Second Opinion on S&W M1905 32-20
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Thread: Second Opinion on S&W M1905 32-20

  1. #1
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    Second Opinion on S&W M1905 32-20

    I recently “re-acquired” a pair of early 5 screw Smiths after having last owned my prior Model 10 over a decade ago. Of the two, one is a M1917 I’ve previously posted on, and the latter is what appears to be a 1905, 4th change.

    Since acquiring them back in November, I’ve not yet shot them, but have thoroughly inspected them in all of the necessary places typically done in external exam for condition and safety.

    Yesterday I went through a thorough cleaning of the 1917 from the frame up, and double and triple checked all of the mechanical functions to ensure the gun is well timed and safe to fire, as neither of these guns has been shot, cleaned or oiled in the last 8 years, but instead have sat just in a soft case with the remnants of their last oiling all those years prior.

    After reviewing all the key points, the 1917 will definitely be retained, however, I’m having second thoughts on the practicality of retaining the 1905 being that it’s chambered in 32-20.

    Going through the 32-20 today, the timing seems fair and shootable, although I feel the cylinder timing may be lacking slightly, due to either a worn hand, or one that was cut slightly short. The cylinder stop engages the cylinder in a fair manner depth wise, but seems it could be a bit narrow for its indention as at full lockup there is a small amount of rotational play. Otherwise everything appears to be in good working order. All safety measures are functioning as they should. The trigger engages the cylinder stop well, if not even slightly tight. Sear to trigger engagement is all appropriate.

    The one downside is, after removing the side plate, there appears to be damage in areas that to me seem strange.

    On the corner of the cylinder catch ahead of the hammer (side facing the side plate) there is a ding/dent as if something hit it internally. Also the side of the sear, facing the side plate has a worn leading edge where it appears to be sheering metal from the leading edge of the sear, to the side adjacent the side plate.

    There are another number of small wear spots internally in the frame that have dinged edges.

    All around, the gun seems functional, but in need of timing work to be flawless, and could use some TLC and potentially parts, although I feel the portions with slight dings could be dressed with a stone, without any concern of effecting safety, as neither areas are a portion that have a function involving trigger and hammer mechanics.

    Long story short, the 1905 is a battle worn gun that at some point was parkerized, without the appropriate refurbishing prior to. The chambering is undesirable for myself, as I don’t reload, and don’t like the idea of having to buy specialty loads for fear of frame integrity. A chambering conversion to .327 Fed, intrigued me initially, but for value of current gun to cost of conversion, there isn’t much desire to endure such a heavy undertaking.

    In your humble opinion, what is the potential value of the gun in the stated condition? Is it to be sold as functioning but in need of work, or as parts only?

    (Side note: overall finish is fair, with minimum marking, gun is serial and part no. matched.)

    Initial picture is of damage to pieces mentioned. Name:  85C65880-3312-4875-95F6-2E69F8CB78F3_1585177886649.jpeg
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    Last edited by CbMor024; 03-25-2020 at 06:22 PM. Reason: Spelling
    msharley and Cliff like this.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by CbMor024 View Post
    A chambering conversion to .327 Fed, intrigued me initially...
    What??? Just set fire to your dough.

  3. #3
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    I would have a gunsmith inspect it and if OK, shoot some of the 32-20 ammo. I find it a very desirable round.
    ScunkMike, Curt360 and lawdog like this.
    Regards,
    Rodney


    "To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead."

    Thomas Paine

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  5. #4
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    Looks good to me All norman wear and tear for a gun that age. Shoot it
    lawdog, Curt360 and jeepnut like this.
    TO Ride, Shoot Straight, and Speak the Truth.

  6. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeepnut View Post
    I would have a gunsmith inspect it and if OK, shoot some of the 32-20 ammo.
    Would you really? Gunsmiths don't work for nothing. He's already inspected it & found nothing grievously wrong. Maybe (worst case), there may be some lead shaving, but there's no reason to think it's going to blow up in his hand.

  7. #6
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    If you really don't want it, send me a PM with a price. I've been looking for one (in a low-priority way, but opportunity at a good price can change the priority).
    lawdog, jeepnut and Injunbro like this.

  8. #7
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    I'd inform potential buyers what you found inside & sell it as a shooter. You already have a nibble.
    lawdog, jeepnut and StrawHat like this.
    "He that hath no sword, let him sell his garment & buy one" Jesus - Luke 22:36

  9. #8
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    From the tone of your post, you have already determined you don’t want it. BB242 seems interested. Sounds like a win/win.

    Kevin
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    Knowledge should be shared and not hoarded.

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  10. #9
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    They generally traffic at what a comparable .38 brings in this area. Conversion of any kind in a gun of this class is off my radar.

    ^^ agreed, send it to a new home.

  11. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeepnut View Post
    I would have a gunsmith inspect it and if OK, shoot some of the 32-20 ammo. I find it a very desirable round.
    Jeepnut: I’ve been over the gun extensively, I’ve reviewed The S&W Revolver Shop Manual (Sixth Printing) by Jerry Kuhnhausen, multiple times (it’s always been my go to.) There is minimal gas cutting in the top strap, there are no signs of leading on the forcing come, nor is it cracked. There is light leading in the bore, and signs of carbon, but I was the last to shoot this gun 8-10 years ago, and shot downloaded, flat nose wad cutters in it. (Approximately 18 rds.) I am 100% confident in its fit and function and condition of safety. The small timing issues are just that, small. The gun makes it to full lockup in both single and double action, and cylinder endshake, while not actually measured is likely well within spec and not likely in need of remediation.

    Again 32-20, just is not a go to cartridge for me as I am not any longer an avid recreational shooter, and want a gun I can plink with occasionally, but more frequently be able to walk into any shop and grab a box of ammo without having to second think it.
    Last edited by CbMor024; 03-27-2020 at 12:35 AM.


 
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