(Forehand and Wadsworth) chamber space

Discussion in 'The Ask the Pros & What's It Worth? Forum' started by Small_bore, Dec 18, 2010.

  1. Small_bore

    Small_bore New Member

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    My F&W revolver is dated 86-87 and made to chamber only the .32 S&W (short). Yet the chambers appear to be cut to chamber the .32 S&W long, which seems to be a coincidence as they fit quite well for being designed 10 years after the pistol. I never will fire .32 S&W long out of this, but I wondered about having that extra cylinder space. Why would they design a cylinder to hold the bullet that deep when you could cut off that extra fractions of an inch to save resources and weight? The only reasons I could think of is for added strength and giving the automatic ejector enough length to fully extract the rounds. Are my assumptions correct or is there another reason?
  2. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

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    The ejector is certainly a factor in deciding cylinder length, but I think the main reason was aesthetic. Percussion revolvers with longish cylinders and guns like the SAA sort of established the idea of what a revolver should look like, and a revolver with a very short cylinder (there were some British revolvers with cylinders only long enough for a short cartridge) just looks funny to most folks.

    Also, remember that while the .32 S&W Long was not introduced until S&W's Model 1896 Hand Ejector, the .32 Long Colt had been around since c. 1875 and there were .32 rimfire cartridges that had longer cases than the .32 S&W and for which revolvers had been made by F&W and H&A, so cylinder proportions were already established.

    Jim
  3. Small_bore

    Small_bore New Member

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    Thanks Jim.
  4. b.goforth

    b.goforth New Member

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    there was a 32 M&H (aka 32 H&R Long). many of these older 32 have chamber long enough for these early extra length 32's. by the time the 32 S&W Long was introduced most of these other longer 32's (longer than the 32 S&W) were discontinued. H&R may have been one of the last as they did not start offering the 32 S&W Long until 1905.

    bill

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