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  1. #1
    kbob is offline Junior Member
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    Exclamation Firing an antique revolver

    I inherited an old S&W .32 Hammerless (Lemon-Squeezer, New Departure) from about 1900. It was passed down in the family, and I'm sure it hasn't been fired in at least 50 years. I bought a bore snake and cleaned out the barrel & chambers, so it all looks pretty good (to me). I would like to try it out; however, I have never fired a handgun before.

    My friend owns a farm, which includes a heavily-wooded 12-acre section. I'll be able to use that area to ensure that I don't accidentally harm someone else.

    But what about me? What dangers are there if I attempt to shoot this for the first time? Can it somehow backfire?

    Thanks much!

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  3. #2
    tony pasley's Avatar
    tony pasley is offline Senior Member
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    Since you said you know nothing about handguns and this one should be looked at by a gunsmith first, if he says it is sound and safe to fire then ask him about it and any recommendations about ammo for a safe adventure. Good luck and enjoy a family hierloom.

  4. #3
    tekhead1219's Avatar
    tekhead1219 is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by tony pasley View Post
    Since you said you know nothing about handguns and this one should be looked at by a gunsmith first, if he says it is sound and safe to fire then ask him about it and any recommendations about ammo for a safe adventure. Good luck and enjoy a family hierloom.
    +1 on the check out, especially if it hasn't been fired for 50 yrs.

  5. #4
    Bob Wright's Avatar
    Bob Wright is offline Senior Member
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    A 1900 vintage .32 revolver in good condition would be safe to shoot with modern .32 ammunition, PROVIDED that all mechanical parts are in working order. As has been pointed out, have a gunsmith check it out first.

    But, no, a revolver will not "backfire" as you put it. The worst thing would either a chamber rupture, due to excessive rusting, or barrel splitting, as from a barrel obstruction.

    Modern .32 S&W ammunition, either short or long, is loaded for guns of this vintage, and, provided the gun is in goood condition, would be safe to fire in your gun.

    Bob Wright

  6. #5
    Baldy's Avatar
    Baldy is offline Senior Member
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    I have one also and I wouldn't recommend it if it is a family heirloom. Here's why. If the barrel and cylinder have not been magnafluxed it could have a hair line fracture in it that could get over looked. Then you have destroyed the family heirloom. Hang it on the wall with a picture of grandpa. Then everybody can enjoy it and you can pass it on to your son some day. There's plenty of guns out there to shoot that will handle all your needs. JMHO.

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