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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 10-15-2020, 09:46 PM
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Default Help identify my grandfather's hand ejector revolver

Hello everyone.
I just got my grandfather's hand ejector from my brother who has had it for 25+ years and I never knew it existed. I will probably give him one of my pump shotguns. I know it is a hand ejector in .32 in very poor shape, but I would love to get it in shooting condition. The serial number is 2802xx.
Thanks for any help in narrowing down the data on grandpa's gun.
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Old 10-15-2020, 10:05 PM
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I Just picked one up a few weeks ago with s/n 2858xx that was labeled "circa 1918".

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Old 10-15-2020, 10:21 PM
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Do a basic function test , then remove the grip panels an give that old iron the Ed's Red treatment.
With any luck it will be a great shooter without much work from you. You will need grips.

Heirlooms are priceless. Yours oozes character. Keep us posted.
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Old 10-15-2020, 10:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Waveski View Post
Do a basic function test , then remove the grip panels an give that old iron the Ed's Red treatment.
With any luck it will be a great shooter without much work from you. You will need grips.

Heirlooms are priceless. Yours oozes character. Keep us posted.
Yes, that sounds like great advice because it is not working as it should be. I really want to get it in shooting condition. Thanks
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Old 10-15-2020, 10:32 PM
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Congrats on such a wonderful heirloom!

You have a ".32 Hand Ejector" officially. Also known as the Third Model with a 4 1/4" barrel and factory optional premium genuine Mother of Pearl grips. It appears to be early post war production in 1918 since the S&W logo stamp is not present.

It's not near as bad as you might think and here's a 'road map' of how to proceed:

OLD GUN CLEANING AND SAFETY CHECK PROTOCOL FOR HEIRLOOMS & NEW GUN OWNERS:

Simply put, the only usual issue with these marvels of yesteryear is they are gummed up and dirty. Old oils of its time do not match the quality of these old guns nor the technology of today, and actually dry up and harden to the point of impeding operation and accelerating wear. The simple solution does not need a gunsmith or removal of the side plate. Just one of many premium modern gun care products from any sporting goods, gun store or hardware store.

Most are both cleaning and preserving agents; Breakfree, Kroil & M-Pro7 are some of the best, and there are others, but do not use WD-40. Disassembly is not necessary. With grips removed and a spray can version of the product, flood and flush the revolver thru every opening and crevice until the black gunk stops flowing out, let it drain for an hour and wipe it down thoroughly with the same product.

Scrub barrel bore and cylinder chambers with a simple cleaning rod kit found at the same places as the cleaning agents above; patches cut from rags is all you really need. And scrub any observed exterior and crevice crud with an old toothbrush with bristles cut off short for stiffness.

To remove grips for cleaning the gun: loosen the grip screw completely and carefully push down on the screw head until the bottom grip separates, then remove. Now carefully push the top side grip off with a finger or toothbrush from the backside thru the grip frame. Mother of Pearl (MOP) grips take extreme care: if they are pulled off from the butt at an angle, the upper two corners are susceptible to chipping, even walnut grips. They must be pushed off the grip frame and kept parallel to the grip frame until they release and come away.

The gun is now original and will never have greater value. I would not refinish it and throw away all of the "character" acquired thru its life so far. It will only retain its value by retaining its originality. The only way to make it more original is to remove anything that it did not have on it when new, like any black tarnish or corrosion. Black and dark brown areas thru the blue, on bare metal or where nickel plating is worn off is very unsightly. Areas on nickel guns with no nickel plating left at all, will polish bright and blend with remaining plating.

A careful polish with the correct products is the way to do that. Well known polishing products are Flitz, Semi-Chrome, Mother's Mag Wheel polish or the equivalent. No steel wool! Bronze 4X wool is OK for stubborn spots.

For rust spots, Blue Wonder cleaner will remove the rust but leave the bluing. Or use Bronze wool, not steel wool, size 0000 and toothbrush with bristles cut short, and a gun cleaner like M-Pro 7 (odor free), Kroil or Breakfree and gentle scrubbing.

Rust pitting must have all red color removed to arrest it's cancerous growth (use 5x glasses or stronger to see progress). White areas of cleaned pitting can be 'toned down' and touched up with OxPho Blue cream (from Brownells) and works best after heating the metal with a blow dryer until it’s too hot to touch. Actual rust pits in the surface can only be removed with a re-finish, but not always if too deep. If you choose to ‘touch up’, clean with acetone or lacquer thinner to remove all traces of oil.

An application of wax, Renaissance wax is a popular one, will enhance and protect the finish if you want something to do while watching the news!

