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How Old is your Oldest Revolver?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by Driftwood Johnson, Oct 26, 2018.

  1. Driftwood Johnson

    Driftwood Johnson Member

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    Howdy

    I have been thinking of starting this post for a while, but have been putting it off because I did not want to intimidate anybody. But after yesterday's What is your Favorite Revolver post, I thought I would start this one anyway.

    Most of you probably already know that I like old revolvers.

    So what is your oldest revolver? Do you know how old it is, or is it just a guess? Nothing wrong with guesses, I'm just curious.

    Anyway, I'll start.

    This little Smith and Wesson No. 1 Tip Up, First Issue, 5th Type is the oldest revolver in my collection at present. Roy Jinks says it shipped in June of 1859.

    Probably silver plated when it left the factory, almost all the plating is gone now, revealing the brass frame and iron cylinder and barrel.

    First%20Issue%205th%20Type%2001_zpsfyh78pyt.jpg

    First%20Issue%205th%20Type%2002_zpsvrt8imjc.jpg

    First%20Issue%205th%20Type%2003_zpsqrp98o9e.jpg




    Seven chambers, 22 Short. The only 22 Rimfire cartridge that was in production at the time.

    First%20Issue%205th%20Type%2006_zps3izztquu.jpg




    You can see here what little is left of the silver plating.

    First%20Issue%205th%20Type%2004_zpsc4flgu3r.jpg




    OK, so maybe this little guy is not fair because I don't actually shoot it. Much too old, and even modern 22 Shorts would be too much for it.



    So, let's add another category.

    What is the oldest revolver you own that you actually shoot?

    It's actually a tie with me. This Smith and Wesson New Model Number Three shipped on August 15, 1882. It was sent back to the factory and refinished in March of 1965. That's why it looks so good. I know this because when I bought it a factory letter was included from the previous owner. It is chambered for 44 Russian, which was the most popular chambering for this model.

    new%20model%20number%20three%2002_zpsczb4qqj3.jpg

    new%20model%20number%20three%2001_zpsnhtam3mu.jpg




    I don't shoot it a whole lot, but it does make it to a couple of Cowboy Action Shooting matches every year. Of course, I only shoot it with Black Powder.

    038.jpg




    I'm not exactly sure when this Merwin Hulbert Pocket Army shipped. According to Art Phelps' book, The Story of Merwin Hulbert & Co. Firearms, the Open Top version of this model was only made from 1880 until 1883. In 1883 a top strap was added. Phelps does not give a serial number range for this model, so I really don't know exactly when in that time period it left the factory.

    Pocket%20Army%20open%20Top%2003_zpsxtkn5gjd.jpg

    Pocket%20Army%20open%20Top%2004%20no%20SN_zpsqzciirgc.jpg




    Don't be fooled by the name Pocket Army. This is a big revolver, just as big as a Colt or S&W Top Beak. It is chambered for the 44-40 cartridge. I don't know why I put six cartridges in this photo because like so many old revolvers, these were only safe to carry loaded with five rounds and the hammer down on an empty chamber. This style of grip is called the Skull Crusher because the steel grip frame extends down below the hard rubber grips.

    pocket%20army%2002_zpshbyux9we.jpg




    Like most Merwin Hulberts, the cylinder arrangement is unusual. To empty it, you push a knob in front of the trigger guard back. Then you pull the barrel and cylinder forward while rotating them 90 degrees. The empties fall out. Most of the time.

    unloading%2008_zps2btufvmx.jpg

    unloading%2010_zpsuwv6k8n0.jpg




    However not many folks know that you cannot reload while the gun is broken open. You have to close it up and reload one round at a time through a loading gate not much different than a Colt.

    reloading%2003_zpsvvumyoow.jpg




    This one usually shows up at a CAS match a few times a year too. It usually comes along on the same day I shoot the New Model Number Three.

    0New%20MOdel%20Number%20Three%20and%20Merwin%20Hulbert%20Pocket%20Army%20half%20size_zpsvowqtqah.jpg




    Of course, I only shoot it with Black Powder.

