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Old 09-16-2017, 11:39 PM
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32 New Departure: The oldest S&W I own. 32 New Departure: The oldest S&W I own. 32 New Departure: The oldest S&W I own. 32 New Departure: The oldest S&W I own. 32 New Departure: The oldest S&W I own.  
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Default 32 New Departure: The oldest S&W I own.

I had to pass through Laramie en route to Cheyenne for some business yesterday. A friend suggested I stop at the Laramie gun show on my way. Okay!

He provided space on one of his tables for a few baubles I'd hauled along for the occasion.

Within an hour I'd sold a 1950 .32 Regulation Police and traded two well-used Model 36s for a 4-digit (2928), nearly pristine, '51 baby Chiefs (I'll post images of that tomorrow). Wow, what an outing!

Then I looked at my pal's tables: his stuff plus some consignment pieces for friends. I kept going back to check out the 32 New Departure -- a gorgeous little thing in the box (consignment so NO dickering or trading!). I told him "I'm used to seeing the nickel ones with a terrible complexion." He agreed, but this blue one was nearly flawless, and did I mention it was in the box? (I found out tonight it used to belong to a forum member!)

I found a box of .32 S&W for it at the show. My pal said, "You're not going to shoot it, are you?"

"Well, of course I am. Why would I buy it if I weren't?"

SN 225150 puts in the mid to late '30s, by my estimation. Two-screw side plate (on the left side). Non-pinned barrel. I think I have this right, but I'm sure willing to learn if I'm wrong. The only wear are the two light spots on either side of the muzzle.

May I present my newest, and oldest, S&W? These are horrible photos; I hope to be along in the morning with outdoor, natural-light images. Can you tell I'm excited about this find?

Slàinte,

Bob
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32 New Departure: The oldest S&W I own.-32-safety-hammerless-3rd-model-jpg   32 New Departure: The oldest S&W I own.-32-new-departure-jpg   32 New Departure: The oldest S&W I own.-322-new-departure-box-jpg   32 New Departure: The oldest S&W I own.-new-departure-r-jpg   32 New Departure: The oldest S&W I own.-new-departure-jpg  

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Old 09-17-2017, 03:43 AM
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Nice looking little gun, Bob!
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Old 09-17-2017, 06:38 AM
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That's a beauty!
Congrats.
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Old 09-17-2017, 09:45 AM
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32 New Departure: The oldest S&W I own. 32 New Departure: The oldest S&W I own. 32 New Departure: The oldest S&W I own. 32 New Departure: The oldest S&W I own. 32 New Departure: The oldest S&W I own.  
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Now that's what I call a beauty! Much finer than any of the 32 SH in my collection. I might have t hesitate before I fired that one.
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Old 09-17-2017, 10:00 AM
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Glad you like it. Happy it went to someone in Wyoming who will enjoy it.

Your pictures are so purty I almost wish I had it back.
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Old 09-17-2017, 12:14 PM
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Looks like it's in fine shooting condition too!!!

I hope you enjoy lighting some rounds off at the range. Just come back and give a range report with pictures. I'm sure quite a few folks would love to see an oldie in action and dirty.

That's what they were made for, and that's what I live by. Glad others do too.
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Old 09-17-2017, 01:25 PM
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32 New Departure: The oldest S&W I own. 32 New Departure: The oldest S&W I own. 32 New Departure: The oldest S&W I own. 32 New Departure: The oldest S&W I own. 32 New Departure: The oldest S&W I own.  
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Thanks, mod, for putting this where it belongs! Never thought of myself as an "antique" collector.

Thanks for everyone's thoughts. I can't take credit for anything more than being the guy to put my money on the table. Mighty proud to have it.

Here are a few more shots.

Slàinte,

Bob
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32 New Departure: The oldest S&W I own.-32-nd-r-jpg   32 New Departure: The oldest S&W I own.-32-nd-lf-jpg   32 New Departure: The oldest S&W I own.-32-nd-rr-jpg   32 New Departure: The oldest S&W I own.-32-nd-hinged-box-inside-jpg   32 New Departure: The oldest S&W I own.-32-nd-box-insert-jpg  

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Old 09-17-2017, 01:56 PM
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What a splendid example of the gunmaker's art!!! I only have one New Departure, a nickle 38, and it is my oldest fun also...IIRC, Roy dated it at July 1887!!! And I have shot it as well...as iPac says, that is what they were made for. I do take care of it, and baby it a little, shoot mostly mild handloads through it.

