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Old 08-05-2014, 12:39 PM
Rattler67 Rattler67 is offline
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Default .32 Top Break

I have an old top break with the ejector in .32 S&W. I've had it for probably 30+ years and haven't shot it in the last 25. It is a five shot. The serial number is 189207 (both on the butt and the cylinder)and it's in fair shape. On the spine of the barrel, it says the following "Smith & Wesson Springfield Mass USA
Pat. May 11. 1880. Jan 3 1888. April 9 1889". On each end of the stamping is what looks like an iron cross.

I can't post a pic, but there is a screw on the inside of the grip and two screws on the left side of the frame.

Can one of the experts here offer any info on this revolver?

Thanks.
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Old 08-05-2014, 01:26 PM
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If the revolver is a double-action, we need to know if it has an exposed hammer or is hammerless?
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Old 08-05-2014, 01:48 PM
Rattler67 Rattler67 is offline
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It has an exposed hammer.
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Old 08-05-2014, 02:30 PM
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There is only one S & W that fits this description, the aptly named .32 Double Action. Yours was probably from the late 1890 decade. Hope this is helpful.
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Old 08-05-2014, 02:37 PM
Rattler67 Rattler67 is offline
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Thanks for the info. I was curious as to approx. age, but didn't realize it might be that old.
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Old 08-05-2014, 03:27 PM
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It should also have the serial number stamped on the bottom of the barrel latch and on the rear of the barrel between the "ears"
and on the backside of the right grip panel,, if those parts are original to the gun. Ed.
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Old 08-05-2014, 07:36 PM
mmaher94087 mmaher94087 is offline
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"..but there is a screw on the inside of the grip .." I'm betting that the revolver is an early .32 Single Action New Model; aka. 1 1/2 New Model, .32 Center Fire with the eccentric strain screw. Pictures always help.
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Old 08-05-2014, 08:34 PM
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Mike,
"The serial number is 189207"; this is to high for a .32 SA CF with serial numbers 1-97574.

"but there is a screw on the inside of the grip"; I think he is talking about the strain screw going through the front of the grip frame.

"On the spine of the barrel, it says the following "Smith & Wesson Springfield Mass USA
Pat. May 11. 1880. Jan 3 1888. April 9 1889". On each end of the stamping is what looks like an iron cross."

I believe it to be a .32 Double Action, 4th Model (serial range 43406-282999) late issue with the patent dates: Pat'd May 11. 1880. Jan. 3. 1882. April 9. 1889.
Attached are photos of my .32 DA 4th showing what I described.
Dave
Attached Thumbnails
.32 Top Break-img_1947-jpg   .32 Top Break-img_1949-jpg   .32 Top Break-img_1953-jpg   .32 Top Break-img_1955-jpg   .32 Top Break-img_1948-jpg  

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Old 08-05-2014, 09:04 PM
mmaher94087 mmaher94087 is offline
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I agree; the screw on the inside of the grip threw me for a loop. I didn't check the sources as I should. Eating Crow now; horrible stuff.
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Old 08-06-2014, 08:57 AM
Rattler67 Rattler67 is offline
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I wasn't sure how to describe the location of the screw in the grip frame but you've got it right. Dltvette, your pictures look exactly like mine. In that case, any idea of its' age and value? Like I said, fair condition. Not nearly as nice as yours.
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Old 08-06-2014, 11:41 AM
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Rattler67,
The .32 D.A. 4th Model was manufactured c. 1883-1909. Serial numbers before 209301 are considered antiques.
The only way to find out when it was shipped from the factory is by requesting a factory letter for the cost of $50.00.
I do not put a value on another persons firearm evan if I have good photos. I can tell you that The Standard Catalog of S&W 3rd Edition list the .32 D.A. 4th model from $70.00 poor condition to $550.00 As New condition.
Barrel lengths of 3" or 3-1/2" are common, 6" is somewhat scarce & 8" & 10" are quite rare.
Hope this helps,
Dave
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Old 08-26-2014, 04:04 PM
crabnetdave crabnetdave is offline
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I have a model 4 I just received from an Uncle and have read some old postings concerning the ammo. Can I use currant smokeless 32 smokeless ammo or do I need to reload or find BP load.
Thanks
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Old 08-26-2014, 04:23 PM
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If you can find .32 S&W smokeless, you can shoot it. You might want to have a gunsmith look over the gun first to make sure it is in good enough condition to fire.
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Old 08-28-2014, 07:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mmaher94087 View Post
I agree; the screw on the inside of the grip threw me for a loop. I didn't check the sources as I should. Eating Crow now; horrible stuff.
Hot sauce helps Mike :~)

Last edited by stu1ritter; 08-28-2014 at 07:43 AM. Reason: added
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Old 08-28-2014, 07:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crabnetdave View Post
I have a model 4 I just received from an Uncle and have read some old postings concerning the ammo. Can I use currant smokeless 32 smokeless ammo or do I need to reload or find BP load.
Thanks
Welcome! There is no Smith & Wesson model 4, so a more detailed description or photos would help here. If it is not mechanically sound (or not an S & W) it may be dangerous to shoot even with light loads.
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