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Model 57's

Are all the 57's created equally. Other than the S serial number being older than the N serial numbers. What is the difference between a N serial numbered versus an S serial numbered revolver. Any changes to them other than grips and presentation cases? I'm asking about the model 57's not -1's.
Thanks
Jim
 
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Jim,

On the old Blue forum this would most likely have gotten me in hot water. The older S series prefix guns were better because S&W as a company was better....That said, the workers were not under the production constraints of later worker. Guns were being assembled and attention to detail was still high on the Pride Factor. S&W wasn't killing the market in sales, and quality was still King. The folks at the top were still decent people that climbed up through the rank and file. They knew their company better then they knew the whims and fancies of the market. They built the very best guns they could, cared about the line workers, and cared about the future of the company. The further back you go, the better the companies management and ownership shines....to include one of the daughters of the original company willing to give her share of the profits to the factory workers...

When folks ask me why I like the older S&W's versus the later guns with all the technological improvements, I just smile and try to envision the costs of those modernizations. Not just the engineering changes, but the way the Company changed in coming into the modern age of Harvard Business School Management techniques....

Yep, those old guns can bring from a 25-75% premium over the latter types...

Worth every penny,

giz
 

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As a general rule there was a slow decline in fit and finish from the 1950s-1980s. Not that the later guns were bad, they just weren't quite as nice as the older ones.

Handle a NIB gun made 50 years ago and you'll see the difference.
 

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Wow Ken , Outstanding !!

Me being a rookie in this collecting hobbie or obsession , Just from handling , I agree that the 50`s thru 60`s gun s are different from the 70`s thru 80`s . You really can see and feel the differenses .

But then again all things change !!
 

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I've posted this before but, here's my 57 no dash:



Steve
 

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I own several Model 57s made in 1964 (S237000 range) and owned several from the early 70s (N100000 range). The guns made in 1964 are more highly polished, but functionally, I have never noticed a difference as the guns from each period shot equally well.

Bill
 

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What about very new model 57s bought through S&W Custom Shop? I just bought a blued, 4". I have one that has 57-8 serial number with CNX8362 above it. I haven't fired it yet and have never owned a model 57. Somehow, I think I'm going to hear that I've bought junk but I hope not.
 

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Jack1
First of all rest assured you did not buy Junk. The new S&W handguns are still very quality units. Some Members (me included) prefer the older Smith's but that is not because the new ones are somehow inferior.
Some of the changes that seem to cause ire with Old S&W Collectors are:
1. Older Smiths had a pinned barrel, new ones use a crush fit
2. The older revolvers had what they called a recessed cylinder (cut out so the complete cartridge sat flush with the cylinder) newer ones the stops at the case rim
3. The use of MIM hammers and triggers versus forged parts
4. Firing pin is a free floating in the frame instead of on the hammer nose
5. The biggest issue is internal lock, some people have reported the lock failing or going into lock position while firing. I have not had such an experience.

The biggest thing to remember S&W has a Lifetime Warranty, so if any issues arise, they will take car of it.
Now with all this said go out and enjoy your new M57.
 
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IMG_7003.jpg

Here is my no dash "N" prefix. Case and tools included, but the bore mop is sooty --a previous owner used it, I'm sure. This came to me in Jan 2007 and left Springfield in '77-'78. I'm not set-up to load .41 so, have never shot it, but it has been lovingly fondled and admired, mucho!

Mike
 
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View attachment 6908

Here is my no dash "N" prefix. Case and tools included, but the bore mop is sooty --a previous owner used it, I'm sure. This came to me in Jan 2007 and left Springfield in '77-'78. I'm not set-up to load .41 so, have never shot it, but it has been lovingly fondled and admired, mucho!

Mike
That's a beauty !

I don't reload and the price of ammo for those is out o sight .

I have to reconcile myself to the fact that I can't have EVERY model that I want . ;)


Regards ,
George , the big-eyed kid in the candy store
 

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If there is an explanation? Gizamo nailed it in my opinion. It's my belief the fit and finnish was better in older guns. As to performance, accuracy, etc., the new guns are probably just as good or better IMHO.

That's a beaut, Mike.

Hank

 

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Compare the bluing on the ones Toroflow and SB posted to this one produced in 1978.
The cylinder and barrel almost looked like the metallic blue paint that came on the same vintage GM pickups and cars and faded and flaked off.


I knew the ramifications of having it re-blued, but I couldn't stand it the way it was and sent it back to S&W for a re-bluing.


It's mo betta now..
 

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Iggy, it looks like they did a great job. I'd love to see more pics of it after the re bluing.
 

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IGGY, There are some of us here, that feel it is far better to own a beautiful revolver....than one that is period correct, and has a lousy finish. Obviously, not the collecters though! I have bought several NIB revolvers, pre-1981 with superior bluing, (made before the changes to drop P&R'd revolvers) and promptly they became my shooters. Not a collecter, I just love to shoot and use the nice guns as was intended when they were built, over 30 years ago.

I do not think that it is a mistake to have a revolver refinished. However, I couldn't afford to buy a collecter gun, anyway! I buy fairly common S&W's from 1981 and earlier if I can. I have made exceptions for something that I want to shoot alot, like my NIB S&W M-17-4 K22 (1986), or my then brand new Ruger MK.III .22 (2008). Bob
 

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Bob K,
This gun is a shooter, I just couldn't be and told S&W that I couldn't be proud of the gun the way it was. They did a nice job with it and now I can shoot it or show it off with typical S&W pride.

I got it at a good price in a pawn shop, so even with the additional cost of the refinish, I'm in it cheaper than buying a nicer one.
 
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