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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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Old 04-14-2024, 04:33 AM
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Default K32 first year of manufacture

Many sources state the k32 was first manufactured in 1946.
The SCS&W 4th states..
Manufactured circa 1946-1974
I have a Smith & Wesson all model circular from 1946/47, prices effective Oct 5 1946.
The anticipated production schedule states that the K32 should be shipped in small lots early in 1948.

Is this 1946 date referring to a prototype as it looks to me production started some time in 1947 or the first one possible completed in 1948 if shipping started early in 1948.

What's is the earliest shipped k32 date out there?
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Old 04-14-2024, 08:30 AM
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I thought there were a limited number manufactured pre war.
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Old 04-14-2024, 09:00 AM
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The first production K-32 Masterpiece revolvers were assembled at the very end of December, 1948. The earliest shipment dates I find were in March, 1949, with one possibly shipped in February. That said, I do show one K-32, apparently a prototype, that shipped to E. F. Warner, Publisher of Field & Stream magazine, in March, 1948.
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Old 04-14-2024, 09:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JP@AK View Post
The first production K-32 Masterpiece revolvers were assembled at the very end of December, 1948. The earliest shipment dates I find were in March, 1949, with one possibly shipped in February. That said, I do show one K-32, apparently a prototype, that shipped to E. F. Warner, Publisher of Field & Stream magazine, in March, 1948.
I own the K-32 you are referring to. It did ship to Warner on 3/10/1948. It was not a prototype. In its letter Roy states that the first K-32 shipped on July 22, 1947. There's an extensive post about my K-32 that I'll find the link to.
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Old 04-14-2024, 09:41 AM
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There was also a pre-K32 First Model described as "Special Early Production" in S&W letters. Some 94 of them produced between 1936 and 1941. Billed as an "M&P Target 38 Special chambered in 32 Long S&W." The letter says this is how this model was marked at shipment until 1938 when they were first called K32s.

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Old 04-14-2024, 09:59 AM
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My thread reply was in regard to post-war K-32's.
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Old 04-14-2024, 10:08 AM
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Not necessarily the case with the K32's however, using the .22/32 HFT's as an example, the first shipments were in 1911 however it supposedly did not officially go into production and appear in the catalogs until 1915. (I have not checked my catalogs to verify this as due to a remodel they are buried)

The other possibility was that S&W discussed or even advertised this model prior to the first run merely to build anticipation and therefore sales.

Remember with S&W it was always about the $$$$$ first.
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Old 04-14-2024, 12:23 PM
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Well, to pick the nit between a K-32 (.) and a K-32 Masterpiece, my K-32 1st Model (#681819) was shipped March 25, 1940.

My first K-32 Masterpiece (2nd Model K-32?) #K58970 was shipped March 24, 1949.

My second K-32 Masterpiece (3rd Model K-32?) #K232389 was shipped December 12, 1955.

I reckon that's the end of the K-32 Masterpieces, per se, to be followed by Post Masterpieces, perhaps better known as Model Numberpieces. I didn't have any of those, preferring items with some semblance of soul---or creativity----or style----or pretty much anything besides numbers.

Ralph Tremaine

And as an aside of dubious value, my letter on the 1st Model simply states "These early K-32's are officially known as the K-32 First Model. " I reckon they felt that was necessary after whatever all that gobbledygook Jeff was talking about what the early letters were saying.

As another aside of dubious value, my "2nd Model K-32?" was a narrow rib version with the funky finish ("Satin Blue")---the 3rd Model being a wide rib, bright blue.

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Old 04-14-2024, 12:44 PM
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In its letter Roy states that the first K-32 shipped on July 22, 1947.
Yes. Unquestionably there were a few early examples assembled. But Roy has also informed us that actual production did not begin until December 29, 1948.
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Old 04-14-2024, 01:58 PM
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Yes. Unquestionably there were a few early examples assembled. But Roy has also informed us that actual production did not begin until December 29, 1948.
I understand I think, but Roy's letter from 2005 is fairly clear on when he thought the first K32s were produced and that those were indeed K32s. I wouldn't know one way or another had I not recently stumbled on one for sale with the letter. Just more S&W trivia, but interesting trivia. The letter shown here is not mine.

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Old 04-14-2024, 02:06 PM
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This post needs a picture or two.

K-32 6", blue K237377 **October 1956**

Enjoy,
bdGreen

Tap on image to enlarge.





