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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello all. In the past I only collected Military surplus firearms from WWI and WWII and have bought more weapons than necessary using my C&R license to include some Colt pistols. I am really interested in seeing what is available in the S&W pistols but dating these pistols has proven to be an issue. It is easy with Colt pistols but almost impossible with S&W pistols.

I am currently looking at a Model 28-2 s/n N224508 in .357 magnum that has a 4" barrel and is blued. Is there anyone who can help me with the manufacture date on this pistol. I would like to purchase it as a C&R pistol but I need to first know the manufacture date.

I have another question that has made me crazy. I really like .357 magnum pistols because I can also shoot .38 special in these pistols. I am very confused about what .38 S&W Special means. I believe I read that this was not the same cartridge as the normal .38 special. If the pistol indicates on the barrel that it is a .38 S&W special, will it chamber and shoot .38 special? I think that both rounds are different and not compatible. For this reason I have shied away from purchasing any S&W's labeled in that caliber. I really don't want to have to purchase yet another cartridge. For this reason I have decided to only purchase S&W's in .357 magnum.

I am glad that I found this forum because I think there will be S&W pistols in my future
 

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Welcome to the forums from the cotton and peanut covered plains of the Wiregrass! Let's back up a bit. A Model 29 is chambered for .44 Magnum, not .357. So, is it a Model 29 or a Model 27? In any case it was made in 1974-77. Buy a copy of the S&W BIble: The Standard Catalog of S&W, 4th Edition, by Supica and Nahas. It has all the info you likely need.

Second, the .38 S&W Special and the .38 Special are the same cartridge. .38 S&W, like K-22 showed you, is a totally different cartridge. S&W was the originator of both the .38 S&W and the .38 S&W Special back in the 1800's. They are their cartridges and that's why S&W is in the name. .38 Special is just shorthand for .38 S&W Special. S&W also developed the .38 Special High Velocity police round which was a .38 Special case with more powder (call it the +P of the day) and the .357 Magnum. You can shoot all of these cartridges in your gun if it is a Model 27.
 

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Hello UpNorthAngler and welcome to the forum from N.E. Indiana!!! You will see and probably already realize how helpful the members of this forum are. Enjoy!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Welcome to the forums from the cotton and peanut covered plains of the Wiregrass! Let's back up a bit. A Model 29 is chambered for .44 Magnum, not .357. So, is it a Model 29 or a Model 27? In any case it was made in 1974-77. Buy a copy of the S&W BIble: The Standard Catalog of S&W, 4th Edition, by Supica and Nahas. It has all the info you likely need.

Second, the .38 S&W Special and the .38 Special are the same cartridge. .38 S&W, like K-22 showed you, is a totally different cartridge. S&W was the originator of both the .38 S&W and the .38 S&W Special back in the 1800's. They are their cartridges and that's why S&W is in the name. .38 Special is just shorthand for .38 S&W Special. S&W also developed the .38 Special High Velocity police round which was a .38 Special case with more powder (call it the +P of the day) and the .357 Magnum. You can shoot all of these cartridges in your gun if it is a Model 27.
My error. It's a 28-2. I edited the original post

Ok, then if the revolver is marked .38 S&W it is chambered for the shorter cartridge. If it is marked .38 S&W Special, then it takes all standard .38 special cartridges. That makes a lot of sense.

I read some reviews of the Supica and Nahas book and found this comment "Unfortunately, this book doesn't just spell out the dates of manufacture based on serial numbers. Not even close. It will give ideas of roughly when a certain model was made..."

So I suppose that there is really no way to know the actual manufactured year unless one spends $100 to get a letter that gives you, from what I can tell, only a shipped date. I suspect that the data exists in S&W records but apparently this was never placed in a database.

Thanks for the update. Tom
 

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Ok, then if the revolver is marked .38 S&W it is ch
Or .357. A .357 revolver will shoot .38 Special also.

I read some reviews of the Supica and Nahas book and found this comment "Unfortunately, this book doesn't just spell out the dates of manufacture based on serial numbers. Not even close. It will give ideas of roughly when a certain model was made..."
S&W didn't track manufacture dates...only shipping dates. Guns go into inventory and were pulled out willy nilly. So, a gun may have been made 2-3 years before it shipped. The SCSW, 4th Edition is the best resource we have without asking the historian for an accurate ship date. If you don't want to spend the bucks, join the S&W Collector's Association for $60, then $50 per year afterward, and you can ask the historian online to date a gun for free.
 

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My error. It's a 28-2. I edited the original post

Ok, then if the revolver is marked .38 S&W it is chambered for the shorter cartridge. If it is marked .38 S&W Special, then it takes all standard .38 special cartridges. That makes a lot of sense.

I read some reviews of the Supica and Nahas book and found this comment "Unfortunately, this book doesn't just spell out the dates of manufacture based on serial numbers. Not even close. It will give ideas of roughly when a certain model was made..."

So I suppose that there is really no way to know the actual manufactured year unless one spends $100 to get a letter that gives you, from what I can tell, only a shipped date. I suspect that the data exists in S&W records but apparently this was never placed in a database.

Thanks for the update. Tom
In the SCSW, some serial number ranges are broken down pretty good, like a 2 year period, while other ranges listed cover a 6 to 8 year period. It isn't perfect but it's what we have
 

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Welcome from the Texas Panhandle.
 
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