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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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Old 04-17-2011, 09:56 PM
Green Frog Green Frog is offline
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Default Some I-frame ?'s

DCW & I, along with a couple of others have been kicking around the known information and speculation about I-frames, especially the post-War ones that were going through such an interesting period of using up old parts, and designing and making new ones. I have a few questions for the group. Extra points will be awarded for clear pictures!
1) Has anyone actually seen a 6" Regulation Police Target in .38 S&W?
2) Has anyone seen a 6" Regulation Police .38 S&W (pre- or post-War) with the standard fixed sights?
3) Has anyone seen a post-War Regulation Police snubbie in .38 S&W? (or the elusive Post Office pre-War model?)
4) Does anyone have anything else out of the ordinary in the way of late pre- or early post-War I-frame stuff they want to share? (.22s, 32s and .38s all welcome!)

I promise that as soon as I can dig out and reactivate my digital camera I will try and post pix of some of my recently acquired I-frames, but don't let that slow you down.... feel free to post yours first!!

Froggie

Last edited by Green Frog; 04-18-2011 at 08:07 AM.
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Old 04-23-2011, 11:44 PM
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Default early post war .32-cal I-frame Nickel HE

I just bought the nickel revolver in the photos. Not sure how unusual it is nor the year of manufacture. Seller said 1947-1948, but I think serial number of 59641x might indicate something later.

I have been watching all the major on-line auction sites since the start of this year and have yet to see a Regulation Police Target or snubbie on any of them.

I also have a early post war Regulation Police 38 (blue) serial 6887x that I'll toss in a photo, though it is pretty mundane.
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Old 04-28-2011, 12:46 AM
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Gunbrokers.com Item # 227297406 posted for sale today. 1952 32 hand ejector with 2 inch barrel.
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Old 04-28-2011, 01:02 AM
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I can only offer this early post war I frame Terrier in 38 S&W (bottom) ,


My only other I frame is a Bekeart run 22/32
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Old 04-28-2011, 10:11 AM
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It would be great to see more information on the I-Frame which doesn't receive the same amount of interest as other classic Smith & Wessons.

I only have this common example, a .32 serial number 277XXX, which dates from the World War I time era and the relatively short time period that the entwined S&W logo did not appear on either side of the frame.



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Old 04-28-2011, 10:19 AM
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Here's a Pre-30 (.32 Hand Ejector Post War), shipped Jan. 1953. Note the pre War style front sight. It originally came with some imitation stag, plastic stocks that didn't fit well, and i finally got a pair of period correct stocks recently. These little guns are amazingly accurate.


Were you aware the Single Shot 3rd model (perfected) was on a .32 Hand Ejector action, modified for the single shot? .32 HE parts will interchange.
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Old 04-28-2011, 10:38 AM
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Default Very Similar to Dick's gun....

But in Nickel and with Pre-war Pattern Stocks which number to the frame...







Here's another early Post War .32 HE...



Note the chambering indication on the left side of the barrel..



And just to widen the conversation a little further, a 1950 Chief's Special...

Chambering markings on the right side of the barrel....





Hard to not like these little jewels...

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Old 04-28-2011, 10:50 AM
Green Frog Green Frog is offline
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Although this topic didn't bring the flood of responses I had hoped for, the ones that came have been quality stuff! In the meanwhile, DCW has acquired that 6" pre-war Reg Police Target barrel, and we've been hearing about some more variations on the immediate post-War production when the restart involved using up the old and starting to make new features.

I think my current #1 on the hit list is a little post-war I-frame Terrier (not improved I-frame.) That Terrier that Engine49guy has really turns my crank! How about a dream set of the immediate post-war (hammer block type) snubs in .22 LR, .32 S&W, & .38 S&W, or even more exotic, how about the pre-War 6" examples in target trim of the all three calibers? A guy can dream, can't he?

Froggie
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Old 04-28-2011, 11:00 AM
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I think my current #1 on the hit list is a little post-war I-frame Terrier (not improved I-frame.) Froggie
Sure wish this was a .38...

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Old 04-28-2011, 12:19 PM
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Here are a few, in the top picture are two RP's. The 6" is a 32 and the bottom gun a 38 SW. The other photo is a post-war Terrier.



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Old 04-28-2011, 01:13 PM
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Thanks for the compliment Green frog.
Funny how we all have our favorites, Mine is Sebago Sons Baby Chief with half penny site.

I must admit I wasnt looking for a Terrier when this one found me.
Found the Baby Chief above it the same day at the same show...
Went home with an empty wallet that day !
Heres a left side view


My only other I frame is this once proud first run 22/32 grip numbered Bekeart .
Its one of 3 that didnt go to P.B. that serials in the first run.

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Old 04-28-2011, 08:46 PM
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Well, Engine49guy, there's a gun show this weekend in Salem, so maybe by this time Monday one will have "found me" too!

I had a really sweet Baby Chief at one time and like a total idiot, I sold it (stop me if you've heard this before! ) I promise all who will listen that if the Terrier of my dreams makes it to my man cave it will only come out to be carried concealed, shot, or showed off until death do we part!

Sebago Son & hsguy, you're both killing me here.

