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By serial number 6000, it is thought that the last of the flat sided M1895s left the factory. Between 19 approximately 300,000 M1895's were manufactured for the army of the Russian Empire, accounting for about 70% of total production of the rifles prior to 1936 when the M1895 was discontinued. The Model 1895 in .30 Army was also entered into an 1896 New York National Guard rifle contract competition, but finished second to the Savage Model 1895 Including military contract rifles, a total of 425,881 rifles were produced, with production ceasing at serial number 425,132. Theodore Roosevelt took two M1895 rifles with him on his 1909 safari to East Africa, both in .405 Winchester.Chambered in 7.62×54mm R, these versions were unusual for a lever-action rifle in that they also had a charger guide, allowing the M1895 rifle to be reloaded by the same charger clips used in the Mosin–Nagant bolt-action rifle. The standard barrel length varied from 24 to 28 inches, depending on chambering and configuration, and the Standard finish on all rifles was blue. Additionally, Kermit Roosevelt accompanied his father on the trip and brought two more M1895 rifles; one was chambered in .405 Winchester, and the other in .30-03 Springfield. You will find his inspector's mark on not only the Remington Model 31, but the Ithaca M37 and the Remington M1903." - Remington Society of American Journal, 1st Quarter, 2006. Call Remington and give them the serial number, they will tell you when it was born, however keep in mind they due make errors. So, anyway, according to the above info, my PA barrel code and lack of serial # prefix, my Wingmaster has a mfg date of June 1953.The Winchester Model 1895 is a lever-action repeating firearm developed and manufactured by the Winchester Repeating Arms Company in the late 19th century, chambered for a number of full-size military and hunting cartridges such as 7.62×54mm R, .303 British, .30-03, .30 Army, .30-06, .35 Winchester, .38-72 Winchester, .40-72 Winchester and .405 Winchester.The Model 1895 was the first Winchester rifle to feature a box magazine located underneath the action instead of the tubular magazine design, which had remained fundamentally unchanged from the Winchester 1866.Around serial number 5000, a new receiver profile was introduced which had fluted (scalloped) sides, as opposed to the original flat sided design. The report of testing completed on 25 December 1899 stated the Krag–Jørgensen was greatly superior for military service. Harley Company and most were shipped to Cuba in 1906.This new receiver reduced the weight of the rifle by a small amount, and increased the width by 1/16 of an inch. Theodore Roosevelt also personally purchased an M1895 Winchester in .30 Army (.30-40 Krag) during the same timeframe. Roosevelt, and long time personal friend of gun writer and firearms enthusiast Elmer Keith—recommended the M1895 in .405 Winchester to Theodore Roosevelt.
With nearly 9,000 Model 31 shotguns being supplied, I would consider them scarce and should be of interest to collectors of WWII firearms, as well as to Remington collectors.
A decent overview of which models and features were available when can be found .
Keep in mind that barrels can be changed, guns can be refinished, and old parts can be replaced with new ones, so these things won't always reflect a specific date with 100% surety.
In addition to what Tu Jays said, the barrel date stamps usually take long enough to repeat that you can get a pretty solid idea of which potential date applies to your gun based on its features.
For example, in the mid-1980s, Remington implemented some minor design updates to the action on 12ga 870s, including a "U"-shaped cut-out in the shell carrier that prevented a certain type of malfunction from binding the gun's action.