S&W I frame .22/.32 Information


June 6, 2009, 07:58 PM
Anyone have some input on this little I-Frame .22 S&W ? SN is 1636XX located on the front of the butt frame, back of cylinder, and under the ejector rod on the barrel.

The barrel has been cut, and the rear sight, and grips do not look original. DOB , or any other info appreciated. Source for a rear sight very helpful.

ps: It is a 5 screw

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June 7, 2009, 03:55 PM
Well, the serial number dates to 1910 - 1917, and a .32 Hand Ejector 5th. Change frame.

Looks like somebody got creative and added a 22/32 Kit Gun cylinder and rear sight, and some odd .22 barrel. The grips are post-1968 J-Frame.

The barrel looks fairly vintage for the frame. Might check it real close and see if somebody sleeved the original .32 barrel to .22.

June 7, 2009, 07:09 PM
Thanks for your input. I was thinking this was the .22/.32 heavy target model ? I think these were made off the standard I frames.

The serial number is matching on the cylinder, frame, and barrel, and no sleeves, so this started out as a .22 as far as I can tell. The rear sight that is on it is a butchered later sight - as in trimmed down K-frame I think. (it doesn't work well that way)

The frame however looks to be set up for an adjustable sight - not a later modification. I am trying to find an I or J frame rear adjustable for it . Barrel was indeed shortened ,and was likely a 6 inch ? and I agree the grips are later production.

Jim Watson
June 7, 2009, 07:14 PM
If the butt, barrel, and cylinder serial numbers match, then barrel and cylinder were both relined or somebody was very creative with what the milsurp fans call "force numbering."

Or did .22-32 serial numbers run with .32 Hand Ejectors and maybe we have an early gun sawn off with newer sights and grips?

Hammer spur looks strange.

June 7, 2009, 08:00 PM
Per the Standard Catalog of S&W the .22/32 hand Ejector was introduced as a regular cataloged item in 1915 at roughly serial number 160000. So it's quite possible someone modified one. A letter from Roy Jinks at S&W would tell you if it was an original Bekeart gun, but that wouldn't add to the value.

June 7, 2009, 11:35 PM
Thanks again for the input guys. No liners in the barrel or cylinder, and this also has the frame mounted firing pin for the .22 RF catridge. The mounting channel for the adjustable rear sight looks very much factory.

I am quite sure it started its life as a .22 RF gun , so what Radagast indicates seems to be the right fit. That would place the DOB at 1915, or no later than 1916 . I do not plan on concerning myself with restoring it to all original. I am simply planning to fix it's mechanical needs and shoot it occasionaly.

The hammer spur was either broken off or cut off at one time and a new spur fit onto it. Like I said, just a shooter I think , as it's too far gone for collecting. I would like to find an adjustable I or J frame rear sight to fit onto it though. I suspect an original sight if found would be too valuable, so more or less looking for a used J frame sight .

Old Fuff
June 8, 2009, 12:59 AM
It started life as a .22/32 Target Model around 1916. Pinpointing it is difficult because they were serial numbered with the much more popular .32 Hand Ejector, Model of 1903. It originally had a small adjustable rear sight, which in I-frame size is going to be difficult (and probably expensive) to find. Also given the butcher job done on the topstrap the original one may no longer fit... :cuss:

It is hard to tell from the pictures, but I think the present rear sight came off a Taurus, not a Smith & Wesson. The "pencil" 6" barrel that came on the gun had been cut to 4" (give or take) and a new front sight soldered to it.

It had slightly oversized walnut stocks that wrapped around the bottom of the frame and changed it to a square-butt configuration. For this reason the serial number is stamped on the front strap, not the bottom of the butt. The replacements are post-war service style Magna stocks.

Whoever did this should be shot, hung and then drawn & quartered – just for starters…

June 8, 2009, 01:54 AM
Thanks Old Fuff . I think the good news, if there is any, is that the frame on top does not look modified. The sight you see on it is a S&W sight that has been butchered however, and there is no good way to make that fit right. ( I think a K-frame sight) They ground the sight tang to narrow it , but the rear is too tall and hits the flat on the rear top of the frame before the tang part would fit into the groove. Actualy a small frame Taurus sight comes fairly close to fitting. Still would need to be modified some however.

I bought it as pictured to see if I can make a decent shooter out of it. The barrel is about 3 inches long now . Perhaps a decent trail or tackle box gun when cleaned up . It does want to make one cry a little.

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