Smith And Wesson Forums banner
1 - 9 of 9 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I recently found a really clean revolver being sold as a Model 12. Closer look revealed no model identifier on the pistol and it is clearly a fixed sight K frame with a serial number preceded with a C. When I checked he serial number it is higher than those listed as manufactured in the 1954-56 time frame and lower than those listed for 1957. What gives? Are the numerical ranges approximates or how does this happen?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
21,086 Posts
Welcome to the forums from the Wiregrass! I suppose you are referring to the serial number tables in the Standard Catalog of S&W. Yes they are sometimes incomplete where one has to interpolate. That is particularly true for guns made after 1980 when the 3 alpha, 4 numeric serials began. The published numbers are approximate to date because S&W only tracked shipping dates. Although the tables may say a gun was made in 1970, it may have sat in inventory and not shipped for months or years later. If the .38 M&P you are looking at does not have a MOD number inside the yoke area, it was made before 1958 when S&W began stamping mod numbers there. Some of us have personal databases and track certain models. Also, some of us have access to databases maintained by the S&W Collector's Association and can narrow down shipping dates. So, if you are willing to share the gun's serial number or at least the alpha prefix followed by 3 digits and xxx out the last 3, we may be able to give you a more precise approximate date.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
12,436 Posts
According to the S&W catalog the pre model 12 was introduced into the production line in 1952 at around s/n C223,999. They were numbered concurretly along with the pre models 10, 11 and 45 in a serial number sequence that went to C999,999 and then started over with a "D" prefix in 1967. Did you check the 1952, 1953 time frames?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
According to the S&W catalog the pre model 12 was introduced into the production line in 1952 at around s/n C223,999. They were numbered concurretly along with the pre models 10, 11 and 45 in a serial number sequence that went to C999,999 and then started over with a "D" prefix in 1967. Did you check the 1952, 1953 time frames?
Yes, the serial number is a higher number than what I have seen published for the 1954-56 time frame but lower than the starting number for 1957. I was just uncertain about what that indicates, if anything. The serial number is C352xxx. Any information or opinion is appreciated.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
21,086 Posts
Your gun was likely made in 1955. Yes, you can post pictures from an iPhone. Go to the App store and install Tapatalk, it's a free app that will dun you to pay for an upgrade but you don't have to. It will limit the size of your pictures but that's ok. Upgrade if you aren't satisfied. You can take pictures while posting and they will be attached to your post.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15,671 Posts
A few years ago, on another forum, someone posted a nice M&P along with the factory letter they had for it. I noticed the serial number was near mine so I wrote it down. According to this guys letter, his gun with serial number C3271xx was shipped on May 24, 1955.
My revolver is s/n C3414xx and is 14,241 revolvers shipped beyond the one in the letter.
If yours is s/n 352000 it would have been shipped 24800 beyond the lettered gun, so the question really becomes, How many revolvers could they make in roughly 6 months. If they could make and ship 4150 guns per month then it is very likely it was made late in 55, in which case it may have not have shipped until early 56.
I have never looked for production numbers but have little doubt that S&W was turning out at LEAST 4150 guns per month, since that is only not even 50,000 per year. If they were turning out 4150 revolvers per month, then mine would have probably been made(shipped) in Aug of 55 and the OP's in late Dec of 55 or early January
Of course this assumes that they could make 4150 of the guns per month that were running with a C prefix at the time, in addition to N and J frames which were in a different sequence, and that there was the same continuous output per month of guns. It seems likely they made the different guns in batches at time, like maybe spend a couple months straight making K frames, then switch to N frames for a period, then J etc. ,, but I am not sure of that. They could have spent the first 6 months of 55 making K frames, then not made another all year long, or had one line making K frames all the time and another line that made N frames sometimes, J frames other times.
 
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
Top