View Full Version : S&W .32

March 02, 2009, 22:38
My Son-in-Law recently inherited an old S&W revolver and asked me for info on it. It is a nickel plated owlhead 5 shot with the lemon squeezer safety. Sticker on the end of the box says "Smith & Wesson NEW 32 DEPARTURE. NICKEL. 3 1-2 INCH." The inside of the lid says "S.&W. 32 SAFETY, 3 1/2 INCH" and then gives directions for use. S/N is 1305xx. It has a set of black S&W logo grips and a set of pearl grips. The pistol is unfired, NIB. Can anybody tell me app. value and date of manufacture? Thanks in advance.

March 03, 2009, 20:23
I think those are mostly found with pitted barrels and loose or malfunctioning actions. Broken parts. Etc.
That's a very nice heirloom piece in the box, in that condition.
Is he looking for a value for insurance purposes or is he thinking of selling it ?

If he is thinking of selling it, he might want to consider trying a "name" auction house to appraise and sell it for him.
Another alternative would be to ask over on the Smith and Wesson Forums.

K. Funk
March 03, 2009, 21:15
From the 28th Blue Book, The S/n puts it as a 2nd Model Safety Hammerless, 1902-1909. NIB is listed as $450, but there is a good chance it would go substantially higher at auction. S&W's were generally made far better than comparable H&R's and I-J's of the same era. I have had a few early S&W's come through and they usually bring decent money.


March 03, 2009, 23:07
I concour with K. Funk.

I think it would ultimately go for substantially more than the bluebok price.

The very first thing to do is to get a historians letter from S & Wesson it only costs $50 but it adds $100 to $150 depending upon what you've got.

If it really is unfired and looks it, it is something a serious collector of period and type S & Wessons would want to have. The letter will add value.

Do the Pearl grips have and S & W Medallions or anything in them? They could very well be factory that were ordered at the time of the guns original purchase.

March 04, 2009, 07:30
The pearl grips are plain but I would think they are factory because of the odd cut out at the top due to the shape of the frame.

March 04, 2009, 07:54
K. Funk identified your revolver spot on.

I wouldn't rely on the "Blue Books" being very accurate when they discuss S&W handguns. They are frequently wrong on identifying what is what, and their values are sometimes whacked. Among experienced S&W collectors, the thought is that the Blue Books are only useful to dealers trying to sell a S&W gun because they are often priced so far above what the guns actually trade for that it is laughable. They would never bring out a blue book when they are trying to buy one from somebody.

The most accurate book on S&W products is THE STANDARD CATALOG OF SMITH & WESSON by Supica and Nahas. Currently in it's third edition, which came out in 2006. It lists your model's value as "As New $450, Exc $300, Fine $235" down to "Poor $65." Those with 6 inch barrels and with 2" barrels (called "bicycle guns") are worth sometimes twice the regular guns' values.

S&W factory pearl grips from that era always have the S&W medallions in them.

There were more than a few workers of mother of pearl products back then, some of them doing excellent work, at least as good as S&W's grips. That they can fit your gun extremely well doesn't tell you whether they are factory or not.

That's a great find! Like others have said, you don't find them in that good of condition very often!