Smith dates, model numbers and SNs.

Discussion in 'Smith & Wesson Club' started by G33, Feb 15, 2008.

  1. I have three Smith & Wesson snubbies...can you guys tell me how old they are? :supergrin:

    Model 38, serial #AHH57XX

    Model 10-5, serial #D9543XX

    Model 640, serial #CAC36XX

    Thanks in advance! :wavey:

    Wanna kill these ads? We can help!
  2. Disclaimer- There may be unexplained discrepancies or numbers issued out of sequence with serial numbers.
    According to the SCSW 3rd. ed.,
    Model 38, serial #AHH57XX - probably 1985
    Model 10-5, serial #D9543XX - around 1976-1977
    Model 640, serial #CAC36XX - probably 1996

    Smiths are great guns.

  3. Based on quick look at the SCSW 3rd. ed., the picture looks like a ".38 Single Action, 2nd Model (Model 2, 2nd Issue)" made between 1877-1891. SN's ran from 1-108,255. I am no expert, and would suggest that you ask at the S&W Forum at

    That is a cool gun!
  4. Thanks Chuck! :thumbsup:
  5. CTW

    CTW Got Beer?

    Sorry it took so long to reply but I have been a busy man lately. The serial numbers on my model 37 are 307xxx.
  6. According to the SCSW 3rd ed., your Model 37, .38 Chiefs Special Airweight's serial number would place it between 1962 and 1969. That S/N is not very precisely detailed in the book. They began stamping the model number 37 on it in 1957, and it did not go to 37-1 until 1988, even though there were several "engineering and production changes." The changes listed may help to narrow down the date of production for you.
    1962: Internal hammer alteration.
    1966: Thumbpiece change.
    1968: Delete diamond grip.
    1969: Begin J serial prefix.

    Edited to add- The S/N listed for 1962 is 295000, and for 1969 it is 786544. Your 37 is probably very close to 1962-63.

    #26 chuck17, Nov 1, 2008
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2008
  7. Wanna check your book's accuracy? My S/W 940 Centennial 9mm 5 shot snub ser # is BFV689x. Left S/W on July 16, 1991. How close is your book?
  8. I assume that you have a letter from Roy Jinks, S&W Historian that gives you your shipping date.

    I will also reiterate that the authors state that there are discrepancies in S/N dates in the SCSW 3rd. ed. due to a variety of factors causing gaps in S/N sequence or S/N prefixes being used out of sequence.

    The SCSW reports that your Model 940 9mm Centennial Stainless is a:
    "Caliber: 9mm Parabellum. Double-action-only revolver built on the round butt stainless J frame with three screws. 5-shot fluted cylinder with a length of 1.51"; 2" or 3" barrel, 1/8" serrated ramp front sight with square notch rear sight. Fully concealed hammer, .312" smooth combat trigger, satin stainless finish, Uncle Mike's Santoprene combat grips. Supplied with full moon clips. Cataloged 1991 - 1998."

    It also reports on the Model 940 Special in .356TSW caliber.

    Engineering and Production Changes include:
    "940 (1991): Introduction.
    1993: 3" discontinued.
    940-1 (1993) New firing pin
    [more changes]"

    Since your gun is a 940, the engineering and production changes alone narrow it down to 1991-1993.

    The SCSW 3rd. ed. "Serial Number Range By Years" Appendix places your gun's S/N into date areas: between August 1990 and January 1991, or in Sept. 1992.

    The SCSW 3rd. ed. is by no means perfect, as there were a lot of guns moving through S&W and no one person in charge of documenting anything. The book was compiled by S&W experts and uses information compiled from many sources. I do think the Standard Catalog of Smith & Wesson, Third edition, by Supica and Nahas, is an invaluable resource for the S&W enthusiast.

    Hope this helps,
  9. Hi everyone,

    I'm new to the world of S&W snubbies. I just picked up a used Model 60 with an unfluted cylinder and was hoping someone could help me put a date to it.

    The SN is BDU21XX

    Also, is it safe for .38 special +P?

    Thanks for your help.

