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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 12-17-2015, 10:27 PM
MrG5122 MrG5122 is offline
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Default How many K32 5 screws?

Only 3630 we're made. Does anyone have a number on 5 screws?
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Old 12-17-2015, 11:06 PM
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Originally Posted by MrG5122 View Post
Only 3630 we're made. Does anyone have a number on 5 screws?
I have no idea. I want 1 too. Would LOVE to see a 1 liner. Pretty sure they are like unicorns.
Bob
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Old 12-18-2015, 03:23 PM
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With the possible exception of a couple of early salesman samples, all K-32 Masterpieces should be four-line revolvers. Distribution in commercial quantities began in earnest in 1949, almost a year after the four line address block became standard.

My guess is that between 2000 and 2500 of the K-32 Masterpieces will be five-screw revolvers. Production tapered off pretty severely in the later years when it became clear there was just not a gigantic market for the model. Four-screw guns should be much harder to find than the ones with five screws, and three-screw specimens rarer yet.

Rarest of all will be the early K-32s with a large ejector rod knob (LERK). At one point I believed that there would be no such guns, but in the last two or three years a few have turned up. I didn't look back to check the stats, but I think five LERK K-32s are known at this time.
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Old 12-18-2015, 07:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DCWilson View Post
My guess is that between 2000 and 2500 of the K-32 Masterpieces will be five-screw revolvers. Production tapered off pretty severely in the later years when it became clear there was just not a gigantic market for the model. Four-screw guns should be much harder to find than the ones with five screws, and three-screw specimens rarer yet.
I agree with David. The last version of the K-32 was the model 16-3, which was discontinued in 1974 I believe. I've seen about half a dozen 16-3's, and every one had a "6" stamped over a "4" in the model number. My theory is that demand was so low by then the factory didn't even bother to stamp any 16-3 frames, and when they did get an order for one they just over-stamped a 14-3 frame and fitted it with a K-32 barrel and cylinder.
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Old 12-18-2015, 08:48 PM
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HI
the numbers I have used over the years is below. Davids numbers are pretty close but I broke it down a little farther.
k-32 Narrow rib est. 400
k-32 Wide rib est. 2030
K-32 4 screw est. 400
K-32-2 est. 300
k-32-3 est. 500

The reason for the numbers is how many you see.
the -2 is the hardest to find
the Narrow rib and the 4 screw are the next hardest to find
and the 16-3 was made the longest.
and the 5 screw wide rib is the one yoy see the most of.
Jim Fisher
just my 2 cents worth.
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Old 12-20-2015, 06:19 PM
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5 screw, four line, K58963. Narrow rib.





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Old 12-20-2015, 07:57 PM
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This ought to be as early a K-32 as one can find - its the first serial number post-WW2 K32.
All original, one-line frame roll marking, and (I assume) the large extractor nob. Note: the grips are not original to
the gun. When I got the gun, the left grip panel was a modified pre-WW2 grip that had a thumb rest on it. I replaced
those grips with what you see on the gun.







Regards, Mike Priwer

Last edited by mikepriwer; 12-20-2015 at 08:05 PM.
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Old 12-20-2015, 09:22 PM
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Default Wow, unicorns are real......

Nickel? Refinish?
Thanks for posting it Mike. That's pretty darn cool.
Bob
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Old 12-20-2015, 10:38 PM
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That is its as-shipped factory nickel finish.

Mike
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Old 12-21-2015, 10:24 AM
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I'm pretty sure that David has this one in his stats. K2244 shipped March 10, 1948 to E. F. Warner, Publisher Field and Stream. It came to me with the rare "first type of target grips" - obviously added at a later date but nevertheless stamped 2244. Single line address and LERK.
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Old 07-11-2020, 02:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmg60 View Post
HI
the numbers I have used over the years is below. Davids numbers are pretty close but I broke it down a little farther.
k-32 Narrow rib est. 400
k-32 Wide rib est. 2030
K-32 4 screw est. 400
K-32-2 est. 300
k-32-3 est. 500

The reason for the numbers is how many you see.
the -2 is the hardest to find
the Narrow rib and the 4 screw are the next hardest to find
and the 16-3 was made the longest.
and the 5 screw wide rib is the one yoy see the most of.
Jim Fisher
just my 2 cents worth.
Jim

I have two 4-screw K-32's, one with a model number and one without, do you know how many of each was actually produced?

