In production since 1899, it is a six-shot double-action revolver with fixed sights.Over its long production run it has been available with barrel lengths of 2 in (51 mm), 3 in (76 mm), 4 in (100 mm), 5 in (130 mm), and 6 in (150 mm)..38 Special), a slightly elongated version of the .38 Long Colt cartridge with greater bullet weight (158 grains) and powder charge increased from 18 to 21 grains of gunpowder.These included major modification and simplification of the internal lockwork and the addition of a locking underlug on the barrel to engage the previously free-standing ejector rod.Barrel lengths were 4, 5, 6, and 6.5 inches with a rounded butt.Serial numbers for the Military & Police ranged from number 1 in the series to 20,975.
In 1899, the United States Army and Navy placed orders with Smith & Wesson for two to three thousand Model 1899 Hand Ejector revolvers chambered for the M1892 .38 Long Colt U. That same year, in response to reports from military sources serving in the Philippines on the relative ineffectiveness of the new cartridge, Smith & Wesson began offering the Military & Police in a new chambering, .38 S&W Special (a.k.a. The ranges are SUPER tight here, as SW really started making a ton of guns then, and most models shared serial ranges. If it has a one or two digit number, and THEN a "D," and THEN some more numbers, (meaning the "D" will be either the second or third character in the serial, and all other characters are numbers) it is from 1977-1983 After 1983 the serials get crazy and will be in the format of three letters, and then four numbers. These are model changes, meaning some feature or aspect of the gun changed a bit. If you find the 10-1, or 10-8, or 10-XY, you can narrow it down a bit further.Many people have questions about how to identify a S&W revolver and when was it made. Name Caliber Frame .22 Hand Ejector Ladysmith 22 Long M .22/32 Target 22 Long Rifle I .22 Outdoorsman 22 Long Rifle K .32 Hand Ejector (round Butt) 32 S&W Long I .32 Regulation Police (Square Butt) 32 S&W Long I .32-20 Hand Ejector 32-20 Win.