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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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  #51  
Old 12-21-2011, 04:56 PM
rsv1mos rsv1mos is offline
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Thanks to all that have contributed to this thread, I have been pouring and lusting over it for the past hour.

I am a long time collector, some 64 years now after a friend of my fathers in 1947 gave me his collection of two shotguns (Winchester 16 gage & Stevens 12 gage double barrel) three rifles (Stevens model 11, Winchester 1890, Remington 550) and an American Double Action nickel plated revolver in .32. I still have them all except the Winchester 16 gage and the model 1890 both of which my brother claimed after I joined the Navy.

Revolvers have always eluded me, I'm mostly a long gun fellow but I handled a model 34 awhile back and got hooked on the feel and quality of it.

In the last couple of weeks I have obtained a couple of J framed Chief Special's 60's vintage, a model 34 1950's vintage, and just today an "Improved" I frame 22-32 early 50's vintage none of which could join the illusterious examples featured here.

Thanks again to all that took the time to post pictures and descriptions.
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Old 12-21-2011, 05:25 PM
Hondo44 Hondo44 is offline
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Originally Posted by rsv1mos View Post
Thanks to all that have contributed to this thread, I have been pouring and lusting over it for the past hour.

I am a long time collector, some 64 years now after a friend of my fathers in 1947 gave me his collection of two shotguns (Winchester 16 gage & Stevens 12 gage double barrel) three rifles (Stevens model 11, Winchester 1890, Remington 550) and an American Double Action nickel plated revolver in .32. I still have them all except the Winchester 16 gage and the model 1890 both of which my brother claimed after I joined the Navy.

Revolvers have always eluded me, I'm mostly a long gun fellow but I handled a model 34 awhile back and got hooked on the feel and quality of it.

In the last couple of weeks I have obtained a couple of J framed Chief Special's 60's vintage, a model 34 1950's vintage, and just today an "Improved" I frame 22-32 early 50's vintage none of which could join the illusterious examples featured here.

Thanks again to all that took the time to post pictures and descriptions.
We'd love to see pictures, especially the two 22/32s! Condition doesn't matter, we like to see exactly which variations you have and the evolutionary characteristics of each!
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Old 12-21-2011, 06:44 PM
Green Frog Green Frog is offline
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Originally Posted by rsv1mos View Post
Thanks to all that have contributed to this thread, I have been pouring and lusting over it for the past hour.

Revolvers have always eluded me, I'm mostly a long gun fellow but I handled a model 34 awhile back and got hooked on the feel and quality of it.

In the last couple of weeks I have obtained a couple of J framed Chief Special's 60's vintage, a model 34 1950's vintage, and just today an "Improved" I frame 22-32 early 50's vintage none of which could join the illusterious examples featured here.

Thanks again to all that took the time to post pictures and descriptions.
I started this thread with the idea of nailing down a few details of what I thought was a pretty good base of knowledge about them... boy was I wrong! There is so much about these little guys that never got published and has been found by guys scattered across the country by hard study, good connections, or sheer serendipity. As my friend H44 said, the pictures we post do not have to be of pristine examples (I for one don't own any of those!) but of the variants that we have, so we can see what is out there. Who knows what little feature on yours will be the serendipitous last puzzle piece for somebody else's question? Welcome to the craziness.

Regards,
Green Frog

PS I got interested in I-frames in part because so few people were looking for them and they were relatively underpriced. That has gone away in the last 12 months... we've created a monster and folks who couldn't even spell "I-frame" can't live without one!
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Old 12-21-2011, 07:07 PM
rsv1mos rsv1mos is offline
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I started this thread with the idea of nailing down a few details of what I thought was a pretty good base of knowledge about them... boy was I wrong! There is so much about these little guys that never got published and has been found by guys scattered across the country by hard study, good connections, or sheer serendipity. As my friend H44 said, the pictures we post do not have to be of pristine examples (I for one don't own any of those!) but of the variants that we have, so we can see what is out there. Who knows what little feature on yours will be the serendipitous last puzzle piece for somebody else's question? Welcome to the craziness.