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Old 07-11-2020, 03:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikepriwer View Post







Regards, Mike Priwer

I want this....
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Old 07-11-2020, 07:35 AM
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Again, the collective knowledge on this forum is amazing. EVERY time I visit, I learn something.

Thank you all for continuing my education.

Kevin
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Old 07-11-2020, 08:06 AM
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Lloyd, when we were discussing the overstamped 16-3s in another thread, I remembered this thread (among others) mentioning the factory practice described by PMRet in Post #4. I guess the only way one can be absolutely sure of authenticity is that factory letter. It’s certainly telling that so few example of the 16-3 were made over the relatively long “production” run... they obviously don’t qualify as “regular production.”

On a related topic, did your K-32 with ramp front sight and W/O rear letter as originally equipped like that?

Mike, was that super-early nickel plated example of yours produced as a salesman’s sample or demo piece, perhaps? It surely makes my froggie heart beat faster!

Froggie
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Old 07-11-2020, 08:42 AM
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Not in the same class I know, but any idea on the number of 16-4 produced.
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Old 07-11-2020, 11:47 AM
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Quote:
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Not in the same class I know, but any idea on the number of 16-4 produced.
Approximately 8800 total. Produced in 4", 6" ad 8 3/8". It is thought the most produced was the 6" followed by the 4" and fewest were 8 3/8".
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Old 07-11-2020, 11:54 AM
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This is great information. I was fortunate enough to get a K-32 with the narrow rib several years ago. At the time, I thought there were fewer of these made than those with the wide rib. It is great to know the approx. number now. Thanks bmg60.
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Old 07-11-2020, 12:17 PM
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A couple days ago I spotted an old Smith (.32 S&W) at a local pawn shop. It has a 6Ē bbl, the finish is well worn, the right grip is broken, but overall itís in ok shape. Theyíre asking $399. I had pics but deleted them. Is this a K32? Should I head back and take another look?

My 16-4 could use company...
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Old 07-11-2020, 12:25 PM
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A couple days ago I spotted an old Smith (.32 S&W) at a local pawn shop. It has a 6Ē bbl, the finish is well worn, the right grip is broken, but overall itís in ok shape. Theyíre asking $399. I had pics but deleted them. Is this a K32? Should I head back and take another look?

My 16-4 could use company...
I'm guessing it was a K frame with adjustable sights, right? It could be K-32 or pre K-32. There were also target .32-20s and some .32 Longs built in the .32-20 serial number range.

There were also 6" fixed sighted and target models built on the I frame.
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Old 07-11-2020, 12:27 PM
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I'm guessing it was a K frame with adjustable sights, right? It could be K-32 or pre K-32. There were also target .32-20s and some .32 Longs built in the .32-20 serial number range.

There were also 6" fixed sighted and target models built on the I frame.
Yes, itís a K frame with adjustable sights.
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Old 07-11-2020, 12:28 PM
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Have not got anything back yet, you will be the first to know! But the 16-3 that is in my collection is clearly stamped and not an over-stamped. Now it looks like I will have to add one more to my collection, the narrow rib, 5 screw. I guess I am a glutton for punishment.... This is why I really want to get the letter. Of all my guns, the K series Masterpiece is my favorite. I think it started in 1977 in Great Falls, Montana with the purchase of my first K-38 (Model 14-2).
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Old 07-11-2020, 12:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Green Frog View Post
Lloyd, when we were discussing the overstamped 16-3s in another thread, I remembered this thread (among others) mentioning the factory practice described by PMRet in Post #4. I guess the only way one can be absolutely sure of authenticity is that factory letter. Itís certainly telling that so few example of the 16-3 were made over the relatively long ďproductionĒ run... they obviously donít qualify as ďregular production.Ē

On a related topic, did your K-32 with ramp front sight and W/O rear letter as originally equipped like that?

Mike, was that super-early nickel plated example of yours produced as a salesmanís sample or demo piece, perhaps? It surely makes my froggie heart beat faster!

Froggie
Froggy

Here is the stamping from my 16-3, so it looks like it was an factory original and not starting life as another model number.

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Old 07-11-2020, 01:30 PM
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Yep. From what I have been able to reconstruct based on various conversations and posts, they would build batches of Model 16 frames (when times were a little slack?) and mark them as such to build then or as reserves to build as needed. If an order came in for one or two pieces and no “official” frame was available to build it/them, they would simply take a Model 14-3 frame and the appropriate 32 cal barrel and cylinder and put one together, over stamping the 4 with a 6. There are rumors of an event that will break your heart... supposedly there is at least one example of a Model 16 frame over stamped with a 4! I have never seen it nor confirmed its existence, but what a collectible (through the tears) that would be.

