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Old 05-13-2017, 11:13 AM
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Ok first off I'm new here so please humor me . I have a S&W revolver here are the markings 102xxx on butt and cylinder,Smith&Wesson on left side of barrel 32 WCF on right side ,Smith&Wesson Springfield Mas.USA with various patent dates on top last patent date is dec.29,14. I know it is 32/20 caliber and I believe it was built in 1917 I have been told it is a k frame please shed light as I am trying to get parts and possible custom grip made as I love ths square butt ,nickled gun as it is extremely accurate with cowboy action loads I have found for it .After corespondent with Patrick Grashorn about grips I just want to double check . Is it a K frame or something else .This gun isn't in " collector " grade as it has honest wear from being carried in holsters and used but with the 6 inch barrel I believe it will make a great roaming the woods gun especially if I can round up a rifle in this caliber. Thanks for any information.
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Old 05-13-2017, 11:43 AM
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It is a K frame revolver and Grashorn's grips (or stocks ) are great. Enjoy it.
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Old 05-13-2017, 11:52 AM
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Yes, it's a K frame. As to when it was made, we guess at it. The reason is the folks who made it didn't care when it was made----only when it shipped---and when they got paid for it. It was, and is, the way of the world.

Here's how we guess at it: I have two---one with a lower serial number, one higher. We preach the gospel S&W didn't ship in serial order---and we pretty much ignore that gospel. That's because it's the only game in town---aside from daily production logs kept by the foremen (which DO tell when whatever was made----and are few and far between).

So---------#42094, classified as a 1905 Second Change Target shipped December 22, 1908. #114655 (Fourth Change Target) left on August 21, 1923. Do the math, and that's as good as it gets until someone comes along with closer numbers---or until you get a "factory" letter (which will almost always tell you exactly when it shipped).

And from recollection of prior discussions of these things (32/20's), it's reputed "They'll shoot plumb through a man!".

Ralph Tremaine
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Old 05-13-2017, 12:15 PM
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Dang it Ralph two target ones and no pictures of either flogging is in order.
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Old 05-13-2017, 12:24 PM
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What Ralph wrote is generally correct. However, in the case of your revolver, we have some knowledge that can narrow things down quite a bit.

First, we know that a .32-20 Hand Ejector with serial number 81287 was assembled in September, 1919. It was the first to get heat treatment on the cylinder.

Second, the caliber designation on the barrel, 32 W.C.F., was discontinued in about mid-year 1922. At about the same time, Made in U.S.A. was added to the frame on the right side. Since yours says 32 W.C.F., I'll bet it lacks the Made in U.S.A. stamp.

When we combine the two facts noted above, we can be fairly confident that your revolver was produced in the 1920-1922 period and probably in 1921. I show serial number 106473 shipping in August, 1922, so we know that one was made before that time. Yours, at 102xxx, would also have been made before that. When it shipped remains unknown without a factory letter, but you can be quite sure it wasn't before 1920 and probably not before 1921.

As others have told you, it is built on the K size frame.
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Old 05-13-2017, 12:43 PM
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I only have one "Winchester Model" with a 102,000 serial number, and it shipped June 1921, A 1917 period .32-20 would have a SN in the ca. 74,000-78,000 range.

Someone will no doubt be along shortly and warn you to not shoot "rifle" cartridges in your revolver! The fact is that the .32-20 was, is, and always will be a rifle cartridge for which several revolvers were adapted going clear back to 1882 when it was introduced by Winchester for the Model 1873. Any current production .32-20 ammunition is appropriate for your revolver. The only ammunition to avoid, and quite unlikely you will see, is the 80 grain full jacket, round nose, hollow point "Hi-Speed", "High Velocity", etc. Since none has been made since the early 1960s at the latest this shouldn't be a problem. Just remember to stick with 100-120 grain ammunition with flat point bullets and it is fine for your gun. Jacketed or plain lead makes no difference. Just stay away from cartridges that look like the thumbnail below!
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Old 05-13-2017, 12:54 PM
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We love pictures of S&W handguns here at the forum.
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Old 05-13-2017, 01:03 PM
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See---I told you someone would be along with something closer. I apologize for not mentioning folks like Jack (JP@AK). This hive is made up of a rather diverse group----everyday enthusiasts and shooters----accumulators---beginning collectors---established collectors---advanced collectors-----REALLY ADVANCED COLLECTORS---and folks like Jack. I call them students. They're much more than students. All of them clearly have multiple advanced degrees---but they don't quit being students. I had an aunt like that (for real!!)--- a BS------three Master's degrees----two PhD's---and an MD. The only reason she stopped is because she too stopped.

Not that you'd want to (if you have any sense at all), but you don't want to argue with or otherwise challenge our students----just keep shut and learn. You may not care about some of what you learn, but you will be dully impressed with the fact they know it----or know exactly where to look it up with no notice to speak of---and rattle it off like they were reciting the alphabet. They are REALLY good!!

Ralph Tremaine

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Old 05-13-2017, 03:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by weatherby View Post
Dang it Ralph two target ones and no pictures of either flogging is in order.
Not sure of the serials on my two, but hopefully this will save Ralph a flogging.



