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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My mother asked me to find ammo for an old revolver she got from my great grandfather and had stashed in an antique armoire. I have browsed the forums and believe what she has is a circa 1900, .32 caliber lemon squeezer. Before putting a round through it, I will have it checked by a local gunsmith.

At first inspection, the pistol needs a good cleaning but is otherwise in great shape. Everything is tight except there was a little slop in the break-over hinge pin. A quarter turn on the hinge pin screw with a screwdriver tightened things up.

It occurs to me that an item like this might serve better as a collector item. Here are the markings and details:

  • All stainless with plastic grips.
  • S/N 106512
  • S&W Trademark stamp on right side of body but barely legible.
  • Barrel is 3 1/4" Cone to muzzle.
  • No caliber markings.
  • No model number (unless it is under the grips)
  • Top of Barrel rib has the following stamped in very fine print:
SMITH & WESSON SPRINGFIELD MASS U.S.A. PAT'D MAY 11,80
OCT 2 83, AUG 4 85, OCT 11 87, FEB 14 88, APR 9 89, JUN 3 90

Any ideas what I have here and value? What ammo does it run? Should I let her shoot it if it passes my gunsmith checks?

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My mother asked me to find ammo for an old revolver she got from my great grandfather and had stashed in an antique armoire. I have browsed the forums and believe what she has is a circa 1900, .32 caliber lemon squeezer. .....
Just looking at the dimensions, I am reasonably certain that you do not have a .32, but a .38 Safety Hammerless. For comparison, look at the cylinder dimensions of my .32 in the photo.

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Welcome to the forums from the Wiregrass!

Any ideas what I have here and value? What ammo does it run? Should I let her shoot it if it passes my gunsmith checks?
As Absolom states, you have a .38 Safety Hammerless, AKA the New Departure, that chambers .38 S&W (not .38 Special). Yes, you should let her shoot it. Modern smokeless cartridges are fine in this gun.

The gun has been refinished in nickel and the grips are hard rubber, not plastic. At the time this gun was made (1898), it was simply known as the .38 Safety Hammerless because there were no model numbers. It is an antique.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Just looking at the dimensions, I am reasonably certain that you do not have a .32, but a .38 Safety Hammerless. For comparison, look at the cylinder dimensions of my .32 in the photo.

View attachment 493216
Makes sense. The cylinder will accept a .38 spcl round but the round stops about 1/4" short of fully seating in the cylinder. Very helpful. Thank you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Welcome to the forums from the Wiregrass!



As Absolom states, you have a .38 Safety Hammerless, AKA the New Departure, that chambers .38 S&W (not .38 Special). Yes, you should let her shoot it. Modern smokeless cartridges are fine in this gun.

The gun has been refinished in nickel and the grips are hard rubber, not plastic. At the time this gun was made (1898), it was simply known as the .38 Safety Hammerless because there were no model numbers. It is an antique.
Thanks Wiregrass! As with all other calibers, I am not finding any ammo at the moment. I am going to search out reloading dies, brass and reloading data before they fade into history.
 
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