    Shooting%20the%20Merwin%2003_zps7scsayln.jpg




    OK, so what is your oldest revolver, and do you shoot it?
     
  2. P5 Guy

    P5 Guy Member

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    I once had a Marlin revolver in 32 rimfire. No ammo so out you go.
    Now my S&W 17 (no dash) 4 screw is from 1959
     
  3. Corpral_Agarn

    Corpral_Agarn Member

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    Driftwood,

    The history your collection brings is quite amazing. Thank you for sharing.
    I often learn about a new (to me) old revolver design when you post pictures.
    Thanks for that.

    My oldest for me is a humble Pre Model 10.

    I am told that the serial number puts it between 1936 and 1939.
    It is a favorite of mine to shoot.

    vppUYrxv_Mhkbglwa7J_r2ZLP0X4iCRFYQhXv_ghtUmAIXNFj9J2bGrox-5dUP_hQDirbz2pR6xK5EWrhRr=w810-h608-no.jpg
     
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  4. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    I used to have a No 3 NM .44 and a No 3 .38-44 Target as well as a .38 Single Action 2nd Model, but I was not shooting black powder at the time, so warnings against smokeless led me to pass them on to collectors.

    My oldest remaining revolver is either my Combat Masterpiece .22 or my .357 Magnum.
     
  5. bumbazine

    bumbazine Member

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    I have a Colt Police Positive Target 22 whose serial# supposedly dates it to 1910. It was re-barrelled and re-blued sometime after 1926, since that's the patent date on the barrel. That, of course, means it holds no interest for collectors, otherwise I wouldn't have been able to afford it.
    I used to shoot it quite often, until I had my cataract surgery. The sights are tiny, but I can still shoot it if I use 'cheaters' It's quite accurate.
    P1010085.JPG
     
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  6. highlander 5

    highlander 5 Member

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    Ruger Bisley 45 colt and Redhawk 357 mag bought in the early 80s.
     
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  7. lewwallace

    lewwallace Member

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    These Solid frame Webleys date from the late 1860s. Lower right is an 1866.360 rimfire. I've not acertained precisely but the upper left may be a early 1870s model. These were Webley's attempts to establish the final uniform design for the company's internationally successful RIC (Roral Irish Constabulary) model
    20171210_111718-1.jpg
     
  8. PapaG

    PapaG Member

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    38 S&W Lemon Squeezer in, of course, 38 S&W inherited from my little brothers collection. About once a year I load a few cases with black powder and hbwc bullets and fire off a salute. Then clean, clean....
     
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  9. Steel Hayes

    Steel Hayes Member

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    Right there with you Driftwood. American Standard Tool 1869. 6E952087-53C5-432E-AEEF-3060787B8D54.jpeg
     
  10. WestKentucky

    WestKentucky Member

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    If I won’t shoot em, I don’t keep em.

    Oldest I have really shot is my 1896 S&W safety hammerless. I have fired colibri ammunition through my 1870s colt new line, but there’s still work to be done on it to get it back in real safe shooting order. Kids at home has essentially stopped my gunsmithing hobby. That’s gotta change though, I’m about to lose my mind.
     
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  11. Master Blaster

    Master Blaster Member

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    1956 K22 is my oldest and yes I shoot it. I may be acquiring a K22 Outdoorsman dated to 1936 in the near future and I plan to shoot that one as well.
     
  12. BobWright

    BobWright Member

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    I'm older than any gun I own. This 1958 vintage Ruger Blackhawk was purchased in May of 1958:

    100_9995_zpsa62ac1cf.jpg

    I'm older than any Ruger made firearm!

    Bob Wright
     
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  13. NIGHTLORD40K

    NIGHTLORD40K Member

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    Oldest revolver I currently own is my '59 Highway Patrolman:
    IMG_20180308_230853.jpg
    Its wearing target stocks now, I need to take some better pics of it.
    I shoot it often, usually with .38 target loads. The endshake was so bad when I got it, the cylinder face would drag on the barrel extension! Couple of shims later, she's tight as a drum, but no sense in stressing the old girl.