Froggie
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Old 04-28-2011, 10:45 PM
spinnerbaitor48 spinnerbaitor48 is offline
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Default s&w 32 long

havent been able to find a whole lot of info on this gun...was my grandfathers...2976xx serial no.....sorry about the pics, thought i had rotated em...
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Old 04-28-2011, 11:53 PM
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Spinner, welcome to the forum. Your grandfather's gun is an early .32 Regulation Police. The model was introduced in 1917, and your gun dates to about 1919. There is probably a 1917 patent date stamped on the butt of the left wooden panel. That patent is for the rebated backstrap design and matching grip profile that convert a round-butt frame to a square butt revolver. If you take the grips off, you will see what I mean. While they are off, look to see if the serial number of the gun is either written in pencil or stamped into the back of the right panel.

Most .32 RPs I see are blue. A nickel one is uncommon, and yours appears to be in very good condition. Do you know if it was refinished? It doesn't appear to be, but larger photos might tell the tale more clearly.
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Old 04-29-2011, 09:09 AM
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Thumbs up

These remain a few of my very favorites.


Cheers;
Lefty
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Old 04-29-2011, 10:36 PM
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David, thank you so much for the info...will try to get the grip off tomm...it has not been refinished....i remember when my grandfather had this pistol wrapped in a blue cloth under the seat of his 1951 chevy pickup...that was in 1964....it never left his possession until i recieved it upon his death....along with the 51 chevy....kept the gun, but traded the truck like a dummy when i was in high school
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Old 04-30-2011, 06:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmcgilvray View Post
It would be great to see more information on the I-Frame which doesn't receive the same amount of interest as other classic Smith & Wessons.
The Post War & '50s small frames are rather "unplowed ground". There is a plethora of variations in the I frame guns of this era. This all makes for the SCSW section on these little beauties one of the weakest in documentation in an otherwise fairly excellent resource.

Having collected and studied these for some time now they are a lot less "blurry" to me. I can tell you there is over 17 variations of just the .32 I frames between the end of the war and 1957 which include two improvements, round and sq butt, and barrel lengths just to name the major characteristics. But that's just the blue guns and besides those major characteristics, that's not counting smaller characteristic changes such as: stocks, 5 or 6 cylinder release latches, front sights and ribs, etc.

So overall a very fascinating collecting category. I have a collection of .38 S&W, 38 spl J and Baby J frames, and 22/32 kit guns but mostly .32 hand ejector/Reg Police models of all the major variations not counting barrel lengths, finishes or butt configurations for each evolutionary change and that's nine different guns. I am certain there are variations still to be observed by me that others may already know.


Shown 3rd from top on right. .32 Reg. Police Postwar Target 'I' frames is a 1957 release with small trigger guard and leaf mainspring (pre Improved 'I' frame and pre model 31), serial# stamped on front grip strap above the strain screw and matching all other #'d parts inc. grips, 4", pre war/early postwar rebated rear grip strap with post war type round checkering border on round top stocks with post war curved nickel medallions. One of 196 made on left over pre war 'I' frames. You'll notice pre war sights that came w/Pre War steel/nickel plated sight adjusting tool or modified post war SAT to fit the tiny sight screws, pre war/early post war hammer, post war grooved trigger, and 3rd type post war (and post 1966) non-hourglass thumbpiece while all other I frames of the period still had the third type flat latch! A very convoluted transition model for sure. Brief details of these 196 guns are on page 128, 3rd edition, Standard Catalog of S&W, Supica and Nahas.

TEXT for these photos UPDATED in my post #46








I hope this helps to sort out the I Frames.
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Last edited by Hondo44; 01-08-2013 at 10:43 PM. Reason: I have updated the text that goes with these photos in post #46 below
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Old 04-30-2011, 07:05 AM
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Originally Posted by lkelly View Post
Gunbrokers.com Item # 227297406 posted for sale today. 1952 32 hand ejector with 2 inch barrel.
This apears to have the plastic or steel medallions.
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Old 04-30-2011, 07:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Sebago Son View Post
But in Nickel and with Pre-war Pattern Stocks which number to the frame...

Here's another early Post War .32 HE...
Your 1st gun grips have pre war checkering borders but post war courser 14 lpi checkering and post war medallions.

Your 2nd gun is a 1st improvement and has the 2nd type single hourglass thumb latch.
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Old 04-30-2011, 08:38 AM
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Wow, Jim! What a tour-de-force presentation of the post-war changes in the little Smiths. Thank you very much indeed. I know I will take that response, with pix, and put a good printout into my copy of SCSW for definitive future reference.

One little discrepancy on my example of a pure post-War .32 HE, #550XXX that I want to mention, is that it has the low style grips like the pearls shown in the picture next to your pure post war. The checkering is pretty worn and I haven't really measured it yet, but it seems finer than the other post-War examples I have seen. They are numbered to the gun (two lines, stamped) so I assume this must mean they were produced prior to those mini-magnas(?)

Just FYI it has a two line roll mark on the left side of the (2") barrel with the SMITH & WESSON line centered and the 32 LONG CTG line below it. It has the small logo on the left side of the frame below the late style thumb latch and the four line patent information on the right side of the frame in the expected place. I see serial numbers on the bottom of the grip frame, the bottom of the barrel, the rear of the cylinder, and inside the grip as well as assembly numbers on the crane and the recess of the frame behind the crane. Finally, though fairly worn, the finish appears to have been somewhat dull all along, which would agree with what you lead me to expect.

Again, thanks for that absolutely spectacular summary you gave. I for one am going to refer to it a lot in the future!

Best regards,
Charlie Shaeff
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Old 04-30-2011, 11:44 AM
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Default I Frame

Here is my lovely. I traded a STAR PS .45 to bring her home.