Regards,
Green Frog

PS I got interested in I-frames in part because so few people were looking for them and they were relatively underpriced. That has gone away in the last 12 months... we've created a monster and folks who couldn't even spell "I-frame" can't live without one!
So that's the reason that I paid an overpriced $650.00 for this rather average example. Serial # is 4700





Might not belong in this discussion, but my 1958/59 model 34 and the reason for my S&W affliction:



and...my "on the way" early '60's vintage model 36 Chiefs special. Kinda pround of this one too.

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Old 12-21-2011, 08:06 PM
Hondo44 Hondo44 is offline
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rsv1mos,
That's three little gems I'd be proud to own!

I'd not be concerned about the price of the earley Mod 1953 22/32 with a 4 digit # with 2nd style flat latch!

The 4" 22/32 is very, very nice and a sq butt. Probably Mod 34 stamped?
3rd style FL.
The early 60s Mod 36 Chief is another early J frame peach!

Thanks for starting such a good thread,
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Old 12-22-2011, 08:31 AM
rsv1mos rsv1mos is offline
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rsv1mos,
That's three little gems I'd be proud to own!

I'd not be concerned about the price of the earley Mod 1953 22/32 with a 4 digit # with 2nd style flat latch!

The 4" 22/32 is very, very nice and a sq butt. Probably Mod 34 stamped?
3rd style FL.
The early 60s Mod 36 Chief is another early J frame peach!

Thanks for starting such a good thread,
Thanks to all for the warm welcome and informative responses.

Yes, it's marked "34" (serial # 537XX) and according to S&W falls in the 58/59 year of manufacture range. The blue is near perfect with just a hint of the usual cylinder "drag line" detracting.

In fact the blue is so vivid when compared to the present owners pictures of the rather dull I frame which hopefully should be here next week. It seems that I have read that S&W changed the blueing technique sometime between the two models???

I feel like a pine tree among sequoias here, but I'm learning.
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Old 12-22-2011, 10:05 AM
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1903 Model 1st change made in 1905 as best as I can tell.
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Old 12-22-2011, 06:46 PM
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Thanks to all for the warm welcome and informative responses.

In fact the blue is so vivid when compared to the present owners pictures of the rather dull I frame which hopefully should be here next week. It seems that I have read that S&W changed the blueing technique sometime between the two models???
I have observed that 'bright' blue finishes began around the early to mid 20,000 .22/32 serial # range c. '54 - '55 as well as the flat polishing of the second (rear most) retaining pin for the firing pin.
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Old 12-23-2011, 01:17 AM
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I have only one I-frame, a 32

1903 1st change if I recall??

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Old 12-26-2011, 02:18 PM
phubai8 phubai8 is offline
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This is terrible. I feel like a traitor to my 1911s. After reading this entire thread I realize I must have an I frame. My ten year old daughter has fired my K200 but it's a little awkward for her. Now to convince the wife the girl really needs one of these....
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Old 12-26-2011, 03:52 PM
Green Frog Green Frog is offline
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This is terrible. I feel like a traitor to my 1911s. After reading this entire thread I realize I must have an I frame. My ten year old daughter has fired my K200 but it's a little awkward for her. Now to convince the wife the girl really needs one of these....
What's so terrible? A father has no higher calling than to make his daughter safe and self reliant. A nice small Model 30 dash whatever J-frame, or its ancestor, the .32 Hand Ejector I-frame is just the thing to teach both gun safety and the beginnings of self defense. My 20 year old niece (who probably isn't much bigger than your 10 year old) is learning on a 3" Model 30-1 from my stable and expects it to become hers in 3 months when she reaches "the big two-one."

Froggie
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Old 12-26-2011, 06:39 PM
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I have only one I-frame, a 32

1903 1st change if I recall??

Could be a 1903/first. If you could give us the serial number (or the first three digits), we can probably nail that down.

That looks like a semi-target revolver -- no adjustable rear sight, but a bead front sight paired up with two-screw extension stocks. Interesting gun, and appealing.
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Old 12-26-2011, 06:58 PM
Green Frog Green Frog is offline
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Could be a 1903/first. If you could give us the serial number (or the first three digits), we can probably nail that down.

That looks like a semi-target revolver -- no adjustable rear sight, but a bead front sight paired up with two-screw extension stocks. Interesting gun, and appealing.
Those are some sweet stocks. I wonder whether anyone has ever reproduced them? They would be a nice sometimes addition to my Regulation Police!

