.38 in Iver Johnson

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by Grayrock, Jun 17, 2021.

  1. Grayrock

    Grayrock Member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2003
    Messages:
    1,687
    Location:
    The great state of TEXAS
    I mic'd it last night. From round side to round side it showed approximately 0.357". From flat spot to round it is 0.347".
     
  2. Mauser lover

    Mauser lover Member

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2011
    Messages:
    1,956
    Location:
    East KY
    I still think that even if the bullet stuck solid at the muzzle the pressurized gasses would

    1. Have plenty of expansion space behind the bullet
    2. Have plenty of space to escape between the rear of the barrel and face of the cylinder.

    I don't think the bullet will stick in the muzzle. We shoot squishy lead bullets, not steel bullets machined to fit snugly in the barrel. (I'd also not use jacked bullets, at least to start; and a long string around the trigger maybe too)

    If you wanted to fix it, you could try using a steel rod of the proper diameter to iron out the dent. I'm not sure if you could do it without a hydraulic press, but I've seen videos of folks fixing dented pistol barrels.

    Again, I'm still not sure this is the right thing to do, but I'd probably give it a shot before giving up and making a wall-hanger out of it.
     
  3. mec

    mec Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Messages:
    4,559
    Cartridges of the World Says 1902

    I wonder how this got started/ My speer number 3 number 3 manual from 1959 and is still in my most recent edition -number 14 from 2007 It has this misinformation and it seems set in concrete in the gun press.
    Letters like this from Roy Jinks are quite common and should have put the matter to rest some time back. It did not. The loud and Not-To-Be Disputed primary channeler of Elmer Keith Declared 1902 two or three years ago and it is the accepted standard among gun writers who write (and wrote) about revolvers.
    lettersml.jpg
     
  4. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    30,718
    Location:
    Florence, Alabama
    The Italians do things differently.

    I have read many times over the years that Colt .38 barrels were smaller groove diameter than Smith.
    It would be instructive to slug some WWII contract guns, the .38 Special US secondary standard revolvers and the .380 Revolver/.38-200/.38 S&W BSRs of both makes. Colt did not make nearly as many revolvers as Smith, being that they had lots of business for 1911s.
     
  5. mcb

    mcb Member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2008
    Messages:
    5,913
    Location:
    North Alabama
    I just cast my Iver Johnson (second model, probably 1905/1906 vintage) and my Webley Mark IV (1982 vintage) with Cerosafe and got interesting results. They were not easy to measure as both are odd number of lands and grooves making measurements difficult. Seven for the Webley and five for the Iver Johnson.

    The Webley Mk IV is right on what a 38 S&W (38/200) should be. Groove diameter .361-.362. I do not have gauge pins so I did the best I could with what was laying around. The land diameter is greater than an S drill (.348) and less than the 35 cal (.355) mandrel for my case trimmer. The nominal spec diameter is .350 and that lies in the range I have narrowed it down to.

    The Iver Johnson on the other hand has a groove diameter of between .368-.371. This was so over size I doubted my results and recast the barrel using more Cerosafe to cover more barrel length and got the same results. The land diameter similar to the Webley is between .348 and .355 as the letter S drill will go and the .355 mandrel will not.
     
  6. Driftwood Johnson

    Driftwood Johnson Member

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2011
    Messages:
    5,385
    Location:
    Land of the Pilgrims

    My apologies. You are correct. I took a closer look at the front sight on the only Iver Johnson revolver I own, and it is soldered on. I can see a faint line of solder around the base of the sight.

    I was mistaken because the front sights on many S&W revolvers were either separate pieces pinned in place, or forged integral with the barrel. Not seeing a pin, I assumed the front sight was forged integral with the barrel.

    Mea Culpa!

    I agree, putting much pressure on the joint at the base of the blade would probably result in breaking the solder joint.
     
    RevolvingGarbage likes this.
  7. Driftwood Johnson

    Driftwood Johnson Member

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2011
    Messages:
    5,385
    Location:
    Land of the Pilgrims
    Yup, I just checked my Speer #13 manual which was printed in 1998, and it too lists the 38 Special as having been introduced in 1902. And as I said before, Cartridges of the World got it wrong too. Perhaps because 1902 was the year the 38 Military and Police 2nd Model (Model of 1902) was introduced.

    Roy Jinks told me this 38 Military and Police 1st Model (Model of 1899 Army Navy Revolver), left the factory in 1899. It has a very low serial number, less than 200. It is chambered for the 38 Special cartridge.

    pmilxqRoj.jpg



    Interestingly enough, this one is not marked for caliber, but a 38 Special fits perfectly.

    In his 1977 book History of Smith and Wesson, Roy Jinks describes how this revolver was originally designed for the 38 United States Service Cartridge (38 Long Colt). But the cartridge had developed a reputation for poor stopping power. Daniel Wesson suggested to his son Joseph, that the cartridge be lengthened to increase the powder capacity from 18 grains to 21 1/2 grains and the bullet weight be increased from 150 grains to 158 grains. The new cartridge was called 38 Smith and Wesson Special. Although 1000 of this model were shipped to the Army and 1000 to the Navy in 1900, all chambered for 38 Long Colt, the commercial versions were chambered for either 38 Special or 32-20.

