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  1. #1
    Bob Wright's Avatar
    Bob Wright is online now Senior Member
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    S & W Model numbers and "dash numbers"

    The Smith & Wesson Model number is only a fairly recent innovation to their catalog. Previously, Smiths were known only by the name of the Model. The Model 19, for example, was cataloged as "Combat Magnum." The Model 10 was "Military and Police." The factory model number was never publicized. It was made up of frame size, bore diameter, and the letter "T" if target sighted. The .44 Special Model 1950 Target carried the model number N430T. "N" framed, .430" bore, Target sights.

    I'm not sure when this changed, but seems to have been in the 'sixties that the ".357 Magnum" became the Model 27.

    When minor changes were made to the basic model, the "dash number" system came into use. The "dash number" follows no pattern nor sequence from model to model. That is, "-2", does not have the same meaning from one gun to the other. The dash number was used to differentiate changes such as the change in cylinder release latches, round to square butt, square to rounded tang rear sights, etc. The dash number takes a book to compile all the minor changes made in each model.

    Bob Wright

  2. #2
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    Smith & Wesson began stamping model numbers on the frames of all its revolvers beginning in 1957.

    The dash number takes a book to compile all the minor changes made in each model.
    Such a book exists. It's the Standard Catalog of Smith & Wesson, 3rd Edition by Jim Supica and Richard Nahas. It's the authority on S&W. Every S&W collector should have it.

  3. #3
    Bob Wright's Avatar
    Bob Wright is online now Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Captain Crunch View Post
    Smith & Wesson began stamping model numbers on the frames of all its revolvers beginning in 1957.

    Knew it hadn't been too long ago.

    Bob Wright

  4. #4
    Baldy's Avatar
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    I here that's the S&W bible if your into collecting. I think it sells for about $50.00 plus shipping. Mr.Supica also has auctions where he sells guns and collections.

  5. #5
    hberttmank's Avatar
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    Yeah, it's only been fifty years since S&W started stamping the model number.

  6. #6
    Revolver's Avatar
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    Smith & Wesson began assigning model numbers in 1957.

  7. #7
    jimg11 is offline Member
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    Thumbs up Standard Catalog of S&W 3rd edition

    You can get this book on Amazon and the usual discounters for about 30 plus shipping. I got a signed first shipment from Jim Supica for $40 plus $5 ship.
    you cannot get first shipment but I think Jim signs the ones that he sells.
    http://www.armchairgunshow.com/scsw.htm

    To order call Jennifer, 913-492-3000, 9-4 Central time, weekdays

    or mail check to Old Town Station, Ltd., POB 14040, Lenexa KS, 66285

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