Looking for manufacture date for a S & W

Discussion in 'Technical Questions & Information' started by MichiganShootist, Mar 11, 2012.

  1. MichiganShootist

    MichiganShootist New Member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2011
    Messages:
    21
    Location:
    North Central Michigan
    An old neighbor asked me give him some help getting information on a very rough S & W break action revolver he has.

    It is not in shooting condition. It has a badly pitted and peeling chrome finish and is a 5 shot in 38 S & W caliber. I believe it is a Double Action 5th model based on what I have found in the Schwing catalog. It has S & W black plastic grips, a pinned front sight blade, an automatic ejector, and a flat back on the trigger guard.

    I'd like to pin down the year of manufacture for him. The serial number (stamped on the bottom of the grip frame) is 164401

    Any help on the year it was made or confirmation of the model would be appreciated.

    Thanks a lot.

    Mark
  2. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2009
    Messages:
    6,397
    That serial number would not jibe with either the .38 DA Fifth Model or the .38 Safety Fifth Model. Going by the serial number, and the fact that the safety models had a concealed hammer and no flat on the trigger guard, I think that gun is the .38 Double Action, Third Model. Some 203,700 were made from 1884 to 1895 serial numbered 119001 to 322700. 164401 would be toward the earlier date, so that one was probably made around 1886. Value even in good condition is low, since so many were made. I would doubt that gun has any real value at all; cleaned up and repaired as necessary it would be a usable gun, but those old guns are subject to breakage and not reliable.

    At best, it might be trade material on a newer gun.

    Jim
  3. MichiganShootist

    MichiganShootist New Member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2011
    Messages:
    21
    Location:
    North Central Michigan
    The owner doesn't care about selling as it's obviously not worth much. He's more interested in finding the date of manufacturer so he can figure out which relative probably owned it.

    The picture I have found in the Ned Schwing catalog shows a solid extention (or filler plate) behind the trigger on the 5th model but not on the second or third model.

    I've about decided that it's a 4th model but that one is susposed to have 38 S & W Cartridge on the barrel and this gun is lacking that marking. So I'm not at all sure.
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