  10. According to the SCSW 3rd.ed., your pistol was probably made around April 1989 (or possibly in early 1994, see earlier posted disclaimer about serial numbers). Do you have a "dash number," for example Model 60-3? That could help narrow down the date of manufacture. Also, if you have the box, the label give other clues like a "product code." The unfluted cylinder was not a standard offering, so it was probably part of a special run. Does it have a 2" or 3" barrel? Spur or bobbed hammer? What type of grips? Any other distinguishing features? The Model 60 had a lot of variations and all of them are not listed in the SCSW. Some variations were rated for +P after 1990, so I am not sure if if your gun is safe for +P... I would call S&W and ask them, or put that quesion on the S&W Forum at

  11. Hi Chuck,

    Thanks for the info so far. Here's everything else I know...
    • 60-3 stamped on inside of frame
    • 6 6 5 stamped on crane
    • B15 and 48665 stamped on lower, left side of frame beneath left grip panel. There is also a small, round, white sticker with the number 5 on it with a blue line through the number.
    • 7869 stamped on lower, right side of frame beneath right grip panel
    • Of course the SN of BDU21XX
    • The barrel is 1 3/4" long from the cylinder face and just under 1 3/16" long from the frame
    • The front sight is integral with the top strap
    • The hammer is bobbed but it is not original
    • It came with aftermarket Safariland grips, so no joy there
    • No box or other papers
    Thanks again for all your help.

    #31 Bronson, Nov 10, 2008
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2008
  12. A good friend just picked up a nice 66-1 ser # 83K11XX could you please give me a date of manufacture. He thinks it was made in 83 because of the 83 in front of the K, I told him it was not the date, but I got to wondering.

    Anyway it would be nice to know to be able to tell him for sure.

    Thanks in advance sir.
  13. According to the SCSW, 3rd ed., the Model 66 aka "The .357 Combat Magnum Stainless" was produced circa 1970 - 2004. The 66-1 was made from 1977 until the 66-2 came out in 1982. The ser # 83K11XX would place its manufacture in 1980 ( 1980 S/Ns ran from 57K0001-91K6800 ). It is a fine revolver.

    You are welcome, sir.
  14. Thanks Chuck for the info and I am sure he will be happy to have the info.

    He told me that he traded a Rossi snubbie even for the gun and had bought the Rossi for $198 new some years back. He said he even tried to talk the person out of the trade, but they insisted on the trade. Or so the story goes, but he did say if he didn't like the gun I could have first dibs on buying it from him.

    Not sure if I would ever really want it to use or carry, as I already have a S&W 642 and a FN 5.7 pistol with 30 round magazine for the bedroom. With small ones in the house I would not want to have a multi wall penetrator. Such as my DW 357, S&W 610 or even my S&W 642 38 spl that I used to put under my pillow before we had to take in the grandsons.

    Anyway keep up the good work.

    Say while I am at it here. I have a S&W K frame 22 magnum with a factory 22 lr cylinder assembly that is interchangeable and ser # K372XXX what does the book have to say about that model. I believe mine was an early model built the year the 22 magnum and the Model 48 was introduced. What say the book if you would not mind.

    I love shooting the M48 and it has just recently come back from S&W for tune up/check out and was passed with flying colors. I have ordered a Taurus model 941 4" SS 22 magnum to replace the S&W as a regular shooter just to save the S&W from any more wear and tear from regular use.

    I do not expect the Taurus 22 magnum to be any where near the quality and ease of operation of the S&W, but I do hope it keeps me happy while helping to preserving a fine model of S&W craftsmanship. I almost bought a nice S&W 651 22 magnum, but again it is another rare classic and being an eveyday used gun would be expensive for the gun would have set me back almost $700 for a plinker, so I went with the Taurus.
    #34 Retired Squid, Nov 19, 2008
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2008
  15. Thanks for the info. No letter. I called S/W when I bought this pistol a couple of years ago and that is what they told me over the phone. The owners manual has a hand written note, presumably by the original owner stating it was purchased by them in the same month as S/W said they shipped it.
  16. Your friend made a good trade on the Rossi for a Smith, some people put a premium on snubbies for the concealability I have had good luck with Tauruses.

    About the Model 48...Quote the following from the "Standard Catalog of Smith & Wesson," 3rd. edition, by Supica and Nahas:
    "Model 48: The K-22 Masterpiece Magnum Rimfire
    Caliber: .22 Winchester Magnum Rimfire. Double-action revolver. Built on the square butt K target frame with 4 screws, 6-shot fluted cylinderwith a nominal length of 1.62" with cylinder counterbores. 4", 6", or 8-3/8" pinned barrel with serrated top rib, blue finish, 1/8" Patridge front sight on 6" and
    8-3/8" barrels with micrometer click rear sight or Baughman quick draw on ramp base 0n 4" barrel. 10-groove serrated backstrap and forestrap, auxiliary .22LR cylinder and yoke also available as an option. Walnut Magna grips with S&W medallions and diamond around the screw escutcheon, .312" smooth combat trigger with 4" barrel with optional adjustable stop or .265" serrated service trigger with 6" or 8-3/8" barrel, .375" semi-target hammer. Optional .400" serrated trigger and .500" wide hammer was also available. Barrel markings are ".22 M.R.F." and "Smith & Wesson." Production reportedly began 5/21/59 at serial number K348746. Produced c. 1959-1986.

