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Old 04-13-2018, 07:32 PM
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Default Single Shot 32 S&W Barrel Project

I recently purchased a blued 32 S&W single shot barrel that is missing a bunch of parts and is in brand new condition. It has the extractor, sleeve for the extractor with the square inner hole and round outside, and the pin to retain the sleeve in the barrel assembly.

Is the cam and extractor spring the a same as the double action revolver? Are there other internal parts needed? Any suggestions where I can find a front and rear sight? I have a notched blade style front sight that may work but would prefer the more typical Paine style.

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Mark
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Old 04-13-2018, 08:14 PM
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Check with George Dye for the sights---contact info in SWCA Roster.

You'll obviously need the ejector cam assembly, but whether the DA version is the same as the SA parent revolver or not, I don't know. And having mentioned DA and SA, are you planning on using this with a 1st/2nd frame (SA), or with a 3rd frame?

Ralph Tremaine
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Old 04-13-2018, 09:18 PM
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Thanks for the reply. Have a 38 single action third model (model of 91) revolver frame I was going to use. Its in excellent shape and has a non matching serial number barrel and latch.

Guess I need a set of target stocks for this project too.
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Old 04-13-2018, 10:02 PM
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Okay---two other parts you'll need (or can swap over from the revolver barrel) are the barrel latch cam and its spring.

Assuming you're building this to shoot, let me suggest you use the rear latch/sight assembly from a 3rd Model SS--------vastly superior to the 1st/2nd. Given the need for a rear sight blade (for either 1st/2nd or 3rd), the 3rd blades are child's play to make yourself, and I have a machinist drawing for the 1st/2nd---it includes the drawing for the retaining plate and attaching screws.

Hugh May has repro target stocks.

Ralph Tremaine
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Old 04-13-2018, 10:10 PM
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I probably have an original 'Paine' style and/or a similar correct Marble's. When you determine the sight height, let me know and I'll check my stash. I can send you a few that are close for you to try.
Is this the one that was on Ebay for a while? I was so tempted! Poppert's had a few very cheap in the white on Gunbroker a couple years back but I passed because they didn't have extractors.
I think the cam and spring are the same from what I've seen in .22 Single Shots.
Again, based on the .22, there aren't many parts to these. Ralph is the resident authority. He gave me a drawing that allowed me to make a correct rear sight insert.
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Old 04-14-2018, 12:17 AM
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I may be able to help with the sight height------what's the barrel length? Never mind, I only have two thirds of the answer. The height above the rib is .236" for a 6", .205" for an 8". Terry Wagner may be able to help with the height for a 10".32. If anybody has one, it figures to be him. Contact info is in the SWCA Roster.

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Old 04-14-2018, 08:28 AM
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Default 32 barrel

I have a 10 inch 32 S&W SS two line address barrel I bought a few yrs. ago, no serial numbers & the lug was ground off to fit all three revolver based single shots. I bought as a shooter, it was complete with all parts, nearly all of wear is towards muzzle end of the barrel, excellent bore, just shot at the range this week with nice groups. It shoots better on my 1st model [that has 8 inch .22 barrel, than on my 3rd model. The front sight has a somewhat larger bead than my other SS pistols, it mics as .200 of an inch from top of the barrel to top of the sight.
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Old 04-14-2018, 12:08 PM
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I did the same thing with a 10" 38 Single Shot barrel. You are lucky to have the parts. I found the thread that shows the assembly. I did use a 38 DA cam and it worked fine, but had to make and have some parts made to put my barrel in shooting condition.

.38 Single Shot Barrel Extractor Assembly - Need Help!
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Old 04-14-2018, 12:17 PM
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Want to keep the cylinder and barrel assembly together from the original revlover so will buy a cam and spring. Based on the comments it sounds like parts from a double action will work. The barrel is blue, 10" long, and has "Model of 91" stamped on it.

The gun was listed on the online auction site. I already sent Mr Dye an email as Ralph suggested to see if he has any sights. If he doesn't reply I will send you, Chris, a PM to see if you still has a front sight available.