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Old 04-30-2011, 07:04 PM
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Gudrum,

That's a fine little pre 1930 era with mushroom ejector knob prewar .32 you have there. Looks like original factory nickel too. You may want to consider some delicate cleanup of the surface scratches with Flitz or Semi chrome polish. It doesn't hurt the originality and will make that nickel look near new.
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Old 04-30-2011, 08:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Green Frog View Post
Wow, Jim! What a tour-de-force presentation of the post-war changes in the little Smiths. Thank you very much indeed. I know I will take that response, with pix, and put a good printout into my copy of SCSW for definitive future reference.

One little discrepancy on my example of a pure post-War .32 HE, #550XXX that I want to mention, is that it has the low style grips like the pearls shown in the picture next to your pure post war. The checkering is pretty worn and I haven't really measured it yet, but it seems finer than the other post-War examples I have seen. They are numbered to the gun (two lines, stamped) so I assume this must mean they were produced prior to those mini-magnas(?)

Just FYI it has a two line roll mark on the left side of the (2") barrel with the SMITH & WESSON line centered and the 32 LONG CTG line below it. It has the small logo on the left side of the frame below the late style thumb latch and the four line patent information on the right side of the frame in the expected place. I see serial numbers on the bottom of the grip frame, the bottom of the barrel, the rear of the cylinder, and inside the grip as well as assembly numbers on the crane and the recess of the frame behind the crane. Finally, though fairly worn, the finish appears to have been somewhat dull all along, which would agree with what you lead me to expect.

Again, thanks for that absolutely spectacular summary you gave. I for one am going to refer to it a lot in the future!

Best regards,
Charlie Shaeff
the Green Frog
Thank you Charlie, it was my pleasure. I've been meaning to get it all down in writing for some time.
Please note, late last night I was writing from memory. After reading it over again today I noticed a few things I neglected to include and just added them. So if you copied already, you may want to make a new copy. And we should get additional feedback from the experts which I will include. There's just too much for one person to know.

I have no doubt that your #550XXX has original grips and not really a discrepency just another example that with S&W, "The main rule is, there are no rules." If your grips have the fine 16 lpi checkering they most likely also have the sharp cornered borders.
Thanks for reminding me about the 2 line, left side barrel marking. That is standard on 2" barrels and I'll go back and add that. I guarantee you that your serial number is in all six places. With cylinder open, look at the back side of the crane thru one of the chambers with a flashlight. Also look under the extractor star.

Thanks for a great thread.
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Old 04-30-2011, 08:44 PM
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Jim, thanks for the information, I was wondering what I could do to cleanher up a little. I'll get some Fritz and give it a try. If the weather cooperates tomarrow I'm going to take the.32 and my new M&P for a walk down range.

Ray
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Old 04-30-2011, 09:15 PM
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Here are a couple more I frames for you to enjoy, unfortunately no 6 inch or Target Models.

First off is my pair of Regulation Police, one in .38 S&W the other in .32 S&W Long. The blued one is the .38 and the nickel is the .32.



A nice shot of the patent markings on the barrel of the .32



And finally, my Pre-32 Terrier in .38 S&W, which I believe is the Improved I Frame.

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Old 04-30-2011, 09:22 PM
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And finally, my Pre-32 Terrier in .38 S&W, which I believe is the Improved I Frame.

It's a beauty and it is an Improved I frame. But it's a Model of 1953 2nd Improved. It has the coil mainspring but it also has the J frame size rd butt, 2nd style flat latch and larger egg shaped trigger guard. Yet the early hammer of the 1st improvement era.
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Old 04-30-2011, 10:31 PM
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guys, this is a great site, thanks for having me...wish i had found this one a long time ago....
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Old 05-01-2011, 05:03 PM
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Well, I tried to take Jim's posting off as a Word file, and first it looked good, but it wouldn't export the pictures. So, I exported the pictures separately and printed each as a full 8X10 and then put the text into plain print style. This is my archival copy to insert into my copy of SCSW and a good addition it is!

Thanks again, Jim, for taking the time to put all of that information into such a clear and well organized posting. I would encourage everyone interested in the "miniature S&Ws" to do as I have and save a hard copy, because I very much doubt you will find a better summary of all of that information anywhere else.

I took my "miniature niece" to the indoor range this afternoon and had her shooting a 3" Model 30-1 and a 3" .32 HE (Post-War 1st Improvement) along with my .22 HFT (even with the bulged barrel.) I shot the .22 along with my .32 pre-War 6" Reg Police and my 2" Pure Post-War .32 HE. Great way to spend a Sunday afternoon!

the Happy Frog

PS As I said earlier, I started this thread with the hopes that it would stir up a little interest in these neat little Smiths, the I-frames. You guys have responded far beyond my fondest hopes. Jim's opus was a bonus I didn't even dream would come to us and the pictures you guys are posting have been eye candy of the sweetest kind. For the rest of you, it is not too late. More pix, comments, reminisces, etc are welcome and encouraged!

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Old 05-01-2011, 06:26 PM
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Let me try to do something systematic about frame variations in the 1903 to early postwar I-frames.

They had adjustable sights or they didn't.

They had rebated frames or they didn't.

They had frame-mounted firing pins or they didn't.

Based on these three distinguishing features, we may observe:

Adjustable sight guns can be found with both types of firing pin and both types of grip frame. Fixed sight guns can be found with both types of grip frame, but only with hammer-mounted firing pins.

Non-rebated frames can be found with both fixed and adjustable sights. Rebated frames can also be found with both fixed and adjustable sights.

Frame-mounted firing pins are found with both types of grip frame, but do not appear on the same frame with fixed sights. Frame-mounted firing pins occur only in company with adjustable sights.