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Old 04-14-2024, 05:56 PM
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I understand I think, but Roy's letter from 2005 is fairly clear on when he thought the first K32s were produced and that those were indeed K32s. I wouldn't know one way or another had I not recently stumbled on one for sale with the letter. Just more S&W trivia, but interesting trivia. The letter shown here is not mine.

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Yes. My comments, consistent with the question originally asked in this tread, was in reference to the postwar K-32 Masterpiece. Hence, my comments were not applicable to anything S&W did prior to WWII.

Good info here though. Thanks.
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Old 04-14-2024, 06:06 PM
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In the best of all worlds where I would have unlimited funds and total worldwide search function, I would purchase a 1949 vintage tapered barrel, narrow rib K32 to go with my 1948 vintage K22 & K38. Alas, I don’t live in such a world so this individual gun must elude me.

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PS I was born in 1949, so conceived in 1948, so those years hold special significance for me.
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Old 04-14-2024, 06:36 PM
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Interesting...

K32 manufacturing did start in 1948 with the first one possibly completed in 1949.
The key Id feature here being a "K" in the serial number.

so possibly the K-32 Hand Ejector First Model. Should be called "32 Hand Ejector First Model (pre K32)" or "32 Hand Ejector Target (pre K32)" made from 1938 to 1940.
Id being no "K" in the serial number.
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Old 04-14-2024, 07:34 PM
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I recall a few posts concerning .32 Long revolvers being built and numbered in the .32-20 serial number range. Were any of those target models?
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Old 04-14-2024, 08:22 PM
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Gil

First, a couple of comments. When it comes to chambering an early K-frame revolver in 32 long, the 32-20 serial number series should have been the choice, because 32-20 and 32 long are exactly the same size. The only difference is in the cylinder chambering.

In fact, the 1st K-frames chambered in 32 long were in the 32-20 serial number series, and were a built at least as early as 1910. They were done in very small groups (10-20 guns) and were categorized as special orders. Some had target sights, and others were fixed M&P sights, in various barrel lengths.

In the later 1930's, a much larger group were produced, and serial numbered in the 38 serial number series. This group is more well-known to the collecting community. After WW2, the 32-long K-frames were advertised as K-32's.

It's worth noting that, regardless of the serial number series, all these guns are the same: K-frames chambered in 32-long.

Having said all of that, here are two consecutively-numbered early target K-frames chambered in 32-long. They were numbered in the 32-20 series, and are serial numbers 43133 and 43134. They were built and shipped in 1910 to two St Louis shooters of the period. They letter as I have described.





Regards, Mike Priwer

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Old 04-14-2024, 08:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aussie Collector View Post
Interesting...

K32 manufacturing did start in 1948 with the first one possibly completed in 1949.
The key Id feature here being a "K" in the serial number.

so possibly the K-32 Hand Ejector First Model. Should be called "32 Hand Ejector First Model (pre K32)" or "32 Hand Ejector Target (pre K32)" made from 1938 to 1940.
Id being no "K" in the serial number.
Maybe, seems like a pre-war post-war differentiation works. Usually the collector community accepts whatever the S&W Letter says versus what any of us think it should say though. As to the K not being in the serial number, true enough, but also true that it is a K frame so calling it a K-32 seems appropriate too. Since the letter calls those 94 pre-war 32 targets First Model K-32s I think it's hard to argue that they are not.

Jeff
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Old 04-15-2024, 04:28 AM
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It would be really interesting to know if the non K serial number ones were actually called K32 by the factory. Do we know what was on the factory invoices for these earlier pre war 32s?

Edit...I like the term pre-war and post-war. Possibly put this into the standard catalogue of Smith & Wesson 5th...

Last edited by Aussie Collector; 04-15-2024 at 04:37 AM. Reason: Added last paragraph
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Old 04-15-2024, 04:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aussie Collector View Post
Many sources state the k32 was first manufactured in 1946.
The SCS&W 4th states..
Manufactured circa 1946-1974
I have a Smith & Wesson all model circular from 1946/47, prices effective Oct 5 1946.
The anticipated production schedule states that the K32 should be shipped in small lots early in 1948.
My first post was eluding to the start manufacturing date of the post war being incorrect. 2 or 3 years out..
From the other posts above the date should be 1948 or 1949 to 1974......
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Old 04-15-2024, 10:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikepriwer View Post
Gil

First, a couple of comments. When it comes to chambering an early K-frame revolver in 32 long, the 32-20 serial number series should have been the choice, because 32-20 and 32 long are exactly the same size. The only difference is in the cylinder chambering.

In fact, the 1st K-frames chambered in 32 long were in the 32-20 serial number series, and were a built at least as early as 1910. They were done in very small groups (10-20 guns) and were categorized as special orders. Some had target sights, and others were fixed M&P sights, in various barrel lengths.

