Smith And Wesson Serial Number

Posted By admin On 26/11/21
  • The Serial Number should be N605XXX.Block numbers N580,000-N700,000 was used by S&W for their 'N' frame revolvers in 1979. Source (s): Block serial number list I obtained from S&W 10 years ago.
  • According to the good book your serial number, M115701 falls in the range of 1978-1979. I'm sure the experts will be along who can pin it down even closer.

The Smith & Wesson.38’s produced between 1940 and 1945 had serial numbers with a V prefix and were designated as the Victory Model. Navy and Marine aviators carried the Victory Model as a side arm. Dating a Smith & Wesson Revolver: This list is merely a general guide and not meant to be exact. There is some dispute regarding the dates on some serial numbers. Your gun may actually be a year off from what is listed. The precise shipping date as 'lettered' can be several years off depending on model.


From 1910 onward Smith and Wesson Hand Ejector revolvers came in target variations equipped with adjustable sights.Rimfire revolvers built on the .32 frame were considered heavyweights and the first serious effort toward a .22 built on the 38 (K) frame did not come about until 1931.The high velocity .22 long rifle cartridge had become popular and the company advertised the new K-22 “Outdoorsman” as being specifically designed for the high speed round.

It was marketed to hunters and outdoorsmen in a climate that could not have been less ideal.The Great Depression was in full swing and there was a serious effort to include handguns in the prohibitive tax and registration structure of the Federal Firearms act of 1932 and 34.Nevertheless the K 22 was an immediate success with well-heeled sportsmen as well as police and military training programs.Supica –Standard Catalog of Smith and Wessonrecords that an Army team took several K 22s to the 1932 Olympics providing an early launch into the mainstream target circuit.By 1940, shooters or agencies had bought 19,500 of the first model and a second model was in the catalogues as “A replica of that favorite, the .38 M&P Target Revolver” (Stoeger-Shooter’s Bible).By this time, it had become the K 22 ‘Masterpiece’ and was firmly identified with organized target shooting.Wartime rationing stopped production in 1941 with something over 1,000 units of the second models out the door.

Post-War production resumed in 1946 with the K-22 becoming part of a target set including the K-38 and the redesigned, Post-War K-32. The revolver assumed the profile that would define the Smith Hand Ejectors until 1989.Variations abound and generally follow the evolution of the Smith Hand Ejectors as a family.The defining theme of the K 22 target revolvers and the current 617s is the intent of their purchasers to have the best of all possible rimfire revolvers.

There is a long- standing tradition that regards each model variation as a poor imitation of its immediate predecessor. In the case of the K-22, this occurred each time the side plate or frame shed another screw, in 1957 when the model names gave way to the number system and in the late 20th Century when the classic ribbed barrels disappeared in favor of the heavy under-lugs. Throughout history, it has been just possible to acquire a substandard K-22 and there have been periods when workmanship really suffered.There were legitimate complaints about quality control during the Vietnam War Era. In the ‘70s, many revolvers felt like a handful of gravel had been trapped under the side plate. In the main though, the K-22 by any name and from any decade, provides its own justification for pride of ownership.

SmithSmith And Wesson Serial Number

Optimum Accuracy

Post World War II, the factory promised that each K Series target revolver would group five rounds inside of 1.5” at 50 yards.My heavy lugged 617-3 from 1999 will demonstrate this level of accuracy with a good selection of premium small game and varmint loads.Mounted with its Weaver 1.5-4x LER Variable, it regularly produces sub one inch accuracy at 25 yards and will deliver CCI Mini-Mags, Velocitors, Stinger, Aquilla QuikShok and Remington Golden Bullet Hollow Point into the magic 1.5” at 50.My. 1947 K-22 and the Model 17-5 from 1988 are not a bit ammunition sensitive and regularly produce .9” to 1.1” groups at 25 yards with the same list of ammunition.Experience tells me that the scoped gun will shoot closer than I can hold.I have also learned that my iron sight groups are forty to fifty percent larger than they would be shooting with a scope. They would undoubtedly meet the 1.5” standard from a machine rest.If there is any advantage to using premium target ammunition, my shooting ability is not good enough to demonstrate it.

It’s the Action

While it’s not unusual to find a Ruger or Taurus that will shoot equivalent bench groups, the out-of-the-box action of the K-22 is legend. The smart owner will shoot his K-22/17/617 a bit before deciding any work is needed and then will usually find that the best course is to leave the side plate screws unturned. The crisp single action let off and the smoothness of the double action gives the shooter the maximum opportunity to translate the indwelling accuracy of the revolver to success on the range or in the field.


Smith And Wesson Manufacture Year

Early in my K-22 shooting career, I placed quite a bit of importance on the advantages of the added weight and muzzle heaviness of the later models.My 1947 K-22 weighs 38 oz and has a 40-ounce trigger pull. When I first got it, I was amazed how often a seemingly perfect release would land my shot wide of the mark. Familiarity levels the field however, and the single action off-hand scores are as good and easily shot as my other K –frames.The 8 3/8” Model. 17 weighs 48oz and has a 52-ounce trigger.The wide trigger, ideal sight picture and long sight radius make for reliable and sometimes amazing double and single action target work.

The Intermediate weight 617 at 45 ounces with its 6” heavy under-lug barrel was a fine tool for practicing double action shooting. The revolver has fired over 3,000 rounds –the bulk of it in the double action mode. It remains in near-new condition. Any deficiency inherent in the Metal Injection Molded action parts has yet to emerge.The trigger has stayed constant at 56 ounces.The Weaver Scope brings the weight up to 62 ounces but, far from being a bench queen, the big revolver keeps the off-hand shots on the 25- yard center about as well as the other two.

The K-22 and its extended family has outlived its role as a state of the art competitive and training tool. The target shooters are now using self loading single purpose lead dispensers while the police are packing tactical plastic and training with simunition and computer programs.The K-22 is now in the province of those enthusiasts who appreciate a handgun as much for what it is as for what it can do.

Smith And Wesson Serial Number Dates

For in-depthinformation on models, dates, serial numbers and variationssee“The Standard Catalog of Smith and Wesson, Second Edition” by Jim Supica and Richard Nahas (Krause Publications 715 445 2214).

Smith And Wesson Serial Number Database


The definitive work on the lore of the revolver, customizing and general information, “The Custom Revolver” by Hamilton S. Bowen, available from Bowen Classic Arms. Contact BCA on the Web at, or phone (865) 984-3583.

Mike Cumpston

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