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  #1  
Old 10-29-2010, 04:53 PM
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Default The .32-20 Hand Ejector Thread

Have we had a recent "reference" thread on the .32-20 revolvers? We'll start one and see how far it gets and how many .32-20 Smith & Wesson fans there are. Only .32-20 guns need apply.

I just got a dandy set of stocks from ctg4570 who posted them in our Accessories Classifieds. These gave the best fit I've ever experienced on replacement originals and made a good match to the revolver. I was so pleased that I took updated photos. Yea Chris! Thanks!

Serial No. 1335xx. A fairly late production .32-20, I've not lettered it yet but, based on data gleaned here, am guessing that it falls in the 1927-1929 range. Would this be a close guess?

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Old 10-29-2010, 06:37 PM
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This is my .32-20 HE 6 inch barrel. Someone filed down the front sight to a small bead and I added the Wondersight. Not sure the year or the history, someday I will get it lettered.

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Old 10-29-2010, 06:44 PM
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Default The other 32-20

Not S&W but meets the requirement of 32-20 1913 Colt Army Special.

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Old 10-29-2010, 06:56 PM
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Wink I'll contribute a little

This is a pic of the last one I got a 6" from around 1916 or so. SN.689xx.
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Old 10-29-2010, 07:38 PM
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My only .32-20 so far, but in time there will be others.

S/N 54269: shipped April 1913. Model 1905, Third Change. Clumsily renickeled (note dip loop shadow near muzzle), but at least the hammer and trigger were left alone; they look gray because the case coloring has almost completely faded. Action fine, muzzle and bore in great shape. Stocks appropriate, but not original.

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Old 10-29-2010, 08:40 PM
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Do Targets count?

Serial # 76926 shipped August of 1917, 99.9% condition all original parts.

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Old 10-29-2010, 08:56 PM
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Here's mine; about 1920
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Old 10-29-2010, 08:57 PM
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Here are a couple of early targets in the 32-20 serial number series.
This first one is 32-20:





Now - this next one is actually chambered in 32 Long, but serial-
numbered in the 32-20 series. I regard this gun as the first K-32
target revolver. Serial-numbering it in the 32-20 series makes more
sense than in the 38 series, because the barrel caliber is the same as
the 32-20.





Regards, Mike Priwer
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Old 10-29-2010, 09:32 PM
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Mine is a 1905 4th Model from before the heat treated cylinder era. I have recently added the Wonder Sight, too!

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Old 10-29-2010, 10:08 PM
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Here is another.


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Old 10-29-2010, 10:09 PM
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This one shipped in June, 1922 to the Simon Levalley Co. in Buffalo, NY. Serial number is in the 108600 range. I have the original stocks for it as well. Mechanically, it is as new.
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Old 10-29-2010, 10:11 PM
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Do Targets count?

Sure they do. Targets count, stray Colts count, even .32 Longs numbered within the .32-20 series count (like we would ever be inundated with .32 Longs numbered within the .32-20 series).

It would be great to see them all. I've always been keen on the .32-20 as a revolver cartridge as well as a rifle cartridge. I'd love a 6-inch Colt Army Special in .32-20 too.

Who on the Forum has the lowest number and who has the highest number. Any information from factory letters or connections with family histories or law enforcement would be welcome. Model revisions and changes in markings could be noted as well. Those who still shoot theirs regularly could post tales and favorite loads. We could even speculate whether Robert Johnson was referring to a Colt or a Smith & Wesson in his song ".32-20 Blues."


Hey Mike Priwer;

You refer to your second revolver as .32 Long. I assume that means .32 S&W Long rather than the obsolete .32 Long Colt. Is it marked ".32 Long?" That revolver has to be a major rarity. Any idea of the total production or if it was a special order?

Even your early .32-20 Target must be uncommon with a 4-inch barrel.
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Old 10-29-2010, 11:11 PM
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S/N 1418XX* 4-49 rework stamp.
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Old 10-30-2010, 12:10 AM
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Here's a target model that I sold this year. Serial number 30xxx, it shipped in March 1907. Crappy finish, but a mirror bore and matching grips.

