Most of the Stevens models from the 1911 period were manufactured without the prefix. Stevens offered the Model 311 from 1909-1916 with either a plain serial number or no serial number at all. Later models of the 311 saw a serial number prefix as they became more popular.
In 1920, Savage decided to change production of the Model 311 to something different. They also adopted their own serial number system for the Model 520 instead of continuing to use the old prefixes. The serial number block used by Savage from 1920-1948 is the same as the older Westinghouse serial number block. The only addition was the A at the end of the block which indicates a change of ownership. This serial number block makes them easier to identify when buying on Gun Broker or eBay. Gun Broker and eBay will show a listing as Model number 520 but when you get to the actual listing it will show the serial number as 520A. The listing for this gun may show 520 or 520A. This is intentional and you can assume that this is what is correct.
From 1916-1920 the Model 311 was produced using a different manufacturing method. Most of these guns were produced without the serial prefix. Only a few were produced with the prefix number (noted as an A in front of the serial number).
This change coincided with the transfer of ownership of the company to New England Westinghouse. Between the early Westinghouse era and the sale to Savage in 1920, production of the Model 311 continued using the same serial number prefix as well as the original type of serial number block but with an A at the end of the block. The A at the end of the block indicates the transition from Westinghouse to Savage production.
The 512C was the first double-barreled shotgun available with a pistol grip. They started making them in 1928. The 512C has a 5-inch barrel and a 6-inch barrel. The 512C was a 12-gauge. It is also available in.410 and.357 magnum. The first 512C serial number is 99840.
The Smith & Wesson Model 512 was the company's first double-barrel shotgun. Model 512A started production in 1928. The 512A has a 5-inch barrel and a 6-inch barrel. The 512A is a 12-gauge. It is also available in.410 and.357 magnum. The 512A was a safety model because it has one trigger and it doesn't have a pistol grip. It also has a rigid stock with an extended forearm. The first 512A serial number is 75726. 827ec27edc