Regards,
Bruce
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Old 05-14-2017, 06:23 AM
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Thanks so much guys I was trying to be sure and now I know it is a K frame I will order this stocks ,I had already been warned about tne rifle only ammo but i appreciate the extra info . As far as build year is concerned I am still proud of it even if it was built in the early 20s rather than 1917 ,the heat treated cylinder info is really helpful so thank you .i must go now and get Mr Grashorn a check in the mail as I can't hardly wait to see this gun with those stag grips on it .Thank all you so much .
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Old 05-14-2017, 06:28 AM
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Of yea Bruce all I can say is wow those are nice .
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Old 05-14-2017, 07:29 AM
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Good information above. Note in the double photo above the guns have the "square butt" frame; if yours is similar ask for that style. I think by the early 1920s there were no "round butt" .32-20 M & P revolvers being made, but best to know that before your new stag stocks arrive and don't fit . Enjoy!
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Old 05-14-2017, 10:00 AM
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Welcome to the Forum.

I have owned at least one .32-20 since the mid 1970s. They are fun shooters. I've had handguns and rifles. Enjoyed them all.

Beware of other's handloads as well. Not just .32-20s, but most anybodies.
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Old 05-14-2017, 10:15 AM
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I list 1027xx as shipping in 6/21. That's as close as I have to yours, but I do list several more in the upper SN 9xxxx range which also shipped in 1921. So it's pretty safe to assume yours did also.

And I'll repeat, the HV .32-20 ammo is nothing you are likely to find on your dealer's shelf. It's in the collector category today.
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Old 05-14-2017, 12:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Muley Gil View Post
Beware of other's handloads as well. Not just .32-20s, but most anybodies.
This is VERY good advice. I've been shooting since I was a kid and hand loading since 1963. I NEVER shoot anyone else's hand loads in my guns (with the exception of my brother, with whom I have worked for more than half a century).

I have, on occasion, purchased or otherwise ended up with ammo loaded by someone else. In those instances, I set the ammo aside and when time allows I pull the bullets, burn the powder in a tray (small amounts at a time), store the bullets after weighing them, and carefully examine the cases, discarding any that are suspect in any way. Accumulating components in this way is safe and helpful. Shooting ammunition of unknown composition is foolish and always should be avoided.
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Old 05-15-2017, 06:46 PM
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This thread is, more or less, useless without pictures. I love 32-20s, to my mind it's the ultimate K frame. I actually earned my NRA Basic Pistol Instructor license with mine I've posted about. And in a later gun with the heat treated cylinder you can get close to 38 Special +P ballistics with handloads.

They won't let the police have them 32-20s, son. They'll shoot right through a man.
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Old 05-15-2017, 07:29 PM
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I guess my grail gun is a 1905 Target 32/20. I have had dozens
of 32/20 revolvers. I have never had the chance to shoot a
Target model. While 32/20 rifles and revolvers are fairly common
around my neck of the woods, Target models are scarce. Back
in the day before it required a 44mg to stop a bad guy, the 32/20
was carried by a lot of LEOs. The 32/20 is a useful cartridge. It
is cheap to load and a good choice for small game. It's got a lot
more thump than a 22 and doesn't tear up the game. With the
price of 22rf and the lousy quality of all but the premium stuff
the last 8yrs I have shot 25/20 & 32/20 instead. I have found
that both rifle & revolvers tend to shoot better with cast bullets.
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Old 05-15-2017, 08:20 PM
Muley Gil Muley Gil is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drm50 View Post
I guess my grail gun is a 1905 Target 32/20. I have had dozens
of 32/20 revolvers. I have never had the chance to shoot a
Target model. While 32/20 rifles and revolvers are fairly common
around my neck of the woods, Target models are scarce. Back
in the day before it required a 44mg to stop a bad guy, the 32/20
was carried by a lot of LEOs. The 32/20 is a useful cartridge. It
is cheap to load and a good choice for small game. It's got a lot
more thump than a 22 and doesn't tear up the game. With the
price of 22rf and the lousy quality of all but the premium stuff
the last 8yrs I have shot 25/20 & 32/20 instead. I have found
that both rifle & revolvers tend to shoot better with cast bullets.
I had a .32-20 Target a few years back. The sights were so small I could barely see them. I hate to say this, but the .32-20 handgun I shoot the best is my 5" Colt Official Police.
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Old 05-15-2017, 09:05 PM
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I own two an early 6" #76053 which looks like the kind of pistol a guy like Barney Fife would have carried, complete with marks on the butt from hammering in wanted posters. The late model is a 4" #122563 its in very nice condition and is my my wife's "kitchen gun", she keeps it right next to the handy wrap. We have shot both of them on a number of occasions, both are quite accurate and basically shoot to point of aim around 15yds. I reload for the cartridge and have a Model 92 Winchester in 32-20 also, its a great little cartridge and will take down a deer if shot in the eye or ear at apple orchard ranges. Target models are scarce, have fun shooting yours.
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