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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 04-05-2021, 11:28 AM
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This weekend I picked up this Pre 32-Terrier with a broken hammer. All the numbers, 78191, match including the stocks. No model number inside the yoke. I believe this to be the "Improved I-Frame". Now I need to look for a period correct hammer. My question is will a J-Frame hammer, like from a model 36, work on this frame? Or is this hammer one that has to be from an I-Frame?
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Old 04-05-2021, 08:09 PM
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Nice Terrier John!

It's later than an Improved model, rather a Model of 1953 New I frame.

The good news is that J and I hammers are the same after 1952 when they all used the coil spring, so choose from the .32, .38 I frame after 1952 and any .38 Spl J frame!

But hammers changed at the junction of the spring strut at the end of the 1950s. Yours has the ball/socket. If you can't find that style, also change the spring strut to match the pin/fork style hammer after 1960.
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Old 04-06-2021, 07:40 AM
rolandj rolandj is offline
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I used the hammer from a 38 cal. model 32 to replace the broken one in my model 30 and it fit perfectly. All the parts except the barrel, cylinder & crane will work in mine. The hammers from the I frames with ball socket strut should work in your revolver.

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Old 04-06-2021, 11:57 AM
Green Frog Green Frog is online now
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As I mentioned when this question was asked int the Gunsmithing section, just make sure you keep the spring struts right. The ones with a ball on top fit a socket style recess in the hammer while the hammers with a slot and cross pin will require the fork style strut. It’s easy to check as you are getting your parts, but just make sure before you try to put it back together.

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Old 04-06-2021, 01:17 PM
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Pictures worth a thousand words:

The hammer to spring strut junction was changed from ball/socket to the stirrup (fork)/pin in c. 1962 for all J frames (Model 36 Chiefs Spl. at ~ #295,000) thru 1997-8 and continued when the firing pin was removed from the hammer nose and mounted in the frame; Kit Gun rim fire hammers thru discontinuance in 1991.


Ball socket hammer:


Photo Credit: Gunparts


Ball tipped spring/strut assembly:


Photo credit: Gunparts


Available here for $6.00: Smith & Wesson Model 32 Parts | Numrich Gun Parts

The hammer to spring strut junction changed from ball/socket to the stirrup (fork)/pin c. 1962.
Early forked ‘Mainspring stirrup’ was a round rod. Later flat rod is just called a ‘stirrup’ in 1977 parts list (shown w/o spring & retainer):

Hammer with pin for stirrup spring strut:


Photo credit: Gunparts



Early Round rod stirrup spring strut assembly:


Photo credit: Gunparts






2nd version flat stamped stirrup spring strut:


Photo credit: Gunparts
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Old 04-08-2021, 09:11 PM
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All's well that ends well. I got very lucky and found a ball and socket type hammer from a local person who is also a member of this forum. Thank you Shark Bait. I just finished dropping it in, and everything works fine with no adjustments required. My lucky day.

I do want to say thanks to all who contributed to this thread and provided great information. It's nice to have a forum where people are willing to share their knowledge.
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