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S&W Hand Ejectors: 1896 to 1961 All 5-Screw & Vintage 4-Screw SWING-OUT Cylinder REVOLVERS, and the 35 Autos and 32 Autos


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  #101  
Old 04-29-2013, 05:54 PM
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Thanks David for the info. I'm new to these guns and need all the info I can get.
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  #102  
Old 04-29-2013, 11:22 PM
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I wasn't familiar with the I frame revolvers until I began looking for birth year (1952) guns. I have found several, and I was instantly a fan. Here are two of the ones I have found so far...a 22/32 Post War Transitional 8/52 and Pre-30 1/52.
edit: Two things have become clear to me...1) Wear my glasses when I post. 2) I am not computer savy. Somehow I have deleted the pics of my .22/32 from my photo files. However, here is a link to my original post when I acquired it, along with those elusive photos. Almost Birthday Gun .22/32 Transitional
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  #103  
Old 04-29-2013, 11:28 PM
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Sorry for the double post, but for some reason I couldn't upload the second pair of photos. I have also found a 2" Pre-30 12/52 and a ANIB .38 Regulation Police 2/53. The stocks on the .32 should be magnas. The workmanship and attention to detail of these guns rival anything S&W ever made.
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  #104  
Old 04-30-2013, 02:49 AM
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Originally Posted by OldDominion View Post
I wasn't familiar with the I frame revolvers until I began looking for birth year (1952) guns. I have found several, and I was instantly a fan. Here are two of the ones I have found so far...a 22/32 Post War Transitional 8/52 and Pre-30 1/52.
Those are all three choice specimens. The 22/32 didn't show up and would love to see that one as well.
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  #105  
Old 04-30-2013, 07:44 AM
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I echo Jim's comments and would also love to see the .22/32. It looks like we got two different pictures of the Pre-30 in the earlier of the two posts.
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  #106  
Old 04-30-2013, 07:53 AM
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+1 To Jim & David... that post-War 22/32 is an elusive bird. I'd love to own one but even seeing a good example would be a start. The guns you showed, OD, are nothing to sneer at. In fact, they are very nice examples of the genre. There is a thread going on the 1980 to Present Forum talking about how it's a shame there are so few small revolvers available from S&W these days and what a niche they fill. I sure am glad I have mine which were built in this earlier, more proud era of S&W production. "He had a 32 gun in his pocket for fun..."

Froggie
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  #107  
Old 04-30-2013, 10:25 AM
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Here's the only 38 R-P that I have. Guesstimated DOB
of 1922, with a 2-3/4" barrel. Not quite stock, but fun to
shoot.
TACC1
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  #108  
Old 04-30-2013, 12:36 PM
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TACC1, unless the rear of the frame is rebated for the square type grip extension and the serial number is moved from the bottom of the grip frame to the front, I would ID your little 38 as the much less frequently seen Hand Ejector model rather than the RP. What is altered, the barrel? It looks kinda like a pre-Terrier from here. Cool gun!!

Froggie
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  #109  
Old 04-30-2013, 03:53 PM
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TACC1,

That's a well proportioned little fun shooter. I like to see how they look with non-factory barrel lengths especially when made to look original with the factory front sight reused.
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  #110  
Old 04-30-2013, 07:48 PM
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Hondo44,
I was just trying to start something. That R-P is not
stock. The grip-frame has been cut to round-butt form,
and the barrel has been shortened to its current length.
I got it like that, but I really wanted a Terrier style firearm.
This one needed a new finish, and a little help with the reset.
The S/N is on the front of the grip frame where it belongs.
Fits nicely in one of the Lobo holsters. It's not perfect, but it
does suit me, and it has a new lease on life. Thanks for the
comments.
TACC1
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  #111  
Old 04-30-2013, 08:23 PM
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TACC1,
Well I sure like it in it's present configuration. Yes the front 'toe' had to be rounded a bit and was a piece of wood used as a filler piece to fill the rebate in the backstrap?
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  #112  
Old 04-30-2013, 09:33 PM
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Just to mess around with definitional certainties that turn out not to be that certain at all, please consider this postwar transitional .38 Regulation Police. This is 58470, an early postwar gun. Note the large ejector rod knob and the presence of the strain screw. This is about as "prewar" as you can get in a postwar gun.



