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Discussion Starter #1
I've noticed in the past S&W revolvers have numbers stamped several places. Until now I really had no need to know which one was the serial number.

A buddy has a .357 CTG. Highway Patolman which appears to be a Model 27 without being identified as so. It has different numbers stamped on the butt, the crane and in the ejector rod recess in the under barrel lug. Which would be the one we use trying to determine the manufacture date?
 

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Model numbers are on the frame under the crane. They are usually in different depth and type face than the inspection numbers and you may need a magnifier. On my least ancient Smith, it is stamped "MOD 14-3" under what looks like some kind of inspection number. The serial number is on the bottom of the grip frame. The target grips cover this on the K-38, so I have to remove them to see it.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Thanks Nick and Marshal. If the crane recess is stamped with a model number it is so light he can't detect it , even with a magnafier. The butt number is 1155xx. Could anyone help with the date of manufacture?
 

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All Smith and Wesson revolvers (well, at least the hand ejectors) have a serial number on the butt. Newer S&Ws also have the SN inside the crane. It is possible the Highway Patrolman is pre model 28. If the gun is an N-frame and has a checkered topstrap, then its a Model 27. Unless I am mistaken, all the Model 28s were stamped Highway Patrolman on the barrel.
I think that is a very early Highway Patrolman (Mid-1950s). If you join smith-wessonforum.com, they can provide more info (they will demand pics, though, lol)


Andy
 

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Monty,

Is there a letter ahead of those numbers? There will most likely be a sizable gap between the letter and the numbers, but it is still part of the serial number. If it's an "S" then the date you're looking for is 1954 - 1955. If it's something else let me know and I'll take another look.
The Standard Catalog of Smith & Wesson has an extensive serial number listing in the rear of the book that makes it worth the price of admission IMO.
I belong to the S&W forum, and andy is right, you would get some help there too, but they will demand pictures. A picture or two would help if you can manage it!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for the replies. Jim read the numbers to me over the phone. However I'm planning on going up there this weekend and will take a look at it personally. I'll get back with y'all on what I see.

I'm technology challanged when it comes to posting pics. Do have a digital camera and the software for the computer but just haven't fooled with it yet. I'll take the camera, shoot some pics and try to post 'em. Prolly be back asking questions about that too! :D
 

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We have an old thread on posting pictures, here. I need to update it, though. The last version of the PDF instruction file I put up in that thread does not show the current interface for Image Shack or other picture hosting sites. Nonetheless, if you read the whole thread (several pages) you'll have a pretty good idea.
 

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. . . If the gun is an N-frame and has a checkered topstrap, then its a Model 27. Unless I am mistaken, all the Model 28s were stamped Highway Patrolman on the barrel. . . Andy
Also, the Model 27 comes in highly polished blue or nickel whereas the Model 28 has a matt blue finish.
 

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I didn't think there were any Pre M28 Highways. I have one of the last 28-2s, 1986 production. They sure don't make them like that anymore.

Take some white chalk along with you, it makes those numbers jump right out at you.
 

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They started making the Highway Patrolman in 1954 and started marking revolvers with model numbers in 1957.
Andy
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Okay I looked at the S&W this weekend. no model number anywhere I could find. The number stamped in the ejector rod cutout in the under barrel lug does start with an "S" and it closely resembles the serial number on the butt. The Serial number on the butt has no "S" prefix. The top strap and rib is not checkered however the rear sight top strap has a wavy pattern. By the way this revolver is either brushed nickle or stainless and in very good condition. It shoots very good with my WW semi-wadcutter handloads, not very well with Federal 158 gr. I'll work on getting some pics posted this evening.
 

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I guess we would really need to see pictures of the revolver to help you identify it. The revolver should have an S in front of the serial number if it's an N frame from that period. It should also say Highway Patrolman on the barrel and the serial number you gave if it had an S would place this revolver as a very early pre model 28 made in 1955. This revolver has probably been refinished since leaving the factory as there are only 5 known satin nickel Model 28 revolvers. There was also a run of 25 Florida Highway Patrol shiny nickel model 28 revolvers that the had F.H.P. on the frame that shipped in 1959 and they would have been model marked on the crane.

The other numbers on the gun are all manufacting assembly or inspection codes.

We need pictures :confused:
 
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