    Here is a scan from my reprint of the 1900 S&W catalog, showing the new revolver. Notice the lack of a latch under the barrel for the front of the ejector rod. That did not come until the Model of 1902.

    pohEmgynj.jpg



    Here is the page again showing the specifications of cartridges for the Model 1899.

    pnv9Wcsuj.jpg
     
    Monac likes this.
  8. Driftwood Johnson

    Driftwood Johnson Member

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2011
    Messages:
    5,385
    Location:
    Land of the Pilgrims
    I just slugged a Colt Police Positive Special that shipped in 1952. Not a WWII contract gun, a commercial model. The slug came out at .354 from groove to groove.

    I have not fired this revolver in a long time, but I'm sure I was putting commercial 38 Special ammo through it years ago without any problems.
     
  9. Driftwood Johnson

    Driftwood Johnson Member

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2011
    Messages:
    5,385
    Location:
    Land of the Pilgrims
    Be sure you are wearing a steel gauntlet and your insurance is paid off before you try this. Personally, I would not try it.
     
  10. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    30,718
    Location:
    Florence, Alabama
    The reason I said WWII was because they were making a lot of guns for both cartridges and I thought it would be interesting to know if they made a difference in the barrels in wartime conditions.
     
  11. mec

    mec Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Messages:
    4,559
    Th


    The revolver I had went to the Bekeart Company which was famous for the 22/32 Target model that turned into the 22/32 kit gun later on. He wrote that the 99 was designed and introduced in 38 special but other references said that the company chambered some of them in 38 long to complete a military contract.

     
  12. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    30,718
    Location:
    Florence, Alabama
    First and second model M&Ps, 1899-1904 were marked
    ".38 S&W Special CTG and US Service CTG."
    Lots of them CTG guns out there.

    SCSW says Army and Navy contract guns were .38 Long Colt (= .38 Government) but does not say how they were marked.
     
  13. Buckeye63

    Buckeye63 Member

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2018
    Messages:
    1,427
    812BCAF6-8402-498F-931D-38858CABE8FD.jpeg
    As far as I know this is the last commercial revolver produced in 38 S&W .. 1986 .. I could be wrong… but its the last I know of .. I have owned a few over the years .. seemed to be a well made revolver.. Back in the day ammo could be found in local community general stores .. Buffalo Bore makes a nice load for the 38 S&W
     
  14. mec

    mec Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Messages:
    4,559
    Those were al over Gibsons Discount in the 60s and 70s Attached- Buffalo bore load.
     

    Attached Files:

  15. mcb

    mcb Member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2008
    Messages:
    5,913
    Location:
    North Alabama
    Did they make a version with a longer barrel?
     
  16. jar

    jar Member

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2003
    Messages:
    1,760
    Location:
    Deep South Texas!!!!!
    Yup. This is from the other end of that line, from before it had a model name or number.

    H&R-03-small.jpg

    This one is serial number 234 and was most likely made in 1938 or 1939.
     
    mcb and RevolvingGarbage like this.
  17. mec

    mec Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Messages:
    4,559
    This one was cataloged until 1940 Its a 32 but a 39 s8w would'tt have been surprising
    IJtarget-sml.jpg

    This one made post 19090 coil mainspring.-Basic design from 1890s with flat mainspring

    steripicsml.jpg
    and a 38 [email protected] HandR 1880s through 1940
    harrington-rich.jpg
     

    Attached Files:

    mcb, RevolvingGarbage and Monac like this.
  18. Mauser lover

    Mauser lover Member

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2011
    Messages:
    1,956
    Location:
    East KY

    You've got a bunch more experience than I have with revolvers, so I'm not trying to discount what you are saying without consideration. This question is meant for gathering data points, not starting a feud.

    Have you (or anyone else here, for that matter) seen any revolver "kabooms" from a bullet lodged down the barrel? Again, I'm not saying that it hasn't happened, but since I've never seen one or heard of one, my initial impression is to say that it probably isn't going to happen. The revolver kabooms I've seen were from grossly overpressure situations blowing up the cylinder. One more time, I'm not claiming that it has never happened or that it couldn't happen, but I don't believe this would be the failure mode this revolver is most susceptible to.

    I would also recommend against using a steel gauntlet. It will only make the string difficult to hang on to.
     
  19. mec

    mec Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Messages:
    4,559
    seen any revolver "kabooms" from a b

    I stuck a bullet in a Smith and wesson "Model 25- one of the new ones filled with mim parts and modern "improvements" I was using taper crimped lead bullets. I was shooting double taps Double action when one went " poof" and stuck in the bore with round number two bulging the barrel. The bullet had walked forward under inertia and the case had lost enough grip that ths round "fizzled" and vented the propellent gases through the bc-gap... i do not believe that the prominent chamber reduction in Ruger Blackhawk and the close fit of the forward potion to the .452 " bullets would have allowed the bullet to move forward- Never has happened to me in any case.
     
