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Old September 10, 2010, 06:19 PM   #8
Radagast
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Join Date: July 13, 2001
Posts: 449
As others have mentioned, if the number is taken from the grip frame then it is the serial number. If this is the case then you have a .32 Hand Ejector Model of 1903 1st Change manufactured between 1904 & 1906 in the serial range 19426 to 51126.
If original then the finish will be nickel, not chrome. It is rare to see these old guns with a chrome refinish, as that is a relatively modern approach. Quite a few blued guns were refinished in nickel though.
If the gun has been refinished the hammer and trigger are likely to be nickeled as well, which will drop it's value as few collectors are interested in refinished guns.
Other things to be aware of:
This gun predates heat treatment of cylinders. Modern factory ammunition is loaded to take the weakness of old guns into account. If you handload ammunition don't try any loads stronger than factory specifications.
It also predates the modern hammer block safety introduced during WWII. It would be prudent to leave the chamber under the hammer empty if you keep the gun loaded.
Value is not high as the .32 S&W long is an underpowered, obsolete caliber for self defence and relatively expensive. There were well over half a million .32 Hand Ejectors manufactured, so they are not scarce, so you are not likely to have a couple of collectors bidding up the price on the basis of rarity.
In 2006 the Standard Catalog of S&W gave the following values:
As new in box: $700, Excellent + $385, Very good $315, Good $275, Fair $165, Poor $90. If the gun has been refinished then expect it to value as 'good', even if the refinish is excellent.
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