model 14 Full Lug & An Introduction to the SWCA  
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Some additional info on the 4" Roper models....

MODEL 14-6 FOUR INCH ROPER GUN FOUND IT!
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Old 03-20-2017, 04:28 PM
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I have bumped this thread because I need to contact the OP, Dave Nash.
I have some property of his that was produced in the Smith & Wesson Model Shop (Experimental Shop).

Thanks!

John
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Old 07-22-2019, 10:55 PM
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Most interesting thread on the full lug Model 14's.
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Old 07-28-2019, 12:26 AM
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This is my 14-5 (BFWxxxx) that was tuned for me (50 yard B27 target front sight) by Bob Jones some years back. I dont think I have put 100 rounds through this gun. Timing on it is perfect.

I dont recall how I got it (likely GB) but its clean... no box. I would like to get original grips for it. As I understand the original post the grips are referred to as Combats.

So help a non educated SW wood fella.

are Combats referred to by anything else?

anything else I should know about finding the appropriate grips for my 14-5.

I am sure they are pricey....so I need to start saving some pennies as I am deep in on a custom 1911.



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Old 09-16-2019, 12:40 PM
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Default Model 14-5 with Square Butt Combats

Quote:
Originally Posted by SW CQB 45 View Post
This is my 14-5 (BFWxxxx) that was tuned for me (50 yard B27 target front sight) by Bob Jones some years back. I dont think I have put 100 rounds through this gun. Timing on it is perfect.

I dont recall how I got it (likely GB) but its clean... no box. I would like to get original grips for it. As I understand the original post the grips are referred to as Combats.

So help a non educated SW wood fella.

are Combats referred to by anything else?

anything else I should know about finding the appropriate grips for my 14-5.

I am sure they are pricey....so I need to start saving some pennies as I am deep in on a custom 1911.



The original box just has them labeled as "SB", but I've never seen them referred to as anything but "Combats". There are two versions, square butt and round butt. For the Model 14-5 you would need to find Square Butt Combats.

Here's a couple of photos of my 14-5 that shipped from the factory on May 22nd, 1992. I've had it since it was new.

Model 14-5

[IMG][/IMG]
[IMG][/IMG]
[IMG][/IMG]
[IMG][/IMG]
[IMG][/IMG]
[IMG][/IMG]
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Old 02-12-2021, 11:01 AM
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They made the -5, then the -6. By golly, they then made the -7 Model 14 full lug....all in 6".

The 4" full lug is my favorite. Probably a few 8 3/8" ones floating around somewhere, but I've never had the opportunity at one. Were the 8 3/8" barrels offered in all three dashes?

Somewhere along the timeline, they changed the SB to a RB during the dash six. Mine came with rubber grips on the dash seven.

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Old 02-12-2021, 11:36 AM
SmithNut SmithNut is offline
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Origins of the Model 14 Full Lug & An Introduction to the SWCA Origins of the Model 14 Full Lug & An Introduction to the SWCA Origins of the Model 14 Full Lug & An Introduction to the SWCA Origins of the Model 14 Full Lug & An Introduction to the SWCA Origins of the Model 14 Full Lug & An Introduction to the SWCA  
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They made the -5, then the -6. By golly, they then made the -7 Model 14 full lug....all in 6".

The 4" full lug is my favorite. Probably a few 8 3/8" ones floating around somewhere, but I've never had the opportunity at one. Were the 8 3/8" barrels offered in all three dashes?

Somewhere along the timeline, they changed the SB to a RB during the dash six. Mine came with rubber grips on the dash seven.
While the 4" models (made for Roper Police Supply) are fantastic, the 6" guns are also great. Here's a photo of a -5 and a -7, separated by a handful of the -6 versions (two SB and 2 RB).

All are great.

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Last edited by SmithNut; 08-14-2023 at 12:25 PM.
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Old 08-14-2023, 09:06 AM
dave lehnert dave lehnert is offline
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Origins of the Model 14 Full Lug & An Introduction to the SWCA Origins of the Model 14 Full Lug & An Introduction to the SWCA Origins of the Model 14 Full Lug & An Introduction to the SWCA Origins of the Model 14 Full Lug & An Introduction to the SWCA Origins of the Model 14 Full Lug & An Introduction to the SWCA  
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Howdy,
Trying to find mfg. date for a M-14-6, full lug, 38 Spcl., serial BRY4xxx. Cheers.
Dave
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Old 08-14-2023, 01:31 PM
SmithNut SmithNut is offline
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Origins of the Model 14 Full Lug & An Introduction to the SWCA Origins of the Model 14 Full Lug & An Introduction to the SWCA Origins of the Model 14 Full Lug & An Introduction to the SWCA Origins of the Model 14 Full Lug & An Introduction to the SWCA Origins of the Model 14 Full Lug & An Introduction to the SWCA  
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Howdy,
Trying to find mfg. date for a M-14-6, full lug, 38 Spcl., serial BRY4xxx. Cheers.
Dave
The factory doesn't track manufacturing dates, but they will provide shipping dates.
Call 800-331-0852, hit the prompts to S&W customer service and provide your full serial number to the Customer Service rep and they are happy to provide a ship date, normally the month and year but sometimes also the day.

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Old 08-14-2023, 02:24 PM
Sevens Sevens is offline
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Origins of the Model 14 Full Lug & An Introduction to the SWCA Origins of the Model 14 Full Lug & An Introduction to the SWCA Origins of the Model 14 Full Lug & An Introduction to the SWCA Origins of the Model 14 Full Lug & An Introduction to the SWCA Origins of the Model 14 Full Lug & An Introduction to the SWCA  
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They will also return that information via e-mail request if you don't have luck with the telephone lottery. If it so happens that you have the original box with intact end label, the date is shown in Julian form with the 4 digit code under Spec Ordr headline.
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Old 08-17-2023, 08:58 AM
dave lehnert dave lehnert is offline
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Origins of the Model 14 Full Lug & An Introduction to the SWCA Origins of the Model 14 Full Lug & An Introduction to the SWCA Origins of the Model 14 Full Lug & An Introduction to the SWCA Origins of the Model 14 Full Lug & An Introduction to the SWCA Origins of the Model 14 Full Lug & An Introduction to the SWCA  
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Finally snagged a 6" 14-6/ob in great shape, but, with target stocks. Had to fend off 2 rookies at the end of a Gun Broker auction. It's between there & here so no pics. Anyone have a build year range? Is < 3,000 built a sound quantity?
Cheers,
Dave
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Old 08-20-2023, 05:30 AM
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Moo Moo Moo Moo is offline
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Origins of the Model 14 Full Lug &amp; An Introduction to the SWCA Origins of the Model 14 Full Lug &amp; An Introduction to the SWCA Origins of the Model 14 Full Lug &amp; An Introduction to the SWCA Origins of the Model 14 Full Lug &amp; An Introduction to the SWCA Origins of the Model 14 Full Lug &amp; An Introduction to the SWCA  
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Here is my 14-6 that I bought in 1996. I use it in Service Match which is a bit like PPC and WA1500.
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