I have admitted on more than one occasion to being a Luddite, and it's a mantle that I wear with some pride. Not that I can't be attracted by the latest fad, mind you; please note that I shoot smokeless powder almost exclusively where true devotees of the Holy Black look upon nitrocellulose (and more modern renditions) as simply trendy fashion statements. Still, the guns that hold my interest are usually built with blued steel and walnut. Manual operation is a plus. MANY get run with (gasp!) iron sights. A number of them have my age beat by multiple decades. Another example followed me home this morning...
It will take some serial number anthropology to confirm the year of manufacture, but I believe this to be a S&W Hand Ejector from the late 30s/early 40s. Certainly before 1957 as that was when Smith started using model numbers and stamping same onto the frame. This K frame gun was the predecessor of the venerable Model 10. As you see, the caliber is 32 WCF...also known as the .32-20.
The single action pull was crisp though a bit heavy; the double action stroke was smooth but TOO heavy. Long a believer in the KISS principle, I took a half-turn off the mainspring screw and VOILA!...a 3-4 pound single action and a very acceptable DA stroke. That'll be $125 for the action job, sir...providing I hadn't built a "light primer strike" problem in doing so.
I hadn't. I had a supply of 115 grain cast stuff and all made a loud, satisfying noise when asked. And despite the archaic sights, she printed snug little groups from 10 yards (my normal starting range for unfamiliar guns with rudimentary sights).
But I GOTTA do something about the grips! Only about 1" diameter at the smallest point, they are brutal on old, arthritic hands!