    Oldest I've ever owned was my 1894 Colt New Army. Sadly, I don't have any pics of it because it was in %90 original finish with excellent cartouched grips. Bought it as a $175 project because despite its excellent cosmetics, several of the springs were broken and the bolt stop and hand worn out!

    Got it all fixed up and traded it for my Luger. Never had any any .38LC rounds to try and shoot it.....:(
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2018
  14. WheelGunMan

    WheelGunMan Member

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    IMG_20160127_123728310.jpg
    I purchased this 357 Security Six new in 1978
     
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  15. jar

    jar Member

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    The oldest handgun I shoot is the Smith & Wesson DA Model 4 from about 1903 in 38S&W. It doesn't get shot often but is fun when I do.

    medium800.jpg
    The oldest in regular rotation are two Colts from 1919, an Army Special in 38 Special and a New Service in 45acp.

    medium800.jpg

    medium800.jpg
     
  16. 460Shooter

    460Shooter Member

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    My oldest is this Belgian pin fire revolver, which another forum member who seemed to know his stuff said was likely from the 1860s.

    Oldest that I've shot in my collection is this 1923 Regulation Police that I got lettered by S&W. Roy Jinks I believe is the gent's name.

    However, once I finally pony up some coin for some 8mm French Ordnance ammo, or 8 Lebel as some folks commonly call it, I plan to shoot this 1892 MLE French Ordnance revolver from 1912.

     
  17. Iggy

    Iggy Member

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    Well part of it revolves.....

    Pepperbox-1.jpg
    Maybe the 1840s??
    image-09-08-14-11-35-1-zpsb4a805e2.jpg
    The oldest one I carry and shoot is a modified 1916 vintage .455 MKII Hand Ejector from the UK during WWI. Barrel and Cylinder are post WWII .45 Cal. I shoot .45 Winchester Magnum Brass loaded to old Colt .45 specs in Moon Clips.
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2018
  18. tightgroup tiger

    tightgroup tiger Member

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    H&R2.jpg
    Oldest I shoot is my 1927 H&R 22 special.
    It's the oldest I own also.
     
  19. aarondhgraham

    aarondhgraham Member

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    That would be Margaux,,,
    Model 189? 8mm French Lebel.

    lebel.jpg
    Mine was manufactured in 1903,,,
    That would make her 115 years old now.

    I even have about 525 rounds of new manufacture Fiocchi ammo for her,,,
    Every year around the 4th of July I fire 25 rounds through her.

    This was the first handgun I ever bought,,,
    I picked her up at a farm auction for a crisp $10.00 bill,,,
    She came with a sock full of old ammunition which was gone in a week.

    Aarond

    .
     
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  20. Sarge7402

    Sarge7402 Member

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    1930's S&W Regulation Police and a mid 20's Army Special DSCF3844.JPG DSCF4976.JPG
     
  21. MedWheeler

    MedWheeler Member

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    My oldest handgun is not a revolver. My oldest revolver is as old as I am, made in 1966. It's a Charter Arms Undercover that belonged to my father before he died. Ironically, he bought it (used) during an era in which we did not know each other, but had both been doing time in law enforcement. Both of us bought Undercover 38 revolvers back then, mine being on the day I was sworn in.

    His came home with me when he died in 2010. It's in the safe right next to mine, along with his badge and service revolver.
     
  22. AZAndy
    • Contributing Member

    AZAndy Member

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    The oldest I shoot regularly is this .32 Hand Ejector that shipped in August 1916:

    HE32.jpg

    I haven't shot this one yet, but I will once I get around to making some black powder cartridges-- H&R .38S&W from 1888 or 1889:

    hr.jpg
     
  23. Ed4032

    Ed4032 Member

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    These are nice!!! All I have is a 1903 Colt army in the ineffective 38. And the fill in replacement a 1909 Colt Army in 45LC. Oh and another fill in a 1917 Colt Army with moon clips 45ACP or with out 45 autorim.
     
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  24. orpington

    orpington Member

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    20171104_225357.jpg 20171104_225416.jpg I believe my oldest is this Colt eiighteen fifty one London Navy made in '55, the fourth year of production.
     
  25. silicosys4

    silicosys4 Member

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    130 years old, give or take
     
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