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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 03-21-2020, 11:47 PM
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Default Model 1905 32-20 - Info. needed

Grateful and thankful to be a new member here, with my first post! I am wanting any information that I can get, for a; S&W hand ejector, SN: 97106, 32-20, with a 4" barrel and fixed sights. I just picked this up today and must say, I do like how it shoots! Thanks for the help!


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Old 03-22-2020, 12:40 AM
Muley Gil Muley Gil is online now
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Welcome to the Forum.

Your revolver was built in the 1920s. The star on the butt next to the serial number indicates it went back to the factory for some work. If you remove the grips, there should be a date stamp present. For example, something like 8.54 would indicate it was returned in August 1954. You may be able to read the SN written in pencil on the inside of the right grip.

It appears the right side of the frame has a four line stamp on it. The factory did this to many revolvers over the years until the practice was stopped by Roy Jinks. Mr Jinks went on to become the factory historian.

.32-20s are indeed fun guns. I have had at least one since 1975, revolvers and rifles alike.
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Old 03-22-2020, 04:12 AM
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The closest serial number to yours I have listed is 96786 which shipped in 4/1921, but I list about 4-5 other .32-20 M&Ps around that SN which also shipped in 1921. It's difficult to say whether the plating is original. If the SN stamped on a flat on the bottom of the barrel does not have a B prefix, it may be. If it does have a B prefix it is not. It's a bit early to have any stamping on the right side of the frame which says MADE IN U.S.A., or the much later 4-line stamping. I cannot tell for sure from your picture whether there is any stamping there or not, but if there is any stamping it was done somewhat later. The .32-20 M&Ps had their own serial number series, different from the otherwise identical .38 Special M&Ps. Production stopped 1929-30 at a SN around 144xxx. The grips are at least period-correct for that time, but seem heavily worn. That is one reason I believe that the nickel plating may not be original - its condition is inconsistent with the grips. As stated above, check the grip frame for a possible date stamping when it was returned to the factory. It may have been plated at that time.

.32-20 ammunition can be somewhat difficult to find, and expensive, but it is still made. Not an ideal gun to have as a shooter for that reason, but if you can handload .32-20, ammunition supply problems are greatly lessened. ALL factory ammo made today is safe to use in revolvers. You are extremely unlikely to find any of the old high velocity ammunition loaded long ago for rifle use.

BTW, S&W quit calling them the Model 1905 prior to WWI. By 1921, it's simply a M&P.

Last edited by DWalt; 03-22-2020 at 04:31 AM.
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Old 03-22-2020, 08:36 AM
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DWalt, not to pick nits but there are at least a couple companies currently making "rifle only" high velocity .32-20.
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Old 03-22-2020, 09:00 AM
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Default Try .32-20 CAS ammo

My 1905 4th Change .32-20, s/n 118705, was manufactured mid-1920s. 6" bbl., blued, mushroom cylinder rod end- shows some wear but mechanically excellent. Cowboy Action Shooting has really helped with the availability of .32-20 ammo. Brownell's, Midway, and other vendors sell Black Hills and HSM 115 gr ammo, which is not hot rifle loads, and is fairly soft shooting. However, expect to pay $.45-80 per round. Check online for Ammoseek, AmmoToGo, Selway Armory, Buffalo Arms, etc. Enjoy!
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Old 03-22-2020, 03:11 PM
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Thanks guys! I did remove the grips and found; 6 . 28 on the left side, like Muley Gil said there would be. And there is a prefix on the bottom of the barrel, that appears to be a B inside of a tilted square!? Not sure what to think, about what I found on the inside of the grips?!? DWalt, I actually didn't think to include the prefix in my first post, because I thought it was an 8 inside of a tilted square, but when I used a magnifying glass, I see it is a B. I never would have looked closer at it, without your help! Guess, I don't have quite the gun that I thought I did!

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Old 03-22-2020, 04:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hkcavalier View Post
DWalt, not to pick nits but there are at least a couple companies currently making "rifle only" high velocity .32-20.
. . . but Remington 32-20 "High Performance" Rifle ammo is not in that category. There seem to be some small manufacturers out there making jacketed 32-20 that most likely are meant only for rifles. Problem is that it is almost impossible to find detailed information about the ammo out there. Here are a couple currently available makers.

It is getting to be a slippery slope, but if the ammo is lead, I believe it is good to shoot in revolvers since velocities have to be relatively low.
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