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Old 12-21-2010, 09:38 AM
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Default S&W 30 vs 31 and 32 vs 33

Let me make sure I understand these models:

S&W model 30 - I frame then J frame. Known as the 32/38 terrier in the pre model, post war years? Round butt frame, similiar to the model 1903 32 cal hand ejector?

S&W model 31 - I frame then J frame. Known as the regulation police in pre model, post war years? Square butt frame, similiar to pre war regulation police?

S&W model 32 - I frame then J frame. Known as the terrier in pre model post war years? Round butt frame.

S&W model 33 - same as model 32, except square butt. Basically a regulation police pre war in 38 S&W? (I know its not known as the terrier, btw).

Do I have this right? Thanks.
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Old 12-21-2010, 01:06 PM
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Almost correct.

Models 30 and 31 are .32 caliber guns; Models 32 and 33 are chambered in .38 S&W.

The model 30 is the numbered descendant of the .32 Hand Ejector (round butt).

The model 31 is the numbered descendant of the .32 Regulation Police (square butt).

The model 32 is the numbered descendant of the .38/32 Terrier (five shot, round butt, short barrel).

The model 33 is the numbered descendant of the .38 Regulation Police (five shot, square butt).

I don't know enough about the model-marked guns to say that those classifications are rigid, but I know in the postwar period before model numbers were introduced there was some confusion between characteristics of these guns. I have a transitional .38 RP with a round butt, for example. I believe there are .32 revolvers that could be described as either Pre-30 or Pre-31 depending on which aspects of the model definition you emphasize.

Maybe somebody has a rigid typology worked out and understands these guns, but in my mind the lines between pre-30 and pre-31 can blur a bit, as they do between pre-32 and pre-33. If you have a box for a transitional gun, you can at least be guided by the label. After model numbers were introduced, the gun itself should tell you what it is.

Yes, these models all started before WWII as I-frames, and then morphed into J-frames after the war.

Only .38s carried the "Terrier" name; there were no .32 Terriers.
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Old 12-21-2010, 11:43 PM
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David,

Good job, I agree and think you covered it clearer than I could have.

One small detail I know you know but maybe Gorings S&W is unaware; the .32 Reg Police/Model 31, is not stamped as such on the barrel as is the .38 RP/Mod 33.
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Old 12-24-2010, 11:41 AM
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Originally Posted by DCWilson View Post
I don't know enough about the model-marked guns to say that those classifications are rigid, but I know in the postwar period before model numbers were introduced there was some confusion between characteristics of these guns...
That confusion extended into the model marked guns too. Over the years, I have seen many square-butt Model 30s, and a few round-butt Model 31s. Seems there were pictures of similarly marked guns in one of the SCSWs. I suppose this is another example of S&W's well known tendency to, on occasion, manufacture by convenience and economy.

Most of the square-butt 30s I have seen have 2-inch barrels, and most of the round-butt 31s seem to have 4-inch barrels, so maybe those running the show at S&W at the time equated the barrel length with the model as much, or more so, as they did the shape of the frame... ? I have never heard any real authorities bother to explain this, so my explanation is pure speculation.
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Old 12-24-2010, 03:53 PM
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Originally Posted by M29since14 View Post
That confusion extended into the model marked guns too. Over the years, I have seen many square-butt Model 30s, and a few round-butt Model 31s. Seems there were pictures of similarly marked guns in one of the SCSWs. I suppose this is another example of S&W's well known tendency to, on occasion, manufacture by convenience and economy.

Most of the square-butt 30s I have seen have 2-inch barrels, and most of the round-butt 31s seem to have 4-inch barrels, so maybe those running the show at S&W at the time equated the barrel length with the model as much, or more so, as they did the shape of the frame... ? I have never heard any real authorities bother to explain this, so my explanation is pure speculation.
You got it right. The barrel length seemed to be the determing factor for which model # S&W considered it rather than the butt shape. So we've found 2" Handejectors, pre Mod 30s and Mod 30s with round or sq butt. And found longer barrel Reg Pol, pre mod 31s and mod 31s w/rd or sg butt. Box labeling (when boxes are available), seems to bear this out.
32 HE (Mod 30) officially dropped in 1976. Reg Pol made in any configuration until dropped in 1983 and officially replaced w/ the 32 Mag guns shortly after.
Similar variation seems to exist in the .38 S&W chambered guns (mod 32 and 33) but the Reg Pol barrel marking was eliminated sometime after the 1950s and both models were dropped from production in 1974. Some refer to 1974 as "the great S&W massacre" when several old favorite models ceased production.
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Last edited by Hondo44; 12-24-2010 at 04:02 PM.
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Old 12-24-2010, 04:02 PM
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Not the least of the confusion for me is that there is no .32 Terrier and neither are the .38's marked "Terrier", but the .32 Regulation Police is called that, but the .38's say "Regulation Police" on the barrel?
Great stuff for collectors to fuss about! As I tend towards the pre-model marked guns, there is more fun sorting things out...
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Old 12-24-2010, 04:15 PM
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Not the least of the confusion for me is that there is no .32 Terrier and neither are the .38's marked "Terrier", but the .32 Regulation Police is called that, but the .38's say "Regulation Police" on the barrel?
Great stuff for collectors to fuss about! As I tend towards the pre-model marked guns, there is more fun sorting things out...
Hi SDH,
My theory is that since the 32 was the original Hand Ejector model from way back in 1896, Smith kept that name and used the Terrier to distinguish the 38 S&W guns (introduced in 1936) from the .32s rather than call them HEs too.

