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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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  #1  
Old 09-10-2021, 03:05 PM
littledog littledog is offline
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Default I finally found a K-32

This can now come off of my bucket list. I often dreamed of owning a K-32 and this was my first realistic opportunity to get one. After a bit of horse trading, I managed to get this one home. I knew it was all matching at time of purchase but didnít realize it was a ďnarrow ribĒ version until after I got it home and did a little research. I donít know if that makes it any more collectible but itís nice to know itís an early one. Itís seen some use, but overall itís still in pretty nice shape. I have to admit, I donít know a whole lot about the K-32. In fact, this was the first time I actually held one let alone have the chance to actually own it.
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Old 09-10-2021, 03:15 PM
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I hereby pronounce the standard (lighter) barrel more collectable. That settles that.

Great find! It's good that it's "seen some use." That way you won't hesitate to shoot it some more.
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Old 09-10-2021, 03:16 PM
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I see it has been used but not abused!! Where did you find this gem??
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Old 09-10-2021, 03:37 PM
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My LGS had it. They had just gotten it in and I happened to be in the right place at the right time.
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Old 09-10-2021, 03:48 PM
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The K-32 is at the top of my grail list. I've never even seen one in person.
Congratulations on an excellent find.
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Old 09-10-2021, 04:19 PM
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littledog

That's VERY nice. Congrats.

At K57xxx, it has to be among the very earliest K-32 Masterpieces produced. There were only a handful or two made in 1948 and the first large bunch came along in the following spring. If my notes are correct, there were not many made with numbers below K66000. I think there is a chance yours shipped in 1948.

Letter this gun!

Edit: I may not be reading the serial number correctly. Is it K57xxx or K67xxx? If the latter, it is probably a 1949 gun.
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Old 09-10-2021, 04:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by k22fan View Post
I hereby pronounce the standard (lighter) barrel more collectable. That settles that.

Great find! It's good that it's "seen some use." That way you won't hesitate to shoot it some more.
Don't know the ratios on the heavy VS light bbl. but it seems to me, most I have seen were the light ones. Not saying this because I have one with the heavy bbl. from 1952 that I got on this Forum a few years ago. The OP got a nice one. Wonder what he paid for his new treasure? Big Larry
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Old 09-10-2021, 05:09 PM
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we don't have an envy button so a like will just have to do. all i ask is that you spell my name right in your will. Lee
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Old 09-10-2021, 05:41 PM
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Jackpot! Please tell us more, including what part of the country you are in. I can only dream of a narrow rib. It would go well with my 1948 vintage narrow rib K22 and K38.

In all my searching, I’ve only seen less than a dozen pre 16-4s in person, several of which were in collections and not for sale. To find one like yours in such beautiful condition and in the box is a once in a lifetime event. Congratulations.

Froggie
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Old 09-10-2021, 05:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JP@AK View Post
littledog

That's VERY nice. Congrats.

At K57xxx, it has to be among the very earliest K-32 Masterpieces produced. There were only a handful or two made in 1948 and the first large bunch came along in the following spring. If my notes are correct, there were not many made with numbers below K66000. I think there is a chance yours shipped in 1948.

Letter this gun!

Edit: I may not be reading the serial number correctly. Is it K57xxx or K67xxx? If the latter, it is probably a 1949 gun.
If I read the chart right, a K67XXX gun would also be 1948 gun. At least thatís where Iíve identified a couple of others based on SCSW-4. If it were one of the very first ones it probably would have a LERK, but that would be a scarcity within a rarity.

Froggie
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Old 09-10-2021, 06:11 PM
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Very nice! Congrats on finding that one.

Iíve only seen one K32 for sale locally. Unfortunately, it had not been well cared for and had light to moderate pitting covering the entire gun. Enough to make one weep. Nowadays, thanks to the www, finding one for sale is more likely, and all you have to do is have the right amount of cash handy.
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Old 09-10-2021, 06:25 PM
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Very nice, now all you need to do is magna port it, tap it for a scope and bore the cylinder out to 32 H&R. Oh and hard chrome it. Just kidding of course. That is a nice revolver, let us know how it shoots and thanks for showing us.
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Old 09-10-2021, 06:57 PM
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The s/n starts with a “6”. Probably shipped in ‘49. A letter definitely will be requested.

