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Help me out with ID and history lesson please.

Discussion in 'Firearms Research' started by FHBrumb, Feb 5, 2013.

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  1. FHBrumb

    FHBrumb Member

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    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]

    Friend at work found this cleaning out an old basement...
     
  2. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    You have what is known as a Suicide Special, the literal "Two Dollar Pistol." (Or even cheaper. Sears had one similar for $1.15 in the 1900 catalog but it did not make it back into the 1901 catalog, you had to cough up $1.50 but that got you a no-name double action.)

    There were dozens of brand names made by several different companies from 1870 til 1900 or so. Unfortunately, there is not one named "Grip" on either list I have.
     
  3. Jim K

    Jim K Member

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    "I am afraid of bad guys."

    "Get a grip."

    Jim
     
  4. 303tom

    303tom member

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    That is a Iver Johnson Defender, a lot of them never any identifying marks what so ever, looks like a pretty neat find to me..............
     
  5. Jim K

    Jim K Member

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    I thought so, too, but the cylinder appears too short for an IJ or Johnson & Bye (or Lovell).

    FHBrumb, is there any other marking or any serial number? If possible, could you check under the grips?

    Jim
     
  6. 303tom

    303tom member

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    Last edited: Feb 7, 2013
  7. FHBrumb

    FHBrumb Member

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    The number 455 stamped into the wood on the inside of the grips. Nothing else.
     
  8. Jim K

    Jim K Member

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    That is probably a batch or assembly number, not a true serial number. In the old days, guns were made in "batches", with the number in a batch varying depending on the factory. Parts were made in one part of the factory, or even in another factory, and delivered to assemblers in bins. The assembler, using files and grinders, put the parts together, then marked them with a number. Then he took the gun apart again and sent it off for final finishing, bluing or plating. When that was done, the numbers were used to make sure the gun that had been fitted together was put back together again.

    A major difference between batch numbers and serial numbers is that the batch numbers were used over and over again. If they ran, say, 1-99, then they repeated every 99 guns; if the ran 1-999, the numbers repeated every 999 guns. Batch numbers are generally low, but obviously some serial numbers are also. But high quality factories applied serial numbers, often in addition to batch or assembly numbers. Factories making inexpensive guns would not apply serial numbers as it cost too much to apply them and keep track of them.

    That revolver probably sold for $1.50 to $2.40 back around 1890.

    Jim
     
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