Sounds like a .200 tall front sight is the right height. Mine has the bottom of the barrel machined flat too so it fits all model frames. It will be fun to take it to the range and see how it shoots once its all assmembled.
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Old 04-14-2018, 12:30 PM
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Thanks Gary. Was this the barrel that ended up being chambered for .38-44? I read your thread about searching for a load that shot accurately from it. Glad you were able to to find the answer. I checked the chamber in mine hoping it was a .32-44, no such luck.
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Old 04-14-2018, 12:37 PM
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So much for sight heights----ask and you shall receive!!

I'm quite certain there is a very specific mathematical formula for determining such things---equally certain I have no clue what it is. I reckon I could rattle off (some of) the variables involved---and even get some of them right. At the point when I might be asked to explain the impact of these several variables, I'd fall back on these words of wisdom from my almost five year old grandson (at the time).

The backstory: We started both our children in school (Montessori) at age 3 1/2. So it came to be with grandson #1.

The out of the mouths of babes story: His father and I were busy with something in the garage, when his son appeared. "How old are you now?", I asked. "Four and eleven twelfths.", came the reply. "Eleven twelfths, huh?", I responded. "Yep!", he replied----proudly. "Is that the same as twenty two twenty fourths?", I asked. He looked a bit concerned, and a bit puzzled----you could just see the little wheels going around in his head. Then he looked at his dad, with a "help me out here, Dad" look on his face. Dad shrugged his shoulders, and looked dumb. Little Sam scowled, let the wheels in his head spin around some more, and then said, "We haven't had that yet." With that, he departs; and his dad gave me a "So there!!" look; and we busted out laughing----having been well and truly put in our place.

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Old 04-14-2018, 01:14 PM
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And now a question for Boulder350: The bottom of your barrel lug is machined flat. Is it machined flat-flat----or fancy-flat? (Fancy-flat is as is found on the 3rd Model barrels from the factory---flat with a depression in the center, and with chamfered edges.)

I ask because I have a .38 barrel cut "fancy-flat"-----and it carries 3rd Model sights (the best)---and it's as new (with the "fancy-flat" portion treated with cold blue). I've been told the factory so modified some/many/all 1st/2nd SS barrel assemblies remaining in inventory at a point in time----so they could be used with any/all the top-break SS's. It made sense---for sure from a marketing point of view---and from a machining point of view. (Why would anybody but the factory (who has the set-up, the procedure------AND a reason) modify a barrel in that fashion when "flat-flat" works just fine?)

So----I asked Jinks about it. He scoffed, and said, "Never happened!"

Time passed. Not all that long ago I had occasion to show this barrel to Terry Wagner (Think of Terry as Mr. Single Shot----summa cum laude!!!) His reply: "Yeah, I have several of those."

Now---you decide. (I've already decided.)

Ralph Tremaine

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Old 04-14-2018, 01:45 PM
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. . . Was this the barrel that ended up being chambered for .38-44? . . .
Yes it was. You might consider putting a case together with the pistol and single shot barrel. I found an old silverware case at an antique shop and lined it with chamois like the original cases. I liked the way it turned out, as it was similar to factory cased sets.
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Old 04-14-2018, 02:54 PM
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The bottom of the barrel lug is machined fancy flat with the recess in it per the attached picture. It also has "Model of 91" stamped on the barrel. If those 2 things never came together originally it would make sense that the factory could have machined the lug off after the 3rd model came out so it would fit any break top single shots.

The revolver frame I'm mating the single shot barrel to is lettered as shipping to Mr A. C. Gould, famous publisher and target shooter from the late 1800's. Its a 38 revolver and the serial numbers match on the bottom of the frame and on the cylinder. The serial number on the barrel, latch, and grips are different and shipped to M.W. Robinson a year later. A mistake was made long ago because the letter says it shipped to Mr Gould as a single shot in 22 caliber with a 10" barrel in blue finish. Its listed in the Neil and Jinks book as a single shot too. Who knows if the factory records were not complete and it shipped as a combo set, or the serial number was read wrong when reading the records, or ....

