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Revolver recommendations for pocket pistol side match?

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What makes and models of double-action revolvers are recommended  for the pocket pistol side match?

 

I'd like to get something in .32 S&W (short or long) as I already reload this family of cartridges. I'm hoping to find a revolver that is durable and has reasonable spare parts availability so that it an be fixed when something inevitably breaks.!

 

Thanks for any help. 

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The S&W pistols are probably the best. Lemon Squeezers are pretty easy to find in the $300 range. 

H&Rs, Iver Johnsons, and a couple of others will also work.

 

Warning. They can be addictive. I have 8. Just neat to shoot 100+ year old guns!  

 

I usually use a 32SW if starting holding in hand, and a slightly larger framed 38SW if I have to pick it up. I’ll typically bring at least 4 to a match, just to have the fun of shooting them. 

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I took second place in the PP side match last year at the WV showdown with an early first model iver johnson top break in 32s&w I bought for $100 shipped... 1.31sec, 4 rounds on 2 targets. 1st place was 1.29sec with a s&w...

 

this year im going to try slip hammering my 63 pocket Remington in 32s&w...

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I have a Iver Johndon 32SW. It’s fast, but not always reliable. I read somewhere that back in the day, the S&Ws sold for $13, the Iver Johnson’s were $3. I paid $100 for my IJ as well. The IJs certainly work, just not nearly as robust as some of the other choices. 

I think my favorite is a Merwin Hulbert. 38SW. 

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10 minutes ago, LostVaquero said:

Well maybe not the best but got a cool little Merwin Hulbert.

Me too. They’re pretty cool

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1 hour ago, Boomstick Bruce said:

I took second place in the PP side match last year at the WV showdown with an early first model iver johnson top break in 32s&w I bought for $100 shipped... 1.31sec, 4 rounds on 2 targets. 1st place was 1.29sec with a s&w...

 

this year im going to try slip hammering my 63 pocket Remington in 32s&w...

I like hearing side match times!

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Note that many revolvers that are actually made for .32 S&W will chamber .32 S&W Long.  Shooting the longer ammo in these guns will likely stretch the frame over time.   If there is no caliber marking, one way to check is to see if the ejector, at it's longest point before it snaps back (on a top break) is shorter than the Long brass.  If it is, it's not made for the Long cartridge.

 

All of that said, there are a plethora of old guns out there you can make use of.  Just note that a good majority of them are also going to be black powder only.  While the S&W's are definitely the top of the line, other guns can work just as well.   When all is said and done, I think condition of these old timers trumps who originally made it.

 

Here's a minority opinion.  If you can find one, I think the Colt 1877 with the appropriate length barrel makes for a great pocket pistol.   Most will be in .38 Long Colt (Lightning) or .41 Long Colt (Thunderer) but there was also a version in .32 caliber.  Don't recall if it's the S&W or Colt round, which are not interchangeable.   Nor do I remember its nickname.   AND, just a few months ago, the arguments over the gun were settled, and it was declared legal for use as a pocket pistol.

 

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I picked up an Iver Johnson hammerless in 32 S&W for $125 a couple years ago. It was fairly easy to take apart to clean out (and oh was it dirty inside) and polish. Got it working real smooth and fast. I've won several side matches with it now. I'm a huge fan of the hammerless. Just seems to fun smoother than the hammered versions I have tried. Don't know if I just got a good one or if its the design. 

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1 hour ago, H. K. Uriah, SASS #74619 said:

Note that many revolvers that are actually made for .32 S&W will chamber .32 S&W Long.  Shooting the longer ammo in these guns will likely stretch the frame over time.   If there is no caliber marking, one way to check is to see if the ejector, at it's longest point before it snaps back (on a top break) is shorter than the Long brass.  If it is, it's not made for the Long cartridge.

 

All of that said, there are a plethora of old guns out there you can make use of.  Just note that a good majority of them are also going to be black powder only.  While the S&W's are definitely the top of the line, other guns can work just as well.   When all is said and done, I think condition of these old timers trumps who originally made it.

 

Here's a minority opinion.  If you can find one, I think the Colt 1877 with the appropriate length barrel makes for a great pocket pistol.   Most will be in .38 Long Colt (Lightning) or .41 Long Colt (Thunderer) but there was also a version in .32 caliber.  Don't recall if it's the S&W or Colt round, which are not interchangeable.   Nor do I remember its nickname.   AND, just a few months ago, the arguments over the gun were settled, and it was declared legal for use as a pocket pistol.

 

the 32 1877 Colt is called the Rainmaker.  Rarest of the 77s.  I'd love to have one.  I do have a pretty good Lightning, but, the barrel is 4&1/4 inch. too long for PP.  But I'm going to shoot it just for the fun of it!

 

One other Pocket Pistol warning. Be careful who you loan one to, you might not get it back. 

 

 

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3 minutes ago, The Rainmaker, SASS #11631 said:

What a cool name! Have ta get me one a those.

i Would think so!  I have a Lightning, been watching for a Thunderer (seen a few, but I want one that works)  I have not seen a Rainmaker, but always keep my eye open.  

 

For the record, Rainmaker, Lightening, Thunderer are not official Colt monikers. 

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This is a Smith and Wesson in .38 S&W.  It won the Pocket Pistol side match at the Lake County Pistoleros annual match, The Ides of March, this weekend.

 

When picking a PP, make sure to get one with a large enough grip to pick up and handle quickly.  Many of the 32’s are too small to give you a good grip.  At least for me.

DE4A2342-31A1-49DF-A148-9E5BCCB1D2BC.jpeg

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Thanks for all the suggestions! I appreciate it.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Texita Draw SASS#77940 said:

I’ve been looking at H&R Model 926 with 4” barrel. 

Are these legal?

anyone use one? 

Nope, not legal with adjustable sights.

 

I took 1st last year at the Montana State shoot with this 6 shot H&R "Automatic Ejecting" .32 S&W long. I have 9, all told, but this is the one I shoot for the Pocket Pistol side match. :)

In all fairness, two of mine are in more or less "relic" condition, and another one is a 4" 1849 Uberti percussion gun. ;)

Three S&W's, three Iver Johnsons, two H&R's, and the 1849. Two of the S&W's are .38 S&W, six of the others are .32's, and the 1849.

 

 

100_2531.JPG

Edited by J Bar Binks, #47015
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