Froggie
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Old 07-11-2020, 01:52 PM
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Default K32 - 4 Screw

I would love to know the actual production numbers for each model. Jim posted that there was approximately 400 produced in the 4 screw variation. I have two 4 screws - one without model number and one with, I would love to know the numbers produced in this breakdown. One of these two variants could be a very low production number.
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Old 07-11-2020, 02:02 PM
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Here's another narrow rib 5-screw four line K-32 with a Micro cockeyed hammer:









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Old 07-11-2020, 03:19 PM
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"May I see more please?" I've already devoured these. Mechanically they are just like the K-22 and K-38 Masterpieces of the day, but that "three two" added to the label on the barrel brings things to a whole new level. I don't know what makes their attraction so great (other than lack of obtainability) but I know I'm drooling here!

the Green (with envy) Frog
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Old 07-11-2020, 04:12 PM
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Froggy

They are like Lay's Potato Chips, you just can have one.....
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Old 07-11-2020, 05:37 PM
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Froggie

I was going to tell the story about this gun, but decided that it was easier to post the factory letter here. That makes it self-explanatory!



The bottom of the picture has the description cut from the auction catalog. The letter is dated 1999, which was probably the year of the auction. I won the auction, and I think I was ultimately bidding against Gary Garbrecht, which is why it sold for a whole lot more than the estimate! I think it was a Gregg Martin auction in San Francisco.

I remember Roy commenting, at the time, that this gun was evidence about how slow the first sale of the post-WW2 were. The sales department had the gun for a whole year, before an order finally came in. Apparently they did not have any other K-32's built, so had to recall this one from the sales department, and change the finish to nickel !

Regards, Mike Priwer

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Old 07-11-2020, 05:48 PM
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Thanks Mike. I appreciate the opportunity to see this early item and find out about its beginnings. I knew it was special, but for Roy to write of it in such glowing terms speaks volumes! Congrats on being the keeper of such a historical piece. I can’t help but wonder what paths it followed until it got to the auction where you acquired it.

Froggie
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Old 07-11-2020, 08:26 PM
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Froggie

I have no idea as to its ownership between the Sporting Goods store, and the auction !

Regards, Mike Priwer
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Old 07-16-2020, 10:17 PM
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Good to know the narrow rib pre K-32 in the safe is one of an estimated low number produced. Mine has a finish problem on the barrel but paid a lower price. Tom in Prescott Arizona has a lerk pre K-32 and the serial number is just before my gun, it is one of the first run after the Lerk k-32ís.

There are some real nice guns here, Larry
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Old 07-16-2020, 11:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CH4 View Post
A couple days ago I spotted an old Smith (.32 S&W) at a local pawn shop. It has a 6Ē bbl, the finish is well worn, the right grip is broken, but overall itís in ok shape. Theyíre asking $399. I had pics but deleted them. Is this a K32? Should I head back and take another look?

My 16-4 could use company...
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Yes, itís a K frame with adjustable sights.
I hope you bought it!
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Old 07-17-2020, 04:16 PM
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Quote:
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Good to know the narrow rib pre K-32 in the safe is one of an estimated low number produced. Mine has a finish problem on the barrel but paid a lower price. Tom in Prescott Arizona has a lerk pre K-32 and the serial number is just before my gun, it is one of the first run after lthe Lerk k-32ís.

There are some real nice guns here, Larry
Wow! That serial number on your K-32 falls squarely between that of my K-38 and that of my K-22. Iím not one for spending big money on restorations, but if that were mine it would have to go to one of the best in the business and would be the centerpiece of my collection. What a treasure!

As usual, Iím green, but now it's With envy.

Your phriend the Ďphibian
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Old 07-20-2020, 04:19 PM
mikepriwer mikepriwer is offline
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Here are two early K-32's, both 4" revolvers. The one with the Patridge front sight is K68510. This was a 10 gun shipment, and Jim Fisher has another one from the shipment. I don't readily have the serial number of the other.





Here are the letters for them. The first two pictures are for K68510, that has the Patridge front-sight blade.





The next two pictures are for K366587, which has the red-ramp front sight blade.





