Dating sw model 10
Most likely this took place in the 1950s when the military tests were still under way. If it is in high graded condition, its value is considerable - certainly well into 4 figures.
That would be my guess - but please note that is all it is. To get maximum value, the letter will definitely be an enhancement.
A few of these were used for test guns, particularly for the anticipated military orders, which never materialized.
The rest were stored in the vault, where they sat for about 10 years.
All those sold through normal distribution channels had much higher numbers than your #39. It went to a distributor who did lots of engraving and that may be where your gun received its decorations.
I strongly suspect, from what you've said, that your example was a special issue gun and it received an out-of-sequence serial number. If done at the factory, I highly suspect the plating is nickel. I would strongly urge you to purchase a factory authentication letter for this gun.
Regards, JP I have the serial no 39 all steel...from the Walnut of the desk of Carl Hellstrom ...according to Jinks.ALso this seril no 39 model 39 is only factory chrome all steel I have ever seen..original box..this early or late issue? To address your question, I believe there were only 1,000 steel frames ever made.All were made early, but none were sold until 1966, as related in my earlier post. Your Pre-Model 39 shipped from the S&W factory in November, 1955.These were sold alongside of the alloy frames, which are far more common.
The serial number ranges of the steel frame guns are known and those guns can be identified with this information.
If you provide the serial number from your pistol, I can tell you what year it was actually manufactured.