Yup, round butt. The frame is unrebated and the stocks are unmodified. The gun letters this way.



Basically, this is a Terrier frame with a four inch barrel on it. I also have 54804 in the same configuration. I think these should have been marketed as the .38/32 Dachshund.

Yeah, I know. I have made that joke before, but I can't stop myself.
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  #113  
Old 04-30-2013, 10:32 PM
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Froggie,

Sorry I don't.

I believe the Pure Post war transitionals with leaf spring, but with post war parts/markings, fill a small niche' between the pre war/post war models and the 1st improvement models w/coil spring.
Apparently it was a darned small niche! They sure are scarce on the ground around here. Oh well, I've still got my pre-War Terrier to comfort me. They're supposed to be pretty rare too, as I understand it.

Froggie
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  #114  
Old 04-30-2013, 10:37 PM
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Jim,
The stocks are not original to the gun. The wood sticks out to the rear of the backstrap. I found no markings on the frame or the stocks.
Even with all the mods done to it, I enjoy it as a shooter.
There sure are some great guns in this thread, that have
Not been modified/mutilated. Great thread, I even learned stuff.
TACC1
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  #115  
Old 04-30-2013, 10:38 PM
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Got this jaust as it is fom a friend, 1920 like new.
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  #116  
Old 05-01-2013, 02:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TACC1 View Post
Jim,
The stocks are not original to the gun. The wood sticks out to the rear of the backstrap. I found no markings on the frame or the stocks.
Even with all the mods done to it, I enjoy it as a shooter.
There sure are some great guns in this thread, that have
Not been modified/mutilated. Great thread, I even learned stuff.
TACC1
I'm intrigued by what you say. To restate, the serial # is on the forestrap but the grip frame backstrap is not rebated and the round but stocks are flush with the backstrap. And there are no marks or sign of metal being added to fill a rebated backstrap.

Standard RP stocks and grip frame with rebate and sq toe:


This tells me it may have been produced with the extended target stocks with 2 screws which have been seen before on RPs, but in wood during the RP era. If that was the case the grip frame would be a rd butt and not rebated. Therefore not needing any modification for the rd butt stocks to fit perfectly.

WRACO's photos:

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  #117  
Old 05-01-2013, 07:23 PM
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Jim,
I found no evidence of mill-work on back of frame, 'course
now it would be hidden by the refinish.
When I first posted about this gun, I realised that it had to
be lettered. Mr. Jinks says it came standard frame from the
factory and modified later. DOB=1922
And, since this post means nothing w/o pics, it isn't lonely.
TACC1
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  #118  
Old 05-01-2013, 07:34 PM
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I'm pretty sure by "standard frame" he meant the standard 32 Hand Ejector frame with round butt as it is now. Did you get the info in a phone call or do you have it in a letter? If in a letter, could you post the letter or quote the exact sentence referring to standard frame?

I love those perfected models:

Thx,
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  #119  
Old 05-02-2013, 06:40 PM
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I have to admit that I'm not 100% sure what the
letter states about the frame. I'm not the brightest light on the
Christmas tree, so it is understandable. I somehow got
the impression that somewhere, there were 38S&W roundbutts.
It didn't look that way from SCSW 3rd At any rate, the
letter is attached. Getting this letter from Roy showed me
one of the reasons to get letters. It does add to the
interest and enjoyment of accumulating S&W's.
Thanks for looking, it means a lot.
TACC1
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  #120  
Old 05-02-2013, 07:34 PM
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TACC1, I think when Roy says it was modified after leaving the factory he is referring only to the shortened barrel. It sounds to me as though it shipped with standard square butt Regulation Police stocks. When somebody put the small round butt stocks on it, they didn't fill in the recess in the grip frame, so that's why "the wood sticks out to the rear of the backstrap" as you said above.

I think I am interpreting your description correctly, but if I sound as though I am off target, maybe you could post another photo of the gun from the back, so we can see the interplay between frame and stocks. And maybe another photo with the stocks off, so we can see the profile of the grip frame.

