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  #1  
Old 03-29-2009, 11:05 AM
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Just found this recently at a gun show in Ohio. It is an S&W 32 Hand Ejector 1st Model, also known as the Model 1 or Model 1896. This is S&W's first solid frame swing-out cylinder revolver. This gun is a 6-shot revolver chambered for the new .32 S&W Long cartridge. It has a 4-1/4" barrel, nickel finish, case colored hammer and trigger, round butt frame w/square extension type black hard rubber grips with the S&W logo on them.

Serial number is 10555. All numbers on the gun match. There are no numbers visible on the inside of the grips. Often times if they wrote the numbers in pencil or chalk it can easily get rubbed off during cleanings. This is also the only time the company name and patent dates are stamped on the cylinder between the flutes rather than on the barrel.

The chambers and bore are excellent. No rust or pitting! Rifling in the barrel is strong with not much wear. Cylinder lock-up is excellent, very little play. This is the only type of swing-out cylinder gun S&W made with the cylinder stop in the top strap rather than being at the bottom. An odd hold over from the old tip-up revolvers. This was something later realized as a bad flaw in the design. Springs would often break or the tang on the cylinder stop would often wear away causing excessive play or the cylinder not locking at all.

This is a used gun and I would rate it between fine and excellent. It doesn't appear to have been fired a whole lot. Just more handling wear than actual use. The nickel is original and I would rate overall about 95%. Very little nickel is missing. There are a few light scratches on both sides of the frame, hardly noticible. There is one nasty scratch though that is noticible on the right side of the frame just above the large screw near the trigger.

The 1st Model is a hard gun to find in nice shape, let alone just to find. They only made 19,712 between C. 1896 - 1903. Serial number range on these are 1 - 19,712. Given that I'm guessing with my serial number the gun was probably made at about the turn of the century. Paid $480 for it. I turned down two good offers to sell it for more at the very same gun show.

This is another gun that is worthy of a letter from Mr. Roy Jinks. I will post it here when I get it.

Here are some pictures of that gun:







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Old 03-29-2009, 11:35 AM
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Very nice find. The reason the stocks are not numbered to the gun, is that they are aftermarket non-S&W stocks. You can tell this by the third screw at the top of the grips. Hard rubber Factory stocks were only the two screw style for the Model 1896. Having said that, I don't think that detracts from the gun or it's value that much, as these 3 screw stocks are quite rare. (See Dave Damkaer's monograph on S&W stocks.)
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Old 03-29-2009, 04:15 PM
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opoefc - These are factory grips. These guns were offered with either round butt grips which were standard or square-butt extension grips, which are uncommon. Not everybody had small hands.

The third screw your are referring to near the top is not original. Somebody in the past has crudely drilled and added brass insert/nut and a screw. The parts DO NOT match the other two screws and brass insert/nut in the grips. I have had these grips off of the gun and I know. The brass insert and nut just fall out because they are not original. They are not even anchored in properly or fitted right. It is something I need to fix later on. The screw that is in there is actually too long and sticks out past the grips into my hand.

It would appear that the grips might have been loose in the past and that was just someone's quick fix. I did notice when I had them off is that the center of each one is bowed in, probably due to over tightening. Worst case scenerio I could always find anoth set of grips for it.
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Old 03-29-2009, 05:49 PM
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I have its older brother, serial number 40, also with nickel finish, and in about the same condition. I have yet to fire it, but it made at least two trips back to the factory based on the stamps on the under the grips. I would guess it was made in 1896-97 based on the serial number
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Old 03-29-2009, 07:59 PM
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Jsmith, Interesting. I have seen a few pairs of those stocks, over the years, with that 3rd screw at the top, but it's been awhile, and as you say they may have been to help hold a warped set of grips closer to the grip frame at the top. Dave always maintained they were after markets but apparently they are modified after shipping to solve a stock problem. Is there a patent date visible on them?
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Old 03-30-2009, 04:30 PM
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opoefc - Yes, there is a patent date on them. It's on the left grip just below the S&W monogram. But there is a slight problem. Most of the patent date is obliterated by the 3rd screw. All that is visible is PAT'D AUG... That's it. The date is missing because of the screw.

