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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 357 that belonged to my dad that I'm attempting to identify the date of mfr and the model for it. It appears the model number is 4921 B. The serial number is 1374XX and there is an "S" located several spaces ahead of the model number. I assume this is the frame ID. The barrel length is 3.5" from the cylinder to the tip of the barrel.

Brown Gun Yellow Firearm Photograph
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Very nice 357. S&W did not use model numbers until 1958. In 1958 the 357 magnum was assigned the model number 27. Many would call your revolver a pre model 27. Take care of it. Those 3.5' model 27's are worth pretty big money. Most nice onessell for over $1200, and yours is nice.
Gentlemen,
Thanks for the rapid response and valuable information. I have only fired the gun a couple times. It is definitely not a light weight. I do like a wheel gun and would rather have something a bit lighter, possibly as a carry gun. Any 357 S&W recommedations?
 

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The most popular .357 Magnum today is the S&W Model 686 which is on the smaller "L" frame. Look for a 4 inch barrel.

Smaller yet is the model 66, which is on the "K" frame. This may be a bit too lightweight for that round.

You have the best one for shooting, on the larger "N" frame. The quality of the one you own is also outstanding.

"4921B" is an internal assembly mark used to keep track of things within the factory during manufacture.
 

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I carry a Model 66. :) Stainless so it stays pretty and a lot lighter then a Pre 27.
Edit: As mrerick says , N frame 357's excel at the range . Yours is way too pretty to carry anyway.

 

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Now that I've had an opportunity to really see your gun (was on my smartphone), let's do that serial number again. Look for the SN on the bottom of the grip frame and give that number to us along with the preceding letter. Your gun is a 4 screw and they didn't come out until 1956. Up until then, they were a 5 screw with one of the screws in front of the trigger guard.
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Now that I've had an opportunity to really see your gun (was on my smartphone), let's do that serial number again. Look for the SN on the bottom of the grip frame and give that number to us along with the preceding letter. Your gun is a 4 screw and they didn't come out until 1956. Up until then, they were a 5 screw with one of the screws in front of the trigger guard.
Do you need the entire serial number or all but the last digit?
 

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Is there an S in front of that number...e.g., S1374XX? It is probably separated to the left of the numbers.
 

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Ok. That's the official serial number...S1374XX. You should also see it on the rear face of the cylinder, inside the barrel shroud where the extractor rod docks and just the numbers on the inside of the right grip panel. The other numbers you reference are either inspector's marks or assembly numbers used to keep fitted parts together during manufacturing. Our serial number reference is just approximate. So, I believe your gun shipped in 1956 or maybe 1957. If it is important to you, you can get the precise shipping date and to whom it shipped by paying for an Historian's letter of authenticity. They cost $100 from the S&W Historical Foundation.
 
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Ok. That's the official serial number...S1374XX. You should also see it on the rear face of the cylinder, inside the barrel shroud where the extractor rod docks and just the numbers on the inside of the right grip panel. The other numbers you reference are either inspector's marks or assembly numbers used to keep fitted parts together during manufacturing. Our serial number reference is just approximate. So, I believe your gun shipped in 1956 or maybe 1957. If it is important to you, you can get the precise shipping date and to whom it shipped by paying for an Historian's letter of authenticity. They cost $100 from the S&W Historical Foundation.
Thanks. I was mainly interested in the year it was made. My dad bought it new but I was not introduced to it until several years later. Interesting info from others on value and suggested alternatives. Good forum.
 

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I was thinking that the upper side plate screw was the one that went away first in 1956. Regardless NEVER sell this gun. It is one of the finest revolvers ever made.
You're right, Mark. I read it and transposed trigger guard and upper sideplate. I hate getting old...
 
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