I agree that you have a fine little shooter. The interest in Terriers and the modified RPs like yours must have contributed to S&W's decision to introduce the Chiefs Special in 1950.
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  #121  
Old 05-02-2013, 08:35 PM
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TACC1

WOW, the mystery only deepens. The letter states it came with "checkered walnut extension square butt grips". That description is most used for the two screw ext 'target' stocks. Regulated Police rebated sq butt stocks with one screw are usually described as just checkered walnut square butt stocks. So I don't think the letter rules out the target stocks which would use a standard round butt configured grip frame like roughly 90% of the Bekeart 22/32 revolvers, the others having the rebated 1 screw sq buttstocks for a period in the early 1020s. And ALL
stamped w/serial # on the front grip strap.

Now I realize the 38 S&W round butt Terrier wasn't introduced until 1936. But the same basic 32 frame with round butt was used for 22, 32 and 38. So as seen on the Bekeart models and RP models supplied with the 2 screw target stocks, the rebated backstrap milling was always deleted. So I don't believe that it's inconceivable for your gun to have been originally supplied w/target stocks and not rebated!

It's obvious that a prior owner of your RP desired a shorter barrel than was available in 1922, perhaps before 1936 when the 2" became available. So why would he not substitute the smaller rd butt grips as well since they fit perfectly! They are also the correct vintage for your gun, no medallions.

I have two requests:
How far apart are the s/ns of the gun and the grips?
And I would love to see a clear close up photo of the grip frame w/o the grips.

The letter is interesting from another angle. It states that your model gun was converted to the J frame in 1956, when the I frame was dropped and the ext sq butt grips were discontinued; this is clearly in error.

The rebated grip frame ended with the introduction of the Model of 1953 New I frame (albeit many rebated sg butt guns still in inventory were shipped after 1953), and it was not built on the J frame until 1960 when the Model 33 also acquired the -1. Roy is very accomodating about correcting his letters at no additional charge when requested.
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  #122  
Old 05-02-2013, 10:34 PM
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David,

I didn't see your post until I came back to this thread. You may be right, and I must be wrong. Although in my post #116 I tried to clarify: "To restate, the serial # is on the forestrap but the grip frame backstrap is not rebated and the round butt stocks are flush with the backstrap." his description: "...the wood sticks out to the rear of the backstrap". Which I guess now, doesn't mean 'flush' but TACCI did not correct that in his very next post.

I also asked to see the grip frame. That would certainly clear this up.
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  #123  
Old 05-04-2013, 11:58 PM
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I am embarrassed by the pics I took. Never should I be allowed to handle a loaded camera.
What was so obvious to me here, does not show up in pics.
If there was a line running cross-ways to the vertical diamond
on the stocks, it would be right where the stocks protrude about
1/32" from there to the butt. I've done a lot of mechanic work over
the years, and saw no evidence of grinding on the frame of this gun.
Usually you can tell if a surface has been modified. Then too,
alterations could have taken place an awful long time ago.
There was virtually no finish left on the gun when I got it.
I could find no evidence of any numbers or letters on the
inner side of the grips.
I believe from what I could see that this gun was a round
butt to start with.
TACC1
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  #124  
Old 05-05-2013, 02:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TACC1 View Post
I am embarrassed by the pics I took. Never should I be allowed to handle a loaded camera.
What was so obvious to me here, does not show up in pics.
If there was a line running cross-ways to the vertical diamond
on the stocks, it would be right where the stocks protrude about
1/32" from there to the butt. I've done a lot of mechanic work over
the years, and saw no evidence of grinding on the frame of this gun.
Usually you can tell if a surface has been modified. Then too,
alterations could have taken place an awful long time ago.
There was virtually no finish left on the gun when I got it.
I could find no evidence of any numbers or letters on the
inner side of the grips.
I believe from what I could see that this gun was a round
butt to start with.
TACC1
Thx for the photos; they're good enough for me.

If you look at the picture of a rebated grip frame (1st photo in my post #116) you can see the rebate in the backstrap of the grip frame starts with a 1/16" deep NOTCH and it's well above the horizontal centerline of the stock screw diamond. Your gun does not have a rebated grip frame and I don't believe it ever did. The 1/32" overhang or protrusion that you observe of the stocks over the edge of the grip frame is not a rebate. It merely indicates to me that those stocks are not the originals.

You saw the gun with no finish and your trained eye did not detect welding or grinding so to me it's not likely that a rebated grip frame has been filled in or the 'toe' rounded to fit rd butt stocks. And if it was filled in, why wouldn't it be filled in enough to match the rd butt stocks that were going to be used?