But my theory is shot to hell with the Reulation Police Models in 32 and 38 which were both called Reg Pol. Although .32s were not stamped reg pol.

You're right though, great stuff to yak on and on about...I too prefer the pre model guns. And I'm glad I do because I can get those sent to the People's Republik of Kalifornia.
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Old 12-24-2010, 05:18 PM
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Default More to this story!

According to the "Parts List/Instruction Sheets" model 32 38 Terrier was a 2" RB gun and the model 33 38 Regulation Police was a SB 4" gun. This is from a mid 60s parts sheet and the All Model Circulars! That is a hard and fast rule, right? WRONG! ! ! I have a model marked 33 SB with a 2" barrel that appears to be NIB. My major problem is the ship date puts the gun in the era of the factory records that are in limbo so a letter request will only yield me the ship date, which I already have!
I believe some of the confussion with the model marked guns of the mod 30 & mod 31 comes from the fact the mod 30 was dropped in 1976 but the mod 31 was the last 32 made and was not dropped until 1991.
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Old 12-24-2010, 09:12 PM
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Originally Posted by jcelect View Post
According to the "Parts List/Instruction Sheets" model 32 38 Terrier was a 2" RB gun and the model 33 38 Regulation Police was a SB 4" gun. This is from a mid 60s parts sheet and the All Model Circulars! That is a hard and fast rule, right? WRONG! ! ! I have a model marked 33 SB with a 2" barrel that appears to be NIB. My major problem is the ship date puts the gun in the era of the factory records that are in limbo so a letter request will only yield me the ship date, which I already have!
I believe some of the confussion with the model marked guns of the mod 30 & mod 31 comes from the fact the mod 30 was dropped in 1976 but the mod 31 was the last 32 made and was not dropped until 1991.
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jcelet, thanks very much for correcting my end date for the Model 31 to 1991. I want to ackowledge here for all so they know your date is the correct one. I hate when I put out confuising info. I confused the ending date with the end of the 'H' serial number series which ended in 1983. In 1984 the three letter serial numbers began.

What do you mean by "ship date puts the gun in the era of the factory records that are in limbo"?

Your model marked 33 should be a Model of 1953 2nd Immprovement I frame. Therefore it was made between 1957 and 1961 (when the 33-1 was introduced on the J frame). However it could be a J frame with the -1 left off. I have a Model 34 like that! If that's the case, and it has a flat latch, it was made anytime between 1961 and 1966. If not a flat latch but with 'diamond' grips, it was made between 1966 and 1968.
Is it an I or J frame?
the
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Old 12-25-2010, 06:48 AM
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Hello
All this talk on Pre-30's and Regulation Police model revolver's and No Pictures ? I happen to love the super accurate .32 S&W Long Cartridge and have & have had a few examples of them. Below is my 1925 Regulation Police model revolver that was owned and carried by the Evansville, Indiana Police Chief Harry Anderson back in the late 1920s time span. For some unknown reason they did not stamp the .32 S&W Long caliber Regulation police revolver's with the model name yet they did stamp them "Regulation Police" on the .38 S&W caliber Regulation police revolvers ? The 2" Snub Model Pre-30 shown below shipped in April 1958 wearing it's original stock's and was "a rescue gun" as it was badly corroded and Pitted in blued form when I first got it, but lightly fired and locked up like a Vault, so I felt what a prefect daily carry gun. It was then sent to Ford's custom gun refinishing in Florida and they applied a High Polish Hard chrome finish to it, telling me then that their hard chrome finish would take a good daily carry beating and not show much wear compared to any other finishes they offered. I carried it loyally for about Four years, then gave it to our Daughter as a Nightstand Gun when she got married and moved out of our nest, and it still looks as good as the day it returned from Ford's.. The 3" Model Pre-30 that is blued shown wearing it's original factory issued stock's & finish was shipped in September 1952 and bought at a public gun auction Locally here in Knoxville this past spring for $140.00 out the door including a 10% Buyers Premium and given to my Son in Law the following day to make his Nightstand drawer gun..... The last one is my current daily carry weapon and is a discontinued Model 431 P. D. revolver. it is chambered in the .32 H&R Magnum round and carries nicely being an Air-Weight gun at just 12 ounces. Long live the .32 Caliber handguns, Let's see them .32's Guys, I simly can't see enough of them ! ... Hammerdown

































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Old 12-25-2010, 03:26 PM
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Default Records in limbo? ! ?

Hey Hondo44
A few years back the BATF requested S&W retrieve the records they had donated to the Conn. Valley Arms Museum covering approx. 10 years. They were placed in storage at the factory. Mr. Jinks does not have the resources nor time to search these records for guns shipped during those dates. My 33-1 was shipped in Feb 1970 which is right in the middle of the dates in question. Sorry for omitting the -1 in my last post!
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Old 12-25-2010, 08:41 PM
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Thanx, I had not heard that before. So all he could give you was the shipping date but no other info. Kind of dissapointing.
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cartridge, ejector, hand ejector, j frame, jinks, model 1903, postwar, round butt, s&w, snubnose, swca, terrier, wwii

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