OD made a great post in another thread discussing the old Smith & Wesson Carbonia blue finish. While I realize that the Forum is more about the latest in handguns and self defense techniques, take a look at a pretty fine example of the state of the art in revolver pocket carry protection from the World War I era.
Dropped my wife off last Saturday afternoon at Wal Mart in a nearby town and made the rounds of the local pawn shops. Found a Smith & Wesson Third Model .32 Hand Ejector with 3 1/4-inch barrel in eye-catching condition with a tag sporting a decent price stuck to its side plate. The kindly pawn shop owner knocked off $75 and said he wouldn't tack on tax, all without my prodding . Behaving rationally, I put it back and left to head back over to Wal Mart. Got there and wheeled up to the door just as my wife was coming out. Picked her up and then pointed the car back down the street towards the pawn shop as I decided I'd better fetch it home.
I love all antique and "classic" Smith & Wesson revolvers but have never been drawn to the little I-Frame guns quite to the extent that I admire the K-Frames and the N-Frames. However this one charmed me right off my feet. This .32 S&W Long looks to have been fired very, very little if at all and only has light handling marks. It's a good example of what the original finish looked like "back when." Serial number is 277768 which puts it somewhere between 1915 and 1919 as best as I can determine. Anyone who can tighten this date range up will be appreciated. The pawn shop owner said it came from the estate of a little ol' lady whom I assume "only carried it to church on Sunday." He said he'd only put it out for sale that morning.
The streak on the left side of the frame behind the cylinder lug is only oil. Should have wiped it down better.
Smith and Wesson fiddled with this frame size in 1950, lengthening it a bit and ultimately coming up with the 5-shot J-Frame Chief's Special .38 Special which became the popular Model 36. This little revolver holds six shots of not highly effective .32 S&W Long ammunition. Still, an assailant could be said to be having a very bad day if he was struck with a bullet or two or three from this little revolver.