Once cleaned and lubricated, with a few simple checks you can determine if it’s safe to use; no need to waste time and money on a gunsmith, especially if you don't know one. Cock the hammer in single action mode. Gently push on the hammer to confirm that it will not drop w/o pulling the trigger. Cock the hammer slowly and confirm the cylinder locks in position for each of the 5 or 6 chambers about the same time the hammer cocks. If satisfactory, now operate the gun in DA pulling the trigger very slowly; again confirm the cyl locks before the hammer drops. After each cycling of the action, confirm that the cyl is still locked in position for all 6 chambers.

Cylinders can have fore and aft movement and rotational movement. Check rotational movement with the hammer cocked just to make sure it won’t skip to another chamber. That's all that is really important from a safety concern. Then unless you experience 'spitting' at the barrel/cyl gap when fired, you have no reason for concern.

You have a quality made, very well engineered, assembled with skilled craftsmanship, and hand fitted revolver, no longer affordable on a competitive market basis, and the likes of which we'll never see again, ever.

Shoot it to your hearts delight, and it will delight you with its fine accuracy, and comfortable recoil.

Any current off the shelf ‘standard’ factory loaded ammo is loaded safely for use in these old guns.

Enjoy shooting it and you'll be amazed at its accuracy.

Disassembly
If you do want to venture further to disassemble, although not needed, here are two videos using a gun almost like yours, a .38 Special Model 10, showing step by step disassembly and reassembly:

8/6/16 Best video for disassembly/assembly:
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Last edited by Hondo44; 10-15-2020 at 10:37 PM.
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Old 10-15-2020, 11:05 PM
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From your pics, that is far from 'very poor' as you describe it. Yes, it's missing some factory nickel. If the factory pearl deep dish dish gold medallion grips are in decent shape (I think I see a missing corner I could fix?), they have as much or more value than the gun alone.
While it's hard to judge from pics, that's more than 50% original nickel. In person evaluation would probably rate it higher.
How's the bore? If decent, then I would shoot and enjoy it.
If any small internal parts need replaced, they are readily available and even I probably have spares.
As others have mentioned, a prober cleaning, then a light wipe with something like 'Flitz' would greatly improve the visuals.
While priceless as an heirloom, if the bore and mechanics are good, after a thorough cleaning, (sold with the factory pearls), it's gotta be at least a $400 gun, possibly more.
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Old 10-15-2020, 11:46 PM
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Plus the little 32s are fun to shoot. I you look around you can pick up 32 longs for about $20 a box of 50. If you cast and reload the primer is the "big" expense.
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Old 10-16-2020, 08:48 PM
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Wow....thank you all for the response everyone. I will have some time to give a good cleaning around thanksgiving break from school. Will report.
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Old 10-17-2020, 08:18 AM
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From the looks of the cylinder flutes I would say the cylinder had originally had a gold plating or gold wash on it. With the pearls, gold and nickel it would have been a stunning gun to behold when new. Bill
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Old 10-17-2020, 11:17 AM
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From the looks of the cylinder flutes I would say the cylinder had originally had a gold plating or gold wash on it. With the pearls, gold and nickel it would have been a stunning gun to behold when new. Bill
I think part of the nickel plating process is a copper wash as a base prior to the nickel. Correct me if someone else knows more on this.
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Old 10-17-2020, 11:42 AM
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I think part of the nickel plating process is a copper wash as a base prior to the nickel. Correct me if someone else knows more on this.
Other gun makers did this; S&W didn't use copper plating under the nickel.
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Old 10-17-2020, 11:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Muley Gil View Post
Other gun makers did this; S&W didn't use copper plating under the nickel.
Correct. Which is why using Hoppe's #9 to clean a nickel S&W isn't really a problem, as so many people have stated. However, to be on the safe side, I think it is unwise to soak a S&W revolver in any solvent that is ammonia based. Cleaning the barrel and charge holes and wiping down the surface with one is not a big deal.
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Old 10-17-2020, 12:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hondo44 View Post
Congrats on such a wonderful heirloom!

You have a ".32 Hand Ejector" officially. Also known as the Third Model with a 4 1/4" barrel and factory optional premium genuine Mother of Pearl grips. It appears to be early post war production in 1918 since the S&W logo stamp is not present.

It's not near as bad as you might think and here's a 'road map' of how to proceed:

OLD GUN CLEANING AND SAFETY CHECK PROTOCOL FOR HEIRLOOMS & NEW GUN OWNERS:

Simply put, the only usual issue with these marvels of yesteryear is they are gummed up and dirty. Old oils of its time do not match the quality of these old guns nor the technology of today, and actually dry up and harden to the point of impeding operation and accelerating wear. The simple solution does not need a gunsmith or removal of the side plate. Just one of many premium modern gun care products from any sporting goods, gun store or hardware store.