I need to take a group shot of my other .32-20s: a 5" M&P; a Colt PPS, an Official Police, a Cimmaron Model P Jr, and a Martini-Henry.

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Old 10-30-2010, 09:49 AM
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Here is mine. I have also put a Wonder Sight on it for shooting.



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Old 10-30-2010, 12:18 PM
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This is great, I just went out yesterday and shoot this .32-20 and this post appears. This gun was going to be sold but now after shooting it I just may keep it. .32-20 6" barrel serial #63756 everything numbers correct, model of 1905 3rd change, she has alot of ware on her but like most old smith's the single and double auction are great. just a good old classic S&W.

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Old 10-30-2010, 01:22 PM
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Quote:
You refer to your second revolver as .32 Long. I assume that means .32 S&W Long rather than the obsolete .32 Long Colt. Is it marked ".32 Long?"
Here is the letter on the gun. You'll see that its characterized as
a Special Caliber Variation, not a special order. In the records, there
appears to be 6 or 8, or so, of these special chamberings. They are
in the 43XXX serial number range, which is 1910. There is another
handful made up in 1916 - I think the 61XXX serial number range.
Again, there was less that a dozen - maybe 8 or so.

The barrel has no caliber marking on it.



Regards, Mike Priwer
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Old 10-31-2010, 01:47 PM
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Thanks for posting the letter too, Mike. Explains a lot about probably one of the rarest S&Ws pictured on the forum.
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Old 10-31-2010, 04:29 PM
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Quote:
Even your early .32-20 Target must be uncommon with a 4-inch barrel.
You had asked about the 4" 32-20 target. Its the only 4" target in
32-20 that I am aware of. There may be others, but I have never
seen, nor heard, of one. A fellow in Idaho found it, and happened
to be reading some of my postings, and told me about it. Took over a
year to buy it !

It had a lot of metal wear, with a couple of significant dings and dents. The grips were worn smooth.
Keith Brown did a magnificient job of recheckering them, and then finished them much like the factory
did in the first place. Dave Chicoine Jr spent a lot of time dealing with the worn areas, but I had him
try to keep the roll markings in tact. This is why the major dents are still there !

Regards, Mike Priwer

Last edited by mikepriwer; 10-31-2010 at 04:33 PM.
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Old 10-31-2010, 04:45 PM
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Here are a couple of pictures of the 32-20 4" target before refinishing.





Mike Priwer
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Old 10-31-2010, 07:34 PM
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Here is the one I have.

S&W Model of 1905 shipped February of 1907. Serial number 21188.


Last edited by nutsforsmiths; 03-06-2014 at 12:49 AM.
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Old 11-02-2010, 06:32 PM
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Thanks for the story on the 4-inch .32-20 Target and posting the "before and after" photos Mike. That really is a good job of restoration. Nice to make comparisons.

Nutsforsmiths;

Nice old revolver that reminds me of the first .32-20 I had. It fell very close in serial number, looked much like that one except was a square butt.
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Old 11-02-2010, 10:54 PM
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bmcgilvray, what happened to that first 32-20 you had?

Always like to hear the stories on these guns.
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Old 11-02-2010, 11:13 PM
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I did that which is evil. I didn't like the nickel finish which was beginning to look shopworn so took the .32-20 and a 70% nickel Model of 1926 .44 Special to a local shop for stripping and refinishing in blue. They came out looking rather nice but then I wasn't happy with them for being non-original so swapped them away. This happened some 25 years ago when the oldies weren't quite the collectibles they they have become.
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Old 11-03-2010, 12:22 AM
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Ouch! That sounds painful, even 25 years later. Live and learn I guess.
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Old 11-03-2010, 03:43 PM
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Default 32 WCF CTG Question

I have this gun and would like any info you might be willing to share.

