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Old 04-26-2018, 12:08 AM
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Default 32 S&W Double-Action Front Sight

Here is a 32 Double-Action 4th model with a 6" barrel. The serial number is 104,xxx. Was this front sight standard or an option for 6" barrels during this time frame? I have seen a picture or two on the web with this sight but most are the standard 1/2 moon.

The "Standard Catalog of Smith an Wesson, 4th Edition" has two pictures of 4th models with 6" barrels. One has the 1/2 moon front sight and the other is exhibition engraved with a Paine front sight. There is no mention of target sights available for this model.

Any thoughts would be appreciated.

Thanks
Mark
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Old 04-26-2018, 06:38 AM
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Mark, that looks like a standard half-moon front sight that someone has filed a bit in the rear to taper it. I don't think S&W offered a sight like this as an option but, then, I'm not an expert.
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Old 04-26-2018, 09:09 AM
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Pinned half-moon was standard for almost all antique top-break revolvers other than target models, which would have had an adjustable rear sight as well. I, like Guy, have never seen a target 32 DA, but there is one shown in Supica's SCSW4 with a target front sight without a rear target sight. A better image of the front sight would be needed, but it does not look like the shape of any S&W target sight made, so still think filed on.

The standard front sight is as shown on a 6" 32 DA I have and I would be tempted to carefully re-shape that one to be proper half-circle unless proven to be a target sight. Better yet - find an original replacement. 6" 32 DAs bring a 25% premium because not many were made.
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Old 04-26-2018, 10:04 AM
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Thanks for the replies gentlemen.

Here is a picture of two 6" guns guns together. The sight on the hammered gun is .500" long and .258" tall. The sight on the hammerless gun is .488" long and .241" tall.

If I place the hammered gun directly behind the hammerless gun you can see there is more metal on the hammered gun sight. I don't think it was filed down.

I also included a picture from an internet auction site with the same front sight as mine.
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Old 04-26-2018, 10:51 AM
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I'm going to make a "guess" that it is an aftermarket sight, possibly to correct a gun shooting too high.
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Old 04-26-2018, 11:08 AM
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The .32 DA 4th was not offered with target sights according to Bob Neal's treatise on S&W target sights----.38 DA 4th was. That said, given a front sight pinned in place, it stands to reason you could have any pinned front sight available---on order.

There was a "special Patridge" "applied on special order to break-open models from about 1900 to 1920, but was never cataloged.", which is similar to the sight shown in the first post. The similarity is the treatment of the aft section----cut off more or less straight here, and decidedly convex on the "special Patridge".

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Old 04-26-2018, 11:18 AM
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IIRC, these sights are made from German silver which can be easily shaped and sized. Different sized sights, like Boulder's, make sense if POI needed to be adjusted as H Richard says.
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Old 04-26-2018, 11:32 AM
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I have a .38 SA, 2nd Issue that has an 8" barrel and has the same shaped sight that is on the OP's revolver.
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Old 04-28-2018, 09:08 PM
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Must be something about those long barrels that affects the front sight.

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Old 04-28-2018, 10:50 PM
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Dean, nice revolver. The barrel on mine is two-piece like the Revolving Rifle. Only as an observation and not fact; I find that any barrel longer than 6" is made in two pieces. Does anyone know why; or are there one-piece examples longer than 6"?
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Old 04-28-2018, 11:40 PM
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I had heard that because of the forging of the latch ears and the extractor housing that it was difficult to avoid warping the barrel when they tried to make them in one piece.
Don't know if there is any truth to this........
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Old 04-29-2018, 04:09 PM
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Great looking 38 single action gun with the long barrel Deadin. Will request a letter this week to see what the historians say.
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Old 04-29-2018, 07:45 PM
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Default Long Barrel Front Sight

Here's my example.
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