Since receiving the letter I have purchased two books Mr Gould wrote. One is titled "Modern American Pistols and Revolvers" and the other is titled "Modern American Rifles". I also purchase the 2 book set of the reprints of his magazine "The Rifle" which was a monthly publication that came out in May of 1885. "The Rifle" publication was the forerunner to the official publication of the NRA, "The Rifleman".

As Gary suggests I'm planning on getting a display case made for this revolver, the new 10" 32 S&W barrel, and a 6" 22 barrel with no serial numbers on the latch or barrel. Should be a great tribute to Mr Gould.
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Old 06-21-2018, 07:37 PM
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The barrel project is making progress and almost done. Thanks to Chris, a fellow collector on this forum, I have a front target sight. Was able to purchase a destroyed 38 double action for parts. Used the springs, front sight pin, cam, hinge pin, screws, and extractor post from it. The extractor post was a to long so the gunsmith had to shorten it. Have an un-numbered 6" model 91 barrel and target sights in 22 lr on another frame that i will include in this set. Took the un-numbered rear target sight from the 6" barrel and put it on 32 barrel. Still looking for the elusive rear target sight for my 22 barrel. Right now it has the standard fixed sight/latch from the parts gun. Will start working on the display case soon.

Can't wait to shoot it.
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Old 06-22-2018, 06:10 AM
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Now do you guys see why I call Gary The Professor and Ralph Mr. Ralph but it sounds like Mr.Ralphs grandson might become The Professor lol that was too funny thanks for the entertainment .I want to add DANG you guys have some cool toys ,I wish I could get Mr Ralph and Gary and so e of the rest of you guys who are SWCA members to put up a picture and complete story about your lettered guns .Some of this information is just fascinating and deserves to be out here. You see I know lots of the names of authors and target shooters from back in the day are probabaly common knowledge to you but to a guy just beginning to get his feet wet and not ready for tne high board in the deep end like myself it's fascinating and very very educational .Plus I have come to the realization that most of you guys are pretty dang smart.My grandad lived with my Dad and Mom and kept me while they worked .He couldn't read until he was in his 60s but he built our house and did it without borrowing any money,he told me once "Son you can not get smart hanging around with dumb people so be careful who you befriend " .Now I'm a product of a poor county school system and I'm pretty sure the word genius hasn't been used in connection with my name other than in a sarcastic way by my wife but I like hanging around smart people ,you guys are great ! Not blowing smoke just sayin .

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Old 06-22-2018, 03:02 PM
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Thumbs up THE IMPOSSIBLE ONLY TAKES A LITTLE LONGER

Quote:
Originally Posted by Boulder350 View Post
The barrel project is making progress and almost done. Thanks to Chris, a fellow collector on this forum, I have a front target sight. Was able to purchase a destroyed 38 double action for parts. Used the springs, front sight pin, cam, hinge pin, screws, and extractor post from it. The extractor post was a to long so the gunsmith had to shorten it. Have an un-numbered 6" model 91 barrel and target sights in 22 lr on another frame that i will include in this set. Took the un-numbered rear target sight from the 6" barrel and put it on 32 barrel. Still looking for the elusive rear target sight for my 22 barrel. Right now it has the standard fixed sight/latch from the parts gun. Will start working on the display case soon.

Can't wait to shoot it.
The "elusive" rear target sight can be made----at least in my mind.

