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Old 07-23-2016, 08:04 PM
skritlebitz skritlebitz is offline
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Default Identify family pistol, 32 cal long, 1950s

Hi, my family has a S&W 32 cal pistol that I believe was purchased in the 1950s. I am trying to figure out how to sell it but first need to identify it exactly. Even though it is in the original box there doesn't seem to be any obvious model identifiers. I read the sticky and here is what I know so far.

Description on box: Smith & Wesson Hand Ejector, Blued, 4
32 cal long bullets
6 shot
Serial 690xxx
No safety

Kind of looks like an old-style police pistol. If that just isn't enough information I'll try and get a pic (current owner isn't tech savy...)

Thanks
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Old 07-23-2016, 10:04 PM
g8rb8 g8rb8 is offline
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Welcome to the S&W Forum.

The SCSW (Standard Catalog of Smith & Wesson), third edition, is only modestly helpful.

Yours is most likely either a ".32 Hand Ejector" or a ".32 Regulation Police". After 1957 they were known as either Models 30 or Model 31. Serial # range 536685-712953 was produced from 1946-1960. Your serial # of 690xxx would be consistent with a gun purchased in the 1950's.

I used to think I remembered how to tell a .32 Hand Ejector from a .32 Regulation Police but after looking at the SCSW tonight either I didn't or the catalog has a misprint.

The catalog says the .32 Hand Ejector has a round butt frame. I thought the .32 Regulation Police had a square butt frame but the catalog says differently. Hopefully another member will clarify. Pictures would be helpful.

Square butt versus round butt frame. Round butt is on the bottom.

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Old 07-23-2016, 10:09 PM
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A picture would be helpful in making a positive ID, but the dating is probably from the late 1950s. Exactly where on the gun is the serial number located? Is there a model number stamped inside the yoke area?
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Old 07-23-2016, 11:18 PM
Muley Gil Muley Gil is offline
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Pre WW II RPs had a rebated round butt and extended grips. The square butt pictured is a post WW II design.

Go to post # 62 in this thread:

Types of Smith & Wesson Revolver Grips

and look at the third picture of an RP.
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Old 07-23-2016, 11:33 PM
Hondo44 Hondo44 is offline
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Welcome to the forum.

Because of the 4" barrel it has a square butt grip frame as shown above and is a ".32 Regulation Police".

If it's not marked MOD 31 stamped in the yoke when cylinder is swung open to the side, it was produced after 1953 but before 1958 and is specifically known as the "Model of 1953 .32 Regulation Police".

However, the serial # is a couple of thousand above the lowest serial #s I have in my database for the lowest recorded model stamped .32s which was ordered in June of 1957.

So if yours has MOD 31 stamped in the yoke, it's the same gun but from 1958 to 60 production and specifically known as a "Model 31, ".32 Regulation Police".

It says "No safety" on the box label? Printed or handwritten?

Yours must look like this, but with thinner grips and w/o the target sights:

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Old 07-23-2016, 11:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by g8rb8 View Post
Welcome to the S&W Forum.

The SCSW (Standard Catalog of Smith & Wesson), third edition, is only modestly helpful.

Yours is most likely either a ".32 Hand Ejector" or a ".32 Regulation Police". After 1957 they were known as either Models 30 or Model 31. Serial # range 536685-712953 was produced from 1946-1960. Your serial # of 690xxx would be consistent with a gun purchased in the 1950's.

I used to think I remembered how to tell a .32 Hand Ejector from a .32 Regulation Police but after looking at the SCSW tonight either I didn't or the catalog has a misprint.

The catalog says the .32 Hand Ejector has a round butt frame. I thought the .32 Regulation Police had a square butt frame but the catalog says differently. Hopefully another member will clarify. Pictures would be helpful.

Square butt versus round butt frame. Round butt is on the bottom.

The SCSW is an excellent resource and the 3rd edition is the best to date. However the small I frame sections have been the least updated with new known information and therefore a little confusing.

Click on the yellow 3 in the upper right corner of this post for up to date details on these confusing and highly evolutionary 1950s I frame models. It's been shared with the author and I hope as much as possible is included in the upcoming SCSW 4th ed.
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Old 07-23-2016, 11:47 PM
Hondo44 Hondo44 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Muley Gil View Post
Pre WW II RPs had a rebated round butt and extended grips. The square butt pictured is a post WW II design.

Go to post # 62 in this thread:

Types of Smith & Wesson Revolver Grips

and look at the third picture of an RP.
That's right, the one pictured is from the 1920s and the same design as the early post WW II design. That rebated round butt grip frame with sq butt stocks existed after the war up until the Model 1953 versions were introduced with a true square butt grip frame.

From its # I'm sure the OP's .32 has the Model 1953 grip frame.
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Last edited by Hondo44; 07-24-2016 at 12:00 AM.
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Old 07-24-2016, 08:29 AM
g8rb8 g8rb8 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by g8rb8
View Post
....The SCSW (Standard Catalog of Smith & Wesson), third edition, is only modestly helpful.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hondo44 View Post
The SCSW is an excellent resource and the 3rd edition is the best to date. However the small I frame sections have been the least updated with new known information and therefore a little confusing.
......
My apologies for any misunderstanding of my comment. I love the SCSW and find it, overall, very helpful. It is only in respect to the specific question regarding differentiating a .32 Hand Ejector from a .32 Regulation Police that I found it not highly helpful to me.