Froggie
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Old 12-28-2011, 12:25 AM
wraco wraco is offline
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Could be a 1903/first. If you could give us the serial number (or the first three digits), we can probably nail that down.

That looks like a semi-target revolver -- no adjustable rear sight, but a bead front sight paired up with two-screw extension stocks. Interesting gun, and appealing.
The serial number is 9854x. For some unknown reason the photo does show something on the top of the front sight but actually there isn't. It's an ordinary half moon sight.

The stocks fit the round butt grip frame exact and appear to have been on the gun since new as the bluing is perfect on the base and the backstrap of the grip frame where the stocks cover. Gives an idea of what the gun looked like at the beginning.

It's a nice gun to shoot, but have only shot S&W shorts, but is marked for S&W Long.

Rod
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Old 01-06-2012, 03:09 AM
MWK1975 MWK1975 is offline
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This is a really neat and informative thread. The only I frame I have is a .38 RP, got it after my grandfather died. Serial 266xx would love to know its approximate age, and any other info you gurus may be able to throw my way....
It's in somewhat "rough" shape, but it was grandpa's.
Thanks.
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Old 01-06-2012, 04:35 AM
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This model was introduced in 1917 and the medallions in the stocks were eliminated c. 1920, therefore with that serial number I'd have to say very early 1920's. It's not possible to find out when it was produced a request for a "Letter" from S&W for $50 will provide the date it was shipped and to which owner or retailer.
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Old 01-06-2012, 01:14 PM
MWK1975 MWK1975 is offline
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Many Thanks, Hondo.
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Old 01-21-2012, 02:12 AM
gordonrick gordonrick is offline
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Great info! Thanks to all who have taken time to put this together.

Here's one for the data base:
.38 S&W Terrier
SN: 582xx (all matching)
5-screw
Flat hammer spring/strain screw
Smooth trigger
Half-penny front site
Post-war checkered pre-magna stocks w/nickel medallions (number to frame)
Type one thumb latch (i.e. not flat)
4-line address (R)/Small S&W cartouche (L) (Old style "&")

Sorry, no pics yet - it's in pieces getting a good cleaning right now. Local pawn shop find. Finish isn't great, but not too bad. Side plate screws are buggered up. J-Frame screws are the same size, right?

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Old 01-21-2012, 04:12 AM
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Sounds like a nice one!! And great run down of the features which seem to make it the earliest Transitional; pre war/post war.

Yes, J frame side plate screws work, but don't get the current front sideplate screw; it's the current spring loaded style. And don't get the flat one that is under the Magna style grips.

Get three of the domed screws like behind the trigger guard. Make one match the length and diameter at the tip of your old front sideplate screw so the yoke hinge axis shaft doesn't bind. The top screw (or bug screw as Smith calls it) will not be found at Smith or Brownell's.

Try Poppert's parts or Chicoine.

Hope thats helpful and not too redundant,
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Old 01-21-2012, 08:21 AM
Green Frog Green Frog is offline
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Originally Posted by gordonrick View Post
Great info! Thanks to all who have taken time to put this together.

Here's one for the data base:
.38 S&W Terrier
SN: 582xx (all matching)
5-screw
Flat hammer spring/strain screw
Smooth trigger
Half-penny front site
Post-war checkered pre-magna stocks w/nickel medallions (number to frame)
Type one thumb latch (i.e. not flat)
4-line address (R)/Small S&W cartouche (L) (Old style "&")

Sorry, no pics yet - it's in pieces getting a good cleaning right now. Local pawn shop find. Finish isn't great, but not too bad. Side plate screws are buggered up. J-Frame screws are the same size, right?
Since this is sort of becoming the definitive I-frame thread, perhaps a good "exploded view" of the parts of your disassembled Terrier would be a good addition to the material already here... just a thought. That might add more to the info base here than another picture of a complete one.

BTW, Chicoine's website lists the complete set of pre-War style side plate screws at last check... don't forget what H44 said about that front one being fitted though, since you don't want it to drag on the crane when you try to open the cylinder.

Regards,
Froggie
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Old 01-21-2012, 10:43 AM
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I just read this entire thread. It's too much information for my little pea brain!

