S&W 32 hand ejector year made?

Discussion in 'The Ask the Pros & What's It Worth? Forum' started by belercous, Dec 18, 2009.

  1. belercous

    belercous Former Guest

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    I have a S&W hand ejector s/n 492xx, .32 long ctg., 4 screw, round butt, 6" barrel revolver. The cylinder is not recessed, firing pin on hammer. It is an accurate shooter except that it tends to puncture the primer on 1-2 rounds per cyl. (which I tend to feel on the top of my forehead)
    My questions for the collective wisdom of this forum are; 1. What year was this pistol made?, 2. Is the puncturing of the primers the fault of the gun or the ammo? (I have only shot S&B ammo thru it), and 3. Modern(smokeless) cartidges are ok to use in this gun, correct?
    I would like to thank you in advance for your assisstance in this matter and the sharing of your knowledge.
  2. johnlives4christ

    johnlives4christ Former Guest

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    punctured primers sounds like a gun problem to me. i would guess someone has replaced the firing pin with one that is too long.
  3. oscarmayer

    oscarmayer New Member

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    i think john maybe right . a little work with a swiss file and that should correct the problem on the firing/hammer pin . now for the bad news. based on the low serial number i suspect it's a pre-war gun, the hand ejecters first came out in 1899 and before any changes were made ran until 1903. with that being said if it;s a first edition HE i wouldn't think modern smokeless powder ammo should be used. this however is just a guess and a real expert might come along and tell you the true facts in case i'm mistaken but either way i have one made post war serila number 584XXX and it was made 1947 ? so with yours being so low maybe around 1903 to 1910 ?
  4. johnlives4christ

    johnlives4christ Former Guest

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    i thought any gun made since 1894 was safe for smokeless powder?
  5. oscarmayer

    oscarmayer New Member

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    not, sure if thats true. smokeless powered was only developed in 1884 but i'm not sure when guns were up-graded to handle the "new ammo" i'm reaching way back into the memory banks now but it seems to me i recall a smith and wesson top break in 38 long ? that was made around 1920 that was lettered by mr jinks at smith and wesson that stated bp loads only. ? :confused:
  6. Alpo

    Alpo Well-Known Member

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    That is a 1903 32 Hand Ejector, 2nd Model, 1st Change, made between 1904 and 1906 (SN range 19426 - 51126).

    S&W says not to shoot it with smokeless. Not guns made earlier than 1909.

    John, see post #5.
    http://www.thefirearmsforum.com/showthread.php?t=70353&highlight=Jinks

    As with most new technology, there is a learning curve. I presume you're thinking 1894, because of the 1894 Winchester, which was the first American civilian smokeless powder gun. Actually, smokeless had been around for close to ten years, before then. But, just because the ammo companies were making smokeless ammo does not mean that the gun companies were making guns strong enough to take the pressures. They just went along as normal, making them like they always had, until something (either curious metal techs, experimenting, or angry customers with broken guns) showed them they needed to make their stuff differently.

    Colt started saying their guns were safe with smokeless in 1900. People shot it in guns made before then (and for that matter, still do) but some of them broke.

    There's some nice discussion on it, here. I know Driftwood, and what he says about the pressure curve is absolutely correct.

    http://smith-wessonforum.com/s-w-ha...87-when-did-s-w-start-proofing-smokeless.html
  7. Alpo

    Alpo Well-Known Member

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    First, shooting smokeless is not going to make your gun blow up, but it can stretch the frame until it is not safe to shoot.

    Now, as to the primers. The two questions that immediately come to mind are, does it happen with more than one brand of ammo, and does it happen in the same chambers each time?

    I bought, years ago, a Ruger Blackhawk 41 magnum. Bought two boxes or Remington ammo. Out of that hundred rounds, I had, maybe, 25 pierced primers. WOW. Being young and dumb, I did not know that was a danger warning.

    I've never pierced a primer with that gun, since. Also have never shot Remington ammo in it since. Maybe I had a bad batch of ammo. Maybe Remington primers are too soft. Don't know. But I didn't do anything to the gun, and it hasn't done it since. I would experiment with other ammo before taking a fine to the firing pin.

    But I'd make the other ammo black powder. If you don't want to mess with loading it yourself, Ten X makes 32 Long in black. 35 dollars a box, by their July price list.
    http://www.tenxammo.com/files/Shooter_Direct_Pricing_7-29-09.pdf
  8. Alpo

    Alpo Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, john, you got it.
  9. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

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    Take a look at the recoil shield, the part where the firing pin comes out. See if the hole is much bigger than the firing pin. Also check to see if the mainspring (hammer spring) is abnormally light. Unless the firing pin comes to a needle point, its length doesn't cause "pierced" primers. What does is the primer extruding backward into the firing pin hole either because the hole is too big or because the firing pin does not have enough momentum to resist. The pressure to do that doesn't depend on the pressure of firing, but on the internal primer pressure generated when the primer itself fires, so the round being low pressure doesn't change things a lot.

    (Excess firing pin protrusion can't cause a pierced primer, because the firing pin will always stop in the primer. No firing pin spring will drive a firing pin through a primer, no matter what the protrusion.)

    P.S. The c. 1900 era is not when most gun makers went to "improved steel", it was when they went TO steel. Many guns, like the Colt SAA had been made from wrought iron up to that point.

    Jim
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2009
  10. belercous

    belercous Former Guest

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    Thank you gentlemen for your assisstance, especially Alpo. The firing pin is not very pointy and there is a slight gap between the pin & bushing in the recoil sheild when at its full travel.(past saftey bar stop) I have only shot S&B ammo thru it as its not a common round anymore and I'm a fairly cheap bastard (fixed income) and don't roll my own. If it were not for Alpo informing me my gun is not intended for smokeless powder, my next step would have been to file down the firing pin, so thank you Jim, I had no idea and you have increased my knowledge.
    I did check (visually) the gaps between the front of cyliner & forcing cone and the rear of the cylinder & frame, seems to be consistent so I assume the cylinder rod(?) is not bent. I'm not sure if it happens in the same chambers every time. I've only shot it once and did not notice on the first cylinder which chambers were pierced. The second chamber had had 2 next to each other pierced, and the 3rd chamber only had 1 pierced. I did not fire the gun anymore as I suspected something was not right and didn't want to chance anything. It shot pretty accurate even though I was not bench resting it although it was only at 15 yds.
    I am disheartened to know this gun was not intended for smokeless powder, although glad to know this as it would keep me from ruining it. I suppose I will sell/trade it off as I am more of a shooter than collector and I want to shoot all of my guns. (Black powder is too much of a hassle for me. The only reason I have old milsurp guns is that the ammo is cheap, and even then I don't shoot them unless I fire 70+ rds., takes too long to get bore clean. {which is another problem I have; I spend hours getting the bore of my Mausers/Mosins clean, swab, brush, swab, etc. til patch comes back only mildly grey.})
    I certainly do thank you gentlemen for your help in this matter. I wish you all the best, and I must say that this innerweb thing is a great benefit to manknid for the sharing of knowledge which otherwise would take a lifetime to acquire, if then. Again, thank you all for sharing your insight with a perfect stranger. (well actually, I'm far from perfect, but I am strange)
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