@ Froggie; I hail from MN. Now I feel compelled to complete the trifecta. I
know where there is an early K-22 narrow rib. There’s no box and the revolver has seen considerable more use. Going to look at more closely next week.
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Old 09-10-2021, 07:18 PM
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Hi Froggie

Quote:
Originally Posted by Green Frog View Post
If I read the chart right, a K67XXX gun would also be 1948 gun.
You have to keep in mind that the K number chart is not model-specific. The K-32 was the last of the Masterpiece series to go into production. In keeping with S&W practice, blocks of serial numbers were reserved for each model. The first K-32s assembled were a few in the Spring of 1948 for the sales force. Production began in a small way in December and full production didn't start until 1949.

Quote:
At least thatís where Iíve identified a couple of others based on SCSW-4.
I'd bet all of those were either K-22 or K-38 Masterpieces.

Quote:
If it were one of the very first ones it probably would have a LERK, but that would be a scarcity within a rarity.
It is possible, but I believe highly unlikely there were any K-32s that had the barrel shaped extractor rod knob. If anyone has one, I'd sure like to see it. If they exist, they would be an extreme rarity.
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Old 09-10-2021, 07:47 PM
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Congrats on a great find. Yours is a beauty. Like yourself, I had never seen a K-32 in person until I stumbled on one this past February. Found it in Central New York State. I need a nice K-38 to complete the trifecta.
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Old 09-10-2021, 08:25 PM
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So, how many of this model were produced? I keep hearing rare but no numbers to back it up.

Kevin
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Old 09-10-2021, 08:44 PM
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I live in MN. I must be hanging out at the wrong shops!

Congratulations! That one is a beauty.
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Old 09-10-2021, 09:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by littledog View Post
The s/n starts with a ď6Ē. Probably shipped in Ď49.
I agree. We know for a fact that some in the K66000 range came off the line in the first six months of 1949.
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Old 09-10-2021, 10:07 PM
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Default Early 40, likely

K67133 shipped in Feb '49, so Jan/Feb could be on target.


Congratulations!



RWJ
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Old 09-10-2021, 11:55 PM
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Default K-32

I have K66035, it has a narrow rib and LERK, letters as shipped Feb 10 49.
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Old 09-11-2021, 01:28 AM
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Quote:
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I have K66035, it has a narrow rib and LERK, letters as shipped Feb 10 49.
Just to clarify, Gary. This is a K-32 Masterpiece? (I'm assuming it is, since it is in the right block of numbers.)

Thanks for posting.
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Old 09-11-2021, 01:51 PM
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K67160 shipped on March 4, 1949.

Stu
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Old 09-11-2021, 03:07 PM
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Congrats Littledog, that is a beauty. And to all the rest of you that posted, thanks for sharing.

K68492 is a narrow rib K-32 that shipped in March 1949:







... somewhere in its life it was fitted with a Micro cockeyed hammer.
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Old 09-11-2021, 04:31 PM
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That is a great find, well done! Below is info I copied from another post by Jim Fisher, with a breakdown of the K-32 production variations.

