2nd Chance Smith

Re-Living Your Youth? It Can Happen

J.B.’s first gun was a S&W named (simply) the Double Action .32 S&W.

He replaced it recently with this 4th Model. After replacing the broken grips,
J.B.’s otherwise very nice Double Action .32 is up and running.

Those who have followed my writings over the years will know I’m an auto-pistol person. So, they may be startled to learn my first handgun was an old revolver! It was a classic top-break .32 Smith & Wesson. The time was 1948, and I was 14 years old. With my father’s OK, it was purchased from an elderly antique dealer named Bell Smoot in Elizabethtown, Ky.

The price was $15 and I had saved up enough from small gunsmithing jobs to pay for it. It was carried on several camping trips in the Colesburg hills, and was once fired to discourage a bobcat from entering the food-tent. A few years later, it was, alas, traded off for my first auto-pistol. Hey, in those days, the only way to get another gun was to trade what I had.

Now, let’s fast-forward about 65 years to late in 2016. A local guy wanted to dispose of an inherited handgun. When I saw what it was, I had to have it. A .32 S&W top-break, in excellent condition except for the original hard-rubber grip panels which were chipped and broken. This time, I paid a lot more than $15 for it.

The superb Vintage/Triple K replacements for the broken original grips fit very well.

I knew where to get replacement grips: Vintage. Founded by David Byron, the company was later sold to a nice lady in Florida. Subsequently, she passed it on to Triple K, a firm already noted for replacement magazines and fine leather-goods.

Triple K has maintained the extremely high quality of Vintage grips. Once, many years ago, I obtained a set of SAUER 38H grips from Vintage, and noticed on the inside, they had German military acceptance markings. I called to tell them that mistakenly, they had sent me their pattern originals. But no, the copy pair was just that good.

On my “new keepsake” Smith & Wesson, the grip edges were a perfect fit. I had to alter slightly the depth of the recess for the stabilizer cross pin at the bottom. Old S&Ws have some variation there. Well, it’s good to sort of have my first handgun again, and think about those camping trips. This time, I’ll keep it.

Triple K
(619) 232-2066

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