Enjoy your great gun show find!! Looking forward to seeing that Baby Chief as well.

Best Regards, Les
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Old 09-17-2017, 03:31 PM
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Great little guns. By the time yours would have shipped, the demand was petering out both for topbreaks and that puny caliber; those pesky hand ejectors were just taking over.

You're likely a bit late with your guess for the 1930s; a quick look in the SWCA database shows, for example, just as a random data point, .32 Safety Hammerless 228123 shipping 03/1923, so yours would likely fall in the years before that.

Mine is from 1906, and in contrast to yours seems to have enjoyed a more active life, in post-earthquake San Francisco.
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32 New Departure: The oldest S&W I own.-img_0720-jpg   32 New Departure: The oldest S&W I own.-img_4352-jpg  
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Old 09-17-2017, 03:51 PM
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32 New Departure: The oldest S&W I own. 32 New Departure: The oldest S&W I own. 32 New Departure: The oldest S&W I own. 32 New Departure: The oldest S&W I own. 32 New Departure: The oldest S&W I own.  
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I'll admit to new-guy ignorance in this arena. Dipping toes in the shallow end of the pool.

Here's what I read to make my guess:

"Serial number range roughly 170000 to 242981, with some 73,000 firearms manufactured circa 1909-1937," according to Supica and Nahas 4th Ed. SCSW, p92, under .32 SH 3rd Model. (Same dates and sn range on p487.)

What am I missing?

Thanks,

Bob

ps: a couple more of my favorite images
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32 New Departure: The oldest S&W I own.-32-nd-top-barrel-flash-jpg   32 New Departure: The oldest S&W I own.-32-nd-top-break-l-jpg  
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Old 09-17-2017, 04:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by two-bit cowboy View Post
.....
Here's what I read to make my guess:

"Serial number range roughly 170000 to 242981, with some 73,000 firearms manufactured circa 1909-1937," according to Supica and Nahas 4th Ed. SCSW, p92, under .32 SH 3rd Model. (Same dates and sn range on p487.)
.....
There is really no contradiction there. You may just assume an even distribution of the total production and sales over the time span given (1909 to 1937), which would not reflect reality; the bulk was produced in the early years and barely any by the late 20s and 30s because demand had collapsed.
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Old 09-17-2017, 04:37 PM
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A fair point.

Try as I might, though, I couldn't find your SCSW data base with that random data point.

Thanks,

Bob
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Old 09-17-2017, 06:46 PM
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Originally Posted by two-bit cowboy View Post
Try as I might, though, I couldn't find your SCSW data base with that random data point.
.....
That would be SWCA, not SCSW . Another excellent reason to consider membership and join the folks with the insider info .
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Old 09-17-2017, 08:00 PM
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32 New Departure: The oldest S&W I own. 32 New Departure: The oldest S&W I own. 32 New Departure: The oldest S&W I own. 32 New Departure: The oldest S&W I own. 32 New Departure: The oldest S&W I own.  
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Ah, ha! So it is. Might help me better discern the alphabet soup, too, eh?

Thanks,

Bob

ps: one last photo (couldn't resist)
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Old 09-17-2017, 09:26 PM
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What Bob didn't say is that the gun came from Iggy with much arm twisting and angst. You would have thought that I was stealing bread from a starving beggar. Iggy very seldom lets anything go out of the deep recesses of his "Mancave" in the basement.
And also the four digit Baby Chief had resided with the Sasaberanger for most of the time between 2001 and last year when I traded I in Laramie to a retired Customs Agent. So both pieces have a close connection.
But I guess that Bob can have the bragging rights for getting the best deals at the Laramie show this weekend. Not much happened after he left on Friday, made for a long boring weekend.
It was great having Bob there at my side again.
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Old 09-17-2017, 10:10 PM
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You're very kind, Thom. Thank you.

And now that the cat's out of the bag, thank you, too, Iggy. Glad these two are staying in Wyoming! It'll be an honor to be their caretaker for the time ahead.

Looking forward to Rawlins, Thom. We'll have to see what sort of misChief (yes, you know, pun intended) I can get into there.