Most are both cleaning and preserving agents; Breakfree, Kroil & M-Pro7 are some of the best, and there are others, but do not use WD-40. Disassembly is not necessary. With grips removed and a spray can version of the product, flood and flush the revolver thru every opening and crevice until the black gunk stops flowing out, let it drain for an hour and wipe it down thoroughly with the same product.

Scrub barrel bore and cylinder chambers with a simple cleaning rod kit found at the same places as the cleaning agents above; patches cut from rags is all you really need. And scrub any observed exterior and crevice crud with an old toothbrush with bristles cut off short for stiffness.

To remove grips for cleaning the gun: loosen the grip screw completely and carefully push down on the screw head until the bottom grip separates, then remove. Now carefully push the top side grip off with a finger or toothbrush from the backside thru the grip frame. Mother of Pearl (MOP) grips take extreme care: if they are pulled off from the butt at an angle, the upper two corners are susceptible to chipping, even walnut grips. They must be pushed off the grip frame and kept parallel to the grip frame until they release and come away.

The gun is now original and will never have greater value. I would not refinish it and throw away all of the "character" acquired thru its life so far. It will only retain its value by retaining its originality. The only way to make it more original is to remove anything that it did not have on it when new, like any black tarnish or corrosion. Black and dark brown areas thru the blue, on bare metal or where nickel plating is worn off is very unsightly. Areas on nickel guns with no nickel plating left at all, will polish bright and blend with remaining plating.

A careful polish with the correct products is the way to do that. Well known polishing products are Flitz, Semi-Chrome, Mother's Mag Wheel polish or the equivalent. No steel wool! Bronze 4X wool is OK for stubborn spots.

For rust spots, Blue Wonder cleaner will remove the rust but leave the bluing. Or use Bronze wool, not steel wool, size 0000 and toothbrush with bristles cut short, and a gun cleaner like M-Pro 7 (odor free), Kroil or Breakfree and gentle scrubbing.

Rust pitting must have all red color removed to arrest it's cancerous growth (use 5x glasses or stronger to see progress). White areas of cleaned pitting can be 'toned down' and touched up with OxPho Blue cream (from Brownells) and works best after heating the metal with a blow dryer until it’s too hot to touch. Actual rust pits in the surface can only be removed with a re-finish, but not always if too deep. If you choose to ‘touch up’, clean with acetone or lacquer thinner to remove all traces of oil.

An application of wax, Renaissance wax is a popular one, will enhance and protect the finish if you want something to do while watching the news!

Once cleaned and lubricated, with a few simple checks you can determine if it’s safe to use; no need to waste time and money on a gunsmith, especially if you don't know one. Cock the hammer in single action mode. Gently push on the hammer to confirm that it will not drop w/o pulling the trigger. Cock the hammer slowly and confirm the cylinder locks in position for each of the 5 or 6 chambers about the same time the hammer cocks. If satisfactory, now operate the gun in DA pulling the trigger very slowly; again confirm the cyl locks before the hammer drops. After each cycling of the action, confirm that the cyl is still locked in position for all 6 chambers.

Cylinders can have fore and aft movement and rotational movement. Check rotational movement with the hammer cocked just to make sure it won’t skip to another chamber. That's all that is really important from a safety concern. Then unless you experience 'spitting' at the barrel/cyl gap when fired, you have no reason for concern.

You have a quality made, very well engineered, assembled with skilled craftsmanship, and hand fitted revolver, no longer affordable on a competitive market basis, and the likes of which we'll never see again, ever.

Shoot it to your hearts delight, and it will delight you with its fine accuracy, and comfortable recoil.

Any current off the shelf ‘standard’ factory loaded ammo is loaded safely for use in these old guns.

Enjoy shooting it and you'll be amazed at its accuracy.

Disassembly
If you do want to venture further to disassemble, although not needed, here are two videos using a gun almost like yours, a .38 Special Model 10, showing step by step disassembly and reassembly:

8/6/16 Best video for disassembly/assembly:
S&W Model 10 Disassembly and Assembly - YouTube
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Old 10-17-2020, 12:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jlpgumbo View Post
Wow....thank you all for the response everyone. I will have some time to give a good cleaning around thanksgiving break from school. Will report.
This forum ROCKS!
Yes it does. It truly does ROCK!!!!
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Old 10-17-2020, 12:35 PM
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As stated, those S&W medallioned grips are valuable. They can be repaired. I would replace them while shooting. Modern J frame grips fit reasonably well.
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Old 10-17-2020, 02:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Muley Gil View Post
As stated, those S&W medallioned grips are valuable.
I completely agree. I've been shooting & collecting S&W revolvers for more than 50 years and I've only seen a handful of them in all that time. Never owned a pair.
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