Serialization is not well preserved on Smith & Wesson revolvers in many instances, even as late as the 1990s, attest Supica’s and Nahas’s Standard Catalog of Smith & Wesson. On this revolver’s type, the .32 Target 1905 Hand Ejector, the series began in 1915 with # 65701 and ended about 1940 with 144684. This one’s serial number is 1301xx, so by over-simple extrapolation we estimate it was manufactured around 1935. Due to extensive surface spotting, some of which is actually light pitting, it will only grade Good by our estimate; many of its aspects, however, exceed that grade.
We photographed this revolver exactly as we received it. One of the barrel shots is photographically distorted from closeup: the barrel is perfectly straight, we assure our shoppers. By the time it takes our html documents to load, it will be cleaner than it appears in the photos, from Hoppe’s #9, steel wool, and Rem-oil only. The surface, as the photos show, is covered with about 60 percent brown spotty toning. We estimate that one-fourth or one-third of that 60 percent amounts to light external pitting. Rifling is strong in the bore, with about 20 percent light pitting evident. Cylinder chambers have a bit more light internal pitting. That said, there are many positive aspects for this old revolver. The cylinder, yoke, and cylinder rod actually grade about 70 percent original blue. The cylinder’s serial number matches and is original. A similar grade applies to the sight, hammer, trigger, and thumb latch. All of the screws approach Excellent grade, and none of them show stress. The original walnut diamond M&P grips also approach Excellent status. Their only detraction is marginal weathering on the lower left panel, forward.
This revolver is Very Good mechanically. Lateral movement of the cylinder ranges no more than 3-4 mm. On single action, only two chamber positions are sluggish about timing, and even both of those positions have hammer travel after timing on normal pull. Four positions allow an extra 10 degrees of hammer travel after the cylinder times into place. On double action with a very slow pull, four of the positions lock nicely before the hammer breaks, but two will skip slightly on a slow pull.
This is, as many of our shoppers know, a scarce revolver, one of the last Smith & Wesson Revolvers chambered in .32-20. It has much to commend it and retains eye appeal and deserved aura despite its spotty finish. Letter, logo, and serial number stamping is deep enough to survive considerable buffing, if its new owner decides to have it refinished. The area near the S&W logo on the left side of frame is quite clean. It even has 34 of the original 50 rounds and most of the box from the period, Pre-WWII box of Remington Ammunition that it came with. Own this very scarce .32-20 Smith & Wesson Target for only $ 389.95
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