There are further correlations that can be distinguished based on barrel length, but that gets into the questions that OP raised on the top of this thread.

I'm not sure that saying all this was worth the electrons required to do so, because it is mostly intuitively obvious. But some days the OCD demons prod one a little more aggressively than they do on other days.

I'm having an out-of-beer experience right now, and may go solve that problem to take a break from the rigors of systematic description. Cheers, all.
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Old 05-01-2011, 06:38 PM
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Hondo44,

Great tutorial. I do not currently have any I-Frames but will be looking for them in the future.

I too saved it to a file so I can refer to it in the future.
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Old 05-02-2011, 11:16 PM
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Just picked up today a post war .32 Regulation Police, 3 1/4" barrel, nickle. Original postwar stocks, prewar front site, 5 screw but with the coil mainspring.
Overall condition is 95%++, no box (sadly) has been fired very little, barely a turn line. Checkering strong on stocks, all matching numbers on frame, barrel, cylinder & stocks.
Paid a very reasonable $340 for it and could not be happier.
Do not know if this is an I frame or improved I frame as it has the coil mainspring, but also the trigger gaurd screw. All screws look untouched, needs minor cleaning.
Will post pic's tomorrow evening, dog tired right now.
Oh yeah, S/N is 5924xx. I'm guessing 1950/51 but will letter this one.
RD
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Old 05-02-2011, 11:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Smithhound View Post
Just picked up today a post war .32 Regulation Police, 3 1/4" barrel, nickle. Original postwar stocks, prewar front site, 5 screw but with the coil mainspring.
Overall condition is 95%++, no box (sadly) has been fired very little, barely a turn line. Checkering strong on stocks, all matching numbers on frame, barrel, cylinder & stocks.
Paid a very reasonable $340 for it and could not be happier.
Do not know if this is an I frame or improved I frame as it has the coil mainspring, but also the trigger gaurd screw. All screws look untouched, needs minor cleaning.
Will post pic's tomorrow evening, dog tired right now.
Oh yeah, S/N is 5924xx. I'm guessing 1950/51 but will letter this one.
RD

Very nice find and great price for the description you gave! Can't wait to see it.

You gave just the right information for me to know that you have an I frame, 1st Improvement. Reg Police if square butt, 1903 Hand Ejector if Rd Butt. Go to my description, category 3 on page two of this thread to see what other characteristics it has. I think you're very close on the date which puts it in the period where it might have plastic or steel medallions in the grips. Check with a magnet for steel. Look on back of grip and it will be obvious if plastic.
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Old 05-03-2011, 08:43 PM
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This is what I have in I frames at this time, all Target sighted guns as I need to adjust the sights to hit what I'm aiming at, from the beginning
( 1896 ), to the end ( 1957 ).

I've shot them all except the 1896, it has had 6
rounds fired through it but not by me. I just cant bring myself to shoot it.

Only have one of what I call my "Pimp" gun, it has original S&W pearl grips, it's a very hard gun to shoot accurately with those grips unless your close and the targets are big.
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Attached Images
File Type: jpg S&W 32 1896 H E Target.jpg (16.2 KB, 234 views)
File Type: jpg S&W 32 1903 H. E. Target.jpg (16.4 KB, 234 views)
File Type: jpg S&W 22-32 H. E. Target in Box.jpg (42.1 KB, 236 views)
File Type: jpg S&W 22-32 H. E. Target.jpg (17.2 KB, 241 views)
File Type: jpg S&W 22-32 H. E. Target Kit Gun.jpg (17.5 KB, 246 views)
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Old 05-03-2011, 08:50 PM
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The last Three.
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Old 05-03-2011, 10:19 PM
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H. M. Pope.

You have a collection of eight screamers, 4 .32s and 4 .22/32s.

The pre war 22/32 Kit Gun has the less commonly seen front sight like your two pre 1920 22/32 Heavy Frame Targets. And your post war 22/32 Kit gun Transitional is another very hard to find model in any condition but especially the condition of yours. I'd like to see the other side of it so I could see the thumblatch.

Thanks!
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Old 05-04-2011, 07:28 AM
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Glad I found this thread. Saw a .32 RP in a pawnshop yesterday. It was in about 99% condition with the rebated grips. The shop owner said he had looked up the date and it was from 1941.Anyway, what I noticed about the gun was the ejector nob was different than any of my RP's and now I see it's different than any of the guns pictured in this thread. It was not a mushroom head but the barrel was cut for one.The end itself was barrel shaped and fluted. Kind of in between the mushroom and the straight rod size. I know this is a poor description, but it was something I noticed that struck me as odd. Is there anything to this?
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Old 05-04-2011, 10:03 AM
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Smithhound, From your S/N it is a mid to late 1952 issue, based on my S/N 60009X that was shipped Jan. 1953. Sounds like the same gun, unfortunately my grips are not original and only recently found them, but are at least period correct.
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Old 05-04-2011, 06:38 PM
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Glad I found this thread. Saw a .32 RP in a pawnshop yesterday. It was in about 99% condition with the rebated grips. The shop owner said he had looked up the date and it was from 1941. Anyway, what I noticed about the gun was the ejector nob was different than any of my RP's and now I see it's different than any of the guns pictured in this thread. It was not a mushroom head but the barrel was cut for one.The end itself was barrel shaped and fluted. Kind of in between the mushroom and the straight rod size. I know this is a poor description, but it was something I noticed that struck me as odd. Is there anything to this?
Combat,
Sounds like a very nice find. Was it reasonably priced? If the shop owner is correect about the date of 1941, the ejector knob should be the second type; barrel shaped but knurled as you indicated instead of fluted and the barrel would have a single cut. It would not have had a mushroom head in 1941 which requires a 2 step cut under the barrel. The fluted knob that you describe must be an add on or custom knob. Occasionally we will see mushroom heads used as replacements for the barrel shaped 2nd style knob, but cut down to fit the single cut under the barrel. I hope I made this understandable.
The correct ejector knob/rod (one piece) is readily avaiable and inexpensive if you decide to buy it and want to restore it to original. Just let me know and I can supply several sources.
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Old 05-04-2011, 06:51 PM
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Smithhound, From your S/N it is a mid to late 1952 issue, based on my S/N 60009X that was shipped Jan. 1953. Sounds like the same gun, unfortunately my grips are not original and only recently found them, but are at least period correct.
H Richard,
That's a very nice specimen of a post war I Frame 1st improvement Hand Ejector (due to the round butt). You should get a factory letter to go with such a nice gun.
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Old 05-04-2011, 07:36 PM
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H. M. Pope.

