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What have we here?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by splattergun, Oct 7, 2012.

  1. splattergun

    splattergun Well-Known Member

    My GF gets all sorts of interesting guns from her Pop. I'm hoping someone can identify this old piece. Pop snipped off the tip of the hammer firing pin to make it a safe stage prop. I'm thinking the hammer can be replaced, maybe. It is a DA and functions in battery.

    It sat in a holster in a garage for several years and has a lot of rust on it, but most of the rust is on the surface. I can see the rifling through most of the barrel. THere is some gray dust in corners of the frame where the cylinder mounts, and on the cylinder itself, which I suspect is lead oxide. It has bone grips.

    The only markings I see are; on the bbl top, FOR 38 COLTS SPECIAL, on the left side of the bbl, TEXAS RANGER. On the left side of the grip frame, DB Co. or DR Co. a Crown over A.S., and on the bottom of the grip frame MAxx Ix BxxxUM (MADE IN BELGIUM, I assume). There is no serial number.

    I was thinking of soaking it, minus the grips, in transmission fluid or ballistol. How would you go about rust removal?

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Oct 7, 2012
  2. splattergun

    splattergun Well-Known Member

    I'm not sure what 38 Colt's Special is. Never heard of that cartridge.
    The cylinder is 1.5 inches long, so I'm guessing it's a 38 Colt Long.

    Attached Files:

  3. highpower

    highpower Well-Known Member

    It looks very much like a 1877/78 (the difference is in the caliber it is chambered for) double action Colt. However the grip frame looks like that of a Single Action Army. Since it says Made In Belgium on it, it is definitely a copy (sort of) of a Colt Thunderer/Lightning.
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2012
  4. diyj98

    diyj98 Well-Known Member

    It's a cheap Belgian knockoff, but Colt used "38 Colt Special" for 38 special markings the Police Positive in the early 1900's. I guess they just wanted to claim the 38 special as their own :)
  5. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Well-Known Member

    I am afraid you already know about all there is to be known. The Texas Ranger is a Belgian knockoff of famous Colts, blending the DA of the Lightning with the plow handle grip of the Peacemaker.

    A search finds: "according to some old literature these pistols marked Texas Rangers were made by Fabriques d'Armes Unies de Li├Ęge (FAUL) of Belgium and imported during the 1930s to the USA in masses" ... by an outfit called Johnson & Smith.

    The .38 Colt Special is the same as .38 S&W Special except that the bullet is flatpointed instead of roundnose. If the gun is functional, I would shoot it only (if at all) with .38 Long Colt, .38 Special midrange wadcutters, or at most .38 Special standard velocity lead bullet.

    Spelling as ".38 Colts Special" might be meant to confuse the gullible into thinking he was getting a product of Colts Pt FA Mfg Co.
  6. tryshoot

    tryshoot Well-Known Member

    My single action texas ranger is made by F.I.E. which is now Heratage.
  7. splattergun

    splattergun Well-Known Member

    Well, that's interesting. My search yesterday only resulted in pages upon pages of the Texas Rangers team and LEOs. NOw this pistol is at the top of the results.

    Thank you for the information, all. It's much more than I found yesterday.

    If I can replace or repair the trigger, I think I want to try some light .38 Long loads. Maybe with Trail Boss.
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2012
  8. Jaymo

    Jaymo Well-Known Member

    You can dunk it in Dexron for a week or so. If it were mine, I'd probably spend way too much money getting it repaired, refinished, and tuned. I'd also load up a bunch of .38 Special ammo with black powder.
  9. Jim K

    Jim K Well-Known Member

    Your GF's pop had the right idea. That gun is better left unfireable.

    Buy a shadow box with some nice blue (or red) velvet, and hang it on the wall with a fake Texas Ranger badge, and tell folks how your great-grandfather fought off Billy the Kid, Jesse James and the Sundance kid with it, not to mention hordes of "injuns".


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