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Discussion Starter #1
I am expecting delivery of a blued 6 inch .38 M&P Model of 1905 - 4th change within the next day or two.

I wanted to find out the date of manufacture a bit more precisely than "from 1915 to 1942" as it shows in my SCoSW, 3rd Ed.

So I called Smith & Wesson customer service and gave the man the S/N (5439xx). I told him it is an M&P Model of 1905 - 4th change, blued with a 6" barrel. He immediately told me it was made in 1940 (his response was so fast that it seemed he didn't have the time to look it up!). lijf;

I was surprised because I was expecting that it was made long before that, so I have spent hours today looking at this and the other board for "lettered" revolvers with the serial numbers near mine. (Even Hermann Goering's S/N 642357 was shipped in May, 1934).

It appears to me that 5439xx was made somewhere around 1926 - 1932 (by interpolating from the nearest S/Ns that I could find here on these boards).

I know that serial numbers were not always made or shipped in order, but ~ 10 years seems a bit much!

Does anyone here have information that could give the year that 5439xx was made? Does the 1940 date make sense?

I would be very thankful for the information because at the present time I do not have the extra funds of $50 to send a letter to Roy Jinks just to get the date.

I am stumped by this - Please help if you can! hipnp

RonJon lllfaaaa
 

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The answer of 1940 -- particularly when delivered as instantaneously as you report -- makes my crap detector start chiming.

Based on other numbers in this sequence, I'd say 1926-27 for your gun. Maybe if it got lost or misplaced in the stock room for a while it could have gone out as late as 1930-32, but that feels kind of improbable to me.

Just for comparison, I have adjustable-sight M&P 649954, more than 100,000 higher than yours. It was shipped in 1935.

David Wilson
 

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RonJon,
A few things you might consider:
1) The M&P was the most plentiful gun S&W ever made.
EVER.
2) The revolver business post-war (WW I) was in the tank, for a
l-o-n-g time. Tons of M&P's in the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd series
were produced during the 'good times' prior to WW I.
3) Most of the M&P's produced immediately prior to, then during,
WW II were victories, 'lend-leases' and so on. They were all
serial-numbered in their own (and different) ranges.
4) As has been pointed out, consecutive numbering has never
been a positive correlation with ship-date. Sometimes yes,
sometimes no.
5) Since there were approximately 168,451 M-1905's produced from
1905 to 1915, that means there were about 758,296 guns shipped
from 1915 to 1942.
* Scratch most of the 1941 and 1942 guns from 'civilian' spec.
* Scratch gazillions of numbers ( Guns that weren't sold ),
post-WW I through the Great Depression.
I've always thought that the period from 1938 to 1941 produced a huge demand among civilians, police departments, foreign customers and...well, everybody... for replacing the old guns left over from WW I and the Depression.
I suspect the customer service rep you spoke with routinely answers more inquiries about M&P's than any other series ever made...
If he (or she) doesn't have a 'cheat sheet' at the desk I'd be real surprised.
Could that date be wrong?
Sure.
Get it lettered.
;)
Don
 

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It seems to me that one of our more knowlegeable members a number of years ago showed pictures of 2 consecitive numbered 1905 4th models and wrote that the letters came back that they were shipped 10 years apart. As far as S&W customer service giving the date It would seem to me that it should be right unless he put the number in wrong. Roy gave me a date of 8-77 for my Model 41 and commented that according to the serial it should have been made in 1971. In S&W never say never.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
The ship date is irrelevant to me - I'd like to get the manufactured date.

My best estimation, based upon Excel graphing of the known dates of closest serial numbers that I've found on the S&W forums and averaging of the line to obtain my 5439xx date is sometime in 1927.

Ron thanks01
 

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Ron,
Sadly, there is no 'manufacture date' data available except on guns that Smith & Wesson kept on the books for certain in-house purposes.
The BATF uses ship dates to date Smith and Wesson guns.
With many others, say Colt, the manufacture date works.
The thousands of frames that were produced by S&W were stockpiled and used (many times) from higher numbers down(!).
Now is that any way to run a railroad? njgapjgj
Sounds to me like you have a mighty nice gun on the way.
Hope you'll treat us to some photos when it arrives! hpzl;n;
Don
 

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Discussion Starter #7
DHENRY said:
Ron,
Sounds to me like you have a mighty nice gun on the way.
Hope you'll treat us to some photos when it arrives! hpzl;n;
Don
Will do, Don - Always glad to show them off to anyone interested! fovn;;pmo

Ron
 
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