Question on ASM


45-70 Ranger
March 31, 2011, 10:35 PM
Ok, folks. I'm a bit out of the loop on some of the builders of some of our pet pistols. I have two older ASM's. one from 1969 and the other from 1978. Now I was advised that ASM has stopped production, but I do not know when. Now to my question of the day....

I picked up a very clean 1851 Navy steel frame ASM at a very good price. I tried to read the two letter date code on the frame, but it was a little light in the stamping. I did see the first letter was a "B" but the second letter was very light, but it appeared to be a "U". If my eyes were seeing it right that would make it a 2004 production. So......when did ASM shut down? Or is my information on that wrong?

Oh, by the way, the little Navy was spotless inside and out with just a hint of pitting in the bore near the muzzle. I suspect the original owner fired it once, left it a while, then cleaned it.:cuss: The rest of the weapon is perfect. Timing is tight and the finish looks to be almost 100% (maybe 99%:rolleyes:) perfect and smooth.

Fired six just to make me happy:) and typical colt high at 10 yds and a might to the left....Good trigger and as I said earlier, Great timing on the weapon. Been so busy shooting .44's that I only had 7 .36's cast!:banghead:

Anyway, if one of you fine folks could clue me in to the fate of ASM I'd be grateful for the assist....

Now I gotta use the "Wade method of introducing a new weapon to the house" system. Gonna put it in with the other BP pistols for a while so the wife won't see it by itself.....then slowly let it be seen after a week or two with the others. Then after its been seen for a while, go to the range and shoot the daylights outta it!;) Then when mamma askes "When did you get this one?" I can say with all honesty, "Oh this one? Yeah, I got it sometime ago hun. I guess to you they all look alike, huh?" If ya wanna get those pistols ya gotta be sneakey right?:D

Thanks again for any help on the ASM deal folks!


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March 31, 2011, 10:50 PM
I'm not sure when ASM stopped production, but I did find the information below that was posted by bprevolver. What's notable is that the manufacturing date is not the same as the date indicated by the proof code which only shows when the gun was proof tested and not when it was made.
So there could have been a lapse of any number of months between the time that the revolver was produced until when it was actually proof tested. :)

After Armi San Marco was sold to American Western Arms, all production of percussion revolvers ceased. Shortly thereafter the son of the founder (deceased) of ASM resumed production of a limited number of percussion revolvers. One was a 3rd Model Dragoon with the wedge going right to left. At this time there was a working relationship with Palmetto in sharing parts. Now both companies are deceased.

Fingers McGee
March 31, 2011, 11:47 PM
Armi San Marco BP revolvers were discontinued in 2000 according to The Blue Book of Modern BP Arms. Your light stamped date code is probably BH for 1996

April 1, 2011, 12:54 AM
My guess is your gun was never fired other than to proof it. I say this because all of the 5 ASM '51s in 44 cal I bought from Red Head (returned 4) had some rust or minor pitting in the last 1/2-1" of barrel new from the distributor. Other ASMs (2 Hartford models and two from EMF were spotless) The Red Head guns were proof fired at the factory and NOT CLEANED AFTERWARDS!!!

45-70 Ranger
April 1, 2011, 09:31 AM
Thanks guys! I knew that you all have information that comes super-fast!
And looking at it again, real close, the nipples are sharp and crisp with no signs of battering what so ever. And the interior was ultra clean. Just a trace of BP residue on the grip frame (brass) where it meets the frame. It was pretty dog gone clean to begin with.

As to the date stamp, it is likely that what I suspected was a "U" could just well be an "H" and that would make sense since I know now that AMS shut down in 2000. The stamping is REAL light and my eyes are getting crappy up close!

Kinda caught my eye hanging up in a pawn shop near where I live. It was hanging on a hook and calling to me: "Wade....Wade.....take me home...." It was too much for me to bear and I just hadda get it. Now I'm glad I did. The only other .36 Colt style I have is a cut down 5" '51 Navy that I made into a slipgun. I "Needed" another full 7 1/2" with a trigger and sights to restore balance!! (Big stupid grin on my face...) Half a dozen BP pistols now, and I wanna get back where I was in the 70's with over 15 revolvers again. I sure like 'em that's for sure!

Thanks again guys,


April 1, 2011, 09:44 AM

45-70 Ranger
April 1, 2011, 09:55 AM
Hey there Junkman_01,

I'll try to shoot some pics of this weapon, but I gotta warn ya......All I have to shoot pics with is my camera gizmo in my cellphone! Soooo, I can't promise how well they'll turn out!:eek: Might just turn out looking like Yoda's lightsabre in 2D, but we shall see....:)


45-70 Ranger
April 3, 2011, 06:43 PM
Ok, I got my 18 year old grandaughter to look at this pistol as her eyes are like a hawk! She said it was BL. A 1998 production then. Fine by me...

And here is some pics for Junkman_01 to view....The pic of the stamp is nothing to write home about:uhoh: but then again I was using the camera in my phone and it ain't the best :rolleyes: Also as I put in a shot the the rest of the gang, minus the Spiller and Burr. That one is on the bench in pieces as I have to make a new hand for it:banghead:

Thanks again for the info guys!

(P.S. if the photos don't work, I did my best ;)

Foto Joe
April 4, 2011, 10:52 AM
Say what you will about ASM but the wood on some of their guns is beautiful. On others, not so much. I do like the ones with the light wood on them.

My ASM Dragoon (1979) has what appears to be a "Tiger Maple" grip. On the other hand, my late 90's Walker (now gone), had just a plain jane grip on it. Maybe the type of wood they use has something to do with how they function. The Dragoon runs like a clock, the Walker had more issues than I cared to deal with so it got traded to someone with more patience. Maybe they put a nicer grip on it and got it working right.

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