HI
the numbers I have used over the years is below. Davids numbers are pretty close but I broke it down a little farther.
k-32 Narrow rib est. 400
k-32 Wide rib est. 2030
K-32 4 screw est. 400
K-32-2 est. 300
k-32-3 est. 500

The reason for the numbers is how many you see.
the -2 is the hardest to find
the Narrow rib and the 4 screw are the next hardest to find
and the 16-3 was made the longest.
and the 5 screw wide rib is the one yoy see the most of.
Jim Fisher
just my 2 cents worth.
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Old 09-11-2021, 05:05 PM
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A big thanks to everyone. I really appreciate the comments and information. This has been a great learning experience
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Old 09-13-2021, 01:48 PM
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In answer to JP@AK yes it is a K-32 Masterpiece. Any thoughts as to value? Condition is 98% and I have a correct box although it is rather beat up.
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Old 09-13-2021, 02:12 PM
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So, so sweet. Congratulations!
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Old 09-13-2021, 04:50 PM
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I too am still looking for a K-22 and K32, I do have the K-38 which is like new, have fired it for over 50 years.
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Old 09-13-2021, 05:10 PM
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Maybe I'll blunder into a K-32 some day. I'll get a K-38 then to go with my K-22.

But I'm not holding my breath ...
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Old 09-13-2021, 05:28 PM
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The K22 and K38, even in their narrow rib versions are not exceedingly rare, nor are they difficult to obtain if your pockets are sufficiently deep. OTOH, as Ken’s list shows, the narrow rib K32 was made in exceedingly small numbers, and since this occurred 70 years ago or more, our odds of finding one are very slim. I’d say littledog is going to need to change his screen name to “Luckydog”.

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Old 09-13-2021, 06:17 PM
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Welcome to the Club! You now own a very unique and valuable piece of history. As memory serves, there were only 3,630 of these produced between 1947 and 1974. I think they actually started about 1935, with a break in production for WWII. If I read another post correctly, there were only 400 like yours, a very rare bird indeed, Congratulations!

Now all you need are the matching K-22 and K-38 to complete the Trifecta!

Of course, the obligatory picture of my trio is attached. 😁

Enjoy!

P.S. - Are you changing your screen name to bigdog?
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Old 09-13-2021, 06:54 PM
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My grail gun also. Maybe one day!!
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Old 09-13-2021, 07:45 PM
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Default Excelent Find

I was searching for a 16-4 at a reasonable price, finally last year I found a nice one in the box for a fair price. I know how you must feel too.

Thanks for sharing it with us/
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Old 09-13-2021, 07:52 PM
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I think the narrow ribs with the 1/10' sight went away half way through 1949. My birth year K38 is narrow rib 1949
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Old 09-13-2021, 07:55 PM
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In 1988 I was in Livingston, MT and met Mike Venturino at his home. Because one gun I had with me was a Colt New Service Target .44, he showed me his Triplelock Target. Then he showed me his K-32. I remembered both guns from articles and have never seen either of these models in person before and havenít again since. Oh, lots of Sharps were in the room, too.

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Old 09-13-2021, 07:59 PM
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Congratulations on a great find...

Was watching a 1956 K-32 on GunBroker that sold for $3100 yesterday...

While I would love to find a K-32, I really love the .327 Federal and converted a 1961 Model 53 6" to .327 Federal...so my .32 itch is scratched..

Bob

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Old 09-13-2021, 08:18 PM
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K237377 **October 1956**
Enjoy,