epidoc - You better cherish that gun. Low single and two digit serial numbers are rare and typically command a lot of money. Maybe once or twice a year I might encounter a gun with a low number.

jsmith
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Old 04-01-2009, 04:47 AM
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I have one of these revolvers that is nickel with the smaller grips and with a ser# in the 11***s. I have used it to dispatch rodents in the past and can attest that they are quite accurate little guns as well. I am in the process of sending info for a Letter of Authenticity on this and another old Smith I own. I guess it's the closest thing to them actualy talking.
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Old 04-01-2009, 12:58 PM
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jsmith,

That is a fine revolver! They certainly are different from all the following models. There is one other little-known difference from the rest of the I frame guns. It's the only small frame with the cylinder 'hold open device' used in all the K and N frame guns prior to WW II and discontinued in all guns after the war. The next model .32 no longer has the device. If you pull the crane out of the gun, you'll see a detent in the frame side of the hinge and a pin & spring in a hole in the crane side of the hinge. I like the feature and have toyed with installing it on some non-orginal post war guns.
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Old 06-26-2009, 09:03 PM
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I have been busy of late and finally got around to sending away for the factory letter for this gun on 6/21/2009. Waiting to see how long it takes this time to get one. I will post the letter here when I receive it.

jsmith
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Old 06-26-2009, 11:28 PM
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Default Third Screw

jsmith, did that third screw require a hole in the frame hidden by the grip?
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Old 06-27-2009, 07:40 AM
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smitholdtimer - No it didn't. It is right up against the inside of the frame cut out. I am in the process of looking for a replacement set of grips for this gun. That's one of the reasons I am sending away for the factory letter. The left grip is badly bowed in and if you take it off it is cracked on the inside, probably due to being over tightened. Most likely the reason why someone in the past added that third screw near the top.

I always like to put the right type of grips on my guns.

jsmith
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Old 06-27-2009, 08:37 AM
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Default Third crew

Thank the "Man" upstairs for small miracles, I cringed while looking at the photos, nice find!
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Old 06-27-2009, 09:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by epidoc View Post
I have its older brother, serial number 40, also with nickel finish, and in about the same condition. I have yet to fire it, but it made at least two trips back to the factory based on the stamps on the under the grips. I would guess it was made in 1896-97 based on the serial number
I don't believe the serial numbers on first model HEs tell you anything about the date of production. I have two first model HEs and have Jinks letters for both.

The serial number on one is: 13017 and this one was shipped in 1896
The serial number on the other is: 5917 and that one was shipped in 1901

You should get the Jinks letter for serial number 40. It would be interesting to see when that one shipped. Also I'd like to see a picture of it if you've got one
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Old 06-27-2009, 09:49 AM
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I've shared these before but here they are again:
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Old 06-27-2009, 09:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jsmith View Post
I have been busy of late and finally got around to sending away for the factory letter for this gun on 6/21/2009. Waiting to see how long it takes this time to get one. I will post the letter here when I receive it.

jsmith
My last letter that I sent for about a year ago took about 4 or 5 months.
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Old 06-27-2009, 10:30 AM
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About two months ago the turnaround time on a letter was just under three weeks. I just requested letters on two more guns a couple of days ago -- hoping for a response by mid-July.

David W.
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Old 08-02-2009, 02:22 PM
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Default Factory Letter - 7/7/2009

My letter arrived in the mail on the same day as the date on the letter. I have been busy of late but finally getting around to posting it here.

The letter did confirm that my gun is original and the grips are correct. I have found out that the shipping dates in relation to the serial numbers are all over the place and typically out of order. My guess as to mine being shipped before 1900 was correct. This gun has had a long trip from New York City to where I live in Ohio.

To protect my privacy and to discourage any offers on buying my guns, I used a small piece of black paper to cover up my name and address on the letter.