Does anyone have a simple way of differentiating these two models prior to their becoming model number marked?
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Old 07-24-2016, 08:38 AM
Muley Gil Muley Gil is offline
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"Does anyone have a simple way of differentiating these two models prior to their becoming model number marked?"

The difference is the grip. The RPs had the rebated or notched grip frame until the 1953 style square butts appeared. Then the RPs had the square butt. The HEs had the round butt.
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Old 07-24-2016, 09:01 AM
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If the box is original and labeled "(.32) Hand Ejector" that is what it is, probably . After 1957 it would have called a model 30.

It is likely from the mid-late 1950s. Photos would help here, or a description of how many screws are on the frame per the ID post.

Also, I would guess you'll be looking for a value estimate...if you have any interest in keeping it, a 60 year old family gun cannot be replaced at any cost once sold. Hope this is helpful.
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Old 07-24-2016, 09:26 AM
Hondo44 Hondo44 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by g8rb8 View Post
My apologies for any misunderstanding of my comment. I love the SCSW and find it, overall, very helpful. It is only in respect to the specific question regarding differentiating a .32 Hand Ejector from a .32 Regulation Police that I found it not highly helpful to me.

Does anyone have a simple way of differentiating these two models prior to their becoming model number marked?
No apology needed, that was not criticizing your comment about the SCSW, just supporting it.

I hope my commentary I referenced for you to check out cleared up the differences of the 32 HE vs. the 32 RP models. If not, any feedback is welcome.
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Old 07-24-2016, 09:35 AM
Hondo44 Hondo44 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Muley Gil View Post
"Does anyone have a simple way of differentiating these two models prior to their becoming model number marked?"

The difference is the grip. The RPs had the rebated or notched grip frame until the 1953 style square butts appeared. Then the RPs had the square butt. The HEs had the round butt.
The barrel length plays a roll in differentiating as well, there being no 2" Regulation Police models, or 4 1/4" or 4" barreled round butt Hand Ejector models "commonly" produced (with some exceptions known of course, as always with S&W).
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Old 07-24-2016, 11:14 AM
skritlebitz skritlebitz is offline
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Serial # was on bottom of grip. Waiting for info on the model #.
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Old 07-24-2016, 11:21 AM
skritlebitz skritlebitz is offline
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Yes the goal is to sell it as the family has no interest in keeping it.
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Old 07-24-2016, 01:29 PM
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Quote:
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Yes the goal is to sell it as the family has no interest in keeping it.
Sorry to blunt, but why is this the case?
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Old 07-24-2016, 02:34 PM
skritlebitz skritlebitz is offline
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It is just a gun that has been sitting in a dresser for 50 years. No one needs it or wants it.
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Old 07-24-2016, 07:17 PM
Hondo44 Hondo44 is offline
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The main purpose of keeping heirlooms is not as much for the present family, as it is for future generations to have a piece of family history.

We don't know what genes the future generations will have inherited, but eventually someone will have the genes to really appreciate the old family firearm and love shooting it, teaching their kids firearm safety, and teaching them how to shoot.

About 20 years ago my dad gave me my grandfather's .32 Hand Ejector that he bought new in 1913. It sat for over 70 years in its box until then.

My dad nor my uncles had any interest in it but hung on to it instead of selling it off for a few measly dollars. I alone had the genes and the passion to appreciate it and the provenance history that came with it. Not unlike that which I have for my grandfather's gold pocket watch or my wife has for her mother's jewelry. My kids and grandkids learned to shoot with it. It began a monumental interest in S&W collecting and shooting for me that my sons and daughter will carry on. To us it's priceless and will be passed down and shared thru future generations.

It's the top gun on the left with some of my other 32 S&Ws:

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Old 07-24-2016, 07:22 PM
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Of course, the decision is yours to keep or sell, but unless the cash is necessary, it might be better to hang onto it for awhile. It's as good now as it was back when it was new, and it won't depreciate. There are LOTS of dealers who would love to pay you about half (or less) of what it's really worth. So make sure you are aware what you have and what it is worth in a private sale before getting skinned alive.
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Old 07-26-2016, 01:55 PM
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This one is from1981 that I picked up for less than $250 several years ago. Right place at the right time. My wife claimed it as soon it came through door. It is her night stand and every day carry gun...lightweight and easy recoil..spot on at 21ft combat range. Keep it in the family. It'll earn interest besides. Here's a few pics. Rich.
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Old 07-26-2016, 03:58 PM
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I'll take it.
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Old 07-26-2016, 06:17 PM
Hondo44 Hondo44 is offline
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This one is from1981 that I picked up for less than $250 several years ago. Right place at the right time. My wife claimed it as soon it came through door. It is her night stand and every day carry gun...lightweight and easy recoil..spot on at 21ft combat range. Keep it in the family. It'll earn interest besides. Here's a few pics. Rich.
That's a beauty and a bargain!

A late Model 31-1 after the pinned barrel was deleted but before the wider combat smooth trigger became standard.
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Old 07-26-2016, 10:11 PM
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I'll outbid Redfield by $5.
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