38 special Belgian revolver AKA Texas Ranger


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dgp
October 22, 2011, 04:12 PM
Hello I recently inherited a six shot texas ranger 38 special CTGES. It has an elk or deer on the handles R&C on one side of the barrel. There is this rod that pulls back and then the cylider comes out so you can load it. How can I tell if this pistol is still safe to shoot? What ammunition can I use in it? Under the barrel it looks like there is the word BELGIUM but can't quite make it out.

Any help is greatly appreciated!

dgp

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Jim K
October 22, 2011, 10:21 PM
That Texas Ranger was made in Belgium and was not a high qualilty gun. Whether it is safe to shoot cannot be determined without seeing the gun, although good quality pictures might help. In any case, stick to standard loads; definitely do not fire .38 Special +P or +P+ or hot handloads in that gun.

Jim

Jim K
October 22, 2011, 10:30 PM
Short note to Old Fuff and others. The early S&W M&P revolvers had the dual caliber marking (.38 S&W Special/U.S. Service Ctg) and that seems to have been continued for guns submitted to the military. For civilian guns, it appears from time to time in no particular pattern. It was completely discontinued in 1909 when the Army adopted the .45 caliber Model 1909 and the .38 Colt was no longer the official U.S. Service Cartridge, though many of the older .38 Colts remained in service.

Jim

Old Fuff
October 23, 2011, 10:16 AM
Short note to Old Fuff and others. The early S&W M&P revolvers had the dual caliber marking (.38 S&W Special/U.S. Service Ctg) and that seems to have been continued for guns submitted to the military. For civilian guns, it appears from time to time in no particular pattern. It was completely discontinued in 1909 when the Army adopted the .45 caliber Model 1909 and the .38 Colt was no longer the official U.S. Service Cartridge, though many of the older .38 Colts remained in service.

When Smith & Wesson introduced they’re new K-frame, .38 Military & Police revolver in 1899 the barrels had the dual .38 S&W Special/U.S. Service Ctg. marking. Total military sales to the U.S. Navy and then to the Army totaled (I believe) were slightly over 3000 revolvers between 1900 and 1903. Commercial revolvers were so marked so that owners would know that they could use either cartridge, and later it appeared off & on as the company used up surplus barrels.

Model 1909 .45 revolvers, with the exception of approximately 600 – 700, were exclusively sent to the Philippine Islands and issued there. In other places the older .38 Colt and occasional S&W revolvers remained standard, until they were replaced by Colt 1911 .45 pistols. Even thereafter some of the .38 revolvers remained in inventory, and were issued in non-combat areas during World Wars One and Two, and some S&W Military & Police 1900 era guns purchased by the Navy, were sent to England just before we entered World War Two.

dgp
October 23, 2011, 10:26 AM
should the cylinder separate completely from the gun when i pull that rod or was it designed to swing out to load? I am trying to determine if it is broke or designed that way.

Brian Williams
October 23, 2011, 10:44 AM
It is probably broken.

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