There is a problem with the shipping date in the letter; it states the date as 1954. I wrote Roy and asked about this, and this communication is attached to the end of the letter. The correct year is 1959.

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Old 07-20-2020, 05:06 PM
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Mike,

Do these get categorized as "32 Combat Masterpieces?" Any idea where the rest of the shipment of 10 ended up? Are there any other known batches of these 4" 32s, or was this a one-off?

Froggie
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Old 07-20-2020, 05:45 PM
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Mike,

Do these get categorized as "32 Combat Masterpieces?" Any idea where the rest of the shipment of 10 ended up? Are there any other known batches of these 4" 32s, or was this a one-off?

Froggie
I hear Andy Horvath had a shipment of them. But they started out chambered for something else!

Kevin
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Old 07-25-2020, 09:02 AM
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Can I play, too? Huh! Huh!


Y'all have seen this before, but this is my K-32 Model 16 (after refinish). Not as rare, pretty or as valuable as others posted in this thread.






Before refinish.


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Old 07-25-2020, 08:52 PM
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The pictures for the two 4" K-32's are earlier in this thread. Here are the letters for them. The first two pictures are for K68510, that has the Patridge front-sight blade.





The next two pictures are for K366587, which has the red-ramp front sight blade.





There is a problem with the shipping date in the letter; it states the date as 1954. I wrote Roy and asked about this, and this communication is attached to the end of the letter. The correct year is 1959.

Regards, Mike Priwer

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Old 09-05-2020, 01:12 PM
Gary Hogstrom Gary Hogstrom is offline
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I have a K32 narrow rib S/N K660xx [condition abt. 99%] ,this thread has been very helpful in understanding how this gun fits in the K32 line. The S/N does not fall within any of the ranges listed in SCS&W so I assume I should "letter" it to get more info. I have never lettered anything so this is new for me. I would love to post pic's but am very lacking in ability.
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Old 09-08-2020, 07:07 AM
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Hers's mine, maybe the ugliest one you'll see here. Bought it off of GB From dealer in Idaho. It shipped in 1955 so it's a birth year gun for me. It obviously was not babied. I have given thought to having it restored...having seen Mike's nickel one....maybe shiny???

How many K32 5 screws?-20180812_081632-jpg

How many K32 5 screws?-20180812_081639-jpg
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Old 09-08-2020, 07:26 AM
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That looks perfect to me. I would be hard pressed to tamper with such a well earned patina.
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Old 09-08-2020, 10:03 AM
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That looks perfect to me. I would be hard pressed to tamper with such a well earned patina.
Leave it alone......
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Old 09-08-2020, 10:29 AM
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This Model 16 no dash K-32 came to me heavily corroded, with the barrel cut to 5" and a ramp front sight. It was so badly corroded I was told polishing would not be possible. However, it can be done. If it was in the shape yours is now, I would not have restored it.








Before
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Old 09-08-2020, 10:50 AM
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Robert

Before you think about restoring it, get a factory letter, and find out where it was shipped. If there is anything interesting in its provenance, you might want to preserve it as is. Refinishing does leave the gun with 0% original finish, and it has more than that now.

Mike Priwer
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Old 09-16-2020, 08:30 AM
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I have or k32 stamped 14-3. No overstamp. 32 cylinder and barrel. I take it there are a few like this....
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Old 09-16-2020, 09:43 AM
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I thought I had lost this photo.
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Old 09-16-2020, 09:59 AM
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I have or k32 stamped 14-3. No overstamp. 32 cylinder and barrel. I take it there are a few like this....
Iíve never heard of one coming from the factory like this, although I have one just like it myself... that I had put together using a factory barrel and a rebored K22 cylinder. It hasnít been too many years ago (OK, a few decades... Iím an old guy) Since one could order a NOS barrel from the factory and do just what I have done. It seems like a shooter in OZ back in the Seventies or early eighties would have maybe found it easier to order the necessary barrel and cylinder than to get a gun shipped, but of course Iím just speculating here.

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Old 09-16-2020, 10:33 AM
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Froggie
Demand for the K-32 Model 16 was so low that when an order came in, the assembly supervisor simply pulled a K-38 frame and had it redesignated for the K-32. Sometimes the model stamp ended up not being corrected.
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Old 09-16-2020, 11:12 AM
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Those of which I’m aware have the over stamp, but with all things S&W, “Never say never!”

I guess it would take a letter to know for sure, but then again this is one case where value added from a letter would almost certainly be worth it.

Froggie
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