You have a collection of eight screamers, 4 .32s and 4 .22/32s.

The pre war 22/32 Kit Gun has the less commonly seen front sight like your two pre 1920 22/32 Heavy Frame Targets. And your post war 22/32 Kit gun Transitional is another very hard to find model in any condition but especially the condition of yours. I'd like to see the other side of it so I could see the thumblatch.

Thanks!

Jim,
Sorry to say I only have seven.
Both 22/32 Kit guns that I pictured are Pre-War and in fact are the same gun, shipped in 1938, the only Post War gun in those photos is the 1957 H. E. 32 Kit Gun.

I bought that 22/32 Kit Gun many, many, years ago and it came with both sets of grips, the extension grips are numbered to the gun and the pearl grips are also numbered to the gun in pencil, both sets of grips fit perfect. I only up loaded the photo of it to show how it looks with pearl grips.

I believe that the Paine front sight on this gun was not done by the factory as there are some very fine ding marks around the sight pin, it's hard to tell, maybe a factory letter would say something about the grips and the sight, then again maybe not. I'm not to concerned about it as that's the way I bought it so that's the way it will stay. Take a look at to other 22/32 photo for a look at the thumb latch.
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Old 05-04-2011, 07:59 PM
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Jim,
Sorry to say I only have seven.
Both 22/32 Kit guns that I pictured are Pre-War and in fact are the same gun, shipped in 1938, the only Post War gun in those photos is the 1957 H. E. 32 Kit Gun.

I bought that 22/32 Kit Gun many, many, years ago and it came with both sets of grips, the extension grips are numbered to the gun and the pearl grips are also numbered to the gun in pencil, both sets of grips fit perfect. I only up loaded the photo of it to show how it looks with pearl grips.

I believe that the Paine front sight on this gun was not done by the factory as there are some very fine ding marks around the sight pin, it's hard to tell, maybe a factory letter would say something about the grips and the sight, then again maybe not. I'm not to concerned about it as that's the way I bought it so that's the way it will stay. Take a look at to other 22/32 photo for a look at the thumb latch.
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Sorry about that, I definitely confused myself alright. Seven real screamers!
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Old 05-04-2011, 08:23 PM
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The knob was probably knurled instead of fluted, I didn't have my "up close" glasses with me so small details are hard to see. Just more of the fun of pushing 50.Anyhow, he had it priced at $499.00 and I thought that was mighty pricey. He said he would entertain any reasonable offer but I was afraid I might hurt his feelings so I passed. I'll go back at some future date and if he still has it we'll see what his definition of reasonable is. It looked to be all factory to me, it was just different than what I've seen. But, The more I hang around here the more I learn, it's a never ending process it seems.
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Old 05-04-2011, 08:58 PM
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The knob was probably knurled instead of fluted, I didn't have my "up close" glasses with me so small details are hard to see. Just more of the fun of pushing 50.Anyhow, he had it priced at $499.00 and I thought that was mighty pricey. He said he would entertain any reasonable offer but I was afraid I might hurt his feelings so I passed. I'll go back at some future date and if he still has it we'll see what his definition of reasonable is. It looked to be all factory to me, it was just different than what I've seen. But, The more I hang around here the more I learn, it's a never ending process it seems.
Yeah that's high, at least around here. I would say something like; "I don't want to insult you. How much room do you have to move?" Being a pawn shop, he probably only has something like $200 in it. The Blue Book values it, a 32 HE 3rd Model, 1917-1942 in 98% at $650. Then it says add 50% for a pre war which is erroneous. Any gun in the category 1917-1942 is a pre war!! Lot'sa confusion and mis-statements in the Blue Book about these S&Ws! And it doesn't take into consideration geographical differences or the state of the economy. I'd grab it at $450.
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Old 08-07-2011, 02:16 PM
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Default I frames

I have 2 I frames that I recently aquired. One is a snub nose .32, and the other is a 6" .38 that has a double stamp on the pommel. Anyone know what the double stamp means?
Thanks,
Charlie
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Old 08-07-2011, 03:27 PM
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Default The 'I's have it - Collector Expertise

Once again, this forum provides revelations that would otherwise elude any level of casual study. It is a blessing to have such expertise so abundantly shared.

From now on I will regard Hondo44 also as Honcho32, as "The 'I's have it"!

Many thanks.