I continue to believe it could have been shipped with round butt stocks (just not the current ones) or 2 screw extended targets (therefore the s/n on the front grip strap and no rebate in back strap). We know rd butt grip frames were supplied on Reg Pol models in the '50s. We'll never know for sure about yours but the evidence is in your favor!

All in all a very interesting conversation piece I wouldn't mind having in my collection.
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  #125  
Old 05-06-2013, 12:47 AM
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The conversation we've just had, has been an eye-opener for me.
Something that { admire in anyone, is their competency in their
chosen field. I saw plenty of that here, and enjoyed every minute.
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  #126  
Old 05-06-2013, 07:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Green Frog View Post
Yep, that's the J-frame that replaced the pre-War "Heavy Frame Target," S&W's reigning 22 target revolver until the advent of the K-22. From what I can make out in your picture it looks like a nice one.

Froggie
So this is actually a J frame?
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Old 05-06-2013, 08:28 PM
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So this is actually a J frame?
That would be my opinion. I haven't been able to find any example of a post-War 22 in I-frame size. Also that box makes me think it's later than the I-frames. David or Jim will probably chime in here if they see something I'm missing. All of these little 22 revolvers are becoming more popular by the day, it seems.

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Old 05-06-2013, 08:32 PM
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Quote:
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So this is actually a J frame?
No as you said, it's a pre Mod 35 (shown in post # 96) which replaced the pre war Heavy Frame Target. It's a Model of 1953 'New' I frame. It has the J frame size trigger guard and J frame sq butt size grip, but it still has the short I frame size main frame and cyl length. I can tell by the shortness of the main frame in front of the trigger guard. These didn't become J frames until Oct 1960 (same as the Kit guns) and were stamped 35-1.

The only earlier 22 J frame is the Model of 1955 Airweigt Kit Gun built on the 38 Spl Airweigt Chiefs Spl J frame. Introduced in 1955 it was never built on any of the three configurations of the I frame, (leaf spring, Improved I or Mod of 1953 New I).

My good friend Froggie would probably correct himself when he takes a closer look at it.
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Old 05-06-2013, 08:40 PM
Green Frog Green Frog is offline
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OOPS!

Froggie
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  #130  
Old 05-06-2013, 08:47 PM
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Actually a Pre-35 would be considered an improved I-frame gun, as would the 35. The first J-frame .22 target would be the Model 35-1, introduced in 1961.

There is a cylinder dimension to help us out here. If the cylinder is 1.32" long, it is an improved I frame. If 1.44" long, the gun is a J-frame gun. So say the fine folks who brought us the Standard Catalog of Smith & Wesson.

This is not at all an easy or obvious observation to make. The Model of 1953 revolvers seem at a glance to be so differently proportioned that it is easy to think the J frame features all appeared there. But it actually took a while for all of the dimensional changes that define a J gun to be introduced. I think we can say that a small frame gun made before 1951 is built on the I frame, that a small frame gun built after 1961 is built on the J frame, and that in between we have a mix of I and J frames depending on the model, and some models that have dimensions that blur the lines between the two.

Is that clear enough?

EDITED TO ADD: Hondo44, who knows all things I and J, got in fast while I was slowly and laboriously typing this reply. His is the crisper way to state what I was trying to get at.
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Last edited by DCWilson; 05-06-2013 at 08:49 PM. Reason: Addition.
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  #131  
Old 05-06-2013, 08:48 PM
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This is a comparison of a modern Model 63 Kit Gun "J-Frame" (top), and a Kit Gun Model of 1953 "New I-Frame" (bottom). Note the differences in frame length in front of the trigger guard and the cylinder length.

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  #132  
Old 05-06-2013, 08:52 PM
Green Frog Green Frog is offline
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See, I'm thinking of a little frame with a coil spring in terms of J-frame, even though they are really "Improved I-frames" in the trade. That's why it's better to listen to the experts than an amphibian!

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  #133  
Old 05-06-2013, 08:54 PM
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This picture compares, (top) an I frame Kit Gun made postwar with leaf mainspring, no barrel rib. An "Improved I frame" looks identical but with a coil spring and NO tension screw in the bottom of the forestrap*.

