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Forehand and Wadsworth 32 and other 32 guns

Discussion in 'The Ask the Pros & What's It Worth? Forum' started by Old Wheelgun, Dec 19, 2009.

  1. Old Wheelgun

    Old Wheelgun New Member

    Aug 14, 2009
    Hello. Back in 1988 my mother in law gave me all her fathers guns, some of which the older ones were bought by his father. Most of them are old Winchester and Marlin lever action rifles and Colt Single actions and 1 lightning and 1 thunderer double actions. Among some of them are 3 old revolvers which are all in very good shape. They all lock up good. I have no idea when these revolver were last fired. The first one is Harrington and Richardson Top Break Auto Ejecting revolver 32 S&W with 6 inch barrel with caliber on left side of the barrel. My friend told me I could fire smokeless rounds through it and said that this gun is able to shoot the small 32 S&W, the 32 longs, and colt new police. When I first got them I fired only the Harrington and Richardson for the first time since who knows when... 5 times with new factory loaded Winchester 32 S&W and it worked perfectly with good accuracy. I haven't fired it since. After, I cleaned and oiled it and put it away. I haven't fired the Hopkins and Allen or Forehand and Wadsworth since I acquired them. I haven't even had them out of the safe since I brought them home in 1988. I just cleaned and oiled them then wrapped them up and put them all away in the back of my safe and forgot about them until the other day. Silly me. Second is a Hopkins and Allen Ranger No.2 32 Rim Fire and last was a Forehand and Wadsworth 32 S&W Top Break. I haven't shot the Forehand and Wadsworth or the Hopkins and Allen. Years ago at a gun acution I did pick up a box of Navy Arms 32 Rim Fire cartridges but never used them in the Hopkins and Allen. When I bought the 32 rim fires I bought 2 old boxes of black powder 32 S&W rounds for the Forehand and Wadsworth. 1 of the boxes is 32 S&W Longs and the other is just 32 S&W. My friend told me the Forehand and Wadsworth was for black powder ONLY. I was going to fire the Forehand and Wadsworth and the Hopkins and Allen for the first time since they are both in very good shape. Are these black powder rounds safe to use in the Forehand and Wadsworth? and the Navy arms safe to use in the Hopkins and Allen? I had these guns wrapped up in my safe in 1988 when I got them and haven't used them at all and would like to. Good or bad idea? Any help is greatly appreciated

    Thank You, Bill
  2. b.goforth

    b.goforth New Member

    Dec 30, 2003
    houston, tx
    you were told correctly about the H&R any H&R with the caliber marked on the left side of the barrel is safe to fire smokeless rounds in. manufactured after 1905.

    the forehand and wadsworth was made in the 1880 and in its day it was not a ceap revolver. these are very well made and ever bit as good as a smith & wesson top break revolver. the only problem is they were designed for black powder cartridge pressures. i can't say if your black powder cartridges will fire in them as they were most likely loaded in the very early part of the 1900's or even earlier.

    the HOpkins & Allen Ranger series in 32 rimfire is most likely one of the single action spur trigger revolver in caliber 32 rimfire. also made in the 1880's. there was a later double action series called the Range Model but usually in 22 rimfire or a centerfire caliber. i would not recommend firing the navy arms 32 rimfire in this revolver because i believe they were loaded with smokeless powder.

    i personally see no reason to fire these two revolvers. you have had them since 1988 and have not fired them why do so now and risk harming them.
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2009

  3. Old Wheelgun

    Old Wheelgun New Member

    Aug 14, 2009
    thank you bill. One question I forgot to ask is where can I find grips for the forehand and wadsworth? The one grip has a chip out of the bottom. The other is fine but I would like to replace both of them.
  4. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

    Dec 6, 2009
    No guarantee, but I am always surprised by what can be found at

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