Here is the letter:

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Old 08-03-2009, 10:04 AM
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Jsmith, one of my .32 HEs was also shipped to Hartley and Graham. The one with the shorter barrel and engraved initials. Roy said the initials and the pearl grips were probably added by H&G.
Incidentally I am currently in Ohio at Camp Perry working at the national matches for Bushmaster. Come down and say hello if you're nearby.
I'll be here till Friday.

Last edited by twaits; 08-04-2009 at 10:01 AM.
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Old 08-08-2009, 11:34 AM
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twaits - Your in the wrong part of the state of Ohio for me to pay you a visit. I live south of Youngstown, Ohio and it would be too far a drive for me. When I go to gun shows I usually limit my driving time to two hours or under.

Thanks for offer though!

jsmith
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Old 08-16-2009, 09:03 AM
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Default Hondo44

This is a post made by Hondo44 on 4/1/2009:

jsmith,

That is a fine revolver! They certainly are different from all the following models. There is one other little-known difference from the rest of the I frame guns. It's the only small frame with the cylinder 'hold open device' used in all the K and N frame guns prior to WW II and discontinued in all guns after the war. The next model .32 no longer has the device. If you pull the crane out of the gun, you'll see a detent in the frame side of the hinge and a pin & spring in a hole in the crane side of the hinge. I like the feature and have toyed with installing it on some non-orginal post war guns.
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Hondo44 - This feature is found in the next model .32. I have a .32 Hand Ejector Model 1903 (2nd Model), the original before they started the 5 changes to it. Mine is serial #18825 and it also has the hold open device. This gun is nowhere as nice as my Model 1896 but it is a nice carry gun and shooter. I have been working on cleaning it up. The grips on it are worth just as much as they gun.

Check out my post on it:

.32 Hand Ejector 2nd Model (Model of 1903)

jsmith
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Old 09-21-2009, 02:18 PM
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i have a .32 HE, can anyone assist with identifying which model it is and a ballpark value. there is a serial number on the under side of the barrel and another that is visible when the cylinder is open. they don't match. which one is the serial number? or do they both represent a serial number and should match? any help would be appreciated as the blue book i have is out of date an sketchy on exactly what this is. i will post pictures if needed. thanks.
it looks identical to the one in the pic in the post immediately preceeding this one from 8/16.
the under barrel number is 69613 and the behind cylinder number is 17255.

Last edited by jmac45; 09-21-2009 at 02:21 PM.
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Old 09-21-2009, 07:54 PM
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jmac45:

I got your message. You need to post some pictures of your gun. Seeing the gun and its condition is very important. Serial numbers don't always help without pictures in certain cases becaude some models use the same serial numbers while others are a continuation from the previous model. The other reason for posting pictures is to verify if this is indeed a Smith & Wesson revolver. There are Spanish copies out there that look just like the real ones.

We will need to clarify those numbers you gave me. The serial numbers on a S&W revolver of this type will be found under the barrel on the machined flat surface, on the face of the cylinder, and on the butt of the gun. If your gun has extension grips they will have to be removed to see the numbers. All these three mentioned numbers should match. There will be a second set of matching numbers that will be completely different from the serial numbers. They will be found on the inside of the crane arm just below the barrel in front of the cylinder. Those are assembly numbers and don't mean anything. They are not serial numbers.

It sounds like the 69613 number is the assembly number and the 17255 number is the serial number. Check your gun and see if I am right based on what I said above. Post some pictures and a message I will get back with you.

jsmith
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2nd model, bushmaster, cartridge, detent, ejector, engraved, flutes, hand ejector, jinks, lock, model 1, model 1903, round butt

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S&W Hand Ejectors: 1896 to 1961 Thread, S&W 32 Hand Ejector 1st Model (Model 1896) in Smith & Wesson Revolvers; Just found this recently at a gun show in Ohio. It is an S&W 32 Hand Ejector 1st Model, also ...
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