In the later 1930's, a much larger group were produced, and serial numbered in the 38 serial number series. This group is more well-known to the collecting community. After WW2, the 32-long K-frames were advertised as K-32's.

It's worth noting that, regardless of the serial number series, all these guns are the same: K-frames chambered in 32-long.

Having said all of that, here are two consecutively-numbered early target K-frames chambered in 32-long. They were numbered in the 32-20 series, and are serial numbers 43133 and 43134. They were built and shipped in 1910 to two St Louis shooters of the period. They letter as I have described.





Regards, Mike Priwer
Thanks Mike.

That's what I remember reading here on the Forum, but it had been a few years back & I didn't want to spew bad info.
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Old 04-15-2024, 11:28 AM
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So far the only target sighted .32 of any variation I've been able to adopt is a 16-4 in .32 Mag...I have a few iron sighted .32 Longs and .32-20's, but I hope at some point to find the elusive affordable target sighted .32 Long, or even .32-20...The hunt is at least half the fun anyway......Ben
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Old 04-15-2024, 04:01 PM
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The exact question asked "What's is the earliest shipped k32 date out there?" People are getting confused with terminology. The first "K-32 Masterpiece" was manufactured post-WWII, but the official K-32 listed in catalogs was introduced around 1939 (Roy lettered these K32 revolvers as starting in 1938) and there are records of 92 listed in the old SWCA database from 1939 to 1940 as having been shipped in serial number range 667165 to 687207. I have a 1941 catalog that lists the gun named as a "K-32 Target". Some were sold then, but not many and they were not special orders. Of course, WWII quickly interrupted production of all commercial guns. As Mike noted, several 32 Long K frames were sold as special orders very early and right up to 1939 when they became standard production guns first known as K-32. The earliest K frame 32 Long found in the SWCA database was 43134 shipped in 1910.

K32 first year of manufacture-1941-pgs-22-23-jpg
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Old 04-21-2024, 08:53 PM
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Default K32 shipped March 4th 1949

My K32 Masterpiece was shipped on March 4th, 1949. This must have been pretty early on.

Gil
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Old 04-21-2024, 11:17 PM
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My K32 Masterpiece was shipped on March 4th, 1949.
Gil,

In case you're not aware Your Revolver may be a bit scarcer than what you may think!! Reason being...Given it has a 4-Inch Barrel....I believe it could be considered...For lack of a better way to describe it...A Pre-K32 Combat Masterpiece of which I'm fairly certain were never ever produced with a Model Number assigned to them!!

If so...From what I gather there were only 10 with a 4-Inch Barrel built!! If I'm wrong I'm sure someone will be along shortly to let me know if I've given you incorrect information!!
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Old 04-21-2024, 11:48 PM
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Gil,

In case you're not aware Your Revolver may be a bit scarcer than what you may think!! Reason being...Given it has a 4-Inch Barrel....I believe it could be considered...For lack of a better way to describe it...A Pre-K32 Combat Masterpiece of which I'm fairly certain were never ever produced with a Model Number assigned to them!!

If so...From what I gather there were only 10 with a 4-Inch Barrel built!! If I'm wrong I'm sure someone will be along shortly to let me know if I've given you incorrect information!!
Yes this was one of the 10 that were shipped with a 4" barrel.

Per the letter:

The K-32 Masterpiece (Model 16) was continued in production until June of 1973 when the demand was so small that it was officially discontinued, with only 3,630 revolvers being produced over the twenty-six years it was produced, thus making it the rarest of the standard K Masterpiece series.

We have researched your Smith & Wesson K.32 Masterpiece Pre-Model 16. Five Screw Variation, caliber .32 S& W Long, revolver in company records which indicate that your handgun, with serial number K67160 was shipped from our factory on, March 4, 1949 , and delivered to B. W. Folsom, Warren, OH. This revolver was shipped with a 4 inch barrel equipped with a Partridge front sight, blue finish, and checkered walnut grips. This was a special order for 10 units with the 4 inch barrels and there was an extra charge of $6.00 for cutting the barrels and
fitting them.

I have attached a copy of the shipping invoice.

Gil
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Old 04-22-2024, 12:01 AM
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I have an early K-32, S/N K58965 in my collection. Shipped December 23, 1948 to Jesse Harpe Co., in Tampa Florida.
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Old 04-22-2024, 01:12 AM
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Dennis (Bullmack) and others

Here is page 2 of the the factory letter for K2143.



