Saw an oddball revolver today.


February 9, 2013, 08:19 PM
Older gentleman tried to sell me what I thought at first glance was a Smith & Wesson early M&P, but when I got it in my hands, I saw "G.A.C. Firearms Manufacturing Co." on top of the 5" barrel. and "Spain" on the frame.

He told me it was a .38 special, but I pointed out it said "38 Long" on the side of the barrel and opened the cylinder to show him the counter boring was way to shallow for a .38 special to fit, he got kinda cranky and snatched it away and walked off. (wanted to snap a picture, but figured that was out of the question then) :)

Looked just like a 5" S&W early M&P.

Anyone ever had one?

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February 9, 2013, 08:45 PM
Pre-war Spanish rip-off of a S&W.


February 9, 2013, 10:23 PM
Sure was, until I read the barrel, I'd have sworn it was a S&W, at least externally, Lord knows what they are like inside the works.

If he'd have stayed around long enough to give me a price and it was cheap enough, I might have bought it just out of curiosity, since I actually have some .38 long squirreled away leftover from an S&W top break I had once.

February 10, 2013, 08:29 AM
Remember that 38 Long and 38 S&W are not the same, and should not be mixed.

February 10, 2013, 07:01 PM
Good thing I didn't buy it then, I learned the bad habit of calling ".38S&W" ".38S&W Long" years ago from some old guy that used to come in the gun shop I worked in, that I have to catch myself from confusing them.

Jim K
February 10, 2013, 07:12 PM
There are/were .38 Short Colt and .38 Long Colt. The latter was, for some 17 years (1892-1909) the official U.S. service cartridge. The case diameter is the same as .38 Special, but the .38 Long Colt case is shorter than the .38 Special case.

The .38 S&W (no "long" or "short") is an older cartridge with a case diameter larger than the .38 Colt/.38 Special.

Those old Spanish revolvers are almost all junk. Many that look like S&W's have internal lockwork more like the Colt. Most common calibers were .38 Special and .32-20. They were often made from cheap cast iron, the same metal used to make cookware (hence "pot metal"), and I have seen several that had blown up with standard loads.

Incredibly, some owners whose revolvers have not blown up (yet) defend those guns, some even claiming they are stronger than any U.S. revolver and can be safely fired with .357 Magnum if it fits in the cylinders.


February 10, 2013, 10:51 PM
Glad I didn't get a chance to shoot it then. Would have liked to have seen the insides though, the "tinkerer" in me finds the differences interesting.

The ammo I have is .38S&W, for a short time about 20 years ago I had a S&W "Lemon Squeezer" hammerless break top that I picked up in a trade. Bought one box of (at that time) new Winchester ammo, shot 5 rounds and decided I didn't want to keep it. Sold it and stored the rest of the ammo away, "just in case" I ever ended up with another gun in that caliber. (I have some .32 Short that's over 100 years old) :)

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