I bought a few of these when they came out about 20 yrs ago. Supposedly the S/N ranges were supposed to pick up where the 2nd Gen left off. Was looking at the S/N on my 1851 Navy, and it matched up with a 1st Gen made in 1853. Interesting coincidence! I've seen the flaking/pitting of the plating on other 3rd Gens--was that a common issue?