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Old 09-27-2018, 10:19 PM
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Default Model 30

Iíve had the revolver bug again, and debating whether to get myself a no lock new 442 or go for a nice prelock gun. Typically I prefer to buy new, because Iím just ocd like that, but really love older Smiths. Currently Iím debating whether to get a 442 for a trail/car/shooting, verses get me a nice vintage model. Pawnshop nearby has some, thereís a 2 inch Model 30 snub in 32 s&w with original box papers that Iím eyeing, and I just love the quality and fit of the older ones and the p&r details. Budget is just over 400. Iím still no expert on revolvers or guns in general so buying used worries me a little, I know how to check lockup and cylinder wobble and all that stuff but my ocd kicks in if I buy a used gun and wonder if thereís anything hidden. Should I just get the 442 or way to hell with it and pick up that Model 30? Havenít looked at it yet but hopefully tmrw líll get to.
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Old 09-27-2018, 10:25 PM
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Well, don't listen to me....I would get both. I love the early guns, I have a pre model 30, and other vintage snubbys, but I also have some more recent made Smiths. I carry a 340 PD (no-lock version) the most, but have been known to tote a vintage revolver or auto from time to time.

Pre Model 30... an improved I frame:



Some of my recent no-lock carry J frames:



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Old 09-27-2018, 10:34 PM
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I guess I don't worry much about things going wrong with the older guns, because I'm a factory trained armorer, and have the tools and training to deal with most minor maladies that might arise. And although parts for the older guns may not be available from the factory, there are lots of them available on eBay and the gun forums, such as this one.

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Old 09-27-2018, 10:39 PM
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Nice assortment there! Unfortunately I canít get both right now haha although Iíd like that. 😁 Everyone says the 442 is good but I love the feel of a good old vintage. But new vs old hmm
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Old 09-27-2018, 10:51 PM
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Well, another thing to consider is that a model 30 only comes around pretty seldom, and they are still making the 442s. So if you like the 30, and. Buy it, you could always pick up a 442 later.

But....if I could only have one, as much as I would hate to make the choice, a no-lock 442 would probably be the more practical choice. Light, an easy caliber to find ammunition for, pretty good ballistics, and with a new gun warranty. In the ballpark for your budget, also.

You could add some older walnut magna grips and a Tyler T Grip, and it would have a vintage look and feel!!

I borrowed this picture from a poster ("old man"), over on the "defensive carry" forum...just what I was describing:



Best Regards, Les
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Old 09-27-2018, 11:15 PM
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Les, I carry that same Bianchi Speed Strip with my 60-1 Ashland. Sal
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Old 09-27-2018, 11:59 PM
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I say go for the 30 and get the 442 later. Especially if the 30 has some carry marks already. Then you won't feel bad about the finish wearing and you have a gun that doesn't come around often. I have never seen one.
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Old 09-28-2018, 12:05 AM
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Pic of the Model 30 ^ Yea practicality as far as the 442 is good. 38 spl readily available cheap ammo and I do usually feel more comfortable buying used guns. But that Model 30 is enticing too! Not sure yet but Iím going to look at it and then decide.
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Old 09-28-2018, 01:13 AM
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442 will always be available! Go vintage.
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Old 09-28-2018, 01:16 AM
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Checking out a revolver is not that hard. Open the Cylinder and look in the barrel and chambers. Look ok? Now, with the cylinder open, pull back the cylinder release and cock the hammer. With the cylinder still open, manually lower the hammer all the way and keep the trigger pulled back. Look at the recoil shield and if you see the firing pin, ok. Now release the trigger and close the cylinder, gently. Try to rotate the cylinder back and forth. If there is a lot of movement, not good. A little is ok. Next, cock the revolver, and manually lower the hammer by pulling the trigger and holding the trigger back. Hold the trigger back and retry rotating the cylinder cw and ccw. at this point, it should be fairly snug. a little movement if ok, but not much. Do this on each chamber if you like. Then look at the overall fit of parts. Dont worry too much about a little finish wear, but gouges or pits are not good, unless the price reflects them. Check the radius at the muzzle end to make sure it looks smooth. In the process of doing all of this you will know if the action if gritty or sticky. look at the front of the cylinder, there should be no scratches or gouges on the face towards the barrel. Last thing, with the cylinder closed, look at the gap between the cylinder face and the barrel. It should be about the width of a piece of tablet paper. If there is no gap, not good, if a business card slips in, too much.