Smith and Wesson 32 WCF CTG Serial 633xx
very nice, possibly re blued at sometime, not sure.
4" barrel. walnut square grips, (original), no rear site, front blade only (large). #s match butt, cylinder and yoke. would post picture, but don't know how to aquire "url".
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Old 11-03-2010, 05:38 PM
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Quote:
S&W Model of 1905 shipped February of 1907. Serial number 21188.
For the record, this gun has a round butt, not a square butt. It is a
Model of 1902, not a model of 1905.

Mike Priwer
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Old 11-03-2010, 07:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikepriwer View Post
For the record, this gun has a round butt, not a square butt. It is a
Model of 1902, not a model of 1905.

Mike Priwer
I was waiting for that Mike

Dan
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Old 11-03-2010, 07:47 PM
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Dan

In Chicago, the byword used to be "Vote early, and vote often."

If I repeat the mantra about 1902's vs 1905's often enough, it just
might stick !

Regards, Mike Priwer
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Old 11-04-2010, 02:20 AM
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Talking

Mike,

Either I'm confused or you are trying to pull my leg. I can't tell which it is?
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Old 11-04-2010, 09:44 PM
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Here is one that was at the local shop.




Engraved
Plated
Gold accents
Real mother of pearl grips

Showing signs of wear but quite the bling back in the day.
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Old 11-05-2010, 11:42 AM
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A couple more; but not a target:

The top 2 are 32-20's; the others are pre-war K38's of one sort or another. Here's some singles of the 1902-1st:

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Old 11-12-2010, 08:39 PM
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I knew I never should have read this thread. The one in my post above is now mine less the MOP grips. Anyone have a good source of 32-20 ammo?
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Old 11-14-2010, 04:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikepriwer View Post
Here are a couple of early targets in the 32-20 serial number series.


Now - this next one is actually chambered in 32 Long, but serial-
numbered in the 32-20 series. I regard this gun as the first K-32
target revolver. Serial-numbering it in the 32-20 series makes more
sense than in the 38 series, because the barrel caliber is the same as
the 32-20.




Regards, Mike Priwer
Hey Mike, I love those 4 inch targets. Did the one above letter with the grooved trigger?
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Old 11-14-2010, 05:42 AM
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"Did the one above letter with the grooved trigger?"

The trigger on it isn't grooved, it is checkered. The letter I had, I think it's the same one Mike is showing, didn't say anything about the trigger.
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Old 11-14-2010, 09:25 AM
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Default My 32-20 H.E.'s

First is a round butt, 4", factory re-nickel. Dated under grip, 11/81, star preceeds serial number on bottom of barrel. s/n 21214.



Next is my 6" target 32-20.


Last is a 5" in as new condition with original box & cleaning brush, still in original brown paper. This gun came from the original owner & is reportedly unfired from the factory. Shipped 1912.
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Old 11-14-2010, 10:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdh View Post
Anyone have a good source of 32-20 ammo?
Good luck with your search... Larger gun shows usually have sellers. You're much better off finding an individual with an assortment of old ammo he no longer needs. It was how I managed to find a couple of boxes that didn't cost an arm and a leg.

But then at an OGCA show a guy had a coffee can and a jar full of gas check cast bullets. He wanted $5 and $8 for them. But he compromised and sold me both for $11. I got about 500 of them!

The next stroke of luck was at a tiny gun show my son wanted me to attend. I was bored to death, looking at the **** he enjoyed (AR ****). But then on an end cap was a bunch of .32-20 stuff. Loaded ammo, one box of 50 Winchester brand bullets (cute little box) and a bunch of brass.

Some of it was unfired, some looked to be once fired. He wanted me to make him an offer. I learned long ago not to do that. Sometimes it insults the other party, other times its way high. So we did the dance for a while, him trying to feel me out as to what I'd pay, me being non-committal. Finally he gave up and said "How about $50". Done! It was a steal, given current prices.

