I Own Guns

.32 Revolvers Chapter 9: S&W double action top break

Written on December 27, 2013   By   in Revolvers

When I was growing up, my father only ever owned one gun. It was given yo him by my grandfather when my parents were newlyweds and living in a less than ideal part of town. When my Dad passed a few years ago, I inherited the little revolver.

When I was a teenager, the little .32 S&W revolver was the first gun that I ever reloaded for. The cartridge is the .32 S&W cartridge, and not the .32 S&W long. The cartridge was one of the early centerfire cartridges, and was of course originally designed for black powder. Using roughly 8-10 grains of BP pushing an 85 grain bullet to about 650 FPS.

The revolver’s design dates back to the 1880’s when almost every gun maker, tool maker or manufacturing plant was making small pocket revolvers. The S&W design starts a little earlier than that, but the top break double action was essentially unchanged for nearly half a century when it went out of production in the late 1930’s. My Dad’s revolver came from the later era, an was most likely one of the last few thousand of the guns made.



I rarely shoot the old revolver, but when I do, I reminisce about Dad.

I can’t say that I would choose the gun as a first line of self defense, between the rather anemic loads and crude sights, it’s certainly not ideal, but it would be better than a pocket knife!