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Thread: LEMON SQUEEZER?

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    LEMON SQUEEZER?

    Greetings,

    One of my friends at work has inherited his Grandfather's old S&W.

    I'm not very familiar with the old top breaks, so would like to know what to look for & where to go to find additional info to get a positive ID.

    From his description it is nickle plated & has no visible hammer, so I am guessing it is the model I know as a lemon squeezer.

    It is also marked "32 S&W CTG" on the barrel, but I am not sure if it is a 32 short or long. Which caliber should it be, based on the caliber marking?

    Thanks for any help.


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    Re: LEMON SQUEEZER?

    S&W manufactured three versions of the .32 Safety Hammerless 1888-1937, several other firms foreign and domestic more-or-less copied them.

    .32 S&W is shorter than .32 S&W Long. The .32 S&W can be fired in the Long. Pesuming it is truly a Smith, give me a serial number, if redacted use X's for the last few numbers and I can tell you which version and the range of manufacture.

    The third model ran from 1909-1937, serials 170,000 to 242,981.

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    Re: LEMON SQUEEZER?

    Quote Originally Posted by Waidmann
    S&W manufactured three versions of the .32 Safety Hammerless 1888-1937, several other firms foreign and domestic more-or-less copied them.

    .32 S&W is shorter than .32 S&W Long. The .32 S&W can be fired in the Long. Pesuming it is truly a Smith, give me a serial number, if redacted use X's for the last few numbers and I can tell you which version and the range of manufacture.

    The third model ran from 1909-1937, serials 170,000 to 242,981.


    I have not yet seen it, but will be going over to his home to have a first hand look, and wanted to get my ducks in a row first.

    From his description, it is a real S&W, based on the markings. I got an education on the low quality copies years ago, when my Father In Law had a 38 S&W copy and I tried to get it to fire. I didn't ask for the serial number, as I wasn't willing to post somebody else's info, but will use the XX option.

    I'm familiar with the 32 short & long differences and have a Regulation Police in 32 Long. I plan to take a cartridge along & see if it will chamber, or not. He does want to shoot it, so I'm concerned about how tight (or loose) it might be. I was mostly curious about the caliber stamping & if it gave a different marking for short or long. I had thought that most of these were chambered for Long, but that's just what I think I remember.

    Thanks for the info - I knew someone here would be on top of it!


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    Re: LEMON SQUEEZER?

    Your I-frame Regulation Police is in a different league altogether. No frame here. Check for play, cracks around the hinge and lock (also any sense of stretching). Cylinder lock-up lock and I suppose a close fitting dowel could be used as an expediant means to check timing.

    Honorable retirement is preferable to any sort of mishap and it is a family heirloom.

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    Re: LEMON SQUEEZER?

    Quote Originally Posted by Waidmann
    Your I-frame Regulation Police is in a different league altogether. No frame here. Check for play, cracks around the hinge and lock (also any sense of stretching). Cylinder lock-up lock and I suppose a close fitting dowel could be used as an expediant means to check timing.

    Honorable retirement is preferable to any sort of mishap and it is a family heirloom.

    Yes, I am aware that my I frame is a lot stronger - thanks for the reminder. I'm just not up to speed with the older model S&W revolvers.

    I am familiar with newer DA & SA revolvers & have some experience with the British Webley & Enfield top breaks. I am comfortable with checking them out, but wasn't sure about any special precautions with this oldtimer. It looks to me like the locking mechanism is the weak link, as it is rather small.

    If in doubt, it stays at home.

    Thanks again.


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    Re: LEMON SQUEEZER?

    Also recall that on the front end of production these were blackpowder guns, and never grew far past that point. Seems like you have a pretty fair handle on things. The Webley & Scott design was intended for the .38-200 British Service cartridge. Similar but tougher. The S&W was offered in .38 S&W eventually, technically the same exterior dimensions. but....... Just keep an eye on things, a lot of these guns saw little use, some more than they should have. You'll decide well. Good luck.

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    Re: LEMON SQUEEZER?

    Quote Originally Posted by Waidmann
    Also recall that on the front end of production these were blackpowder guns, and never grew far past that point. Seems like you have a pretty fair handle on things. The Webley & Scott design was intended for the .38-200 British Service cartridge. Similar but tougher. The S&W was offered in .38 S&W eventually, technically the same exterior dimensions. but....... Just keep an eye on things, a lot of these guns saw little use, some more than they should have. You'll decide well. Good luck.


    I am hoping that this will be a later gun, not an early blackpowder version. As far as he knows, it has not been fired in 20 + years. I believe most of these were "nightstand guns" or pocket / purse guns and shot very little. That's why I am hoping it will still be in good shape. I currently shoot an Enfield No 2 in 38/200 in various local matches. It gets quite a bit of attention from the kids (since I am 63, most of them are kids) wondering what it is. The bitter experience I mentioned earlier involved a "Thames" copy of the 38 top break. I really prefer to shoot the oldtimers, but like I said this one is a bit older than I am familiar with.

    Thanks for the help.


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    Re: LEMON SQUEEZER?

    Merle,
    From someone whose opinion I value: "The models prior to 1909 should be considered blackpowder. Cylinders were not heat treated until 1929, shooting jacketed bullets in earlier guns should be discouraged."

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    Re: LEMON SQUEEZER?

    Photos would be helpful.

    Doug
    SWCA #2352

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    Re: LEMON SQUEEZER?

    Quote Originally Posted by Waidmann
    Merle,
    From someone whose opinion I value: "The models prior to 1909 should be considered blackpowder. Cylinders were not heat treated until 1929, shooting jacketed bullets in earlier guns should be discouraged."

    OK, thank you.

    I have never seen any jacketed bullets in any factory ammo, so they should be OK. I do reload, so could make up some loads even lighter than factory, if that would still send them out the barrel.



 

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