So it means you're going to reload. If you don't already, you're going to start. And its kind of a difficult cartridge to reload. Especially if you have acquired bad habits on other calibers. Trim your cases to length. Don't let it go, do it. Every time. What happens is the cases are kind of thin and weak. If one is too long, the die will crumple it. Brass is to hard to find to waste any. And spend some time getting your dies set the way you want them. With brass that expensive and hard to get, keep your loads down. Its not a magnum, and it will never become one.

From there, its easy.

If you don't reload and have a sucker who's willing, make sure he has a case trimmer.

Buying any "off caliber" at retail is costly. With the ongoing ammo shortages and price jumps, you'll pay dearly. Remember, the .32-20 isn't high on the popularity lists these days.

If you can live with used dies, they're not hard to find.
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Old 11-15-2010, 11:44 AM
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i found this one at a local pawn shop last week. unbelieveably clean and crisp fourth change from about 1923. the addiction overpowered me, and i had to add it to the herd! this is the first 32-20 i have ever owned!
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Old 11-15-2010, 01:07 PM
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Jim

As Jeff noted, the checkered trigger is not noted in the letter.
The gun appears to have been shipped to an individual, so presumably
he must have ordered it. There is less than a dozen of these
Special Caliber Variation, so I presume that they had to have been
special orders.

I don't know if Roy was able to find the invoice for this gun, which
maybe would note the trigger.

Regards, Mike Priwer
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Old 11-15-2010, 03:13 PM
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My own little abomination, a .32-20 Hand Ejector Model of 1905, 3rd Change, wearing an Aimtech K-frame scope base and a cheap 2x20 scope (the scope practically weighs as much as the gun!):



Picked it up for a song and a dance, with the Parkerizing already done to it. It has also had a trigger- and lock-up job done -- one of the tightest lock-ups and smoothest triggers I've ever seen.

I've since removed the scope and base, and I'll be looking to add a WonderSight to it.
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Old 11-15-2010, 08:04 PM
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"My own little abomination, a .32-20 Hand Ejector Model of 1905, 3rd Change, wearing an Aimtech K-frame scope base and a cheap 2x20 scope (the scope practically weighs as much as the gun!):

Picked it up for a song and a dance, with the Parkerizing already done to it. It has also had a trigger- and lock-up job done -- one of the tightest lock-ups and smoothest triggers I've ever seen.

I've since removed the scope and base, and I'll be looking to add a WonderSight to it."



Wow! Never saw that one coming! Who'd a' thunk it? A scoped .32-20 Hand Ejector in this thread.

Did you shoot it before you removed the scope?
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Old 11-15-2010, 09:10 PM
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This is not my first orphan. You would think I learned my lesson with the 41 mag, but noooooooo.
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Old 11-16-2010, 12:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmcgilvray View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by valkyriekl
My own little abomination, a .32-20 Hand Ejector Model of 1905, 3rd Change, wearing an Aimtech K-frame scope base and a cheap 2x20 scope (the scope practically weighs as much as the gun!):

Picked it up for a song and a dance, with the Parkerizing already done to it. It has also had a trigger- and lock-up job done -- one of the tightest lock-ups and smoothest triggers I've ever seen.

I've since removed the scope and base, and I'll be looking to add a WonderSight to it.


Wow! Never saw that one coming! Who'd a' thunk it? A scoped .32-20 Hand Ejector in this thread.

Did you shoot it before you removed the scope?
I did; I didn't like the scope (too big, too heavy, sight picture too wobbly trying to hold it one-handed Bullseye-style) so I swapped it out for a red-dot sight and shot it like that for a bit.