A little wiggle on the cylinder isn't the end of the world on a shooter grade gun, and don't get too worked up about turn lines on the outside of the cylinder, if the rest of this checks out, the turn line doesn't mean anything.

Happy hunting, and buy that Model 30...more fun than a barrel of monkeys.
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Old 09-28-2018, 02:33 AM
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If you're thinking about a carry gun, or just comparing available power, you can have the Model 30 reamed to take 32 H&R Magnum. The 100g Buffalo Bore JHP in 32 H&R equals the muzzle energy of Remington's 158g LSWCHP +P in 38 Special, both out of 2" J frames, and you get 6 shots instead of just 5. Buffalo Bore has told me those 32 H&R rounds are safe for unlimited use in a reamed Model 30. There are also less potent 32 H&R loads available, and you can still shoot any of the 32 Longs.
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Old 09-28-2018, 05:08 AM
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$400.00 seems a bit high for the 30 in that condition. Bottom line comes
down to what you want to do with your new gun. For SD carry get the 442
unless you can afford both.
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Old 09-28-2018, 09:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alwslate View Post
$400.00 seems a bit high for the 30 in that condition. Bottom line comes
down to what you want to do with your new gun. For SD carry get the 442
unless you can afford both.
Leaning towards just getting a 442. Does the 30 look rough? Havenít looked at it in person yet so idk
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Old 09-29-2018, 04:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by justakyguy View Post
Leaning towards just getting a 442. Does the 30 look rough? Havenít looked at it in person yet so idk
I wouldn't call it rough but it's a long way from mint. Looks like
it's been hit pretty hard with steel wool to remove freckling,
grips are beat up some and may not be original, distinct turn
line on the cyl, looks like a little browning in places on the cyl.
Probably a solid gun but it must have been rode hard and put
up wet a few times in it's life. It looks more like a $300 gun to
me than a $400 gun. I doubt the pawn shop has more than
$200 in it.
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Old 09-29-2018, 07:39 AM
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Appears to be a Model 30-1, built on the J-frame, and if that's the correct box it was built after 1969. The Model 30 was built on the I-frame up until about 1961.

No matter, that appears to be a descent one, and if all the things raljr1 mentioned in his post check out I don't know that $400 is way too high. Of course lower would be better.

The .32 S&W Long is a hoot to shoot, but they're addictive so proceed with caution. Here are my pre-Model 30 from 1956 and Model 31 (square butt from 1958).
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Model 30-56-32-he-l-jpg   Model 30-model-31-tt-th-jpg  
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Old 09-29-2018, 07:52 AM
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I don't think you need to ream out the cylinder to 32 H&R Magnum specs to have a decent self defense gun. 32 S&W long is not the most powerful cartridge in the world, but better than a sharp stick.

Here is my 31-1 plus the ammo I used when carrying it.

Two kinds of Buffalo Bore 32 S&W long. Full wadcutters and round nose flat point.

I carried it with the wadcutters loaded and brought the round nose in the speed strip as a reload.

I think the BB 32 long wadcutters would be a reasonable SD load as they have nearly the same muzzle energy out of a snub as the 38 special target wad cutters many people carry.

BTW, the m31-1 is a square butt version of the M30. Easiest to shoot and most accurate snub J frame I have.

Model 30-31-carry-jpg
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Old 09-29-2018, 08:14 AM
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Default Money is money...Vintage guns are not made anymore

Certainly price is a player in the equation, but with vintage guns (however you want to define vintage) they simply are not made anymore, not on same machinery, not by craftsmen, maybe not even in the USA. The big names are gone Colt, Winchester, S & W, original factories "caught the last train for the coast" as the song goes.

So you are thinking about a vintage Model 30 with "A" box. I don't see any docs, but maybe they are there too. Check the end tag on the box..it might be the original one to the gun, if so. it adds some value to the equation too.

Below are pics of a "vintage mint package" I picked up at a local (very local...7 miles away) estate auction that a son was holding when his Mom passed. The gun in box, never fired, with original cash register receipt had been found in a drawer.

I met with him prior to the public auction because he didn't want a gun in the auction. he was not a gun guy and he didn't even know his Mom had bought the gun back in the 70's when his Dad passed.

Anyway....long story short I probably could have taken advantage but I gave $400 cash for this mint package and the guy was very happy, considering the original receipt was $111.28 including tax!