I'd forgotten about this gun when this thread first started. Roy believes that this was the first K32 completed.

Dennis - would you be so kind as to post the factory letter for your K32 ? I'm interested in knowing the serial number, as well.

I'll post some pictures of K2143 perhaps tomorrow, or the day after.

Regards, Mike Priwer
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Old 04-22-2024, 09:45 AM
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Mike,

Copy of letter for K2244 per your request. Please note that this was a 3 gun shipment to Warner. The other 2 guns were not K-32's as noted in the letter.
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Old 04-22-2024, 11:24 AM
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Dennis

Thanks for your response. Unfortunately, I'm not able to open the attachment. I tried opening it on two different PC's, and I have the same problem with both of them. I don't know what the problem is. Typically the attachments open by placing the cursor over the thumbnail. Does this work for you?

Regards, Mike
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Old 04-22-2024, 11:47 AM
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Originally Posted by mikepriwer View Post
Typically the attachments open by placing the cursor over the thumbnail. Does this work for you?

Regards, Mike
Opening it in a new tab or window results in the same small image......Ben
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Old 04-22-2024, 01:37 PM
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Originally Posted by mikepriwer View Post
Dennis

Thanks for your response. Unfortunately, I'm not able to open the attachment. I tried opening it on two different PC's, and I have the same problem with both of them. I don't know what the problem is. Typically the attachments open by placing the cursor over the thumbnail. Does this work for you?

Regards, Mike
No it doesn't work for me either. I'll fix it.
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Old 04-22-2024, 03:50 PM
Masterpiece Masterpiece is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikepriwer View Post
Typically the attachments open by placing the cursor over the thumbnail. Does this work for you?
Mike & The Others,

It will open into a Link that's User Friendly if you hold Your Mouse Pointer over the thumbnail until the Small Window opens so you can open "That" Link in a New Tab...Just did it...Works Fine!! Thought this may save Dennis (bullmack) the trouble of finding a way of posting it otherwise...Hope this helps!!
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Old 04-22-2024, 06:03 PM
Green Frog Green Frog is offline
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Originally Posted by glowe View Post
The exact question asked "What's is the earliest shipped k32 date out there?" People are getting confused with terminology. The first "K-32 Masterpiece" was manufactured post-WWII, but the official K-32 listed in catalogs was introduced around 1939 (Roy lettered these K32 revolvers as starting in 1938) and there are records of 92 listed in the old SWCA database from 1939 to 1940 as having been shipped in serial number range 667165 to 687207. I have a 1941 catalog that lists the gun named as a "K-32 Target". Some were sold then, but not many and they were not special orders. Of course, WWII quickly interrupted production of all commercial guns. As Mike noted, several 32 Long K frames were sold as special orders very early and right up to 1939 when they became standard production guns first known as K-32. The earliest K frame 32 Long found in the SWCA database was 43134 shipped in 1910.

K32 first year of manufacture-1941-pgs-22-23-jpg
I wonder whether this is where the “Target Masterpiece” confusion came in. Note that it’s a K-32 Target and a K-22 Masterpiece. I’ve always wondered why l this mashup of terms came from, and this might finally be the answer.
Froggie

Last edited by Green Frog; 04-22-2024 at 06:04 PM. Reason: Correct the *#@* Spill Chicker
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  #34  
Old 04-22-2024, 07:03 PM
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Roy once stated that there was company documents that named all the calibers Masterpiece revolvers around 1938 - 1940, but only the K22 had the short action and micro-rear sights. He also stated as much on page 137 of Smith & Wesson 1857-1945, where he said:

The target version of this model became known as the K-38 Masterpiece in 1940. This was at the same time the K-32 Masterpiece was introduced in the company's line of target revolvers. With this change of name, they now had a K-22, K-32, and K-38 Masterpiece revolver.

For those of us who feel that the catalogs are the best source of company naming conventions, it is only the K-22 that was named Masterpiece in all catalogs of the era, but there must have been some company documents to support Roy's comments somewhere.
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Old 04-23-2024, 01:33 AM
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Dennis

The image seems OK now. Thanks for looking after it!

I'd like to see the first page of the factory letter, if possible.

Regars, Mike Priwer
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Old 04-23-2024, 11:27 AM
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Mike,

Here's page 1 as you requested.

Dennis
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File Type: jpg Letter K-32 K2244.jpg (48.9 KB, 24 views)
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Old 04-23-2024, 11:45 AM
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FYI - I have K32 Masterpiece #K66035 that shows shipped 2/10/1949. (birth year revolver for me)

-don
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