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Old 10-06-2012, 12:36   #1
bac1023
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Goofy question, but does anybody know when S&W...

...changed the style of the ampersand (&) between "Smith" and "Wesson"?

I'm trying to figure out when my new-to-me 39 was built. It has the ampersand with the larger curve. I have many Smiths and just went through my whole collection. The only other model I have using that ampersand is my 1955 K-frame revolver, so I'm thinking the 39 is pretty old.

You can see the difference in the ampersand between my 39 and 539.

I notice quite a few small details and I know its a goofy question, but does anyone have an answer? If you have an old Smith with the early ampersand, what year is it?

I'm hoping somebody knows. After all, I just went through every Smith I own looking at ampersands.

Thanks, in advance, for any help.


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Old 10-06-2012, 15:06   #2
Rick C
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Goofy answer. I would suggest, if you don't already know about it:
http://smith-wessonforum.com/
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Old 10-06-2012, 17:02   #3
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Thanks Rick

Yeah, I'm a member, so I guess I'll post.

There are some knowledgable people over there when it comes to S&W.
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Old 10-06-2012, 17:22   #4
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Seems there was some intermingling of fonts for "&" on S & W handcuffs in the 60's.
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Old 10-06-2012, 22:31   #5
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I have a 39-2 from about 1980 and it has the same as your 539.
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Old 10-07-2012, 01:04   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trapped_in_Kali View Post
I have a 39-2 from about 1980 and it has the same as your 539.
Yeah, the change happened way before then. I have early 70's models with the new style.
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Old 10-07-2012, 07:56   #7
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aren't you about done rubbing that "steal" of a gun in our faces?
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Old 10-07-2012, 08:07   #8
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Quote:
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aren't you about done rubbing that "steal" of a gun in our faces?



Hey, after what I paid for some guns this past summer, I deserve a good deal or two.
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Old 10-07-2012, 08:12   #9
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The serial number range for modern autoloaders began with 1001 in 1954 and ran up to 115000 in 1970. After this the had an A prefix for some time. I'm just guessing yours was made between 1969-70.
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Old 10-07-2012, 08:13   #10
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I paged through the Standard Catalog of Smith and Wesson last night and did not see anything regarding the ampersand change. My guess is that it might be different for the pistol slide than for revolver barrels and my other guess is that whenever the change was made might not be the most accurate dating method. Especially in that time it seems as if Smith and Wesson may have had substantial stocks of some parts that got stacked up somewhere and not used right away. My guess is that we still see the results of that over the last decade or so when they suddenly reintroduce some discontinued version for a small run.
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Old 10-07-2012, 08:29   #11
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Bruce makes a very good point. There is no real way of knowing a S&W's birth date without getting a factory letter. They often stock piled parts to be used up at a much latter date. While the serial numbers are good clues it is not uncommon to see a gun born on a date long after that serial number block was used up.

For as many of these guns you buy the book would be a good investment for you. Really not all that expensive.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/NEW-Standard...item231d13fec1

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Old 10-07-2012, 08:30   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruce M View Post
I paged through the Standard Catalog of Smith and Wesson last night and did not see anything regarding the ampersand change. My guess is that it might be different for the pistol slide than for revolver barrels and my other guess is that whenever the change was made might not be the most accurate dating method. Especially in that time it seems as if Smith and Wesson may have had substantial stocks of some parts that got stacked up somewhere and not used right away. My guess is that we still see the results of that over the last decade or so when they suddenly reintroduce some discontinued version for a small run.
Very true

They probably changed it, but still had many parts in stock of the old style. Like I said, the only other Smith I own with it is my 1955 Target Masterpiece.

You can see it clearly here. Its the only Smith revolver I own with it.


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Old 10-07-2012, 08:31   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pennlineman View Post
Bruce makes a very good point. There is no real way of knowing a S&W's birth date without getting a factory letter. They often stock piled parts to be used up at a much latter date. While the serial numbers are good clues it is not uncommon to see a gun born on a date long after that serial number block was used up.

For as many of these guns you buy the book would be a good investment for you. Really not all that expensive.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/NEW-Standard...item231d13fec1
Thanks

Yeah, I probably should break down and get one of those.
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Old 10-07-2012, 12:05   #14
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Brian, this was made in 1957, and has the large ampersand.

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Old 10-07-2012, 12:59   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gruntmedik View Post
Brian, this was made in 1957, and has the large ampersand.

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Thanks and very nice, by the way.

The no dash 39 was made from 1954 to 1966. I'm thinking mine may be closer to the early part of the run.
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