I agree with other posters that the pawn shop has maybe $200 tops in that gun, but the fact is...they own it and if you want it you'll have to contribute to their brick and mortar costs and allow something for profit so that shop owner can eat too.

How much you contribution is will be determined by your negotiation skills, possibly affected by other "snubby fans" that may wander in that same shop and spot it.

Good luck with your decision, and by all means...let us know your final pic!.
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Model 30-model-31-1-jpg   Model 30-model-31-1-b-jpg   Model 30-model-31-1-c-jpg   Model 30-model-31-1-i-jpg   Model 30-model-31-1-j-jpg  

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Old 09-29-2018, 08:19 AM
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I bought this model 30 no dash (I frame) because I couldn't find a 30-1. my only gripe is nothing, my daughter's gripe is the [flat] cylinder latch release, which is why I wanted the 30-1 in the first place; because of the easier use of the later model release...

these are great guns for beginners when the .22lr is no longer a consideration for self defense.
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Old 09-29-2018, 05:50 PM
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Presently do you have a self-defense carry gun in which you feel confident, or will this be the one you count on to save your bacon?

I have one I trust, so I would jump on the .32. There won't be any more, and I've wanted one for a long time.

If the choice was for one to save my ancient derriere, it would be the 442.
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Old 09-29-2018, 08:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lee's Landing Billy View Post
New over old??? Who are you and what have you done with my pal Les?????
Billy!!

Great to hear from you!! I wasn't saying what I would choose, but was thinking about a guy who might only buy one gun, had a $400 budget, and probably doesn't reload, and so forth.

I would buy the 30 in a heartbeat!! In fact I have about half a dozen .32 I frames, and a couple of .32 J frames, and even a really nice little Colt Pocket Positive in what Colt called the .32 Colt New Police, but was a .32 S&W Long.

Best Regards, Les
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Old 09-29-2018, 08:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 681ismyfavorite View Post
I bought this model 30 no dash (I frame) because I couldn't find a 30-1. my only gripe is nothing, my daughter's gripe is the [flat] cylinder latch release, which is why I wanted the 30-1 in the first place; because of the easier use of the later model release...

these are great guns for beginners when the .22lr is no longer a consideration for self defense.
I don't ever want to negate any reason for buying another .32, but the cyl latch is very simple to change.

You need the thumb piece, the round nut (in place of the screw), and the internal bolt with a stud on it instead of the threaded hole.



Or a simpler method:
Get an I or J frame size thumb piece (K, L, & N are too large). Get a lock washer at the hardware store that will fit inside the hole in the new thumb piece and screw it on using the flat latch screw.
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Old 10-04-2018, 05:44 PM
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Get the Mod. 30 if it is a 30-1 and a true J-frame.

Super sweet guns and the worn finish means you have no worries using it. In that condition with box $350 is a decent buy. $400 is not out of range. Unless something changed, look on GB and you will almost never see one for $350 anymore.
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Old 10-04-2018, 07:59 PM
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My EDC is that gun’s older sibling, an immediate post-war 32 HE Snub. I also got a 3” Model 30-1 for my diminutive youngest niece when she came of age. Neither of us is undergunned with these pieces stoked with 100 gr JHPs loaded by Georgia Arms.

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Old 10-05-2018, 02:58 PM
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My EDC is that gunís older sibling, an immediate post-war 32 HE Snub. I also got a 3Ē Model 30-1 for my diminutive youngest niece when she came of age. Neither of us is undergunned with these pieces stoked with 100 gr JHPs loaded by Georgia Arms.

Froggie
they musta stopped making that round because all they show now is an 85gr. load.
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Old 10-05-2018, 07:41 PM
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My wife's gun was a 2" Model 30. She loved it!
I shot it some and took a shine to the .32 S&W Long. I now have four guns in that caliber.
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Old 10-05-2018, 09:04 PM
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Quote:
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they musta stopped making that round because all they show now is an 85gr. load.
One, or both, of those loads periodically sell out and may be unavailable for a year or more.

Just keep checking back, and when the load you want comes back stock up enough for a year or two.
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Old 10-08-2018, 06:54 PM
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One, or both, of those loads periodically sell out and may be unavailable for a year or more.

Just keep checking back, and when the load you want comes back stock up enough for a year or two.
Yep, I'm waiting for bullets to come back in stock so I can order some factory loads from them and perhaps a big box of bullets to reserve for reloads. We're down to less than 100 rounds between us. Fortunately I use my own LSWCs for practice.

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