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Old February 20, 2013, 10:15 PM   #1
CowTowner
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S&W 32

OK, I see this seem to be a current topic so here's mine.
I received this as a gift over the holidays and just got around to taking pictures. Any info on the gun is appreciated as I know nothing about it.
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File Type: jpg DSCN0021.jpg (146.8 KB, 56 views)
File Type: jpg DSCN0022.jpg (130.3 KB, 38 views)
File Type: jpg DSCN0023.jpg (58.6 KB, 33 views)
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Old February 20, 2013, 10:16 PM   #2
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2 More Pics

Here are the remaining pics I have. If someone needs another angle, I can provide.
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File Type: jpg DSCN0025.jpg (82.7 KB, 27 views)
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Old February 20, 2013, 11:46 PM   #3
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That is the S&W .32 Double Action, Fourth Model revolver. I cannot be certain, but I believe the engraving is factory. It is a beautiful little gun, and I envy you.

The Fourth Model had a production run of 239,600 from 1883 to 1909, with a serial number range from 43406 to about 282999. The entire production of the .32 Double Action breaktop was over 327,000. In general, they are a common gun. Most have been well used and have peeling nickel finishes. Yours is very much the exception.

FWIW, that gun is an antique as defined in federal law, made before 1 Jan 1899.

I have no basis for evaluating that gun, so I would prefer to leave that to someone else.

Jim
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Old February 21, 2013, 11:54 AM   #4
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I don't have any basis for judging if the engraving was factory or not, but that's a neat gun for sure. Most I see have finish problems and timing issues.
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Old February 21, 2013, 12:58 PM   #5
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Thank you for the information and kudos. Guess I need get a little more oil on it and keep it locked up.
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Old February 21, 2013, 01:37 PM   #6
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From what I can see, I don't believe that the engraving is factory, but is an emulation of fairly common factory engraving styles of the time.

To put it mildly, the engraving is a bit too.... crude... for it to be factory, espeically the lines of punch dots.

On factory engraving those are precisely lined up. They're not on this gun.

The floral motifs are also don't have the depth of detail or relief that factory engraving does.

To my mind, the engraving was done by someone with talent, but it was talent that was still being developed.

Also, many of the scroll lines in the centers of the leaves aren't precisely or smoothly curved.
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Old February 21, 2013, 04:30 PM   #7
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The only way to know for sure would be to get an S&W letter which would certainly note if the engraving and pearl grips are from the factory.

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Old February 21, 2013, 04:55 PM   #8
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Either way, that little baby is a jewel.

All the other examples I have seen in the LGS have been "peeled nickel finish" at best.
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Old February 21, 2013, 05:24 PM   #9
Mike Irwin
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The more I look at the engraved period guns in the Standard Catalog and online, the more I know that that it is NOT, by any stretch of the imagination, factory engraving.

I'd bet hard money on that.

The engraving appears to be somewhat patterned after Nimschke's work, but trust me, it's not close to being his work.

The Standard Catalog also has this to say about the punch dots (I had thought that some S&W engravers did employ punch dots)...

"This was not a S&W factory style, and is most commonly associated with Merwin Hulbert revolver engraving. However, it is sometimes found as aftermarket engraving on 19th century S&W revolvers...."

Look at the first two pictures that clearly show the punch dots around the top latch screw and boss.

Note how uneven it is. That, alone, is the biggest tell that this is not factory engraving.
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Old February 22, 2013, 07:45 AM   #10
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Thanks for all the info! At least I know what it is and isn't and that's more than I had when I got it home.
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Old February 22, 2013, 08:40 AM   #11
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That has some pretty wicked engraving on it. Very nice piece in my eyes.
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