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Old 09-09-2017, 03:17 PM
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Question K-32 4 Screw Mod. 16 Project

Well, boyz n gurlz, I may have stepped in too deep this time. I won the auction for a severely mistreated, bobbed nose K-32 that I hope to restore to some of its original glory. Its serial number puts it made in 1958 but it has left hand threads on the extractor rod which I believe means it was actually a year or two later. It has the 10 groove serrated rib and backstrap. At some time in its life, the barrel was shortened to 5" and a serrated ramp front sight installed. Unfortunately, the nose and left upper frame is corroded/pitted. May be able to salvage the frame but the barrel will need to be shortened again and crowned.

Here's what I've been thinking.

1. Find a replacement 6" barrel with Patridge front sight and restore the finish/stampings.

2. Cut the barrel to 4" and refinish.

3. Cut the barrel to 4" and send it off for engraving.

4. Cut the barrel to 4", crown and reset the sights and shoot it.

What do y'all think?





















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Old 09-09-2017, 03:19 PM
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You may want to letter that before you do anything. I watched it and it looks like it could be a legit 5" to me


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Old 09-09-2017, 03:26 PM
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Good point! I doubt it can be saved, though. They could polish it out but it would be asymmetric at the nose.
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Old 09-09-2017, 03:30 PM
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It could be a factory 5".....The sight base looks purty darn good.

The reason I say that, if the rib is tapered....
It's a trick to make em look that good.

Of course I know the trick...


.
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Old 09-09-2017, 03:32 PM
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A replacement six inch barrel ain't gonna be easy to find. I like Kris's thought about lettering it before proceeding....

Mark
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Old 09-09-2017, 03:37 PM
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The rib is tapered. I had planned to get a letter before, but wasn't aware they made any .32 Combat Masterpieces in 5".
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Old 09-09-2017, 03:50 PM
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Man, somebody was putting his rotten socks back into the sock drawer!

Can you just call Roy to find out if it will letter as a 5"?

Whatever you do, I think it is worth the best effort. You will have a heck of a nice shooter in the end. As they say, the money you spend may end up being more than the final value of the gun, but it will be yours.

Keep us informed.

Curl
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Old 09-09-2017, 04:24 PM
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All of the above.
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Old 09-09-2017, 04:54 PM
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I was watching that auction, I applaud your determination! I agree on the letter, since the "stamps" on both sides are centered.

Considering that that Smith is out of Maine, I would not be surprised if it had spent a good part of it's life on a lobster boat, hence the corrosion and pitting! As much as I have lusted for a functional K32, I can't bring myself to suggest what you could do to her!

Is she shootable in her current state? If so, how does she shoot? I think if I had her, I may just reblue and shoot her the way she is, and preserve the character!
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Old 09-09-2017, 05:07 PM
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The crown of the Barrel and some inside the rifling is corroded. I'm going to take it to Bob Cogan at APW Cogan and have him look at it. If it letters with a 5 inch barrel, I'll see if we can save it. My initial impression is the first inch or so of the barrel needs to be cut off. But if it can be saved then I'll do that.

Guy
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Old 09-09-2017, 05:14 PM
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I, too, watched that one till the end. I had two thoughts when I was considering it:

- Clean it up as best as can be done without spending money on it, and enjoy shooting it.

- Make it a snub (yes, I know: sacrilege, but what it's been through is worse)

It's yours so you should do whatever makes you happy.

Slàinte,

Bob
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Old 09-09-2017, 05:38 PM
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Unless the letter proves an existing original configuration, I'd say this gun is ripe for modification. Since every four-inch Masterpiece I have shot is more accurate than the corresponding six-inch variety, I'd say you should take the sight off, cut and crown the barrel at four inches, then mill a shallow bed for the sight and reinstall it. Because I am not a big fan of ramp sights, I would even put a patridge blade on it. Then I would probably give the whole gun the lightest repolish I could to reduce the residual pitting and reblue it.

Does this have matching serial numbers where we might expect them, or is production too late for that? I don't see a narrow band behind the knurled ejector rod tip that would indicate reverse threading, so something is peculiar there unless my eyes are worse than I think they are. I wonder if this might not have some replacement parts in it already.

It's a wide-rib heavy barrel, so it shouldn't be too hard to hide the slight taper to the rib if the grooves in the rib and ramp of the sight foot are lined up precisely.

If this proves to be original configuration (which I doubt), I would just clean it up and make it as comfortable as I could, then shoot it as is without putting a lot of effort into it. But if it is already modified and inauthentic, as I suspect, I wouldn't feel bad about doing whatever I had to in order to help it recover from more than a few years of neglect and abuse as I turned it into something I really wanted.

The target hammer and target trigger hint at a longer original barrel, but there is no need to guess because the letter should address all those features.
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Old 09-09-2017, 05:44 PM
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I'm hoping it letters as a 5" AND that it is shootable. Otherwise, I would go with a 4" bob.

