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Old 01-08-2017, 05:07 PM
RFG RFG is offline
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Post Need help with age of S&W 32 short lemon squeezer revolver

I have a S&W 32 short top break revolver with a 1 1/2 inch barrel, nickle finish, leaf spring grip safety, hammerless DAO. The serial number is 84619. The first number is worn while the remaining four are clear and sharp. I can only assume the first number was part of the serial number although the spacing is slightly off. I will be sending a request to S&W for a history on the shipping date but in the mean time does anyone has an idea when this firearm was made? It looks like an early one and is in very very good condition. I want to be sure it will handle smokeless ammo and my understanding is S&W does not recommend using smokeless ammo in pre 1907 guns. Thank you for any help.

Last edited by RFG; 01-08-2017 at 05:29 PM.
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Old 01-08-2017, 05:20 PM
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Welcome to the forums from the Wiregrass! First of all your revolver is called a 32 safety hammerless also called the lemon squeezer. It's not a tip up it's a top break. Open the cylinder and look on the face for the serial number. It may be easier to read that than the one on the butt. If the gun is in good condition, the cylinder end play is ok , the timing is ok, then it's okay to shoot smokeless cartridges in it.

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Old 01-08-2017, 05:28 PM
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Thanks, I did mean top break, I have no idea why I typed tip up. The tip on the serial number on the cylinder was a big help. Serial is 84619. The cylinder play and timing are excellent so even tho I do not intend to shoot more than a couple of rounds to make sure it fires the information is good news. The patent marks appear to be Oct 83 and Feb 85.

Last edited by RFG; 01-08-2017 at 05:34 PM.
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Old 01-08-2017, 05:36 PM
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Your gun is a first model. If it really is the short barrel version and the barrel hasn't been cut, then it's quite rare. Can you post some pictures? And are you measuring the barrel from the face of the cylinder to the muzzle of the barrel?

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Old 01-08-2017, 05:44 PM
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Welcome. That serial number makes your revolver an antique and not regulated by the BATF. S&W DA .32 Safety hammerless revolvers with serial # below 91,400 are all antique. Your 32 Safety would probably have shipped in 1898.

I am curious about the barrel length. Is there any indication it was cut? Are there any remnants of a barrel address and patent dates on the top rib or on the side of the barrel? Lastly, how is the front sight attached to the barrel? Remember that factory work is almost perfect, so any indications of a cut barrel should be obvious. Pictures would help.

1 1/2" 32 Safeties are out there, but you would have a very rare gun if factory original.
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Old 01-08-2017, 06:04 PM
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The barrel does not appear to be cut. The patent numbers are on a ridge that evidently works as the front sight and tapers down before the muzzle. I measured the barrel with the gun open from the breech to the muzzle. have no idea how to add pictures on here. Thanks to both of you for the information.
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Old 01-08-2017, 06:06 PM
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Hello RFG, welcome as a new member. Im a fan of your little SH, especially the short barreled type. Just a few favors, measure from the muzzle to the front of the cylinder. And a few words or pics on the side of and top of the barrel. Just a thought and no hurry. OH, and front sight. Best
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Old 01-08-2017, 06:19 PM
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Pictures attached. Barrel from front of cylinder to muzzle is 1 1/2 inches. Patent dates are on top of the ridge on the barrel. If this has been cut it was a very professional job.

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Old 01-08-2017, 06:24 PM
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I hate to say it but the barrel has been cut and the gun has been refinished.

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Old 01-08-2017, 06:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RFG View Post
The barrel does not appear to be cut. The patent numbers are on a ridge that evidently works as the front sight and tapers down before the muzzle. I measured the barrel with the gun open from the breech to the muzzle. have no idea how to add pictures on here. Thanks to both of you for the information.
The front sight would look like the one on this one
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Old 01-08-2017, 07:12 PM
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Ah well, I picked it up for 100.00 and it is in great shape so I can still enjoy it even if it has been cut and refinished. Whoever did the work did a very good job and the lock up is really nice on it. I will eventually replace the grips with originals but I kind of like the replacements that are on it. I thank everyone for the help and info. I have 3 other early Smith and Wesson 32 longs including one handed down from my Grandfather. One of them is a 32-20 so this 32 short is a nice addition. I also have a mid teens Colt 38 snub nose that was modified before Colt made factory snub nose 38's. The barrel was cut, front sight put back on and the hammer bobbed. I have a soft spot for these older guns.

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Old 01-08-2017, 09:58 PM
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Its what I would call a get off me gun. One that you might use if the situation got up close and personal
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Old 01-08-2017, 10:14 PM
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I have newer firearms for the get off me/get the h away from me situations. LOL probably too many of them but then again can you ever have too many.
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Old 01-09-2017, 09:33 AM
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Welcome to the forum.

Just for future reference, S&W never plated hammers and triggers so when you see one that way it is a strong indication that the gun has been refinished. Normally these features were case hardened and initially showed strong color variations of blue and tan. Unfortunately, over time these vivid colors can fade and sometimes on a computer monitor even case hardened parts can appear as plated.

Obviously, a hands on inspection is the only sure fire way to judge and a factory refinish can be almost impossible to detect as they were so good at it. Round pins that have been buffed flat is another tell tale sign.

Sometimes these modified guns can be neater than their original counterparts because it shows mans desire to make something their own. Enjoy.
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Old 01-09-2017, 07:03 PM
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I want to thank everyone that replied for the excellent information provided and for the welcomes to the forum. I'd used this forum before but had not actually registered looking at answers on old 32's when I was looking up information. Again my thanks, I learned a lot about top break Smiths.
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Old 01-09-2017, 08:32 PM
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RFG, let me post some pictures of a couple original 32 Safeties. Look at the details, sideplate seams should be almost invisible, trigger and trigger guard almost never plated, sharp edges on all metal surfaces, and stampings crisp. If you compare to yours, you might see what we are discussing. This might help you assess any future purchases.

Members have already detailed some non-original features of your revolver and I can review them so it gives you something to compare. The Safety revolver always had a half-moon front sight (forged or pinned), the front of the rib is slightly set back, but square cut in the front, the trigger and trigger guard are blued or case colored, stocks should be black hard rubber with the S&W logo at the top of the stocks, pins from the factory are always extended above the metal surfaces, and stampings are either slightly raised around the edges or very sharp without dishing. All screw holes and pin holes are flat and no dishing should be seen. Lastly, the finish should look like nickel and not chrome. All vintage S&W Safeties were blued or nickel plated. Short barreled 32 Safeties will either have the address and patent dates stamped on the right side of the barrel or none stamped anywhere, since there was not enough room on the rib to insert all the information.

We have all been where you are with not knowing exactly what to look for, but buying these guns can become an addiction. The more one can learn about what to look for, the better your purchases will be in the future.
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Old 01-09-2017, 11:23 PM
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Thanks, I may find another one around and now I know what to look for. i have a couple mid teens 32 long police Smiths with the correct grips so I knew the grip weren't original. i have no idea how old the grips on it are but they are pretty nice. i will be picking up an original set at some point. I paid a hundred for the shorty and it is in very good shape lock up and timing wise. The work that was done to it was done by a professional probably because someone wanted it modified for a custom pocket gun. i like these old guns because they all have a history and were very well made.
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Old 08-28-2017, 11:54 AM
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Default would like to find age of .32 lemon squeezer

i have a lemon squeezer 3 1/2 in barrel. it is in great cond. would like to know the age serial # 156929.
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Old 08-28-2017, 12:01 PM
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Welcome to the forums from the Wiregrass! Your .32 Safety Hammerless, 2nd Model, was made around 1908.
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