I just picked up a nickel plated S&W Hand Ejector (I-frame) in .32 Long with a 4 3/8" (?) barrel and hard rubber grips. The gun is in good-very good finish condition, no bubba screw heads, perfect mechanics, and a somewhat pitted bore (too many corrosive primers?)
The serial number in 181XXX. Anybody have an idea when it was made?
The handling and balance characteristics of this gun is amazing. It screams to be shot! I slipped it into the pocket of my cargo shorts last night for a walk and I could hardly notice it was there.
The craftsmanship and engineering in this gun is very impressive. There are no stampings, castings, MIM, plastic or key locks, just finely fitted polished steel.
Who makes good .32 Long? I know the big three, plus others, make 98 gr. LRN loads. Federal makes a 98 gr. HBWC load too.
Given the relatively low velocity of the cartridge, what would be the best for shooting in my pitted bore- soft lead, hard cast lead, or jacketed?
Are there any commercial sources for loaded .32 Long featuring 100 gr. SWCs or JHPs.
Since this gun is solid frame, could this gun handle a ".32 Long +P" load? I am thinking a hard cast 100 gr. SWC or JSP at about 850 fps.
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June 19, 2006, 04:13 PM
Welcome to the .32 caliber revolver !
I thought I'd make a couple comments wether I know anything or not ! LOL
I shoot a .32 H&R Magnum in a Taurus Model 731 , and most of my shooting is done with the .32 S&W long cartridge . Natchez has supplied me with Aquila ammunition for about $8.25 a box after shipping costs and this ammo seems to be as good as anything else for plinking with the .32 .
With some bore pitting I would guess that jacked rounds would give less bore fouling , but I don't think I would worry about shooting lead - just a bit more scrubbing during the cleaning process.
Hard to give any advise regarding how "hot" you can load the old I frame . Personaly I would stick to standard loading and not try to make it into a + P gun. I have heard of one company putting out a cartridge with a 100 grn bullet for the .32 , but I don't know if the bullet itself is available for re-load.
June 20, 2006, 11:36 AM
First I found a pristine .32 Regulation Police with a 4 1/4" bbl in its original box. Then last Friday a .32 Hand Ejector in nickel with its original box showed up at a local big-box sports store! I really don't remember seeing many of these but the Standard Catalog of Smith & Wesson shows lots were made. My .32 HE was made in the 1920s and the .32 RP in the 40s.
Well they certainly deserved to be shot so I went to the local gun show and bought a box of .32 S&W and another of .32 S&W Long from a commercial reloader. Both had the LRN bullet and the loads were very mild. I also tried some of my handloaded .32 S&W Long +Ps. This consists of 3.0 grains of Bullseye behind a 100 grain LSWC. That load had a healthy snap to it but was a little more fun to shoot. I chronoed that round out of a 6 1/2" Ruger Blackhawk at 1,000 fps many years ago.
I think Hornaday may make a .32 JHP you could handload...try their website. It might be difficult to get enough velocity to mushroom but could still work better in your pitted barrel.
June 20, 2006, 12:43 PM
Nice guns to find. I would love to see some pics. Just a ??? Did you measure the barrel from front of the frame(wrong) or the front face of the cylinder(right)?
Even with the pitted bore it might still shoot great.
June 20, 2006, 07:55 PM
Your .32 Hand Ejector, Model of 1903/5th change was made between 1910-1917, and I suspect it was made around 1913 or so. Be aware that heat-treated cylinders weren't introduced until serial number 321,000 in 1920 so I would use care concerning and hot loads. Barrel length should be 4 1/4".
Yes, they are neat little guns... :)
January 20, 2008, 02:35 AM
I decided to actually take some pics of the guns I have been blabing about.
Here is my beloved I-frame...
January 20, 2008, 08:15 AM
Awhile back, after quite a bit of Googling for ballistic info, I found that Sellier & Bellot makes a .32 Long wadcutter that rates 120 ft. lbs. That's about as powerful as I could find. All of the others were rated about 100 ft. lbs. There was one exception, I forget which, that was about 110-120 ft. lbs. but it was a regular round nosed round and I figure a wadcutter rates better as a SD round so I went with the Sellier & Bellot. You can definitely feel the extra oomph when you shoot it.
January 20, 2008, 12:09 PM
Nice gun Hunter :cool:
Wow , kick started a "vintage" thread ;)
Magtech offers a JHP factory load . Can be tough to find though . I found them at one of our distributors last Fall , Ellett Brothers out of SC . Might have your dealer order some for stock . It's the only jacketed load I've ever seen .