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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Howdy! Newbie here. I started my search several days ago to try to determine approximate age of my S&W .38 M&P...Eventually I ended up here and joined a bit ago. I've only seen a couple references to guns with numbers only and their relative possible age. I think the oldest was six numbers starting with "4". I have a five number s/n with matches on the butt, cylinder and barrel flat. that number is a 374xx. All the more common features on the gun itself - swing out cylinder, 6-shot capacity, tapered 4" barrel, half-moon front sight/fixed rear sight, S&W logo on the right side. Non original (ie rubber) grips. any ideas on age would be appreciated. I bought it in '98 from a gun shop in the state - mostly at the time for rattlers and rats with cci shot shells, which have performed excellently.
Thanks for any help!
 

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Model of 1902 1st change. Made in the 1903-04 timeframe
 

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Welcome to the forums from the Wiregrass! Does the caliber marking on the barrel include U.S. Service CTG? Is it a round butt? If not, as Jonesy says, there must be a letter in front of the serial number...like C or D. It may be separated from the numbers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks all!...No letter, and I see the same serial number as mentioned in three different places. I thought it was approaching the century mark. Here are pics that might help...since I'm also not clear on the butt. THANKS AGAIN.
497051
497052
 

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All I can say is it has a letter in front of the number part of the serial. Your extractor rod is post WWII+ and the front sight is late 1940s to mid-1950's. It has to have a C prefix. Show us pictures of the complete gun and take off the grip clip and post a picture of the serial number.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Model of 1902 1st change. Made in the 1903-04 timeframe
Thanks. I think you hit it correctly. From what Ive seen on some utube channels. Maybe the ejector was changed. Who knows...
All I can say is it has a letter in front of the number part of the serial. Your extractor rod is post WWII+ and the front sight is late 1940s to mid-1950's. It has to have a C prefix. Show us pictures of the complete gun and take off the grip clip and post a picture of the serial number.
I appreciate your opinion, but its as I said - 3 different places matching 5-digit s/n and NO PREFIX LETTER on any. Maybe I'll mess with it more later. for now I'm down with a bit of the crud.
All I can say is it has a letter in front of the number part of the serial. Your extractor rod is post WWII+ and the front sight is late 1940s to mid-1950's. It has to have a C prefix. Show us pictures of the complete gun and take off the grip clip and post a picture of the serial number.
Welcome to the forums from the Wiregrass! Does the caliber marking on the barrel include U.S. Service CTG? Is it a round butt? If not, as Jonesy says, there must be a letter in front of the serial number...like C or D. It may be separated from the numbers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks. I think you hit it correctly. From what Ive seen on some utube channels. Maybe the ejector was changed. Who knows...

I appreciate your opinion, but its as I said - 3 different places matching 5-digit s/n and NO PREFIX LETTER on any. Maybe I'll mess with it more later. for now I'm down with a bit of the crud.
Welcome to the forums from the Wiregrass! Does the caliber marking on the barrel include U.S. Service CTG? Is it a round butt? If not, as Jonesy says, there must be a letter in front of the serial number...like C or D. It may be separated from the numbers.
"It may be separated from the numbers." caught my eyes this morning when they werent clouded by sinus infection...under the barrel (flat) and on the back of the cyl (both extremely small digits) I do see the c stamped...the cyl stamp is over on the next bore...but your mention of "separated" made me curious. However there is no evidence of the letter on the butt stamp and there is plenty of room for it to be there, as the grip clip pins are in line with the 4th of the 5 numbers in the s/n...Thanks for the help.
 

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I'm sorry you aren't feeling well. When you get better, post some pictures of the cylinder face, the barrel flat and the butt of the grip frame.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Amazing what comes up from scrubbing with a scotch-brite cloth, tho nothing new on the butt.
497185
497186
497187

Just researched the info on the barrel bottom to read "Century Arms International St. Albans, VT". The beat goes on...
 

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Yup. Can't say it's the first serial number to be missing the prefix letter. This one was shipped in 1948 or early '49, well before the GCA of 1968 which precluded reuse of serial numbers. Technically, your SN should be just 37467 even though the barrel and cylinder show the C. As you probably already know, Century Arms was the importer that brought it back into the country. It would be interesting to hear where it has been and what it has seen.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Yup. Can't say it's the first serial number to be missing the prefix letter. This one was shipped in 1948 or early '49, well before the GCA of 1968 which precluded reuse of serial numbers. Technically, your SN should be just 37467 even though the barrel and cylinder show the C. As you probably already know, Century Arms was the importer that brought it back into the country. It would be interesting to hear where it has been and what it has seen.
Don't know how accurate my math is, but from another site showing total # of guns in a 5 year span ending in '52, it seemed like mine fell into the first year grouping... shipped in '48(?) would have made it manufactured in '47(?)... and interestingly, '47 is my birth year.... Of course, no way of knowing this when I bought it in about 1998... as there was hardly an internet at the time...Again, thanks for your help.

Serial Numbers Issued:
"C" #1 to "C" #233,999………….....1948 – 1952

Indicates a 5 year run beginning in 1948 -

total - 233,999 div by 5 = 46, 800 units per year...

my s/n is 37467. Possibly appeared in the first run of 1948, and just as possibly manufactured 1947.
 
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