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Old February 18, 2013, 10:58 AM   #1
johnm1
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Lemon Squeezer Idendification

Bought this Smith & Wesson yesterday in decent mechanical shape. Caliber is .32 S&W (added via edit). Can someone idendify the model/version and date range for me? I'm trying to figure out if this was made in the black powder or smokeless powder era. Numbers match but I thought it was odd that there wasn't a S&W emblem on the side of the frame. The only S&W marking is on the barrel with the patant dates. Serial number is 51,XXX. Sorry about the poor cell phone pictures, but hopefully they show enough detail for identification.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/6032394...in/photostream


Last patant date reads "Two Aug 4, 95" with what appears to be a small square with an X in it in the superscript location.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/6032394...in/photostream

http://www.flickr.com/photos/6032394...in/photostream

http://www.flickr.com/photos/6032394...in/photostream

http://www.flickr.com/photos/6032394...in/photostream


Grips are in excellent shape and lock up is tight.



Thanks.
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Last edited by johnm1; February 18, 2013 at 11:41 AM. Reason: Added caliber ID
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Old February 18, 2013, 08:06 PM   #2
James K
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It is the .32 Safety First Model Double Action. S&W made c. 91,417 of them between 1888-1902. Yours would be a bit over half way through the production run. All that First Model should be considered black powder guns, though current .32 S&W ammunition is held to very low pressures and that gun should be safe with modern factory ammo (if you can find it), at least for a limited number of shots.

The .32 Safety or "Safety Hammerless" was one of the most popular revolvers of the period; they were made up to 1937 with a total production of almost 243,000 for the three models. Due to the effect of corrosive primers and the fact that almost all were nickel plated and the plating is peeling, value is pretty low. But they were well made guns (unlike many top-break revolvers of the time) and if they had any kind of care they will still work OK. The .32 S&W cartridge is, of course, about the bottom level of revolver power, and few would recommend it for serious purposes, but it would (IMHO) beat throwing stones.

FWIW, I don't think any of the .32 Safety had the S&W logo on the frame.

Jim
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Old February 18, 2013, 10:31 PM   #3
Winchester_73
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Quote:
FWIW, I don't think any of the .32 Safety had the S&W logo on the frame.
I think the addition of a logo coincided with a certain year/model change rather than with certain calibers. Both 32s and 38s eventually got logos, for both the DA models and the new departure aka lemon squeezer revolvers. I don't know when it was specifically, but I know that any of them with a logo are not an antique. Any of the EARLY variants of these models would not have the logo. The gun in this thread is somewhat early in that its a 1st model, and its very likely an antique.

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Old February 18, 2013, 11:17 PM   #4
James K
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Yes, they do, and I stand corrected. Of course, there is no actual connection of the logo with the antique category, which was part of GCA '68.

Jim
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Old February 19, 2013, 12:26 AM   #5
johnm1
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All goodinformation. Thank you Jim and Winchester. I would like to fire it. Not for anything serious but just to be able to. I actually do have some factory modern .32 S&W ammunition for another modern H&R in .32 Long and the dies to load some trail boss loads. I think it will be a fun gun to shoot.


Thanks again.

Edit: just to be clear, I do shoot the shorter .32 S&W in the H&R that is chambered for the .32 S&W Long.
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Last edited by johnm1; February 19, 2013 at 01:01 AM.
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Old February 27, 2013, 08:00 AM   #6
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Well the little .32 shot just fine. I forgot to bring the box of ammo but I had 5 rounds of modern Remington .32 S&W. One shot to check function and 4 aimed shots. Not bad if I staged the trigger. Almost like single action. I plan to load some low powered loads with trail boss powder. I am one that believes a gun should shoot.

Now the ejection is another story. Unless the cylinder is turned upside down when ejecting empty cases, the empty cases slip below the ejector 'star' and fall back into the cylinder. Has anyone experienced this before?
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Old March 12, 2013, 07:43 AM   #7
Magnum Wheel Man
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I collect early pocket revolvers, ( have a couple "lemon squeezers" one in 32, one in 38, & about 3 dozen others... I reload alot of both 32 & 38 S&W... Trailboss works great... I have 3 load levels for 32 S&W... level one uses a pinch of Trailboss, & a soft lead round ball ( these are revolver check out loads ) level 2 is my regular load, & uses a bit more Trailboss, & a cast bullet... level 3 I use for occasional use as a self defense load...
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Old March 13, 2013, 07:11 AM   #8
johnm1
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I was hoping you would chime on MWM. I have read your posts on these revolvers. I have the trail boss and dies but not the lead bullet yet. I think this will be a fun load development project.

What is your experience with the ejection issue I'm having? I find the same condition with my 38 Double Action. Before the extractor reaches the end of it's travel 4 out of the 5 rounds fall out of the extractor and into the chamber(s).
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Old March 13, 2013, 07:18 AM   #9
Magnum Wheel Man
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turn your revolver to the side, with a flick of your wrist, as you break the barrel, you may find that works better... any way you can let gravity work for you, but use it to pull them away from the chambers... too often, if we leave the gun "up right" you'll find gravity just drops the empties back into the chamber...

as a side... I find shooting these ( the lemon squeezers ) fun, but not the "normal" for a top break, I find the trigger reach to be pretty long, the trigger does have an interesting shape, compared to other top breaks...

I don't know my recipes off the top of my head, but if you'd like, I can try to remember to write them down when I get home tonight... my standard load works quite well for punching paper
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Old March 14, 2013, 03:49 PM   #10
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Thanks MWM. I wasn't sure if I had the wrong extractor or not. It appears that what i am experiencing is normal.

I would take any load information that you have on both .32 S&W and .38 S&W as I have both.

You wouldn't know of a source for a pivot nut for a .38 Double Action (third model, but I don't think the model matters). this is the screw looking nut that holds the sideplate on. My .38 Double Action came without and I'd rather not try to fabriate one if I can avoid it. Numrich is out of the nut. They have the pivot stud, but not the nut.
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