But that was too easy to shoot at 50 yards, and it made the gun look really funny, so I went to iron sights -- turns out I can hit just about as good with irons as I can with a red-dot =)
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Old 11-17-2010, 02:41 AM
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Does anyone have a lower serial number than this? SN 117 with British Proofs, shipped on 3/6/1899 to P. B. Bekeart & Co, San Francisco, CA:


A pair of Targets;


One with a King rib and sight:


A pretty one:


A factory nickel Target:


Here's one with an extra factory fitted 32 Long cylinder numbered to the gun:


NOW FOR SOME COLTS:

A pair of Detective Specials, one in 32-20 & one in 32 Mag:


Colt SAA 32WCF:


Another Colt SAA 32WCF:


Colt Bisley 32WCF:
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Old 11-17-2010, 04:24 AM
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Gatorbaiter:

All I can say is WOW. You have some very nice .32-20's.
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Old 11-17-2010, 08:22 AM
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Default 32-20's

Gaiterbaiter,
Outstanding guns, everyone of them. The one with extra cyl & original box is my favorite. A 1920 ish gun? Probably sent back to the factory & fitted with the 32 cyl? or special ordered?

The one with King rib, are those Roper grips?

s/n 117 w/british proofs. Went to Britain in the Lend Lease era of WWll, than came back?

Thanks for posting these guns, I am 32-20 NUTs!!!
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Old 11-17-2010, 10:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jamned View Post
Gaiterbaiter,
Outstanding guns, everyone of them. The one with extra cyl & original box is my favorite. A 1920 ish gun? Probably sent back to the factory & fitted with the 32 cyl? or special ordered?

The one with King rib, are those Roper grips?

s/n 117 w/british proofs. Went to Britain in the Lend Lease era of WWll, than came back?

Thanks for posting these guns, I am 32-20 NUTs!!!
jamned;

I'm nuts about 32-20's also, must have a dozen of them!

The gun with the extra cyl was shipped 11/19/1928 to Shapleigh & Co, St. Louis, MO. According to the star stamped by the SN on the butt and the small 9-42 stamped on the grip frame under the left grip, it was returned in Sept of 1942 for the extra cylinder to be fitted. Here is a pic of the right side with the Wonder Sight on it:


The grips on the King gun are Ropers!

SN 117 apparently was a "Battle of Britain" gun that made its way back home later.

Here are a few more 32-20's:

Colt Army Special 32-20:


A pair of Colt Police Positive's 32-20:
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  #48  
Old 11-17-2010, 12:56 PM
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I recently traded into a pretty early 4th Change... a brown (formerly blue) 6" with OK original style (no SN visible) walnut, no medallion diamond grips. I assume it is pretty early because the SN (matching all over gun) is 758XX. I assume further that I have the pre-heat treated cylinder, hence my first question. Is this a safe revolver to use with FACTORY pistol ammo? I will be reloading very mild loads based on Unique and the classic 3118 Ideal bullet as brass accumulates.

Another line of questions; in view of the rather sad cosmetic state of the gun currently, is refinishing or perhaps even customizing a reasonable plan for this piece? If I DO go about rebuilding it, can I use standard K-frame parts from a similar vintage .38 such as a Victory? Also, could I rebore a pre-war .22 cylinder (if I can find one) for a .32 long S&W? I'm thinking WonderSights for my sight upgrade and then grips based on whatever finish I finally settle upon. What think ye??

TIA ~ Froggie
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Old 11-17-2010, 04:15 PM
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Showing (once again) my ignorance here with two questions:

1) For target shooting can a standard .32 be used in a 32-20? (I'm thinking yes)

2) To search for one of these - especially a target version - on one of the online sites or here in the "For Sale" section should I simply search for "Hand Ejector" or is there a specific model designation to use?

Thank you.

Ned
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Old 11-17-2010, 04:31 PM
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Originally Posted by EdwardM View Post
Showing (once again) my ignorance here with two questions:

1) For target shooting can a standard .32 be used in a 32-20? (I'm thinking yes)

2) To search for one of these - especially a target version - on one of the online sites or here in the "For Sale" section should I simply search for "Hand Ejector" or is there a specific model designation to use?

Thank you.

Ned
No you should not shoot 32 long in a 32-20
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