All the best,

Bob
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Old 09-18-2017, 12:46 AM
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That is beautiful. If the price was right, I couldn't have walked away from it in that condition and with the box.

I respect the heck out of any man who will buy a 100 year old gun that was pretty much obsolete when it was originally manufactured.
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Old 09-18-2017, 05:51 AM
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Man that is a great gun and pretty cool story thanks for shareing.
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Old 09-18-2017, 08:36 AM
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WOW, what a piece of junk. Being that I just inherited some cash and feeling that I should spread my good fortune, I'll give you what you lost buying it plus $100 to ease your pain.
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Old 09-18-2017, 09:46 AM
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WOW, what a piece of junk.
Yeah, I know, James. I've never been accused of having a good eye for such things.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JSR III View Post
Being that I just inherited some cash and feeling that I should spread my good fortune, I'll give you what you lost buying it plus $100 to ease your pain.
I sincerely appreciate your generous offer, however, I simply can't bring myself to burden you with a boat anchor, albeit one that would struggle to maintain a canoe's place on the lake, for that lofty a sum. I mean, gosh, your $450 would be better spent on another relatively unmolested kit gun!

With every ounce of humility I can muster, I remain your dutiful friend,

Bob
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Old 09-28-2017, 02:14 PM
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That's a beautiful looking revolver! My first antique S&W was the same thing...a New Departure in .32 S&W Short. Picked it up a couple of months ago for $200 bucks. Shoots pretty good for a snubbie. Have been hooked on older S&Ws since.

Later!

Simi

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Old 09-28-2017, 06:29 PM
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Nice little Bicycle gun. I have a couple of those, plus some cut barrel guns as well, since I really like the looks of the snub-nosed 32 Safeties. None of mine will shoot accurately past 10 yards, but fun at the range anyway.

Just a quick point, the accepted caliber description is simply 32 S&W, not Short. Back in the 1860s, there was a 32 Long and 32 Short, but both were rimfire. In the 1900s, you had 32 Long and 32 S&W, both centerfire. It is kind of like many who say 45 Long Colt, but no need for the "Long".
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Old 10-13-2017, 06:18 PM
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I have one I inherited from my father in nickle that appears to be the same as the OP's but my serial number is 106237 with a last patent date of Aug 4 85 . There are the letters TWO before the last patent date , does anyone know what these three letters mean ? Age ?

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Old 10-14-2017, 10:13 AM
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Interesting question Eddie - had to look that one up. The "TWO" term refers to the fact that two patents share the same date, Aug 4, 1885. Details are below:

Patent US323873

Pertains to the construction of the firing-pin, the firing-pin bushing, and means for securing the latter in that part of the frame termed the recoil-plate, whereby said bushing is invariably secured in the aim in the same position and with greater case than heretofore, and its outer end .presents a smooth surface and one particularly adapted to the concavity in the recoil-shield, and the interior thereof is adapted to receive a spring and the firing-pin of improved form.

Patent US323892

This invention relates to an improved metal drilling and chucking machine; and it consists, in brief, of mechanism for automatically at regular intervals withdrawing the tool from the work and restoring it thereto, to remove the chips by its withdrawal and enable the tool to be oiled during its reciprocation.
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Old 10-14-2017, 11:02 PM
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Thank You Gary .

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Old 10-15-2017, 12:08 AM
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I like the term caretaker, isn't that really what we are. I do hope my sons want my guns after I am gone, but if not I hope they choose the next caretakers wisely. Mine aren't much compared to some I see here, but as has been said they ain't making any more of them either. A very nice 32 New Departure Bob !
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Old 10-15-2017, 12:53 PM
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I like the term caretaker, isn't that really what we are. .... A very nice 32 New Departure Bob!
Thank you.

I am the fourth owner of a 113-year-old log hotel and have considered myself no more than its caretaker for the 11-plus years I've had it.

I learned the term caretaker -- as it relates to Smith & Wesson revolvers -- from members here. Most appropriate I believe since ownership is such a temporary condition.

Slàinte,

Bob
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What's the oldest S&W you own? PALADIN85020 S&W Hand Ejectors: 1896 to 1961 88 06-26-2010 09:27 AM
My oldest gun josephthreedogs S&W Hand Ejectors: 1896 to 1961 5 12-03-2009 01:56 PM

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