Sold For: $2,050
Make: Smith and Wesson
Model: .32 Safety Hammerless, aka New Departure, aka Lemon Squeezer, 1st Model
Serial Number: 79386
Year of Manufacture: 1888-1898
Caliber: .32 S&W
Action Type: Double Action Only Revolver with Top Break Barrel
Markings: The rear face of the cylinder the bottom of the topstrap and the bottom of the grip frame are marked “79386”. The top of the barrel is marked “SMITH & WESSON SPRINFIELD MASS. U.S.A. PAT’D FEBY / 20.77. DEC.18.77. MAY.11.80. SEPT.11.83. OCT.2.83. TWO AUG.4.85.”. The right of the frame has an S&W monogram trade mark. The barrel, frame and cylinder have extensive scroll engraving.
Barrel Length: 3”
Sights / Optics: The front sight a thin half-round blade pinned to the top strap. The rear sight is a “U” notch integral to the front of the barrel catch.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The grips are two-piece mother of pearl. The right panel has a small loss toward the bottom and there is minor handling wear. There are no cracks. Overall, the grips are in about Very Good-plus condition as Antique.
Type of Finish: Gold
Finish Originality: Refinished
Bore Condition: The bore is gray with well defined rifling. There is light erosion scattered in the bore with a few patches of light pitting.
Overall Condition: This handgun retains about 80% of its current metal finish. The finish is thinning at edges with wear on the sides of the rib and trigger guard, handling wear in the fronstrap and grip safety. There are a few scattered light scuffs. The screw heads are tool marked with strong slots. The markings are clear. Overall, this revolver is in about Fine-plus condition as refinished Antique.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly. The barrel locks up with no play to the frame. The cylinder locks up with very little play on each chamber. We did not fire this handgun. As with all used firearms, a thorough cleaning may be necessary to meet your maintenance standards.
Box, Paperwork & Accessories: None.
Our Assessment: The .32 Safety Hammerless was introduced in 1888 with variations continuing to be produced into the middle of the 20th century. It featured a new grip-safety leading to the nickname “lemon squeezer” and also was Smith & Wesson’s first hammerless revolver, making it more suitable for concealed carry as it had not hammer to snag on clothing or your own skin. These revolvers were very popular and were produced almost up to World War II, after which the modern Centennial revolvers took their place, but initially retained their grip-safety. The top break revolvers were made in so many models, sub-models and variants, it is almost impossible for a collector to acquire one of each. This example is the 1st model, produced in the late 1800s. It is a beautiful piece which has been extensively engraved, gold plated and equipped with pearl grips. This will make a fine addition to any Smith & Wesson or pocket pistol collection. Please see our photos and good luck!
CA Legal or CA Private Party Transferable (THIS SECTION DOES NOT APPLY TO OUT OF STATE RESIDENTS): This Antique can be transferred in California but must be transferred through your local dealer or at our Simi Valley location; we cannot ship directly to you. For a gun to be classified Antique and be shipped direct, California requires that “the firearm use ammunition manufactured in or before 1898, for which ammunition is no longer manufactured in the United States and is not readily available in the ordinary channels of commercial trade.” Penal Code: 16170. Out of state residents can disregard this section – your local laws apply.