Dyson
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Old 08-07-2011, 07:44 PM
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Hi Dyson,

You're very kind, thank you. But I have to admit, as I had hoped, I also learned from this thread and others resulting in further revising of my original post w/ pics above and still corresponds to the photos.

THE POST WAR I FRAMES EVOLUTION: .22/32 Kit Gun and Target, .32 Hand Ejector, .32 & .38 S&W Reg. Police and .38 S&W Terrier:

1. Transitional I frames c. 1946, leaf main spring w/strain screw on forestrap: These are "5 screw" models, 6 screws in total counting the strain screw: round sight, small trigger guard and short rd grip frame or rebated frame w/sq butt stocks, (all reportedly have new style hammer block). .22/32s and .32s beginning as low as 5346XX (Two in 521XXX range recorded as shipped in 1948 and 9/49, probably do not have the new style rebound slide operated hammer block reportedly begun at # 536,685), #544030 lowest observed; .38 S&W beginning c. 1948 at # 54475; as high as 582XX w/rd top stocks.

---- a) Pre war/post war Transitional: uses many pre war parts. (includes the non-Model #’d 1957 issue .32 Regulation Police Targets in the low #657XXX range).

---- b) Pure post war Transitional: uses new post war parts. No .22/32s, .32s (up to #550740 highest # known). A few small guns were sold in the late '40s mostly made up from prewar parts. Actual .38 S&W production in volume didn't resume until about 1950, 54804 lowest and 58470 highest known shipped in July 1951.

2. "Improved I frames" w/coil main spring: "5 screw" model, (the strain, 6th screw eliminated), otherwise same features as the above Transitionals. Exception: late issues have ramp front sight and barrel rib. These are not pre models. No .22/32s made in this model, .32s (beginning at #554536, lowest # known shipped 12/51, #611398 highest known), .38s (highest round sight 70XXX [#68,XXX 2/53], lowest known ramp site 70131, 71983 highest, shipped Jan. 12, 1954).

3. Model of 1953 New I Frames, (the true “Pre-Model #” guns), coil mainspring: These are "4 screw" & "3 screw" models, larger trigger guard (no screw, longer rd butt grip frame and new style sq butt. Bright blue finishes begin to appear and eventually predominate. .22/32s (beginning in new serial range starting w/#101), .32s (beginning at about #613XXX), .38s (a 4 screw, old hammer #7671X).

4. Model #’d guns c.1957, otherwise identical to the Mod of 1953: 22/32 I frames Models 34 & 35 (beginning c. #37XXX), replaced by J frames Oct. 1960, -1 added (c. #70,XXX), the .32s and .38s in early 1961, -1 added (.32s Models 30 & 31 beginning c. #650XXX to #712954, highest # known, and .38s Models 32 & 33, c. #88XXX).


The 1st photo below shows .32s only but will serve to illustrate the above categories for all calibers except as noted.

Top left, Reference only: Pre war .32 HE Mod 1903-5th change, #205628, mid 1914, 3 1/4", 'I' frame, factory pearl grips with gold medallions. Note the pre c. 1928 distinctive “mushroom” extractor knob.


1.Transitional: .22/32 Kit Gun (and Targets if any made) Rd Butt or Rebated Sq Butt, .32 Hand Ejector Rd Butt, .32 & .38 Reg. Police Rebated Sq Butt (see .38 R. P. Rd Butt exception below) and .38 Terrier Rd Butt:

a) Pre war/post war: (second gun on left. Reg. Police shown). Very similar to pre war I frames: leaf mainspring, short grip frame, round penny front sight, smooth trigger (except Kit Guns use round USRA ‘pocket sight’ and grooved triggers), with improved hammer block safety (the post war telltale feature) but pre war shaped hammer (there was no change from long to short throw hammers on I frames), matte finish, single line “Made In U.S.A.” only (no Marcas Registradas or address on right side frame until 1948). A small S&W logo on the left side of the frame is pretty much standard. 2”, 3 1/4” & 4 1/4” barrels (4” on .38s, and 6” targets are reported), with patent dates on barrel. Kit Gun .22/32s with 4” barrel only, (Target .22/32s with 6” barrel have been reported). All models continue in their respective pre war serial number ranges: which is the same for .22/32s and .32s but a separate range for .38 S&Ws. Two inch barrels on .32s and .38s can have a unique two line roll mark on the left side of the barrel with the SMITH & WESSON line centered with the caliber line centered below it. These early .22/32s and .32s still have the smaller (than 38 S&W) pre war cylinder diameter and frame window. Serial numbers in 6 places including stamped backside of the right stock; 9 places including front sight, rear sight and rear sight blade for the 22/32 Kit Guns same as on pre-war guns, use pre war target sights, and pre war style round firing pin with one proud retaining pin.

.32 and .38 S&W Regulation Police Models have rebated square butt stocks w/ serial number stamped on front grip strap above the strain screw, except for the uncommon .38 S&W 4” rd butt version, examples of which have ‘lettered’ as RPs. The same configured .32 guns have been observed but .32 Reg. Police Models are not stamped as such on the barrel like .38/32 S&W RP guns. Square butt 2” .38 Terriers have also been observed.
22/32 Kit Guns have grooved triggers, pre war target sights, serial number in eight places including the front and rear sight, Pre war style round firing pin with one proud retaining pin, and round or sq butt rebated stocks.

