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S&W Revolvers: 1961 to 1980 3-Screw PINNED Barrel SWING-OUT Cylinder Hand Ejectors


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Old 10-17-2020, 02:02 PM
jimbo56 jimbo56 is offline
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Default Model 34 Kit Gun S/N ?

Hello all,

I am relatively new to this forum, but enjoy reading the many informative posts I find here. I recently decided to begin collecting a few Model 34 kit guns. I have found a few I am considering, but one of them is interesting and I hoped someone here could educate me about it.

This particular gun has Mod 34 stamped into the frame side of the yoke hinge (not 34-1). As I understand it, the Model 34 was manufactured from 1957 to sometime around October 1960 using the "I" frame. Beginning in late 1960, the gun was produced using the "J" frame and renamed the Model 34-1.

What confuses me about this gun is that the serial number begins with the "M" prefix. It is my understanding, the use of the "M" prefix did not begin until sometime in 1969.

So, my question is this. Is it possible to have a Model 34 with a serial number with the "M" prefix? My understanding of the dates doesn't make this seem possible, but I'm sure there is an explanation for this. Apparently, my logic for the timing is flawed. I would appreciate any guidance someone can share to clear this up for me.

Thanks!
Jimbo
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Old 10-17-2020, 07:39 PM
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The M S/N's started in 69-71, with M1 - M30000. Then continued on through M219801 and includes the 34, 35, 43, 51, and 63.

The "22/32 Kit gun" (originally a "I" Frame) Model of 1953 was introduced in 1935 and went through several changes before 1957 when the Model Number 34 was assigned. There are some extensive history information on the Forum, do a search under 22/32 Kit guns.

Welcome to the forum you will find much information and discussion on one of S&W's finest .22 revolvers.
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Old 10-17-2020, 08:37 PM
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Measure the cylinder length and report back. That is the best way to easily determine if it is a J frame and not an I frame. Everything you have reported so far would seem to point to a 34-1 that was misstamped. But the length of the cylinder will end any debate.
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Old 10-17-2020, 10:06 PM
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If the MOD 34 stamp is very far back on the yoke cutout, the person who stamped it there called it good and passed it for inspection.
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Old 10-18-2020, 12:04 AM
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Jimbo,

Welcome to the forum. And bravo! No one could say that you didn't do your homework!

Tonight is the first and last lesson with regard to S&Ws:

"THE MAIN RULE IS, THERE ARE NO RULES!"

The more we learn about them, the more we find anomalies that don't fit the facts. In other words exceptions abound.

You experienced one of them, the miss-stamping of dash #s. We also see miss-stamping of the Model # itself but not near as often.


I have one exactly like the one you saw. Always go by the serial # and the one on the butt. That's not to say they haven't been mis-stamped as well, but that's much more rare.

With as many as I've seen, the Model 34-1 had a particular problem leaving off the -1. I believe it's more then a simple miss-stamping, usually a 'one off' problem.

I suspect it was a multiple miss-stamping issue, perhaps a whole days production or more, maybe a Monday or Friday. Either the "Mod 34-1" stamping die was miss-aligned in whatever jig was used to stamp the frames. Because although there's enough room in the yoke for the full stamp, it's just positioned too far back in most cases, which drops the -1 off the rear edge of the yoke.the -1 broke off the die and no one noticed, etc.

Or the -1 broke off of the die and no one noticed.

The problem seems to cluster around the '69-'71 period But that's all I Know about it. The serial #s don't matter because I'm sure you've read enough to know nothing in S&W's production or shipping corresponds to serial # order.

So as Jack said, the length of the cyl to ID an I or J frame is foolproof, and there's quicker ways to tell at a glance that will help you in your hunt fro .22/32s.

COMPARISONS OF KIT GUN FRAMES; PRE WAR I, TRANSITIONAL I, (no 22/32 Kit Gun IMPROVED I Frames were ever made), Model of 1953 NEW I, AND J:
NOTE: click on photos to get rid of the irritating advertising banner.

The frame size is determined by the main frame cylinder window length, not the trigger guard and grip frame length. There are versions of I frames with both the small TG/short GF and also the Model of 1953 new frame with large TG and long GF.

Also there are J frames: the (Baby J) with small TG and short GF, and the Model of 1953 New J with large TG and longer GF.

Here are a few pix to help illustrate the differences between the pre war I/post war Transitional I/"Improved I”, from the “New I; and the Baby J” frame from the New "J" frame revolvers:

Top gun shown is a post war .22/32 Kit Gun Transitional I frame, which is also what the .32 and .38/32 Transitional I frame and the Improved I frame (with coil mainspring) look like sans target sights (no Improved I frame .22/32s were ever made). 'Improved I' frames in .32 and .38/32 will have a round sight on the early versions and have a ramped front sight with ribbed barrel on the late versions, pre 1953.

The Transitional I frame Kit Gun has a Pre war sight, leaf spring, and 6 screws. It looks like a 5 screw Improved I frame, the improvement being the coil mainspring. But no 22/32 Kit Guns or Targets were made on the Improved I frame.

