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S&W Auto-Ejecting 32 HELP PLEASE!

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by berettaprofessor, Nov 27, 2012.

  1. berettaprofessor

    berettaprofessor Well-Known Member

    Need some expert knowledge; I obtained from a friend who was the executor for an estate, a 32 S&W Top-break Auto-Ejecting revolver. I believe it was made circa 1906-1908 (serial# 131719). It was found packaged with a box of 32 S&W cartridges from a company that went out of business in 1916; 3 cartridges missing, so I presume it has only been fired 3 times. On the left side, the pistol is marked "Auto-Ejecting 32 S&W CTGE"

    My question; There is some confusion in the sources I'm reading over whether this gun is safe to fire 32 S&W Long cartridges. The gun is definitely made for post-black powder cartridges and it is marked 32 S&W, but 32 S&W Longs fit into the chambers and there are some sources that say it was actually chambered for the Longs. So, does anyone know, was it made to be safe to fire 32 S&W Long? Radagast? Old Fuff?

    Thanks, in advance, for the help!

    The obligatory picture:

  2. forindooruseonly

    forindooruseonly Well-Known Member

    That looks like a Harrington & Richardson, but I can't make out the grip. Where did you find the manufacturing date from?

    That is super clean, but I'd stay away from the Longs. As far as I know, none of the early top breaks were designed for the .32 S&W Long cartridges, which was introduced with the hand ejectors. I'm certainly no expert though.
  3. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    First it is not a S&W revolver, so the serial number is meaningless as to S&W revolver models or dates.

    I think you have a Herrington & Richards .32 revolver chambered in .32 S&W.

    It is not chambered for .32 S&W Long, which was first used in the swing-out cylinder S&W .32 Hand Ejector 1st Model in 1896.

    This nickel plated one sold for $38.05 not too long ago.

  4. Radagast

    Radagast Well-Known Member

    H&R made between 1905 & 1915 is all I can say with any certainty. I think you'll find it chambers .32 longs because the cylinder is a .38 S&W length cylinder bored out to .32, not because it was intended to fire them.

    Maximum pressure for .32 S&W long is 15000 PSI, for .38 S&W 14500 PSI, with no pressure level given for .32 S&W.
    With the extra metal, I doubt the cylinder would burst if fired with longs. That being said I don't fire rounds in guns they are not chambered for.

    Bill Goforth was the internet expert on these little guns, he passed away about two years ago. Some of his wisdom is preserved at http://www.thefirearmsforum.com/
  5. RevolvingGarbage

    RevolvingGarbage Well-Known Member

    That gun does not have cylinder stop notches as would be present on any S&W top break, and is a good indication that it is a blackpowder era gun. I wouldn't fire it much with smokeless ammo.
  6. berettaprofessor

    berettaprofessor Well-Known Member

    Oops, all of you are right, it's not a S&W...I knew it was a Harrington and Richardson but brainfarted writing the question and copying the stampings.

    Radagast, thanks for the info on why it would chamber the longs. I'll drop any idea I had of firing them.

    So, is anyone sure, is it only blackpowder or not? Again, it was found with some normal 32 S&W "short" cartridges.
  7. Radagast

    Radagast Well-Known Member

    Smokeless. 1905 on is the smokeless period for H&R. IIRC the caliber markings on the side of the barrel indicate a smokeless gun.

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