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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What’s the best way of dating an old S&W revolver?
I have a .38 Special S&W. On the left side of the barrel it appears to read “GB S&W Special”
“U.S. Service CTG’s”

On the right side it reads “Smith & Wesson Springfield Mass USA
PAT’D Apr 19 89, March 27 94, May 02 95, July 26 96,Aug 04 96, Dec 22 96, Oct 4 98, Oct 8 91, Dec 17 01”

The serial starts with 55xxx
 

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American
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S&W forum has lots of oldsters that think plastic is only for cheap children's toys. They eat stuff like your request up and love it.
 

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Man of Myth and Legend
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Are you sure thats 38 special? It sounds like it might be a 38 S&W cartridge. A touch shorter than a 38sp but can often still chamber the 38sp, with a touch of difficulty and more than a touch of dangerousness.

Be careful until you confirm it whichever way it is.

Nemo
 

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American
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You put up a pic - there are lots of old fudds very happy today. Good for you. Glad they are helping and not telling you "It would be better with a pic...." over and over and over again. ;)

You got year of make, number made, caliber used, the version yours is, and some other stuff - all within 40 minutes. BTW, nice old pistol.
 
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Man of Myth and Legend
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I hope you noted one reply mentioned the Letter of Authenticity and date of shipping note from S&W. Spend the $75 to get it and you will enhance the value by $100-$150 once you have it.

Nemo
 

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Man of Myth and Legend
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Post #14 in that thread.

Nemo

http://smith-wessonforum.com/139896695-post14.html

Welcome to the forum.

You have a nice old war horse with tons of history we'll never know.

As you discovered, accurate reading of old gun roll marks and serial #s or even existence of them, especially on pencil numbered stocks, requires magnification, bright light, cleaning, to provide correct information about the gun.

Th best way to date all S&W firearms is from a good book; the Standard Catalog of S&W, 4th edition being one of the best, and on Amazon.

For an exact shipping date and authenticity letter, one can be obtained from the S&W Historian for $75.
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