Bottom Kit Gun is a Model of 1953 "New I frame" (the true Pre-Model 34), with coil mainspring, micro-click sight, new wide target hammer, ramp front sight, barrel rib, flat latch, and only had 4, and after 1956, 3 screws. It still has the I size main frame cyl window length, but the New I frame forging trigger guard size and the longer round butt grip frame length, 1/8" longer than the pre war, post war transitional I, Improved I, and Baby J frame.

Visibly they can be distinguished as shown below by the curved lower checkering border (note: some of the very early longer I/J grips will also have the curved border), and difference in un-checkered wood length at the butt, (mini Magnas shown in top photo):
(The NEW Model of 1953 sq butt available option for all the New I & J frames, is an additional 5/32” longer than the rd butt - not shown).


Photo credit: BlackAgnes


This photo below, compares a post war "Transitional" I frame Kit Gun with pre-war features, such as a leaf mainspring, no barrel rib, and pre-war sights with a Model of 1953 "NEW” I frame below it. The "Transitional" gun was actually shipped a year after the Model of 1953 pictured!


Photo credit: BlackAgnes


Next, this photo is a comparison of a .22/32 Kit Gun "J-Frame" (Model 63 stainless Kit Gun, top), and a Model of 1953 "New I-Frame" (Pre-Model 34/Model 34 22/32 Kit Gun, bottom). Same size trigger guards and grip frames, but note the 1/8” difference in frame length in front of the trigger guard and top strap, also compare the cylinder length and cyl window length. The simple identification "giveaway" of the I frame pre and post 1953 is the cyl square profile from the side view.


Photo credit: BlackAgnes

A similar comparison of a .22/32 Kit Gun "J-Frame" (Nickel Model 34-1 Kit Gun, top), and a Model of 1953 "New I-Frame" (Pre-Model 34/Model 34 22/32 Kit Gun, bottom)


Photo credit: JP@AK


Here are a pair of Kit Guns both Model of 1953 NEW I frames, top is a three-screw and the lower is the earlier four-screw, the top or 4th screw being deleted in early 1956 - they are otherwise identical except for barrel length. There was also a choice of round butt Magna grip frame or square butt Magna grip frame.


Photo credit: BlackAgnes
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Last edited by Hondo44; 10-24-2020 at 03:46 PM.
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Old 10-18-2020, 10:49 AM
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Default Model 34 kit gun

Mine too is only marked "mod34" but the ser. # says early 70's M65xxx ??
Mine also came with a target hammer and trigger. Bought it used so don't know if it's factory?? I added the target grips for a better feel. It is a SQ. Butt configuration.
Action is very smooth unlike most J frames.
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Old 10-18-2020, 04:05 PM
Hondo44 Hondo44 is offline
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Very nice!

The target hammer was standard. You'd have to letter it to verify the target trigger.

The sq butt is estimated to only be about a third or less of production.

I also prefer the target grips. I see you've modified yours for better fit. I also find that an improvement.



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Old 10-23-2020, 10:22 PM
jimbo56 jimbo56 is offline
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Thank you all for not only your replies, but more importantly for sharing your knowledge. As I mentioned, this is a gun I am considering, so I don't have it in my possession to measure. However, my question was answered in the fact that I learned the dash 1 was simply missing due to die problems or positioning of the die. This is a learning experience and a valuable one. As I continue to collect, I will likely use this forum to expand my knowledge, especially because I am interested in acquiring a nice Bekeart .22/.32 too! Thanks again to everyone!!
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Old 10-23-2020, 11:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimbo56 View Post
I am interested in acquiring a nice Bekeart .22/.32 too! Thanks again to everyone!
Maybe like this one?

Not a "true" Bekeart, however. It shipped in January, 1926. It was one of 1,151 units assembled in 1925, according to Dr. Jinks.
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Old 10-24-2020, 08:05 AM
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Default the "true" Bekeart is very elusive

Good luck in finding a true Bekeart. There were only 292 of them actually shipped to Phil Bekeart per my Letter of Authenticity on my 22/32 HFT.

I have seen the true ones come up from time to time but always either too big bucks for me, or pretty crummy condition, or both.

I did run across a pristine specimen that shipped September 20, 1915 and then evidently sat in a collectors private collection for 104 years until I believe the granddaughter consigned some 86 fine firearms for sale, and I was in the right place at the right time to snag this one.

I knew it wasn't a "true" Bekeart (one of the 292/294 first shipment) and was not part of the second or third groups (separate numbered stocks) but went ahead and Lettered it anyway, thinking maybe it was early enough to be in that 4th class of 22/32 HFT that although made later, did truly ship to Bekeart. Alas....not Bekeart, but still a extremely fine specimen with original box, docs, and wrapped cleaning rod.

My Letter has some good information about this model from SWHF, so maybe it will help you in your search.
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Old 10-26-2020, 12:00 PM
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Default True Bekeart?

I 've owned #164XXX with 1853 stamped on the grip butt since 1971. Could this be a Bekeart. It's original and looks just like your photo but with more wear esp. on the end of the barrell.
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Old 10-26-2020, 12:27 PM
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I too had a model 34-1 that was stamped mod 34 .... with no -1.
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