As noted above, I have a machinist drawing of the blade (and the retaining plate, and the screws for the retaining plate). Several blades have been made from this drawing (including one for me), and they all fit/functioned perfectly. (It's worth noting at this point the sight blade itself is the same for any applicable frame size---varying only in height and width---which is to say one could make a strip of blade stock (which is too long and too high), and then whack off a piece---and proceed to whittle out a blade for anything from a NM #3 down to a single shot. Similarly, the retaining plate drawing could be scaled up for anything. So---now we have a blade, a retaining plate, and the screws. That which remains is the latch. S&W started this exercise with a regular, everyday latch---and whittled on it with a milling machine. You can do the same. (Never mind it'd be a damn sight easier to find a factory made latch/sight assembly-------and having said that, get in touch with (contact information to follow in PM.)

A word of warning concerning the latch---one modified to host the target sight. It has a slot milled in it to accommodate the sight tang. The act of milling that slot severely weakens what I'll call the latch tang. When that slot is refilled with the tang of the sight base/blade holder, there's no harm, no foul---everything works fine. If---IF one were to install such a modified latch on a barrel, and cycle it (up/down) just once, without the sight assembly in place (filling up that slot), they will succeed in breaking the end (now ends) of the latch tang. I know this because I've been there (and am very likely the culprit who done that). The good news is I found a wizard gunsmith who fixed it---fixed it as though it never happened---a sure enough WIZARD.

All for now.

Ralph Tremaine
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Old 06-22-2018, 05:57 PM
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Mark,
Here's a pic of what I've got. I might have been wrong in my PM. The stripped target sight might actually be the early style that you need or maybe the base was the same for the early and late style? Ralph?

Pictured is the stripped bottom, the drift adjustable along with a standard for comparison.
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Old 06-22-2018, 06:28 PM
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Mark,
Here's a pic of what I've got. I might have been wrong in my PM. The stripped target sight might actually be the early style that you need or maybe the base was the same for the early and late style? Ralph?

Pictured is the stripped bottom, the drift adjustable along with a standard for comparison.
I'm not sure what you're calling "drift adjustable", but the latch shown at the right side is a target latch----stripped of what I'll call the sight base or blade holder. It is that piece, configured as pictured, you DO NOT wish to install on a barrel and cycle (up/down)--lest you break it--- break it at the front (where the barrel catch screw goes through). Once assembled with its sight base or blade holder, it's good to go (plenty strong enough). Given that piece as it sits, you need the sight base/blade holder, the blade, the blade retaining plate, and it's two screws. As an aside, that piece (the target latch) is where the elevation adjusting screw lives---tiny little thing in its hole underneath---and it may be in there as we speak. That which can be made from the drawing I mentioned earlier is the blade, the retaining plate, and its two screws.

Ralph Tremaine

I said that stripped target latch is what you need (in addition to the other items noted). That's assuming that piece is the correct size---for the small frame. That for a NM #3 or a large frame double action looks exactly the same---but is larger. I have a complete/essentially as new latch/target sight assembly for a NM #3 if you can figure out how to shrink it.

And there is no early or late style, unless you're speaking of the sight base/blade holder piece. The "early" (those found on 1st/2nd SS's) is not "adjustable" per se---only movable (for windage). (Loosen the retaining plate screws, slide the sight blade one way or the other, and tighten the screws.) The "late" style is that found on the 3rd Models---is screw adjustable for windage---PRECISELY adjustable---and fits/functions just fine on any of them---1st/2nd/3rd.

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Old 06-23-2018, 05:06 PM
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Ralph and Chris,

Once again you both have been extremely helpful, thank you. I have started talking to another collector who may have the complete rear target sight. He just has to rumage through his parts stash to find it. My fingers are crossed. Will keep you posted.
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Old 06-23-2018, 05:42 PM
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After reading Gary's post again about the chamber on his 38 barrel I looked closer at mine. The barrel is marked "32 S. & W. CTG". The standard 32 cartridge drops right in. Looking at the length of the standard 32 cartridge and comparing it to the chamber length, the chamber looks quite a bit longer. Bought some 32 long rounds today and they almost dropped in. The cartridge sticks out about 25 thousandths (.025 of an inch). I can close the barrel but it takes some force. It looks like the brass is hitting the chamber rim, not the lead bullet because there are no marks on the lead. Measured the brass length and it measures .910. If the brass was crimped on the round it probably would chamber just fine.

