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S&W Model 19, .357 serial number question Have a Model 19 in .357.I am trying to find a year and month of manufacture. Under the grips, on the frame, there is a stamped 3 902xx.Smith & Wesson played a major part in the development and success of the cartridge and revolver that went with it.Firearms writer and experimenter Philip Sharpe is credited for its development during the 1930s when police agencies were asking for a more powerful round.Look up the pistol's full serial number -- including all letters and numbers -- in the back section of the "Standard Catalog of Smith & Wesson" book.These listings inform you of the pistol's date of manufacture, based on the serial number.Locate the serial number on the left side of the pistol's frame.

Others are on the rear of the frame, above the gun's grip.

As of March 2011, Smith & Wesson offers approximately 110 different pistols of varied designs and features. Locate either "Smith & Wesson, Springfield, Massachusetts" or "Smith & Wesson; Houlton, ME" stamped on the barrel.

This identification proves that the handgun is an authentic Smith & Wesson pistol.

S&W's Dan Wesson agreed to produce a new revolver that would handle "high-intensity" .38 Special loads, but only if Winchester would develop a new cartridge.

Elmer Keith, a well known author and wildcatter at the time, was experimenting with hand loading .38 Special ammunition beyond their original specifications, taking advantage of the newer and better designed firearm frames and metallurgy, and also played a major role in the development of the .357 Magnum. Border Patrol, famous gunfighter, and noted firearms and shooting skills writer Bill Jordan consulted with Smith & Wesson on the design and characteristics of the Model 19.

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