    * Four-screw, add 25%.
    * Nickel finish examples exist, not cataloged, worth premium
    * Auxiliary .22 Long Rifle cylinder available as an option.
    * See the Model 648 for the stainless steel version.

    Engineering and Production Changes:
    48 (1959): Begin production at serial number K350000.
    48-1 (1959): Change extractor rod thread from right hand to left hand.
    48-2 (1962): Eliminate screw in trigger guard, change cylinder stop.
    48-3 (1967): Relocation of rear sight leaf screw.
    1968: Delete diamond grip.
    48-4 (1977): Gas ring moved from yoke to cylinder.
    1982: Delete pinned barrel
    1986: Model 48 discontinued."

    According to the S/N Appendix, K372XXX was made in 1959 (1959 serials ran from K350548 - K386804).

    Hope this helps,

    PS- I would recommend the SCSW, 3rd. ed. for the S&W enthusiast. It is inexpensive entertainment, and education on the finest revolvers made. Lots of good pictures, too.
  17. WOW!!! That is some real info you posted there, I guess I am going to have to see about getting the book.

    I have been thinking about putting the M48 in the back of the safe and getting a Taurus 641 to plink with, therefore saving the M48 in like new shape for a grandson. Yes I know it is blasphemy, but a S&W 641 is just too expensive to be a plinker even be it used.

    By the way the 22 LR cylinder has only had maybe 18 to 24 rounds fired through it and I did that the first time this past spring.
  18. Chuck I walked into gun shop this morning and bought a 686-6 Power Ported SER# DBF26XX is this a 2006 made gun?

    It appeared to be NIB with the 3 cylinders fired at factory and never fired again. It didn't have a turn ring when I first looked at it about 6 months ago in the shop, but has a very slight one from every time I have looked and worked the action as did a few other I am sure. I will know for sure once I pull side plate and cylinder tomorrow, but what is the odds this gun has been hanging around for about two years?

    Any info you can provide about the gun I would be most grateful. Thanks in advance. Yes I will post pictures later in the week after new Pachmyr grips and a little cleaning a waxing.
  19. SER# DBF26XX is too new of a number to be listed in the SCSW, 3rd ed., but it should be post-2004. The three chambers with rings should be alternating with unfired chambers of the cylinder. I have come across a lot of guns hanging around for longer than two years, so it is not out of the ordinary. It looks like it may be a good find.

    I personally would not remove the side plate on a new gun. If you do, make sure to not pry it off, but rather turn ot over and rap the grip frame (take off grips beforehand) with a plastic mallet until it pops off. You risk marring the fine line separating the sideplate from the frame.

    The 686 is a fine weapon. I have never been a big fan of porting, but there are many who think it is worthwhile.

    Good luck with that.

    If you have the box, what is the product code? It may reveal additional information about your gun.
    #39 chuck17, Nov 30, 2008
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2008
  20. The reason I thought '06 as mfg date is the listed features line 06-A2-MD-GR-BP-SA-SP-FS-CS-ZS and that 06 should be the year of manufacture date.

    This is the first ported gun I have owned and only bought it because of the $500 cost to me. I never saw a need or use for them unless shooting some kind of timed event where less recoil would be helpful with reducing time to get back on target.

    As for as side-plate goes I been taking them off successfully for almost 40 years and I have found a few so tight that knowing how to properly pry them up is almost an art. Once a year when I deep clean and oil the Model 48 K-22, I have to spend a couple of very careful minutes get the plate to "pop loose" where it can be removed. My Dan Wesson's are a strange pair and the SS 722 has to be "pop loose" and the Model 15-2 blued just falls off with screw removal and it has the smallest separation of frame and plate I have ever seen. Go figure. My 610-3 will pop off with one whack of rubber mallet and the 642-2 will also pop loose with mallet and it has a rather large gap.

    All of my new S&W's come with an oil hole on left side of frame near the cylinder latch and seldom require taking apart for cleaning and oiling. :whistling: :tongueout: :rofl: :supergrin:

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