Smith & Wesson Five-Screw - Four Screw - Three Screw
The above S&W revolver is a "Five-Screw"--- four screws retain the sideplate and one more screw, in the front of the triggerguard, allows for adjustment of the trigger. To become a "Four-Screw", the upper sideplate screw---as noted by the arrow---was deleted
The next screw to be deleted was the trigger adjustment screw in the front of the triggerguard, circa 1961. A S&W revolver, missing the upper sideplate screw, but retaining this trigger adjustment screw, is a "Four Screw".
A S&W revolver, missing the forward trigger-adjustment screw is a "Three-Screw".
Five-Screw - Four Screw - Three Screw - Terms relating to Smith & Wesson double-action revolvers. The five screws were: four retaining the sideplate and one at the front of the triggerguard. From the introduction of the Hand Ejector in 1905, there were five screws. Then, around 1955 S&W deleted the top sideplate screw. Around 1961, they deleted the triggerguard screw. Collectors find cheapening of fine products irritating. Consequently, all other things being equal, with Smith & Wesson revolvers, the more screws, the better.
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