Like others, I want to thank everyone kindly for sharing this valuable information. To my knowledge it's not available anywhere else.

The inclination is to save this information for future use and posterity. I saw some members fretting early on about how to properly save it. Today I have converted each page of this thread to a PDF file for that purpose. I want to share links for everybody to use. That's one small contribution I can make here.

Some I-frame _'s - Page 1.pdf

Some I-frame _'s - Page 2.pdf

Some I-frame _'s - Page 3.pdf

Some I-frame _'s - Page 4.pdf

Some I-frame _'s - Page 5.pdf

Some I-frame _'s - Page 6.pdf

Some I-frame _'s - Page 7.pdf

Obviously, these files reflect the state of this thread as of today. Some photos are missing, etc. But this will preserve what's here. The photos attached as pop-up links suffer a bit, unfortunately, but that's life.

Download these freely. And again, thanks to all.

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Old 01-21-2012, 11:17 AM
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My small photographic contribution to this thread. These "I" frame revolvers are the subjects of other postings as indicated.





From this thread:

S&W .32 Regulation Police #353824 - 6" Barrel





From this thread:

S&W .32 Regulation Police #509712 - 4.25" Barrel





From this thread:

.32 Hand Ejector 3rd Model #359379

You just have to love the little "I" frame revolvers. I need some more!
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Old 01-22-2012, 05:28 PM
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I'm not the best photographer in the world, but here is my contribution:

1951(?) .38 S&W Terrier early post-war/transition (SN: 582xx)


She's got some blemishes, but she's mine!
Inside view:


For grins, here's a 1956 Chief's Special (Pre-36) J-Frame innards for comparison. It would appear that almost every single part is slightly different - maybe the trigger would interchange, but not much else.


Side-by side with the Chief's Special (top) showing the difference in the early leaf-type and later coil-type hammer springs. If you look closely you can see the slightly longer grip length on the J-Frame, which means the stocks do not interchange with the non-improved I-Frame.


Rick
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Old 01-22-2012, 11:35 PM
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Originally Posted by CptCurl View Post
I just read this entire thread. It's too much information for my little pea brain!

Like others, I want to thank everyone kindly for sharing this valuable information. To my knowledge it's not available anywhere else.


Obviously, these files reflect the state of this thread as of today. Some photos are missing, etc. But this will preserve what's here. The photos attached as pop-up links suffer a bit, unfortunately, but that's life.

Download these freely. And again, thanks to all.
Cpt Curl,
Bravo and thanks for sharing your skills for the benefit of all! The only word I can think of for your I frames is sanitary! I think the photos are as good as the best on the forum.

Thanks again,
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Old 01-23-2012, 12:18 AM
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Side-by side with the Chief's Special (top) showing the difference in the early leaf-type and later coil-type hammer springs. If you look closely you can see the slightly longer grip length on the J-Frame, which means the stocks do not interchange with the non-improved I-Frame.


Rick
Rick, excellent comparison photos.
"....the slightly longer grip length on the J-Frame, which means the stocks do not interchange with the non-improved I-Frame."
Or with the 1st improved I frame either.
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Old 01-23-2012, 12:36 AM
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Default Here's my first year 1903 no change target 4"

This one letters as shipping to a distributor. It's the only one I've seen or heard of. It's a first year 1903 no change.
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Old 01-23-2012, 02:00 AM
Recoil Rob Recoil Rob is offline
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Isn't the "The 1955 Model 22/32 Kit Gun Airweight", or pre-M43 an I frame?


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Old 01-23-2012, 04:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Recoil Rob View Post
Isn't the "The 1955 Model 22/32 Kit Gun Airweight", or pre-M43 an I frame?


Hi Bob,

No, there were no airweights built on the I frame. From it's introduction it was built on the factory code JAT frame; J size, Aluminum with Target sights.

Here are a pair of I frame Kit Guns (factory code IT; I frame carbon steel Target), both Models of 1953, and from the same period as the intro of the Pre model 43. Notice the difference in length of the frame in front of the trigger guard and the cylinder length on your airweight compared to the two I frames pictured below:

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Old 01-23-2012, 09:04 AM
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Originally Posted by gordonrick View Post
I'm not the best photographer in the world, but here is my contribution:

She's got some blemishes, but she's mine!


