Sunday, August 23, 2009


Something I figured out recently that I should have figured out long before.

The way Smith and Wesson's numbering system generally works. Generaaly.

I have a 686-3. Does that mean their were almost 700 models of revolver before that? Not really.

That first 6 means it is made out of steel (stainless genrally.) A 2 digit number is the classic model number and made of regular old steel. Like blued Model 10's or 36's.

A three digit model number that begins with a 3 is made out of scandium alloy. A 4 at the beginning is aluminum.

So when I am looking for a 617, I want the clasic .22 firing model 17 but made with stainless steel.

So what is a 642? It's a small matte silver snubbie, but isn't stainless steel. There is a model 42 that is matte black in color, also made of aluminum. So I don't have the numbering system figured out entirely.

Oh and the '-3' after 686 on mine? I think that is an improvement over and earlier generation. There was a recall on -1s and no dash 686's. Or that is the theory.

Neat site though, Check it out.


Bob said...

The 642 does have stainless barrel and cylinder, even though the frame is aluminum, thus the "6" designator for a stainless gun applies.

NMM1AFan said...

Go to the library and see if they have the Standard Catalog of Smith & Wesson.

It will answer all your questions!


Keith said...

That sums up everything I know, except that N-frames are 20-29, except for the 544, a 5 inch blue steel .44-40, and the 10mm's and .41 magnums.