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Old 04-13-2012, 09:20 AM
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Default 16-4?

Those that have them(or have had them), which do you like better? Why?
What should one expect to pay for either, or what is the price difference?
Would the lighter barrels hold their value any better than the full lug?
Dash four or before?
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Old 04-13-2012, 10:22 AM
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It depends on what you want to do with the gun. I used a 16-4 for informal bullseye shooting (indoors) for a couple winters. I liked the full lug barrel. Shot .32 wadcutters at somewhere between 600-700 FPS in .32 SWL cases. If you threw a wild shot with that gun, there was NO doubt who to blame. I did shoot it better than my K38 with similar wadcutter loads. Not sure why - maybe because I just was more interested in it.

If I were out in the field with it, I would rather have the conventional barrel, but those guns have become so insanely valuable that I would have a hard time putting one in a holster. I fixed that problem by having Hamilton Bowen cobble one together on a Model 14 frame. Very nice little gun and works well.

I wouldn't have any use for one of these guns with other than a 6-inch barrel. A 4-inch gun would be cute, but I would hate to lose the sight radius.

Prices are all over the place on 16-4s, but never fairly cheap like they once were. K32s are always out of sight and I suppose from now on they always will be.
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Old 04-13-2012, 10:54 AM
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I looked for a K-32 for many years. They never made many, and I was always behind the price curve. When the 16-4 hit the market I almost broke my arm reaching for my wallet. It has NOT disappointed me.

I shoot mostly target loads in .32 S&W Long cases (there is a story behind that). The first Federal .32 H&R magnum loads had terrible junk for brass - every box fired (from the factory) would leave me with several split cases. When reloaded the same thing happened. Then, Federal quit selling components to reloaders right after the 16-4 hit the market. They were the ONLY possible source for brass by buying factory loads with junk brass. Grr-r-r-r!

A friend was a commercial loader. He had, literally, a barrel of .32 S&W Long brass and made me an offer I couldn't refuse. I took several thousand rounds and didn't look back. Several years later, Starline Brass offered .32 H&R brass - I bought several thousand for me and a shooting buddy.

I have moulds for a Group Buy 100 gr Keith bullet as well as a Lee Six Cavity mould for a full wadcutter bullet. Over the years I have found .32 bullets for a really good price at gun shows, also. It has been a fun ride with my .32's (I also have a S&W 631 and a Ruger SP 101).

Here is my 16-4:


Dale53
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Old 04-13-2012, 10:56 AM
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I have a 4" 16-4 and a 6" 16 no dash. Both are great shooters. You are probably going to spend $800-1000 for a nice 16-4 and about double that to get into a shooter model 16. I took the 16-4 to the range one day when I was going to shoot a couple .22 rifles. I set a few beer can targets out at 50 yards and hitting them with 16-4 was no problem. Next range trip I took the 16 and did the same thing.

One advantage to the 16-4 is you can shoot .32 H&R magnum in the gun and also have the chamber reamed to accept the .327 Federal magnum giving a little more flexibility.

I like the balance of the 4" full lug K frames but not so much with the 6" full lug guns. But that is my preference YMMV. They are great guns whichever you decide.



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Last edited by glenncal1; 04-13-2012 at 10:59 AM.
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Old 04-13-2012, 07:21 PM
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Hope to be able to post a pic of a nice 6 incher one day. The information shared is much appreciated. Thanks for the pics to get me by and through this. Been waiting a loooong time.
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Old 04-13-2012, 10:26 PM
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I have a 16-4 6" and it's a very nice gun. I enjoy shooting .32 Long wadcutters out of it. Its the middle gun pictured below along with its 17-6 and 14-5 siblings.







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Old 04-14-2012, 12:34 AM
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Here are a few of mine, I got a truck load of these. There are a couple of good deals for a 4 inch and 6 six 16-4 on GB right now!!


The K-32's are the proud papa of the 16-4. My wife bought this one from a guy who inherited it, he only liked "tupperware guns" and sold a $2000.00 gun for $600.00.
Without the correct grips but excellent wood storage box.

With a proper set of grips.

Last edited by peyton; 04-14-2012 at 12:39 AM.
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Old 04-14-2012, 03:16 AM
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The K frame .32's are fairly scarce, which of course accounts for the price. The original version (K-32 and Model 16, -1, -2, and -3) was produced 1947-74, with a total of only 3630 made. They were never very popular, and in fact many of the last 16-3's produced were assembled using 14-3 frames overstamped with 16-3 (see picture) The full-lug version 16-4 was produced 1989-92, with a total of 8800 made in 3 barrel lengths (4", 6", 8-3/8"). I have a 16-3 as well as 4" and 6" 16-4's, all of which are very accurate and a pleasure to shoot.
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Last edited by PMRet; 04-14-2012 at 03:19 AM.
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Old 04-14-2012, 07:49 AM
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Back your truckload over here, Payton. Seriously, been watching the 6 incher and watched it long enough. Hope things work out well. You guys are killin' me with those guns. Have the shortie 4, but want the right 6" for a good deal.

Maybe I'll stumble into a good deal on a Pre Model 16-4, too, one day. That would be the icing on the cake.
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Old 04-14-2012, 08:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bud Jr. View Post
Maybe I'll stumble into a good deal on a Pre Model 16-4, too, one day. That would be the icing on the cake.

Bud, be patient and keep looking, because good deals on the earlier ones do still exist. I happened on this 5 screw K-32 (top) one day when a young man selling a collection brought it into a pawn shop along with some other guns. The shop guys got it for a good price and actually passed some of the savings on to me (nothing like the deal Peyton's wife got, but still well below the going rate). I decided it was too nice to be a shooter, so I kept looking and a few months later found this 16-3 (bottom) at a very reasonable price and sold the K-32.
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Last edited by PMRet; 04-14-2012 at 08:50 AM.
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16-4, 327, 631, bowen, bullseye, commercial, k frame, k38, model 14, model 16, ruger, smith & wesson, smith and wesson, starline, wadcutter

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