Make: Smith & Wesson
Model: 520 ‘The .357 Magnum Military & Police’
Serial Number: N558681
Year of Manufacture: 1979 (The Standard Catalog of Smith & Wesson states the first year was 1980, we got this DOM from S&W’s customer service)
Caliber: .357 Magnum & .38 Special
Action Type: 6-Shot, Double Action / Single Action, Sing-Out Fluted Cylinder Revolver.
Markings: The left side of the barrel is marked “SMITH & WESSON”, the right side is marked “S.&W. 357 MAGNUM”, the right side plate is marked with S&W’s trademark logo, the right side of the frame is marked with the four line Marcas Registradas. The yoke is marked “X46578 / A21”, the yoke cut is marked “MOD. 520”. The rear face of the cylinder, covered by the ejector star, is marked “558681”. The left side of the grip frame is marked “A21 / X4578 / A14 / A18”, the butt is marked with the serial number, the right side is “F” in circle struck over “S” in circle, “4598” and “J” in triangle. The rear face of the cylinder is marked “Y”. The grip panels have gold-colored S&W medallions. The end label of the box reflects the serial number, barrel length and finish of this revolver. A sticker on the opposite side designates the following: “5200014031 / 357 NYSP 4IN”.
Barrel Length: 4”, Pinned with Shrouded Ejector Rod.
Sights / Optics: The front sight is a black serrated ramp blade that is fixed to a rise in the barrel; the barrel is finished matte with a flat top for glare reduction. The rear sight is a square notch in the top of the frame, sitting before a “U” channel.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The grips are ‘PC style walnut grips’ (Standard Catalog of Smith & Wesson) with smooth areas bordering the checkered flanks, finished with gold-colored S&W medallions. The panels have small splinter losses on the edges as photographed, with sharp checkers showing infrequent factory variation in depth. The butt of both grips have shallow compression marks. The grips rate in about Fine Plus overall condition.
Type of Finish: Matte & Polished Blue with Case Colored Trigger & Hammer
Finish Originality: Factory Original
Bore Condition: The bore is bright and the rifling is sharp. There is no erosion in the bore.
Overall Condition: This handgun retains about 97% of its metal finish. The bluing shows variation in depth as the revolver left from the factory. The cylinder has a drag line that hasn’t passed through the finish, the firewall has a drag mark from the ejector rod. There are shallow compressions on the top of the barrel’s low rib. The screw heads are sharp. The markings are crisp. Overall, this handgun rates in about Excellent condition.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly. The cylinder is solid, with no measureable movement fore to aft or side to side and the timing is correct. The double and single action trigger pulls are smooth without hiccup. The barrel is pinned and the cylinder is counter-bored and fluted. We did not fire this handgun. As with all used firearms, a thorough cleaning may be necessary to meet your maintenance standards.
Box, Paperwork & Accessories: This revolver comes with its original, serialized two piece blue Bangor Punta cardboard box with the end label reflecting the serial number and configuration of this item. A sheet of S&W wax paper, ‘Caution’ card, ammunition pamphlet, registration card, cleaning rod, cleaning brush and their plastic bag are included. The factory box has edge roughing with some discoloration on the label, which has one corner peeled away from the box. The box and wax paper are in Very Good condition, the paperwork and cleaning gear in Excellent.
Our Assessment: From the Standard Catalog of Smith & Wesson, 3rd Edition, page 245: “Introduced in May of 1980. Double-action revolver built on the square butt N service frame…originally ordered for the New York State Police but never delivered. The only .357 Magnum manufactured on an N frame without target sights. Weight 40oz “N” serial range of N557750-N560860 with 3,000 manufactured in 1980.” This is a rare gem that has survived quite well. A call to S&W’s customer service hotline found that this revolver is on the books as 1979 production! About 97% of the finish remains; the cylinder has a drag line that has not crossed through the finish, the firewall has a drag line from the ejector rod, the bluing varies in depth in areas, mostly on the flanks of the frame. The stocks show splinter losses at the edges with sharp checkers but for small inconsistencies in checker depth from time to time. The bore is bright with very little evidence of use. It looks like this pistol was handled and stored far more than it was brought out to shoot with little evidence of use with live ammunition outside of the factory. This is a great addition to any Smith & Wesson or revolver collection. The original factory box, with reflective serial number, wax paper, factory documents, cleaning rod and brush are included as photographed.