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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I found this gun in my late father's gun cabinet, but I don't know anything about it and if he ever told me anything about it, it's been forgotten. So, I turn to the experts so I don't have to pay $65 or more to S&W for them to tell me about it. It's clearly old, double action, swivel, formerly chrome but now mostly gone. The only reason I know what it is is thanks to looking over these forums. Serial 32xx. I'm pretty sure it's not worth anything other than just as a family heirloom and novelty, but any information you could give me would be great. Thanks in advance!


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Welcome to the forums from the Wiregrass, Ron! Well, it appears to be a .32 Hand Ejector, 1st Model from 1896 chambered for .32 S&W Long. This was the first swing out revolver S&W made. It was originally nickel plated, not chromed and the 6" barrel draws a 25% premium over shorter barrel guns.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Welcome to the forums from the Wiregrass, Ron! Well, it appears to be a .32 Hand Ejector, 1st Model from 1896 chambered for .32 S&W Long. This was the first swing out revolver S&W made. It was originally nickel plated, not chromed and the 6" barrel draws a 25% premium over shorter barrel guns.
From the looks of it, and comparing it to some nickel plated plumbing in my house, it wasn't chromed but nickel plated and I just have bad eyesight. But yes, 6 inch barrel. Thanks!
 

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Your .32 HE, Model 1896 was built on the obsolete I frame which became the J frame in 1961 after a couple of improvements. The Model 1903 changed the action from flat springs and levers to the rebound slide improvement, added a locking lug under the barrel for the extractor rod, shifted the cylinder stop from the top strap to the bottom cylinder window and added a thumbpiece to release the cylinder. S&W made about 19000 of the Model 1896 from 1896 to 1903.

BTW, don't confuse .32 Long with .32-20. They are different cartridges. The .32-20 or .32 Winchester is built on the larger K frame.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Guy, do you think it'd be worth it for me to get it replated? Or is it most likely destined for a shadowbox on the mantle?
 

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From the looks of your cylinder turn line, it has been pretty well shot out. What does the bore look like? The stop notches are pretty worn and the turn line groove is relatively deep. That can't be fixed without a replacement cylinder, IMO, if you can find one, and then the gun is no longer original which kills any collector value. Replating it also kills collector value. I'd clean it up really well with some auto trans fluid and acetone mixed 50-50, then put it in a nice shadow box. You can use Mother's Mag or Flitz polish on it. With enough elbow grease, the bare metal can shine like the remaining nickel. Give it a good coating of Renaissance Wax to preserve it and then display it.
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
The rifling is still looks good, but at either end, there's some pitting. No visible rust anywhere. FWIW, the action feels solid and the cylinder locks in place and moves like it's supposed to. Seems to line up properly despite the wear and tear. I'm not looking to take it out and do any target shooting given its age. I figure there's a reason it ended up in the gun cabinet and never came out for target practice like everything else did.
 

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It's an heirloom. I have one. My paternal grandfather's 1924 .32 Regulation Police. In the 1950's it burned in a sharecropper's house that my uncle was living in. He kept it but never really cleaned it up and it has some action problems. When my father died, I inherited it. It was ugly and I had it reblued. It resides in a shadowbox for posterity. I had nothing in it and it cost me a couple hundred dollars to pretty up. It has no collector value but I'm satisfied to make it an heirloom art object. YMMV.

 
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