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.32 Revolvers

The .32-caliber revolver came to life in the mid 1800s as the metallic cartridge became a reality. They became popular for their small size and ease of concealment. While .32 revolvers were more popular in Europe than in the U.S., American firearms manufacturer Colt produced the .32 Colt short and .32 Colt long in 1875. The Colt round remained popular in Great Britain, and in 1878, Smith & Wesson produced their own .32-caliber cartridge and matching revolvers.

After the .32 Smith & Wesson cartridges became popular, companies like Colt, H&R, and Iver Johnson began producing small, inexpensive .32-caliber revolvers on a much larger scale. Most historical models are from this era and are distinguishable by their small size and simple design. These revolvers represent an interesting time in firearms design and foreshadow the universal move to smaller-caliber firearms for military, police, and self defense.

Gun owners seeking self-defense revolvers have adopted more efficient and powerful cartridges, but .32-caliber revolvers remain popular collector’s items. These .32 revolvers were often carried, but rarely shot. This means their finish is often worn, but their internal mechanisms are nearly spotless. The .32-caliber revolver had a longer life than most realize and was one of the first capable and concealable firearms in its era.


Quick Facts

  • The .327 Federal magnum was introduced in 2008 as a modern take on the classic .32-caliber revolver cartridge
  • The first standard-issue firearm of the NYPD was the Colt New Police Revolver in .32 long Colt. The Colt was adopted in 1896
  • J.B. Sutherland, inventor of the refrigerated railroad car, presented General George Custer with a pair of Smith & Wesson model No. 2 revolvers in .32 caliber

Recommended Items at Auction

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Antique Iver Johnson 5 Round Revolver .32 for Repair
Jun 23, 6:00 PM EDT
Antique Iver Johnson 5 Round Revolver .32 for Repair
by Caswell Prewitt Realty, INC
Est: $0- $0
$102 Bids
La Industrial Orbea Eibar .32 CAL Revolver
Jun 23, 10:00 AM EDT
La Industrial Orbea Eibar .32 CAL Revolver
by Paul Arsenault Auctioneers
Est: $0- $0
$51 Bid
Engraved Osgood Gun Works "Monarch" Duplex Revolver
Jun 22, 9:00 AM CDT
Engraved Osgood Gun Works "Monarch" Duplex Revolver
by Rock Island Auction Company
Est: $1,100- $1,600
$9500 Bids
An Allen & Wheelock Sidehammer Belt Model Revolver
Jun 19, 2:00 PM CEST
An Allen & Wheelock Sidehammer Belt Model Revolver
by Czerny's International Auction House
Est: €250- €400
€2500 Bids
A Volunteer Enterprises revolver
Jul 11, 9:00 AM CEST
A Volunteer Enterprises revolver
by Hermann Historica GmbH
Est: €0- €0
€1500 Bids
Mayer & Söhne Mod. 32 in Box with Conversion Barrel and Cylinder
Jul 10, 9:00 AM CEST
Mayer & Söhne Mod. 32 in Box with Conversion Barrel and Cylinder
by Hermann Historica GmbH
Est: €0- €0
€2000 Bids
Ruby Mod. Extra
Jul 10, 9:00 AM CEST
Ruby Mod. Extra
by Hermann Historica GmbH
Est: €0- €0
€1200 Bids

Sellers Who Sell .32 Revolvers


Hermann Historica GmbH

Hermann Historica GmbH

Holts Auctioneers

Holts Auctioneers

Czerny's International Auction House

Czerny's International Auction House

Rock Island Auction Company

Rock Island Auction Company