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Old 09-13-2021, 09:22 PM
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This posting is very interesting. So what would a fellow expect to pay for a shooter grade K-32?
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Old 09-13-2021, 10:01 PM
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You found a very nice K32. I have a narrow rib K-.32 K68506. I think my gun was made right after the lerk K 32ís. It has a finish issue on the barrel like someone laid it in something wet. Mild rust but not deep pits. I agreed on 900.00 for the gun considering the age when I bought it. Timing is as new and shoots great. At the NE Ohio Bunch on October 2 I will display all my .32 guns including the one Andy Horvath completed today. Itís a .327 3Ē full lug, will have pictures in the gunsmith section tomorrow since it was a long project. Larry
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Old 09-13-2021, 11:44 PM
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I had the trifecta as well. Recently a fellow shooter at my gun club convinced me to sell him my Pristine 1948 K-22. So now I have a K-32 Masterpiece in box (matching) and a K-38 which I will sell.. I love the K-32 and have shot it, although I rank it 98%. I converted my 4" Model 16-4 to .327 Federal, but have some 6" stock guns. At one time I had at least one of every variation of S&W .32cal revolvers from civil war to present. Nearly 80 revolvers all mint and most in boxes... 1864 to present. I feel naked now that I have only 6.
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Old 09-14-2021, 08:46 AM
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I keep looking, hoping to find K66349 as well, as I have the box but no gun for that one. I thought about putting the one I do have in it, but opted for an un-numbered box for the time being. It would be period correct for mine, but it would be better with its designated inhabitant. From this thread, it may even be a LERK gun.
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Old 09-14-2021, 09:34 AM
davek42_43130 davek42_43130 is offline
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There one for sale at Durysguns in San Antonio nice gun. They want a lot of money for it. I look at it every time I stop in. Nice gun shop, friendly people. Just passing a long the info
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Old 09-14-2021, 02:35 PM
Patrick L Patrick L is offline
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So enlighten me, the whole point of the various width ribs was to try to match the weight and balance between the three different calibers, correct? I assume that a . 38 would have the widest rib (most steel) to make up for the steel removed from the larger bore, a . 22 would have the narrowest rib (least steel) to match the tiny bore, and the . 32 would be somewhere in between? Is that how it works?
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Old 09-14-2021, 04:01 PM
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Hi, Where is NE Ohio Bunch meeting? May I attend?
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Old 09-14-2021, 04:45 PM
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Default K32

MY K32 TRIFECTA IS AS FOLLOWS
16 NO- #K4328XX
16-2 #K5718XX
16-3 #1K981XX
SWCA #286
SWHF #601 HAVE A GREAT DAY!, DAVE
NRA LIFE (1981)

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Old 09-14-2021, 04:51 PM
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Yes, you and any one can attend the NE Ohio Bunch. There is a thread in the lounge on it titled NE Ohio Bunch fall 21 meeting. The instructions are in the first post. If you cannot find it, send me a PM, Larry
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Old 09-14-2021, 08:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrick L View Post
So enlighten me, the whole point of the various width ribs was to try to match the weight and balance between the three different calibers, correct? I assume that a . 38 would have the widest rib (most steel) to make up for the steel removed from the larger bore, a . 22 would have the narrowest rib (least steel) to match the tiny bore, and the . 32 would be somewhere in between? Is that how it works?
I have no idea but it seems like a whole bunch of mental gymnastics to make them all weigh the same for one shot!

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Old 09-15-2021, 11:49 PM
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Welcome to the K-32 owners group.....well done sir!!!
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  #49  
Old 09-16-2021, 09:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrick L View Post
So enlighten me, the whole point of the various width ribs was to try to match the weight and balance between the three different calibers, correct? I assume that a . 38 would have the widest rib (most steel) to make up for the steel removed from the larger bore, a . 22 would have the narrowest rib (least steel) to match the tiny bore, and the . 32 would be somewhere in between? Is that how it works?
The first post-War production run of K frame Masterpiece revolvers all had similar tapered barrels with ďnarrow ribsĒ. About 1950 someone got the idea that it would be ďeven betterĒ if all three had the same weight, preferably a little heavier. The heavy (mostly non-tapered) barrel with a wider rib was introduced. At some time (fully loaded??) they all had the same weight, but of course after one shot, the 38 changed weight the most and the 22 the least, but that was the way it worked.

Both styles were made simultaneously for a couple of years, probably until the backlog of narrow rib barrels was used up. The K22s and K38s were made in huge numbers in those years and show up here often, but as Kenís list of estimated production shows, sales of the narrow rib K32 apparently got off to a slow start and left it rare.

Froggie
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Old 09-16-2021, 10:34 AM
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Default K32

Some interesting info on the first K32s


K2143 K32 6" NI 26-May-49 5 screw one line pre war frame Leacock Sporting Goods, St. Louis, MO
1st public gun shipped

K2244 K32 6" 10-Mar-48 5 screw one line pre war frame E.F.Warner , Publisher Field & Stream
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