Rick
Blemishes? Those are beauty marks, my man! If that Terrier ever feels unloved it's welcome to come live at my house and have lots of other "experienced" I-frames to play with!

Thanks for a great set of illustrative photos. They are extremely clear and well placed to show all of those parts that make the I- and J-frames what they are (and how they are different.) Super job, and I'll be referencing them a lot as I am sure others will.

Regards,
Froggie
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Old 01-23-2012, 12:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Hondo44 View Post
Cpt Curl,
Bravo and thanks for sharing you skills for the benefit of all! The only word I can think of for your I frames is sanitary! I think the photos are as good as the best on the forum.

Thanks again,
Hondo44,
Thank you very much for your kind words.
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Old 01-23-2012, 01:31 PM
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Here are my contributions:









Terry
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Old 01-23-2012, 07:19 PM
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Terry: Very nice I-Frames! Great pics too. Thanks for sharing. If you ever find a need to allow someone else to be their care taker, I volunteer!
L Slaten
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Old 01-23-2012, 07:50 PM
TACC1 TACC1 is offline
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Default WOW!!

Some really great pics of really neat gear! Thank you for
sharing. TACC1
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Old 01-23-2012, 07:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cgt4570 View Post
This one letters as shipping to a distributor. It's the only one I've seen or heard of. It's a first year 1903 no change.
Every time I see that revolver my heart skips a beat. A four-inch .32 Target from the dawn of the second model age! Nothing could be cooler.

Obviously S&W knew at one point that there was a market for adjustable sights on shorter barrel I-frames. Why did it take them so long to get around to manufacturing the Kit Gun? And why didn't they offer a regular production .32 Kit Gun in the prewar decades? (I know they dabbled in .32 Kit Guns after the war, both with the use-up-old-parts 1957 guns and again with the stainless model briefly offered in the 1980s, if I remember the date correctly. I have never seen one of those later guns.)
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Old 01-24-2012, 07:00 AM
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Page 8 added to the archived materials:

Some I-frame _'s - Page 1.pdf

Some I-frame _'s - Page 2.pdf

Some I-frame _'s - Page 3.pdf

Some I-frame _'s - Page 4.pdf

Some I-frame _'s - Page 5.pdf

Some I-frame _'s - Page 6.pdf

Some I-frame _'s - Page 7.pdf

Some I-frame _'s - Page 8.pdf
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Old 01-24-2012, 09:20 AM
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This little 6" 1903 .32 shipped in Nov '41. I've always wondered how many more were made after this one. Anyways, I think you're looking at one of the last ones ever made.
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Old 01-24-2012, 11:31 AM
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Patrick, the highest known serial number on any prewar I-frame is a little under 534600. The highest serial number on a .32 hand ejector known to me is a few thousand lower, and the company must have had many .32 HEs left in storage during the war. A few guns with prewar numbers were shipped after the war. And some guns with 51xxxx and 52xxxx serial numbers, some of which must have been assembled in the late '20s and early '30s, were not shipped until 1940 and 1941.

Regardless of when your gun was assembled, it is definitely one of the last ones shipped before the US declared war.

And it's a beauty. Congratulations on having it in the collection.
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Old 01-24-2012, 01:10 PM
Green Frog Green Frog is offline
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Not knowing the SN of your HE, Patrick, I can only surmise that if it is much below the 530xxx range it may have sat around in the vault for a long time. I base this on the relative rarity (due to lack of demand??) for the round butt 6" HE. It seems that the longer barrel was more popular with the Regulation Police configuration, thus making your example doubly special. Thanks for sharing.

Froggie

PS NINE PAGES! Who would have thought this thread would elicit this kind of enthusiastic response? I know I didn't. Thanks to all for your participation. GF
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Old 01-24-2012, 05:58 PM
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It does have a SN of 513XXX, so, it was assembled possibly long before it shipped. It actually is in much better condition than depicted in the photo. Thanks for the info.

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Originally Posted by Green Frog View Post
Not knowing the SN of your HE, Patrick, I can only surmise that if it is much below the 530xxx range it may have sat around in the vault for a long time. I base this on the relative rarity (due to lack of demand??) for the round butt 6" HE. It seems that the longer barrel was more popular with the Regulation Police configuration, thus making your example doubly special. Thanks for sharing.

