Please ID This Revolver


July 20, 2003, 10:24 PM
I was surprised to see this revolver being sold by a dealer who didn't know what model it was - even if he is in Germany.

Looks like an old S&W .38Spl - can anyone give me an accurate ID.



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Jim Watson
July 20, 2003, 10:37 PM
Spanish copy of S&W M&P. .380 cal may be reference to a Euro black powder revolver round. SOG had a bunch of these guns a while back.

Some of these guns are cosmetic copies only with lockwork more like Colt. If that is a screwhead showing on the left view just above the trigger, that may be the case. No way to know for sure without taking it apart.

July 20, 2003, 10:37 PM
The ad said it was a .380? Was there ever a revolver that truly took a .380 cartidge? I don't really know anything about revolvers; maybe that was a typo?

The lanyard makes me want to think it was some type of military gun.

..And the guy that won it seems to be a military collector (just guessing by his username).

Let us know if you find out....$10 seems like a great deal no matter what it is.

July 20, 2003, 11:04 PM
.380 Rimmed is listed as the caliber of many 38's sent to India. I think that means 38 special, as opposed to 38 SW.

That could explain it.

Looks like somebody cleaned it with oven cleaner.

Mike Irwin
July 20, 2003, 11:16 PM
.380 is just a common European way of saying .38.

The British cartridge adopted to replace the .455 Webley? The .380/200, which was a copy of the .38 S&W round but with a 200 grain bullet.

This designation differentiated it from the .380 Revolver round, which preceeded it by almost 70 years.

As for the revolver itself, take a look at the pattern of corrosion on the muzzle. I'm betting that the entire thing is pretty much soft wrought iron, designed to be shot only with black powder cartridges.

I'd also bet that it has S&W lockwork. The thumblatch obviously is pushed forward to unlatch the cylinder, and I've never seen one of these with a combination of S&W and Colt lockwork.

July 21, 2003, 12:03 AM
Dug out some 5 screw M&Ps and .38 Hand Ejectors.

I say not Smith.

Forward side plate screw too close to seam.
Barrel pin too far to the rear....more like on I frames.
Hammer shape.

Can't tell for sure from pics but the grip logos look wrong to me.

Spanish, Belgium or ?


Mike Irwin
July 21, 2003, 12:43 AM
Definitely Spanish, Sam (welcome back, you old fart).

Other than the overall appearance, it has about as much to do with S&W as Monica has with thin.

Johnny Guest
July 21, 2003, 12:34 PM
Spanish copy, for sure.

Looks as if somebody (at Eibar??) spent some effort in producing a NEAR line-for-line copy of an S&W Hand Ejector. Strange they would use the Webley-syle hammer spur, though, rather than the flat-side S&W hammer. Makes me wonder if they had inferior mainspring stock and needed some added hammer mass to secure reliable primer ignition.

I think the thing showing on left side, above and forward of the trigger is the front sideplate/crane retaining screw, with the hole drilled all the way through.

Around 1955, as a gun-struck kid, I had a brochure from a company in Chicago which sold solid aluminum replicas of a dozen or so handguns. (Lytle Novelty Company, on Fashion Avenue. Why, WHY do some things hang around in memory???) Anyhow, they had one THEY called a "Spanish Moxley .32" revolver. My little brother ordered one when I ordered a 1911 .45. It stayed around for decades, and I later found it was exactly the same size as my first M&P .38. I recall it having a strange medallion in the stocks. A little excursion down memory lane. No extra charge. :D


Mike Irwin
July 21, 2003, 01:11 PM
Ayah, Pepperidge Farms remembahs!

July 21, 2003, 05:44 PM
Great, great thread.

Thanks for the responses guys. I would love to pick up a really chewed up gun like this myself to see if I could restore it - especially for a starting price of $10.

Did we settle on a caliber ?


Jim March
July 21, 2003, 06:35 PM
Somebody correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't that thing both pinned and recessed!?

July 21, 2003, 08:10 PM
But will you actually shoot it?

Not saying you shouldn't, but please be careful, and have it checked out before you spend the time, effort, and money. Sometimes a $25.00 rusted-out hulk of pre-war revolver can be brought back to life:

July 21, 2003, 09:44 PM

Definitely good advice.

So do we get the story on your fine looking orphan there or do I need to post another "what's this" thread ;)


Mike Irwin
July 21, 2003, 10:24 PM
I sincerely doubt if it's recessed.

S&W didn't start recessing cylinders on their revolvers until 1935, when the .357 Magnum was introduced.

This gun is likely a product of the 1920s, when the vast majority of these were made.

It could be later, but I'd still doubt if it were recessed. That was pretty expensive, and only a few thousand .357 Mags. were made, and few made it out of the country, by the time production was suspended for WW II.

As for whether it should be shot or not?

Quite frankly, I'd have to say ARE YOU OUT OF YOUR MIND?

There is only one way that I would ever shoot this thing...

With blackpowder handloads, lead bullets, and a long, long string.

I have a funny feeling that even a moderately powered .38 Spl. load would do serious damage to it, and given the sheet corrosion on the muzzle, I wouldn't be at all surprised to see the barrel split.

July 21, 2003, 10:41 PM
That clunker you pictured above may not have enough metal left, of the right consistency and alloy, to safely shoot modern ammo. Hence my warning above. Sure, you can restore it to look really nice sitting in a display case, but without a thorough going-over by a reputable gunsmith, it's best left as a reminder of bygone days, and displayed accordingly.

My own relic above was purchased for $25.00 - for the frame. The barrel was 5" of rotten sewer pipe, and the .38-200 (.38 S&W) cylinder was badly out of time in full lockup. But the frame was sound, and straight. The Broad Arrow acceptance marks, and U.S. Government Property rollmark on the topstrap, showed that the old girl had been around on the other side of the pond. Time for a new life, so it became my PPC/Steel Challenge revolver, AFTER a gunsmith with a penchant for weird handgun creations pronounced it safe to rebuild. Even then, most S&W K-Frame internals won't fit it. The S&W Model 10 cylinder and crane did, but that was about the extent of it. The gun was an exercise in "What If?", and although it shoots one-hole groups in single and double-action, it will never be worth the money I put into it, save for it's nostalgic value to me as the owner and shooter. Well, maybe the cylinder release latch will be worth something someday... ;)

July 26, 2003, 08:57 AM
A revolver marked .380 SHOULD be chambered for the cartridge we in America know as the .38 S&W.

This round is not nearly as powerful as a .38 Special and it operated at a significantly lower pressure. Factor in the fact that the case of a .38 S&W is slightly larger in diameter than a .38 special and you have trouble if you fire a .38 Special cartridge in it. The best case scenario would be a bulged case.

In a good quality American made .38 S&W revolver the longer .38 special cartridge will not chamber. But I have seen some older European revolvers where the chambers were bored straight through and some were even long enough to fit a .357 Magnum cartridge.

Personally...even with .38 S&W ammunition I wouldn't fire it.

July 26, 2003, 10:46 AM
Looks like something that got pulled up while dragging the river. I'd be scared to shoot it.

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