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It seems every for sale ad that does not contain a date code gets asked shortly thereafter ,"what is the date code?". What is the significance of the date code? Is it just a gauge for how old a gun is? A LOT of HKs seem to be safe queens so I don't see it as a measure of how "used" a gun is. USPs for example are pretty much unchanged since introduction, so what difference does it make if it's a KK or a AF? Just wondering, I almost never see anyone inquire about date codes on other brand guns for sale.
 

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Lots of different reasons to know the date code. Here are a few things that a date code can determine or narrow down:

In the case of 91s, 93s, & 94s, the finish the gun may have (blue/grey vs black)?
In the case of MK23 pistols, the date code may determine the finish.
For a 93, the date code could determine if it possibly has a 1X7 twist barrel.
The date code can determine what markings are on the gun (some people don't like some of the newer markings on the handguns).
The date code may determine if a 94 is a DOJ gun or if a 94 is a 12 flute barrel or a 16 flute barrel.
The date code may determine if a gun is a SACO import vs Alrlington vs Chantilly vs Sterling import (it may matter to someone).
The date code may determine if it has one of the newer prefix serial numbers (I like those myself).
I'm not sure, but it's always possible that some people live in states that banned ownership of a specific gun if it was made after a certain date?
Those are a few that come to mind.
 

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The main reason I ask for them is the number of units imported into the US varied year to year. With the 9 series rifles, the early 70's saw very few imported while 1981 appears to have the most imported. I'm trying to collect one of each year for all the 9 series rifles.
 

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- Some USPf are so old that one cannot upgrade the trigger to the LEM or Match.
I have 3 in such condition :( (however I have the bigger mag release paddles :D which I love!)
- ditto on the age of night sights
 
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