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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 09-14-2021, 12:01 AM
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Default My First I-frame

My friendly UPS guy brought this to me today: an early post-war “pre-improved” 32 HE, serial number 539xxx. It appears to have spent the last 70 years in a sock drawer, and I can’t find evidence that it was fired much (or perhaps at all) after leaving the factory.

While I’ve had a long love affair with J frames (the first centerfire handgun I ever shot—almost 50 years ago—was a Chief’s Special), this is the first I-frame I’ve ever owned, and I fear I’m smitten. It’s like a little mechanical jewel, and I feel confident this will not be my last.

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Old 09-14-2021, 12:25 AM
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Beautiful. Thanks for sharing. I have yet to dive into the I Frame world. But you’re tempting me
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Old 09-14-2021, 01:56 AM
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Ooh! That's a Nice One!

Careful though, they're like chips- can't only have just one!
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Old 09-14-2021, 06:38 AM
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That is very nice! Congratulations!
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Old 09-14-2021, 07:10 AM
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That spikes the wow meter. Very nice!
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Old 09-14-2021, 07:42 AM
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Quite nice indeed!
I have been collecting J-frames for the last several years, and have been toying with the idea of adding an I-frame or two as well. Seeing yours brought me a step closer.
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Old 09-14-2021, 08:24 AM
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That one is really nice! I passed one up a few years ago just about identical to that one, and regretted it ever since. Congratulations on a good score!

WR
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Old 09-14-2021, 10:21 AM
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Howdy, congrats, and thanks for sharing your bounty with us.

I love the postwar .32 HEs with "service grips." You always know they were original to the gun when you see the round-topped rear side plate screw. When S&W swithced to magna grips that screw head became flat so it didn't interfere with the grip's fit against the frame. Typical S&W back then -- thinking all the time.

Tagging on to what delcrossv said, here's what can happen
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Old 09-14-2021, 10:34 AM
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Based on the patient effort required to remove them, and what I found under them when I finally did, I honestly don’t think these grips had been off the gun from the time they were put on until last night.

I am very pleased. This little gun is a gem.
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Old 09-14-2021, 12:05 PM
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The little "I" Frames just seem to have that magical quality. They fit in the palm of your hand.
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Old 09-14-2021, 12:06 PM
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And best of all, it appears to be a “six screw”, meaning it has the strain screw, indicating the presence of a leaf mainspring. I believe Brother Hondo44 refers to these as the transitional models as they had the post-War hammer block, but were otherwise pretty much the same as the pre-War version, differing only in very small details.

I wholeheartedly agree with your description of it as a “gem” and would even qualify as clockwork in its construction. I’ve always thought of the I frames as being like miniaturized versions of their K-, L-, and N framed brethren. I can’t prove it, but I think to get smaller like this, the tolerances would have to be smaller just to make them work. In that kind of condition, yours would qualify as the “Faberge Egg” of revolvers.

Just think, twenty years ago collectors almost universally ignored the I frames, and now it seems like everybody wants one or more. The fine example Frailer was able to find should make us all set up and take notice. My personal example is in my EDC rotation, and hasn’t had that much finish on it for decades.

I think I can see a little bit of a turn line on the cylinder, and if so I would strongly suggest you actually shoot it. With my factory equivalent reloads I can consistently hit man sized targets at 50 yards. You will be amazed at what this miniature can do, and at “bad breath” ranges, it can be counted on to do “minute of bad guy” groups. It’s not just a pretty toy!

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Old 09-14-2021, 12:09 PM
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Oh, it will be shot. Probably not a great deal, but enough to get joy out of it.
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Old 09-14-2021, 12:13 PM
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Default 32 snub

These dont show up often.
Mine is 555XXX.
1950.
Yours is nice condition.
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Old 09-14-2021, 03:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frailer View Post
Oh, it will be shot. Probably not a great deal, but enough to get joy out of it.
Well my friend, there is no way to get all the joy out of it... there will always be more joy there, and the more you shoot it the more joy you will get!

If you don’t already reload for 32 S&W L, my suggestion would be to do so. You will shoot more (notice I didn’t say “save money” because you will just be able to afford to shoot more) and the end result will be even more joy.

Congratulations again, Frailer. You “grabbed the brass ring” with that one!

Froggie
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Old 09-14-2021, 04:18 PM
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The only caliber I typically reload is .38 Special, as I hate trying to track down wadcutters…and I *really* hate the price when I do find them.

But I did add .32 dies to my MidwayUSA “wish list” yesterday.
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Old 09-14-2021, 04:22 PM
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I found a post war 32 HE . I took it to indoor range and fired 50 rounds. Front sight very hard to see and all my shots were a little high. A nice gun to shot not much recoil. Really like the service grips.
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Old 09-14-2021, 04:23 PM
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Quote:
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I found a post war 32 HE . I took it to indoor range and fired 50 rounds. Front sight very hard to see and all my shots were a little high. A nice gun to shot not much recoil. Really like the service grips.
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Old 09-14-2021, 06:37 PM
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Were you holding dead on or at 6 o'clock? You're close enough to where you should be that a little lowering of your POA would easily put POI where you want it to be.

I agree wholeheartedly that the little skinny half moon front sight doesn't do any favors for those of us in our "golden years" but at this point I find it makes me concentrate on it a little bit harder. Unfortunately mine has lost a lot of blue, so it's probably even harder to pick up quickly.

Froggie
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