Can have from all to some of the following pre war details: pre war thumb piece – ‘double hourglass’ with relief cuts under the checkered pad (but can also have Type 1 post war ‘double hourglass’ thumb piece similar to pre war thumb piece but without relief cuts under the checkered pad, just as on the K and N frame sizes), service (round top) stocks or ‘Mini’ Magna stocks (.22/32s & .32s reportedly beginning w/# 557,871; .38s at # 62,381, both on 7/9/51), checkering 16 cut lines per inch (15 rows of diamonds), sharp cornered border (shown), flat chrome plated brass or curved nickel plated brass medallions, large pre war ‘barrel shaped’ extractor knob with right or left hand thread (see note below).

This group includes the 1957 issue .32 Reg. Police Target 'I' frame, a 1957 release non-Model #’d with small trigger guard and leaf mainspring (pre Improved 'I' frame), (Shown 3rd from top on right), 196 made on left over pre war 'I' frames. This model still has the smaller pre war cylinder diameter and frame window.
Frame serial# stamped on front grip strap above the strain screw matching all other #'d parts inc. stocks and sights, 9 locations in all, (in low #657XXX range). 4" barrel, pre war/early postwar rebated rear grip strap with post war type 16 lpi checkering, round cornered border on round top stocks with curved nickel plated brass medallions. You'll notice pre war sights w/special modified post war sight adjusting tool (SAT) to fit tiny sight screws, short action, pre war/early post war hammer, post war grooved trigger, and 3rd type post war (and post 1966 after becoming J frames) non-sculpted thumbpiece while all other I frames of the period still had the third type flat latch. Most features totally out of character with non-target pre Model 31 guns of the 1957 period! But it has the 3rd and last style straight ejector knob (left hand thread), no patent dates on barrel and 4 line address. A very convoluted transition model for sure. Brief details of these 196 guns are on page 128, 3rd edition, Standard Catalog of S&W, Supica and Nahas, pictured pg 127.


b) Pure post war: (third gun on left. 2”, .32 Hand Ejector shown). Similar to above except, no patent dates on barrel, “Made In U.S.A.” with “Marcas Registradas” and address on right side frame (four lines). Usually have straight extractor (left hand thread), ‘Mini’ Magna stocks on round butt guns (.32 at # 557,871, .38 S&W #62,381 both on 7/9/51) with post war curved nickel plated medallions and the pre war checkering of 16 cut lines per inch (15 rows of diamonds) replaced with 13 LPI (12 rows of diamonds) and round cornered borders. Yes that differs from the SCSW by Nahas and Supica but the book conflicts with actual measurements, in fact the earliest triple locks have 17 LPI (16 rows of diamonds). and grooved trigger. Type 2 postwar single hourglass thumb piece or Type 3 non hourglass (pre flat latch) exactly like post ’66 style. Prewar/early postwar hammer. Barrels are still 2”, 3 ” and 4 1/4”. The plastic or steel grip medallions usually show up in these early '50s guns, due to the Korean war brass shortage.


2. Improved I: Improved 'I' frame (coil mainspring but still short RB grip, still 5 screw):

(top right gun. 3” .32 HE shown). Otherwise same as above. Can have round front sight and thumb latches as above; later models will have 2nd type flatlatch and serrated ramp front sight w/barrel rib and standardized barrel lengths of 2”, 3” & 4”. I have not observed the 1st type flat latch as used on the Baby J frames, used on I frames (shown on right in second photo below), but doesn’t mean they don’t exist! The .32s begin to show up with the larger cylinder diameter and frame window of the .38 S&W. Very early ‘50s production may have plastic or steel stock medallions.


3. Model of 1953 NEW I Frames; the ‘pre-models’ 4 screw and 3 screw models:

(Second gun on right. 3”.32 Reg. Police), 4 screws, coil mainspring, new larger egg shaped trigger guard, 1/8” longer round butt frame (same as the current J frame .38 Spl. Chiefs Special) and new, current style square butt grip frame and stocks 5/32” longer than the rd butt (1st introduced in 1952 on the ‘Baby J frame’); 14 LPI (13 rows of diamonds); 2”, 3” & 4” barrels, 6” on .22/32 Target; early post war style hammer continued on earliest 1953 models (except 22 /32 which has the new target hammer), but soon changed to the new style, coarse knurled hammer; 2nd style flat latch then 3rd/last style 'tall' flat latch used on all Model 1953 'I' frames (and the J frame .38 Spl Chiefs Special, and .22, .32 and .38 S&W ‘I’ & 'J' frames) after c. 1958 thru c. 1966. Bright blue finishes begin to appear and eventually predominate. Three screw frame models are the same as above except the upper sideplate screw (4th screw) was eliminated beginning late 1955 (c. serial # 640980 on .32s). Early c. 1956, serial # locations gradually decreased from 6 to less locations until eventually just on butt of grip frame, back of extractor star (until late ‘60’s), and back of right stock.

This is the first post war model change for the 22/32 guns and a separate serial number range was begun at # 101; as above except new style .375” wide target hammer, micro click rear target sight, new rectangular shaped firing pin tip with two proud retaining pins introduced, 2” or 4” Kit Guns, J frame size Rd or Sq butt (Round Butt shown in second photo below on top left) and 6” Targets, Sq butt only. I have observed that on the .22/32, the 'bright' blue finishes began in their serial # range around the early to mid 20,000s c. '54 - '55 as well as the flat polishing of the second (rear most) retaining pin for the firing pin. Also by this time .22/32s begin to show up with the larger cylinder diameter and frame window of the .38 S&W.