Bottom Kit Gun is a Model of 1953 "New I frame" (pre mod 34). I frame size main frame and cyl but full size J frame guard and grip frame length (1/8" longer). Not the amount of uncheckered wood below the checkering field.

*NOTE: none made in 22/32 to my knowledge, only in 32 and 38S&W.

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  #134  
Old 05-06-2013, 09:51 PM
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Very informative! Thanks to you both.

I'm going to measure the cylinder and try to get some better pics up in a day or so. It's definitely one of my favorites and quite a nice shooting little .22.
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  #135  
Old 05-06-2013, 10:02 PM
Hondo44 Hondo44 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DCWilson View Post
Actually a Pre-35 would be considered an improved I-frame gun, as would the 35. The first J-frame .22 target would be the Model 35-1, introduced in 1961.

There is a cylinder dimension to help us out here. If the cylinder is 1.32" long, it is an improved I frame. If 1.44" long, the gun is a J-frame gun. So say the fine folks who brought us the Standard Catalog of Smith & Wesson.

This is not at all an easy or obvious observation to make. The Model of 1953 revolvers seem at a glance to be so differently proportioned that it is easy to think the J frame features all appeared there. But it actually took a while for all of the dimensional changes that define a J gun to be introduced. I think we can say that a small frame gun made before 1951 is built on the I frame, that a small frame gun built after 1961 is built on the J frame, and that in between we have a mix of I and J frames depending on the model, and some models that have dimensions that blur the lines between the two.

Is that clear enough?

EDITED TO ADD: Hondo44, who knows all things I and J, got in fast while I was slowly and laboriously typing this reply. His is the crisper way to state what I was trying to get at.
Thx David. Now I'll illustrate why my friends grow to hate me...

I differentiate between the Improved I frame, 5 screw guns and the Models of 1953, four screw guns for two more reasons:

1. The Mod '53 22's, Kit Guns & Targets, began a new serial range.
2. The Mod '53 22's, Kit Guns & Targets, transistioned to increased cyl dimensions of 1.304” cyl OD, 1.340” vertical window height and 1.390" cyl length; inbetween the nominal 1.25" reported in the SCSW (or David's more accurate actual measurement of 1.32") and the 1.44" of the J frame .22s.
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  #136  
Old 05-09-2013, 12:26 AM
nutsforsmiths nutsforsmiths is offline
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I have this 38 Reg. Police that is a transitional model from 1953. It has the trigger guard screw, but also contains the coil spring style main spring. This makes it an I Frame/Improved I Frame.





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  #137  
Old 05-09-2013, 12:48 AM
Hondo44 Hondo44 is offline
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Originally Posted by nutsforsmiths View Post
I have this 38 Reg. Police that is a transitional model from 1953. It has the trigger guard screw, but also contains the coil spring style main spring. This makes it an I Frame/Improved I Frame.
That is just beautiful. It looks like a new gun. Must have spent it's entire life in someone's feather pillow under their head every nite!

And yes it's a perfect Improved I frame with round site example. But because it is an Improved I it can no longer be a transitional. It's been changed.

1. Transitional I frames: 6 screws
---- a) Pre war/post war parts
---- b) Pure post war parts
2. Improved I frames: 5 screws, coil main spring with round site and ramp site
3. Model of 1953 New I Frames; the pre models: 3 & 4 screws
4. Model numbered I frames: 3 screws
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  #138  
Old 05-09-2013, 07:08 AM
Green Frog Green Frog is offline
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Oooh Jim, I'm starting to get dizzy! How do you keep all of the details straight? Do you use a Tele-Prompter™?

I'm glad you're adopting that "6th screw" designation so folks will know to look at the grip frame and be able to know whether or not it's "improved." It's a handy way to determine the presence of the flat mainspring without the questioner having to remove the grips from a gun he may or may not own.

There must be a significant number of others interested in the little old guns though, this thread has more lives than a cat.

Froggie

PS That's not to belittle your gun, nutsforsmiths. That is an outstanding example of the Improved I-frame. You won't see many examples of a coil spring action with a rebated frame. That's a Rare Bird!

Last edited by Green Frog; 05-09-2013 at 07:12 AM. Reason: Add PS
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  #139  
Old 05-09-2013, 06:36 PM
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Froggie,

Yes that is a good idea of yours for quick ID of the Transitional models with leaf spring. And also since the screw count is different anyway on the I frames from the K & N frames based on the different order in which they disappear.