Do I have a 32 S&W Long barrel or is it the standard 32 S&W Barrel? Maybe they changed the chamber when they milled the bottom of the barrel fancy flat?

Mark

The barrel is marked "Model of 91"

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Old 06-23-2018, 08:14 PM
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I think a pattern might be developing here. Did you say your barrel is not numbered? There were a ton of barrels sold off by the company and ended up on SS pistols and in the hands of collectors. I cannot state with any certainty that the factory used some of these barrels for experimentation, hence the barrel in 38/44 target. Your barrel is 32, but there was also a 32/44 Target round. The dimension of the 32/44 was about an inch (.969" case length). Check the chamber length to the step and let us know the dimension. If it is an inch long, a 32 HR Mag case would be just the ticket. Remember that a 32/44 Target round has a bullet completely seated in the case, while a 32 Long cartridge has the bullet extending and could affect the fit even if there is no mark on the lead?

As I learned by trial and error, too short a case in the chamber and accuracy goes right out the window.
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Old 06-23-2018, 09:14 PM
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The single shot 32 barrel is un-numbered.

Have a 32-44 target revolver. Tried the 32 S&W round in the gun and it dropped through the cylinder. The end of the barrel is about .318. The 32 single shot barrel is defiantly not chambered in 32-44 target.

Included a few pictures with rounds in the chamber in the 32 single shot barrel. The first two pictures are of the standard 32 round. The last two pictures are of the 32 long round in the chamber. You can see that the 32 long round does not fully seat in the chamber
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Old 06-24-2018, 08:06 AM
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Here is a photo of my .32 S&W CTG, 10 inch barrel [also un-numbered] on one of my 1st model frames. As shown with a 32 S&W long cartridge in it. Your chamber appears to have been lengthened at some point, like you said.
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Old 06-24-2018, 09:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boulder350 View Post
. . . The end of the barrel is about .318 . . .
The bullet used in 32 S&W and 32 Long is only .312", and I believe the bullet used in the 320 Revolving Rifle and 32/44 Target was a .317". If you have a .318 bore, it is big for standard 32 calibers??? Did you measure land or groove dimension in the barrel? I just measured a 32 S&W DA and a 32 Long HE 1903 and got exactly .312" groove and .308" land dimensions, much smaller than .317" in your barrel. A standard .312" bullet used in either of those calibers would rattle down the barrel and not even engage the rifling. How tight is the cartridge in the chamber? The case length for a 32 Long is .93" which is only 1/32" shorter than 32/44 Target brass.

It would certainly be possible that experimentation was done for the 32 Long round, which was introduced in 1903 to see if it could have been used as a target round for the later model SS pistols, but who knows for sure why these barrels were altered?

Can you take a measurement of the chamber for us? Use a micrometer or just slide a wire into the chamber until you feel the step and measure length. Also, check the chamber diameter while you are at it. It would also be interesting if anyone else with a 32 S&W single shot barrel could do the same to compare.
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Old 06-24-2018, 10:39 AM
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Ol777gunnerz, thanks for the picture and info on your 32 barrel. Looked at the chamber on my 32 barrel and its blued all the way to the rifling. No recent modifications that I can tell.

Gary, the chamber appears to be .833 long. If you add the case head of the round I have of .052 the total length is .885. The diameter of the chamber is .339. The end of the barrel is .312.

Looks like I will need to handload to get target accuracy. Would need to trim the 32 long case to .880 for best results.

Mark
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Old 06-24-2018, 12:57 PM
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Ralph,

The 'drift adjustable' in my pic is the one sitting on top of the non-target. It was an aftermarket mod that installed a leaf in cut groove on a standard non-target latch. It was on my SA 3rd.

Thanks for the clarification about the 1st-2nd models with the clamping screws for windage versus the 3rd models with push screws for windage and elevation. Now I know what parts I've got and what they are called.