I've shot a number of handguns with ringed barrels and they have all shot very well.
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Old 09-09-2017, 05:46 PM
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Interesting project, if it does not letter as a 5 inch barrel another option could be finding a model 17 barrel and have it bored out and relined as a 32 barrel. Let us know what happens.
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Old 09-09-2017, 05:59 PM
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There are no numbers under the barrel or on the face of the cylinder. However there is a a ring behind the knurling on the ejector rod and an L on the face of the cylinder. I have a ship date request in to Roy and will follow up with a letter request. Depending on what Cogan tells me, I'll try to do as best I can for it.

Guy
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Old 09-09-2017, 06:45 PM
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Talking Barrel/muzzel Issue

Just finished a project gun with similar issues. When I looked head on down the muzzle the crown looked lopsided coupled with no lands and grooves. My first thoughts were cut back .5" or so, re-crown, and move back the front sight. My gunsmith and I were ready up to that point to do surgery, then I GOT A BRAIN CRAMP . Shoot it first! There is no way I could make it a better shooter, however when it came home from its new finish job, I could hardly see the lopsided profile. The target is posted in my album along with the gun.
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Old 09-09-2017, 06:52 PM
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Guy, thanks for the follow-up info. Good luck with the project regardless of how simple or expansive it turns out to be.
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Old 09-09-2017, 08:22 PM
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I watched that auction and wondered who ended up with it!
Will be interested to know what you find out.
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Old 09-09-2017, 08:40 PM
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Guy.
I am glad that you ended up with that one. I was really wanting to put in a bid on that one myself, but somehow refrained. I do not think that there is an incorrect decvision with the listed choices. That is a great pick up that will bring even more pride when you finish it. I like "scratched" up guns... An engraved k32...?
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Old 09-09-2017, 09:20 PM
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Anyone care to let us know what the selling price was?
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Old 09-09-2017, 10:00 PM
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Getting a letter is a good idea before any modifications are done. I'd also shoot it. That is the acid test for how bad the damage actually is. You might be pleasantly surprised.

The letter will also as a "before/after" record on the gun if you decide to restore or change it .

Best,

Charles
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Old 09-09-2017, 11:53 PM
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Interesting pick up Guy,

I see that the assembly # has been relocated from the frame cut out to the left side of the grip frame. This normally means the gun is model marked in the yoke. Is it? Does it have a dash #? Does it have the serial # in the frame cut out yet?

It clearly has the left hand Ext rod. The correct dash # for left hand Ext rod is -1 and dates to 1959. But no one has ever seen one. So it's likely just stamped Mod 16. And from 1959.

It might still have only the 3 serial locations:

1. Butt

2. Extractor star - backside

3. Right stock – backside (except most post war target grips because individual fitting not required.)

But may already have the 4 locations which are common by about the end of 1959:

1. Butt

2. Frame in yoke cut

3. Extractor star until ~ 1980 when the new extractor star shape was introduced.

4. Back of right stock, until ~ 1979 when no longer hand fitted, (except most post war target grips because individual fitting not required).

I agree to letter first before doing anything to it.

If it's model marked, S&W will still accept it for refinishing and the CCH on trigger and hammer will be restored properly.

It looks like severe holster storage rust, probably from salt water. The pitting on the right side of sight base looks severe and a replacement sight is required. I'd find the correct vintage and send along with the gun to S&W for replacement.

If the 5" barrel is original, I'd likely correct the corrosion damage myself before sending for re-finish. That way I'd know the pitting removal or tig weld filling, barrel roundness, and taper would be to my satisfaction before it got blued.
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Old 09-10-2017, 07:43 AM
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Jim, I guess I need to provide some more pictures. I just received the gun and have not cleaned or fired it.

It is stamped Mod. 16 in the yoke below the serial number.



The back of the extractor star is not stamped.



It came with these football cutout target stocks. They have blue washers and no SN stamped inside.



I'm not sure about sending it to S&W for refurbishment. I'll talk to Bob Cogan about it in the near future after Irma. APWCogan is a secondary manufacturing facility for S&W, Ruger, and Colt. If it can be restored, I'm sure he can do it. I'm still not certain the muzzle can be saved.



One good thing is the sight base picture looks worse than it is. I think some light polishing will remove the corrosion and not require a replacement.
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Old 09-10-2017, 08:16 AM
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Yikes! That looks kinda rough. Wonder if an aggressive re crowning might clean that up.
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Old 09-10-2017, 08:22 AM
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Wow, it's hard to tell if that is/was a factory crown. Good news is it can be made to look like one now. Please update us as the project moves forward.
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Old 09-10-2017, 08:25 AM
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I guess I'll find out if Irma leaves me any guns or property.
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Old 09-10-2017, 08:30 AM
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I'm another one that watched it end. Seems like 3" barrels are desirable and a partridge front sight would look neat with a big gold dot. Good luck, there are a lot of different directions you could go with this one. Larry
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Old 09-10-2017, 08:35 AM
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What a great revolver!
I don't see anything in the pics that's beyond bringing back. The rust and pitting on the frame isn;t a problem and will be gone with careful polishing/grinding.
The muzzle can be recut keeping the orig contour. Yes you will loose a tiny fraction of length to clean up the pits but it'll never be noticable.

