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Discussion Starter #1
Has anyone seen a production Model 39 with a Serial number lower than this one.

Serial number #30540

The serial number puts this pistol right at the beginning of the Early J frame serial numbers
For models 36, 37, 38, 49, 50 and pre model number versions.

1950 = start at 1
1952 = 7369 - 21342
1953 = 28916
1955 = 55050 - 75000.

From my research Aluminum alloy frames did not go back this far. But then here it is.

And then there's the frame color.

Can't wait till I get the Jinx Letter

Mode;l 39 - 30540-2.jpg Mode;l 39 - 30540-4.jpg
 

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Don't pay any attention to the J frame serial numbers. Do not apply to the 39 models.
S&W didn't start giving guns model number until 1957-58. Prior to that they were just identified by name, ie, Chief's Special, Highway Patrolman, etc.
The Model 39 prior to 1958 are usually referred to as "pre-39" models altho they did not have a model number designation. The Pre-39 models started serial number 1001. The Model 39 serial number range went to about 115000 before the 39 became the 39-2.
Without looking at Supica & Nahas' book I'd say your 39 was made about 1962 +/- a year or 2.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you for the early model 39 info. May I ask you a question? Have you ever seen any of the following?

A Model 39 with:
1. No model number on the side. I have read that early examples (pre-39) had no model number but I have not been able to locate a single image.
2. the finish shown in the previous message. The complete frame is that plum color with no scratches or markings. I'll add a few more images.
Model 39 - 30540--6.jpg Model 39 - 30540--7.jpg Model 39 - 30540--8.jpg Model 39 - 30540--9.jpg
Thanks again.
Pierre
 

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The pre 39 was introduced in 1955 starting at s/n 1001. Very few were produced before being model stamped as they were super slow sellers at 1st.
I have a pre 39 from 1956 S/N 18xx
Shipped in 1956 and a early model 39 shipped in Jan 1959. S/N 6xxx.
There were only 972 steel frame model 39s ever sold in the mid 1960s
The frames were actually made as pre production frames but stored until the 1960s
Your serial number is from 1963-1965 likely.


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