Yep, I also have several .44 size target rear sight latches. I think there were 3 varieties of those. The .44DA looks like the .38 SA style, only bigger. The NM#3 is a little different and some have the hammer catch notch while others don't.
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Old 06-24-2018, 03:27 PM
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The .312" bore makes much more sense than the .317". I would say that you have a 32 S&W chamber, little long, but in the ballpark. The 32 S&W cartridge is .92" long, so bullet would sit just short of the rifling.
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Old 06-25-2018, 07:58 AM
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No expert here at all but just thinking out loud as I am a little experianced with 32 S&W target loads but have absolutely no experiance with S&W SS barrels just trying to keep up .So the 32 SS barel in question has been possibly modified at some point ? If that be the case is it possible that the modification was made to chamber a 32 S&W long wad cutter round ? Like I said just wondering as target shooters are and in general have been an exacting bunch and I could see if a fellow had the resources and ability where he might have a barel chambered in an exact dimension for an exact load that is his personal favorite and most accurate load .My advice or what I would do as a hand loader would be carefully and slowly trim a 32 S&W long case to exact measurement of chamber maybe just a slight tight fit then load and crimp in a wadcutter at exactly my favorite crimp ( of course no primer or powder for experimentation) and after a couple or three tries probabaly get it right if and this is the big if it was a custom chambered barel made by or for an exacting precision shooter for his or her pet load. Likei said thinking out loud probabaly showing lots of ignorance so dont laugh just feel sorry for me .
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Old 06-27-2018, 11:00 AM
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IIRC, there were some SS pistols having barrels with "Olympic chambers", shorter than standard ones.

However Im not sure this would be the same thing, since (IIRC) the idea behind an Olympic chamber would be to force the lead into the rifling by means of a shorter throat, and not a shorter chamber lenght.

On the other side of the coin, the .32 S&W Long that appears in the pictures does nt seem to have a roll crimp (the .32 S&W round in the other pictures has it).

So maybe a .32 S&W Long round with a crimped case will seat just fine in this tight (Olympic style?) chamber.
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Old 07-05-2018, 11:43 AM
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Thanks to everyone for their thoughts on this 32 chambering.

It just did not make sense that a target barrel from Smith and Wesson would be so far off from the standard 32 S&W and 32 S&W Long dimensions.

Recently was doing some research on a Merwin Hulbert 4th model Frontier Army I was bidding on. Remembered Merwin had their own 32 long cartridge so looked to see what Art Phelps wrote about the cartridge in his book "The Story of Merwin, Hulbert & Co. Firearms." The cartridge dimensions he lists for the 32 MH&Co. Long will defiantly chamber in my 32 barrel correctly. Art even said that gallery loads were available for the 32 MH&Co. Long cartridge. Further research showed the 32 MH&Co Long was introduced in the mid 1880's, well before the 32 S&W Long was introduced. That also makes it available to be chambered in my barrel marked Model of 91 from S&W.

So for now I'm going to say my barrel is chambered for the 32 MH&Co. Long cartridge. None of the gun makers at that time liked to list another gun makers name on their guns so maybe that's why its stamped 32 S&W CTG? At least that makes sense to me.
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Old 07-05-2018, 12:09 PM
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Very interesting. If bullet dia. is 0.309" then it seems to be smaller than .32 S&W Long bullets (0.314"dia).

Therefore, I would expect bore dimensions for .32 MH & Co to be slightly smaller than the ones for .32 S&W Long. Im taking a wild guess here, as Ive never heard before about that very interesting cartridge.
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Old 07-06-2018, 09:57 AM
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Wow ! Thanks for coming back with the information on that old cartridge and your barel . As always thre is something to learn on thevS&W forum .
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Old 08-11-2018, 07:19 PM
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The display case is done. Bought an older S&W display box. It was a little small so all the items are pretty close together.

Working on hand loads for the 32 barrel. Bought some 32 H&R Magnum cases and trimmed them down to .890" and they fit perfect.
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