  20. Driftwood Johnson

    Driftwood Johnson Member

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2011
    Messages:
    5,385
    Location:
    Land of the Pilgrims
    Howdy

    How about this:

    From Jerry Kuhnhausen's The S&W Revolver A Shop Manual.

    pmwRMh0mj.jpg




    I have one 38 Special Smith that has a bulge partway down the barrel. Don't recall right now which one of my many Smiths it is, but I think it is a pretty old one, probably from the 1940s or so. The barrel has a slight bulge, barely discernible when running my fingers along the barrel, but clearly visible when looking down the bore with a bright light. Don't remember right now just where in the barrel it is, probably 1/3 of the way from the cylinder. Most likely caused by a bullet stuck in the barrel, long before I owned it. No problem shooting that revolver, bullets skip right past the bulge. So that one did survive a bullet slamming into one stuck in the bore.

    I would like to tell you that this antique Merwin Hulbert cylinder burst because of a bullet stuck in the bore, but that is not true. This one burst from over pressure from being fired with Smokeless ammunition. Too much pressure for this old Black Powder era revolver.

    pmxxCshUj.jpg
     
    Monac and mec like this.
  21. mec

    mec Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Messages:
    4,559
    That's what it looks like alright Usually, the shooter escapes injury. The topof the cylider takes off in two pieces -generally not not to be see again. Usually the same with the tope strop thoug sometimes it tears loose from the bbl and stands straight up. One guy had half of the case hit him between the eyes and leave a deep cut. One guy was sitting on the ground in front of a shooting bench when it blew. Didn't hurt him as the pieces departed in the customary manner but there was a standing next to him on the right side a full -length piece of the cylinder about an inch wide went into his biceps pretty deep as he had to go to the emergency room to make sure it was really there and get it removed.
     
    GeoDudeFlorida likes this.
  22. Mauser lover

    Mauser lover Member

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2011
    Messages:
    1,956
    Location:
    East KY
    Sorry not to get back sooner, and thank you for responding thoughtfully. I hope this answer is as thoughtful as yours.

    Your example(s) seem to agree with my point. First, it isn't the first shot that blows up the gun, it is the second after a squib. I think we are not dealing with squibs, and during test fire the arm should be inspected after every shot. I certainly recommend nothing other than cautious testing. (I just wouldn't be too worried about blowing it up to test it at all).

    Second, even if a light charge only makes it down the barrel 1/3 of the way to the muzzle, odds are that it will be enough to allow the gas (at least enough of it) from the second shot space to expand and time to escape through the cylinder/barrel gap. If the first test shot somehow sticks in the barrel in question(which I really doubt it would), this would be far safer than that .38 Special you've got. .38 S&W has lower pressure and lower propellant volume. Of course, the IJ revolver is built to contain the lower pressure, and the science of heat treating steel advanced miles between IJ and 1940s S&W. What didn't change is the density of steel, which means that any shrapnel from the revolver will have the same mass and less acceleration meaning less energy if it did fail. The difference in the volume of gas is also still relevant as the cylinder gap and bore volume are still the same size (okay, a couple of thousandths different diameter, but close enough to be nearly negligible). Considering that this is an IJ, the cylinder gap is actually probably more than your average S&W.

    The Merwin/Hulbert revolver is a good example of the failures with which I was familiar. That's what I was thinking of as the major danger to a revolver. A massively overpressure situation at the cylinder. Another way of getting an overpressure situation at this point is to have a primer-only squib that sticks just clear of the cylinder. The drawing in the Kuhnhausen book looks like this failure mode with the topstrap getting launched into a low-earth orbit.

    Thoughts? Objections?
     
  23. RevolvingGarbage

    RevolvingGarbage Member

    Joined:
    May 15, 2009
    Messages:
    1,391
    Location:
    Orlando, FL
    So I believe one thing you aren’t thinking about is that a full pressure round lodging in a crimped or squished barrel is different from how the pressure escapes during a squib round. A squib, by its nature did not have enough energy to drive the bullet fully down and out of the bore, and so won’t cause damage when the pressure vents elsewhere. An obstructed bore (being the same danger caused by the otherwise not really dangerous squib round) being subjected to the pressure which was supposed to have been used to fling a bullet at full power is going to experience a pressure spike, and likely a parts failure.
     
  24. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    30,718
    Location:
    Florence, Alabama
    I think a soft swaged bullet will squirt out of that ovalized muzzle without harm.
    I would confirm every hit on target lest I should be wrong and it stick one.
     
  25. RevolvingGarbage

    RevolvingGarbage Member

    Joined:
    May 15, 2009
    Messages:
    1,391
    Location:
    Orlando, FL
    To my eye, given the OPs specific example I think it would be reasonably safe to try it out, however I’m not the one at risk. If it was my gun the dent in the muzzle would be all the excuse I would need to make another handy .38S&W snub so I wouldn’t be in a position to find out by testing.
     
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice