How to Use the Smith and Wesson Serial Numbers Database to Find Your Gun's Model and Date of Manufacture
If you own a Smith and Wesson firearm, you might be curious about its history and specifics. One of the easiest ways to learn more about your gun is to use the Smith and Wesson serial numbers database, which can provide valuable information such as the model, caliber, and date of manufacture of your firearm. In this article, we will show you how to use the Smith and Wesson serial numbers database to find your gun's model and date of manufacture.
What is the Smith and Wesson Serial Numbers Database
The Smith and Wesson serial numbers database is a collection of online resources that can help you identify and date your Smith and Wesson firearm based on its serial number. The serial number is a unique code that is stamped on the metal frame of your gun near the trigger guard[^1^]. It usually consists of a letter prefix followed by a series of numbers. The letter prefix indicates the model or series of your gun, while the numbers indicate the year or range of years that it was manufactured.
Some of the online resources that you can use to access the Smith and Wesson serial numbers database are:
Smith & Wesson's website: You can enter your serial number on Smith & Wesson's website under \"Support\" and \"Serial Number Lookup\"[^1^] to get basic information about your gun, such as the model name, caliber, capacity, barrel length, finish, sights, and grips. However, this service may not be accurate for older guns or discontinued models.
Standard Catalog of Smith & Wesson: This is a comprehensive book by Supica and Nahas that covers the history and details of every Smith & Wesson firearm ever made[^4^]. It includes tables of manufacture dates based on serial numbers for each model or series. You can access this book in digital form on a computer or smartphone for easy reference.
S&W Historical Foundation: Starting in January 2022, you will be able to request an historian's letter from the S&W Historical Foundation for a fee[^2^]. This letter will provide you with detailed information about your gun's original configuration, shipping date, destination, and any special features or modifications. This service is especially useful for collectors or owners of rare or antique guns.
How to Find Your Gun's Model and Date of Manufacture Using the Smith and Wesson Serial Numbers Database
To find your gun's model and date of manufacture using the Smith and Wesson serial numbers database, you need to follow these steps:
Locate your serial number: Depending on the type and model of your gun, the serial number may be located on different parts of the frame. For example, revolvers may have the serial number on the inside of the frame, the bottom of the butt, or in the yoke area[^3^]. Pistols may have the serial number on the side of the frame[^3^]. Sigma series may have the serial number on the frame under the front of the handgun[^3^]. SW99 may have the serial number on the frame at the rear of the pistol[^3^]. You can contact Smith & Wesson's customer care department if you need help locating your serial number.
Determine your letter prefix: The letter prefix before the serial number indicates the model or series of your gun. For example, a K-frame Military & Police revolver may have a K prefix, while an N-frame .44 Magnum revolver may have an N prefix. Some models may have more than one letter prefix, such as SV for later Victory models or CS for Centennial Stainless models. You can consult the Standard Catalog of Smith & Wesson book to find out what letter prefix corresponds to what model or series.
Look up your manufacture date: The numbers after the letter prefix indicate the year or range of years that your gun was manufactured. You can use either Smith & Wesson's website or the Standard Catalog of Smith & Wesson book to look up your manufacture date based on your serial number. For example, if your serial number is K123456, you can 061ffe29dd