Before we forge ahead with the 952 let’s examine its pedigree. Anyone who knows me knows that I like history; so sit back and relax while I bore you with some S&W trivia.
Smith & Wesson began its foray into center fire semi-automatic pistol in 1913 with the model 35 which was produced from 1913 to 1921. There was a very strange grip safety located on the front strap and she fired the now obsolete .35 S&W cartridge. People did not rush to purchase the model 35 and Smith & Wesson dropped it from their catalogue after 8 years. Just about every handgun manufacturer produced a small .32 caliber pistol and the factory must have felt left out because 3 years later they debuted their own .32 ACP offering. This is an extremely handsome pistol but from what I can tell, this pistol did not even merit a name or model number designation. Supica/Nahas’ superb book, Standard Catalogue of Smith & Wesson 3rd Edition just refers to it as the Smith & Wesson .32 Semi-automatic Pistol. There are some excellent photos on collectorsfirearms.com (where I lifted the photo used here) and nowhere on this pistol is there a model designation. While this pistol remained in the S&W catalogue for 12 years only 957 were ever made.
Compare this with the Colt Model 1903 Pocket Hammerless in .32 ACP in which was manufactured in boat loads and actually saw service in WWII (and probably WWI unofficially).