S&W .32HE I Frame Grips ?


November 2, 2006, 02:40 PM
Hi everybody! I have an old .32 Hand Ejector with the "I" frame. It is a wonderfully accurate and fun pistol. That said, the tiny grips do little for target shooting. I am trying to figure out if there are any large, target style grips made for this frame size such as Hogue or Pachmayr. Will "J" frame grips fit? Anyone know?

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Old Fuff
November 2, 2006, 03:18 PM
Will "J" frame grips fit?

The original S&W Chief Special (pre model 36) used the same stocks as the earlier "I" and "Improved I frame" revolvers. But before long the frame on the J-series was lengthened by about 1/8 inch.

So, you can use J-frame stocks, but there may be a gap at the bottom, and you will have to drill a new hole for the pin at the bottom of the frame. If you get stocks that cover the front and backstraps as well as the bottom of the frame this gap is of no consequence. Or you can glue a 1/8 inch wood spacer in the bottom of the stocks on each side. ;)

Last but not least, you can shorten the stocks to match the frame.

November 22, 2006, 09:28 PM
Old Fuff, i just went through this. I have a .32HE (SN 568XXX) that needs the correct stocks. I tried some RB J-frame stocks and found they were too long for the modified I-frame. But you say that the I and modified I-frame stocks are interchangeable?

Jackall, if you want to get rid of your old I-frame stocks, let me know.

Old Fuff
November 22, 2006, 10:11 PM
:cuss: :cuss: :cuss: :cuss:

This all started with the original I-frame, which used the
same stocks as the .38 Double Action and .38 Safety Hammerless top-breaks. When possible S&W liked to use as many older model parts on newer models so they could save tooling costs. So far, so good.

The original Chief Special (pre-model 36) used the same stocks as the following older guns.

.38 Double Action (top break)
.38 Safety Hammerless (top break)
.32/.38 I-frame (hand ejector)
.32/.38 Improved I-frame (hand ejector)

The Chief Special stocks however were changed to the service magna style with a horn at the top to better help control recoil. But besides the Chief Special they would also fit the previous models listed above.

By the time the Chief Special evolved into the model 36 in 1957 the butt had been legthened by about 1/8" They could be made to fit the above guns, but they would have to be refitted and shortened by about 1/8"

The basic J-frame has retained the 1/8" longer length to this day.

So unless you find some post-war Improved I-frame/Chief Special stocks (possible but not probable) you have the following choices:

Go to www.e-gunparts.com and order...

1. a set of reproduction black hard rubber stocks listed under ".38 Safety Hammerless" They are identical to those furnished on I-frame revolvers prior to World War Two.

2. a set of stocks intended for the "Chief Special" with the short butt. These will be aftermarket grips, not those made by S&W.

3. Shorten and fit a set of stocks made for the current J-frame.

Hope this will help. :) :) :)

If you find a set of oversized stocks, such as some Pachmayr models that cover the backstrap, butt and forestrap made for the current J-frame all you will have to do is relocate the pinhole in the side at the bottom. If you want oversized stocks this is an easy way out.

November 23, 2006, 06:20 AM
Thanks. I appreciate your help.

Old Fuff
November 23, 2006, 09:57 AM
Numrich/The Gunparts Corp. (www.e-gunparts.com) used to have some new and original S&W grips intended for the .38 Safety Hammerless, but they worked fine on an I-frame and Improved I-frame. Unfortunately they are now sold out.

They also have (or at least had) some inletted blanks for the old Chief Special that were massive - lots of wood on the outside. I'm going to get some of these because (1 they are inexpensive, and (2 they can be worked down to almost any size, and the hard part (the inside inletting) has been done.

A number of companies make faux "ivory" plastic grips for the current J-frame that can easily be reworked to fit an I or Improved I frame by shortening them at the bottom. Other options for this style of stocks include rosewood and other similar materials.

Fitting stocks to an I or Improved I-frame does involve some work, but it's not difficult too do. As a rule of thumb, what ever works for a J-frame can probably be made to work on the earlier guns.

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