So, was this a "long action" or what?


February 19, 2009, 02:37 PM
Due to the influence of certain senior members here I've been on the hunt for an old S&W long action for some time. Today, I think one came home though it has been ill-treated, abused and molested during its life.

It has regrettably spent much time in the company of a buffer and thereafter nickel plated (to include the hammer and trigger). Most of the markings remain legible if barely so.

It has a mushroom-looking sort of ejector rod end.
A hump back hammer.
5 screws, a half-moon front sight and a 6" barrel.
It's chambered in 32 Winchester which I take to be .32-20 (?!)
It has S&W's address and a pantload of patent dates on the top of barrel.
It has a serial number in the 52,000 range - I think. Mr. Buffer got really carried away here. There are no letters but there is a star (*) to the right of the serial number.

I won't be able to get at my SCoSW for a spell - does anyone know offhand if this beast is a "long action"? I think I recall that the presence of a humpback hammer didn't necessarily mean it was long action. I'm more curious about whether it's a long action than it's DOB or anything else.

This is the most "rode hard and put up wet" S&W I've seen to date. Amazingly, it times well, still has rifling, and has zero run-out. Even feels good in DA though it seems to be wanting a little lube. Apart from one fungal growth the nickel is shiny - hence ratty cell phone pic is rattier than usual. Sorry 'bout that. Thanks all!

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Jim Watson
February 19, 2009, 02:44 PM
The short action came in with the 1950 models. The illustrated revolver is from long before that, with a serial number in the range of the M&P 1902 First Change, 1903-1905.

The star on the butt is normally taken to mean the gun had been worked on at the factory one time or another. But the factory did not do the Bubba's Bumper Boutique plating job.

February 19, 2009, 02:45 PM
It is a 32-20 WCF.

The "short-action" wasn't invented until about 1948, long after your gun was made.
The last 32-20 WCF was made in 1940.

So yes, it is a long-action.

Your caliber & serial number makes it a 1905 3rd. Model made between 1909 and 1915.


Big Bill
February 19, 2009, 02:53 PM
Would it be wise for one to try and restore a gun like this. The nickle plating is U-G-L-Y.

Thaddeus Jones
February 19, 2009, 03:02 PM
Nice catch, congrats! I would send it off to Fords to have them re-nickel that beauty. TJ

February 19, 2009, 03:12 PM
It is a little late in the game to "restore" it.

The Bumper Buddy Bubba Jim Watson mentioned has already knocked off some of the markings and rounded some edges. SO "restoring" it is out of the question.

If, after shooting it awhile, you decide it is a keeper, I'd consider sending it to Fords or someone and having it refinished with Nickle.

But it would be refinished again, not restored.

And I doubt it would add as much as it costs to the value.
To a S&W collector, it would still just be a refinished gun.


February 19, 2009, 03:28 PM
Thanks - the "long action" has been something I needed for my ungoing ed-U-ma-cation on these S&Ws.

Fords does nice work but re-doing the nickel isn't really needed - it's a ratty pic but the nickel looks (apart from one area) like pretty good nickel - it's the fact that the nickel doesn't belong there that would grind on me more than the quality of the nickel. That, and it's a costly proposition to "un-buff" a firearm.

If it turns out to be a good shooter and I grow attached to it, I believe Turnbull can work wonders with lettering and "un-buffing" generally but it'd have to be because I wanted it and didn't expect to get anything back. Take a nickled, buffed S&W that I got for basically Hi-Point pricing, mail it to Turnbull to case color the hammer and trigger, go over the thing generally and slap a suitable blue on it and I'd probably have 1,500.00 or more into a 200.00 handgun. But I've done stranger things, I guess.

First, we see how it is mechanically.

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