Froggie

PS NINE PAGES! Who would have thought this thread would elicit this kind of enthusiastic response? I know I didn't. Thanks to all for your participation. GF
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Old 01-24-2012, 07:14 PM
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Not as pretty as everyone else's, but it is a tight and accurate gun with all matching numbers from the 1920s:


Last edited by saaman; 01-25-2012 at 01:10 AM.
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Old 01-24-2012, 08:56 PM
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Not as pretty as everyone else's, but it is a tight and accurate gun with all matching numbers from the 1920s:

Let me fix the coding so the pic shows up here instead of the link.

Nice. I like it.
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Old 01-24-2012, 09:05 PM
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What do you mean, saaman? It's a beauty!
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Old 01-25-2012, 01:03 AM
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Thanks David for fixing the coding--I was trying to figure out how to do that and still not sure.
And thanks gordonrick--I personally like its look. Probably carried more than shot in all these years.

Well I did finally figure out the correct coding. Thanks everybody.

Last edited by saaman; 01-25-2012 at 01:11 AM.
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Old 01-25-2012, 10:17 PM
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Default MY SMALL CONTRIBUTION TO THE I FRAME

32 I FRAME- STOCKS DO NOT # TO THE GUN... BUT THE BOX IS TRUE..
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File Type: jpg P1050925.JPG (165.3 KB, 84 views)
File Type: jpg P1050932.JPG (163.0 KB, 80 views)
File Type: jpg P1050933.JPG (165.0 KB, 80 views)
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Old 04-29-2013, 05:04 PM
longbowe longbowe is offline
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Default Looking for Information

I've been trying, for years, to find some information about this handgun and I believe it to be an I frame Terrier in .38 ctg. Can anyone tell me about the gun., i.e., when was it made, what is the value, is it a collector? The seriel number on the butt is 638XX. I would appreciate any information you have. I will try to send pix but I'm not sure I know how.
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File Type: jpg terrier 11.jpg (136.2 KB, 46 views)
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Old 04-29-2013, 05:35 PM
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I have what I believe to be a pre 35. I'll try to post a pic.
There on the bottom left. Sweet little .22.
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Old 04-29-2013, 05:37 PM
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Welcome to the Forum, longbowe. What you have there is indeed an I-frame, chambered for the 38 S&W CARTRIDGE (shorter and fatter than the 38 Spl) and referred to by the factory as the "Terrier." Unlike some of my brethren I need to look up the serial number to know for sure unless one more piece of info is provided. If there is a small screw at the bottom of the front grip strap (called a strain screw) to retain the flat mainspring, it is an example of the first post-War Terrier, or if the grip strap is smooth there, it is the second or so-called "Improved I-frame" version that came along about 1952 with the changeover to coil mainspring. From memory, I'm guessing it's the latter. Either way, seeing the half round front sight puts it between the end of WW II and about 1953, give or take. It is a very nice example of the breed and would be sought after by lovers of I-frames (like myself.)

Froggie
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Old 04-29-2013, 05:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GCSO584 View Post
I have what I believe to be a pre 35. I'll try to post a pic.
There on the bottom left. Sweet little .22.
Yep, that's the J-frame that replaced the pre-War "Heavy Frame Target," S&W's reigning 22 target revolver until the advent of the K-22. From what I can make out in your picture it looks like a nice one.

Froggie
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Old 04-29-2013, 05:47 PM
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Longbowe, welcome. Yes, your gun is a .38/32 Terrier. The serial number points to postwar production on the basic prewar design, but with a few engineering improvements. I would think that gun probably shipped in 1952 or maybe 1953.

Value? Terriers are in demand these days, and if you had one new in the box from that era you could probably expect to sell it for nearly a thousand. In high 90s condition without the box maybe $500-600. The one in the photos looks to have a little surface rust going, so I would put the value between $400 and $500. A good cleaning and oiling would do wonders for its appearance -- and probably raise its commercial potential as well.
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Old 04-29-2013, 05:51 PM
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Thanks Green Frog. I appreciate the info. I'm considering selling the piece but I don't know yet.

Thanks again,
Longbowe
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