U.S. Revolver .38 S&W


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fafnir
February 3, 2011, 07:52 AM
A close friend of mine just showed me a revlover that has been in his family
for a long time...It's a U.S. Revolver Co., hammerless .38 S&W. It's in
pristine condition, serial # B5284. Anyone know if there is any interest in
the low-end revolvers? Any additional information would be greatly
appreciated.

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Old Fuff
February 3, 2011, 02:33 PM
The so-called U.S. Revolver Co. revolvers were made by Iver Johnson between 1910 and 1935, as a "second line" product that was sold exclusively by mail order companies, such as Sears-Roebuck. An additional purpose was to provide Iver Johnson a way to use up older, otherwise obsolute parts.

Those made between 1910 and 1917 were marked: U.S. Revolver Co. Those made between 1918 and 1935 were marked in two lines: U.S. Revolver Co./Made In U.S.A. Apparently there were no changes in design or quality. I would expect the serial number (marked on the side of the frame under the grips) to have a "D" rather then "B" prefix, but nothing is certain.

Total production was around 130,450, with the regular hammer version being more common then the "hammerless" kind. There is very little collector interest, with the focus being on perfect/like new condition. However this doesn't (or shouldn't) matter to a family that is passing down Grandpa's old revolver.

franco45
February 4, 2011, 11:51 AM
Old Fuff, thank you for the information. I inherited a hammered version of this gun when my uncle died. I have been trying to determine when it was made. It has the 2 line U. S. revolvers, made in the USA across the top strap. It is in 90% condition. I had a gs examine it and he declared it safe to fire. I put a few cylinders downrange in memory of Uncle Ted and then retired it. Not worth much except fond memories of a favorite uncle.

Old Fuff
February 4, 2011, 12:06 PM
"Safe to fire" is open to question, because the maker (Iver Johnson) was building them using a mix of older as well as some new parts. Older in theory if not practice could be pre-1900.

If someone has one of these old top-breaks (except Smith & Wesson Safety Hammerless and/or .38 Perfected models made after 1908) and they absolutely have to shoot them ('cuz I shoot everything I own, and besides the cartridges will go into the chambers) I would suggest black powder reloads if possible, with not shooting being best of all. The ammunition is generally expensive, and accuracy fair at best when at point-blank range.

I can safely say all this knowning that it's unlikely anyone will take my advise. :rolleyes:

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