Dismiss Notice

Please be sure to post images when you're asking what the value of your firearm(s) is. We find this to be a necessary tool when determining a value. 

Help identifying a handgun.

Discussion in 'The Ask the Pros & What's It Worth? Forum' started by GlennS, Jul 26, 2016.

  1. GlennS

    GlennS New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2016
    Messages:
    9
    From my Grandfather to my father which I found stuffed in the back of his closet after he passed away an old Forhands .32 caliber top-break revolver six shooter. It's in fair condition. The number under the butt of the gun appears to be 385383. Can anyone tell me anything about it.
    I know it's not a powerful hand gun . It's really the only handgun I have right now. I have it next to My bed God forbid I ever need to use it. My main question is I have Georgia Arms 32 S&W longs, with 85 gr.jacketed hollow points in it. Is that powerful enough to stop an intruder at close range until I can afford to buy a stronger caliber? Thank you anyone who can give me any answers .
     
  2. Grizzley1

    Grizzley1 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2014
    Messages:
    8,964
    Location:
    Oregon.
    Don't shoot those .32 longs in that gun, it's not designed to be used with modern smokeless powder and it won't hold together very long. You can still get black powder loads for the .32 S&W cartridge and while a black powder .32 isn't the most powerful of hand guns, It's better than nothing at all.
     
    GlennS likes this.

  3. GlennS

    GlennS New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2016
    Messages:
    9
    Thank you but I don't plan on using it for anything other than self-defense. I won't use it for target shooting or anything else other than if I have to. Would it still be ok God-forbid to stop an intruder in the house? I realize there are much more powerful calibers but until I scrap up enough saving if the rounds would do in the few shots I would need it for? Thank you again.
     
  4. Hawg

    Hawg Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2011
    Messages:
    3,979
    Location:
    Mississippi
    Frankly I'm surprised the longs chamber. Drop the hammer on one and you run the risk of ruining the gun and losing some digits in the process.
     
    GlennS likes this.
  5. Grizzley1

    Grizzley1 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2014
    Messages:
    8,964
    Location:
    Oregon.
    Try to find some of the .32 S&W, the short version not the long version, and for heaven sake don't pull the trigger on it unless it's something you absolutely have to do.

    There are outfits that load the .32 short in black powder that you can buy and will be safe for you to shoot provided an inspection of the pistol by a qualified gunsmith shows that the gun itself remains in good shootable condition.
     
    crystalphoto and GlennS like this.
  6. GlennS

    GlennS New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2016
    Messages:
    9
    Thank you. I will take your advice. Is there anyway to find out around the gun was made? I provided the numbers above that were on the butt of the gun.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 27, 2016
  7. Grizzley1

    Grizzley1 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2014
    Messages:
    8,964
    Location:
    Oregon.
    The company was originally named Forehand & Wadsworth and re named to Forehand Arms in 1890 after Wadsworth sold his share. The company was sold to Hopkins and Allen in 1902 so yours post dates 1890 if it only has the Forehand name and predates 1890 if it has the Forehand & Wadsworth name.

    Hopkins & Allen manufactured pistols for Forehand & Wadsworth under contract and I don't know if they continued selling them under the Forehand name after 1902. Hopkins & Allen closed it's doors in 1916 so yours is at least older than 1916 if Hopkins did continue using it.

    I have no idea if there is a data base for these guns by serial numbers to determine more closely when it was made.
     
    GlennS, north tex and soundguy like this.
  8. GlennS

    GlennS New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2016
    Messages:
    9
    Thank you. You've been a wealth of information.
     
  9. RJay

    RJay Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2004
    Messages:
    5,355
    Location:
    Goodyear, Arizona
    After H&A Took over the Forehand name they continued to assemble the Forehand marked frames until the supply was exhausted.. However they didn't have enough Forehand grips so H&A supplied. their own brand grips.. These is why you can find Forehand marked revolvers with H&A grips.
     
    Grizzley1 likes this.
  10. GlennS

    GlennS New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2016
    Messages:
    9
    It's a Forehand Wadsworth. Thank you again.
     
  11. Grizzley1

    Grizzley1 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2014
    Messages:
    8,964
    Location:
    Oregon.
    Then it's a genuine antique. Nice find, get it checked out by a competent gunsmith and find some black powder shells for the old girl if it checks out as safe to fire.

    Remember that these things aren't made out of modern alloy steel, and the frames are malleable iron and can't hold up to the pressures generated by modern smokeless powders.

    Last thing you want to have happen if the unthinkable happens and you have to defend your or someone else's life with it with smokeless loads is for it to do an imitation of a hand grenade in your hand.
     
  12. GlennS

    GlennS New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2016
    Messages:
    9
    I had a gunsmith look at it. Competent or not , I don't know.He said it is not safe to shoot because the cylinder has too much play in it and may not line up straight into the barrel. See two pics.
    The other is my baby. My .45 long colt. Smith & Wesson N-frame. 4" barrel. Have not shot more than 3 boxes of shells. I am and only have been the only owner.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 29, 2016
    TyeDye1971 likes this.
  13. GlennS

    GlennS New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2016
    Messages:
    9
    That is the light reflection on the end of the barrel. Not a mark on it.
     
  14. TyeDye1971

    TyeDye1971 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2014
    Messages:
    535
    Location:
    Central Virginia
    Nice looking Smith & Wesson! I have a 25 in 45 Long Colt as well. I bought mine about 25 years ago from a local shop that took a bunch of them in on trades from a police department SWAT team. I gave $169 for it used. The barrel was about wore out when I got it. Used to shoot it a lot and even bagged a deer with it one Saturday afternoon. I finally finished the barrel of and it is shot out to the point it won't hit the broadside of barn. I put it away figuring it did owe me nothing else.
     
    GlennS likes this.
  15. GlennS

    GlennS New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2016
    Messages:
    9
    Thank you. Did you put the deer down with one shot? They're suppose to have a heck of a knock down power. Semi- wad cutter hollow points, 235 grain if I'm not mistaken.