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Old June 20, 2016, 04:36 PM   #1
OIF_vet
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old 32 long smith and wesson

can someone tell me a little about this revolver and maybe approximate value. looks like ivory handles on it. i havnt seen any pics with these handles, its usually black handles on ones like this. not in the best of shape but not too bad either. still shoots great. but number is 2785**13454069_1357890344237434_1313510300_n.jpg

13444404_1357890300904105_1902293525_n.jpg

13444222_1357890294237439_1282488164_n.jpg
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Old June 20, 2016, 04:55 PM   #2
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Looks like a Handejector, 6th version, around 1920 (someone probably can nail this down further). Doesn't seem to have much finish left, and non-factory grips, so the collector value is low. Needs much better pictures to judge the rating on the finish, and for these guns finish is everything when it comes to price.
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Old June 20, 2016, 06:38 PM   #3
OIF_vet
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thanks. is it possible to find out from the factory where and when it was sold or any other info on the pistol. if so how do i go about it?
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Old June 20, 2016, 11:54 PM   #4
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I thought I replied but it seems to have gotten lost.

Anyway, the revolver appears to be a .32 Hand Ejector, Model of 1903, Fifth Change, made about 1912. The grips are not original and the material cannot be determined without close examination. It might be ivory, but with all the laws about elephant ivory today, it might be better if it were not. Very good copies of the original grips are available, made of plastic and much less likely to break than the old hard rubber ("gutta percha").

The pictures are very poor, but there also appears to be some problem with the extractor rod, but it may only need adjustment. The Fifth Change included a hammer block, but not a very positive one, so I don't consider it advisable to carry that gun with a round under the hammer. The rust and overall appearance suggest that it might have been subjected to a poor quality refinish. No real evaluation is possible without better pictures.

A factory letter is available for most S&W's of that era, but it will only tell you where the factory shipped the gun, usually a distributor, and its original features (blue, nickel, engraved, etc.). Only very rarely will the actual individual purchaser be available.

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Old June 21, 2016, 07:14 AM   #5
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If you want better pictures of that gun, try using a darker background...your camera is metering off the light colored background and making the dark gun too dark.

I have one of these .32 S&W longs by the way. I cannot remember the frame size designation, but it differs from a j-frame in that it has a flat mainspring like the larger S&W double-actions.

A fun shooter, but the tiny groove for the rear sight is a real pain to sight with.
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Old June 21, 2016, 09:38 AM   #6
mapsjanhere
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Jim, according to what I found the 5th change ended at 263,000, so the serial number would out it in the 6th range.

.32 Hand Ejector Model of 1903 Fifth Change: Serial number range 102501-263000, mfg'd 1910-1917
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Old June 21, 2016, 11:34 AM   #7
carguychris
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dahermit
I cannot remember the frame size designation, but it differs from a j-frame in that it has a flat mainspring like the larger S&W double-actions.
It's an I frame.

This brings up an issue regarding the stocks (S&W factory term for grips). The grip frame length of an original leaf-spring I frame is about 1/4" shorter than that of the modern post-1952 J frame, so the vast majority of J frame stocks/grips won't fit properly on this gun. In the case of wood stocks, they could potentially be filed down, but this would obviously ruin any finish that had been applied, and any checkering would probably be rendered off-center. Basically, I recommend looking for stocks that are specific to an original I frame or a very early "Baby Chief" J frame (this is a gun-collector term for the 1950-1952 Chief's Special, the only J frame model in existence at the time, and the only production J frame ever to use I frame grip dimensions).

Also, be aware that 1952 and later I frames were built on the so-called "Improved I" frame, which had a coil mainspring, and reportedly used slightly different grip frame dimensions than the original I frame AND the J frame!

IIRC original stocks on a .32 Hand Ejector Model of 1903 6th Change [CORRECTION] Third Model with blued finish were normally checkered walnut. AFAIK the black rubber or gutta percha stocks were typically sold only with nickel finish.
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Last edited by carguychris; June 22, 2016 at 09:22 AM. Reason: correction!
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Old June 21, 2016, 09:55 PM   #8
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Hi, Mapsjanhere,

You are correct; I misread the source. In the mysterious world of S&W model names, they seem to have gone from the Model of 1903 Fifth Change (ended about 263,000) to the ".32 Hand Ejector Third Model" aka "Model I Hand Ejector Third Model". Serial numbers continued to about 534,532 in 1942 when the line was dropped due to the need to turn out the M&P for WWII contracts. My comment on the hammer block safety is correct; that .32 used the old hammer block that failed in the .38 M&P "Victory Model"; its redesign is still in use today.

Hi, Carguychris,

I don't think Model 36 grips look so bad on an older gun. The touchup is spray spar varnish, the original finish for that grip.

http://thefiringline.com/forums/atta...1&d=1300841521

Jim
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Old June 22, 2016, 09:24 AM   #9
carguychris
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Quote:
Originally Posted by James K
I don't think Model 36 grips look so bad on an older gun. The touchup is spray spar varnish, the original finish for that grip.
Those DO look good.

My main point: just don't expect them to fit perfectly right off the bat!
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Old June 22, 2016, 01:48 PM   #10
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Those grips probably are ivory. Owning or even buying pre ban ivory is no big deal but it sure is pricey.
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Old June 25, 2016, 11:40 PM   #11
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OIF_Vet, Love the grips on your old 32. These little guys are so much fun to shoot. I have one, a HE 3rd Model with 6" barrel.

Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk
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Old June 26, 2016, 09:24 AM   #12
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Wow! That is one beautiful gun. Is that the original finish? Mine has almost no blue left.
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Old June 26, 2016, 09:49 AM   #13
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I don't know if it's the original finish or not. All of the blue is gone one the backstrap. So it could be.

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Old June 26, 2016, 10:50 AM   #14
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That is a very nice example! All of my old S & W's are the .32 shorts and .38 S & W, and certainly not in as good of condition as yours, but they are quite a bit of fun to shoot!
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