Because of the Dan Wesson interchangeable barrel system, when the guns were sold, the barrel size and type was usually part of the model designation. Obviously this would change if the user changed the barrel, but it is still an interesting part of the Dan Wesson equation.
1). Standard barrels having the solid rib without the heavy underlug were usually designated by the barrel length alone.
For example, as per the information posted above, a 357 magnum with adjustable sights is a model 15.
The same gun with the standard 8” barrel becomes a model 15-8
2). Barrels with the vent rib get a V prefix.
So our model 15 with an 8” vent rib barrel becomes a model 15-V8
3). The Heavy Underlug adds an H to the designation
So a Heavy vent rib 8” equipped gun becomes a model 15-VH8
4). The slots cut on some of the silhouette shrouds add an S to the end.
The most common was the 357 Supermag model 40 (or 740 stainless)
So a model 740 stainless with the 8” vent rib and slotted shroud is a model 740-V8S
Yes, there were even some heavy underlug slotted guns (don’t know why)
So then a 740 vent rib, heavy underlug, slotted shroud gun is a model 740-VH8S
V = Vent Rib
H = Heavy Underlug
2,4,6,8,10,12,15 = barrel length (12″ and 15″ were only available for 357 magnum model 15 and 715)
S = Slotted Shroud
Also note the barrel length is the actual length of the barrel, from the forcing cone to the muzzle crown. The shroud length is obviously less because of the area the barrel screws through the frame.