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Welcome to the forums from the Wiregrass! This is one of the revolver forums, Michael. So, one of the kind moderators will likely move this thread into the correct semi-auto forum for it. Anyway, If you will give us the 3 alpha prefix of your serial number, we may be able to get close to the year it was made. Also, if you have the box, post a picture of the label and we may be able to tell you the day of the week, day, month and year when it was made. We do like pictures so we can covet other members guns. So, please post some.

BTW, the 6946 was made from 1991-1999.
 

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Our list of serial prefixes is pretty limited. It is just a guess since your VBE is not listed. But it looks like 1995 had prefixes before and after yours. If it is important, you can get an historian's letter of authenticity for $100 from the S&W Historical Foundation. There is really no way to determine when the magazines were made.
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Our list of serial prefixes is pretty limited. It is just a guess since your VBE is not listed. But it looks like 1995 had prefixes before and after yours. If it is important, you can get an historian's letter of authenticity for $100 from the S&W Historical Foundation. There is really no way to determine when the magazines were made.
Thanks this is helpful. If I understand the MA gun law correctly, if the gun was made prior 9/1994 I am ok to have the high capacity mags. Just trying to be within the law.
 

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Man, I can't help you with that. I live in a free state with reasonable gun laws. It may be worth your while to get the letter...or, you can join the S&W Collectors Association for $60 and you can ask the historian for a shipping date for free.
 

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If you're dealing with a legal requirement, I'd recommend getting formal documentation. Also, S&W has been known to ship things in a different sequence than serialization from time to time.

Welcome to the forum from North Carolina. You're moving in the correct direction, just not far enough... I lived in upstate New York for 15 years. This (final) move was a good one.
 

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Thanks this is helpful. If I understand the MA gun law correctly, if the gun was made prior 9/1994 I am ok to have the high capacity mags. Just trying to be within the law.
It doesn't quite work that way here in MA. The date of manufacture of the gun doesn't matter. It's the date of manufacture of the (hi-cap) magazines that matter... and yes, they must have been made before the 1994 Federal AWB to be legal hi-cap pre-bans in MA.

You have two different hi-caps there... one 6900-series and one 5900-series. Do either of them have a "Law Enforcement or Export only" engraving on them? If so, they are ban period magazines and are the most illegal magazines of all in Massachusetts (i.e., most easy for a cop or prosecutor to confirm as illegal).

If no engraving, you are most likely okay on the 6900-series magazine as they stopped making them during the ban. On the 5900-series magazine, does it have two mag release cuts or just one? if one, it is pre-ban. If two cuts, it is post-ban.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
It doesn't quite work that way here in MA. The date of manufacture of the gun doesn't matter. It's the date of manufacture of the (hi-cap) magazines that matter... and yes, they must have been made before the 1994 Federal AWB to be legal hi-cap pre-bans in MA.

You have two different hi-caps there... one 6900-series and one 5900-series. Do either of them have a "Law Enforcement or Export only" engraving on them? If so, they are ban period magazines and are the most illegal magazines of all in Massachusetts (i.e., most easy for a cop or prosecutor to confirm as illegal).

If no engraving, you are most likely okay on the 6900-series magazine as they stopped making them during the ban. On the 5900-series magazine, does it have two mag release cuts or just one? if one, it is pre-ban. If two cuts, it is post-ban.
There are no engravings at all, only thing I can see is an 'S' at the bottom near grip.Not sure how to tell this, "does it have two mag release cuts or just one?"
 

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There are no engravings at all, only thing I can see is an 'S' at the bottom near grip.Not sure how to tell this, "does it have two mag release cuts or just one?"
502113


The mag release cut is circled in red. if there is just one on one side, the magazine is pre-ban. If there are cuts on both sides of the magazine (for ambi switching), the magazine is post-ban.
 

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Well this is good news for me, only one cut on all 3 mags! thanks again
The one vs. two mag cuts thang only applies to the 15-round 5900-series magazines as shown in your photo.

As stated earlier, the 6900-series pistols (and hi-cap magazines for them) were discontinued during the ban period... so if an OEM 6900-series magazine is not marked "Law Enforcement or Export Only", it is pre-ban. The one vs. two cuts thang doesn't apply to 6900-series magazines.
 

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That makes is clear. So none of the 3 mags I have for this gun have any engraving on them, nor does the 5900 have 2 cuts. Now I need to be sure these are OEM.
They certainly look OEM... i.e., S&W Factory original. (y)

There has been a little extra legal 'danger' to us here in MA in recent years on the 6900-series magazines as a third party started to manufacture some 6900-series magazines that were pretty good copies of the originals. I haven't actually seen one in person (just pix), but folks in free states who have bought them say they are pretty close except for certain slight differences in the metal tubes.

I wouldn't worry about it at all, but it is something to at least be aware of. :)
 

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I agree with TTSH that those look like original factory and "pre-ban" magazines. For comparison, here is an example of three of mine. Left to right, an original 12 rd 6906 magazine w. black follower, original 14 rd 5906 magazine w. orange follower, and a 5906 magazine with an adapter for a more seamless fit in the 6906. Magazine followers, springs, and base plates are still available as replacement parts.

Two new aftermarket 5906 magazines I have seen were shiny, and easy to tell apart, but two is all I have seen.

502231
 
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