Pitting in the bore at the muzzle is another story.
If it's excessive and you want to keep the bbl as-is length,,then reline this bbl.
If the later 16-4 bbl will fit/thread (and you can find one),,then you could use it and the orig as a sleeve project to produce a new bore with the old bbl profile. Gives you a S&W bore and no 'liner' look.

Perfect revolver for an upgrade project..cut to custom bbl length, gold bead F/S, engraving, ivory, ect.
Keep us posted on where this goes!
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Old 09-10-2017, 09:02 AM
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Guy, you might consider replicating the ten 4" Masterpiece Pre-16's that were made in 1949. Wonderful shooters. Looks like you have more than enough barrel to pull that off.

Stu

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Old 09-10-2017, 09:12 AM
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Looks like it could be a suicide gun and I've seen more than a few. Blood will really screw up the blueing. Good luck with the restoration.
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Old 09-10-2017, 09:35 AM
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Stu,
Cutting it to 4" and installing a Patridge FS was my first thought.

Roy says it shipped in April 1959 and I need to get a letter to confirm the barrel length and FS. ALREADY MADE OUT!
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Old 09-10-2017, 09:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wiregrassguy View Post
I guess I'll find out if Irma leaves me any guns or property.
Gee Guy, now that Irma shifted to the west, you are right in the path. Have you evacuated or think you'll need to?

I'll be praying for you and yours.
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Old 09-10-2017, 09:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wiregrassguy View Post
Stu,
Cutting it to 4" and installing a Patridge FS was my first thought.

Roy says it shipped in April 1959 and I need to get a letter to confirm the barrel length and FS. ALREADY MADE OUT!
I'm thinking for a 4/59 vintage, the Patridge is no longer correct, most likely the ramp.

I'm interested in how it shoots with the corrosion in the muzzle. If 5" is the original length and you choose to keep it, you could free bore the last 1/2" or so at the muzzle.

You might only need to re-crown it about .020".

I think there's a lot of us here enjoying your project vicariously!
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Old 09-10-2017, 10:14 AM
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Jim,
I hope it shifts away from us. But we are going to get high winds no matter what. I'm 90 miles inland and maybe by the time it gets here, the wind will have abated somewhat. No plans to evacuate ATM.

I guess I'm reading a lot into Roy's response about the letter and that it will letter as it is configured. That eliminates a number of options...for the better, IMO. I believe we can deal with the bore corrosion, likely as you suggest. And, I know Bob can fix the exterior. So, looks like a restoration as it is.

I wasn't aware that S&W switched from the Patridge to ramp on these guns. No mention of it in the SCSW which does mention a small order of 4"ers with a red ramp in '59.
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  #35  
Old 09-10-2017, 09:44 PM
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Nice catch and interesting project! Before cutting or freeboring the barrel, I would clean and shoot it. See how it does. Simple lapping with JB Bore paste or similar would at least take any corrosion down to bore size. Firelapping might be tried if JB doesn't clean it up. I hope it comes back as a factory 5"! Had it shipped in June, I'd have to fight you for it!
Good luck to all of us with Irma, at least for now it's weakening.
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  #36  
Old 09-11-2017, 02:05 AM
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Thanks Steve!

Guy
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Old 09-11-2017, 05:03 AM
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Can someone comment on the TT and TH? They appear to be in the white with no sign they were ever case colored. Anyone seen anything like these from the factory?

Also, when was the engineering change issued to implement left hand threads on the extractor rod?
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Last edited by Wiregrassguy; 09-11-2017 at 05:31 AM.
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Old 09-11-2017, 07:18 AM
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Yes they've been polished, but didn't come that way, they were CCH from the factory. That's one reason I was suggesting I'd have it factory re-finished to get original CCH H & T in post 22.

Post 22
It clearly has the left hand Ext rod. The correct dash # for left hand Ext rod is -1 and dates to 1959. But no one has ever seen one. So it's likely just stamped Mod 16. And from 1959.
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Old 09-11-2017, 07:29 AM
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You have a good project gun there .Good luck and post before and and after pics with a range report also when it is done because inquiring minds want to know.
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Old 09-11-2017, 08:46 AM
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Hi
I have one of the 4 inch from 1959 they came with target hammer and target trigger and stocks.
Jim
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Old 09-11-2017, 09:09 AM
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@Hondo44 - Jim, I know about the rod and the mod stamp is just a 16 no dash. I was wondering the date the change order came out and if this gun shipped before or after the order was issued.

@bmg60 - Jim does your 4" have left hand extractor rod and Patridge front sight? What is its model stamp?
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Old 09-11-2017, 11:46 AM
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Congratulations from another who watched that auction. I am sure that it will restore fine.
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Old 09-13-2017, 11:37 PM
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Heck, two coats of Renn wax and she'll look like new.

Great project. Good luck!
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