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1975 = E1976 = F8th Version - SN G018501 (1977) was the earliest I’ve found.1977 = G1978 = H1979 = IThe letter I was not used to my knowledge due to the similar # 1.All Classic Models Ended in 19791979 = J1980 = K1981 = L1982 = M1983 = N1984 = OThe letter O was used on a few reels but stopped due to the similar #0.1984 = P1985 = Q1986 = R1987 = S1988 = T (The last of the serial numbers.The first four versions of the 300 called “The Mitchell” at the time did not have the 300/301 model number engraved.The first two versions did not have serial numbers at all and the beginning of the 3rd version also did not have numbers.The classic cover plate models I’ve found to have the same SN sequence are the Mitchell 300/301, 300C/301C, 300DL/301DL, Otomatic, 330/331, Rapid, 350/351 400/401, 410/411, 410DL, 440/441, 440/441 Match, Garcia Mitchell Match (no 440/441 engraved), 500, 510 and 540.Other Classic Egg-Shape models made after 1970 were included in the same serial number sequence.
Matching Serial Number stickers started being placed on each box’s outer brown paper shipping wrap somewhere within this time period.
Keeping this in mind:1st Version – 1939/40 No Serial Numbers but a “unique” #5 is stamped on foot2nd Version – 1940/46 No Serial Numbers but various stamps on foot.3rd Version – 1946/49 No Serial Numbers but various stamps on foot but in 1949/52 Serial Numbers first begin within the 3rd version release.
These have a letter prefix starting with “A” followed by only 5 numeric digits.
Besides the serial number, they are easy to document as authentic with very unique parts within the Head including the Baffle Plate. This was the end of the standard half bail and the beginning of the 4th version with a full bail :4th Version 1951/52 – SN “C” Prefix was carried over with the transition period occurring in the very low “C” serial number prefix range.
The lowest number I've found on a common 4th version was #C00447 but the highest number found on a 3rd version with a prefix was #C03203.
Please note that these dates are the approximate date of manufacture at the factory and NOT date of receipt by the wholesaler, retailer or when it was first advertised or purchased.