The L.C. Smith Collectors Association
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Re: Ideal grade ID markings
Those markings indicate that the components of your gun have matching serial numbers, a good thing. The "FW" stamp denotes that your gun was build on a "Featherweight" frame, "S" in that "FWS" serial number prefix is a production era code and denotes that your gun was manufactured by the LC Smith Gun Co which was owned by Marlin in 1949. The Marlin Firearms co purchased the Hunter Arms Company out of bankruptcy in 1945 and formed a new corporation, which is why those barrels are not marked Hunter Arms. The fact that your serial number does not include an "E" prefix (as in "FWSE") denotes that your gun is a manual extractor models; post 1913 guns shipped with auto-ejectors have the auto ejector option code "E" included in the serial number prefix. Hope this helps your understanding as these stamps can be confusing.