The 22/32 kit and target guns transitioned to 3 screw sideplates in their 13,000 to 23,000 serial # range. Later, serial # locations gradually decreased from 6 to less locations (beginning as early as # 23000 range on 22/32s) until eventually just on butt of grip frame, back of extractor star (until late ‘60’s), and back of right stock. The round tip firing pin w/two retaining pins returned in the 29,000 serial number range. I believe the one proud retaining pin was reintroduced Oct. 1960 when .22 I frames were replaced with the J frame and a dash 1 was added to their model numbers. In the later Model of 1953 I frame production period an optional .400” grooved target trigger was offered and after the end of the Diamond stock period c. 1968, target stocks that fit both the round and square butt frames were introduced (shown in second photo).


4. 1957 Model #’d guns:

All models were ordered to have their respective model numbers stamped in the yoke c. 1957.

M30 = .32 HE, M31* = .32 RP, M32 = .38 Terrier, M33 = .38 RP up to c.1961 (.32 and .38 I frames converted to J frames). *Late production could be had w/rd or sq butt after 1976 when Mod 30 ceased, until 1991 when discontinued.)

M34 = .22/32Kit Gun, M35 = .22/32 Target up to Oct. 1960 (.22 I frames converted to J frames).

NOTES:
1) Many wonder what the little iron cross like marks are at the beginning and end of the cartridge roll mark on the barrel. They are a common typographical ornamentation called a “dingbat” used as a guide called "feet" to begin and end the barrel rollmarking and keep it straight, from back in the day. For example: they show up on pre war I frames in 32 and 38 and appear on early 22/32s then show up again after WW II. The little M frame .22 has them on both ends of the cartridge roll stamp. Triple locks and other models have them atop the barrel on both ends of the address and patent dates, etc.

Photo in post #4 here: 32 LONG CTG HELP ID.
IRON CROSS dingbat shown here: http://thinkdesignblog.com/typograph...gbat-fonts.htm

2) There has not been any pre war or post war .38 S&W Target models observed to date but 6” is reported.

3) A change in the early 1960’s was the hammer to spring strut junction from ball/socket to the fork/pin.

4) The post war I frames were changed to left hand threads on straight extractor rods soon after the commencement of production following WW II, therefore their spawn, the 1950 introduced J frame Chiefs Special, began life with left hand threads on straight extractor rods.

Just for the record however, and not affecting J frames; I must acknowledge that early post war I frames were produced with right hand threads and these are identifiable by the pre war 'barrel' style extractor rod knob,
BUT: a very scarce few 'late', early post war I frames with the "barrel" knob have been observed with left hand threads! Again this is irrelevant to J frames.
To summarize: on the post war I and J frames; all straight extractor rods are left hand thread, but on the I frames not every "barrel" type extractor rod is right hand thread! As usual with Smiths, the I frame extractor rod changes were subject to a transition period of a couple of years.

5) All fixed sight I models have smooth triggers before the war which continued on the earliest post war transitional but were changed to grooved during the pre war/post war models and preceding the Improved Model.
6) The front trigger guard screw was eliminated when this model received the egg shaped trigger guard change, referred to as the Model of 1953 which also included the change to the J frame length grip on the I and J frame (38 Spl). Suffice it to say that there are no 5 screw Models of 1953, notwithstanding an Airweight J frame with a lock screw on the upper sideplate screw.
7) Before c. 1953 model, I and J frames had rounder trigger guards with the front (5th) screw and I frame length (short) grip frames and were all '5 screw models'. After c. 1953, the I and J frames were all ‘4 screw models' both had egg shaped trigger guards and J frame length grips. After Oct. 1960, 22/32 I frames and 1961 for .32 and .38 I frames, all were changed to J frames and a -1 was added to the model number.
These are only my observations and I appreciate anyone else's observations to add to the data base.

8) Pre models:
For the benefit of others to make up their own minds to be precise or to be confusing:
a pre model number described gun is just that, it's not a name, it's an accurate description to distinguish between the "Model .38 Chiefs Special Airweight" that DOES NOT look like the model numbered guns and the models of 1953 "Model .38 Chiefs Special AW" " that DOES look like the model numbered version. It's a useful description to avoid confusion and to be precise when discussing Models that have the same name but different features which is very common.

9) Checkering:
Triple Locks 17 LPI (16 rows of diamonds)
HFT pre and post 1920s inc. Kit Guns 16 LPI (15 rows of diamonds)
Early post war I frames 13 LPI (12 rows of diamonds)
1953 Kit Gun 14 LPI (13 rows of diamonds)

These are only my observations and I appreciate anyone else's observations to add to the data base.
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Last edited by Hondo44; 05-12-2013 at 07:16 PM. Reason: I have updated and simplified the above information.
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  #47  
Old 08-07-2011, 08:26 PM
Green Frog Green Frog is offline
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Thanks for the new update of your accumulated info. This is the most convenient way I have found to nail down details on the I-frames I am encountering (and trying to buy! ) I am still having a devil of a time finding a pure post-War Terrier, though. Do you (or anybody else) have any idea of production numbers for the Terrier with post-War hammer block safety (but [U]not[U] improved) and the little half moon sight?

Froggie
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Old 08-07-2011, 08:57 PM
PuertoRican PuertoRican is offline
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My humble example. Shipped 1920.
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  #49  
Old 08-07-2011, 09:53 PM
Hondo44 Hondo44 is offline
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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.
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Last edited by Hondo44; 04-23-2013 at 05:50 AM.
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  #50  
Old 08-07-2011, 10:40 PM
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JCS&W JCS&W is offline
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Only I frame I have, was my dad's. He loved this .32
Pre-Model 30 shipped 1953-1955
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