Since the 6th screw on the I frames is the only frame size on which it does disappear and it's the 1st screw to disappear, it certainly fits the logic of the screw numbering system. Now if we could just bring the entire discussion of I frames up to speed in the SCSW, there would be a lot less confusion.....and even more increased demand for these little beauties than we've already seen recently.
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  #140  
Old 05-09-2013, 06:47 PM
Green Frog Green Frog is offline
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... then by all means keep it secret! There's enough of a demand already. People who can't even spell I-frame are trying to buy one.

Froggie
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  #141  
Old 05-12-2013, 03:18 PM
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I finally got motivated and took some new shots of the elusive ".22/32 Kit Gun Postwar Transitional." Slight blue loss at the muzzle, otherwise just peachy. Came to me from Dave Carroll. And shipped one day before I was born in 1952. Kinda funny in a way...the smallest S&W I own is the centerpiece of the rest.
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Old 05-12-2013, 05:15 PM
Green Frog Green Frog is offline
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Is it my imagination, or is that a SIX screw? Does it have the strain screw at the bottom front of the grip frame, indicating the presence of a leaf mainspring? If so, it is THE rarest variant discussed so far... the legendary post-War kit gun built on a true I-frame. Wow, just WOW!

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  #143  
Old 05-12-2013, 05:21 PM
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Froggie, I see it too -- stunning.

Would Mr. Dominion be willing to share at least some of the serial number with us? Inquiring minds want to know.
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  #144  
Old 05-12-2013, 05:30 PM
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Is it my imagination, or is that a SIX screw? Does it have the strain screw at the bottom front of the grip frame, indicating the presence of a leaf mainspring? If so, it is THE rarest variant discussed so far... the legendary post-War kit gun built on a true I-frame. Wow, just WOW!

Froggie
I just double checked, and indeed it does have the 6th screw. Ser.# is 560857 and it shipped 8/3/52. Lee
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  #145  
Old 05-12-2013, 05:43 PM
Green Frog Green Frog is offline
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Bingo, Lotto, the Holy Grail, all rolled into one! You just caught the Gold Ring of I-frames. You can retire from collecting now, 'cause you probably won't ever be able to top that. If you put it alongside one of the less than 200 post-War 32 RP Targets, a vortex of rareness would begin to form and you would probably be sucked in, never to be seen again!

I would double check all numbers then get a letter from Roy to certify that "it is what it is" then just bask in the rarity. The barrel looks a little different (especially the front sight) but other than that, it looks totally righteous from here. But of course only examination, serial number match, and the letter would totally confirm what is there.

Congratulations again!
Green Frog
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  #146  
Old 05-12-2013, 05:57 PM
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Frog, I have looked it over pretty well, and everything matches up, stocks and all. The front sight is the USRA type, you can just make out the cut on the backside. As for the exact date, Dave got that from Roy for me, but I do plan on lettering it along with two other August '52 guns I have found. As for .38 Regulation Police guns, I have this Improved I from March '53. I would love to find someone with a '52 .38 Reg. Pol. for a possible trade. Thank you for the very kind words. I am the perfect example of the old adage: "Even a blind squirrel finds an acorn once in awhile." Lee
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Old 05-12-2013, 06:07 PM
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You didn't find an acorn, you found THE WHOLE OAK TREE!!
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Old 05-12-2013, 06:25 PM
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Yep that is truly a prize! And certainly one in beautiful condition. The USRA 'Pocket" front sight was most common if not exclusive on this model.

In my observation there are no Improved I frame (with coil spring) 22/32s. The transisitional 6 screw evolved directly into the 4 screw Model of 1953 'New' I frame.

Some dealers sent these back to Smith after 1953 demanding the new model.
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  #149  
Old 10-10-2014, 11:05 PM
tytus tytus is offline
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Mine is a 1926 nickel. ...but its 5 shot .38 is that common?
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  #150  
Old 10-11-2014, 05:46 AM
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Mine is a 1926 nickel. ...but its 5 shot .38 is that common?
Tytus,

Welcome to the forum.

Yes. All I and J frame .38 caliber revolvers are limited to five shots. The slightly larger experimental C frame was the only smaller-than-K-frame 6 shot .38.
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